Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Diva's Weekly Challenge: Year of the Goat

This week's Diva Challenge is to do a tile, in the style of your choosing, to celebrate Chinese New Year on Thursday.  This year is the Year of the Goat, or the Year of The Sheep, depending on who you ask.  I love both goats and sheep but I can draw a better sheep so that's the one I picked. Throw in a couple of Chinese Lanterns among the tangles and it didn't take me long. Especially since it's only artist trading card size. Fun!

It was good to work on a smaller sized piece since I have been working on a 3' by 2' piece for a couple of weeks now.  I got a hugantic piece of beautiful rice paper and laid it on the kitchen table.  You know how some people have a table with a jigsaw puzzle going all the time?  Same concept only no puzzle, just a big piece of paper to doodle a way at when I have a few (or a lot) of minutes to spare. Doesn't look that big in the pic, but it seems huge compared to the stuff I usually work on which can be as small as 1.5" square! There is no rhyme or reason, I just doodle whatever I like, whenever I like, where ever I like and hope it all gels together in the end.  

One side has some vines and lady bugs...

The other has some Sanibel leaves and weird flowers.  I am thinking about putting bare branches in that big circle, like silhouettes against a full moon, but I haven't decided yet. 

There's Widgets in a grid, ticket stubs in a row and stuff going everywhere. Even I don't know how it's going to turn out!

I'm really liking the free flow concept, but the rice paper sure isn't easy to draw on. It seems to have some kind of sizing or waxy coating that makes the pens skip (probably a good thing or it would suck ink up like a sponge, and the pieces of veggie matter rip your pen nibs up. It's gorgeous paper but not for this project. Were I to do it over, I would have purchased a piece the same size, but a natural or ecru, cold press, watercolor paper since I'm using white,brown, and red in addition to black. Anyway, live and learn, and it's just for fun anyway.  It's helping to keep the cabin fever at bay a little. I tend to zone out when I doodle. It's a good thing or I'd be climbing the bell tower by now without it. Spring can't come too soon!

What are you doing to 'wait it out' for spring?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tropical Therapy

Is was a cold and blustery day here in Madison
High winds causing white out conditions from the skiff of snow we got last night and -30 wind chill factors.

I had to be out and about in it because I had an oil change appt. at 9AM. It was nearly impossible to get out of bed as I lay listening to the wind howl outside. So I decided that since I was going to be halfway to it anyway, I would drop into Olbrich Gardens for a little mid-winter tropical therapy.

The parking lot was chock-a-block full when I got there at 10AM and I almost turned the car around and headed right back home since the best available space was quite a distance from the door, but I sucked it up and went in anyway. Come to find out, the reason that it was so crowded was that there was a fine arts craft show going on! I spent a few minutes looking at all of the pretties; pottery, weaving, paintings and jewelry before I went into the conservatory. BONUS!!!

When I went to get a ticket to go inside, I found out that it was FREE before noon today! BONUS BONUS! I ditched my winter jacket, scarf, hat and gloves, and stepped through the doors. The first lung-full of air relaxed me instantly; warm, damp, green...delicious.  Everywhere you looked there was lushness...

And color...

And more color....


And soothing calm...

And the sweet sounds of birds...

And the soothing, trickling water

 I spent over an hour wandering around, sitting on various benches and standing on the bridges by the water with my eyes closed enjoying the sounds. It was a magical remedy for the winter blues!

Sturgeon Bay Speed Racer

I was in Sturgeon Bay over the weekend and went to see the Third Ave Playhouse's matinee of Shooting Star with Doug Mancheski and Amy En...