I come from a long line of artistic, creative women in my family. My maternal grandmother owned and operated a ceramic shop for many years. My mother dabbled in oil painting as well as ceramics. I am the only one who decided that art was more than a hobby and pursued it as a life long passion and profession. My choice didn't always come with approval but it certainly wasn't too much of a shock.RSS Feed
I just found this quote and it spoke to me. " Always desire to learn something useful. " Sophocles
I try to live every day with this in mind.
Although I completed my Master's Degree requirements, I think it would be wise not to sit back on may laurels, but to continue to learn something new everyday. I like to challenge myself to work on areas where I know I am a bit poor, like drawing hands. My challenge to myself last year was to draw one hand per day for 100 days. At the end of 100 hands, surely I would have a better grasp of the gesture and form of hands, and it was true. I did. But why stop there. After that I challenged myself to draw one foot a day for 100 days. Feet are almost as difficult as hands and I have the very bad habit of drawing feet too small for the proportions of the body. After 100 feet I felt like I had a pretty firm grasp of the personality of feet. Then I thought I am a children's book illustrator and I have really spent very little time drawing children. Children's faces are really different than adults. They have larger eyes and less neck than adults. Their cheeks are fuller and the nose and chin shorter. So for 100 days I drew children's faces. It was quite the challenge because the faces took longer than the hands and feet each day but it was very rewarding.
Now what shall I do next? Another 100 children? 100 hands? 100 torsos? I haven't decided but I have decided I need to keep practicing to keep my skills sharp.
How about you? What do you do to keep sharp? I'd love to hear about it.
After spending the last almost 4 months working on my first semester at the Academy of Art University online out of San Francisco, CA, I have to say I have learned more than I thought possible. My vocabulary has grown as much as my skill level, I think. I had done many paintings using the 5 value system of chiaroscuro without knowing what it was called. I'm so glad I decided to start this endeavor. I know I won't be sorry.
I was at my daughter's wedding yesterday. There is something about weddings-- both new and nostalgic. It made me visit the past. Pictures of that precious little girl growing up, scrapes, kissed boo-boos, dancing in pajamas, cooking pancakes, naming the chickens, prom and graduation, overseas in the military, college, etc. So many memories flashed before me while watching her up there vow to give her life to some guy I barely know. I tried not to cry but failed. Though we all wish the best for our children, it is a sad fact that we love it when the "need" us. And now she will no longer need me. Now she will need him. My role, once again, has morphed into something else. Life is a funny thing. Just when you think you know the rules and are comfortable with who you are and what your role it... it changes into something else. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with my new role. But just as before, I will learn to like it. The wedding also made me remember my own wedding so long ago. I wonder if my mother felt some of these same things. I think I know why she cried that day. I think I begin to understand a lot of things. Too bad I wasn't so wise long ago.
"Drawing and color are by no means two different things. As you paint, you draw... When color is at its richest, form is at its fullest."
So true. We artists paint and draw at the same time. We think we are drawing when we are painting and we think we are painting when we are drawing. It is all the same.
"The Artist must train not only his eye but also his soul." --Wassily Kandinsky We artists must keep working on our craft to keep our eye sharp and our designs fresh and new. How else can we stay strong? Like a muscle, it must be exercised every da
You don’t matter
Oh boy… That is a tough thing to hear. It’s tough to even say it. But the good news is that I don’t matter either. So what does matter? Well, in design it’s really only the audience and the design itself that matters. We aren’t here to be “design stars,” or to achieve some kind of minor league celebrity. Great designers serve their clients by connecting with the audience. So be great and forget “self.”
–Garry McKee— Professor of Senior Design Presentation at AIU
"All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." --Abraham Lincoln--
I agree with that. Me too.
1. I love to sit in the quiet. No music, no phone, no one... Why do the neighbors always seem to pick this moment to turn up the volume on their jazz station?
2. I’m a chronic procrastinator. I was voted president of the Procrastinator’s Club. Let’s have a convention and all get together.... maybe sometime next year.
3. I love listening to my husband’s voice as I lean against his chest. I fell in love with that voice.
4. I love hearing my children laugh.
5. l love the way alizarin crimson and prussian blue watercolor paint just explode on wet paper.
6. I love to watch snow falling straight down, quiet and crisp.
7. I adore the smell of pine needles.
8. I love clean, crisp sheets.
9. I adore red roses that smell as rich as they look.
10. I love staring at a campfire. Something mesmerizing about it.
11. I own hundreds of books mostly on art.
12. I love to read children’s books. First, because I like to know what is selling out there and second, because children’s books are usually happy, bright, and exciting without sex, violence, alcohol or dark phobias.
13. I have been a receptionist, a stenographer, a theater ticket taker, a graphic designer, a shoe sales person, an on-air radio announcer, a bookkeeper, a mom ( and that’s a job, brother!), a teacher, a stand-up comedienne, a file clerk, an illustrator, and a writer.
14. I collect small rocks from places I’ve been.
15. I’ve visited Vancouver, Canada, Spain, France, West Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
States I’ve visited include Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Arizona, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Iowa, Idaho, Utah (briefly), Washington, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, and California.
16. I’ve lived in California, Indiana and Spain.
17. I’ve seen the Second Chapter of Acts, Keith Green and Helen Reddy live in concert.
18. I have a fear of heights but I keep it from most people. Perhaps I have a fear of people finding out that I have a fear of heights.
19. I play the piano, or used to a long time ago. I think it’s a muscle that has atrophied.
20. The first movie UHF I ever bought for myself was Star Wars Trilogy.
21. I wanted to be an illustrator for children’s books since I was first introduced to picture books. I love looking at the pictures and wondered what it must be like to draw like that.
22. I took Spanish in the 7th and 8th grades but when I went to Spain it was all useless. They don’t speak the same in Spain as the Spanish spoken in California.
23. I don’t make deep close friends easily but once I do they are close forever.
24. I learned to read in Indiana but moved to California in mid-second grade. When I stood up to read aloud all the kids said I pronounced the words wrong because of my accent.
25. My jaw aches if I chew gum too long.
26. I feel like my step-children are my own. After all I raised them.
27. I used to love Christmas, the smells, the lights, the presents. Now I feel a sense of dread because I can’t lavish presents on all those I love.
28. I don’t think I have a favorite holiday. They all hold something different in store for me. Seasons, expectations, family visits, pictures the students want to paint to go with that season, plans, preparations, etc.
29. I used to love my birthday. Now it seems like just another day.
30. I learned ball room dance as a preteen and haven’t used it since.
31. I have 7 grandchildren and I wish I could throw my arms around all of them right now and have a group hug.
32. I used to sew all my own clothes, many times that included underwear.
33. I learned to sew at the age of twelve and was sewing my own wardrobe by 13.
34. I sewed most of my kids clothes, whether they liked it or not.
35. Now I rarely sew more than occasional mending.
36. I didn’t like reading in grammar school. It gave me a headache, until they discovered in the 8th grade that I needed glasses.
37. I read incredibly slowly because I was so behind when I got my glasses. But this way I savor each word and phrase, instead of skimming over them. I think I could make a great editor, because I don't skip words.
38. I knit while watching TV.
39. When asked her name by a neighbor, my oldest daughter at one year old thought her name was Luna No-no.
40. The first book I ever read all the way through was “Call of the Wild” by Jack London. I really don’t know what possessed my Dad to buy it for me. He rarely bought things like that for no reason. It meant so much to me I read it all, several times.
41. My favorite ice cream is Butter Pecan. Not chocolate. It must be a personality flaw of some sort.
42. My favorite color is burgundy. I also love red and purple. Perhaps my favorite is just a blend of the two.
43. I am a cat person and my husband is a dog person. Right now we have no pets... life is sweet.
44. We used to eat out several times a week (3 or 4). Now we’re lucky if it’s several times a month. Usually just one.
45. I love pizza with veggie toppings but my cholesterol doesn’t.
46. I used to love cooking and baking. Now my husband does most of it for me. Sweet.
47. I love a good cup of Earl Grey tea.
48. My best friend is my sister. I can tell her anything. But when she was little she was a pest. When did she get to be so smart?
49. I had to have emergency surgery to remove my appendix when I was 18.
50. I used to share a bedroom with my little brother. I was on the top bunk and he had the lower.
51. When I had my appendix out, my brother thought I was going to die so he promised if I’d just come home, I could have the bedroom and he would sleep in the barn. Too bad I was too drugged up to take him up on it.
52. I’m always too hot and like to sleep with the ceiling fan on and my legs hanging out of the covers, even in winter. My husband just doesn’t get it.
53. I love a good clean joke. I memorize them to share with others.
54. I often dream that the house, and in particular my bedroom, is on fire. Another phobia?
55. I am average height, 5’ 6.5” but in Spain I was an Amazon; a head and shoulders above almost everyone there.
56. I rarely take baths. Only showers.
57. I don’t tan. Only freckle. Now if you could get the freckles closer together maybe I would tan nicely.
58. I won a spelling bee in the 4th grade even though I misspelled the last word. I meant to spell “holly” but spelled “holy”. The teacher gave me the prize because the assignment was to spell the most words about Christmas and “holy” fit.
59. I am usually painting several pictures at the same time.
60. I love to read my Bible every morning.
61. I try to read all the way through the Bible every year.
62. I love watches. I must have 20 some watches.
63. I love watching people in public.
64. I sometimes go to the library reading section and draw the people reading there. Great models. They aren’t moving much.
65. I started wearing hats several years ago. I bought a couple of hats at first and liked them. Suddenly people were giving me hats they didn’t wear or want. Now I have about 37 hats, and only one head.
66. People say I’m such a cheerful person to be around. I work at it, but sometimes I feel very down and don’t let on.
67. I love looking at Christmas lights but hate putting them up or taking them down.
68. I hate watching the news or reading a newspaper. Nothing is new and it’s all bad news, so what’s the point?
69. I’ve never bitten my nails but I chew on the cuticles.
70. I enjoy doing algebraic equations. Must be another personality flaw of some sort.
71. I have lost maybe 700 pounds in my life. The problem is that I keep finding them again.
72. I love sudoku. Numbers seem so constant, so clearly understandable. Like the stars, they are always the same.
73. I like to listen to Contemporary Christian music while driving but not at home. Why is that?
74. I always wondered why my mother could sit and play solitaire by the hour. Now I play it on the computer. I finally get it.
75. I have a pile of books next to my bed waiting to be read.
76. I don’t care for malls. Too noisy and crowded.
77. I like winter better than summer. It’s so much easier to get warm than to cool off.
78. My husband and I were married at city hall by a one-eyed judge. Really.
79. I never drink coffee. Never got used to the bitter taste.
80. I like to drink sodas but gave them up to help my blood pressure.
81. My first car was a green ’68 GMC Suburban. Dad wanted to be sure I was okay in an accident, so he had me drive a tank.
82. I could eat peanut butter by the spoon full right out of the jar.
83. I was pretty sure my dad just didn’t like me when he told me not to marry my first husband.
84. I was sure my mom exaggerated when she said dad wanted to know if we had a turkey for Thanksgiving every year.
85. I’m sure now that dad has been gone from us for 20 years, that he really loved me. Guess I’m just slow.
86. I consider myself to be more spiritual than religious. It’s about Jesus and the Bible more than the name on the church doors.
87. I’ve always rented, never owned a home.
88. It’s not that I’m apathetic, its just that I don’t care.
89. I love classical music, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Dvorjak, Vivaldi.
90. I’m trying not to me self-absorbed, but after all, it is all about me.
91. My four children have scattered to the 4 winds. One lives 2 hours away in Modesto, CA. One lives in Dallas TX. One lives in Las Vegas, NV and one lives in Minnesota near Minneapolis. Was it something I said?
92. I don’t like wine. Okay, I have a koolaid mentality. I would rather drink fruit juice.
93. I love to be home in front of the fire or tucked in bed with a friendly book on a rainy day.
94. I love the smell of line-dried clothes.
95. I love to look at old black and white photos, especially ones labeled with names of the family members. My memory isn’t what it used to be.
96. When I was 13 I wanted to be a ballerina. I studied and practiced hard but it wasn’t meant to be. So now I draw and paint ballerinas.
97. I learned to tell jokes by memorizing them like a script. I'm really not a funny person. That's my sister Sherry. I guess I always wanted to have some of that positive attention too so I found a way to copy her without having the natural knack that she has.