Networking Success!

12.3.17BackyardFrost
First Frost Highlighting each stone and leaf in my back yard…I noticed that frost didn’t start to show until after sunrise. The playing field next door turned from green to white as I watched. The 6 plants are Donkey-tailed Euphorbia

The first time I remember wanting to learn cartooning and animation was when I still lived in the Old Schoolhouse…must have been the (19) Seventies. There was a group doing both in Burlington, only 60  miles away. The complicated nature of my relationship with my abusive husband kept me from following up…and once I was free and living on my own outside Burlington, I failed to take advantage of an invitation to work for  a graphic designer, from whom I’d taken an illustration class, because I had pretty steady work making endless painted muslin pieces for a window display company.

12.1.17Familyb
I will continue doing pieces about my family and the stories I remember hearing

My vision was limited, by my lack of self-confidence…I was afraid of being sucked into a “regular job” the way I was fooled over and over by my ex-husband. When I took a trio of computer graphics classes at my local community college in 2014, I was able to make a figure move around in Illustrator, but the program was So Intimidating to this person who grew up in the era of computer punch cards, I haven’t pursued it.

12.9.17WhoDob
I like drawing over text…did several recently

I invented my alter-ego graphic character, Graphic Grannie in 2013 and the Brookline Art Library’s Sketchbook Project gave me the experience of completing my first Graphic Novel, 37-page Story of my Life, featuring my alter ego with drawn and photographed images.

12.3.17Collageonred
A group of faces and coloring on a printed page…doodles, but the texture of the print makes them look more interesting.

Yesterday I went to a special techno exhibit and demo at my beloved Port Angeles Public Library and started asking lots of questions, leaning about a group of free programs, designed for kids, but perfect for my level of skill and patience. If I have problems, I’ll ask a kid…their brains are wired differently now. The presenter said that only a small percentage of kids want to go beyond the tricks to how to control them…he said that older people, like me, are more experienced in Figuring Things Out.  Now I must go to Sequim and explore the new Maker Space over there, and see how many more interesting people I can meet.

Reach outside Your Comfort Zone!…And don’t ever give up on the things that interest you…there are plenty of ways to keep exploring and learning.

12.9.17PrudBkgrndb
My copy of a background by David Prudhomme, Cruising Through the Louvre

I very much recommend David Prudhomme, Cruising Through the Louvre, for his fascinating colored-pencil technique and his zooming in and out of detail in the crowd scenes…available in the Graphic Novel section of our Port Angeles Public Library.

12.9.17DavidPrudhommePractice1b
Copies of people from the graphic novel…I analyze another artist’s technique by copying

Have FUN!

12.5.17Oasis
Oasis, fish sandwich treat to myself last Tuesday…This is a very comfortable place for a single old lady, giving herself a treat in the afternoon…There could be Lots of stories told with this as a backdrop.

 

 

 

 

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Conversations

12.3.17ThreePins
The last 3 pins I forgot to take with me to the show, but I have plenty left.

After doing numerous/hundreds of craft fairs from the first one in Boston in 1969, I did one last December, because my friend, Katie, wanted to. This year Katie couldn’t come, but two other friends, did. One must have a thick skin to withstand some of the comments, but other conversations are wonderful and make me think that I should get out more…learning about the Grange movement–the power in numbers movement for farmers, going strong since the late 1800’s, now working for community feeling and legislation for rural populations. In novels I’ve been reading, I see that Gentrification has squeezed out the people in Tibet and India, too.

I went back to life drawing after being away for a while…It is good to be with others who value this activity. One must exercise hand/eye/brain as in any sport.

I’m posting these in the order I did them. The Gorilla Girl to show Nobody’s Perfect

All from the same pose…no fear, just play with the media and shapes!

A woman from CA, who grew up among pear orchards and lost it all to Silicone Valley…she’s afraid it could happen here. I am, too. Why I volunteered for the Planning Commission. This show was a great way to interact with a slice of population. Many political discussions. Met the head of an alternative Democratic party in Sequim.

11.12.17HavenCinnamonRoll
Cinnamon roll at Haven…food is my favorite reward!

12/1/17 : Truthout: Current progress report from scientists: “Taking a numerical look at how some of the threats have grown since a report in 1992, the scientists note that there’s been a 26.1 percent loss in fresh water available per capita; a 75.3 percent increase in the number of “dead zones”;  a 62.1 percent increase in CO2 emissions per year; and 35.5 percent rise in the human population.

12.1.17FullMoon
There was a pale full moon rising in the white sky between the bottom groups of branches. I happened to be sitting in the right place to see it, since I moved my round table to make room for the new one.
12.3.17FirstTableCloth
The Australian/Japanese table cloth, inspired by aboriginal prints David brought me.

“Among the steps that could be taken to prevent catastrophe are promoting plant-based diets; reducing wealth inequality, stopping conversions of forests and grasslands; government interventions to rein in biodiversity loss via poaching and illicit trade; and ‘massively adopting renewable energy sources’ while phasing out fossil fuel subsidies.”

15,000 scientists from more than 180 countries…made a follow up to a 1992 report with a similar plea, but we’re closer to destruction since then. In this season of giving, please give a thought to the future you are leaving to your children.

Barbara, Diane, me at the Sequim Prairie Grange Holiday Craft Festival…I ate 3 kinds of pie for a total of $5.75 and learned about the Grange Movement…and passed on some of my work to new homes.

Thankfulness, Even in the Face of Disruption

11.24.17Snow5
Snow Storm on Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park…lots of families up there enjoying each other…18 miles from downtown Port Angeles

In the US we designate a day of Thanksgiving. Canada does, too. In other countries, the day might be a Harvest Festival…ours can easily turn into an orgy of accumulation…as some of our ancestors may have indulged in an orgy of grabbing land from the people who were living here when the Europeans arrived. Palestinian food was the theme of this Thanksgiving. Amal was the star of the show, along with the smoked turkey from Sunrise Meats on First.

I apologize to all the indigenous peoples on behalf of my ancestors…in the places where the Europeans hadn’t penetrated, sometimes different native peoples massacred and enslaved each other. I just read The Years of Rice and Salt, by Kim Stanley Robinson, who tells the history of the World with the premise that the Europeans were wiped out by the plague in the Middle ages, but the same old mess transpired, led by Chinese, Africans, and Buddhists…so there you go…Are we doomed to continue to battle our dual natures: Compassion and Greed? Go through endless wars of acquisition of more than we need?

I am very thankful that my 4 siblings and I all love each other and enjoy being together. Their families come along for the ride…and tolerate our food focus and riotous card games. They even allow me to NOT celebrate the Christmas/Consumerism Holiday in December, leaving me to my quiet recognition of the Solstice and shift in the Earth’s position. For Thanksgiving, all the great cooks bring foods carrying out the theme, which changes each year.  I hardly have to do anything. The table Doug brought me a few weeks ago meant no folding chairs. I hear next year’s theme might be cubed food.

I am working to store up the best memories for when/if another cycle comes around in my lifetime in which I am not as lucky as I have been.

11.24.17.3snow
Isn’t this Amazing! Hurricane Ridge 11/24/17…I’ll be using some of my pictures in Photoshop compositions. It’s annoying that one must pay annually to use this program now, but since I do, I’d better learn to use more of it.

Hugh and Connie stayed over, and as so often, we appreciated the beauty of where we live. We may not have all the glitter and glitz of big Seattle, but we Do have McPhee’s Grocery with food and spices and beer from every nation, The Tribal Center on First, and the Olympic National Park…I’d never been up there in winterbefore…please, Please, PLEASE don’t let our current temporary government of corporations raise the price per car to $70! There are so few Real and Good things for ordinary people to enjoy and afford…Don’t let them take that Away!

As you may have noticed, no art work from me this week…I’ve started some things that you’ll see next week AND there’s the Sequim Prairie Grange Holiday Fair this coming Saturday…See You There!

11.24.17Pinball
Pinball from the movie theater where we saw Murder on the Orient Express…what Fun…and this is a potential Photoshop layer.

Don’t forget I have books for sale on Amazon and a craft show Saturday, Dec.2…OK, so that was a commercial message. I can’t stop making things, but I try to pass them on for reasonable prices….OMG! I see some blue sky creeping in from the west…go Outside!

 

Artist Books!

11.18.17chalk-markclouds
I watch the sky above my computer, this morning the parallel white marks to the right reminded me of chalk, with the dark cloud threatening from the west…There was a moment of sun, but it’s raining again now.

My neighbor, Jan Dove, is a wonderful Artist Book Maker, and we’ve been attending lectures in the Sherry Grover Artist Book Gallery at the Bainbridge Island Art Museum.

11.18.17MarshallWeberBIAM
Marshall Weber of Booklyn, demonstrating a tricky fold in a large book. He often uses photo paper in his books and lets people handle them.

We attended a lecture yesterday by Marshall Weber from Booklyn, who showed exuberant books, which could be unfolded in different ways and grow large enough to fill an entire room. His books, like the last lecturer’s, deal with social issues…Art is Politics, Art is a way to Open Hearts and Minds!

I had been dismayed by the last speaker announcing definitively that to be a True Artist Book, there must be 3 copies. Marshall and Jan both say that there are Unique (one of a kind) Artist Books, too, so mine qualify. He had a big book of his Bar Mitzvah and family, and an accordion book about war–rough, reminding me a bit of Dan Eldon’s work, The Journey is the Destination…although no one there knew Eldon.

So, I was inspired to work bigger and bolder and to keep using my ancestors in art works….AND I finished the Brooklyn Museum’s Sketchbook Project…always a joy to finish, but then a hole in time where that energy used to go. Maybe an accordion fabric book–with ancestors. I’ve given my brothers cloth family albums of the antique photos printed on silk. I think I’ll hold on to the sketchbook project for a while to show it off. It’s not due til March…I like being ready on time or a bit before…and I always kept my Art Business going, even when I worked in OT, so I have 8-12 extra hours a day to make art now.

Another project that’s almost finished for this year is preparing for the Handcraft Show at Sequim Prairie Grange on Saturday, December 2, 9am-3pm, with me sharing two tables with Katie Yeager, Diane Williams, and Barbara Light…That will be Fun and Colorful. If you live in this area, you’ll get an email and map. Please Come

11.14.173curvedDollsDoneb
I gave you the pattern for these curved dolls in last week’s blog. Here they are the way I decorated them. I’m selling dolls and beaded pins for only $15 each at the show 12/2…Share the JoY

HANDMADE WORK MAKES THE BEST PRESENTS!

 

 

Quilt Sandwich…Looking Forward & Backward

11.11.17QuiltBack
Quilt Back…ready to put the layers together: Top, batting, backing make a sandwich…get them off the counter in time for Thanksgiving dinner

I’m getting a Grand Nephew in February…his sister was born in March almost 2 years ago…the family is growing, in spite of 3/5 of the siblings not procreating. I worry about the kind of world that our new members will inherit, but I guess we each do the best we can with what we get…and try to keep everything as good as possible for those who come after us.

11.17CrazyQuiltDollb
Ancestor-face doll from an antique crazy quilt square…simple arms and legs…make some for gifts!

 

New bent doll pattern, made from pieced cottons…tune in next week to see  how I embellish. Some patterns on the right for you to try.

I’m making a baby quilt, as I have for the three Grand Nieces. I finished the back yesterday, proud of myself for not buying any new fabric, since I’m trying to downsize. The next step is to make a sandwich: front/batting/back, which is what makes a quilt a quilt.

I hope that the quilts I make will become treasured possessions, but I’ve learned not to have Expectations. I have a lot of photos and stuff that has been handed down in my family for generations. I have a small watercolor set that my beloved high school art teacher, Jessie Loomis, used on a trip to Europe. She got killed by a drunk driver when I was a freshman in college, but I will carry a part of her with me all my life, not just the palette, but the love for words and pictures and lines that she instilled in me.

The Journal Project book is progressing…I only have 5 more pages…pretty intimidating to make them all count.

Objects that have been used, ideas, shared experiences carry a bit of the originator along to the next user. I’m always happy when a student or a former patient tells me that something I’ve said or done has touched them.

Saugerties was where I lived before I moved to WA and decided that I do best living alone and using the whole house as studio space.

11.9.17Douglasb
My next-to-youngest brother, Doug. He was here yesterday, bringing me a dining table and chairs and helping me with ladder stuff that I don’t do any more.

I’m using old family photos in the Sketchbook Project and pictures and stories I share…there is continuity through art.

11.7.17CityHallCommissioner
Port Angeles City Hall…I just started my term as one of the Planning Commissioners…my way of helping my community.

Make Art! Help Others…we CAN affect the future.

Talking About Our Lives

11.3.17SnowNW
The view from my front porch the morning I headed to Seattle to see Hugh in Ragtime at the Fifth Avenue

I have one friend from my college days, and we exchange emails (used to be letters) on our birthdays, November and March. As is the habit of people newly 70, we compare our expectations as twenty year olds to what has actually happened in the intervening 50 years. For him, teaching at a Canadian university and publishing many papers and books in his chosen field, becoming a Canadian citizen and father, grandfather, and great grandfather to many younger Canadians has not been a bad compromise to teaching at Harvard as he’d planned.

Pages from the Sketchbook Project about my accomplishments in the art world after I left my marriage…I had thought the wife was supposed to make the marriage work, but realized I didn’t have time, and the odds with an abusive husband were against me.

I saw my brother, Hugh, in a magnificent production of Rag Time at the Fifth Avenue Theater, even though it had snowed mightily the night before I drove to Seattle.  I was afraid of getting stuck on one of the thinly-populated hills on the way over.

Wyeth show at SAM, since I was in Seattle…I liked his raw drawing better than the meticulously-painted temperas, although his use of negative space was inspiring.

I had thought that I might have a chance at becoming a well-known artist or author or something, though since I was female, I was encouraged to get a career where I could earn a living…I failed to find a husband who would support me. In the end, I have published books and taught, made sculptures and paintings, and had people tell me that what I’ve done has been important to them.  I’m still making visual art, literature, and working at graphic stories.

Magnificent dessert at Palamino (we shared a fillet mignon) and the magnificent ceiling at the Fifth Avenue.

Hugh has been in theater since Junior High, and in spite of quitting college and working in horticulture for a number of years, he came to Seattle to get a Masters in Theater, has been in musical theater all these years on cruise ships and in Seattle. He quit a lucrative job some years ago to go back to theater full time, and now has both.

11.4.17Breakfast
Hugh made me and Connie a magnificent basil fritata and turkey bacon for breakfast Saturday…sharing food is as good as sharing stories

Our father combined his passion for Railroad Photography with being a psychiatrist, so I guess we learned from his example. Another brother has recently been finding more pleasure in quilt making than in his struggle for recognition in the fine art world.

I completed more pages in The Story of My Life this week…getting closer to the present.

We’ve been noticing poor night vision, bodies needing more rest, a few other physical complaints that make us more aware of our mortality.

11.3.17Wyeth2
Wyeth’s bones beneath the drawing

We thought we could be young and strong forever…and scale all the heights of fame…we don’t need that pressure as much now, feel lucky not to have too much pain, and still be able to care for ourselves. It is nice to know that we share this phase of life with others and don’t need to apologize to anyone…We make the most of who and what we have and take some risks…even if it’s only driving in snow…to share that.

Snow again this morning…there are some winters when no snow comes here…not this one! On the right, a gray trip home on the ferry yesterday, the lights inside the ferry reflecting on the window…Be sure to share your stories. As long as we’re alive, we can learn…and share.

 

 

Bladerunner, AI, Fall, and Death

A tree in Sequim against an orange wall. A tide pool at Port Williams Beach

I saw Bladerunner 2049 this week…great special effects, some of which I recognized from my computer graphics classes in 2013. After reading Sapiens, I’m on the lookout for signs of the evolution of society and Homo Sapiens. I saw a piece online about the first artificial intelligence humanoid robot…who was given a Saudi Arabian passport. She was made to look like a blonde woman…to be less threatening to users?

A red maple against blue sky and man-made color and patterns…some kind of shut-off valve.

Of course the new Bladerunner is also about who is “human” and who is not, and will we be able to control the AI we create? After watching the 8th in Ken Burns series on the Vietnam war, I’m not thinking homo sapiens is all that kind or capable to control the havoc we have wrecked since the Industrial Revolution.

10.22.17HumanoidCelery
Celery that looks like a person

With AI predicted to replace 50% of human jobs in 10 years, 50% unemployed Americans at the same time we’re experiencing soaring inequality and climate change, with a government led by a cadre of ridiculously wealthy capitalists who don’t want their wealth to go away, no wonder no one in power wants to take fast-approaching problems seriously.

10.29.17GloriousFreedom
A book I won through The Jealous Curator’s Blog, giving me inspiration to go back to work on my Hot Flash book…we older women need as much encouragement as we can get.

We do all die, some sooner than others. I am enjoying what I can, while I can, the long, warm and colorful fall here in the Northwest, seeing art and design everywhere I look, and as always, making stuff and sharing it with you.

SketchbookProjIowa10.18.17
Sketchbook Project High School and Art
SketchbkProjSchoolh
Sketchbook Project: Married Life and Art
SketchbookProjDivorce
Sketchbook Project: Post divorce and Art

So much fun to be able to read widely online and off. The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully by Frank Ostaseski:

  1. Don’t wait.
  2. Welcome everything, push away nothing.
  3. Bring your whole self to the experience.
  4. Find a place of rest in the middle of things.
  5. Cultivate don’t know mind.

    Another current Project: keeping the dolls coming along…inspired by the teapot fabric decal. No pattern.

    More from my stash of Ancestor Faces, on the right, using an old fancy fabric quilt block for the body. Arms on the left are pewter from Art Girlz. Free-form cut and stitch. Lots of embellishment.

  6. I finished the baby quilt top for our new grand nephew, starting to lay out the back. I need the counter space for family Thanksgiving. This year’s theme is Palestine, then Serene is moving to LA to be a project manager for film…Brave woman to follow her dreams!

    Think about Welcoming Everything! Be kind to yourself and others.

  7. 10.28.17RedDoll
    I can post a pattern for this one if you want it.