Thursday, May 21, 2015

Spring, Finally!

After a really brutal winter and more snow than I hope to ever see again, spring is finally here.

These tiny little white flowers grow in drifts in my yard each spring.  The blossoms are only about 1/4 inch across.  In this area, they are called "piss-a-bits" but I wonder if they have different name.  Do you know what they are?

I have just been told that these are called Bluets.  Thanks, Diane!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Quiet Day to Play

Today is really quiet, after the hectic, nearly manic pace of the last 6 weeks.  I have been frustrated in not having time to do anything creative.  So when I finally have a quiet, rainy day with no demands on my time, I ran wild. 

First, I did a bunch of Suminagashi prints using Sumi ink on rice paper to create some wonderfully swirling black and white images.  Then, I cut them into smaller pieces, mounted them on black cardstock and then white cardstock to create 25 postcards from the group.  Here are a couple of the group:

Then, I wanted to work in bright color for a while, so I did more postcards in some shiny acrylics - Maya Golds -- and stenciled some black dots on them.

The next two also used Maya Gold paints, but in this case, I first texturized the background using gesso through a piece of plastic grid from a bag of Stump Chunks. 

While I had the gesso out and a messy palette knife, I applied some gesso to two watercolor paper pieces, and let it dry, then used watercolors over the top and spritzed black watercolor through a stencil.  I then turned the ink-covered stencil upside down and printed the excess watercolor on the other card. 

The next two are totally abstract color studies using watercolors and the little bit of black Sumi ink still remaining in my cup.  I rather like the odd, ink-blot images that happened.

Two more, this time from some new sprays that I just got and wanted to see how they looked on paper.  Some of the color formed pools, which I then moved around a bit, and finally accented with a bit of Stickles glitter glue.

I took the very last of the Sumi ink and covered a final piece of watercolor paper.  I then did some "subtractive" stenciling (lifting color back off the paper through the stencil) painted the revealed areas a lime green in sort of a haphazard way, and finally created fireworks with some rose-colored Stickles glitter glue. 

Sum:  36 postcards ready to go.  Whew!  And it is amazing how quickly the day passed here in the studio. 

Christmas Eve

Today is Christmas Eve, and I have a question for all of you:  "Are you ready?"

Even though Christmas is always on the 25th of December, somehow I am always taken by surprise at how soon that actually comes each year.  And I find myself, year after year, not ready.  This year is no different.  Oh, well.

I wish each and every one of you a wonderful holiday -- however you may celebrate.

"Winter on the 'Kuppe" photo by Michael Tobin, 1977


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Rain and Bagels

Day two of this new year features rain.  Thankfully, not snow.

And a second really nice thing:  a multi-grain bagel still warm from the oven.  No cream cheese, no peanut butter, no butter, no toasting.  Just very, very fresh and very yummy.  I don't splurge on them very often, but this one was irresistible.   

Here is a view from my studio this rainy morning.  We have had very little really cold weather so far this winter, so the grass and the garden's raised beds still show a hint of green.  Nice for late December!

Enjoy your day!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy SOLAR New Year

I am watching the sun rise -- or at least the light grow stronger through the thick cloud cover -- on the first morning of the solar new year.  Although the calendar won't change for another 9 days, the new year begins today. 

Each day, there will be a little bit more daylight and a little less darkness.  Here, in the north of the Northern Hemisphere, the cold and dreary weather will continue for a while, yes, but the promise of spring begins today.  

I greet this new year with hope.  Hope that zealots of all types will be able to find moderation in their behavior; that kindness will become more than just another word; that consideration becomes something that more of us bring into our lives - consideration for each other, consideration for all the creatures on this earth, consideration for the earth itself.  Hope is the one thing that is left in Pandora's box.  Let us all take advantage of that, and never lose it within ourselves.  Hope that each day will bring something better, something more cherished, into being.

My wish for each of you is that the coming year will be one of Peace, Health, Happiness, Freedom, and Hope.  That despair, hatred, injustice, and intolerance are banished in your lives

Cherish each day. And find joy in life.  Live.  Or, to quote Mr. Spock, "Live Long and Prosper."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mardi Gras!

Time to celebrate Mardi Gras. 

Although I made this piece back in January, it was meant for today, so I will re-publish it now. 

Let the good times roll!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Becoming a Vegetarian, Again

Lately, I find myself drifting pretty strongly back to vegetarian meals.  There are just so many wonderful recipes nowadays, and it is easier to find unusual ingredients now, too.  Easy to find things like Kamut, Farro, Millet, many colors of rice, wonderful vegetables in colorful could I not want to try them all?

Yesterday was National Pistachio Day.  Yes, really.  To celebrate the day, we had a fabulous Sicilian-inspired Blood Orange Salad with our dinner.  I found the salad at this link, and the only change I made was to serve it on a bed of Boston lettuce.  Fantastic!  Here is the picture from that blog:

Thanks to the blogger who first posted this recipe, it is wonderful!