One more day of 2009....

I can't say I loved 2009, nor did I hate it.... it was okay. It got me where I needed to be. Spring was beautiful, I spent a lot of time in the garden... I spent a lot of time reading... I spent a lot of time at work, wishing I was outside. Quickly the summer heat, and the intolerable drought, was upon us. My garden died... I was miserable. I avoided the outdoors at all costs. The best thing about summer was adopting our puppy Starbuck on July 3rd. She will soon be 8 months old, and I am so completely enamored of her. She is a little terror though, and smart as hell, can't wait till she starts her training class next week. Fall brought many rain showers, and the plants thought it was spring - they bloomed and grew lush and beautiful! I revamped my front yard a little bit, just in time for Thanksgiving.... it's still far from done, but has grand plans for next year. It's been a cold, wet winter. I like the cold, but not the gray skies or the wetness. We visited Taos in December and it was beautiful there.... it snowed our last day there. And now we're back, and only one more day to go in this year.... I feel my organizing and cleaning itch coming on, even while I try to enjoy my laziness at the end of the year. I will soon post some of my 2010 goals. I don't want to call them resolutions... if it even matters what we call them! Will they be met or broken? Too hard to say. Will it help me keep my blog current or not? Way too hard to say. I'm not a writer... I wish I was. Every time I go back to past writings, I cringe. Nor am I a photographer, or I would have a photo blog. But in some vain hopes to revive this blog, I do plan to track my '10 goals. That '10 looks funny to me... but funny-looking or not, I'm certainly looking forward to it!

1st Drawings

As promised, only 1 day late, here is some work from my Drawing I class. Forgive the poor photography, or maybe it's just the subject matter! The oleander study was pencil on newsprint; the last gesture drawing was inked in my sketch pad; all the others are charcoal on newsprint. Remember I am an extreme beginner, but I am doing far better than I ever thought I could!

the very first hand I have ever attempted:

a contour study of an oleander branch:

contour study of a tree:

my first gesture drawing:
a few classes later, another gesture drawing:
posing (I really like this one)

Gratuitous puppy cuteness

I thought it had been, at most, maybe 2 months since I'd posted... I guess time flies faster than I'd realized. It has been 3 months!!! I am so bad at this blogging thing. I'm not really much of a writer, anyway. I would love to be, but it's something I really struggle with.

So, let's see, what have I been up to? Well I am taking a Drawing class now. I'm one of those "you CANNOT teach me to draw" kinds of people... but, guess what? I can draw! I am going to post some of my drawings on Friday. Also, I took a very beginner photography course... I figured out some settings on my camera, so I am feeling much more confident (and excited) about my photo-taking abilities. And, last but certainly not least, I got a new puppy! She is taking up tons of our time but she is absolutely worth it. We named her Starbuck, because we are proud of our geekiness!

And besides, she has the tenacious personality... here, she is gnawing on Neiko's cheek (Neiko is our 4-year old pitbull mix, whom we saved from certain death)...
Yeah his eyes glow satanically, but he did absolutely nothing... He usually looks at me like "aw, mom, what do I do now?!"

Which is exactly what I ask myself, on a daily basis.

Sunset colors and a work in progress...

First, the pretty sunset colors:

Now, the landscape-in-progress (Burnt Umber & Burnt Sienna make an underpainting upon which I will be glazing colors using gouache):

Just wanted to share!

My Art, thus far

Well I recently heard the phrase 'go ugly early' and although I cannot remember where I read that*** (if you do, please leave me a comment so I can properly attribute it), I turned that phrase over and over in my head and finally decided to abide by it. Therefore, even though I am a mere beginner at creating art such as the paintings that follow, I decided to post my work here. Also, I really don't think it's all that horrid, do you? (Just be nice, remember, I'm a beginner.. and karma, ya know!)

**edited to say that I googled 'go ugly early' and the 1st page results all seem to refer to a phenomenon whereby a guy lowers his standards and just goes for the ugly girl, instead of waiting to be rejected by prettier ones. Hmmm. That's not what I meant at all. I think I was reading something about photographing products for your website, and not to be a perfectionist when you are first starting out - to 'go ugly early' and later when you have the money and get better, worry about getting better pics. Just wanted to clarify, though I think the term (as applied to guys getting chicks) is pretty funny!

Industrial: done in gouache watercolor

Artichoke/flower: color schemes project from my class - counterclockwise, starting in the upper right quadrant: monochromatic; complementary; analagous; triadic

Koi fish sketch, done in colored pencil on tracing paper:

Koi fish painting, done in gouache watercolor (I began to color in the eyes and then decided not to - also I think the scanner didn't capture the water on the left-hand side very well)

just some abstract design - acrylic pigment inks

Well leave me your comments and let me know what you think!

Six Random Things

Okay okay, I've ignored this blog long enough! My apologies. Anyway, Kelly over at Blondheart tagged me to tell six random things about myself. I can handle six. I've seen some that are like, 25. There's no way I can amuse myself long enough to think of 25 random things, but I can do 6. So here goes:

1. I really don't consider myself to be creative or artistic. I mean... I make things, and people say they like them, and that I'm so creative, but... it is something I really struggle with. I don't have that always-on-creativity-switch that some people seem to have. Then again, my sister says that she is isn't creative, but I think that she is. So maybe it's all in the eye of the beholder.

2. I skipped 2nd grade. I was just way too smart for those other kiddos. Just kidding! I was bumped ahead because the work was really easy for me, and I wasn't being challenged enough (so 'they' said). I was really enjoying 2nd grade, too. Since I finished all my work so early, I got to read in the clawfoot bath tub (yes my teacher had a bath tub in the room, it was awesome!!).

3. My favorite snacks: chips and salsa, avocados, chocolate. Not all at the same time. Maybe that's not very random, but... whatever.

4. My name is from a book titled, you guessed it, Jocelyn. I have the book. I've never read it.

5. I love goats, every time I see one I just start prattling on about how cute they are and how much I want one and can we please please have one and when can we have a goat and wouldn't it be great to have some goats they're so cute and.... you get the point.

6. I hate talking on the phone. Hate. It. Don't call me. Just email.

And now that I've written these six random things, and you know me a little better, maybe you don't want to, but you do, but now I am going to post this and later I'll think of six better more random things to have posted. But oh well, that's how it goes! Carry on!

**Edited: Oh, shoot! Now that I clicked back over to Blondheart's blog, I see the Rules for this game:

THE RULES (for this game of tag):







7. DON’T BREAK THE CHAIN (not actually a rule)

Okay, so since #7 isn't actually a rule, I'm going to break the chain (for now, I have to leave for work soon). I know, umpteen years of bad luck, yada yada... lol! Sorry!

No frills!

No pretty pictures or anything this time - just a quick post to let everyone know that I'm hard at work making new pieces, and thinking up new designs! I've 'expanded' so to speak - I added a table to my studio! lol! Now I have more space to work. Well like I said, 'no frills'! Back to work, for me!

Lots O Kitties

In Loving Memory - Cuddles
We lost a beloved pet yesterday - Cuddles was our 'gentleman cat' because he was always so sweet and gentle. I don't think I ever saw him fight with any other cats and we've had lots of cats over the years. I say 'we' but Cuddles was originally my sister's cat, from high school, right before I moved out to go to college, and when my sister went to college Cuddles stayed with my mom who became his caretaker. That was about 11 years ago. So Cuddles has lived a long life, and a good one.
In the past few years Cuddles developed diabetes, and my mother had to give him insulin injections every day. Still, Cuddles remained the sweet, loving kitty that he always had been. Here he is with his best friend Screech:
Screech and Cuddles came to live with us at about the same time, and quickly became inseparable. Wherever Cuddles went, Screech would follow... during Cuddles' last few days, Screech was constantly beside him. Here are some more pics of Cuddles with his friends:

from left: Cuddles, Screech, Princess (my mom's 'feral' cat)

Princess, Screech, Cuddles

Now Cuddles has gone to the Rainbow Bridge. Smokey, my beloved kitty that left us on March 11, 2008 (and also grew up with Cuddles but came with me when I left for college) will be there to welcome him though.

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