Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Still Practising, cont....

I promised I would post some of the artwork I've been working on for the last few weeks. Not much to show for all the time that's passed -- I've been busy with other things!

But I am still practicing. Here's the proof! The scan quality of all of these is not the greatest. This is my version of the original I posted some weeks ago. I got really bored with this one, after I had drawn the cat and dog, and finally put it aside. I may finish it one day!
My first attempt at a profile -- not bad, but she has quite a perky nose!!
I copied this one from a Phillip Keller book. I love the scene, and it actually turned out better than it appears here.
Finally, this one was great for practicing the art of shading and dimension.

I think it might be a while before I get to those oil paints, although I did buy some small canvases today -- so it's on my mind.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Few of My Favourite Things!

My birthday this year was a milestone -- 65!

A lot of good wishes

A little closer to heaven

A little bit more money from the government

Some possible discount perks (restaurant meals etc)

A good excuse to have a party
(well, we celebrated five family birthdays, actually!)

And some awesome gifts!

The first one, from DOTH (Daughter of the House):

She took me to see the stage version of my favourite movie

at the Princess of Wales theatre:
I LOVE the story of the von Trapp family, and even though my family groans, I watch the movie every Christmas. I think I could probably be the understudy for each role, I've watched it so many times. I've also read the book -- the real story -- which reads a little different from the movie.

I was apprehensive about the stage version; wasn't sure they could do it justice.

We had amazing seats - a perfect location! And I was very pleasantly surprised. They did an awesome job! The actors and actresses were perfect for their roles, with Maria and Captain von Trapp sufficiently romantic but not icky, and the children precocious but lovable. Considering the limitations of the stage, the scenery was absolutely stunning!

If you've not seen it yet, you must -- you'll not be disappointed.
For me it was the perfect birthday gift!

My one and only son, who loves to keep me technologically updated, gave me this:

Any idea what it is? Me neither, when I first opened it up.
It's called "My Passport" and it's a portable hard drive -- 250 GBs worth!

It's like a glorified memory stick -- a little larger; about 12x8 cms (5" x 3"), one centimetre (1/2") thick. It is awesomely useful. If I am going somewhere where I will have access to a computer, I don't have to lug my lap-top along, I just pop My Passport into my purse -- it's got all the data from my computer on it -- and plug it into any computer's USB port. Son One-and-Only knew I was about to start a new book project, and this is the perfect accessory.

Older Daughter (OD) also knew how to reach my heart (and challenge my abilities):

I think my sister might be a bit envious of this one. An artist's studio, all in one -- 117 pieces. It has acrylic paints, oil paints, watercolour paints, coloured pencils, watercolour pencils, oil pastels, drawing pencils, paint brushes, an eraser and sharpener. Wow! This gift is going to hold me accountable. I've never used most of those art mediums, but now I don't have any excuse. Maybe this is what will help me through the upcoming long, cold, and probably very snowy winter. I can't wait to begin!

My kids sure know how to take care of their mom!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A 'Magical" Art Gallery

I'm going to take you on a little tour today.

DOTH (Daughter of The House) and I spent a few sunny days in the Haliburton Highlands at the end of August. Known as 'cottage country,' the area is a wonderland of lakes, hills, beautiful waterfront properties, forests, bird watchers, fishermen, swimmers, boats and jet skis, skiing and snowmobiling in the winter....and I could go on and on.

One is never at a loss for something to do, and its warden, Dave Burton, calls Haliburton "A Natural Work of Art."

And speaking of art, not that I am a connoisseur or anything, but while we were there, we went to see a wacky kind of art display.

This is where it was:
Yup! In a forest. And it only gets a little more crazy from here.

That's DOTH on the left, lagging behind the rest of the tour group, waiting for mom, the avid photographer.

So, fasten your seat belts and let's head for the first exhibit.

This one's called "Fire and Ice: A Really Big Shoe"
It's a "steel and wire two metre tall stiletto shoe, adorned with red and crystal beads." No pun intended, but you do see where we're going here, don't you!

This is called "The Homesteaders"

It's "...a family created from old telephone poles and farm implements." The guy in the straw hat is not part of the family -- he's our tour guide.

(by the way, there were 20 exhibits, I am just showing you a chosen selection - you might be grateful)

This is "a large beaver contemplating a lamp post." Sorry, I didn't get the lamp post in the photo as I didn't realize its significance until I read the brochure later!

I wouldn't like to say what the tour guide thought of this one....but it's called "A Walk in the Woods in Haliburton." No nudity laws in Haliburton, I guess!'s official description is "a stylized limestone hiker holding a bronze cast of a maple leaf." it Adam, or Eve?

This is "Shelter Shift"

"a brightly coloured wooden 3D representation of a child's sketch of a house." Ah...right. You will notice how intelligent we are all looking, as we ooh! and aah! over it.

These are titled "Curled Figures Mounted on a Large Boulder"

Sorry, but they look to me like they have a bad case of gastro-enteritis.

Just a couple more. This is "Sleep of the Huntress."

Here is her official description: "woman sleeping in Belmont rose granite" -- honest!

This is Shadow Caster:

Officially "a giant skeletal articulated pine cone crafted out of steel." I don't really get the title -- how much shadow could this cast?

Finally, my favourite -- if I have to have a favourite -- "Kinnisis: Horse and Rider"

"Near life-sized horse and rider, created out of small cuts of steel, painted bright blue."

Like I said, I am no connoisseur, and I realize that art comes in all different mediums and has a variety expressions -- but I think I would have preferred to enjoy the art of the forest without the art...indeed as, "A Natural Work of Art."