Friday, February 12, 2016

Phone Photo Friday: 2.12.16

Let's do this thing 

Elise is at the age of independence...or well moments of independence. She likes to dress herself, button her buttons, but also will tell me that she just needs a "mommy snuggle." It is a sweet age.

Decorating her Valentine's Day box for a homeschool skate party later in the week.

Sisters. It is not exactly a stellar photo, but still captures them. They really are the best of friends. They play together all the time. Their personalities are different in a way that seems to compliment the other, yet still quite similar.

Sunday people were watching that sport that I don't care about so my mother and the girls and I went to the mall and wandered about. The mall was basically empty. Here they are putting money into some coin thing that is basically just a fancy way to throw your money away. Kidding, I think the money goes to some charity---but maybe not, that would be funny if it was just some dude who set that up in the mall.

It was kind of awesome. I love going to places that are usually busy when they are empty. Definitely thought about where I would hole up if it were Dawn of the Dead----would have to be Target as they have most of the basic essentials.

The girls often sit and sketch with me. A simple activity that works at all developmental levels. Sometimes they ask me to teach them, but mostly they just like to work alongside me.

Wall climbing in a pleather jacket and socks.

Also wall climbing, but with more caution.

Elise joined me for yoga. She didn't last long but, soon she brought a pirate ship down and played next to me.

Working my nights in the studio.

Cordelia is starting first grade next week. I am loving homeschool and she does too. She has so many extra activities through the homeschool network that we are always doing something new.

Visiting my father at his work. They were drawing pictures of me. 

Cordelia and I worked on sketches of skeletons as she learned about the bones of the body.

Cordelia's skeleton drawing.

Ballet class.

Sweet Bumblebee.

A dinner of rice, veggies and peanut sauce.

Atomic Betty Sprinkles

Elise signing her Valentine's Day cards. She wrote her name on all 25!

Seriously, it is pretty amazing that she is doing this at 3.

Delivering Valentines

More daily sketch.

Cordelia had a homeschool Valentine's Day party at the skate rink yesterday.

Cordelia and Eric and at the skate rink.

Elise, Lucy, Eric and me at the table this morning...all sketching. Cordelia was working on head stands while watching Inspector Gadget.

Breakfast of fruit salad and scrambled tofu.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Why I have Nicholas Cage's Autograph

It was my senior year of high school. Eric and I were trying to raise money for a trip to Europe with a group of artists. I did a lot of odd jobs in an effort to raise money for the adventure. I scraped paint. I worked at a nursing home. Eric and I painted clouds in somebody's nursery. 

One member of our artist group suggested we all gather resources and have a little auction. Someone suggested that we all write to celebrities and ask for their autographs to auction off. Remember this was at a time where the Internet was still fresh and you couldn't just contact a had to write a letter.

Eric and I are really into David Lynch and we started sending letters to actors and actresses who had appeared in his movie. I believe that others from our group wrote celebrities on their list as well. Anyway, we sent out a dozen or so letters asking for an autographed photo to auction off for our trip. We got only one response, from Nicholas Cage (from Wild at Heart), an autographed photo of him in front of some trees in a studio.

The problem was that not one other celebrity sent their autographs. Just Nicholas. So we couldn't really have an auction. We just had the autograph.

We didn't know what to do with the autograph as we are not really autograph people. I mean Nicholas Cage was nice enough to help out some kids, but it is just his handwriting. So we did the only logical thing and put it in a frame and hung it in the garage.

The End

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Just Bits of Home

Morning coffee situation. Currently contemplating a third cup, wondering if it will make my hands shake too much to sketch. My hands always shake, but the third cup is a roll of the dice.

An off shoot of my great grandma Rose's Christmas cactus, blooming for the first time this year. I received a small bit of plant after she passed away and have been so happy to watch it grow. I think of her every time I look at this plant. Last year it bloomed three or four times!

Messy morning beds. Maybe they will be made today, but soon enough they will be trashed and messy again as blankets are removed and young imaginations used.

On top of the bookshelf in the guest room. A small assemblage of items that mean something to Eric and me.

Observed by a hound. My best dog friend, truly my constant companion...unless I go into the studio as she no longer likes to rush down the stairs. Although sometimes she forgets that she is old and runs down the stairs in a burst of enthusiasm.

Nightstand. So many books to read and not enough lifetime to get to them all.

Bedroom, not pictured is a basket of laundry that must be sorted.

My white shadow on a Persian rug. That rug has quite a story; traveled from Turkey to who knows where as my friend lost her luggage...maybe it went to Greece or Chicago. Now here it is in Wyoming. I wonder about the maker, they had no idea that their work would end up around the world with a mishevious cat sitting on top of it.

Home. This photo, and the few things in it, can tell so many stories. I suppose that is the point of the random stuff we do and accumulate over a lifetime.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Dreaming of Spring

The sun is out today and it is warm, well at least for Wyoming in February. The high is nearly 40F. Considering that at this time a couple of years ago it was -24F it feels downright summery. Although looking outside there are huge drifts of snow still sitting in the streets and I have to use 4wd to safely navigate the icy roads in my neighborhood. The sun, and break from the wind, has given all of us a new energy. The girls and I talked about picnics and laying in the grass this morning. I day dreamed about my hammock. Oh how I miss that hammock!

I have been thinking about warm soil and green growing things. I have been day dreaming about my garden and open windows and cool streams. When I look out at the naked branches in our neighborhood I can sense that they are considering their first leaves, preparing underneath their bark for another season of growth. And I can almost smell the lilacs. I love the smell of of a lilac bush more than almost anything. 

Japanese gardens

For now I am happy to listen to the chirping of the winter birds. I know that soon there will be a riotous wake-up from the bird thugs each morning at 5. I am eager for the gentle cooing of the mourning doves who nest in the easement behind our house. Evenings in the hammock with a book will become my norm soon enough.

Between now and then I will enjoy those cold nights snuggled under my great grandmother's quilt. I will soak up the silence of the snow and the sunlight shining through icicles while I dream of spring.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Never Too Late

 Sometimes I teach art classes (different than art history which I also teach) and I am always amazed by the range of students that I have. I arrange my classes to be a bit lecture/demonstration and then I let them work. I will go to students individually and help them work through ideas, questions, areas of confusion. I love it! This Saturday I had a class in which my students ranged from 13- retired. It was amazing to see so many people interested in making art.

 My younger students are wonderful because their futures are totally unwritten. They come with few excuses, ready to take on the challenge. Sure, they may feel insecure about their work, but ultimately they know that they are not expected to be pros.

My older students are different and I am not quite sure how to put my finger on it...some are there just ready to learn, but others are coming to art for the first time and feel embarrassed while others are coming back to art and want to explain why they left (life, kids, etc.).  When do we start doing that? Why do we feel we need to apologize for our level of skill? Isn't that bizarre?

Obviously I don't expect my students to be pros, otherwise I would want to take their class instead of the other way around. What would I have to teach them if they had it all figured out? Plus, I always learn something new when I teach. Honestly I feel for these students of mine. I too feel like I am a late bloomer...that I am just now finding a path that was laid out before me twenty years ago. Not that I am upset about that fact, appreciative that I took a few detours along the way. I am just so thankful to be in a place in my life where I can share art with others.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Quote: Not Trapped

Photo from Nat. Geo, alas I have yet to encounter the majesty of the manatee.

We are not trapped or locked up in these bones. No, no. We are free to change. And love changes us. And if we love one another we can break open the sky.
~ Walter Mosley

Saturday, February 6, 2016


I am teaching a class on painting with color and texture in acrylics today. I have been prepping for some time and now it is all ready. Well, in spite of a month of prep there is always some last minute scramble.

So forgive me a brief post as I attend to my last minute rush! See you on the other side.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Phone Photo Friday: 2.5.16

Let's do this phone photo phriday...

Working on a painting

This girl likes to play and play. Doesn't matter if she spent the last three hours playing, she will cry when she has to stop. Unless there is a snack.

We spotted a very happy man riding (and falling from) a unicycle in the snow. Probably a metaphor for life.

Intense Saturday morning cartoon watching.

Pelting my child with a snowball.

Eric opted to make a snow man

A story before bed.

More playing


Ballet girl. 

The whole crew came to watch ballet practice on my mother's birthday.

After ballet we went to a birthday dinner at a buffet in the mall. Then, just because we are solidly weird, we opened presents and sang Happy Birthday in the middle of the nearly empty mall. I also brought peanut butter cookies (birthday girl's choice) with a glow stick in lieu of a candle.

It was oddly normalish for our family.

Not sure what is happening here, but this was me at the mall.

Lucy in a bag

Elise in the bag.

Coyote in the back seat

Sisters in the snow

Cordelia got creative with the magnets.

Dog whisperer.

They asked me to take a band photo. Cordelia went all in and Elise just played dress up.

Happy Friday!

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