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Friday, May 25, 2007

Studio Friday---May studio treat

This week's topic:
"Treat yourself to something your heart desires... a nice little something (no spending of a fortune involved). Celebrate yourself !!"

A few weeks ago, sadly one of my favorite stores went out of business. However their sale did offer the chance to purchase some of these paints I've been admiring for a few years now---I love the colors, the design of the bottles, and have wanted to get some, but could never justify the expense since I already had many tubes of acrylics. Not sure if I'll ever use these on canvas, but hope to play with them on paper sometime soon. In the meantime I just enjoy displaying them in my studio.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Painting amongst the flowers!

Yesterday we spent the morning painting at Schreiner's Iris Gardens---what's fun is they're way more than just irises! I love Dutch Iris, and Japanese Iris, but the bearded iris just don't thrill me---a bit too frilly for me maybe? Not a problem at this garden tho---they have so many other flowers along with the irises you can find inspiration everywhere! The different colors and the constant fragrant aroma just amazes me!! The plants also seem to be on steroids---poppies that are dinner plate size, peony blooms the size of your head, whatever they use as fertilizer is truly powerful. Here are some of my favorite pics from the day:

Here's a size comparison of the peonies at Schreiner's---a friend's hand (and she's quite tall---not at all petite!)

Inside that massive peony!

Coral Poppies.

My favorite red poppies with a riot of color behind them.

After our noon critique, we headed across the freeway and north a little ways to see a peony garden nearby. These photos below were taken at that garden---the lighting wasn't quite as dramatic as it was earlier in the morning, but the flowers were still breathtaking! I'll show the little pastel I painted in a new post soon :).

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Mmmm, I love RED!

This amazing poppy is the perfect red---just stunning! Saw it when out painting at Shreiner's Iris garden several years ago, then discovered I too could be the happy owner of this gorgeous poppy, so bought a plant, brought it home, then let it sit for a year in its pot before finally planting it last summer. I was happy to see it return this spring, and it's now sporting two beautiful blossoms---not the dinner plate sizes that the Iris garden boasts, but a large tea cup size is just as amazing to me since they're my favorite RED! My daughter and I know what the perfect red is, and often point out a "good red" to each other when we see one together... This is a good red---wishing you a glimpse of a good red today!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Illustration Friday---Citrus

Orange Spice
original watercolor
7x12 inches image size
14x17 inches framed
shipping extra

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Haircut time!

It's always interesting after a new haircut to see what you look like the next morning...especially if it's short hair! What looked good the night before can often be a bit shocking the next morning---YIKES!

Luckily with a bit of water, everything can be restored to it's somewhat original look---however it doesn't seem to matter how simple the hair stylist does your hair, it never looks like how she did it--fortunately I really like this cut---it's quite versatile and can be worn multiple ways---spiky, fluffy, or smooth---although one morning I woke up with my hair looking way too smooth---can you say light bulb head? Quick, where's the spray bottle?! Then there's the Julie Andrews look---nah---think I'll pass on that one too... Here's today's version---what I'd consider a good hair day.

Hope you too are having a good hair day!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What a night!!

Saturday evening was the big final pageant that 9 boys and 13 girls have been working on since the first of the year---earlier for some (like Eliza and her co-head coordinator)... These high school seniors were hand picked by fellow students and their teachers to participate in the big pageant---spending all their spare time organizing 10 different major fundraising events and multiple smaller fundraisers, ranging from a fashion show, rock concert, dances for middle school students, all day car-wash to doing yard work for businesses and private homes---one Saturday they were hired to move 45 yards of "nasty, disgusting, gross dirt" up a long driveway---in the pouring rain!! 15-17 of them worked from 9-3, and still had to go back the next day to finish---45 yards of dirt is about 15 regular-sized pick-up truck loads... The money raised was going to go to the neo-natal unit at our local hospital and the Mario Pastega house---a home for people to stay at that have loved ones in the hospital.

Besides those events, the boys had to learn a choreographed dance, create a skit or talent to perform at the pageant plus create a clever video shown on an earlier night. Each boy had a girl paired up with them helping to keep them on task, working with them on their productions etc. Overseeing everything were the head coordinators---they went to most dance practices, filling in when boys were absent, wrote the script for the MC's on pageant night, picked out the MC's, created agendas for meetings twice a week, organized schedules for events, procured the choreographer, the photographer, the costumes, tuxes, etc... Eliza was asked by one of the fellas to participate in his skit, which meant she had to memorize some lines and perform on the stage with him---basically wearing 2 hats that night---one as a cop, the other as coordinator! Below is a shot I took of her doing the skit...

One segment of the program had each boy paired up with a little kid---both in costume---this little fella was a favorite of Eliza's...

This shows Eliza introducing the girls during the pageant.

Here she is with her head-coordinator pal & the boys doing an unscheduled group sing-along---"My Girl".

Last year they raised about $32,000 so this year they were hoping to beat that number, and also their rival high school which brought in $35,000 at their pageant. Most were guessing they might have raised a total of $36,000---so you can probably imagine their surprise and shock when the check was revealed with a total showing over $47,000!!! Also, if they made their goal of $30,000 they were to receive an extra $15,000 from Mario Pastega!

It was a great group of kids, great cause, fabulous entertaining evening, and truly an amazing experience for everyone involved (Brad and I even!)