June 16, 2014

How Funky is My Chicken?

Easter came and went.  The kids are older, well into High School.  The Easter Bunny's excitement at our house has devolved as this burnt out working rabbit's effort at "doing her best" has really, sadly, dwindled to the point where she doesn't even use Easter grass anymore, and the baskets were too hard to locate in the garage so oversized Tupperware made do.  And there weren't even jellybeans. Weren't.  Even.  Jellybeans.  Pretty lame.

The Easter Bunny, rather, spent some post-Easter energy doing a little Spring cleaning and purging, and came to the realization that she is in fact, an Easter Squirrel.  No, a Year-Round Squirrel. Tucked behind packages of expired microwave popcorn and a bag of fossilized miniature marshmallows were these two little rubber chicks, meant to be included in the baskets...er, bowls...this year (or possibly Easter 2009).

They were deflated, misshapen and could no longer stand on their own, but trash? No.  I diverted them into my squirreled stash of mark-making tools and objects, things I use to add texture to wet paint, gesso, or gelli prints.

ICAD was the perfect opportunity to experiment with them right away.  First I used them with Distress Inks to make this:

I just pounced those little fuzzy chicken heads right onto the ink pads and onto my card.

Pretty cool!  Then I thought, what if I could be more purposeful with shading and make a face?

I used three shades of Distress Ink:  Antique Linen, Vintage Photo, and Gathered Twigs.

Even though I tried to expand the illusion of the "canvas", I think using a larger format would be more successful.  I used pencil and black pen to define the features.

My Cocoa Daisy kit arrived the other day, and I was super excited because I purchased the Project Art add-on this month starring Dina Wakely's new line of acrylic paints and BLACK GESSO!!
I could not wait to (literally) get my fingers into their creaminess, grabbed an index card and smooshed and smoothed those vibrant colors all over it.  I used a chicken to stipple on some black gesso to add contrast, and wiped a tree trunk on with the left over I'd squeezed onto my work surface.

A few nearby additions including cuttings from a plastic tray insert from a box of Christmas cookies or chocolate, a worry doll and some dictionary page and my latest, most favoritest little piece of art was born!

Yes, I do love my alone time.  Especially when I'm feeling creative and go get lost in my art supplies.

How 'bout you?  What do you like to do with your alone time?

Thanks for stopping by!!
Have a great day!!

June 11, 2014

Index Card A Day

Through the magical clickity-click of the World Wide Web maze I came across Tammy Garcia's blog, Daisy Yellow just in time to join in with her 61 day challenge, Index-Card-a-Day, or ICAD, which started on June 1st.  The idea is just to make a daily habit of creating.   The only criteria is that you use index cards, and as index cards are pretty much considered disposable, you should feel free to make art without any stress or worry, no thought or goal of perfection, no pressure to even produce every day if you don't want to, and no pressure to catch up if you skip a day or join in late.   Feel free to join in now if you'd like!  It's very laid back.  The only criteria is that you use index cards.

There are prompts, themes, quotes to jump start your creativity if you want, but they are completely optional.  See?  No stress!  Use a pencil, use a ballpoint pen, use some crayons, or your finest oil paints if you'd like.

Here are a few I've created so far.

Totally mindless, carefree fun--if you want it to be.
Or, if you are feeling more deep and philosophical, that's awesome, too!

If you play and want to share, be sure to join the Daisy Yellow Flickr group!

Have a great day!

June 03, 2014

Visiting the Norton Simon Museum

Last weekend we went to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, CA.  It was our first time to visit, but I feel like I kinda grew up with Norton due to the Cezanne poster that has hung for decades in various spots in my parents' house(s).
Current location: Mom and Dad's bedroom.
Photo credit: Thanks, Mom!

I hadn't given that poster a thought in a long while until we came across the original painting in one of the galleries.  It surely made me smile. :)

Paul Cezanne, Tulips in a Vase

It was exciting to see Degas and his many sculptures and paintings, including "Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen" and "Dancers in the Rotunda at the Paris Opera", as Jillian had studied him for a biographical report in her Freshman Art Class.

Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen
Photo credit:  Jillian Flaherty via Instagram

"Dancers in the Rotunda at the Paris Opera"
Apologies for the blurry photo.  By the time I noticed her and got out
the camera, she was on the move!

Jeremy was not enthused by the visit.  He was a bit miffed that he had been dragged out of his self-proclaimed "nerd cave" of a room, forced to put on *gasp* pants, when it was a 3-day weekend and he'd yet to have a pajama day.  I tried to pull him out of the funk by pointing out a few paintings and then bringing up Nina Katchadourian's hilarious airplane bathroom photos:  "Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style" on my iPhone.  He was not amused.



(Funny, we were checking out the ranch house at William S. Hart Park yesterday, and as we walked back to the car he said, "Wow!  That place was, like, 100 years old!"  Jillian and I chimed in that some of the paintings we were looking at last weekend were from the 15th Century, and the Buddhist sculptures were  circa 150 - 350 A.D.  He was blown away!  It still surprises me the things that will go over his head unless they are pointed out specifically to him, and that they must be pointed out in a specific manner in order for him to truly register them.)  

I was, however, amused in the Flemish Style, and the paintings and pieces that spoke to me this first visit were all about bringing me joy, making me smile.

I love this 14th sculpture trio from the Pisan School.  The full cheeks of the bagpipe playing angel seem whimsically fun, being crafted in an era that I think of as so dark and serious.

And, how about these two portraits?  They are so fresh, real and unstuffy!  The first, a selfie by Maurice-Quentin de la Tour:  I love the twinkle in his laughing eyes that speaks even more than the slight smile on his lips.  The second, by Guillaume Voiriot, so seemingly candid as if this unnamed man was casually reading, heard his name called and looked up just as a photo was taken of him.  Knowing how long it actually took to capture this image in pastel--it's fantastic!

Maurice-Quentin de La Tour

Guillaume Voiriot

I love how a museum can "show" you different things depending on your mood and who you are with.  If you ever think, "Oh, I've already been to that one," I say, "Ah, but not today!" and I urge you to visit again and see how your perspective is different based on so many varying factors: the weather, your company or your solitude, current affairs, what you did yesterday, what you have scheduled in the upcoming week.  All of it, all of it will play a part in your experience.

I sure am looking forward to going back!
Plus, we found an excellent little Italian restaurant where we had lunch.  It was the smell that drew us inside.  :)

Wishing you a joy-filled day!