Sunday, December 26, 2010

Illustration Friday - Winter

Walking in a Minion Wonderland!

Do you know that it is virtually impossible to purchase any kind of merchandise from the movie "Despicable Me"?  My husband is a five year old when it comes to Christmas.  All he wanted wanted was minions for his desk at work and there are none to be found anywhere.  Its not that people are snatching them up, its that none were ever made in the first place.  Soooo...loving wife that I am, I produced these three out of polymer clay just in time for Christmas.  I had to bar my husband from my studio and swear my son to secrecy, but they turned out to be a rather big hit.  Add a bit of wintry background, a couple of snowballs, and I ended up with a IF entry to boot.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

One More Cake

Just playing around with marshmallow fondant.  I can't stand the stuff that comes in a box, but this stuff is passable.  I am starting to convince myself that I could make my daughter's wedding cake.  After all, it is just sculpting with flour and sugar.  I love to sculpt!  This is a little 6 inch cake, which would be about the size of a top wedding cake tier.  Fresh flowers and real ribbon (no polka dots) would be beautiful!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Missed Opportunities, Baking and the Holidays!

We have one more week of school before the end of the semester and Christmas break.  Kids and teachers are anxious for the R and R.  I have been completely remiss in participating in Illustration Friday, but I still mull over ideas every week when the email with the new word arrives.  This last week I even went so far as to photograph my Schleich Mammoths for the word "prehistoric" while waiting on dinner with Todd at Dairy Queen.  I had good intentions to turn them into an illustration, but alas....well, I hate excuses, especially my own.

On the tastier side, I spent much of yesterday researching wedding cakes for my daughter Bailey.  This (of course) gave me a strong hankering for something tasty and sweet.  Since I was awake this morning at the usual 5:00 am, I got up and made an absolutely yummy carrot cake.  I had two pieces of it for breakfast and I am now in a diabetic coma.   I hate to cook, but I love to bake.  Other people love you when you bake, so it is a much more positive and indulgent experience.  Below is the end result of my morning labors in the kitchen.  Cakes are so pretty, even if you don't have the appropriate stands and plates to display them on (which I don't).

Happy Holidays everyone!  The nature girl in me has decided to celebrate winter solstice on December 21st.  I would love to hear from anyone who has a tradition of celebrating this celestial event.  Please leave a comment about what traditions you observe and the symbolic meanings behind them.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How to Fold a Japanese Origami Peace Crane

I am presenting the Put Up A Crane Peace Project as a workshop at the Texas Art Education Association's annual conference on Saturday.   I produced this short video so other teachers can use it in their classrooms and just as a reminder on how to fold origami cranes.  For more information on this project check out my earlier blog posts:

I realized after I made the video that I didn't mention what size paper I was using.  It is the size of a standard 6x6 inch origami square. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Marfa/Marshall Photography Exhibit

Our little one day photography show at the Lindale Library was both a pleasant day and a palpable success.   Somewhere around 50 people visited the exhibit during a 6 hour period.  In addition to being an opportunity to exhibit our own photographs in a public setting,  Mr James and I were able to talk to the public about our goals and efforts for further developing our art program at the high school.  I couldn't have wished for a nicer day.

Below are the photographs which were included for my half of the exhibit.  All of these photographs were taken in and around the town of Marshall, Texas over the course of a few weekends in September and early October.

 These first two are of the old barn on my family's farm

 These three are of the old burned out Sam Houston School

 From a neighborhood in town

 The side of the Texas and Pacific engine in front of the railroad station.

 Madonna in the parking lot of the Catholic church

Waiting on the side tracks

The images below are photographs which didn't end up in the show but which I think give an additional feel for the historic town of Marshall.  I hope you enjoy my small photographic tribute to a town near to my heart.  Click on any photograph to enlarge it.

According to my father, the name of the shrub growing here in the corner of the old ice house is "Piss Ellum".  Apparently it reeks of pee when you burn it.  The morning sun made it look like it was on fire, but luckily there is no smell associated with morning sunlight. :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I love love love this new app!

Did I happen to say that I love this new app for iphone.  Well I really do.  It is called Instagram, it is free, and it turns your cheesy camera photos into vintage Polaroid style images.  It has a number of different filters so you can adjust the look of the image to fit the saturation and mood you prefer.  Below are some of my early test pics.  If you own an iphone, I highly recommend that you give this app a try.  Versions for other smart phones are in the works.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Illustration Friday - Spooky

A twelfth hour posting for Illustration Friday.  These are three more sketches using the LiveSketch app on my iPhone.  You can't help but end up with spooky images using this app.  Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Upcoming One Day Photography Exhibit

This is one of about ten photographs that I will be exhibiting alongside the work of my colleague Walter James at the Lindale Library in a couple of weekends.  He had taken a number of photographs in the town of Marfa, Texas over the summer, and I have been spending a lot of time in the town of Marshall, Texas where my family owns a farm.  Walter thought it would be a good idea to put up a one day exhibit of images from both towns.  The names of the towns have a nice ring together.  Marfa is representative the western side of the state while Marshall is typical of East Texas.

I really loved the distorted visage of this poorly repaired Madonna, as well as the intense turquoise of her painted robe.  The day was bright and clear and the paint color perfectly complemented the cerulean blue sky behind her

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Illustration Friday - Beneath

Beneath a Pale Blue Sky: "Alchemy at the Edge"
24 x 48 Acrylic and Metal Leaf on Canvas

This is a recently completed painting that was juried into an upcoming exhibit at Gallery Main Street in Tyler, TX.  I am having a lot of fun participating in the themed exhibits that the gallery hosts, and have even resumed selling a bit of art.  If you are in the Tyler area, the show opens on Oct 28th.  Please drop by for a visit.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Illustration Friday - Acrobat

Digital sketches using the Ap "Live Sketch" on my iPhone

My son found this free ap a week or so ago and downloaded it onto my phone for me  I really like the charcoal look of it and the fact that you are forced to work loosely.  You are drawing with your finger on a 2x3 inch screen after all.  Of course it is such a small image that the resolution is not great, but on the iPhone it looks fine.  This week's word made me think of the acrobatic manuevers that birds manage while in flight. I am awed by the flight of the swallows that come back to my house year after year, as well as the redtailed hawks that take nose dives from nearby telephone poles. (Usually to pounce on a windblown leaf)

I took a good month and a half break from IF but hope to still contribute on a semi-regular basis.  I am finding myself more and more busy with teaching, producing art for a local gallery, and working on a masters degree so I will have to balance my time a bit more carefully.  Below are a couple of more images from this sketch ap.  Kinda scary but fun!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Illustration Friday - Artificial

3.5 x 2.5 inches ATC
colored pencil on toned paper

Some of the synonyms for artificial are: man-made, artful, cunning, imitation, sham.  Man has been imitating nature for a very long time.....

Friday, July 23, 2010

Illustration Friday - Double

Double Thunderhead - Crayon on Manila Paper

Well since I reached my one year goal last week, I thought I would use this week's word to finally make a banner for my blog and give it a design overhaul.  Blogger is starting to offer a lot more options for those of us who are technologically challenged.  I also decided that I would use a traditional public school art media, the good old Crayola Crayon.  Even though I rarely put crayons in my high school student's hands, I think they are as worthy and useful a medium as any available.  Nothing makes me happier than a brand new box of crayons!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Illustration Friday #52! - Breakfast

IHOP Breakfast
water media on rag paper, 9 x 12


This weeks illustration is my 52nd consecutive weekly submission to Illustration Friday, meaning I have reached my goal of participating for a full year!  This week's word was a bit of a bonus since it gave me an excuse to visit my favorite breakfast restaurant, The International House of Pancakes, or as most Americans know it, IHOP.  My husband John and I went for breakfast yesterday morning as a sort of mini celebration for having made it through the whole year.  

As you can see, I had one of my favorite selections, the stuffed french toast combo, with scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns,strawberry stuffed french toast, and ironically, a diet Coke. :) (I'm not a coffee drinker)  John had something called loaded minion taters that IHOP is promoting with the "Dispicable Me" movie that recently came out.  His came with a tater tot casserole, scrambled eggs, pancakes, and an added side of bacon.  

We came hungry.  We left happy!