Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Obeying The Urge

When I woke up this morning, I had no intention of starting another painting today, but as I stripped sheets, I got an urge to look for a particular photo that I thought I might like to work on. I never got as far as locating that picture because I came across a file containing one of my favorite subjects. Maybe it’s because I can feel spring coming or something simply struck me at the right moment, but I thought I’d better follow through before the urge abandons me.

So, here are the beginnings of another portrait. No paint yet, but I will tell you there’s a lot of green grass and masses of strawberry blond hair. I had forgotten what an amazing model she is…
Admittedly, the pose is a little unconventional for a portrait, but I guess that’s what I like about it. I also like the idea of lying in cool grass, daydreaming after reading a good book…

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another Version

Although I like the cover as it was, I thought there ought to be something I could do to make it a little more 'shipwrightish.' The woodcut version I originally designed accomplished that, but it looks too bland to me now. (However, I do think it would make a nice title page.)

 So, this is what I came up with as a front cover:
Do the ‘boat plans’ look too cluttery, or does it add that little something extra that gives a better sense of the story being about a shipwright?
 Which do you like better?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Just Messin' Around

Yes, this is another cross over blog post. I just thought I'd try out a cover design, for the fun of it. Okay—to be honest, I have no other project I'm working on right now, so this is purely a dilatory maneuver. Besides, I wanted something more visually stimulating than my last post to be the first thing new visitors see!

Yes, I know, I know—just start typing or pick up the paintbrush…

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Fact of the Matter Is…

Okay, I just can’t stand it any more, with all those lies circulating out there about me. Here’s the truth of the matter:

1) A poor black child? Really? Well, umm, no.
2) Most Likely to Succeed? No way! Not with my mediocre grades. I was, however, voted Most Artistic, along with Gary Rabinowitz, who went on to earn his MFA, while I, well…anyway…
3) Now, really, if we were in the Witness Protection Program, I sure wouldn’t broadcast that—and I would never admit whether it’s true or false. Of course, if I posted someone else's self-portrait and avatar, who would know?—what a great subterfuge...that'd really throw the bad guys off...
4) I was 5’ 8” until the disks between some of my vertebra turned to beef jerky. And I probably wore a size 5 when I was 5. I mean did you get a look at the feet in my self-portrait? Okay, 8½ to 9 isn’t that big.
5) Pratt Institute? In my dreams!
6) Dating the sailboat racer guy… I’m glad that didn’t seem so farfetched, but, alas, it was pure fabrication. I thought I might get away with it because my novel has a nautical theme.
7) My family is simply too under-motivated to do the whole genealogy research thing, but the story handed down is that my great-great grandfather Peter was Swedish royalty (I downplayed him as nobility because it’s unverified, as yet) who fell in love with a commoner. Consequently, they fled to America and settled in Iowa.


Deb, at Ranch Girl Ramblings, gave me this Award, but it’s more like a challenge. I’m supposed to be creative, and come up with at least 6 outrageous lies about myself, and at least one outrageous truth. If you’re looking for some highly creative embellishments, you’ll want to check out Deb’s, Bane’s, Julie's, Simon’s, Tricia’s lists, because, to be quite honest, I stink at this. I’m a terrible liar—I can’t even concoct an alibi or employ the simplest subterfuge when I try to surprise my husband for our anniversary. Nevertheless, so as not to run the risk of appearing like an ingrate, I’ll play along.

For the sake of respecting the award, here are The Rules:

1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you.
4. Tell up to six outrageous lies about yourself and at least one outrageous truth.
5. Nominate 7 creative writers who might have fun coming up with outrageous lies.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.

Here’s my pathetic attempt to lead you astray…

1) I was born a poor black child
2) I was voted most likely to succeed in my graduating class
3) My husband and I are in the witness protection program
4) I’m 5’ 8’’ and wear a size 5 shoe
5) I attended Pratt Institute on a full scholarship
6) I once dated a guy who went on to win the Americas Cup sailing race in 1985
7) I’m a descendant of Swedish nobility.

I’m passing it on to*:

1. Mary Jo Rhodes or Matilda Mc Cloud—who is she really?
2. Tricia O'Brien, at Talespinning because she’s so creative
3. Laura Martone, even though she has absolutely no time for it*, and I miss her
4. Rick Daley, cause he makes me laugh
5. Sharon, as Musings of a Mercurical Woman, because she's relatively new to my blog
6. Bane of Anubis, because he needs another award
7. Glenn, at Serindipitous Surpluses, because this list wouldn’t be complete without him

*Yes I know half these bloggers already have the award! And of course, you’re under no obligation…you know the drill…

This is a good time to also post another award from my generous benefactor Deb: the Butterfly award. I think that all I have to do is pass it onto someone else. So it goes to Simon C. Larter, cause he loves getting so many awards, (yes I know he has this one also) and actually, he writes some really good stuff…

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Moorings: Finished

Well, it’s done. Finished size: 10"x 15" (Oh my aching eyes!)
It puts me in mind of a scene from my novel, Story for a Shipwright, where Sam Wesley is sitting in the local diner, looking out over the harbor on Sunday morning:

"It wasn’t truly the best seat, but the corner booth, partially overlooking the harbor and a few lobster boats suited me fine. While Billy perused his options, my attention wandered to the boats in the harbor—many of them were out for the day baiting traps, which is all they’re allowed on Sundays, from June through August. I thought about how consistent lobstermen are—they seem to recognize no distinction of day or season, heat or cold, rain or shine. Glancing around the diner, at old lobster traps hung from the ceiling, and picturesque scenes behind glass, I chuckled at how we who live here take their trade for granted. Funny, how tourists romanticize the industry, carrying it home in calendars or placemats, rarely appreciating the sweat that goes into the lobster on their plate."

…and thanks, again, to photographer Doug Wood

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"Stonington, Sunday Morning"

It’s time to post the image from which I’m working ! It’s called stonington, sunday morning, photographed by Doug Wood.
If you look closely, you'll notice that I condensed the upper and lower foreground (sky and water), cropped the left side, lightened the boathouse and eliminated some objects which I found confusing or crowded. This takes into consideration future prospects for this project as a possible book cover.
I continue to make slow but steady progress, giving my 5/0 brush a real workout; poor thing will probably have but a sprig or two of its sable hairs left, when I’m done…

...and for the record, yesterday's colors are a better representation...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Right Half

In order to maintain an illusion of control with this piece, I’m working it in sections. Therefore, I’m posting the area I’ve developed. It’s by no means done, but at least the progress is visible.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Now for Something Completely Different...

Here’s a little intermission from my regularly scheduled painting update (while I labor away on tiny boats). This is for Glenn, and anyone else who has ever had to part with their favorite truck…
This was my husband’s 1938 International pickup. (He restored it when he was a teenager, from 2 trucks, and kept the ID plate of the ’38). She took many a trip to the dump and hauled a lot of fire wood—real slow, but if she ever got up to full speed, you sure didn’t want to be in her way. Alas, we had to sell her or watch her rot away...

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Bit More

It's not a whole lot, but it is progress…besides, I thought I’d better post something or you'll think I abandoned ship (bad metaphor, I know).