DAY # 273 – JUST PEAR-fect

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Finished it!

I look at it now and realize there are way to many light reflections around the fruit container.  Judging by it’s light source, they should probably only really show on the bottom and left of the container…I’ll have to try to fix that tomorrow.

Other than that, it’s a pretty little ditty.  Happy.  Colorful.

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As usual, my cat likes it!

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I had a bit of time to spare, so I began sketching out my next watercolor.  I took the idea from some photos I took of amazing dahlias I bought at a local farm stand.  I always think of Dahlias when I think of this time of year. They are drop dead gorgeous!

Ok.  Instead of rambling, I’m going to cut this short and  go fill in some of those reflections!

Adios Muchachos!

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DAY #272 – FABRIC FANATIC

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I tried so hard to finish this painting today but it wound up being a little too large and a little too detailed.

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Yesterday I completed most of the pear, so today was fabric day.

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I first tackled the background.  For me, it is the easiest way to begin to establish the light vs. shaded areas.

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Next were the “white” rings within the fabric pattern.  I learned fairly quickly on, there is barely any true white in a painting.  EVERYTHING HAS A SHADOW.  So even these rings have lights and darks depending on where they fall within the shape of a fabric crease.

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After 4 hours my family finally pulled me away from the painting.  I got that look like “You didn’t really think you were going to sit here and work on this painting all day did you?”  They are so patient with me.  I kind of did too and I would have, but my family is my reminder to find balance in life.  So I made my peace with the fact that this painting would have to live to see another day, I snapped out of my art coma, and went and enjoyed my family and the rest of the day.

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My favorite part of today’s work was creating the light and shadows from the fruit container.  I get such a kick out of playing with light.  It’s all of those tiny details that make a subject matter come to life.

I look forward to completing this tomorrow!

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#271- The Lone Pear

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The other day I was putzing around the kitchen, cleaning out my fruit bowl.  It’s that time of year, where all the amazing bounty from the garden, begins to rot!

Among the tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and zucchini there was a lone pear.  Gosh, I don’t even remember buying pears.  How old was this pear?  I stuck it in one of those ceramic fruit containers, the ones made to look like the disposable pints you get with fruit.  All of a sudden, the pear looked really pretty.

Of course I thought…painting op!

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I also have this piece of fabric I just had to use.  The colors and patterns will be smashing!

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I took this morning to sketch out the still life and then I got going…

I got as far as the pear, which is a great place to leave off.  Tomorrow I can tackle the fabric.

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I also took a little time to add more purple into the shamrock plant.  I’m not sure if you can notice, but I’m happy with it.  cross another painting off the list!

It’s 3pm.  I finished early, because my kids wanted to cook.  Daughter – “Mom, can we please make homemade stuffed peppers”….Mom – “sure”.  Son – “I’d like to make JELLO with gummy worms swimming in it….”  Mom- “yeah, sure…. we can do that!”

So off to cook and enjoy a meal with friends.

Have a great weekend everybody!

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DAY #270 – OWEN’S ROOM

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Today I completed an 18″ x 24″ watercolor of a nook in my little boy’s room.  I wrote quite a bit about it yesterday. To learn more, scroll back a day in my blog.

It sure is a color bonanza.  Me like color!

My favorite part of the painting is the Suzani pillow.  It’s very bold.  I also like the green quilt and red sheets.  I think they communicate fabric quite well.

Right as I was completing the painting, I lifted a whole bunch of purple out of the leaves in order to communicate the window as a light source.  I might add some muddy purple tones back into the plant.  It seems a little more Day-glo than I wanted.  However, sometimes it’s just the photo I took.  I’ll wait until morning, look at it in the day light and make my decision then.

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OK. that was it on the art-front, but a lot happened this week on the mom-front too!

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I took my son rock climbing and he amazed us both.  He climbed right up the 100ft wall!  However I think his favorite part was more likely the repelling himself down than the climbing.  He had a blast bouncing, swinging and dangling from the harness.  I was very proud of him.  NO FEAR!

Lastly, my daughter spent the week rehearsing circus acts through CIRCUS SMIRKUS.  The program was 2 hours a day for 5 days and at the end it culminated in their very own circus performance.

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Circus Smirkus teaches many valuable life skills such as perseverance, tenacity and confidence.  It was great to see all the families cheering and the smiles on the kids faces as they accomplished a skill.  Even as they failed, everyone would cheer and they’d try again.  I love that philosophy.  Keep trying and never give up.  It was a lovely experience.  If you have a school looking for fun extra curricular program, look up Circus Smirkus.  We give it two thumbs up!

So that is what is fit to print.  We had a crazy week filled with colds, fun and adventure.  We need a couple of days rest, but then I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next week!

ZZZZZ…….

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DAY # 269 – Owen’s Room

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Many a night I lay by my little boy’s side reading books, giggling, and laying still preparing for sleep.

I look around at all the strange colors that make up his room.  It was never my intent to put nacho cheese orange against brown, red, pink and emerald-green.  They were remnants from room’s past yet somehow, it all works.

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Then there’s the purple shamrock or oxalis plant.  It’s such a funky plant.  It is eggplant purple with triangle-shaped leaves. As an artist, does it get better than that?   Yellow and purple are compliments on the color wheel.  No wonder I love how they vibrate against each other.  I planted it, but I can’t say I consciously thought of that.

So as I lay looking out at this very scene, rubbing my boy’s head watching him enter the realm of tranquility, I thought to myself, all of these colors and shapes have the potential for a lovely painting.  The lamp mimics the shape of the bowl creating a terrific negative space.  There are straight lines running parallel while the plant provides organic lines.  The pillows have a wonderful graphic punch and all of the browns give me a melancholy feel.

I kissed my boy on his forehead, turned out the light, and new what my next painting would be.

Owen’s room.

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DAY #268 -UNDERGLAZING THE DEAD

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I just can’t wait!!!  I LOVE THESE MUGS!!!

I could never sell them for the amount of hours they took me to engrave and paint, so these will be keepers.  Wahoo!

I won’t even tell you how many hours I spent painting them.  It’s ridiculous.

Now for those of you who are not too involved with the pottery process, let me tell you a few things.  First, although the clay looks gray, it is white clay, so it will fire white which will give me the white of my Dia De Los Muertos themed skulls.  The glazes I am using are not traditional glazes.  Traditional glazes are adhered after the pottery has been bisque fired (bisque is the first of two firings).  So these are called under glazes. They go on while the clay is still wet, they get bisque fired and when they come out the will have a dry matte finish.  I then have the option to dip the mugs in a clear glaze and fire them a second time to make them glossy and less susceptible to staining.  This is what I will do.  It is also why when you share kilns with a hundred other people, the entire process takes 3-4 weeks.  If all goes well, I’ll be sipping hot coffee out of my skull mugs on Halloween night!

It was a nerve-wracking ride back to the pottery studio today.  The drier an unfired piece of clay gets, the more brittle it gets.  Rhea, my pottery instructor, thought for sure I’d have a catastrophe, but fear not, I drove ten miles per hour, aggravating the entire town, until I safely arrived at the studio.  They are now sitting safely on the rack by the kiln.  So if anything happens, I’m blaming PLUM POTTERY EAST! hee hee hee.  That’s horrible to say, accidents do happen.  I’m just thankful for the ones not caused be myself!

So this concludes today’s creativity challenge.  I am still sick with body aches from yesterdays fever, so again, I’m off to bed early.  I hope to start a new painting tomorrow, so I better conjure up some energy.

Good Night.

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DAY # 267 – DIA DE LOS MUERTOS

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I am loving these mugs!

They are so happy and make me laugh!  Now all I need to add is all the color to the pattern and they should be perfectly “Mary”!

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Last week at pottery I threw these mugs on the pottery wheel with no problem after being away from pottery for three months.  It felt great!

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This week, in the classroom, I added the handles, eyes and mouths.  That in itself took me three hours, so I took them home to carve the decorations and tomorrow I will paint all the details.  These are supposed to resemble the sugar skulls from the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico.

The only risk I run now, is driving them back to the pottery studio in one piece.  They are extremely fragile before firing…wish me luck!

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I also added a few more finishing touches to my giant painting.  The eyelets and shoelaces to the sneakers as well as a second layer of feathers to the feather duster.   NOW IT’S FINISHED OFFICIALLY!

I have a fever, aches, pains and a runny nose care of my kiddos.  I’m off to have a cup of soup and slip into bed.

Ugh……

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DAY # 266 – SERENITY NOW

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Finally Finished.

It feels good.  There were so many steps and layers to this painting, I didn’t think I’d ever finish!

The final measurements of this hand stamped acrylic painting are 37″x57″ inches.  Roughly 3 feet by 5 feet.

The painting is a tribute to my everyday routine.  The craziness that pursues in trying to be a mother, wife, and artist.

My true intent was to find some excuse to create an image using hand-crafted stamps.  I used craft foam and recycled elements to create the stamps.  I also wanted the painting to be so busy and so crazy, you’d have to look around for a while before you saw everything.  The painting is absolutely crazy!  I like it in real life better than on the screen.  You can’t grasp how large it is.

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Here are some of the final stamps I created today.  A feather for the feather duster, an argyle print for my sneakers and a star for my high-tops.  We all know what that is a nod to!

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I did forget the red shoelaces, I will have to add them in tomorrow.  Man…never ending!

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The first funny tid-bit is my text to my husband.  It says “Hi sweetie I can’t pick up the kids cuz I can’t find my keys”.  I’d like to think that this is an unusual text, but not in my life.  Oh and I can add “locked myself out of the car…however baby still in car” and “went sled riding, now freezing, randomly using someone’s phone to ask you to come get us…keys locked in car”. Yeah, many texts about keys and my car.

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This supermarket bag is a dig on the whole “organic movement”.  Boy do I get ticked off that we have to pay a lot extra for what is common sense.  If you don’t want poison in your food, then you’ll have to pay for an “upgrade”. really?  Thank you lobbyists.  So this is what I wrote on my faux bag  “We promise High Quality food grown in nature with no chemicals. The way all food should be grown but we will charge you four times the amount for it. ENJOY!”  As a mom or should I say as a human, I constantly struggle to figure out the balance between healthy and affordable.

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My third poke is a detergent bottle called “TIDY” instead of Tide.  I am a complete failure at laundry.  First of all, I never do it, then I STINK at folding and finally, the worst of all is getting it back into my drawers.  Now let’s add two kids to the already failing process!  So I wrote on this bottle “TIDY Helps clean -clothes, snot, dirt, pee & poo, paint, stink, sauce, berries & coffee – GUARANTEED!  Yeah, I call that mom humor.

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To top it all off, yesterday was DAY #265.  That means as of yesterday, I had 100 days left.

Today, makes it 99!

I have pottery tomorrow and then I’m on to something new (that doesn’t take so long!)

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DAY # 265 – FAUX BOIS

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Faux Bois in French means an artistic interpretation of wood.  Sort of fitting for today.

I REALLY thought I was going to finish this painting today.  I worked so hard, but it wasn’t to be.  The faux wood floor took so long!

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You see, first I hand stamped the shape of each board.  Below in the photo are foam rectangles attached to cardboard necklace boxes.  the trick was I had to cover every item in the adjacent area with newsprint before I stamped.  Think about the shoes, feather duster and grocery bag…so many curves and angles!

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If that wasn’t enough, I waited for it to dry, carved faux wood grain out of the existing stamps and then re-stamped each floor board.  Again, all those curves and angles!  I like how it turned out though, so it was worth it.

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Next I created a pentagon and hexagon stamp to tackle the soccer ball.  You can’t be a proper “soccer mom” without a soccer ball!

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I painted the background of the ball a dirty brown color in hopes that when I added the white over it, I’d get some contrast.  It’s not perfect, but I think it communicates “soccer ball” so – good enough!

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I then got half-way through the clothes detergent bottle.  I also added gesso to the paint brush and phone so they’d be ready to work on tomorrow.

This means I still have the paintbrush, phone, grocery bag, feather duster and sneakers to finish tomorrow.  At least they are contained which means I won’t have to protect too much around them….Oh the finishing details!

Please be finished tomorrow.  I really, really want to start on something new!!!

That’s a Gemini for you!

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DAY #264 – PLAYING DRESS UP

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I tell ya, today brought me back to playing with my Barbies as a kid.  I LOVED creating outfits, mixing the patterns, colors, fabrics and then ripping everything off and doing it all over again!  Man that was hours and hours of entertainment for me.  I would create my own paper dolls as well.  First I’d create a mannequin and then tons and tons of outfits using wrapping papers, markers and fabric remnants.

That is what this project reminds me of; Playing.

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I had so much fun “playing” today.  This hand stamped painting keeps getting crazier and crazier!

All I have left now are all of the hand props and a faux hardwood floor I’m going to try to “install” tomorrow.

Looking forward to completing this 3ftx4ft painting.  I can barely walk around it!

IMG_4846 #256 - Little Further #262- WALLPAPERER (1) #263- Beginning to see a pattern (5) #264- PLAYING DRESS UP

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