artaboutthoughtsjournalfun
Monday, March 22, 2010 8:32 AM

Illustration Friday: Expired

If I planned everything out in advance, I'd expire of boredom.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010 8:38 AM

crocus-minded

(I'm posting an older entry from 2005 today - it still really speaks to me. Maybe it's something you need to hear today as well.)

Crocus-Minded
by Jo Sorley


It takes courage to be crocus-minded.

God, Iíd rather wait until June,
Like wise roses,
When the hazards of winter are safely behind,
and Iím expected,
and everythingís ready for roses.

But crocuses?
Highly irregular.


Knifing through hard-frozen ground and snow,
and sticking their necks out,
because they believe in spring
and have something personal and emphatic to say about it.

God, I am by nature rose-minded.
Even when I have studied the situation here
and know there are wrongs that need righting,
affirmations that need stating,
and know also that my speaking out may offend...
for it rocks the boat...
Well, Iíd rather wait until June.
Maybe later things will work themselves out,
and we wonít have to make an issue of it.

God, forgive,
Wrongs donít work themselves out.
Injustices and inequities and hurts donít just dissolve.
Somebody has to stick her neck out,
Somebody who cares enough to think through and work through hard ground,
because she believes and has something personal and emphatic to say about it.

Me God?

Crocus-minded?

Could it be that there are things that need to be said, and you want me to say them?
I pray for courage.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010 1:05 PM

now with a side order of cute



Allow me to present Sophie's lunch! This proved to be such a hit at school yesterday that she has requested the same lunch for the next two days as well. Some of the girls at her table didn't want her to eat it because it was too cute! I forgot to show her little bottle of water... My goal is for her to have healthy lunches, but if we can get in an extra helping of cute then so much the better. It's amazing what a few strokes of pencil or a fun shape of food can do to make lunches more appealing. :)

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010 2:41 PM

Last chance to see my watercolors at the library

There are only a few days left to get to the Westfield Memorial Library and see some fairies up close and personal! I'll be taking down all the artwork this weekend to let some other lucky artist hang her work up.

For those of you not in the area, the lovely people at the library graciously recorded a short movie so you can pretend you're there, having a walkthrough. Grab a book and settle in a comfy chair for the full effect.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010 8:29 AM

Me and Mr. Spock



I've mentioned a mindshift for 2010 - and this year, I have a mascot.... more like a mentor. His name is Spock. Mr. Spock.

You see, this is the way I usually tend to process things:



I'm not even exaggerating here, I wish I was. So now, by thinking WWSD (What Would Spock Do?), instead of freaking out and completely losing it, I'm taking my cue from the pointy-eared one and will first process things with my head instead and let sheer logic consume the over-emotion I would normally react with.



My parents seem delighted with this (Dad thinks it's hysterical), but Paul was sort of horrified. "Don't you think you have to be careful not to swing too far the other way?" he cautioned. I shook my head at him. "Not possible."

And really, my hope is that the Spock-ness will tame the feelings-monster so that everything will even out more like this... (which on some reflection bears a strong resemblance to the flickr logo):

So now when I something goes amiss, instead of throwing up, I channel Spock. I do what needs to be done, explain to myself that I have done everything I can and there is no need to worry about it further, and busy myself with something else and put it out of my mind altogether. Do you think this would work for everyone? Heck no. But so far, it's working for me.

Live long and prosper, everyone.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010 7:21 AM

a giraffe (and a half, to make you laugh)



Continuing the reveal of finished Christmas paintings, Angela's giraffe and baby. Eating leaves, as per her art direction, she was very firm on that.





I've enjoyed painting giraffes in the past... check out this one and this one (both on paper bags, for some reason).

(Throwing this into the Illustration Friday queue as well for "Wilderness". Hi i-Fri-ers!)

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Monday, January 11, 2010 8:29 AM

it's like lightning



I've been super-remiss on posting the in-progress paintings as I went along, but once it got to crunch time, I had to just paint as much as I could, whenever I could. You know how it is.

If Lambey was my favorite painting, this was my least favorite. I'm pleased with the way it came out in the end, but getting there was like pulling teeth.

For some reason, doing Samus was pretty easy - maybe because body armor is more forgiving to paint than a car? There were smaller bits? I'm not sure why, because I figured since they were both computer-generated colorful metallic surfaces I should be able to do a car pretty easily. But no. Maybe it was the extreme foreshortening, maybe it was the fact that Samus's armor was fragmented and Lighting has long stretches of shiny red, or that Samus is pretty un-charismatic and not only does Lightning scream "look at me!" every boy under the age of 7 knows everything about him already.

I think that once I started to add a little texture here and there - the tires, the end of the car, the lights - it started to come together. What matters is that Peter loves it, and that's the only part of it I really care about.

Mr. McQueen, are you ready for your closeup?




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Wednesday, January 06, 2010 9:14 PM

Lambey



I'm finally getting to post all the paintings I did as Christmas presents! (As opposed to last year, where I forgot to scan in any of them until after they were wrapped and I had to settle for snapshots of the happy recipients.) This is hands-down, my favorite of all the Christmas paintings.... Sophie's Lambey.

Anyone who knows Sophie knows that Lambey goes pretty much wherever she goes, except to school. :) He's been stuffed and re-stuffed, loved until his yellow gingham heart and embroidery have all worn away, and though his eyes are a flat black, he manages to keep a wise and patient look about him. When Sophie had surgery at 10 months, she came home and threw herself on Lambey and hugged him like mad, and that's how we knew for sure he was The One. When Sophie had surgery this past summer, Lambey got his own hospital bracelet and was allowed in the O.R. with her while she got anesthesia. Lambey is the real deal.

My challenges for Sophie's portrait of Lambey: well, first of all, it's Lambey. I had to get him just right. He doesn't officially have a mouth, but he has a very sweet expression all the same and I wanted to make sure I caught that. The dent under his nose could be a dent... or a tiny, sweet, smile.

I also was under time constraints - so this painting was completed, from original drawing to finished painting, in one day. A weekday, when I am ferrying kids around and have a regular day of work and make dinner and all that.... I still don't know how I pulled it off, but it's my favorite one so far.

The painting below is from 2005 (or possibly earlier?), when Sophie didn't have hair down to her waist and her big-girl two front teeth and a backpack full of books for first grade yet.

But she did have Lambey.

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Monday, December 14, 2009 8:58 PM

christmas present work in progress: angela's giraffes



I've been so crazy busy plugging along that I haven't even gotten to scan in or keep up with it all! So here is Angela's giraffes in progress. Angela was originally supposed to have a painting of Beethoven, but after looking at reference material with her, she started to get madder and madder that she couldn't find anything that looked exactly like what was in her mind. Hearing that I could take cues from different pictures and put them together only got her angrier so a diversion was needed.

Enter Panda Cam!

From there it was a short step to Panda Kopanda (or Panda! Go! Panda!), and for a while she wanted Papa Panda and Baby Panda with candy canes... and somehow we got to giraffes. I don't quite know how that happened, but I'm so glad that she chose something fun and relatively easy. She has a thing for giraffes (and zebras, and ponies, and unicorns, and unipegs, and in general cute four-footed beings).

I think this is close to being finished, just want to go over it all and give it the details. I think I'm going to look to Richard Scarry for inspiration on this one.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009 6:18 PM

christmas present: samus is done!



That's Miss Samus if you're nasty.



What really surprised me was that full-on body armor is actually easier to draw - and paint - than Cinderella's dress. My guess is that simple is harder. That and I didn't feel right about throwing a heap of glitter on this one.

Up next: Lightning McQueen gets his turn and we'll see how well a car translates in watercolour.

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Saturday, December 05, 2009 10:17 PM

Now at your library: lots of fairies, coffee, and glitter.



Oh hi. I didn't notice you there, I was so busy reading this book about Cezanne and sitting under MY PAINTINGS!!!

It's been quite an exciting day! I will post more photos soon, (and larger) but in the meantime, can you recognize any paintings that are up there? Every one of them has been on this site.

Meanwhile, if you're in the area: Westfield Memorial Library.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009 8:40 PM

christmas present: cindy's done!



So the first present is done - Cinderella's all ready to go to the ball! I was almost done, when I had a brainwave.

She needed some glitter!





It's hard to tell from the scan, but in person, she's downright sparkly.

(Note: this painting will not be available as a print.)

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Monday, November 30, 2009 7:10 AM

christmas present work in progress: Samus + Cindy

Wow, a month of posting every day went by pretty fast! I'm going to keep posting as much as I can, hopefully still every day.

Stick with me?





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Thursday, November 26, 2009 7:30 AM

in thanksgiving



To print out and share. And for before the meal, how awesome is this mix from NPR: Songs for Stuffing? Please pass me some of that Frim Fram Sauce....

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 6:00 AM

french toast girl holiday card extravaganza

Want to send some art? Now's your chance to have gorgeous cards to send out for the holidays and original artwork to keep for yourself, so you get to be both naughty and nice.

Choose 5 card sets and get an 8" x 10" print FREE!
Whether you're looking for something deep and thought-provoking, or artwork to just plain make you laugh, this special's for you! These two paintings are the ones I've gotten the most mail about: the thoughtful girl with a tree and two birds; and the one we like to just call "Fishies." Choose any combination of 5 card sets to send out and pick a print for yourself! Each print measures 8" x 10" and is printed on glossy stock with quality inks. Just let me know which print you want in the field marked "Additional Information."

All cards are professionally printed on glossy stock in full, luscious color. And each card shows one of my original watercolor and colored pencil paintings. Or if you just can't decide which to choose, there's an assorted multi-pack so you can have a little of everything.

Go see the cards and check out those prints right here at the French Toast Girl Shop.

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Friday, November 20, 2009 8:41 AM

who....

paints on carboard t.p. tubes?



That would be me.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009 7:27 AM

what I wore

Yesterday's outfit. Some accessories not pictured: halo, superhero cape, jet pack.

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Monday, November 09, 2009 7:05 AM

Illustration Friday: Blur



Most of 2004 was a blur to me. I had a one-year old who had recently undergone surgery, and then had preemie twins who were born 10 weeks early and came home with heart/lung monitors. I had a day job. And, unsurprisingly, a large case of post-partum depression. I had days where the only way I got through them was the fact that I knew that later on, when the dishes were in the dishwasher and everyone was in bed for a while, that my paints were waiting for me. I seriously have huge dark patches in my memory about that time. But I remember the freedom in those paints.

"I learned, again and again, the lesson of creativity: the painting I make today, the drawing I do today, the poem I do today, is meant to save my life today."
~ Judy Collins, Singing Lessons

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009 8:08 PM

how to make ice cream cake



Note: if you want a crumbly base, use just cookies. If you want it to stick together, mix the cookies with some melted butter and then place in the bottom of the pan. Enjoy! And if you make one, let me know!

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Monday, May 25, 2009 8:54 PM

every day in may: twenty-five



Done! I wasn't finished for Christmas, but the girl who requested this turns 6 tomorrow and I'm going to try to see if I can make a special delivery. :)

XFCO (extreme faery closeup):

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Sunday, May 24, 2009 8:49 PM

every day in may: twenty-four



I think tomorrow will be the last day on this... I don't want to overwork it!

Tomorrow Sophie and the Daisy Scouts will be marching in the Memorial Day Parade! I'm crocheting her a daisy bracelet to wear for it. I can't wait! And wait till you see the photos of the fairy house we've been building in the backyard... :)

People have asked what blues are in that background, and I am embarrassed to say I have no idea! Some of the blues are from my Windsor Newton tiny palette box, and I didn't fill them so I'm not certain what they are. And I really like the one because it gets very grainy very fast on the paper - not sure how to explain it, but it's a neat look. I'm also adding in touches little bits of a blue that's almost a peacock blue, and splashes of brown and purple. Oh - I might have thrown in some green too! See - I'm no good at this. I just sort of wing it. I am really enjoying (and I will try to take slices of each to compare) how in the last 3 paintings I've worked on, the backgrounds are predominantly blue and all of them are very different.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009 8:48 PM

every day in may: twenty-three



Today would have been my boss and friend Rich's 53rd birthday. I got up early and watched the sunrise, and sent much love his way. My heart is full. :)

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Friday, May 22, 2009 8:33 PM

every day in may: twenty-two



Today was Peter and Angela's last day at St. Paul's. They are kindergartners now! Where in the world did the time go?!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:08 PM

every day in may: twenty



Done-done-done-DONE! Done-done-done-DOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNEEEEE!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 10:02 PM

every day in may: nineteen



Soooooooooooooooo close.

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Monday, May 18, 2009 11:07 PM

every day in may: eighteen



Another day, indeed.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009 9:40 PM

every day in may: seventeen



I wasn't even going to bother posting today's effort, since i only had about 5 minutes to paint today. I'm very disappointed. And while I was painting, I had Peter asking me a million questions about why I was doing what I was doing with the paint, and Sophie trying to see and breathing on me and getting her head in front of me so I couldn't see. Not to mention the table-jostling. Not saying that the kids are the reason I didn't paint, but some days the process is smooth and other days it's soooo choppy. Tomorrow's another day.

Day one of recitals is done: lots of driving, cooking, cleaning, and organizing (which also doesn't leave much room for painting in the mix either). A hand slammed in the bathroom door (mine, right hand too) and after much ice applied and tears shed later, I figured today I just wasn't meant to paint. At least I tried.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009 9:12 PM

every day in may: sixteen



I'm really hoping I finish this one tomorrow, but as it's day one of Recital Week, we'll see what happens. Today I also:

  • Finished knitting my legwarmers! And tomorrow is cold enough to wear them! :)
  • Set up three tents in the cavernously empty living room and dining room for adventurers and their fluffies to play in - they will get taken down before recitals, no fear
  • Cleaned the porch and planted several containers of impatients
  • Read the kids a few chapters of Little House in the Big Woods (their favorite part is where Ma slaps the bear)
  • Made chocolate chip pancakes
  • Snuggled on the couch and watched some Old School Sesame Street
It doesn't get any better than that. Really.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009 9:37 PM

every day in may: thirteen



And we're done! I'm quite pleased with this one! Tomorrow's picture is going to definitely be something comPLEEEEEEEEEEEEtely different. I also might be working on two paintings at the same time.... so stay tuned!

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009 9:32 PM

every day in may: twelve



More surface work (notice I had to move the box on the right to see)! I am so close to finishing this... I think tomorrow may be the last work on it. I'm happy with the way it's come out.

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Monday, May 11, 2009 8:12 PM

every day in may: eleven



Veerrrrrrrrrry subtle changes today. Working more on the surface of the water.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009 7:01 PM

every day in may: ten



It was remarked upon at this year's Mother's Retreat that the verse in Paul's letter to Timothy that says "you will be saved through bearing children" could be interpreted a new way. Because of your children and all the things you do for them (show patience, minister to the sick, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, etc.) you are fulfilling the very things Jesus asks us to do. And as a Mom (or Dad, for that matter) you do it every single day. Helps me put things in perspective on crazy days.

Happy Mother's Day, all you creative mamas! Hope your day today has been a lovely one.

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Saturday, May 09, 2009 9:39 PM

every day in may: nine



Closeups:



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ART, iNSPiRATiON, AND WHY LiFE iS LiKE FRENCH TOAST.

 

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