Saturday, May 29, 2010

Six Word Saturday # 14



Feeling your visit.


I've been in the mood to create powerful collages lately. This one seems fitting for Memorial Day weekend as we remember those we have loved and lost.
For those of you who have experienced 'visits' as I have, lucky us.

For more six words, click here <

Friday, May 28, 2010

Illustration Friday: Slither

And it feels soooo good when it slithers down your throat! Their loss ;)

I'm working on 4 paintings at the moment so I had to pull from my archives today.
I hope this is new to most of you. I've never used it for "IF" before.
I was going to paint oysters....EEEEW!

Happy and safe Memorial Day Weekend everyone ♥

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Animal Wednesday: Does a starfish count?

This is what I've been busy doing this past week. It's a birthday surprise for my friend Barb while she's away on vacation in Arizona! She said to do whatever I wanted, but trust me I had some limits here.
Barb is ultra traditional and her kitchen has been the same for the past twenty-two years! I did the last theme as well, black cats and red/white gingham touches.
I took all of the kitty pictures out of the frames and replaced them with four lovely poppy paintings, one of course by Georgia O'Keefe. Then I went to work on this wall, all free-form with very little pre-drawing. (I hate to have to erase lines after!)
This is a very small wall so I kept the design light and flowing. This wall is to the left of the step up into her kitchen. The starfish, sand dollar, beach glass and shells were added because of all the time Barb has spent on Cape Cod at her family's treasured cottage.
(Here's a bit of detail. I hope they enlarge.)

I had a hard time with the shadowing because the wall kept resisting the glaze. Shadowing is my favorite part! That, and detail. Oh well, it will have to do.
And YES, this is what I was painting when I fell backwards and hit my head.
I can't believe I didn't drag my red paintbrush down the wall.
So, Happy Animal Wednesday from me and Grady, my helper ;)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Illustration Friday: Early

Am I the only one who groaned at this week's word? I really try to think outside the box but this word just didn't inspire me at all.
I also groaned this morning when my dog decided she had to go out at 5 A.M.!
So, I took her out, poured a cup of coffee and sat down to do my entry.
This is a simple digital collage embellished with colored pencils.

Wishing you all a butterfly sunrise and a chance to sleep in till at least 7 A.M.
Happy Weekend!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Six Word Saturday # 13

My dog dresses better than me!

Okay, anyone who knows me very well knows I don't put outfits on my dog.
She's a scoundrel of a mutt who can slither out of anything that tethers her, therefor I'm determined to keep her safe.
 So I ask you, why not keep her safe and stylish
This is the vest/harness we bought on our lunch excursion to Newport today.
Barrington Yacht Club has already asked her to be their mascot!
I mean look at the anchor logo and the stripes. When you've got it, flaunt it!
Work it Emma!

For more Six Words, stop by Cate's place and say hello to a few of the folks.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thankful Thursday: My Traveling Journal Has Found Her Way Home

Well here she is! My book from the ArtySoulSisters project has finally come full circle.
I'm having an awful lot of trouble with my computer today (and my stiff neck from my fall) so please click on this link to see the entire project, page by glorious page.
This will be a forever keepsake. I admire each and every one of these women that helped me put together a book with a "journey" theme, whether spiritual or physical.
Thank you ladies! You sure do rock!  

Please click to enlarge the beauty!
This was a labor of love from the start.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cats and Pratfalls

Today was an interesting day.
It started out by me taking a couple of photos of this cute fish and cat teapot that my sister bought me when she came to visit on Saturday. We love going to second-hand stores and antique shops. For now I've placed him on the shelf between the kitchen and the dining room. I think he's smitten with that bunny!

Here is another view with the light from my studio doorway in the background. I'm standing in my galley kitchen in front of my stove.
Thank you pat. I love this little guy! he makes a wonderful addition to all of my blue and white pieces. (But you knew he would!)

This handsome, adorable awesome guy is Grady, my friend's cat. They're away in Sedona, Arizona for a much needed vacation. Grady has special needs because he's a herpes kitty with major sinus issues. Let's just say it was a very messy nose day today!
That said, I'm doing a mural (small trompe l'oeil actually) for his mom's birthday while she's away. I have carte blanche (which I love!)   
Grady felt the need to help. Um, I don't think so!

This is how he watched me when he wasn't chewing and batting my paintbrushes all over the kitchen or trying to spill my paint water or trying to walk through my pallette!
Helper? Um, not so much!
Good company? You bet!

What happened next was not so pleasant.
I knew I was pushing it because I didn't have the right ladder, I didn't wear the right shoes for support and I hadn't eaten any lunch which is NOT good for low blood sugar.
I remember falling in slow motion but still feeling panicked. I'm not so young and limber now. My body twisted in defense reaction and tried to right itself but there's a high guard on the stepstool I was on and my foot got tangled.
 From 3 feet up I went straight back to the floor with nothing to hold on to. I had a paintbrush in one hand, a paint tray in the other and I went CRASH in a very ugly, scary way.
My head hit the floor and bounced twice.
I could have hit the edge of the stove but I somehow missed it.
I have never felt so blessed for a FAT ASS in my whole life because that may have been what saved me! I fell to a half-sitting position and then my head snapped back.
Um, hellloooo, flashes of Natasha Richardson here!
From now on I really have to pay attention to my concerns ( i.e. changing shoes, getting right ladder) instead of brushing them off.
Take the time to do the right thing.
I really do want to be here for a zillion more years. If I'm not mindful of the needs of my aging self, I may not have to worry about aging anymore.
Moral of the story: if something doesn't feel right from the start, it probably isn't.
And oh, I'm sore as all get out. Ugh. My aching backside.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Illustration Friday: Equipment

Most days I find the only equipment I need is a good attitude.
Especially when my raven friend messes up my hair garland!

Happy Weekend my friends!

paper bag, pencil, colored pencils, white ink, glaze, and acrylic paint.
(I spilled something on her face and then smudged it when I tried to save it. Oh well, here she is.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Discriminating Taste In Books

I got the nicest email today straight out of the blue. This wonderful stranger, father of this beautiful baby girl had this to say.

"Dear Laurel (I hope you don't mind the imformality of my greeting),

I just wanted to share a picture with you of my 7 month old daughter Brooklyn as we read your book, "I Love MY Daddy Because..." during our weekly trip to Barnes & Noble.
As we approached the giant display of Father's Day books, she looked around and reached for your book first. After thoroughly enjoying the taste of the book, she listened intently while I read to her while she stared and poked at the pictures of all the animals.
I think this picture of her captured the moment as I stopped reading for a minute to reposition the book.

Thank you for creating a timeless moment for me and my daughter and a picture all my family and friends have enjoyed and smiled at."

Warm regards,

This simple random act of kindness changed my whole day.
Can you see me smiling?
Thank you, M.L., and you too Ms. Brooklyn ;)

To my friends: My mother died in 1985 and I was with her when she took her final breath. My father died 13 months later. These books are my humble tribute to them for doing the best they knew how. The books were published in 1991 and are still going strong many printings later, in many languages and many formats. I feel blessed even though I didn't get to illustrate them.
 Maybe this is my parents way of finally being there for me and letting me know I did okay for a poor kid from the inner city deep in the bowels of Boston. 

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Six Word Saturday # 12

Sky Drama...

better than
my drama!

For more six words, click here ;)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Illustration Friday: Fearless Creating

An encore in my Moleskine that seems to fit this week's word: Fearless.
Mixed media: acrylic paint, Prismacolor pencils, words from a magazine, butterfly sticker and a raven drawn with a ballpoint pen.
Happy weekend!!

Skywatch Friday: bad views, good views

We had a wild storm pass through a couple of days ago. You can usually count on a wonderful, dramatic sky when the weather starts to clear. Now that I'm not living down the street from an amazing beach I have to deal with these ugly power lines and wires.
(Of course I praise said power lines and wires when I have a good computer connection!)
Well, the sky was so pretty I took a couple of photos anyway.
I just love that 'after the rain' smell in the air!
I went around to the side door and gasped at the light that was hitting the trees in the back yard. No power lines, just pure glowing sunshine and a glimpse of the blue sky!
Now we're talking!

Happy Skywatch Friday!
Please visit more folks and their sky shots here :)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Visiting Friends

Many of you know that my dear blogging friend Kj and I have met in person and now live two hours apart. Our friendship is easy and effortless, as if we've been friends since childhood.
This weekend I drove 100 plus miles to her house, no small feat for me with my driving fears. I bought a GPS, said a little meditation about being safe and off I went. It was a breeze! I actually enjoyed the drive and was there before I knew it.
Mim and Debra Kay were supposed to join us for the weekend too but sadly each had something pressing to deal with. Next time ladies!
There are no pictures of us in this post. What I did do was walk around the outside of KJ and JB's wonderful home and snapped pictures of things in the yard and in the park behind their house.
So please come along with me on this walk!


Azalea offerings at the front door...

Buzzing bees keeping busy...

The famous Magic Cottage! JB's art haven...

It seems JB has gone dancing with the mermaids!

A side view of the Magic Cottage and a sweet little bird hanger.

Look closely. Do you believe in fairys?

Iron and lace...

Three graces near the front door...

A delightful trio of rusted petals adorns a side fence...

More garden whimsy...

A little sundial at the base of an oak tree, kept company by a bleeding heart.

More whimsy with elegance...

Nestled cairns, KJ's creations.

Amber and iron spires...

And a magnolia starburst!

Now let's take a stroll in the park.

Past the frilly cherry tree...

Behind the pond capturing reflections...

Where an empty bench waits for company.

And finally a quick snapshot downtown before hitting the road to home.
It was a delightful and all too short weekend.
Thank you KJ and JB. You were gracious hostesses and great fun to be with! 
Let's do it again ;) ♥

Monday, May 03, 2010

Open to interpretation

Some of you know I spent the weekend with my dear friend KJ and her partner JB.
It was a magical time of good food, nature walks, taking pictures and making art. The three of us sat silently making collages, occasionally peeking to see what the others were doing and exclaiming with an ooh or aah as we watched the progress.
This is mine. I know what it says to me but I'd love to hear what it says to you.
Look at each element. What do they symbolize? How does this image make you feel?
I'd love to know your thoughts ;)
And if you haven't already see it, here is KJ's amazing collage. Her very first one!
I'll see if we can get her to show JB's as well.
Happy Monday!