Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thrift Share Monday

Welcome to Thrift Share Monday. Please hop over to Apron Thrift Girl and share your thrifty finds with us. Or go there to ogle other people's amazing thrifty finds. The yard sales in our area are winding down as the summer heat builds up. I went to one (one!?!) yard sale on Saturday. There I found a nice winter coat, brand new. Fit perfectly. It was hard to even think about winter in the 90+ heat on Saturday but the coat was so cute that I had to try it on. It came home with me and is hanging in the closet awaiting the first frost.

I'm always looking for art/craft supplies for my artsy dabblings. I have found many useful tools, expensive art paper, sketching pencils, etc over the years. More recently, I've been making journals and I'm always looking for ephemera to make interesting journal pages with. I also like a good mystery. So I couldn't resist these: I found a full set of blueprints, life sized, 1 each for a Ruddy duck, Pintail duck, Teal and Great Horned Owl. Why on earth would anyone make a full set of plans for birds? Life sized, no less. At first I thought they were for making decoys but when I brought them home and studied them fully, I realized there is no indication that is what they are for. Odd. I think they will make great journal pages. I love finding bizarre stuff like this. Does anyone have any ideas why someone would go through this much trouble?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Drawing Lab drawings

I have been taking part in an online drawing workshop and I'm loving it. I've always been intimidated by drawing and I get frustrated when the result isn't perfect (whatever that means) and then I don't attempt again for a few years and then I try again and get frustrated and wait a few more years and suddenly I'm middle-aged and I Still Can't Draw. Go figure. I recently acquired a copy of the newly published Drawing Lab by Carla Sondheim. The labs in her book are drawing exercises designed to help one loosen up and see the creative potential in every sidewalk crack and eyedropper full of ink.
Portraits made with an eyedropper and acrylic ink colored with markers.

Water colors randomly painted on a page- search out and outline whatever image appears.

Without the pressure of creating perfect art I can draw up a storm of insignificant marks that encourage me to keep moving ahead. Carla is a genius! It helps that I'm in a workshop and on a schedule to get things done. Schedules seem counter-productive in art but I need the structure and the deadlines. If I wasn't in this workshop I would have done one or two exercises, gotten frustrated and put the book on the shelf. And then would occasionally feel vaguely guilty about it and want to go back to it someday. Which becomes never.
One Liners - pics drawn with a continuous line without lifting pen from paper.

Artists of the Round Table (ART) is hosting the free workshop. The drawing lab workshop is now closed but ART offers many other kinds of artsy workshops. If you join the Yahoo Group you will get updates on all upcoming workshops and you will have access to the lesson plans of previous workshops. OK, I'm going back to the drawing board (oy!). Hope to see you in ART land.

Wrong handed portrait - portrait drawn from a photo with non-dominant hand.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Coast trip

Our usual summer heat has finally caught up to us. Since it was so hot yesterday afternoon we drove to the northern coast of California to hike, have dinner and catch the sunset. It's amazing the difference that 50 miles and an ocean make. We needed jackets when we got there. We wandered around Crescent City and enjoyed the sights and the blissfully cool, yet sunny day. We went to Point St. George first:Then we went to Crescent City Harbor and watched the harbor seals and sea lions. Lying around. Not doing a whole heck of a lot. Well, some yapping and stinking was going on: A random sculpture: Another random sculpture: The fish commemorative plaque and cement sculpture: It says "Crescent City Harbor District Inner Boat Basin, Dedicated October 5, 1974, To the people of Del Norte County, A project of the Crescent City Harbor Commission". A grand gesture to be sure. Who doesn't want a cement smiley fish in their harbor?I hope you had a good weekend so far. Enjoy the rest of it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ROD Journal #2

Here is a Remains of the Day (ROD) journal I made mostly from pages I received in a swap. There are 2 signatures with 6 pages in each one. The cover is made from melted plastic bags with stitching over the top, inspired by the "Shopper's Joy Book" in Eco Books. I'll fill up this journal with travel pictures from my upcoming trip in August.I received some beautiful swap pages:I'm still not sure how I feel about this style of journal making. I was so excited about it when I started the ROD class but I don't know if I'll be comfortable working in a journal that is so visually busy to start with. I'm going to plunge in and add words and pictures during my trip and see how I feel about it then. Can't really tell if it will work for me if I haven't actually tried it out!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Colors of Summer

The flowers have been exceptional this year. I guess they like cool, wet springs better than hot, dry ones:Now that the temps are heating up they'll start to fade away. But what a show!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Rogue River Ranch and Trail

Earlier this week I visited the remote Rogue River Ranch, next to the Wild Rogue Wilderness on the lower Rogue River. It's a wonderful corner of the world and I enjoyed comparing notes with the caretaker there. Buck and his wife are new to the place and are both working their butts off to maintain the beautiful historic ranch. Being in such a remote area they are way off the grid and rely on solar panels and a hydro generator to keep the lights on. The ranch is three hours from Grants Pass, or the coast- much of it on dirt roads- so they take very few trips into town. However, due to the rafting traffic down the Rogue River, they get lots of visitors. Snow closes all access to the site, so they close down completely in the winter, starting at the end of October.

I hiked the Rogue River Trail just downstream from the ranch as it winds its way through some of the most spectacular scenery in the region. The photo above shows the Rogue River as it drops into Mule Creek Canyon, a deep slot canyon carved into basalt. This canyon is the narrowest section of the lower Rogue, so narrow in fact that it's possible to wedge a raft in sideways during low water years. Just downstream from this pic is the dreaded Coffee Pot, a wirlpool that traps rafts every year.

Immediately downstream from Mule Creek Canyon is the sublime Inspiration Point, perched high above the Rogue at the confluence of Stair Creek. From this point I stood transfixed, watching Stair Creek Falls spill directly into the Rogue.

The view just downstream from Inspiration Point.

Pinnacle Point just upstream from Blossom Bar rapids.

Three kayakers showing the proper approach through the notorious Blossom Bar Rapids. This rapid was once impassable until Glen Woolridge, one of the first river guides, blasted out the rocks with dynamite to create a passage. This is still considered the most dangerous rapid on the river, as has taken several lives over the years.

Still, it's a very makeable rapid if you know the proper approach through the rocks. I love this pic of a rafter and his sheepdog calmly making their way through the rapids. Note the life vest on the dog.

Pancreatic problems cut my trip short, but it was all worth the long drive out to this remote corner of Oregon.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Friday!

Welcome to Happy Friday! Please hop over to Jaime Ridler's site and let us know what made you happy this week.

I received two wonderful books in the mail: Little Birds & Drawing Lab by Carla Sondheim. I've completed my second project from Little Birds:And I can't wait to dive into Carla's Drawing Lab book.The back cover beckons: "introduce more creativity and nonsense into your art and life". Who doesn't need more of either? The Artists of the Round Table (ART) community is sponsoring an online workshop featuring this book starting on July 5th. I'm counting the days....Please join us. It's free to anyone who wants to participate. ART offers all kinds of free online workshops- check 'em out if you enjoy artsy pursuits.
And, the most exciting news ever! I'm going back to NYC after 7 years of being away. It's only for a visit but I couldn't be happier (well, I could be happier if Kelly was going but someone needs to tend to the surly mutts) . Museums and old friends and music and theater and street muscians and....well, I'm hungry. I've been away too long.
And OK, despite my whining, there are some things to love about summer:
And it hasn't been that hot yet this year. At least here in southern Oregon. It's been a glorious summer so far. And I'm happy about that. Cheers!