slightly wonky

blimey…my kingdom for some butter…
January 13, 2012, 4:26 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , , ,

Do you think that starting a blog post with, “this was not the most productive week”, is a bad idea, i.e. will cause people to move on quickly to something else more exciting, like laundry?  Possibly.

While I did not get much drawing done this week…I have done a lot of…cooking.  Yes, my husband “forced” me to watch the documentary, “Forks Over Knives”, and now…we’re 95% vegan.  Let me say that again, as I would not in 1,000 bagillion years ever thought it…but, we’re VEGAN (mostly).  I know.  What kind of plant based koolaid did I drink?  Who knows.  If you value eating bacon, you might want to skip this film…and get an ice cream.

mmm…ice cream….

FOCUS!  Yes, it’s been a busy time, experimenting with various recipes and odd ingredients.  I recently bought nutritional yeast this week.  I kid you not.  NUTRITIONAL YEAST.  (why am I yelling so much?)  Now, I’m starting to freak myself out.  When I start wearing all hemp clothes, call the local insane asylum.

In general…I like the foods that are a pleasant “medley” of vegetables.  I am not fond of fake soy “cheese”, fake soy “sausages”, fake soy “meatballs”.  Forget it.  Those are scary.  They also tend to use a lot of mushrooms…which I hate.  Did I mention that mushrooms are SOOO good for you?  Well, they are.  Eat two for me.

So, it’s been an unusual week of buying and eating unusual things.  My son has perfected his skeptical scowl of all of my cooking.  His new favorite question when I’m cooking is, “are you making something that I like?”.  Poor kid.  Kiss those hot dogs goodbye.

If you are all curious to why this latte slugging, hot dog munching person could possibly consider this…then watch the documentary.  It makes you feel like you’re chomping on an early death sandwich.  Pass the butter.

Beyond my food coup d’etat…I’m dragging along with my drawings.  Here is a new one:

My husband just occasionally looks over my shoulder when I’m drawing and says nothing.  I’m sure that he’s slightly concerned.  Perhaps I need some more flax seed?

I met with a local artist, who recommended that I look at the work of Antonio Lopez Garcia.  Here is one of his drawings:

Antonio Lopez Garcia

Amazing, right?  So much atmosphere.  Sigh.  I know…don’t feel defeated.  Just keep drawing (and erasing!).  I aspire to someday be as good as one of his lousy drawings.  A girl’s gotta have goals right?

Two questions:

1.  Is anyone else out there vegan?  How’s it goin’? (this counts as one question, because I make up the rules here)

2.  Any other artists that I should take a look at, who are doing work in a similar vein to mine?  Bueller?  (this is also one question)


Freezing!!!!!! (and bookish diversions…)
January 6, 2012, 4:07 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , , ,

Okay, so it was 8 DEGREES one morning this week.  ech.  I’ve resigned myself to wrapping in a blanket while I draw.  You’ll know that I’m desperate when I start to wear gloves.  I’ll have to throw out the realism at that point and pursue abstract expressionism with my mittened hands.

I really attempted to focus this week on my drawings.  I did.  I also went to an exhibit at the Monroe Center for the Arts in Lexington, MA.  They had an exhibit (today’s the last day!) called, “Beyond the Book – An exhibition of book as art”.  I LOVED it.  I wish that there were MORE books to look at.  The nice thing was that the books were not in a case, even though you couldn’t touch them, so you could see them quite well.  Julia Talcott did a really interesting reduction print book.  You can see it here in her own website.  She prints the whole book on a flat piece of paper, then she cuts and folds the paper to make the little book. 

Here is a ridiculous example of one of my early forays into bookmaking.   My mother recently found this in the attic, and gave it to me.  (I have no idea how she had it, one of those things that was supposedly lost forever).  Anyway, here it is:

Yes, I kid you not.  This was a middle school creation with my friend.  We had these hideous creatures that we’d draw everywhere.  So, we decided to make a book with them.  Inside:

SCARY!  Okay, this is a FAR cry from what was on exhibit in Lexington.  It’s truly ridiculous that I should even include this, but too bad.

Anyway, I got all fired up about bookmaking, so I made this book for a friend:

Now, I don’t believe that this person ever reads my blog posts.  If she does, she doesn’t let on.  This is supposed to be a birthday present, so I’m taking a risk here showing it.  BUT, I truly don’t think that she ever looks here, so I hope that I am not ruining the surprise.  Actually, I ended up making a little tie to hold the book together, but I forgot to take a picture after I added that.  The inside:

Isn’t it adorable?  The cover is around 5.5″ tall, and 4.25″ wide.  I am now feeling kind of addicted to the idea of making these.  You can put ANYTHING inside!  It does make me a little sad about my doodling skills.  Those need work.

I may venture forth into further unfamiliar territory by trying out silverpoint drawing:

Now, I have actually done this before, but it’s been ages.  Also, this Silverpoint/Drawing Ground from Golden is totally unfamiliar to me.   Hmm.  We’ll see how it goes.  Silverpoint is basically drawing with a silver nib onto paper coated with a chalky ground.  It makes super fine lines (which you can’t erase).  The lines actually tarnish and change color over time, so it’s kind of an interesting medium.  We’ll see if I do anything with it, as I am a slave to my eraser, and can’t imagine doing without it.

I reworked a bunch of my previous drawings, and have a couple of new ones…this is one of them:

Sorry, I think that it’s blurry.  I took it outside, but there’s hardly any sunlight lately.  I FEEL LIKE I’M LIVING IN A CAVE.  Okay, that’s a major exaggeration, but there is such a thing as S.A.D., so perhaps I’m not alone in that thought.  I think that spending hours drawing in a dimly lit basement doesn’t help either.  I may have to stick my head under my Ott light to help improve my mood.

Does anyone out there have any good vegan recipes that their kids like?  We’re eating more vegan lately, but my son gives everything a skeptical look.  I read a recipe recently of black bean brownies.  Now, I’d be giving THAT a skeptical look.  I really don’t want to eat a black bean brownie…no thank you.  Give me the real thing, with swirly cream cheese on top…mmmm…

On the eve of 2012…
December 31, 2011, 2:13 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , ,

Many moons ago, New Year’s Eve used to take on some significance.  You know…dress up, go out, stay up and cheer in the New Year with lots of other twentysomethings.  Hmm.  Now, it has become probably my LEAST favorite holiday.  It consists of staying home…knowing that there is no babysitter what would want to spend his/her New Year watching your kid…and feeling that midnight is awfully late to stay up.  The fact that Dick Clark is still doing the countdown depresses me.  Is that awful to say?

Anyhoo…although we will “lamely” be ringing in the New Year, 2011 has been a pretty good year all round.  We have lots to be thankful for…our health, the roof over our heads, food on the table, friends and family.  The things that I am not so thankful for are as follows: 

– Burning the rolls for a dinner that I was making for a friend

– Nearly slicing off the end of my finger with a brand new razor in the shower

– The Lincoln Navigator that plowed into my husband while he was biking home

– Yelling at my four-year old when he sends me off the deep end (you can tell that the child psychology books that I’m reading are really working…)

– Having to take this same four-year old to the emergency room when I stepped on his hand and thought that I broke a finger

There is probably some intergalactic correlation between all of these things, but I can’t figure that out right now.  Right now, I am procrastinating from going to the grocery store, which I hate enormously.

While at the nightmarish grocery store recently, my son begged me to buy paper cupcake cups and plastic straws.  Why, I had no idea, but I caved in.  When we got home, he directed me to find him some boxes, because he was going to make something.  This is what he made:

THAT, I’ll have you know…is a homemade black widow spider.  This was his idea not mine.  I think it’s brilliant. 

This has NOT been a productive week for me.  With my husband and son home all week, I’ve not had my usual work time.  Sigh.  I did get a little done though:

I’m trying to “turn up the volume” on these drawings a bit.  My husband is wondering why our basement is beginning to smell like rotting pear.  I want to yell out, “Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain!!!” 

What should my New Year’s resolution be?  Yell less?  Hug more?  Forget shaving…as it’s too dangerous for me?  Switch to Peapod so that I no longer have to set foot in another grocery store?  Any suggestions?

Happy New Year!  Hakuna Matata!

ho ho hmmmpf
December 23, 2011, 12:17 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , ,

We all managed to survive the birthdaypalooza for my son this past weekend.  I think that I aged a year just in that day alone.  Basically, from the moment I woke up that morning, I was busy getting stuff together.  Maybe I missed it, but I do NOT remember my mom having to do so much work for a kid’s party.  WHAT IS IT WITH THESE KIDS TODAY????  (imagine me scowling as I look over my reading glasses, which I don’t own).

The cake…took forever.  As soon as I started to make it, I told my husband that we’re buying one next year.  Did I mention that the frosting alone had two pounds of chocolate in it?  TWO POUNDS.  I probably gained two pounds just licking the spatula afterwards.  I gave up on really making it 3D, and just settled for 3D tires…

Hey, I think for someone who had to buy a pastry bag for the first time, I did a pretty good job.  I must confess, I did have my son’s name on the cake, but somehow in order to shield him from the folly of his mom’s blogging, I photoshopped it out.  Not bad as well, right?

I thought that this was going to be a VERY productive week.  I guess that it has been, a little.  I have been sidetracked slightly, as I am making a dress for my friend’s daughter.  Here it is:

It’s cute, right?  Looks very straightforward and easy, right?  The sort of thing that someone on Project Runway could do in ten minutes with a Holly Hobby sewing machine and a broken needle, right?  It’s sad how long it’s taking me to do this.  I have sewn clothes for myself…but I have no shame in wearing my own wonky creations.  THIS dress, however, is not for me…so I’m TRYING to channel Christian Siriano whilst I stitch this thing together.  My biggest fear: that it doesn’t FIT and I’ll have to REMAKE it.  Maybe I should call the mom up and suggest that her daughter only eat lettuce until I finish this thing. 

My own work is always taking a turn for the weird.  Some of my latest drawings:


Someone else’s trash is another person’s treasure!  Yes, I pulled that keyboard out of a trash can.  It was in our own trash can here at home, so I figure that makes it slightly less gross.  You can agree with me now.  I’m wondering if these B&W drawings are less exciting than the bright, colorful stuff that I’ve done in the past.  I mean…have you yawned yet while reading this?  Be honest.

I hope that everyone is having, or will have, a nice holiday.  I’m asking Santa for more sleep next year.  And fewer dust bunnies.  I have more than my fair share, really.  They’re doing some kind of “Occupy My Living Room” right now.  As long as they clean up after themselves, maybe that’s ok.

It just dawned on me that my son and husband are both home all of next week.  This is called a “vacation”.  Hmm…


Both ends of the spectrum…
November 30, 2011, 10:36 pm
Filed under: Drawing, painting | Tags: , , , , , ,

Okay.  I know that I was going to TRY to focus only on black and white drawings, but I still have a couple of painting classes left…so the color is not dead yet.  Here is the painting that I did today:

Talk about less is not more!  I know.  As soon as I get a paintbrush in my hand, I lose all sense of editing and moderation.  Is there a color that I didn’t use?  I don’t think so.  The little “painting-within-a-painting” was  my teacher’s idea.  I kind of like it.  It must be so hard to be a minimalist painter…the temptation to just go crazy with colors and marks is tough to ignore.  Maybe minimalist painters get that out of their system by age 5 or so.  Not me.  Not yet!

I am still working on my drawings.  I’m going to now try to slow down and spend more time on them.  I’m also experimenting with new papers/surfaces.  This drawing was on plate bristol:

I am happy with this.  I really need an easel, though.  I just try propping that whole drawing board up on either my knee, or the handle of my luggage cart for my acrylic paints.  Clearly, this is not how Picasso probably worked.    I also have decided that I need a little clip on light for my drawing board, as it’s sometimes difficult to see the first pencil lines that I put down.  Here is a close up:

I have to work on my technique some more.  I think getting an easel might help, as I won’t be wrestling to balance the silly drawing board while I’m trying to create poetic and ethereal cross hatching.

My son keeps asking for the little clock/CD player that I took out of his room after he kept squawking about the music that I put on.  I have it at my desk in the basement.  Now I don’t want to give it back!  I keep listening to “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.  It’s the only classical/jazz cd that I have that isn’t stashed away in the attic somewhere.  It’s amazing how I can keep listening to that and not get tired of it.  Maybe I won’t feel that way by Dec. 25, but right now…it’s music to work by.  I just have to keep changing the subject whenever the topic of that little CD player comes up.  I hope that this doesn’t make me a bad mom.  Maybe I’ll have to get him his own little CD player for Christmas…along with some Lego monstrosity…because you can never have too much Lego, right?

Art A.D.D.

So, I managed to get a bunch of stuff done before the weekend.  I probably won’t get much time to work on stuff until next Tues.  Yes, this stuff is “all over the map”.  Think of it as a pu-pu platter of attempts. 

I keep thinking that I need to make a more coherent set of things.  Then, I get distracted and want to try something new.  Thus, the randomness of it all.

I’m not going to post every day.  While I’m still working on my 365 projects, I’m not going to barrage you with posts.  It’s too exhausting for everyone…well, mostly me.

So, if any of you have some thoughts on this stuff, I’d love to hear it.  Even if you tell me NOT to EVER do that again…at least I’ll have some feedback.  Right now, I am kind of working in a bubble.  I am trying to investigate ways to possibly get some feedback from people.  So, until I figure that out, this is my forum for comments!

I’ll stop rambling now, as my hands are too cold to type, and just show you my stuff.  I kind of like this one:

a detail of the above print:

another similar one…I like the colors, but the design is so-so:


this one was not good, and i couldn’t save it:

and a detail:

at last…something recognizable! no, it’s not me…:


And now for something completely different…a pencil drawing:


I liked this drawing, so I made a print of it:


And I made another little book!  This one is about winter:


even CLOSER:

Whew!  Okay, that’s it for this week.  Seriously.  Speaking of winter, my hands are so cold that I can barely type.  We’re supposed to get snow this weekend too…brrrrr!  Have a good weekend!

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