Wednesday, February 28, 2007

February 28th

It's important to give February 28th it's proper due. February 29th gets a lot of play because it only makes an appearance once every four years. It gets to strut onto the calendar, kick sand in the face of the 28th, and take it's place as the Last Day of the Month. For February 28th this means there will never be anything beyond a three-year streak as Last Day of the Month. What a sad state of affairs.

Let's hear it for February 28th....

Monday, February 26, 2007

A Wonderful Monday Surprise

Headed over to Goodwin's for lunch. Delighted to find the mushroom bisque soup on the menu. It's a given that if they're offering it, I'll have it with a half a turkey reuben. Stepped up to check out, and the owner started to ring me up and then changed his mind, "You're one of my regular, good customers. Lunch is on me."

Sweet! Thanks!

That's Goodwin's on Franklin just south of Lake.

What a great day...smiles all around.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sneak Preview of 2-24

This was a bit of a breakthrough sketch for me. It was a quick 5-minute thing (ok, maybe 10), but I saw the shapes and values very quickly and I was able to process them and put them on the paper faster than usual. It really flowed.

Datebook 2-16 thru 23

"The wisest men follow their own direction." —Euripides (484-406 B.C.)

EDM #18: The view from my office (at least part of it). It also inspired a Nanism: Seeing the sky in the city is very often a matter for reflection. I know, I apologize. I just couldn't resist.

"I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult." —Rita Rudner

Because why wouldn't I draw a poodle?

"They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me sad that I'm going to miss mine by just a few days." —Garrison Keillor

One of my Uncle Pete's stained glasses. This was an early trial piece of his. I have another hanging above the sink in my kitchen.

"When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves." —Confucius (551-479 B.C.)

"To find a fault is easy, to do better may be difficult." —Plutarch (46-120 A.D.)

I won't tell you who I was trying to sketch on the 16th, the results are terrible. I suppose we'll just have to scratch it up to practice.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

New Valances Completed

You heard about them long enough. Here they are!

Notice the fish. This fish was caught by yours truly in 1972 on a fishing trip with dad. Same taxidermied fish was nearly confiscated by same dad for failure to display properly. What better display than a shelf built with dad?

Valance number 2 is also in the office. Displaying the piggy bank that used to jingle with the sound of childhood riches.

Valance number 3 is my very favorite, and as a result it occupies the honored position above my bedroom window. I love the grain of this particular lumber.

Closet "After"

A trip to the Container Store, some power tools, a dispassionate disposal of clothing, and a little elbow grease constitute anti-gravity in this particular case.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Illo Friday "Gravity"

I was in bed reading last night when there was a horrendous crash. Peering over the top of my book revealed the bare supports for my closet shelf. Peering around the side of my book revealed the shelf askew atop a jumble of clothes in the bottom of my closet.

That which the supports had faithfully sustained for 11+ years finally became too heavy for them, and they shrugged the burden off their shoulders by wittingly sacrificing a portion of the wall to which they themselves were fastened. There is something sinister there, but far more disturbing is the heap of chaos I must now wrestle into some semblance of order again—no small feat, and sacrifices will have to be made. Some articles of clothing will not be returning to the closet.

On the upside, never have I had a more perfect illustration to submit to Illustration Friday before. Might I suggest that next week's word be a bit less calamitous than this week's "gravity?" Perhaps "puppy" or "unmitigated joy and riches"—or something along those lines? Thanks very much.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Artist's Date

I finished off an artist's date project I'd started last weekend. I did the sketch last weekend and today I painted it and took a photo. I didn't use the photo for the watercolor, nor did I do the watercolor in that room.

Thanks for stopping by!

DB 2-14 and 15

To love deeply in one direction makes us more loving in all others.
—Anne-Sophie Swetchine

Great minds think alike. My Aunt Peg and I both turned our hands to drawing a rose. Here's hers Dcpeg's Valentine's Rose.

I'm really rather pleased with the rose. Worthy, even, of a close up:

DB 2-12 and 13

Your memory is a monster; you forget—it doesn't. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you—and summons them to your recall with a will of it's own. You think you have a memory, but it has you!" —John Irving

This monster started as the usual watercolor something-whatever on the spread. Memory and imagination conjured the purple people eater. The eyes were inspired by Stefen Bucher's monster series.

DB 2-10 and 11

But we shall play a game of Chess,
Pressing lidless eyes and
Waiting for a knock upon the door."

—T.S. Eliot

The quote is the complete antithesis of the emotions associated with game night at Joyce's. But sometimes the dramatic contrast makes the experience that much more poignant. Trident anyone?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Datebook 2-4 thru 9

The 4th was a very difficult day—better luck next year, Bears. Things didn't get much better on the 5th because of the deep freeze. I awoke to frozen pipes and no cable! I'm happy to report the pipes thawed and the cable is back on.

The spread for the 6th and 7th stayed blank until Friday. I put the quote on the page, and just couldn't seem to live up the the drama of the color and quote. I really wasn't in such a bad mood on Friday, but the darkness doesn't go away in the light it just hides in the shadows.

Thursday's scribble is a rescheduled lunch date. Friday's art was done from memory. Had a lovely lunch at Lalo's, and the tile art was on the wall next to our booth. The colors were much more vivid on the tiles, and the original had beautiful detail too. Still, this little watercolor brings the original fresh to my mind when I see it.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Illo Friday "Sprout"

Colored pencil in my Moleskine datebook. Scroll down a bit and you can see the full spread. I did a quick electronic cleanup to isolate the little sprouts.

Datebook Catch-Up

It's been a while, but I've still been doodling away. The quote for the 29th-30th reads, "Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen." —Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

The quote f0r the 31st and 1st comes from a somewhat sillier source, but resonates with profundity: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye." —Miss Piggy

Finally, a word from H.D. Thoreau via his 2-Feb-1854 journal entry, "Is not January the hardest month to get through? When you have weathered that, you get into the gulfstream of winter, nearer the shores or spring."

Considering the cold streak we're experiencing, I'd have to add the February might be a little tough too, but I'd like to think we are nearer to spring.

I broke a cardinal rule with my box of tea sketch. I did the drawing in pencil, and then added colored pencil. This always makes for a "muddy" result—naughty me. Sometimes I just need to repeat the mistakes to remind myself of them. Good thing I'm not a brain surgeon.

I'm calling the trip up to dad's yesterday to finish the valances my artist date for the week. I applied a couple of coats of polyurethane to them, and I did it very artistically (if I may say so myself). Pictures of the results will be posted when I mount them above the windows.

Thanks for stopping by!