Friday, October 2, 2015

More Sketchbook Explorations

More from my online class with Lisa Congdon, Sketchbook Explorations. This class is really exciting to me. This is done in watercolors and it was like old home week for me. Watercolor used to be my medium many years ago. Since then I have worked in oils and acrylics mostly. But the watercolors really feel like home to me. The colors all come easily to me since they were part of my DNA. Viridian, alizarin, aureolin. I don't even have to think about them. They just mix on my plate.

My darn left handed tilt is a little annoying though.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sketchbook Explorations

You know how much I love taking classes online. Anytime Lisa Congdon offers a class I am right there to take it. Her classes are really fabulous. Not only is she a great teacher, but she goes slowly so that you can really get a feel for her meditative process. I took her first sketchbook explorations class a few months ago and now I am taking her second one.

Her classes are really the only ones I can take lately. I have been so stressed out with everything that has been going on that I cannot concentrate or focus for long periods at a stretch. In fact I had signed up this summer for the third section of the Make It in Design school class called "Monetizing your Designs"  when the shit storm hit my life full throttle and I might as well have been trying to learn to speak Latin. There was no way to concentrate on that class and so I ended up losing a lot of money.

So I have been extremely careful about taking online classes right now and I know that I can do Lisa's classes since the repetition is very helpful to my fragile mental state right now.

In a couple of weeks this could all be over or not. I am going to try and continue my swims, my art and seeing friends. Those things help.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


I haven't worked in gouache in many years so I am re-learning how to work with them. I love the creamy consistency and the lovely flat matte colors that I am able to get. They are also easy to clean up and I can work here at my desk by the window in my bedroom without getting paint all over the place. I do miss my messy acrylics but the gouache will do for now.

Still working very abstractly and with mostly meditative and  repetitive strokes.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Summer is Over

We are back from Tucson now and my computer is fixed. On my last day there my computer hard drive failed completely. I took it to the genius bar at La Encantada Mall but they would have had to keep it for a few days and I was leaving the very next day, so I brought it home dead and took it to the Apple store here in Boston.

Luckily I had backed it up just a few days before I left for Arizona so no data was lost and my photos were all backed up on the cloud so I didn't lose anything.

I did do some drawing while I was out there. I was mesmerized by the deep maroon colors of the prickly pear fruit. In Florida the fruit was a lightish pink, so quite different. I couldn't sit out on the porch to draw though as I usually do since it was much too hot out there. Even with both ceiling fans going at full speed! It was like sitting in a convection oven!

All the cacti are so plump when it rains out there though. They all look quite happy.

There is still a lot of stress in my life right now which I can't/don't want to speak about. Suffice it to say that we are all under extreme duress and my artwork has really taken a back seat. Hopefully it will come back at some point and I will be able to concentrate on my work again. But not right now.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Summer in Tucson

Desert Spiny Lizard at Tohono Chul Park

The heat is on here in Tucson but it is still delightful to be here in our new home for the small slice of time that we have. We haven't been here since April and the house was needing our TLC just as much as we were needing the peace we feel here. We really do feel like we are home here. Boston doesn't feel that way anymore. We don't even say "back home". We say "back east."

We have been taking our grandson around to some local places that we have been to as well as some we had never been to. We visited the Pima Air and Space Museum for the first time. We all really liked it. It is a fascinating place. Especially the tour of the "Boneyard". When you see it for the first time, it makes you realize how much money we spend on war! Yikes! Your tax dollars at work!

We also spent a day on Mount Lemmon and my grandson and I took the ski lift to the top! The views were amazing but my camera was full and so I couldn't take any photos. I will just have to go back! Which I will once we are out here for good.

We also introduced him to a few of our favorite restaurants. The Westward Look, El Charro and Risky Business to name a few.

We are enjoying the pool in the morning and evening. Daytime is too hot to be outside. The rains are amazing! And the lightning displays beyond description.

I will be sad to go "back east" but counting the days until our next visit home......

Friday, August 21, 2015

California Garden

A few years ago when I visited my aunt in California, I took photos of all of her garden statuary. They hide in every nook and cranny of her incredible yard. I had these photos sitting on my computer until recently when I was inspired to add some of my digital art to them and combine them in photoshop! Et voila!

 See you in September!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pattern #234

This pattern began with this simple sketch. I am enthralled with triangular shapes right now. The possibilities are endless.

Next weekend we head out to Tucson for 12 days. Camp will be over and school starts on September 4th so this is the last chance we will have to get out there before Christmas school vacation. Please don't tell me how hot it is going to be. I already know that. But I need to see my house and know that it is still there for me. I need it more than ever right now.

Our summer has been so stress filled and traumatic that we are hoping this will be a good get-away for the three of us.

We are planning to do things where air conditioning is available. The Pima Air and Space Museum is something we have never done yet and I think my 15 year old grandson will like that. Also the Titan Missile Silo Museum. I would like to get out to the Desert Museum but getting him up early enough before the heat sets in could be an issue. They do have things going on on Saturday nights there as well when it is a bit cooler. He is a bit of a night owl and so perhaps we will spend some time staring up at the stars.

I also would like to visit the U of A campus. They have a planetarium there as well as a tour of the Mirror Lab that sounds quite interesting. I am going to treat it like a bit of a college tour to get him inspired for his future.

We won't be able to go hiking but we can drive up to Mount Lemmon. I have never been there either because when we go in winter there is snow up there and who wants to see that? Not me. But summer up there is supposed to be quite lovely and cooler.

So we will find things to do. Of course a trip down to Tubac will be most welcome. I will find lovely, colorful things for my home in Tucson.......

Perhaps we will even finally be able to experience some monsoon weather as well.........