Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Childhood Memories of Summer

Well I challenged the members of the 60 Days of Birds to write about their favorite childhood summer memories.  So here are a few of mine and mostly in list format, in it's unedited glory!

I just stepped outside to take Oliver to do his nightly chores and a bunch of bats swooped down near my head to gobble up the mosquitoes that are very thick right now,  in an effort to avoid the bats I walked straight into a lightening bug.  Oliver doesn't understand lightening bugs.

These are some of my favorite things about Summer!

Fresh corn on the cob, straight from the garden, two minutes in boiling water, seasoned only with salt and pepper.
Tomatoes fresh from the vine, I love myself a big gnarly looking Brandywine it's sweet juicyness oozing everywhere, still hot from the afternoon sun, cut right there while standing in the garden and seasoned only with salt and pepper.
Lightening  bugs and sparklers.
Orange dreamsicle bars.
Watermelon and with the seeds please!
Spending hours with my mother picking blackberries, black raspberries, gooseberries, mulberries, wild plums and cherries in the fence rows along creeks and rivers.
Camping.  But I don't miss poison ivy or poison oak.
Going fishing with my mother.
Riding my bike for what seemed like forever with my friends.
Playing in the fence line a mile behind our house, there was a huge creek in the middle of that fence line, I still remember collecting all sorts of artifacts, rusted bottle tops, blue glass bottles, and fresh water clam shells.
Going craw daddying with  mom for dinner and coming home with turtle instead.
Sitting for hours watching the birds build nests in the trees.

Those are just a few of my favorite things.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Making Lists

Making lists can be a good thing, it allows to jot down everything on our minds, or  even events that are occurring around us. Making lists also allows us to prioritize, and this is one of the first steps to organization.

My Cornology List I started last week as I think about which direction I want to take my Corn Stitched Stories Series.

My list of birds, some I've seen in my yard at the bird feeders, others I can only hope to see someday.

As you can see I had fun creating these lists, I wrote them down onto found papers (paper sample packets) and metallic ink pens in gold and silver.  Lists don't have to be dull, they can be a lot of fun to create.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

One Day Left to Join 60 Days of Birds!!!

60 Days of Birds!!!
Join us for the 60 Day Bird Journal Challenge it's FREE!!!

I've started creating my journal for this round, it's an old composition book that I added some low relief elements to the surface and then covered it with pages from inside of the journal.  I then painted the papers and added some contrast to the elements using a prussian blue shiva paintstik and a stencil brush.

And......... the rest of my journal!  In the form of found papers, shipping tags, and well it's just going to grow from this point forward!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

8 Days Left to Join 60 Days of Birds Journal Challenge!!!

Have a story you'd love to share with others, but don't know how???

Then join me and other artists for

You may be wondering what my qualifications are, well none actually.  Other than being an artist who has a story to tell who is terrified of writing and what others will think when they read what I have to say... I have no qualifications! 

One of the things I've learned in my studio practice over the past twenty years, is if you are afraid to try something you will never become good at it if you don't practice!  

So, in this challenge participants will write, draw, sing, and otherwise create short vignettes, about a topic we all love, birds. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Bird Feeders

My bird feeders hang n my front porch, under the eaves protected from the elements.  So far the squirrel hasn't been able to figure out how to access the feeders.

The birds have been very happy since I put the feeders out, I'm seeing a large variety f birds feeding daily.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Got Birds?

Join the 60 Day Bird Journal Challenge Summer 2015 "60 Days of Birds" and learn how to tell your creative story!

14 Days Until 60 Days of Birds!

Join us for the next round of 

You will receive 10 newletters during this round of the Challenge.  Each newsletter will contain Observations, Activities, and a Challenge for a period of Ten Days.

That's right I won't be sending out daily newletters for this challenge!  Nope I will be sending out a newsletter every ten days.  There will be a couple of 'surprise or bonus' newsletters within the 60 Day Challenge, for a total of Ten Newsletters!

Enrollment closes May 31st!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

60 Days of Birds

Sign up for the next round of The 60 Day Bird Journal Challenge Begins Tomorrow!!! 

To participate you will have to sign up for the newsletter in order to receive the daily prompts.  Sign up HERE...

Friday, May 8, 2015

Bird Feeders

There will be more bird feeders in my life!  Yesterday I spied a young male cardinal on the bottom rung of my bird feeder, the joy though fleeting this brought me was immeasurable!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

60 Day Bird Journal Challenge

Sketch of faux resin starling skull.

Yes the 60 Day Bird Journal Challenge shall happen again, probably sometime around mid-May.  I had hoped I could run the challenge again starting May 1st, but I have so many things going on now with an upcoming solo show (I hang the show on April 30th) that it's not possible to put out a quality product at this time.  See you in mid May!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The 60 Day Bird Journal Challenge

I will be holding a 60 Bird Journal Challenge again in May, and like the last two challenges this upcoming challenge will be an entirely different beast, but still focusing on birds, pattern, studio habits, and much more.  If you'd like to join us for this challenge join us here on FaceBook!

I will be sharing more details about the upcoming challenge in the days to come, see you there!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Day The 60 Day Bird Journal Challenge

Raven in progress.
Acrylic paint on bristol board paper.

On Day 41 I challenged members, once again, to select a bird of their liking and to start, once again, with the letters of their bird to find corresponding birds to work with.  I originally chose "Crow", but realized I did this the first go round so this time I chose "Raven" solely so I could create a vulture when "V" came up.  So this evening I shall be drawing vultures.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Day 41 The 60 Day Bird Journal Challenge

"And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being." ~ Black Elk

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Day 39 The 60 Day Bird Journal Challenge

Lots of carving and pattern making going on over here on the prairie, so much so I forgot to post to the blog!

I've been working with reworking patterns and the like this past week, exploring new avenues for design.

And then I was reminded by another artist who had posted to Lynn Krawczyk's Facebook page that back in the day, this would be art school, we used to create patterns and then cut them up into strips, one inch squares, and the like and the reconfigure the patterns to create new designs with existing patterns.

That was a mouthful! 

My original design that I scanned into the computer so I could print multiple copies to be manipulated into new designs.

The first time I did this was circa 1994 and I was so intimidated by my instructor (Tim McIllrath) that I, without thinking and fear causes us to do irrational things at times, cut up my original design WHEN I should have made multiple copies of it and cut those up instead.  Face plant onto desk, to scared to even cry.

So don't do what I did, make multiple copies of your original design FIRST and then proceed to cut them into one inch strips.  This fiskars paper cutter made quick work of the process.

We have strips!!!

I wove some strips that I cut horizontally, one inch by eight inch, the original pattern to the left.

Tomorrow I shall rework the strips I cut vertically, one inch by eleven inches, and will post those results as soon as I remember to do so, lol.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Day 34 The 60 Day Bird Journal Challenge

Folded a piece of sketch paper into eights.

Drew my pattern of choice onto one side of the folded paper.

Not bad, not quite as extraordinary as the cut outs I recall making as a child while attending catholic school.  But then again those nuns had us creating all sorts extraordinary things from paper cut out snowflakes to macrame owls,; they also taught us how to polka and how to square dance.

Atop a piece of inked mixed media paper, observing how the light casts shadows and such against the base layer.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Day 33 The 60 Day Bird Journal Project

Bird feather using the cap of a marker.

Bird feather using the side of a glue stick tube and a colored pencil.

Paper bird cut outs placed over a mono printed farm scene onto a manila envelope.

What can I say I love Matisse's birds!  These I drew myself and then went looking for his work and I guess there's not a whole lot of what one can do with a swallow design.  I have plans to make more of these for a page in my journal.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Day 28 The 60 Day Bird Journal Challenge

Playing with pattern this afternoon, I started out with an envelope coated with black gesso and a white colored pencil.

Maybe you participated in such an activity back in kindergarten?

I have to admit, it's overly simple and a whole lot of fun, next up are my metallic crayons!

I moved the tape, twice actually.  I love how the circles intersect and is a process worthy of exploration.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day 27 The 60 Day Bird Journal Project

Experimenting with pointillism this evening.

I think I may like this more as a layered affect over other patterns!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Day 26 The 60 Day Bird Journal Challenge

Days 23-26 Working with Camouflage Patterns

Two colors of alcohol ink the last color sprayed through my Blackbirds in Tree Stencil. 

A close up.

And now some green alcohol ink on the left page.

And now for a layer of green paint, red paint, and yellow paint to create a different mood.

My handmade paper stencil, I used it and a gelli pen to create circles across the top third of my page.

I also used my hexagon and chevron stencils (my design created them using my Silhouette Cameo) with another shade of red metallic gelli pen.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day 21 The 60 Day Bird Journal Project

A Life of Pattern

My daily pattern resembles pears for some reason.

There is pattern everywhere in nature, if we search for it long enough we will find that which we desire.

Downy Woodpecker and American Robin repeat patterns.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Day 19 The 60 Day Bird Journal Challenge

If your desire is to become better at something then you need to practice, and you need to make a lot of mistakes.  Mistakes are a part of the growth process.

My bird  model.