Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I've been in kind of a funk the last few days, so I thought I needed to do something to shake things up. This is what I came up with. I drew the curved lines in pencil and then just started writing in pen, without working it out beforehand. That's a breakthrough of sorts for me - I generally have to see that everything will fit first.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Ken Follett is best known for writing thrillers, a genre I'm not particularly fond of.  But Pillars of the Earth is a historical novel, a genre I like a lot.  This book is set in 12th century England and tells the story of the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge.  It is a sweeping saga that covers approximately 40 years.  I enjoyed it for the most part, but wasn't unhappy to reach the end (of almost 1000 pages).  I found it mildly annoying near the end when I felt like the author was trying to tie up every single loose end; I rate it 3 out of 5.


I recently joined ATCsforAll, and I made this for a 1:1 trade there. I saw an atc I wanted, and when I asked the artist if she was interested in trading, she asked me if I could do a pug. So this is my pug for her.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Snowman ATC

Just another snowman atc.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Clever Christmas - Cat ATC 2

I wanted to add a Santa hat to the cat I painted in my last ATC, so I did another one. Lots of fun!

Sketchbook Challenge

I'm going to be participating in the Sketchbook Challenge beginning January 1, 2011.  This is the brainchild of Sue Bleiweiss and she has put together a great group of artists who will be sharing their sketchbooks and suggesting monthly themes.  She has even gotten some sponsors to donate prizes for participants!  It sounds like a lot of fun, so if you're interested, you can read more about it on the challenge blog, here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Clever Christmas - Cat ATC 1

Our final lesson was plays on words - so this was what I came up with. It's been LOTS of fun!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Clever Christmas - Stocking ATC 2

Playing around with stocking designs of my own - and with writing haiku.

Clever Christmas - Stocking ATC 1

Lesson 4 was Christmas Stockings. This one was straight from Laure's demo and was fun to do!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Clever Christmas - Wreath ATC

I decided to add a bit of word art to my wreath for lesson 3. I used a sponge and rubber stamping ink for the edges of this atc. This is a fast class, but we're doing little projects and it's a lot of fun!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Clever Christmas - Snowman ATC 3

Lesson 2 in Laure's Clever Christmas class is all about snowmen - and this one is my favorite.

Clever Christmas - Snowman ATC 2

Lesson 2 in Laure's Clever Christmas class is all about snowmen - I love snowmen!

Clever Christmas - Snowman ATC 1

Lesson 2 in Laure's Clever Christmas class is all about snowmen - I love snowmen!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Clever Christmas - Hat ATC 2

This is another ATC for Laure's class. I used watercolor and ink, then added a couple of snowflake rubber stamps to the background.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Clever Christmas - Hat ATC 1

I'm taking another class from Laure Ferlita (my favorite teacher!). This one is a quick one - 5 lessons in 10 days! But we're doing quick little pages so it's LOTS of fun. I used glitter on the fur of Santa's hat, which of course doesn't scan well, so you'll just have to imagine that part. This is ATC-size (2-1/2 X 3-1/2 inches) on Stonehenge paper (which I've never worked with before).

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

This is my book club's current month's selection.  I didn't expect to like it as much as I did.  I knew it would be a somewhat interesting story, but I generally prefer reading novels to non-fiction.  But this wasn't a somewhat interesting story; it was fascinating.  Greg Mortenson wandered into a small rural village in Pakistan after a failed attempt to climb K2 in 1993.  The villagers took him in, fed him, and nursed him back to health.  When he learned that the village didn't have a school, but the children met in the open, kneeling on frosty ground, to practice lessons that a neighboring village's teacher left for them, he promised to build them a school.  The book traces how Mortenson kept his promise.  Mortenson is now the director of the Central Asia Institute (CAI), which has built at least 55 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  It has also awarded scholarships to graduates who wish to further their education, assisted in teacher training, and provided resources for clean drinking water and sanitation.  CAI's motto is Peace and Hope Begin With Education: One Child At A Time.  I highly recommend this book.

Figure Drawing

My husband bought this manikin for me (at my request, since I'm not getting out much with a broken ankle), so I wanted to paint her as she is before I start using her for figure drawing.

Journaling reads:  This is Mandy my new art assistant.  I'm hoping she will help me draw the human form, but I wanted to start by drawing HER form.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Daisy Miller by Henry James

I have mentioned in other posts that I haven't read very many classics.  I decided I wanted to read this book a couple of years ago after listening to the audio version of Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi, since it is one of the books discussed in that book.  It was very short - really more of a novella than a novel - and so I finished it in just a couple of days.  It is about an American man (Winterbourne) who has lived in Geneva most of his life.  In a resort town in Switzerland, he meets a beautiful, rich young American woman (Daisy Miller) who is traveling in Europe with her mother and her younger brother.  She is an innocent flirt, and Winterbourne is quite charmed by her.  She goes to Rome shortly after they meet.  Winterbourne goes to Rome a few weeks later and is dismayed to learn that Daisy has been seeing a handsome Italian and has scandalized the American community with her behavior.  I'm glad I read it, but have to admit I was glad it wasn't any longer; I prefer a more modern writing style.  I rate it 3 out of 5.

US Civil War Reading Challenge 2011

As mentioned in my earlier posts, I'm participating in War Through the Generations reading challenge again next year - the topic is the US Civil War.  I've already chosen my first two books for the challenge - Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (which I read when I was in high school or before - 40-some years ago - so I don't remember it), and March by Geraldine Brooks (which is about the father of Little Women, and is why I'm reading Little Women again).  I'm sure I'll find lots more good books for the challenge.  I'm signing up at the Dip Level, which is 3-5 books.  I can always read more, but I do have 3 other challenges I've sign up for.  If you'd like to join me, you can sign up here.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Off the Shelf Reading Challenge 2011

I decided to go ahead and sign up for the Off the Shelf Reading Challenge that I mentioned in yesterday's post.  I am signing up at the Tempted level, which is 5 books.  I know I can achieve that level.  I can always increase it if I want to later on.  Two of the books I'll read will also count for the Civil War Reading Challenge I'll be signing up for as soon as sign ups are ready:  March by Geraldine Brooks and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.  I have LOTS more books on my shelves to read - I just have to decide which ones.