Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More Work-In-Progress (& Whiny-Baby Backs)

I'm finishing this sketch as a nice big spanking-new portfolio piece for the upcoming Rutger's conference in October.

I've been working at my standing desk, since the ol' spine is being a whiny-baby again. Got the desk rigged up with a tilting board on top so my neck doesn't join the pity party. I actually like standing and working, as sitting gets tiring after a while. Plus I stay warm!

Here's the sketch transferred onto watercolor paper, with the first round of pencil applied. (Photo quality is "meh," I know.)

Everyone's a critic.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Banned Books Week

I was fortunate to have parents who allowed me to read anything and everything when I was growing up. My kids are allowed the same freedom. If there's something objectionable in a book (or a movie, or a TV show, for that matter), we talk about it. And look at it critically. And learn from it. I'd never dream of taking that opportunity away from other parents and their children. I guess I just don't understand why some folks think that's okay.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Fun: Talk About Multitasking!

This video has been making the rounds-- hilarious. (I'm not sure I could even handle this, though I'm itching for one.)

Check out James Gurney's blog, Gurney Journey. The man is brilliant.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Reading, Writing, Learning

The only way I'll ever keep track of all the links I want to read is to post them here, in my virtual to-read pile. Which reminds me, I should do a post on all the real piles around here. (And lists, and scraps of papers with notes-to-self... ah well. Call it "organic organizing.")

- Some interesting articles on writing craft, here.

- And here is how one editor defines good writing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fun With Pens

It's been a writing week and so I haven't had art to post. But this morning I played around with a brush pen. I haven't used one much before (kind of obvious, huh?) but really like the feel of it. Plus it gets me away from my natural inclination to cross-hatch everything. Good to try something new every now and then.

The leaves are starting to turn around here. Beautiful, really. It's overcast and damp today, however, and I can't help thinking the air smells kind of like... dog poop. Must be the humidity.

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's That Time of Year Again!

Time to sign up for the Rabbit Hill Festival of Literature. This year's event will take place on October 22-24, 2009.

The Rabbit Hill Festival is named to honor Robert Lawson, the only author/illustrator to win both the Caldecott and Newbery Medals for excellence in children's illustration and literature. He created his work in his Westport home and studio, which was called "Rabbit Hill." Except for the dinner and lunch, the festival is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

And VoilĂ , the Finished Piece

And here's the finish! I've scanned in the art and made some adjustments to the color to bring it as close to the original as possible. This can be tricky, since the image prints differently than it appears on my monitor. Ah well, technology isn't perfect.

I think my little bug has the right idea.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Work-In-Progress... continued

Here's the continuation of this piece. (Please excuse the dingy photos. I was aggravated with my scanner and put it in a time out. But you'll get the idea.)

After I transfer the sketch to watercolor paper, I darken up the pencil lines a bit more. I've tried laying in color before the pencil work, but somehow it never seems to come out right. This is probably the most relaxing part for me. I love pencils.

Then I start laying in light washes of color.

And a bit stronger here. I like building the colors up slowly. Maybe it's because it gives me the illusion of control over the watercolor, I don't know. (Working in watercolor is sort of like trying to control a cat... it only lets you think you're in charge!) But I've found this way leaves me more room to correct problems.

I go back and forth between color and building up the pencil lines and texture. Almost done.

Stay tuned for the finished piece!

Friday, September 11, 2009

TomAYto, TomAHto

A few people asked for the Tomato-Cheese Pie recipe yesterday. Silly me... I should have thought to post it. Here it is:

Tomato-Cheese Pie
(Note: Proportions given are for the cookie sheet sized tray shown. The beauty of this recipe is that you can guesstimate the amounts for whatever size you like. It's almost impossible to mess it up.)

- 2 boxes Jiffy pie crust mix
(I could have used a third box for this size, but didn't feel like running out to the store again for the fourth time this week. So I made the crust thinner.)

- 1-2 hunks of any semi-soft cheese, sliced to a bit less than 1/4" thick.
(I usually use Fontina. Gouda, Gruyere or a soft Provolone work well too. My grandmother used to get those little wedges of cheese that came individually wrapped in foil that never came off in one piece and stuck to everything.... what a pain!)

- Sliced tomatoes

- Grated Parmesan cheese

- About 1/2 stick butter, melted

- Oregano & Black Pepper

Prepare the pie crust mix according to box directions. Bake crust until golden-brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Layer cheese over crust. Layer tomatoes over cheese. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over all. Sprinkle Oregano and Pepper to taste. Drizzle with melted butter. (I didn't say this was a low-cal dish!) Bake at 375° for 25 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Any questions?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Work-In-Progress & Random Pie

Sometimes I wonder if it's maybe not such a good idea to post rough sketches or imperfect pieces-in-progress. Except that I love it when other artists do. So I will.

Here I've penciled this piece onto watercolor paper, and played around very briefly with a color scheme. (To be continued...)

Oh, and here's what I made for dinner the other night from all those tomatoes:

Tomato-cheese pie. Yum!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Random Quote

The voyage of discovery lies not in finding new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
–Marcel Proust

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Creative Tools

Here are some great ideas for coming up with new ideas.

(I really need to keep better track of where I find these links. If it was you, then, thank you, you!)