Thursday, July 24, 2008


I've planted a few different varieties of lilies around the house and I like them all, but "Cancun" seems to be the winner.  I can't believe how many flowers it has this year.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

End of quarter roundup

I took a four-week summer workshop in Digital Art and I felt like I actually got a lot done, considering that I had a short time and was out sick for almost a week...  These are boards that I spray-painted with a stencil that I made from a diagram out of an old programming textbook.  I scanned all of them, but I only had a chance to make a print out of the one at the bottom--added a little vector version of part of the diagram.  The print is about 22" x 28" off the Epson printer out at school and it looks pretty great.  The wood texture printed out beautifully and the addition of the vectors on top looks weird (in a good way).  

These are some not-so-great pictures of another print I made--it's about 42" x 36", printed onto watercolor paper, and collaged/drawn on top.  The paper is super heavy and it prints off a roll, so it naturally wants to curl up and I didn't feel like flattening it out somewhere with better light.  The file I printed was mostly blue, but one of the cartridges wasn't working the first time and it turned out mostly pink.  I printed another, but I wound up liking the collage on this one better.  It's nice to have a sort of throwaway print that it's easy to draw on without worrying.

The pattern on this was printed onto canvas which I stretched and painted the hand/stick on with oils.  I'm still working out the surface of the printer canvas--it's nice and smooth but it seems to absorb the oil pretty quickly.  I'm going to try acrylic medium or clear spray on the canvas after printing and before painting next time and see how that goes.

These are linen with freezer paper stencils that I spray-painted.  Never tried the combination of materials before--you can see where some paint dripped off the stencil.  I did the bottom one out of the piece of freezer paper I cut out of the first--never waste work is my motto.  I like the subtlety of doing a reverse stencil with the sort of cloud of white.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Dangerous explosives

My family always goes to Montana for the Fourth of July, where it is legal to set off your own fireworks.  Now that I'm, y'know, a grown-up and married, I drive over with my sweetie in the morning in time to catch the bad-ass parade.  We eat lunch and visit the fireworks stand and try to guess what will be cool-looking and fun to light off.  A word of advice:  if you like fountains, either buy a bunch of really cheap $1-$2 fountains or buy a couple of expensive $15-$20 fountains.  When I buy something in between, they are really lame compared to the ones that are cheap because you paid more and they're still kind of small and don't last very long.  

So as it gets dark, people start lighting their fireworks in the park and when it gets properly dark, there is an official fireworks display.  The whole place looks like a cheery, sparkly war zone--smoke everywhere and fragments of cardboard and plastic and grit falling on you.  It's great.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Time to buy hay of my least favorite things.  Well, as long as I can get it delivered, it's not so bad.  But for many years in my youth, my family would buy hay in the field.  What that means is that we would all pile into an ancient pickup and drive down to the location where the hay had just been baled.  Mind you, this is only done on a day of record-breaking heat.  So we'd get out and while my parents and brother picked up bales and brought them to the pickup, I (as the smallest family member) would be inside the back of the vehicle, sliding and stacking the bales.  Because, naturally, the pickup has a canopy on the back.  So not only is it hot, it's literally oven-like.  And it would take at least a few trips to get all the bales back up to the barn.  Oh, how I do not miss it.  Oh, how willingly I pay delivery charges.  

But my mare is worth it.  She's my baby and she's the kind of baby you don't have to start a college fund for.  Three tons of hay a year is pretty darn cheap compared to college.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The porch

We have a porch/balcony that we let the (indoor) cats onto in the summer.  They each take up positions where they can spy on the neighbors and watch for birds.  Hanging from the eaves is a hummingbird feeder.  While I occasionally try to take a picture of a hummingbird, they are both the size of a paper clip and faster than the speed of sound.  The cats, however, all look ardently upward and hold very still when there is a hummingbird at the feeder.  So this is a picture of the presence of a hummingbird, not a picture of a hummingbird.