Creative Lettering

11/19/2009 03:47:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 6 Comments »
I recently signed up for an on-line class taught by Nicolette Anderson.  The class was organized through Artists of the Round Table, an on-line art group I belong to.  I've wanted to learn how to do calligraphy for many years, but the problem is, I'm left-handed.  I know, I know ..... some of the best calligraphers are lefties.  But - here's the thing.  Every book I've either bought or just picked up and read pertaining to left-handed calligraphy says pretty much the same thing.  You have to put your paper in a really odd position (some even said upside down!), in order to keep from dragging your hand over the letters as you make them.  I'm not a leftie who does that keep-your-hand-above-your-writing thing by crabbing your hand all around.  (My sister, Maryanne, did that, and it always looked so painful to me). 

So, when this class came up, I decided I'd give it a go.  Here's what I decided:  I would learn how to do it with my right hand!  It just seems to me that if I want to do it at all, it's going to take some major brain work getting accustomed to working in a whole new way.   So, since that was going to be the case, why not just learn how to do it with my right hand?  Of course, this may just be one of those hairpin ideas you get in the middle of the night, but what the heck - if it works I'm ecstatic, if not, well, I will probably have plucked out all my hair in frustration, but then think of all the money I'll save on haircuts ..... enough to buy some more of those calligraphy for lefties books!

The first assignment was to print a standard basic alphabet, then do 4 more that we modified in some way.  There's a couple of mistakes that I just crossed out (I had already done them several times and didn't want to start them all over again), but all in all, for my first right-handed try, I feel pretty OK with them.  So, here they are:

The Waiting Room

11/16/2009 01:56:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 9 Comments »
Today I had to go  have some blood drawn for a physical I'm having next month.  I went early since it was a fasting draw and I was pretty hungry.  As some of you know, I live in the country, and my entire drive (except for the last couple of miles)is on 2 lane roads to get to the lab.  As I was motoring along, I had to stop for a number of school buses while they loaded up.  I never mind doing that because I love to see the children as they wait and then march themselves into the big bus.  My favorite is when there's a parent or two to see them off.  I got to see that little exchange on my way .. the quick little hug, then the little waves as the bus drives off.  It brings back many fond memories for me.
Anyhow, I found myself directly behind 2 school buses at one point, and after the children were on the bus, both of them pulled into the left lane and drove around something which I couldn't see.  After the second one got in the other lane, I could see about 7 or 8 wild turkeys standing in my lane, right in front of my car.  Usually they stand for a moment before they continue on across the road...... not this time!  The one Tom in the group (with his tail feathers all spread out and his chest all puffed up) kept all the ladies waiting.  When I tooted my horn gently to urge them in one direction or another, the whole group just turned and faced my car, staring at me for a moment or two before Tom herded them safely across the road to the other side.  By the time I could go again, there were 11 cars patiently waiting behind me.  The funny thing is that when I came back home a couple of hours later, they were all still in the driveway of the house where I last saw them!
The clinic was crowded (as usual on a Monday AM) and I had to wait quite awhile before it was my turn.  I always have a little sketch book with me that I use almost exclusively in waiting rooms.  The only problem with it is that the paper is thin so you can see the shadow of the drawing on the back of the page peeking through.  I don't mind it, but it does sort of mess up the scans.  Oh well, c'est la vie!

The Slump

11/06/2009 09:11:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 5 Comments »
Well, I don't know why, but it's official ..... I'm definitely in a slump.  I did the sketch that I put in my last post with the intention of making a painting using it, but for some reason I find I just can't do it.  I don't know if it's lack of confidence, fear, laziness, a block .... who knows?  Anyhow, in an attempt to get on with something, I decided to start making some Christmas ornaments. 
Every year for a number of years, I've made handmade ornaments for my nieces.  Of course, every year has to be something different than I've done in the past, so this year I decided to make some tiny stuffed animals.  When my grandson CC was born, I made him a mobile for his room.  I made 5 tiny stuffed animals:  a lion with a huge mane, an elephant, a pig, a duck, and a panda.  But before that, before he was even born, but we were eagerly awaiting his arrival, I made a tiny rabbit for his first Christmas ornament.  Because I've had a bit of experience making them, I decided that in my current state of affairs, I would make a couple more of them.  I started with the rabbit.  I think the second one might be an elephant - I love elephants.  In this way I can at least be creating something without all the anxiety (or whatever label fits my current state), and maybe work my way up to painting and/or drawing again.  So, without further adieu, here is the bunny!

Preliminary sketch

11/03/2009 07:55:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 3 Comments »

On Tuesdays I volunteer at the county health department all day, so I don't have very much time for art.  I recently took some photos of various parts of our yard, and I'm planning on trying my hand at acrylics again.  In the meantime, I did a quick preliminary sketch of one of them using pastels.  It's not very good, but it does give me some ideas as to what I want to include and what I want to eliminate.  So, in the spirit of trying really hard to do one piece of "art" each day, here it is, roughness, mistakes, and all!  See you tomorrow. 

The Garden Gnome and Habits

11/01/2009 07:52:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 7 Comments »
Well, I got some really cute pictures of CC in his costume from his dad, Ben (our son), and because I'm a bit squeemish about posting CC's picture on the internet, I'm posting one where you can see part, but not all of him.  Even though you can't see his face in this picture, I think he looks just like a Gnome happened upon by a giant (the giant being Ben in his "early 1900s" costume).  So, without further adieu, here they are!

You can see a bit of his beard in this one, his furry boots, hat and belt, but not the little pouch on the front for holding his gold pieces .... or whatever it is that
 Gnomes carry in their pouches!

Today is November 1, and I'm going to try really hard to get back to my habit of completing a piece every day.    I did well for a very long time, then just fell off the wagon.  I find myself falling off wagons with some regularity.  Let's see, I've fallen off the meditation wagon, the exercise wagon, the clean-one-room-a-day wagon, and the complete-a- piece-of-work-a-day wagon, just to name a few.  I find that if I put a teensy sticker on the wall calendar in my studio each time I do the thing I'm trying to accomplish, for some weird reason, it helps keep me motivated to keep going.  May calendar is singularly devoid of stickers, and has been that way for far too long.  So, back to stickers and art.  For today I did a modest page in my journal.  I was pretty pooped after having mowed the lawn (about 2 acres), discovered that our spare refrigerator died so I had to save what food I could, toss the rest, clean it out, and cook dinner.  My sweetie was working hard too, so we're both a tad washed out.  Since I couldn't very well punk out the very first day of my new resolution, I allowed myself to keep it simple.  See you soon!