Thursday, December 29, 2011

Going to Take an Ornamental Journey...




In need of drawing time today, I sat by the Chirstmas tree and did some quick line renderings of the ornaments. Poor things only get out once a year, so it was a nice way to appreciate their detail.

Earlier, our daughter remarked (in that disdainful teenager way), "Mom, the tree always looks the same". Yes, I guess we could go all Decorator Theme different each year, like maybe the white tree with hand-blown glass owls and eggs I saw in a posh gift shop in Chicago last week. But I love the sentimental connection with so many of our ornaments. Some go way back (before our teen was even a twinkle!) There are the dried citrus slices that I made the first year we were married- still translucent and evocative of simple times. Small, feather-light copper letter stencils, each with one of our initials, wave slightly in the warm currents of the house. There are wooden snowflakes and straw stars from Germany and velvety birds and shiny fish...Some are even made with the then-small fingers of the Disdainful One herself!

My friend Melissa makes fabulous doll ornaments- some with animal heads, others are human (one looks like Emily Dickingson!). I have several of these creations. They are clothed in begiling little print dresses and clutch a small item, a wreath or a holly leaf.

One of my old-timers is a tiny white angel; "The Macaroni Angel" we call her. She is made entirely of dried pasta, painted white. Her body is a penne or rigatoni; her wings are one bow-tie pasta; her arms are an "elbow" variety (of course), as are her tiny ringlet curls! It kills me to study how finely someone once made her long ago for a church bazaar.

Another anticipated face is one of those teensy chenille santas, glued into a gilted milk weed pod. The use of a treasure of nature to nestle a santa into has always charmed me.

Our tree will be up for the 12 days of Christmas, a family tradition (we put our tree up later than most, too). Then one by one, these miniature wonders will be stored again until next December. Sweet dreams, ornaments!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day Walk



Still no snow this year. It is a mild, sienna brown Christmas. As the Whos in Who-ville proclaimed long ago, "Christmas comes, just the same", snow or no snow. The photo is of our usual "sledding hill" this afternoon, the location inspiration for my current header illustration.

Mild winter weather can enhance a comtempletive tone to a walk- when one is not busy concentrating on keeping warm. My mind slips to the inner warmth that is created by this holiday season and the coming New Year, bright before us like today's blue sky.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Eastside Artist Show in Progress






A lot of nice people are buying local this year! Thanks for the support and thank you Patti Zwick for being our resident photographer as usual and documenting our booths, including mine this year.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Woodland Salon Style




I've framed a few small prints for the show Friday. I love how they look in a group as I've been organizing them. Foxes and owls and tree and butterflies, gathered for the moment like a little woodland community! Each one is ecomonically sized, with a frame to match image personality. They would look good as singletons, especially in a smaller room (nursery or study), but also in multiples, hung salon-style. Pick up one or six this weekend!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Regard the card!





One of my favorite parts of getting ready for the Eastside Artists show is sorting through a folder of "goofs" I've collected all year; prints that were off-centered, art marked with muddy kitty paw prints [Bad Kitty!], paper flaws, etc. Instead of filling up the recycling bin with them, I work around the blunders and turn these images into greeting cards. I match each piece with lusciously colored envelopes and cut cards to appropriate sizes. Some have rather "creative" gate folds and unusual dimensions to get the best composition, but it's what makes them unique. I then sort them into packages of four, usually themed around a season or location or mood. I call them "Artist's Choice" collections. And though they may seem random, I do think about how I put them together to sum up a whole from many parts. I like reviewing my old work with one eye on that graphic design sense of color and size. And I also like the idea that a goof becomes an opportunity.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cardinal Confessions




I've been fixated on a small item for the upcoming show- I've loved making these little paper cardinal ornaments this year. At two bucks each, dollar for dollar, they will not make me rich. It's knowing that this flock will fly out to people's houses that makes me happy. I've made a few owls, too. I think the three dimensional aspect is a nice break from my usual flat art world. If you come to the show, mention that you read this on my blog and I'll give you one if I'm working at the time!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Eastside Artist Show- this week!


I'll be again one of the the twenty-two artists at the downtown Iowa City Eastside Artist show this coming weekend.

As I package and price new items, it seems a blink ago I was doing this for last year's gig. Kind of like that movie "Ground Hog's Day", where the characters wake up each day to the repeat of the same day before! Participating in this annual event has a way of warping time.

Please drop by if you're in the neighborhood. I'll be sharing some new art that will be at the show soon.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The first color of winter

First snow today. Just a dusting, bravely clinging to the hollows. The welcome white of December.

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