Holiday Painting

Bailey – a gift that started the dog ornaments

The blog suffers during the holidays, especially when I am painting Christmas ornaments. These are oil on frosted glass ornaments.

This is a tradition I started thirty years ago and, while I took a break for several years, I am back at it. I believe in creating keepsakes and capturing memories. Ornaments I painted 30 years ago, when stored properly,  look as new today as they did back then, so I am back to painting them.

For some reason, this is the year of the dog. Most of my ornaments have been of homes people were raised in or of their grandparent’s home. I painted one of our pets (Bailey, above) and the idea took off.

First one closest to completion this year is Marla…

 

With the tiniest lines, I have been known to use a hair or even my cat’s whisker (after he voluntarily dropped it!)

Various stages of completion… (I love the variety!!!)

Advertising: UR Doin’ it Wrong

How to waste a lot of money lesson #1. Place a billboard at one of the busiest intersections in the city and do not mention the name of the business. Oh, and make the location so small you can’t read it.

Notice: the folks sitting at the light have their back to the board.

The folks facing the board are too far away to really read it, as well as busy navigating the scary intersection or managing the confusing bridge that has various off ramps.

And when curiosity finally gets the best of the passenger in the car and she takes a photo and enlarges it, we still do not know exactly what is being advertised.

Except that Indianapolis has outdoor gear… somewhere… all in one place (the Castleton Mall if you look close enough at the blown up photo.)

Buried in art supplies

Canvases from old class projects

Today is the day I reclaim my work space and return it to the art and design studio that it once was. It is overwhelming how much “stuff” accumulates during 3 years of design classes.

And having put so much money and effort into it, it is a shame to just throw it out.

Shelves of design related books.

For the past 4 months, since graduation, I have slowly donated it, organized it, sold some of it (eBay and Amazon!), and after grouping what was left, am now down to the point of decision and wondering what to do with the remaining piles on top of and underneath the cutting table.

Glazes, glues, spray paints and finishing sprays are bound for the garage.

As any good artist, I am afraid to throw anything away “just in case I need it one day!” But something has to give.

Fire hazard, anyone?

Now that I am not needing to print and mount everything on the inevitable black boards, I can move my computer workstation back upstairs to the office.

A drawing table was not meant to be an Adobe CS5 workstation!

I should petition that the college have a donation bin set up specifically to accept the leftovers from graduated students! I bet the incoming students would love having a stocked workroom!

What do you do with so much “stuff”?

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Followup: Discovered that Bendi, ever faithful office companion and Cat-Editor, is improving his skill set in assisting my decision making process. Ok, the foam core goes. I don’t know what I would ever use if for anyway.

Of Cats and Quilts

One of my hobbies is quilting, and while I have sold some of my quilts, I usually create them for friends, family, or charity. In all my quilting there has been one constant: cats love quilts! And quilters love cats.

So when I discovered my 7 month old kitten in my quilt basket, I was not surprised. I very quickly placed a towel over the quilts though… love the kitty, not so much the kitty hairs.

The quilt he is lying on is a MODA fabric design called Parisian Cats and the quilt was inspired by my Siamese, Tacey, who was all over the sewing table supervising the proceedings at the time of creation. The reverse side is finished of super soft minky material to match the seal points on her pretty face. With a thick cotton batting, it makes for a very warm and cuddly snuggle blanket!

In 2011, this quilt was also used in a homework assignment to advertise a candy. I chose Coldstone Creamery Jelly Belly jelly beans because I liked their colors and the fact that it worked with this quilt. I often used my other hobbies, my cats, my family, and my own photography when creating homework assignments.

Gratitude

I was talking with a friend about one of the best pets I ever had (an alley kitten from the inner city). Having grown up on a farm with a constant array of pets, that is saying a lot.

In searching out a photo to share I was reminded of a design project from a fundamentals class where I chose to use Tacey as my “object”. I am grateful for that class. It gave me a wonderful photo set of a pet who died too suddenly and way too young (12 years old).

She was a beautiful representation of design perfection – with enough design humor (as in the vanilla Hershey kiss on her face) and little artistic surprises to keep the beauty from becoming tedious.

The project was to draw the “object” in various styles. The upper left is a chalk pastel piece and one of my favorites. There is also a line drawing I like (a little Toulouse Lautrec), a comic, colored pencils, photo, sketchy, logo-esque, etc.

What was a simple classroom activity became a frame-able art piece, which will bring back fond memories for years to come.

For more design information, you can read my post in the design blog I kept during school.