Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
I’m doing more freelancing from home (or wherever) these days and am happily able to use this new flexibility to spend more time catching up with stuff (car repair), doing more drawing (and hopefully, soon, painting) and just being able to spend more time with J.
You should all be nodding, thinking, "All good stuff". [in addition, Tony's nodding, thinking, "Now get to the baking part!"]
A few days ago, I met up with Robin and Karen’s plein air group for their weekly trip. I’d never been to Eaton Canyon before and enjoyed wandering around a bit before I found the group. It was so good to see them, meet the others, just be outside, and, of course, to get in a few hours of sketching.
I’ve been enjoying checking out Karen's work in watercolor, and it was great to see her in action. And, we can all see how Robin's work has been enriched by the classes she’s been taking – abstract painting, color theory... If the postings on their blogs weren’t inspiring enough, to watch everyone paint in person; it’s food for the soul.
Go take a look at Karen’s painting
and Robin’s painting
I’ll have to find a way to take along my paint too.
At the SketchCrawls, you start to notice that it’s as much a time for us to catch up and share, beyond the wonderful opportunity to get out and be creative and expressive. Someone shows up and the group gathers to “Oooo” and “Aaaah” about a new tool or supply, a new brush, paint set, easel, notebook. How fun. We check in on everyone’s families, and share, console, support. The plein air group seems like a good, warm one. I’m going to have to keep the time open every week to go. Thanks Robin.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
... there's more.
Lest some of you start to think that all I really want to do is drive up and down the California coast, finding places to eat dessert [I hear Tony and MrMominFL thinkin' " ... and that would be so bad?"], ... taking pictures of my guy taking pictures ...
We also went hiking, too.
And just in case I haven't mentioned this before, you should know that one of us is a more robust hiker at higher altitudes and the other one of us really prefers walking, or maybe running, in the morning fog, at around sea level... all that nice, thick, ocean oxygen, mmmm.
You guess which one of us is which.
So while Jan got a teeny hiking fix in, I plunked down and
did my thing.
I had to wait a few days, but did get in a great relaxing weekend to celebrate my birthday. We drove down to Balboa Island and Newport, wandered along the coast, took photos/took photos of the other one of us taking photos, had clam chowder, made more than a couple of snide remarks about the party barge named "Tiki" that was cruising the harbor, enjoyed the sunset, had frozen bananas, checked out the lights along the boardwalk at night, and took more photos. We even took a couple of shots of us, together; I'm looking forward to seeing how Jan's photos turn out.
As you must be, too!
But for now, my photos are here:
And, while you're already pointing-and-clicking, the few photos from the Getty SketchCrawl are here:
Thursday, September 14, 2006
I had a few hours to sit and wait while my car got new brakes, two new tires, and a transmission flush... The day was a little overcast, so it was nice to sit outside and sketch a little.
Yes, I finally started in on the new M'skine. It's the sketch variety, not just the plain, unlined. So, the thicker paper holds up to my (current) smoodging technique of painting. In theory I could draw on both sides of each page... [gasp!].. without fear of show-through. We'll see.
and I picked up another sketchbook about two weeks ago. How could I resist? I mean, really. It has medium tone papers, which will be nice to work on with black and white pencils and ink. No, really, how could I resist?
You guys all have a great weekend.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
... get back to normal
or, "To add graceful narrative to the humble things and events of the every day"
A List Apart's Ten Tips on Writing the Living Web and
Doug Johnson's "So you wanna start a blog?"
Okay, not to get overly-cerebral or anything here, but for some time I’ve been mulling over these two blog posts that asked bloggers to consider why they blog, that their blogs should have a purpose. I like Doug’s comment ... "Or is it an ego thing, where you’re going to post idle thoughts as you feel like it?..."
Uh, well, ummmm, yeahhhh. So what if it is?
I know my past few months have been filled with the distractions of the flood, overworking or Jan (of course, some distractions are far more worthwhile, fulfilling and fun than others), and my posts have been less of what I’d intended them to be.
The Fridge Door
In some ways, things that get posted on the fridge door really are trivial – the receipt that tells you when your DVD rental is due, the local library schedule, purple stuffed bunnies with magnetic limbs. But, really, the fridge is at the center of the hub of the household, the center of the kitchen. So, while what goes up may be temporary, I’d say that these things do hold some importance or significance – there’s some reason why it goes up, and why stays up there for a while. It holds some importance, even if for a brief moment. You want to take the pulse of a household? Go check the fridge door. I recently had to remove all the stuff from my fridge door for the kitchen demolition. The dust is still a few weeks away from settling, so I haven’t put much back up (and PurpleBunny is here in my office) and that really seems to amplify the unfinished, dusty, new-but-empty quality of my kitchen right now. The little pieces that bring comfort, motivation, or just a bit of whimsy, or perhaps the receipts that help keep us on-track, really reflect the personality and mood and heart of the household.
But, that’s not the point here. Some terrapin out there is thinking, “OMG. So many words! And she’s not done yet!”
[Yeah, you thought it. Admit it.]
I s’pose that the Digital Fridge Door was born out of a desire to keep the Gang of Four up with what’s going on with me, in pictures, doodles and words, and to let a little more of the world in on all this sniggering. But, truth be told, I’d wanted to have an excuse to write more, to add a graceful narrative to the humble things of every day. As I worked through the words, knowing that I’d be sharing them, I’d found that these stories started to flow with a gentle cadence, a sense of ease, and, in addition, that working through the words and paragraphs really helped to focus my thoughts for the rest of the day (in spite of the distraction of spending all this time thinking through all the words for the blog). It brought a bit of calm and focus into my days.
And, on top of it all, of course, there’s value in the designer that can tell a compelling story. One can relay ideas in drawings and photographs, but the words; the words help to set a tone, mood, tempo. In the past few months, I had gotten away from playing with words, and I can see now how much I’ve missed that. As it turns out, I have a little more free time again and am back to focusing on, among other things, TheFridgeDoor. I’ll be teaching a class as well; something that will require reading, writing, and focusing thoughts on weekly topics. The reading is good, fun stuff, and I imagine that the discussions and anecdotes that come from my students… it’ll all is be good fuel to inspire the crafting of thoughtful stories. So, I’m looking forward to getting back to that.
... And with that, I'm going to move PurpleBunny from where's he's been stuck, climbing onto my filing cabinet, back to the FridgeDoor, even if for a few more weeks, until the rest of the kitchen work resumes.
Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so. - Belva Davis