Friday, July 31, 2009

100 in 100, Day 61

self portrait, standing
oil pastel, 17x14 inches

Well, I made a few changes all at once, and ended up with a mess!

To start with, I moved to bigger paper. Then, I stood up. And biggest change of all, I tried oil pastels with turp as a way to ease into the painterly world.


Oh well, it's a good first step.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

100 in 100, Day 60

self portrait, drawn with left hand
pastel, 9x12 inches

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

100 in 100, Day 59

self portrait, drawn with left hand
pastel, 9x12 inches

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

100 in 100, Day 58

self portrait, drawn with left hand
pastel, 9x12 inches

Monday, July 27, 2009

100 in 100, Day 57

self portrait, drawn with left hand
pastel, 9x12 inches

The girls asked for red. This is as close as I could get.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

100 in 100, Day 56

self portrait, drawn with left hand
pastel, 9x12 inches

The Early Bird vs The Night Owl

That makes me the worm.

this small old house



My house is very small. Two rooms up, two rooms down. Officially only one and a half stories. In the top picture, the part of the house painted white is the main house, the original hundred year old temporary farmworker's shack. The barn red part, added later, is the kitchen, pipes-freezing bathroom, and porch. I think it's a cute little house. And I thought it was more than enough for my family of three.

It turns out, though, that with two girls sharing a bedroom, one an early bird and one a night owl, no house would be big enough.

Every single day starts with a conflict. My early bird, who unlike me doesn't savor quiet morning hours as the only one awake, does her best storming, tromping, clanking through the house. If that doesn't wake me and her sister, she comes and sits on my bed.

At first, I tried to accommodate her. As a single mother with limited resources and no support network, not only do I never* get time to myself, I also never get time one on one with each child. So even though the last thing I want to do early in the morning is socialize, I tried to see it as the chance to have some time with the 8yo while the 6yo slept. But on mornings after I have spent the night waking every two hours, I just can't force a smile on my face.

And that's where we are now. I've suggested all kinds of quiet morning activities to the 8yo. She loves to read, write, draw, and even knit. Yet, she loves even more having me over a barrel. Surprise.

*In fairness to the girls, they have reached an age where they can play together well and happily. So although I'm never alone in my house, I do get stretches of uninterrupted time here and there.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

100 in 100, Day 55

self portrait in the studio
pastel, 9x12 inches

I like the way the neck turned out in this self portrait from Day 38, so I thought I'd try again to work with the challenge of big chunks of color shapes. Here's another attempt from Day 19 to divide the background, then bring it forward.

I always stumble when I get to the face because the shapes are so much smaller. I haven't figured out how to make the transitions between the big shapes of the arms and chest and the little shapes of the face.

Friday, July 24, 2009

100 in 100, Day 54

self portrait in the studio
pastel, 9x12 inches

Okay, I retreated to the safety of green again! And then the girls and I rode our bikes into town and I bought a big Matisse book. Look out!

100 in 100, Day 52 & 53

Day 53
self portrait in the studio
pastel, 9x12 inches

Day 52
self portrait in the studio

pastel, 9x12 inches

Taking a break from using other artists' paintings as inspiration, and making up some numbers (yes, I'm behind...), I wanted to dash off a couple loose ones. Instead, I got a couple messes! Oh, well, it's all part of the process!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

100 in 100, Day 51

self portrait as deer's skull with pedernal
pastel, 9x12 inches

Georgia O'Keeffe. Deer's Skull with Pedernal, 1936

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

100 in 100, Day 50

self portrait with crows over the wheat field
pastel, 9x12 inches

Van Gogh. Crows Over The Wheat Field, July 1890

Whoohoo! 50! The halfway point, and one thing I've learned is that when soft pastels try to do what oil paints do, they make my paper cry. So, the question is: will I be brave enough in the coming 50 to try paint? It's been sooooo long...

Monday, July 20, 2009

100 in 100, Day 49

self portrait as Mont Sainte-Victoire
pastel, 9x12 inches

Cezanne. Mont Saint-Victoire, 1902-06

100 in 100, Day 48

self portrait as Derain by Matisse
pastel, 9x12 inches

Matisse. Portrait of Derain, 1905

100 in 100, Day 47

self portrait as Mont Sainte-Victoire, study
pastel, 9x12 inches

Cezanne. Mont Sainte-Victoire, 1902-06.

I had to take a break on this one when my daughter woke up. When I came back to work on it some more, I liked it like this, so I sopped here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Pepper

the first pepper of the season

Cat-n-Critter Blogging

the view out my window as I made my morning coffee yesterday

I used to think that all the neighbor cats loved my yard because it was sunny. Now, I think it's because all the mice, birds, and squirrels who hang out here make it a cat's wildlife restaurant.

the girls were thrilled to find a slug yesterday

My dad sent them a DVD of this show a couple weeks ago, and they loved it. So their already excellent eyes for nature's creatures have been finely tuned to science!

birthday party detritus

The 6yo really wanted me to take a picture of her water balloon. So I did.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

100 in 100, Day 46

self portrait as Bonnard
pastel, 9x12 inches

Bonnard. self portrait, 1939
(blurry photograph by me)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wreck this Journal, Week 7

Yes, yes I did.

This, too.

I have been putting off these two things, because I was afraid of, yes, wrecking the journal. I did them both today with the girls. And something wonderful and unexpected happened.

I chose to walk through town dragging the book to the parking garage, then have the girls drag the book up the flights of stairs to the top, and toss the book off. While I was walking, dragging the book, a group of young women passed me, and I felt embarrassed enough to explain that I had to do it, because it was in the book. To my complete surprise and delight, one of the girls said she understood because she has the same book.

arriving at the parking garage
(we actually climbed even higher than the walkway visible above me in this picture)

I forgot to take a full shot of the garage.
This is one I found online.

looking over the side

awaiting flight

When we got to the top of the parking garage, the 8yo asked if she could be the one to toss the book off. She sent it down close to the side of the building. As it was falling, I wondered too late if it was actually safe to be doing this during such a high traffic time--what if the book hit somebody? As it was falling, we heard a squeal. Then, we lost sight of it.



Well, no spoilers here, watch the video...

I don't know how to stop the music.
The slide show in this video goes to about 1:55, the song is about 4:55.

So you see, we ran downstairs, saw no one was hurt, then started to look in the bushes for the journal. Then, a girl spoke from behind us. She had picked up the journal for us. I turned and saw all the young ladies who had passed us earlier, and one was proudly holding her book! They liked the look of mine, and were curious to see some of the things I had done. I thumbed through the book with them, then told them about the Next Chapter!

the girls

and see, she made it through okay

Although I noticed when looking through the book with the girls that there still seem to be a lot of untouched pages near the back of the book, here are some of the pages I've been working on this week as I continue the wrecking journey.

I painted over the background on the ugly drawing

my doodle envelope

yeah, four letter words
(they might need some color)

some more materials cartoons


Wreck this Journal, Week 6

Yes, I'm one of those people who doesn't know how to make the music stop when the slide show is over. The slide show lasts a little under two minutes, the music lasts a little under five minutes.

At least it's a good song!

I posted this video twice (week 6 & week 7) because I wanted to catch up with everyone. For the full story, go to the week 7 post. And now, I'm caught up.

100 in 100, Day 45

self portrait as a Starry Night
pastel, 9x12 inches

Starry Night over the Rhone, Vincent Van Gogh

Thanks again to Frank Stack for the image.

Deep Thought

down the road

I may not have a future as a blogger. I posted my longest blogpost ever yesterday, and I got the mighty mighty goose egg. It actually took me a couple hours to get that many complete sentences out, and yet I fear it is perhaps too pedestrian for the internet.

under the table

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Garden Blooming

the long view

globe thistles and rose campion

the middle, along the fence

looking back


a butterfly on the marigolds

a busy bee on an eggplant blossom

flowers in the main garden

a wise man

wise man close up

this fella lost his head

the butterfly bush and a mexican sunflower

a blurry close up of the amazing colors

trying again, a bee stopped by

Thank you to m.heart for letting me know about Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Now I better turn off the computer and get outside and weed!