Sunday, December 25, 2011

Nobody likes a skinny santa

One of our favorite family expressions is "Nobody likes a skinny Santa".
We've always thought this came from Rudolph the red nose reindeer, following the line "Eat Santa, Eat."
This December, Rudolph was on, and I was the only one at home.  After Mrs Claus said the preceding line, I leaned forward and she said: "The children will be so disappointed."  I looked at the cats and dog in disbelief.  I rewound the TV.  No skinny Santa line at all.  Has the line been cut?  How will I ever get my children to eat fatty foods again? 


Sunday, November 27, 2011

City of Gloves

Here are some new prints.  This is the city of hands, gloves really.  One plate three different prints.

This is a collograph plate.  The first is a straight black and white print.  Then I cut off the sky and printed it over an older lithograph print.  I still have a few more of these to photograph.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sketchbook Hospital and UVA

Okay here are some more sketchbook pictures.  These are from last year.  Victor had a little hospital stay due to an e-coli infection.  This is my sketchbook note from the hospital.  By the way, someone miss-typed his age, so instead of 18, he was listed as 78.  He was put in the geriatric ward.  You should have seen the expression on the nurse's face when my husband went to complain about his son's treatment (waiting an hour for an IV when he was admitted for dehydration).  A bad experience all around.
After more recuperating he could go off to college.  This is the sketch I made while we waited on the lawn to see if he was okay after a day of classes.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Visiting the Bay Area

This year I got an extra vacation that actually is a vacation.  I can while away the day while my husband attends meetings.  These are the observations I wrote down when I spent the day in Sausalito.
Flowers are everywhere.
Every other hotel is a spa.
The Vet on Bridgeway specializes in Acupuncture.
There is a store that makes wooden bicycle frames, it seems to be next to an electric bicycle shop.
There are a lot of houseboats here.
Most are quite unique.

It is very popular to grow cactus on your dock.
There are too many swarovski crystals in this town.
It helps to be an artist to live in this houseboat community but I don't think it is required. 

Zendoodles/ Solid Sound

A couple of years ago I read about zendoodles, or zentangles.  It is glorified doodling.  Basically, you draw a shape, divide it into sections, and fill each section with different patterns.  I've done this with my students, and they love it, and they look pretty cool.  The method has done a lot to influence my sketchbook.  I keep a small "travel journal" in my purse.  I like to record places I've been to in it.  But along with traditional sketches and notes, I make a zendoodle, filling spaces with patterns and images of where I have been.  I kind of like them.  To most people they may appear to be just color and line, but to me everything has a meaning.  Traditional zendoodles are black and white, but my favorites use lots of color.
This is one I did at the Solid Sound festival this past June.  It was a rainy weekend, so there were not that many great opportunities to draw for the first day and a half.  Most of it was done on Sunday.  Half is devoted to T-shirts.

This is the one I did from the year before, same festival.

I like the 2010 one better.  But I was sitting in a sunny field drawing as opposed to the first one where it was damp and muddy - not very conducive to sketching.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Campaign Signs

Tonight my son and I drove out to Sterling, Va.  The medians were full of campaign posters, because 'tis the season.  At first we remarked on the largeness of some of the signs, like, my signs bigger than your sign.  And of course, you have to make fun of some of the names; "Spike" is a name you would run for office on?  What does this guy (?) look like?  But the two most disturbing were running for the school board.  One had a bunch of clip art children across the top of his sign.  They were: a very large toddler; a football player; a graduate; and a boy shooting a rifle. (correction: the order was toddler, boy with gun, football player, graduate) That's good stuff.  The other candidate chose to be a first name only candidate, kind of like Cher.  The name? Lolita.  It leaves me to wonder, how old is this candidate and how does she dress?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Beach Vacation

Bill's first pyramid of the week
We've been vacationing on the outer banks for the past week.  We've done this for the past 20 odd years give or take a few missed summers.  Some years we have stayed in different houses but we have a few favorites.  This year we went back to an old favorite which was available again after having lost our dibs on it years ago.  We were afraid we would be disappointed, but we were pretty happy.  The one exception was that there was no internet.

Now we can remember years ago when we would say we could solve everything with a computer but that had seemed ludicrous because computers were cumbersome anchored things.   Then the first year I had a laptop I brought it along and I've always vacationed with my computer ever since, and internet access was a given.

So now a week without internet.  Some nights I could sit on different corners of the deck with the wind whipping my hair in front of my eyes and pick up some access.  My son would drive down to the wi-fi coffee shop, but I didn't care enough to do that.  It's kind of like a vacation without TV; it's really a blessing.  Really I was able to pick up a signal on my smart phone so I could read m e-mail and that's about all I needed.  I read a lot, sketched, had awesome patterned coloring sheets I got most of us hooked on, biked, swam, ran and played some bannanagrams.  It was great.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Zen of Swimming

I have been going to the pool and swimming laps several days a week.  As with most exercise the first 5 to 10 minutes is the worst.  But after that, you could just go on and on.  When I get in the water  I set a goal.  It is almost always 30 minutes, but once I get there, I usually stretch it to 40 or 45 minutes.  Counting laps seems pointless as it is too easy to loose count.  All of a sudden I'm saying 17, 18, 19 but I'm not sure if I ever counted 14, 15 and 16, so looking at the clock is much simpler.  The other cool thing is that there are not many distractions in the pool; you go down the lane, up the lane.  I can really only do two different strokes, freestyle and backstroke.  I figure alternating is probably better for my shoulders.  There is not much to think about while swimming, the repetition of the act leads to repetition of thought.  So one song may play over and over in my head, or a conversation.  this can also be used to an advantage to work out a problem by going through it again and again.  If I think too much I don't swim as strongly, so then I'll focus on the way I kick or the strength of my arms at some point in the stroke.  I'm not a great swimmer;  I never had lessons.  Growing up by the water, we were just expected to figure out swimming on our own. When I was two, I fell in the creek while filling up a bottle.  My mother, seven months pregnant, dove in after me.  She said I was doing the dog paddle, but with my face in the water.  To this day my biggest problem swimming is keeping my face down in the water.  While I spend a lot of time working on my breathing and turning my head for air, I know that I can't do it as well as the people that look like they swam for their school swim teams.  But I tell myself, at least I'm not one of those ladies who swim with  their heads and necks out of the water to avoid  getting their hair wet.  I always think of them as swans.