Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Look What I Got for Christmas!

My eldest daughter, the one who was married in September, and her divine husband, now known as Uncle Critter, had a surprise for the whole family. Apparently J is a walking advertisement for, as she put it, high school sex education classes....You CAN get pregnant the first time as this baby was conceived on their honeymoon weekend.

They expectant parents have had some testing done already and know that the little one is a girl.

Early summer will bring the newest of our granddaughters. My heart is over flowing!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Art Journaling Catch-Up

I'm just going to post a few random pages from my journal. I have been enjoying my journal a lot the last few months and find myself doodling away in it or adding to previous postings more than I have ever done before. Any given spread never seems to be totally finished. I like the freedom to go back and add or edit at will. It is, after all, not chiseled in stone!

The leaves in the photo above all are from my garden.
I went to the Picasso Exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum in October and used Picasso's blue period as my inspiration for my pages in a collaborative art journal. We have been doing pages recently in colors, and this was the inspiration for my contribution to "Blue." By the way, it was an incredible exhibit and if you can find some way to go, do so! It's running through most of January, 2011.

Autumn is my favorite season of the year and I find I love working with those colors, which is odd because if you asked me my least favorite color I would immediately announce, "Orange." And yet....
I love Halloween!
These two spreads (above and below) are from journaling work I did at JournalFest in late October in Orly Avineri's class "Mapping Me." I really enjoyed the class and I'm going to take another of Orly's classes next spring at ArtFest.

This is a pastel I did in Carla Sonheim's class at JournalFest. We had only five pastel colors and our fingers and an eraser. It was fun and surprisingly effective.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ready for Christmas

Winter came early to Western Washington. We had our first snowfall of the year before Thanksgiving. That is really unusual for this area. While I am not a big fan of lowland snow (in fact, I hate it!), I must admit it was sort of pretty.

It was fun to be at the beach a few blocks from my house and watch the snow fall.

Having the snow around got me into the Christmas mood early this year. I'm pretty much ready for the holidays now.
I'm baking cookies....

...in my decorated kitchen.....

My funny Indian truck that resides in the dining room is sporting it's Yuletide "load."

There are several Santas on the tree, peeking out from here and there.

The living room is looking festive.

And outside, my little house is well lit.
Dear Nonie celebrated her 63rd birthday this last week. Happy Birthday, Nola, and many more!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Art Retreat at Harmony Hill with Anna

Finally, I'm finding a moment to update! I apologise for the long silence, but it is going on Christmas and there are so many distractions from blogging. I know, I know, excuses---but honest excuses.
I spent four days at the Harmony Hill Retreat Center with my art teacher, Anna Rhodes, and a very compatable group of women in late October. We made art, laughed, ate great organic food provided by the amazing cooks at Harmony Hill, laughed, walked, talked and made some more art, all the while laughing a lot. It was lovely. That is my friend Mary, pictured above. One of my favorite things about Anna's retreats is how often Mary attends. I enjoy her humor and insights and I love her laugh. I wish she lived closer.

This is a little gouache I did at the retreat. It's a copy of a detail from a Xenia Hausner painting. I have to admit that I have hated gouache for years. Anna loves the medium, but I have never taken to it. This time the beauty of gouache became apparent to me and I really enjoyed working with it. I was amazed at the clear color I was able to get. One of my biggest complaints in the past has been that gouache always seems "dead" and murky to me. I guess it was more operator error than a flaw in the medium! Anna likes to have her students work at copying a painting, or detail of a painting, to learn how to mix color well and to get the feel for applying paint. Above is a photo of Anna, on the right, and her assistant, Laurie, on the left. Pretty ladies, don't you think?
Everywhere I looked during my time on the Peninsula there were beautiful autumn views. The weather wasn't great, but the foliage colors more than made up for the gray skies. Late October is a beautiful time in the Pacific Northwest.

Ths is a view from Harmony Hill looking west towards Hoods Canal.
Here's an example of the creative use of found objects to get a little pear at the right height for a gouache I was doing.

I'll be posting some photos from JournalFest in a day or two. I promise!