Aquabord 2

7/28/2011 02:43:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 10 Comments »
Well, I managed to scrub the paint off the path in order to improve on it.  The scrubbing went just fine - the paint came off easily just using a rather soft brush and water.  Even the staining color almost completely rubbed off, much to my surprise.  After that, I let it dry completely and then started to noodle around with it.  While there's some things I like better in this version, I'm still not happy with it.  I'm troubled by the following things:  the right side has much more detail than the left in the foreground, and it looks unbalanced;  the darkness around the tall red flowers doesn't work very well;  while I like the "stones" in the path better as far as perspective goes, they're boring; and last, the greenery on the right foreground reminds me of army camouflage. 

I'm going to let it sit for awhile (maybe a long while, who knows!), and go downstairs and make the marinade for Beef in Flatbread (that's what we call it).  It's very tasty, easy and quick to make.  What could be better?  After marinating the beef, it gets cooked in butter (or whatever) quickly over a fairly high heat, then served in flatbread with diced cucumbers and Greek yogurt (or sour cream, whichever you prefer) on top.  You could also put diced tomatoes on, if you want.  Want the recipe?  Here it is:

About 3/4 lb sirloin steak (or some other tender cut) cut into pieces about 2" x 1/4"
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 tsp oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

Diced cucumbers, pita bread,  plain yogurt (or sour cream)

Mix together all the marinade ingredients, put the meat and the marinade in a zipper bag and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.  When ready to eat, heat butter (or oil, or a mixture of the 2) in a frying pan over medium high heat.  Drain the meat & toss the marinade out.  Sear the meat (it will snap and pop at you ... I advise having someone else do the cooking since you did the prep).  Serve with pita bread, diced cucumbers, and yogurt.

Ok, I almost forgot .... here's the watercolor:


7/26/2011 10:40:00 AM Posted In , Edit This 17 Comments »
Yesterday my friend, Vicki, and I got together for a day of fun!  She brought me some wonderful goodies to play with (I'll show pics later), and we talked and laughed all day long.  One of the things we did was play with Aquabord.  I'd heard about it and read about it, but never tried it, so we gave it a go.  We each had a small (5 x 7) piece which we proceeded to paint with watercolors.  I haven't used watercolor paint in a very long time (with the exception of adding paint to quick sketches), and I always start with a sketch.  Yesterday I decided since this was an experiment, I would just go for it.  No sketch...... the painting shows it!  I definitely do better starting out with a sketch.

Anyhow,  I used a watercolor painting in one of my books as a reference, and jumped in.  I love Aquabord!  I love its texture, the fact that you don't have to stretch it or prep it in any way, and the way it takes the paint.  As for my painting itself, it definitely has some problems.  I haven't tried correcting them yet (my main issue is with the path that looks more like a wall).  When I finish this post, I'm going to try scrubbing it to see what happens.  If it works out OK, I'll redo the path and see if I can't improve on it a bit.  I'll show you the results - for better or worse.

Oh, by the way, I just remembered I can't upload pics from my camera because I'm not sure I know how.  (Sweetie, if you're reading this, stop grinding your teeth!).


7/20/2011 05:17:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 18 Comments »
I can't tell you how sad I am that Border's Books is being liquidated.  We've been going to their bookstores for decades - mostly to their flagship store in Ann Arbor.  We've watched with dismay as they made changes in their inventory.  It used to be that when you went into the store there were thousands and thousands of books covering all manner of subjects.  Browsing was such a pleasure, and we always left with several books apiece.  In spite of the changes (most of them not for the better as customers, but we understood them from a business point of view) we continued to be loyal customers.... which won't stop until our store is closed.

I was in one of their stores yesterday and bought a couple of books.  One of them is called Keys to Drawing With Imagination by Bert Dodson.  I was fascinated by the cover - such an unusual view with great, wonderful, detail.  It's a hardcover with a spiral binding, so it lays flat.  It contains the work of many artists, and is a series of exercises designed to help improve one's drawing skills starting from the ground up.  I decided to start at the beginning and work my way thru.  The first exercise is called Doodling and Noodling.  The doodle is just a continuous line that ends where it started.  The noodle is adding things to it.  So, here is my first lesson - some of my additions were the ones suggested in the book, but not all of them.  It's similar to Zen Tangling, except instead of using a variety of patterns, only one is used. 

I included a picture of the cover so you could get an idea of what drew me to this book!


The Porch

7/17/2011 07:55:00 PM Posted In Edit This 14 Comments »
I haven't been doing much - the illness I had in March never completely went away and I've been trying to behave.  Behaving has never been my strong suit, but I've been doing my best.    Anyhow, I haven't worked on my man at all, but while sitting on the porch recently I decided to try my hand at something "arty".  I have to use the word loosely in this case.

So  first I did an ink sketch, and then later I used watercolors to fill it in a bit.   I'm not very happy with it, but on the other hand, at least I put an implement in my hand and did something with it!  So, without further adieu, here is my humble offering.