Thursday, February 28, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

This morning I was given this award by Laura Lein-Svencner of Lone Crow Art. It is an award created to draw attention to blogs of interest. Thanks again Laura for the honor!

I really enjoy reading Laura's blog. She writes about her art- the making and the business of, the collage workshops she conducts, her walks in the woods and other interesting aspects of her life.

This award was designed in the pay it forward fashion. Once you've been nominated, you award it to five blogs that you like that have fewer than 200 followers, to encourage new visitors to visit these blogs.

Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog. Post the award onto your blog. Give the award to five bloggers who you appreciate that have fewer than 200 followers. Leave a comment on their blog letting them know that you have given them this awesome award!

Pay It Forward:

Here are five blogs that I enjoy: -  one of Ann Somerset Mile's blogs. This one is dedicated to her poetry. - lately Joyita has been posting lovely photos of the view outside her studio - Suki's art is often bird related. - The New England Society of Botanical Artists - a new on-line multidisciplinary artistic adventure begun by Bernice Hopper that you can participate in.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

52 Flowers - A Year in Bloom

Thinking about this idea of creating 52 somethings all day yesterday, last night as I was falling asleep and this morning upon waking, I have my idea. It is in keeping with my other goals, will not take up too much time (guess we'll see about that!) and give me direction and focus.

I plan to select a flower each week, draw, photograph and find a quote relating to it. I will post these results each Sunday morning. The first post will appear March 3rd. At the end of this project, I will have gained stronger drawing skills and hopefully will have learned how to take better photographs. The drawings will be available for later artwork. (I can see silkscreen versions of them and possibly notecards.) As a way to bring the project together, I would like to publish the blog posts in a book using Shutterfly or one of the other photo printing websites.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fifty Two

I turned 52 years old on February 20th. Honestly, I don't feel that old! Some will tell me that it isn't old at all. Others will agree that yes, I am getting old! I have thoughts about my age, my looks and my future that I need to explore in more depth. It isn't the reason for this post, but may appear in a future one or two.

I realized that the number 52 is how many weeks there are in a year. Thinking this may be a good way to celebrate my personal new year - create something specific once a week for a year. Hmmm, but what? I have already challenged myself to create a mixed media painting once a month beginning last month and continuing until August 2014. See Shakespeare's Flowers post. Btw, I am behind for the flower of February! I have also recently committed to writing a monthly horticulturally related blog column which will be a year in duration. More info coming on that in a few weeks.

So what can I create that is achievable for a once week time frame and that won't take time away from my regular art-making? What do I wish to accomplish? Well, personal goals are:

-write more creatively, possibly developing short stories
-take better photos. How do I do this - experiment with my camera more? or learn how to use Photoshop or some other photo editing software? Both?
- I want to get comfortable at sewing and using a sewing machine. I have two vintage models that both work, so that isn't an issue.
- I love embroidery and did some a very long time ago. I would love to get back to that!

I haven't gotten into the routine of drawing, so I could set a goal of a making a drawing a week.
I don't blog as often as I'd like, so I could make it a goal to write a post each week.

What do you think? Which direction should I take?

Have you given yourself a once-a-week challenge for a year? What was that like? I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Garden Songbirds Set 4

I have begun another set in the Garden Songbirds series. I like the background layer of book pages and ephemera so much I almost don't want to cover it up! Maybe I will make a few pure collage pieces that focus on these papers next.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Birds on my Mind

It's okay, you can call me a bird brain! I'll take it as a compliment. I watch them several times a day, beginning with sunrise and their visits to the feeders.* I have been working on the mixed media collage painting series of songbirds (as previously posted) for a month now. So is it any wonder I am beginning to see bird images everywhere? This morning I noticed this design in the bath floor towel created by wet feet. It looks like a bird on a flowering tree branch to me - does it look that way to you?

An unusual post, but I thought it was cool and wanted to share it. And yes, I will be creating at least a drawing and more than likely a painting of this. Asian brush style, I think.

*Some recent posts about my backyard birds can be found here:
Breakfast with the Birds
Juncos and the Upcoming Blizzard
Cardinals and the Blizzard

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Disappointments and Opportunities

At the end of last year, I made a list of goals and objectives for what I wanted to accomplish and participate in this year. I have been working each day to bring these to fruition. A series of cancellations has reminded me that while I may do my best, I am not in control of the calendar, the weather or the decisions of others.

Last month a group of artist friends and I had a day of conversation, food and creativity planned. One by one participants canceled. Then snow was forecasted for that day so I canceled as well. Okay, no problem, you can't really count on plans during the winter months. We will get together another time.

This past Tuesday evening at the Stratford Arts Guild meeting the decision was made to postpone the Artists and Artisans on the Green event, originally scheduled for April, to July. I understand their decision, but I was really disappointed. I was planning to participate in this event. I would have been my first show of the year. I have been creating new work for it. Okay, yes, it is good to have the inventory ready and this also provides time to make more paper to have on hand. (I make paper outdoors during the warm months.)  Losing the opportunity to make money earlier in the year is tough. I know that I am not guaranteed sales just for participating in a show, but the hope and potential are there.

Next is the news of a historic blizzard coming our way for the weekend. My husband and I were planning to attend a backyard birding workshop on Saturday morning at the CT Audubon Center in Fairfield. That will more than likely be canceled. Hopefully it will be rescheduled for another time. It would have been fun and informative, but no big deal to miss it.

Yesterday I got news that the Botanical Illustration course I signed up to take with the CT Natural Science Illustrators had been canceled due to low enrollment. The class was to begin tomorrow afternoon. I am really saddened by this; I was really looking forward to it. It was to be an eight week course. Attending in February and March would have been a good time as the gardens would still be dormant, thus not yet needing my attention. More importantly, I would have had the rendering skills established by the time Spring arrived. I was looking forward to spending time in the garden putting these newly acquired skills to practice! I have told myself before that I should schedule time to draw on a regular basis. I have not been disciplined enough to accomplish this. Which was another reason for signing up for this class - an imposed schedule of drawing time, not just during class, but throughout the week to complete homework assignments. I must commit the time now to do this on my own.

The old saying goes, "when one door closes, another one opens." I do believe that everything works out for the best. I can only do what I can do, trust, then adapt to changes as they occur. Opportunities only come when you are available for them. I am looking forward to what a newly opened schedule will bring! I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Stratford Arts Guild

Last evening I attended the monthly meeting of the Stratford Arts Guild. One of my New Year goals was to get involved with this group. I was a little apprehensive, as one often is when entering a new situation and meeting new people. I wasn't sure how I would be received. Their website encourages artists and others from the community to attend the meetings, so I wasn't too worried. Artists can be an intimidating group of people if they choose to be. Not so with this group, thankfully! I was immediately welcomed, introduced to everyone and had several good conversations.

Roger, the president of the Guild, told me that for many years Stratford had a yearly nationally recognized juried art show. The event was canceled about twenty five years ago. The Guild is hoping to revive it. Now is a good time as plans are moving forward with the re-opening of the Stratford Festival Theater and the huge success of the newly opened Two Roads Brewing Co. Stratford is poised to be a tourist destination once again. I plan to do my best to help the Stratford Arts Guild achieve their goals.
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