Thursday, December 29, 2005

Some little birdies

This is an experiment using some of the textures in Photoshop. Brice, gave me a little tutorial last night, and I watched with amazement all the things he could make the computer do. I felt honored just to have the undivided attention of my teenage son, who is a reluctant genius and a brilliant artist as well. After about half an hour, I had reached the limits of what my feeble brain could absorb, it was all too "magical", for lack of a better word. I remember only a fraction of what he showed me, but at least I have a better idea of what this Art Machine can do, and at least I know a few more tricks!

The image below is my approximation of a digital replication of a cloth "painting" I did when I was a kid. The original is long gone, but I remember it fondly. The birds were made of felt, glued onto a burlap background, and outlined in black string. This one looks a little bit like a painted canvas topped with cake icing, but it definitely has a 3-D look to it.

I can only dream of achieving Brice's level of digital art skills, but I will continue to learn and experiment.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

More holiday fun!

This is a picture of my house, taken in late winter a couple of years ago. Except for the rainy season, which can be unpredictable, this is what winter looks like in Southern California, (unless you live in the mountains, which we don't.) I have always had a fantasy about having it snow in my own front yard.

Thanks to the miracle of Photoshop, and a little help from Brice, my fantasy has come true. Our front yard has been transformed into the quintessential Winter Wonderland!

It would have been good for last week's Illustration Friday theme, imagine, too.

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 23, 2005


Edible art for Illustration Friday

Made with stuff left over from this project. What you don't see is how much I ate while I was building it!

Have a merry one, everybody.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Old artwork for Illustration Friday.

I have always had a thing for mushroom houses. Who might live in such a place, I wonder?

I was a senior in high school when I painted this, and it hung on my bedroom wall for a couple of years.

So anyway, I pinned it up to my backyard fence this morning and took a picture of it, loaded it into my computer to crop the chainlink from the edges, and brighten the faded colors just a bit in Photoshop. It was then that I discovered a bee had landed on the painting and gotten into the photo. I went ahead and left it in there. You can see it near the lower left corner, between two clover leaves. We can imagine that the bee might like to live in a nice house like that.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Some holiday sweetness

Today in Mrs. W's class, where I volunteer, the kids made gingerbread houses. Actually, they're grahm-cracker houses, "glued" onto a milk carton foundation with ready to spread frosting. But they are great fun to look at, in all their sticky, goopy glory.


Equally fascinating for me were the "building materials" in all their colorful, jumbled glory. Each child had a plate piled with these sweets.

I especially liked these bright pink ones.

These purple gumdrops are like little gems.

The children ate plenty of the candy, of course, while they were putting them together, and several told me they planned to eat the whole house after they brought it home. I guess they saw their creations as food more than art. Fortunately, I got custody of much of the leftover building materials, and I hope to put my own house together later this week. I gotta get more of those pink wafers, though. The kids used them all up.

Another holiday-themed idea spinning through my head is the image of dozens of beautiful shiny ornaments hanging on their sales display in a local store. I went into the store today, and was mesmerized by their beauty as they hung, side by side and row by row. I wish I could have taken a picture of them. I asked the saleslady if I could come back with my camera. She referred me to the store manager, who nicely told me it was against store policy, but I could enquire with their corporate office if I wanted to.

I sent their corporate office an email explaining my artistic desires. I told them I wasn't looking for company secrets and the photos were for my own personal use. We'll see what they say, but I'm not holding my breath.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


New artwork for Illustration Friday

When you're swinging through the jungle, you better make sure what you're grabbing is actually a vine!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


I heard a story about this on The World (Public Radio, people!!)

Welcome to

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Boston Terrier pincushion

This cute little guy was rescued from Eleanor's house last month. I think he was hand made by Uncle Noah in the 1940's or '50's.

So many little things like this, seemingly insignificant, lost to the decades of junk and clutter. I only found him on what would be one of our very last "expeditions," when we knew our time was limited, and in unspoken urgency we peeked inside the boxes and cupboards that we had already written off, "just in case."

I found him in a little cookie tin with a few sewing supplies. He had a couple of rusting needles in his back. Jerry said he remembered playing with it when he was little.

I didn't really want to keep it so much as I just didn't want it tossed out or relegated to the liquidator. I felt that I would honor its humble existence, and Eleanor's memory, by finding someone who would treasure it. I decided to look among the caring population of a Boston Terrier forum, where I found many eager takers. I agreed to send the little fellow to the first responder, and so I will, in the next few days.

Saturday, December 03, 2005


New artwork for Illustration Friday

Artificial blue food coloring, here displayed in one of its most popular forms.