Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Quick Draw

My little art girls came yesterday, but only two of them. We worked on gesture drawings of people in photographs. The idea was to do a fairly quick sketch loosely - trying to get the basic shape and movement.  Adding some shading and details to finish the drawing was part of the process, so that the viewer gets the idea of what is going on. Last week we did a perspective drawing that had two tiny people in the background. My girls did well on the perspective part, since that was the lesson, but their people were not so well. That is why we worked on people sketching. As in all our lessons, we work on drawing what you see and not what you think you see. One of my little art girls gets this. I can see the light-bulb going off - enlightenment happening. It is fun to see her learning. The other girl, well, as in all art classes, there are some who just do their thang - right or wrong. I'm constantly saying things like, "Now you drew a foot, but is that the way the foot looks in the photo?" or "That's hair, but is it her hair?" Although I can see this girl learning, she does not have an eye for drawing. I am hoping her paintings work better when we get to them. Sometimes someone who does not draw well, can paint. Sometimes not. Doesn't really matter, does it? We are hear to have fun.

Here are my three sketches:



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

WTH Moments

Last night while perusing the net and news, I saw this article saying the US signed an agreement to teach immigrants to unionize. I had one of those WTH moments. I'd like to know how others react to this.

Then there was an article on Darren Sharper, an ex-pro football player who has plead guilty to drugging and assaulting/raping nine women in four states. Tell me, why would a good looking young pro football player drug and rape women. In this day and age it shouldn't be too difficult to find willing women for such a guy. So why?? To me, this man is a serial rapist! Yet, in one video I watched, reporters were discussing whether he would still be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and saying there was no rules saying he shouldn't be eligible. What?! After watching all those ads with football players and sports personalities speaking out on "violence against women must stop", it seems the media is taking this latest sports/violence episode rather light. Everyone was horrified (rightfully so) over the Ray Rice video where he punches his girlfriend/wife. But this Sharper had done way worse, and we are hearing nearly nothing. Another WTH moment for me.

I know. There are so many WTH moments in the news, I guess a few more are not big news.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Learning Process

It has been a busy week with Monday being my only free day.What's a free day? I did laundry and housecleaning that day knowing the rest of my week was full. Tuesday was art with my girls.  I worked to get my art room set up for them and then only two showed. I was good with that.

Wednesday I babysat the Grand-Babies while their mom had her doctor appointment. Since it was a fine day to be outside, Toby brought lunch from Burger King and we ate in the backyard. The GGs love Sprite, and so that is what Toby bought for them and Mr T. I'm not sure Mr T had ever had Sprite, because he kept saying "This good!" The GGs and I played a round of croquet - it was great fun. Later while I visited with their mother, the GGs played another round of croquet. Soon they got into a squabble. GBN2 tends to fudge a little - she pushes her ball with her mallet until she gets it where she wants it and then takes her swing. GBN1 told her that was cheating. Squabble. GBN2 dramatically erupted with, "I'm not playing anymore!" She said this over and  over for emphasis. Then GBN1 drolly said, "Well I guess I win." This sent GBN2 over the top as it was meant to do, and she screeched, "It does NOT mean that you won!" Then in unison GBN1 and I said, "Well, yeah, it  kind of does."  My DIL probably thinks I am a horrible parent. GBN1 reminds me so much of her daddy and a bit of her great-uncle (my big brother). It is all a learning process.

Speaking of learning process, yesterday I went to the alternative high school to teach pottery. If you are thinking, "Are you a potter?" You'd be right. My friend, Glenna, teaches art at the alternative school twice a week. Occasionally she has called on me or Jes to come in and help out. Since Jesse is now busy with her own classes, I got the call for pottery. It really went well. There were three classes of five to six students. I did a demonstration and then helped the kids who were willing to give the potter's wheel a go. I really did enjoy myself - playing on the wheel, teaching, and teasing the kids is always fun.  I still have some alternative thoughts to alternative schools, but I won't rant right now. Maybe later :)

Today I will go to town to take the GGs to piano lessons. I'll probably have lunch with Toby. Of course, I'll swing by Wal-Mart, 'cause that is what we country people do.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Dance

Last Friday Toby took a half-day, and we headed over to WF to take his mom to preregister at the local hospital for a little minor surgery coming up.  We spent some time with his mom, ran some errands, and came home that evening. We did the happy dance, because we got everything done on Friday and did not have to go to WF on Saturday as we usually do. But the happy dance was short lived. At 6 AM we got a call that his mom was in the emergency room - nothing serious - has happened before. We just needed to head that way and get her home. So back to WF we went. Such is life.

We did get to spend some time with Jesse, since she was home from her spring-break ski trip.  This pic was taken in Angel fire. This was at the cross country ski area on Bobcat Pass - might make a nice painting.

It is spring here. Things are warming up. Trees and flowers are blooming. Skunks and critters are roaming. We had one skunk that kept coming up into the carport to eat dog food. Our dogs would bark at him from inside their dog house - smart dogs. One day I went out to see what all the fuss was about and nearly walked up to the skunk, but he saw me and sauntered off into the pasture. Now I was onto his ways. The next evening when I heard the barking, I looked out the window and sure enough the skunk was there eating dog food. Then Toby and I did a Keystone Cops routine getting out the door with the gun and the flashlight. Unfortunately, we scared the skunk off before we could get a shot off. Then the next night we did better. We heard the barking, checked outside, saw the skunk, got the gun, got the spotlight, went after the skunk, and killed him dead. Victory dance!

Speaking of critters and spring, I counted nine deer in the pasture yesterday morning. It reminds me of the time when we lived in NM. Toby came in and said, "I saw a herd of elk going to work this morning!" "Really?" I replied, "Where do you think they work?" Bo piped in with, "Did they have their lunch boxes?" Toby stomped off saying, "I hate being married to an English teacher." Bo and I still laugh.

Here is a photo of my dog-eaten phone. There was no saving it or anything on it. If I had your phone number, I do not have it now. We did the ol' switcheroo at the phone store. I now have Toby's old phone and he has a new/old phone. Our friend, Shay, had a replacement phone,older but never used, that he sold us. Since Toby wanted a smaller phone, he took the new one and I got his. I'm happy with that. Maybe I'll dance around.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Fat Mo, My Phone, and Paintings

Well, the dog ate my phone. Literally. Yep, Fat Mo has a bit of an eating disorder. You know - a nervous eater. If we leave him in the house when we go somewhere, he gets nervous and eats something. Usually we put him out when we leave the house. Last night we forgot. As we got in the car to go to church, I said that I had forgotten my phone. But then, who needs their phone at church. And so we drove off. Neither of us thinking about the fact that we left Fat Mo in the house - with the phone. Apparently, he gets up in a chair and noses around until he finds something. I think he is looking for something to eat - like a starving orphan. So far, he has eaten a couple of pens and the ear piece of my reading glasses (it seems that he only gets things that are mine). I'm pretty sure that I left my phone on the coffee table last night. Big mistake.

It is not nearly as funny as my mom's dog which eats anything and everything at any time. Her dog usually gets her bra or panties or bathroom rug and carries them outside to the backyard. Twice he has gotten her false teeth. During the last snow storm, she could not find her upper plate for four days. When the snow melted she found her teeth in the backyard. The really bad thing about her dog, is that the dog eats the furniture. Sometimes my mom remembers to put the dog outside when she leaves the house, but most of the time, she does not remember. Now I have nothing to say. I'm guilty of the same mistake.

In other news:
I've been doing some little watercolors. Here is one I painted from a photo taken in Paris at Luxembourg Parc. The day was cold, but sunny. I loved all the people out and about soaking up the sun. It was a great day in Paris. That link shows some fun photos.  We sat in the sun and ate macaroons. Maybe it is the sun I am craving (maybe the macaroons:) and that is why I also painted a beach scene. Jesse hates it when I copy something from Pinterest, but sometimes I see something that I want to try. It's a learning process. Besides, I don't have many photos of the beach around here. Since I showed the watercolor from Paris, here is a pastel I did from that same day at Luxembourg Gardens.

Do you remember that I mentioned that I was starting a mural? Well, I did start it, but before I started it, I explained to my young friend that it might be better to do a painting on a large canvas. That way, she could keep it forever. As a mural, it would be on the wall of her shop, but if she left that business, it would still be on the wall - probably be painted over. She chose to go ahead with the mural. Here is the start of it. Then my young friend left for a week to go see her boyfriend. When she came back, she had decided that a large canvas would be better. Hmm.I guess it will be painted over.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Mellow Tree Hugger

They say that the longer you are married, the more you look like your spouse. Toby and I may look more alike now than we did 38 years ago, but we still have our differences. When Toby got home from work yesterday, he decided to do some yard work - like trimming trees. We have four young lace-bark elm trees that sprout every which way. They certainly needed trimming. And so after supper I found Toby with a limb-cutter, saw, and some big clippers thangies working on the trees. I thought it would be nice to help him.  I would be wrong.

We started off pretty good, but you have to remember that I am a NM mountain girl. I like lots of bushy trees. I don't mind being surrounded by mountains. They don't obstruct my view. They are the view. I feel the same way about trees. Toby, on the other hand, is a flat-lander - born and raised in West Texas on the Llano Estacado where trees are few and far between. He likes to be able to see for miles. We are very different in our idea of what a tree should look like. Or possibly he is just a man gone wild with the tree cutters. I may have mentioned before how he takes the tree from looking bushy to looking like a cartoon. In fact, he even said himself how the trees now looked like the Grinch's dog.
At one point in our marriage, we lived on a piece of property that needed some serious tree clearing. Toby got an bulldozer to do that. Talk about a boy with a toy! We had a big fight discussion with me wanting the trees to hide the house from the view from the road and him bulldozing everything in sight. I think we finally compromised on that one, or maybe the bulldozer broke down.

Back to my story; after a little tree trimming and me saying, "No, not that one..." a few times, I was beginning to sound naggy. I decided to leave him be with his trees. Besides, NCIS was about to start. The lace-bark elms will sprout new branches and be fine eventually - no need to get my panties in a wad.

I just want to point out that we have been married long enough to look alike and have lots of the same thoughts at the same time, but when we have our differences, I am much wiser in choosing my fights. Those lace-bark elms are not worth the fight. Now my pines are another story. I think Toby has real fear of trimming them. They are my babies - my NM reminders. People in OK often trim them to look like regular trees -they cut all of the lower branches off and leave a little at the top. I say, what the hell? A pine tree should look like a pine tree! I will admit that they need a branch or two cut off from the bottom, but only so the limb does not scrape you off of the lawnmower as you go by. See, I've mellowed in my old age, but I'm still a bit of a hippie.