Musings and Amusings

Posts tagged ‘art’

Mono a Mano

No, that’s not a typo in my title (although I don’t know how to put the accent mark on the ‘a’).

I’ve been tangling a little differently the past couple of weeks – practicing monotangles instead of multiples. Monotangle simply means I cover the entire tile with one pattern, either repeating a pattern in small multiples or using the entire tile to make a pattern once.

That explains ‘Mono“.

Where’s the ‘Mano‘ come in? (more…)

Advertisements

Getting Creative With Creative Blogger Award

I’m woefully behind in acknowledging a few awards I’ve received. I truly appreciate the purpose of these awards and the generous support from my fellow bloggers.

As I’ve written, I have mixed emotions about accepting awards because the work can be quite time-consuming, and sometimes the thought of answering certain questions causes me discomfort. I’m responding to a fun one today while not officially following its rules.

creativebloggersaward1

Joey at Joeyfullystated nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award. Thank you, Joey!

This was certainly an apt award for Joey to receive herself. I think of Joey as my RR&R blogging buddy (surprise, Joey). She Rants, Raves and Reveals – I never know what I’ll be reading when Joey scrolls into view, but I’m always entertained, educated and excited by her writing.

Ever think so much could be written about doors? Just see what Joey has to say.

According to the rules, I’m supposed to tell you five things about myself. I decided to focus on five creative things …

Hear the sound of that screeching halt?

I rarely think of myself as creative. Capricorns plod; we don’t create.

But here goes:

I was a child prodigy as a contemporary artist. Remember those springtime wriggly worms that so fascinated me? Mom tells me  when I was about three and she’d send me out to play, she’d look up and find me breaking off pieces of fresh earthworm and ‘painting’ on our front window. When a piece would dry, I’d just break off another and continue my masterpiece.

Look at that HUGE earthworm. I'm not gonna touch it. YOU touch it!

Look at that HUGE earthworm. I’m not gonna touch it. YOU touch it!

When I was a kid, Dad taught me to ‘laugh’ like a loon. I was good at it. Every time we passed a lake or a pond, my siblings would turn to me in the car and say, “C’mon Sammy. Laugh like a loon.”

Loon Laugher on the Right

Loon Laugher on the Right

When I was in the fourth grade, I won the $10 first prize at the American Legion Halloween costume contest dressed as a little old lady. Now I am a little old lady.

Not my Halloween costume, but OLD clothing!

Not my Halloween costume, but OLD clothing!

I owned and operated an Irish Pub with my first husband. Our pub offered Guinness Stout on tap and a menu of authentic Irish fare. Saint Patty’s Day – as you can imagine – was wild! As is so often the case, our restaurant venture was more successful than our marriage. I wonder how the Irish say “C’est la vie.”

Irish saying

Authentic Irish Patrons!

Authentic Irish Patrons!

I took my first dance class (jazz) at age 31 and performed onstage.

Once.

To a recording of Elvis singing Jailhouse Rock.

Hub proposed to me anyway.

In subsequent years, I took classes in ballet, African, modern and – most recently at age 62 – tap. I like jazz best and in my next life I will be performing in Cats during its Broadway run. When that happens, you’ll see a photo.

I’m pleased to pass this award to four bloggers whose creations I look forward to every week – rich offerings that enhance my life.

I do hope you’ll take a peek at their Creativity.

Katie is in the midst of art journaling for International Fake Journal Month, and she has chosen to travel to Italy. Her daily posts are so whimsical and delicious, I’m tempted to try this challenge next year.

Elen is participating in the A-to-Z Challenge for her first time, and her F made me laugh out loud

Raye’s paintings make me green with envy (even when I mistake her figs for eggplant). As if that skill wasn’t enough, her writing stops me in my tracks.

I discovered Sand, Salt, Moon a few weeks ago. She’s picked up a long-lost watercolor practice … paint me green with envy. Again.

Remember, there’s NO pressure with these awards. In case you like rules, here they are:

 The Rules

  • Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify all nominees via their social media/blogs
  • Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you (very important)
  • Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers
  • Pass these rules on to them

Snow Tangles

Here on the Front Range, we’re getting one of our two-day snowstorms. This is one of our few storms with measureable accumulation and blizzard-like winds of Winter 2015. Nothing like the Plains and Northeast states are suffering, but enough to use ‘hunkering in’ as an excuse to tangle.

I decided to try a snowflake template. My results are ‘ok’ (shushing my inner critic to post not-ready-for-prime-time results) because:

1). I’m being lazy with my brain and eyes today

2). I’m using twelve new (to me) tangle patterns with no practice

3). The shading technique still baffles me. I overdo, underdo or in-the-wrong-place-do

Meh … whatever.

I selected patterns beginning with S for Snow on the first tangle and ones with F for Flake on the second.

The six patterns here are Sandswirl, Showgirl, Spaanders, Slalom, Snowzags, and Seedings (they are spelled correctly).

snowflake1

By Sammy D.

The six patterns here are Facets, Fiore, Fandango, Fang, Fishnet, Footlites.

snowflake

By Sammy D.

I like all twelve patterns well enough to practice and use them again, but I would use a design that provides larger tangle areas than my snowflake templates did.

If you’ve stuck with me this far, here’s your bonus …..

Mind-boggling, stop-in-your-tracks Snow Tangles by Simon Beck, an artist whose work was produced next to Mt. Blanc in Savoie, France. HOURS of meticulous design planning followed by stomping kilometers worth of footsteps in the snow to produce these fleeting works of art:

Art by Simon Beck

Art by Simon Beck

Art by Simon Beck

Art by Simon Beck

snow art 4

Art by Simon Beck

snow art 2

Simon Beck creating his snow art

Even as I marvel at his creativity, beauty and stamina – and strap on my snowshoes to mush around the neighborhood – I’m agreeing with myself this is one kind of tangle I won’t be attempting. But I sure enjoy his!

You can google Simon Beck or see more of his work here.

Thanks to my wing-woman, Coco, for introducing me to Simon!

Six Week Check-Up

Six weeks into 2015, I’m reviewing my list of Envisions:

  1. Music and Keyboard
  2. Mapping and Footprints
  3. Urban Sketching and Watercolors
  4. Word Origins – a self study course
  5. Writing Craft and Practice

If I don’t consciously allocate time and energy, I will stick with what I am already enjoying (Keyboard), and ignore what is more difficult or intimidating. Even as I created my list, I knew which one I’d be least likely to pursue, and why – Urban Sketching and Watercolors.

Me:

  • Homebody
  • Linear, sequential thinker
  • Boundaries, deliberate, precise, defined
  • Clarity, balance, predictability
  • Silence, alone, lack of commotion

My impression of Urban Sketching:

  • People, public places, parking, schlepping
  • Vibrant, active, constant movement
  • Sounds, noise, interaction
  • Quick capture, fast strokes, hurry

My impression of Watercolors:

  • Defy boundaries
  • Run, ooze, drip, overflow, blend
  • The paint is in charge
  • Require patience

imageMy incompatibility with these two choices is obvious. Yet taken together as one art form, Urban Sketching and Watercolors seem to rein each other in while simultaneously complementing each other.

I’ve been so stimulated by the art of bloggers who work in this arena, not to mention curious about how they immerse themselves in the very environments they chronicle. Light, shadows, details – I see them now in ways I’ve never noticed.

I don’t fear not doing this well. I fear not doing it at all.

Trying art of any kind is very intimidating. I feel like a kindergartner insisting, “I do it myself”, but I DO have to experiment my own way.

imageMy habit  – until now – with anything ‘artsy’ is to buy umpteen ‘how to’ books; study them ad nauseum while taking copious notes; then never actually begin a project. This time I allowed myself to quickly thumb through two books as long as I promised to pick up a pencil and Do Something!

I read that your first sketch should be a self-portrait. So I stood in front of the mirror and sketched what I saw. Sorry it’s so light – too timid with my strokes – but it’s a good likeness with a vertical wrinkle between my eyebrows and naturally downturned corners of my mouth when I’m not smiling.

By Sammy D

By Sammy D

Next, I sketched a body in motion using a ballet dancer on a postcard as my model. After drawing her likeness, I colored her using watercolor brush pens.

image

Finally I opened my watercolor tin; wet the colors; dipped the brush; held the brush to white paper. Then what? Paint a stroke on the paper? Then another? That went nowhere.

I like tangling because I define the shape and patterns. I like coloring with gel pens and sharpies because they are predictable.

Not so with watercolors.

Whether my perception is accurate or not, I have to figure out how to bridge the divide between my current comfort zone and watercolors.

imageI decided to start with a tangle form; add pieces of design tape; then color around the tape with sharpies. A collage of sorts, one where colors meet but don’t bleed. I like that result.

Now I’m ready to watch a watercolor demo video.

Then I’ll open a book. Study a chapter or two.

Sketch some more. Paint the sketches.

I might even leave my quiet home sanctuary to visit a café. Draw a hand holding a cup of coffee. Pay attention to shadows and light.

Dip my croissant in watercolors …

Words Don’t Flow But Spirit Shines

Ten lords a leaping; six geese a laying…

One Sammy tangling…

Christmas Tangle

 

If you’re tired of tangles, I understand!  That seems to be where my Santa spirit resides these days, and I enjoy the calming effect more than trying to harness words that elude my grasp. Plenty of time to crack the writing whip in the new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dashing through the … No, just a Mad Dash

Jack's Snowman

 

If there was any doubt (and we’re going to pretend my home is routinely clutter-free), a cluttered home makes for a cluttered mind. Or, as Louisa May Alcott once said, “Too many books hath turned her head.”

Or something like that.

I can’t find her quote right now in all the clutter.

I buy books as Christmas gifts. Then I feel compelled to READ each book AND make a bookmark for each book before I get to the wrapping stage. And, of course, madly jotting notes and quotes from each book, not to mention the ‘contemplating hours’ that come during or after reading a book (all the while not being able to discuss the book with its intended recipient).

Russian Doll

Occasionally slipping in a book for myself while purchasing gifts only adds to my December reading frenzy.

You do that, too, right?

Do you also continue your weekly library habit only to discover three ‘writing’ magazines you’ve never read and bring home four back issues of each ‘just because’?

On top of that, I got a yen to make books for Sparks and Raqi this year. I used http://www.mypublisher.com to produce 8 1/2 x 11″ books. Their software is easy to use; the time-consuming part is the hours Hub and I spent culling, cropping, laughing and crying over all our photos as we tried to whittle our collection of family memories to a reasonable 50 pages for each of their books.

Lift off is … tomorrow! Spark’s birthday weekend. Two books and a snowman bookmark. Check, check, and check.

Which books? Both 5-star; both perfect for 5th or 6th grade boys (or clueless parents/grandparents)!

Wonder by R.J. Palacio – This is one of the most touching and funny books I’ve read. Even if you don’t have a 5th grader in your socio-circle, there are lessons here for all of us. The protagonist, Auggie,  is a plucky boy who has craniofacial deformities and is entering 5th grade at a prep school after being home-schooled through many surgeries and therapy. The family, students and teachers – their personalities and relationships unfolding through multiple voices  – are believable with realistic reactions to Auggie’s presence at the school. Auggie’s combination of bravery and vulnerability is staggering. I don’t remember having books like this when I was a preteen.

The Boys Body Book by Kelly Dunham – A respectful, reassuring approach to physical and emotional transitions for preteen boys. The title is somewhat misleading because the book also includes chapters about relationships with parents;  friendships and middle school;  nutrition and sleep habits. Just enough info to facilitate understanding and coping tips, but not so much that it turns into lectures or way too much information.

Kim's Bookmark

Navajo Twisted Tangles

I’ve been practicing lots of tangle patterns and designs – a whole sketchbook’s worth. I keep reminding myself all craft is a work in progress, taking years to become ‘polished’.

The following two, begun earlier this fall, remind me of an old Navajo blanket (rug?) my parents had when I was a child. I remember it lying on a shelf in a closet in our upstairs bathroom. The closet was big enough to walk into with rudimentary, dark wood shelves and a tiny dust-covered upper window that let in filtered light.

The closet was a place of great intrigue – sheltering artifacts I wanted to explore but knew I probably shouldn’t.

Or so I imagined.

You know – the way places loom larger than life or things promise a secret delight for a curious child.

I don’t know where the blanket came from, what we used it for, or if anyone else in my family remembers it. I think it had a diamond and rectangle pattern with earth tones – muted reds, yellows, tan and black.

It was scratchy to the touch.

Was it a real Navajo blanket?

Did we store it in the closet as I remember or did it lie on the floor in the back entry?

Do we even want to learn the truth behind every childhood ‘awe’?

 

Navajo Tangle 1

 

Navajo Tangle

STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

Never underestimate the power of a question

Garden for the Soul

Finding peace in life's garden

besottment by paper relics

Musings and Amusings

Rosemary's Blog

A window into my world

Little Writing Blog

A not-too-serious look at life beyond middle age

Alphabet Salad

...an eclectic assortment of rants and ramblings

Kate's Scrap Yard

scraps of vibrant color, texture and drippy paint

Mocha Muse

Coffee Shop Conversation. Creativity. General Musings.

Dispatches From Kansas

Musings and Amusings

Women Writing the West®

Musings and Amusings

Rocky Mountain Land Library

A resource linking land and community

The Off Key Of Life

Or….Identifying The Harmless Unhinged Among Us.

Mountain Gazette

Musings and Amusings

Desert Reflections

Thoughts on people, place, being and belonging

Mary J Melange

A hodgepodge of thoughts, ideas and the reality of life.

Fernwood Nursery & Gardens

Maine's Shadiest Nursery

The Task at Hand

A Writer's On-Going Search for Just the Right Words

Zentangle

Musings and Amusings

Notes from a Western Life

The Windbreak House Blog by Linda M. Hasselstrom

NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener, amateur photographer, intermediate quilter and lover of day trips around New England

Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Travel Tales of Life

Travelers. Adventurers. Storytellers.

bemuzin

Musings and Amusings

A Dalectable Life

The little and large things making my life delicious!

Jane's Journals

Celebrating the Western U.S.

The Magnolia Review

Just another WordPress.com site

sappy as a tree: celebrating beauty in creation

"I think that I shall never see / A poem lovely as a tree. . . ." -- "Trees," Joyce Kilmer

Michigan in Pictures

Photos of the Great Lakes State

Before Sundown

remember what made you smile

What oft was thought

"True wit is Nature to advantage dress'd, What oft was thought but ne'er so well express'd"--Alexander Pope ("Essay on Criticism").

Writer Site

Memoir, poetry, & writing theory

The Family Kalamazoo

A genealogical site devoted to the history of the DeKorn and Zuidweg families of Kalamazoo and the Mulder family of Caledonia

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

(Somewhat) Daily News from the World of Literary Nonfiction

My Life Lived Full

If you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much space

Retirementally Challenged

Navigating through my post-work world

Pacific Paratrooper

This WordPress.com site is Pacific War era information

Almost Iowa

Where irrationality trumps reason

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Tickled To Tangle

Musings and Amusings

Enthusiastic Artist

Musings and Amusings

joeyfullystated

Narrative of a Neurotic & Other Random Nonsense

Tangled Ink Art

Musings and Amusings

The Zombies Ate My Brains

Rescuing what might remain of the grey matter.

Brenda Swenson

Musings and Amusings

Linda Covella, Author

Welcome to middle grade and young adult author Linda Covella's website!

Destination NOW

The answer to "are we there yet?"

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: