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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Illustration Friday---similar

This weeks Illustrated Friday theme is Similar. Those small peppers were quite similar to one another, but also different in their own unique shape, color combination, size, and personality---just like all of us! Included in this still life I have an old salt shaker that used to be my Grandma's along with her table cloth. Lots of memories tied to this piece... Enjoy!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Random thoughts today

First off, here's a photo I took of the new labels I made for our spice jars. Too bad I didn't take a before---it would have demonstrated why we needed new labels! These jars are probably over 25 years old, and the masking tape labels on top were not only faded & difficult to read, but they never did look very "nice"! After treating myself to a 1 1/2" circle punch I realized it was the perfect size to make new labels for the jar lids. I made circles on my computer the same color as our kitchen walls, and from a list of the spices I had I added text to the computer circles before printing. Using the circle punch I cut them out. I liked how they looked, all lined up with cleaned lids, the labels and the floor below.

This next photo shows Brad holding some pods we found walking home the other day. They were scattered under a tree on the edge of campus. What are they?! Anyone know what kind of tree they're from?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gallery Day

I've been absent blog posting lately, just too many other things going on. Sadly they're not that exciting to everyone, so now you get this little post to just show I'm still rattling around blog-land.

Today I'm sitting the local gallery downtown, putting in my once-a-month shift. Usually it's an opportunity to catch up on things I've been putting off at home. Now though, I'm the official treasurer which means I get to figure out how to do the gallery bookkeeping! So far so good today, as far as I know I don't think I'm messing things up too badly ;)! It's later in the month when I make out all the checks to the other gallery members, that's when I'll either make it or break it!

Just for excitement, here are some photos of the gallery space! The first is a general photo of a wall in the gallery. The second shows my view from the desk, looking towards the front window & door. The last photo shows the back of the gallery, where the desk is.

Sent me an email if you'd like to know where this fabulous gallery is!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Rainy Walk treasures

Yesterday I walked downtown to a meeting, then to the bank, umbrella in hand, in the rain. The colors of the trees just glowed with the water coating each leaf---like beach rocks, always prettier wet than dry. On my way home I zig-zagged veering off my usual path depending on which tree caught my eye next. I began to collect some of these autumn jewels, and here are a few of my favorites:

Anyone have an idea of what kind of tree the leaf above & below are from?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy November (whoa!) & Happy Halloween!

A little something made for halloween, and below, our halloween party costumes---can you guess what we were?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More photo play

I've been playing with fake ttv's again (see blog post from June '08) and here are my latest images!

These just feel like they're from way back when, aside from the smiles...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

2 posts in one day! Unheard of!

Watch this.

Senior Photo shoot

When my daughters were seniors in high school, we decided to do our own photo shoots with the 2 of them, mostly because I love photography and have been taking & composing photos forever, and found this to be a fun challenge to see if I could produce photos "worthy" of senior pics.

When our oldest was a senior, in the autumn of 2001, we used my SLR Olympus OM1 film camera I purchased waaaaay back in 1980----completely manual, no auto focus, a fabulous camera, but everything, from the speed, aperture, and focus had to be set for each photo. We shot one roll of film only (what were we thinking!) and of course it was just the week before the photos were due to the school to be included in the yearbook! (yep, that's how I roll---wait 'til the deadline!) After the film was developed, we thumbed thru all the photos and luckily found one we all LOVED! This was before I knew anything about photo editing on the computer, so what we ended up with was straight out of the camera---no retouching, no changes at all. The biggest challenge we had was cutting the glare from her glasses, so my husband held a sheet of mat board to block that and add a bit of extra reflective lighting when needed. We shot all the photos in our backyard, with some outfit changes for fun. This below was our winner:

In the fall of 2006, when our youngest was a senior I had upgraded to a Canon Rebel TI---but it was still the film version of this camera. She chose to have her photos taken at a wonderful nursery north of town, and after getting permission, spent a fun late afternoon popping around the nursery and taking several rolls of film (smarter this time!). She also had several outfits to change into, and we ended up with a lot more choices we all liked. Yes, it helps to shoot quantity! This time we also played around with some on the computer, converting to black & white, lowering the intensity of color, etc. The one chosen for the yearbook was the one you see below:

Now it's fall 2008 and I have the Canon Rebel TI digital body. My niece was there when we were going through all of my youngest daughters photos, and liked what she saw so we offered to take hers when the time came. That's what we did last Saturday! It was also a lot of fun, even more so using digital and just feeling free to take as many photos as I could, which resulted in almost 250 to choose from!! That's her job and I don't envy her! There were a lot of winners---and I've been having fun playing with them on the computer this week. Before we took the photos I asked her if she had any ideas of what she wanted---any suggestions. The only request she made was that she's seen black and white photos with flowers that have been popped with color and wondered if we could do that. We picked a sunflower and rose from the garden as props to take with us and headed out to a couple of favorite locations around town. Below is one of my favorites I was able to play with and achieve the effect I think she was looking for:

What do you think?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Illustration Friday---clique

With a clique, you're either in, or out. I personally don't like anyone to be excluded.

Plum Pudding, watercolor.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


This past weekend we headed out to Waldo Lake for some "good camping". We picked up my daughter's boyfriend on our way, and the 4 of us rode bikes, paddled around in a rubber raft, went for hikes, watched the sunset, gathered firewood, made lichen beards, cooked hot dogs over the campfire, marshmallows for s'mores, found teensy frogs, salamanders, tossed the foxtail, played cards while sipping vino, spent a chilly first night sleeping in the tent & a roasting 2nd night, relaxed, & had a generally fabulous time together! 

On our way, we stopped in Oakridge for an A & W root beer float, swirl ice cream cone (which my daughter was disappointed to discover was vanilla & root beer ice cream, not vanilla & chocolate!), french fries & a sub, and while waiting for our order I spied this!

Such beauty.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Cool video to watch!

A friend sent us this link which is a video about 5 min. long---worth watching: The Story Of A Sign

Busy weekend with a wedding Saturday, crazy times in Portland, spanish coffees at Huber's & eggs O'Connors the next morning. Photos to follow in the next few days...meanwhile, click the link, enjoy!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Illustration Friday---Memories

This painting brings back memories of driving on I-5 with my brother, and seeing a typical rain storm off in the distance, about to engulf this small farm... 

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lots of painting!

Last week we had a great 2 day workshop with Marla Baggetta and I came home with an almost finished painting the 2nd day. Happily I was able to work on it during our busy weekend, and it's about ready to take down to the gallery now.

This week we visited a new site to paint---Baskett Slough wildlife refuge which had lovely views of ochre colored hills, farmers fields, and a large marsh with geese & egrets contentedly posing for us. Everyone there agreed it was a super plein air location with lots of inspiration & we hoped to return again!

This weekend, my daughter decided to paint a picture for her boyfriend, since he was moving into a new house Sunday. She found a board in Brad's shop, painted the background, then found an image online which she enlarged with our opaque projector, drew it onto the board, then painted it with acrylics. As the "deadline" approached, she enlisted my help with painting the spokes on the bike tires. To say the least, her boyfriend was very happy with his new gift!

Inspired yet? I am! Off to finish another painting!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Backyard visitors

The weekend before last we had a couple of morning visitors frolicking in the sprinkler. Happily they fluttered about for a while, so I was able to grab the camera, change lenses, then play stealth photographer! They didn't seem very afraid, so after some sneaky peering thru the azalea bush, I realized I could just sit quietly on a lawn chair & they pretty much ignored me. The female was a bit more shy, but the male was content to fluff & preen right on the clothesline nearby!

The shy female...

Bailing out of the sprinkler!

Enough with the pictures already!!

Oh, in case you were wondering, these are Western Tanagers!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Latest finished painting

Well, I thought it wouldn't be that hard to finish a painting. I worked on this one the past couple of weeks, making changes, some major, a lot minor, stepping back often to assess the composition, color, clouds, etc. Finally saying to myself---you're thru! Stop! So I did.

After 4 layers of diluted pva size sprayed on, letting it air dry slowly between layers, then 2 layers of UV glossy spray, I realized the UV spray was leaving nasty glossy stripes---not going on evenly like I'd hoped! Dang-it... That set me back a few days, as I tried to figure how to save the painting (usually when I was trying to go to sleep of course...).

I decided to try sanding the painting, lightly with 400 grit fine sandpaper. That seemed to remove the glossy stripes, but now I needed to paint some more with pastel to darken areas that had lightened from the sanding. Happy again with the finished painting, I once more layered pva size, ending with a non-glossy matte finish acrylic spray this time.

While it was propped up in the backyard drying, the wind decided to knock it off its perch! Dang-it again!! It crashed forward, leaving a slight dent in the canvas & some tiny scratches!! I was really beginning to question whether this painting was meant to be finished!!

I took it inside & sprayed the back of the canvas dent with water, "ironing" it flat with my hands, hoping it'd shrink up & disappear. Happily it did! Next I lightly sanded the scratches, put more pastel over, carefully matching the colors, taking into consideration the slight darkening from the spray, covering them up, and once more spraying w/pva, then lastly with the acrylic spray, making sure no way could it be knocked off, blown over, or otherwise tipped as it dried!

Yes!! Success! I then put another coat of black paint on the canvas edges, carefully blending it into the front of the canvas, wiping where the edges met (the paint was satin, w/slight gloss, the face of the canvas---no gloss). This dried overnight and today I went to work taking photos of the finished painting on the front porch.

Balancing the tripod on the steps of the porch so I could prop the painting against the door & back up far enough to get it all in, I began to take my pics. Suddenly the wind came & flipped the painting right off it's perch again!! NO WAY!?! Carefully I peeled myself away from the camera tripod, not wanting to leap & knock it backwards, & picked up the painting to see what damage I now had to repair!! I didn't see any scratches on the face of it, and just noticed the tiniest glimmer of white at the top right corner---easily repaired by dipping my finger in the "frame" paint & dabbing it away...

Once again, I set up my "photo studio", this time using masking tape to secure the painting against the door frame... Finished?! I sure hope so!! (Although I do still have to attach eye screws to the back & hanging wire---wish me luck!!)

What do you think?!

Here's a close-up of the buildings:

And lastly, a couple shots of the first layers---for some reason, I love this raw, sketchy look---

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Oregon Country Fair

Yesterday we adventured to the Oregon Country Fair for the first time in about 5 years I think--http://www.oregoncountryfair.org/ We used to be regulars, going every year, but as the kids grew, we became busy with their events, sports and all those things kids and parents get involved with. Since our daughter was working the fair with her boyfriend's family this year, we thought it'd be fun to visit again, to see her, meet her boyfriend's parents for the first time, and discover what was new.

This isn't your typical fair---no pigs, cows, or tractors---it's probably the biggest hippie fest this side of Burning Man. Along with craft booths, there is an energy park, community village, food booths and about 20 different stages where vaudeville, music, acrobatics, juggling, speakers, & other productions are presented. This all takes place on property the Oregon Country Fair has purchased, so the booths and stages have been built into the winding paths, tucked amongst the branches of a wonderful deciduous forest. After 39 years, these booths are homes away from home for the vendors with lofts built on top for sleeping, kitchen areas behind, and just about all the comforts of home under the dappled sunlit branches.

It's only open through tomorrow, so if you want to go, buy your tickets ahead of time---they do not sell tickets at the fair anymore. Check the website for more information.

Here's some of our favorite photos from yesterday:

This fella was playing this sculpture which was a stringed instrument with a bow---amazing ethereal sound!

Of course we had to have a few photos of signs...

The costumes of the performers and a lot of other visitors are worth the ticket price alone!

Loved his shoes......