Thursday, May 28, 2009

Interview (thanks, Belinda!)

So I've been tagged by Belinda to complete this set of goes:

What is your current obsession?

The garden at my new house
What are you wearing today?
Paint-splattered hoodie and sweats
What's for dinner?
Hmm...something with salsa sounds good right now
What would you eat for your last meal?
Cashew tofu dish from Gordy's in Spokane...I usually eat too much of it and feel too full, but if it were my last meal I'd gorge on it
What's the last thing you bought?
Shoes - for the horse
What are you listening to right now?
A branch from a massive camellia bush dragging on the window as the breeze picks up
What is your favorite ice-cream flavour?
Ben and Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake, hands down
What do you think of the person who tagged you?
Belinda is almost too nice :)  I admire her work and hope to someday aspire to her level of general awesomeness.
If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
Only an hour?  I'd probably just chill out on a beach somewhere
Which language do you want to learn?
I'd love to learn more Japanese (and go fabric shopping in Japan!)
What's your favorite quote (for now)?
I must like jokes better than quotes because I can't remember quotes but I can remember jokes.  Here's one:  Did you hear what happened when the ship carrying blue paint and the ship carrying red paint crashed into each other?  They were marooned.
What is your favorite colour?
Green - various shades depending on my mood but everything from emerald to grass to lime
What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
A dress I made last summer - I always thought I was the wrong shape for dresses but when I can customize the fit, I actually like them
What is your dream job?
This one (assuming I ever really can make money and call it a job - right now it's more of an impractical passion :)
What's your favourite magazine?
Ooh, I love magazines!  I'm going to cheat because I can't decide and tell you that I've been subscribing to Horse & Rider longer than anything else I'm still subscribed to
If you had £100 now, what would you spend it on?
Roses - I need some more to fill out one of my flower beds
Do you admire any one's style?
I'm kind of into the Japanese clothing pattern books right now, but I feel like I'm not quite waiflike enough to pull some of it off :)
Describe your personal style?
Sadly, it's usually "gesso-embellished" but when I actually dress up, I like prints, skirts, fitted Ts and flip-flops even if the weather isn't quite warm enough yet
What are you going to do after this?

Go outside and take another layer of winter hair off my horse
What are your favourite movies?
Strictly Ballroom, Charade (1963), Pixar movies
What's your favourite fruit?
Cherries - especially the really dark purple ones like Lamberts and even better if they're still warm from the sun (can you tell I used to live near cherry orchards?  We picked our own...mmm)
What inspires you?
Music, growing things, color...tons of things.  I feel like I have more inspirations than time to follow them all
Your favorite book ?
I used to work at a bookstore so this is a bad question for me.  I can narrow down my favorite authors but that's as far as I'm willing to go:  Jane Austen, PG Wodehouse, JK Rowling, Diana Wynne Jones, Terry Pratchett, LA Meyer (Bloody Jack series) and a ton more
Do you collect something ?
Art supplies :)
Are you a home body or do you prefer to be out?
Trick question.  I like to be at home but outside riding or messing around in the garden
Do you have a favorite road trip destination? 
Ok, this one's mine because I'm thinking about vacations this summer without spending a ton of money.  And my favorite is Portland, Oregon:  Powell's Bookstore, lots of cool galleries and restaurants, just perfect.  If there were programmer jobs there, my husband and I would have moved there instead of the Seattle area (sigh)

The rules :
1. Respond and rework; answer the question on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, add more one question of your own.
2. Tag eight other people.

Once again, I don't have enough blog-friends to send this to.  Unless there are people around that lurk and haven't commented??  If you're out there and you want to answer some questions, consider this your lucky day :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My real long-term relationship

This is my baby.  We finally got everything set up and moved her over to this side of the state a couple weeks ago.  Now I can make one of my favorite bad jokes again:  she's outstanding in her field.  Get it?? Her field.

I've been spending a lot of time outside with her - brushing her (it's shedding season) and walking her around and riding her.  She's a little weirded out sometimes since she lived in one place for so long, but I've had her since I was fifteen and we know each other pretty well by now.  She'll get used to it, I think.  She's certainly gotten used to how green the grass is over here.

I'm trying to keep my blog focused on work lately but sometimes I have to concede that other things have gotten in the way.  Boo is one of those things.  Migraines are another.  I don't want to spend a lot of time complaining about them but I don't get much work done when I have one.  I hate feeling bored and wishing I were painting but unable to paint.  

Ok, I think I need to end this on a more cheerful note.  In between other things, I've got some more canvases mounted on boards and almost finished priming.  I'll get started on those soon.

Friday, May 22, 2009

This time, cold press.

Same idea as last time, but on Arches cold press.  I don't think I've done anything on cold press watercolor paper in years.  Now that I'm doing more pencil drawing than watercoloring, I don't think this works all that well - it's too rough to get a nice smooth line with the pencil.  Of course, I'm tempted to use it up on something because I hate to waste it but it's been sitting around for quite a while can wait until I have something better to use it on :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Paper - testing, testing...

I seem to have neglected my blog a little bit, haven't I?  I usually only remember to post something here when I've finished a piece that I like and I've been either just doing panel prep work to get some panel-mounted canvases ready to paint on or I've been messing around with watercolors as here.  So the things that I consider to be unsuccessful experiments take just as much time but never see the light of day.  

This one I kind of like, though.  I was mainly wanting to try out this paper that I inherited but hadn't used before (Arches hot press watercolor paper) so I didn't care too much if it worked or not.  I was looking out the window of my studio at the rain making plips (that's a word, right?) on the driveway and drew in the pencil lines.  The watercolor marks are kind of weird and I'm not sure how I feel about the grid-like texture of the paper when you get up really close to it.  But I do like how I can look at it and see the rain.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Cherry blossoms

Now that the actual cherry blossoms are pretty well gone from being rained and hailed on, I felt like preserving some of them on paper.  It almost feels like cheating to be able keep them around a little longer.  11x14" on Stonehenge.

I'm really liking preserving a lot of white space on these slightly larger sheets of paper.  I find it more restful and quiet than some of the other more crowded drawings.  

And I love drawing, but I'm getting the itch to paint something again.  I've been trying to get enough papery things in my online shop that I can leave it alone for a little while and work on some oil paintings.  I'm not sure they're the sort of thing I could sell online...they'd be a bit more expensive and I don't think my oils make very good prints.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Are they still bluebells if they're not blue?

More bluebells.  8x10" on Stonehenge.

I cut a few of these and brought them inside since we've had so much rain lately that I don't want to go outside in order to enjoy them.  Good thing I staked my delphiniums and peonies before the rain hit.

I feel like it's harder to make a strong focal point with the bluebells because I don't have all those lovely branches and leaves to work with like in the magnolia drawings.  Now that the rain has wrecked all my cherry blossoms I feel a need to draw some of them from the pictures that I took last week and that will give me more options of what to emphasize.  Bluebells are cute but the leaves and the stems are really boring.  Give me a knobby tangled branch any day.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I started seeing bulb-like foliage peeping up out of the mulch around the garden several weeks ago and some of it turned out to be bluebells.  The previous owners of our new house had done the "cut everything down and cover it up" method of tidying up the garden to sell it so I had no hint of what might be dormant and hiding last winter.  I have all sorts of things that were unexpected coming up around the house, some of which I can identify and some of which I'm still clueless about.  I feel like there's something metaphorical about finding something delightful and unexpected in a new place where things don't feel the way you're accustomed to.  

I have a few rosebushes that have no tags on them and there's two peonies with buds on them so I have at least a few more little surprises waiting for me. 

These two are 11x14" on Yupo and I think all the drawing on paper has spoiled me lately.  I forgot how much of a pain it can be to draw on Yupo because I can't...erase...anything.  Even though I'm tracing it from my sketchbook drawing, every little wobble shows and I keep going over it until it looks smooth.  On paper, the rougher texture doesn't show the wobbles and even if I screw up I can erase (thanks, kneaded rubber eraser!  you're the best :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Interview on Scoutie Girl

I have a little interview up today over at Scoutie Girl as part of Jan's Passion Is... series!  I'm very excited as this is my first real blog feature.  

I've gotten so used to looking at all my recent pieces in reverse chronological order (you know, the newest things are on top when you're looking at your blog or flickr) that I haven't really stopped and looked at some of the older things lately.  Jan put them up in chronological order and it somehow startled me a little :)  Those two pieces at the top have stenciled spray paint which I stopped doing when it got too now that it's spring, I might have to try that again.  I mean, as long as I'm working on translucent Yupo paper I might as well put something underneath that will show through, right?