Saturday, June 27, 2015

Las Floras

I have worked on the Flower of Life for the TwobyTwo challenge until I'm about blue in the face. I really wanted to give the theme the old college try and work it from different angles.

I really like the one I drew on a leftover watercolor best. As per my usual, I used recycled materials to draw on, with Sharpie, natch. The one on the bottom left, started with the wrong geometry, but no mistakes, right? The Diva Challenge for the week was to use Umble and that worked out just fine. It's just different.
I didn't want to cheat and not actually "do" the Diva Challenge, so this all came about:
I got to keep up with my zinchies AND break out a brand new set of Pitt sepia markers (Thanks, Laura!). The sepia brush marker made an interesting bronze color on the paperboard, almost sparkly. Interesting.
To finish up the Flower of Life I really wanted to do some sort of collage--cut out leaves or petals and arrange them just so. But that wasn't really working for me. What I really need to do is learn my way around the newest rendition of Photoshop which arrived last week. Thus, this version came about on my computer, my official response:
Some of the new alignment tools made this so much easier than I expected. And who knew? I CAN work in color. ALL of 'em!
Thanks for taking the time to check out my artwork, I appreciate that you do. You could be doing something else, like making a sandwich, taking the dog for a walk, laundry. But you chose to spend some time with me, you're so swell! And if you're ever looking for something different to do, (warning: shameless promotion!) try the TwobyTwobyTuesday art blog! We all would like to see what you do with that! Join the fun!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Everything but the Girl

Miss me yet?
Some of you may know that I went out of town; some may have surmised that we disappeared for a few since I haven't posted doodly in over a week.
And what a week it's been! WOW!
The objective was Pinky's wedding in Lake Tahoe (California). That's Sleeping Man's niece, an important person to both of us; we had to go. We could have flown, but that's no fun (just getting to PHX...!) We could have made it up and back by car two days each way. Through Nevada.
Through desolate desert.
Or we could do it our way!
We drove through Sequoia, Yosemite and Death Valley National Parks, around Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, Bodie and the Ancient Bristlecone Forest. (we had the convertible and we were going to make it work!) We saw water and green plants and we saw quite the opposite. We outpaced a wildfire, (making it through before the roads were shut down; it's still burning). We dodged a telescope (check out the videos). We were on some of the wildest roads I've ever seen--twisty turny craziness.
It was a low of 44 in Tahoe and a high of 121 in Death Valley. We were at 10,100 feet elevation (in the Bristlecone forest) and minus 195 (that was just in one day, only four hours drive apart).
Still, it's good to be home.
I won't get too political about the drought in California, which is all the news, other than to say: grow your own food, people. Skip the lawn and put water into fruits and vegetables. California grows HALF of all fruit, vegetables and nuts for the other 49 states. And right now California farmers are plowing under acreage and selling it off rather than try to tend to it.
We are blessed with citrus trees on our little farmette; I would not want to be buying orange juice this year, it's sure to be more costly than gold.
But before I go out and tend to my vegetables--zucchini, eggplant, corn--I have this little art challenge I played with. I love the Inchie Challenge, even if I'm finally tackling it on a Friday (it's supposed to be Every Monday, right?). The theme this week is "apple."

I was going to draw an apple, in hand. A favorite saying of mine is, "Have an apple." I use it when there's finger-pointing or blame in my direction, as if ALL the world's troubles are my fault, much like Eve in the Garden of Eden.
I looked for images of apples and started seeing candy apples. YUM! Then I thought of candy apple red paint, such as the Brian Setzer hot rod here, which led me to the LG appliances. I borrowed the image from and I'm sure they won't mind since I own a set, a gift from my ex for my fiftieth birthday. [Note to men everywhere: do NOT buy appliances as gifts. Just don't].
Ah, where were we? Gardening! Ah, yes! Water.
And I miss you, like the deserts miss the rain...and I miss you...(EBTG, get it? Too much of a stretch? Too early in them morning? Not enough coffee?)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

From Sea to Shining Sea

I had a tough time wrapping my head around the latest Diva Challenge. Just getting started seemed so ridiculously tiring. It might be the humidity, it might be the long and varied laundry list of to-dos. 
I needed some mental centering. I needed to focus on the can-dos. I needed to get my head screwed on right. Count my blessings. Pray. 
So, I did what I do when I need meditation and clarity: I sewed. It's all very methodical and the hum of the machine is reassuring. It's productive, too, an added bonus. I felt good about what I accomplished there so I could move along...and back to the drawing board.
I've seen some of the other responses and I know this is true-to-myself off-base. I started with beads, for the theme was Beads of Courage, but there the similarities depart. 

From the Mountains to the Sea
I think what I was trying to convey is that no matter who we are or where we are, we are connected because we are human. The beads on a string became birds on phone lines. I was going to have one "bird" singled out, but that did not support my claim, that we are not alone. Our challenges are divided by our numbers and our joys are multiplied. 
All that in a four-inch square? Huh!
I'm keeping up my zinchies! I rely on them to try out some new patterns along the way. I need to go back and identify these. Mostly done on a waffle box scabbied from the recycling bin. 

The oddball there is a pattern I call, "Confetti." I have used this doodle for years. I must do a larger work with it as it has a unique attribute--it creates its own shading. Has anyone seen this elsewhere as a tangle/pattern, if so please advise?! It morphed into buildings in the Diva art. 
The last four are for this week's IAST, which reminds me of a Piet Mondrian, if he would have ever used curved lines. It's much more abstract and minimalist than the representational piece I did above.

Thanks for stopping by and for all your kindnesses. I can't wait to see what you all have been doing. It feels good creating, doesn't it? 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Flower of Life

Over at the TwobyTwo, an upcoming challenge is for the "Flower of Life." It's all circles and geometry and it would not be fair to put it out there without giving it a shot myself. I found it quite devious in the space of two-inches. So, I drew out some steps that I've been using. In this instance, I used a U.S. nickel. It has a smooth edge and measures 7/8 ths of an inch (0.875) or 2.2 centimeters, making it fit nicely into a two-inch/five centimeter square.
I found I had the most success drawing a line across under the first circle to line up the next two. Finding the center is a bit tedious, but essential to making the geometry work out correctly. After the first three circles, line up the stencil where two lines intersect and with center.
The six petals almost magically appear.

I hope you find this helpful. Let me know if it did or didn't work for you!

Do the Wave!

I'm trying to work a little ahead, a concept that seems alien to my uber-procrastinator self. I started working on this week last week. Baby steps.
The word for this week's EIM is "wave." The first thought that came to mind was this iconic image from Japan:

The Great Wave off Kanagawa
Katsushika Hokusai
c 1830
Can you say, "Wipe-out?" Can you believe that's a woodcut print? It's affectionately just called "The Wave."
Well, if that's the case, we have one of those around here:

Shreddin' Betty
"The Wave"
by Gilbert Gustavsen, (c) 2006
This is in the Pariah Wilderness of northern Arizona. I've been there twice--both times in summer. Gil, aka Sleeping Man, got to go one January, thus this photograph. That's snow you see there on the East face. It is surreal and it is unforgiving in summer--my camera quit on the first trip; the sensors overheated. It is a very long story for another day. The short story is: hydrate, people. Carry water. Lots of water.
I already have posted an EIM for the wave, back in September. (That image exists as I took to heart a rule of photography: always carry a back-up camera!)
Thus, I had to go in a different direction and found an image for yet another famous wave:

Queen Elizabeth II
Sixty Images from Sixty Years

I am sure I'm in trouble 47 different ways with this one, stepping on toes of intellectual property owners across the commonwealth and beyond. But I did search far and wide to see if anyone else took this approach and nope, it's original to (totally twisted) yours truly. So, as derivative work, I'm on fairly solid ground. I hope the Queen has a sense of humor, anyway.
I've been working ahead on the TwobyTwo, the word for the biweekly challenge is "Amoeba:"
This Zentangly one based on the "Amoeba" tangle is "cute," my apologies to Linda Dawson who created the pattern. I can do "cute," but it's not really my thing.

I much prefer this one done with stippling, and a departure: color!

For now, that's what I have accomplished. Thanks for visiting! What have you been up to? Are you going to give these challenges a go? Well, you should!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

I Still have Hair Left!

After a totally ridiculous week of technological problems on top of issues I'd already experienced...I'm back to almost where I used to be...I have a new laptop on the way, I'm working on a new desktop, installed the latest and greatest Adobe software...but my scanner can't speak to this new stuff, so there's THAT.
Need I also mention that this is my busiest time of year for design work? Tension was running high around here until Sleeping Man threatened me with a rubber mallet to knock me out. I guess just the threat was enough to snap me out of it!
I just posted weeks worth of stuff and now to post this week's and I should be a lot happier.
The Diva chose "All Boxed Up" by Alice Hendon for this week's tangle focus. I got plenty of inspiration for this from Alice's post, as you can see.

All Boxed Up
It deserves another try, sometime. Today's not that day. I also need to explain my nearly unhealthy fascination with boxes, but today's not the day for that, either. Suffice it to say, boxes put me through college, in a roundabout kind of way...that's a good start...
Over at IAST, there's a lot of Bubble action. I felt I was channeling my inner Lori Byerly and if you haven't seen her work, it deserves a peek.

Thanks for checking in on me. I've been yanking my hair out and thankfully, I'm far from going bald.
If you want to see what else I've done lately, go here or here. And don't forget to check out the TwobyTwobyTuesday challenge! Consider trying it out yourself!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

As Good a Place as any Other

I have to get caught up on my posting. Here and now seems as good a place as any other. The weather has been too fine to sit inside--the best spring I have ever seen in Arizona. I've been creating, just not writing about it much. (though it's heating up--100+ for the foreseeable future).
My previous posts were for inchies and twinchies, now to get to the zinchies and ZIAs.
I'll start with last week's IAST. The prevailing theme was May flowers...I took some splattered watercolors and carried on:
With Matching Zinchies
Jasmin, Sooflower, Fleuri, Wist
The word of the week for EIM is pillow. I have a barely there pillowcase my mom embroidered many moons ago. The stitches are worn and barely visible, though stitched with love and patience. The fuschia French knots have held up through the years. I drew this ZIA on watercolor paper with Spectrum Noir markers (which, I'm still trying to get a handle on). You'll find my official inchie on my Flickr page.
Pillow Talk
And in no particular order, so I can post and move along:

Diva 218
Don't Move a Mussel
Diva 217
I really liked that one. The geometry speaks to the geek in me and the resulting Zebra mussels lend movement and a cautionary tale about conservation efforts out on our lakes, thus the name. This next one I chose a cursive "V" instead of the Roman numeral for five. Anything goes, right?

Made by Joey
Mumsie on Black
Looks better in real life!
Weather Patterns
Diva Challenge 219
with some patterns of my own creation
These are bloody blurry, but my computers went to hell (yes, both of em) and now my scanner can't speak to the new models so that needs replacing. Here I am, photographer me, using her phone. with seriously mixed results. Good enough. Thank God for Zentangle--it's okay not to be perfect!
Now onto the latest and greatest. Yay!