EDUCATION, PERSERVERENCE...LUCK

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mass MoCA!

This is the first building that greeted our eye as Handsome and I pulled up to The Porches, this weekend. The entire side of the building--which I suspect is the shed for a lawnmower, etc, is tiled. So this beauty was glazed ceramic, shiny and cheerful. Welcoming.


I wrote a bit about our stay at The Porches, yesterday.  Or at least, about a couple of their amenities. Suffice it to say, the place is fabulous. Should you ever wish for a weekend getaway and you live in the proximity of North Adams, Massachusetts, go there! Or if you live far away, fly there!


North Adams is the home of the The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Even though my professional life revolves around the visual arts, I'd not rushed the mere hour and a quarter over there, because I'm an old Luddite--and I like art that looks like...something. However, I am SO glad I remedied that situation. Mass MoCA is great. 
 Entering the facility, you look up to see the iconic "Upside Down Trees," which are on most publications about the place. Yeah, yeah, ho hum. Enter, though, and there are marvels to delight the senses. 


And just plain weird stuff, too.


 Mass MoCA is housed in an old factory that used to print on fabric. I have to admit, as much as I appreciated much of the art at the museum, the building and grounds were what I kept admiring most--and what I kept photographing. 




 This is another shot of the facility. Handsome and I were standing on a landing on about the third floor level, and I couldn't resist this shot of the stone walls and the steel cables. I could live here!


Later, we were on our way out, after seeing exhibit after exhibit of interesting, thought provoking and sometimes, just plain weird art, and we went into the former boiler building. TONS of old pipes and boilers in there, and it was even an exhibit. A sound exhibit, because all the pipes made sounds resonate in a beautiful way. I liked the old mechanics, though. Someday, someday, I will amass a collection of old engineering marvels, and I will make things. Interesting, useful things.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

10 Ways to Eliminate Swimsuit Shopping Trauma

1. Book a last-minute getaway without doing much research into the hotel. All you really need to know is that there are en suite facilities, right?


2. Pack very lightly. You can probably wear the same clothes for most anything that comes up, right?


3. Arrive at the hotel, discover that it's a really, really nice hotel, like The Porches at Mass MoCA, and that they have a heated swimming pool with heated stone pavement surround(!) and a hot tub, and all of that water fun is available to guests every single hour of the day and night. But you have no swimsuit!


4. Quickly discard the idea of skinny-dipping. This is a family hotel!


5. Get directions to the discount chain store. Or, failing to do that, drive in ever larger circles around the perimeter of the town until you come upon such a store.

6. Run in (the sun's going down!) and locate the swimsuit rack, which is always kind of right in front, right?

7. Grab anything that's "your color," and don't worry too much about style or size.

8. Dash into the dressing room. Since there likely won't be an attendant, find any room that's open, despite fussy, discriminatory  signage like "Men" or "Women."

9. If you can get into it, it's good enough. Again, the sun's about to go down!

10. Rush back to the hotel, change into suit without taking time to look into the mirror. Anyway, it's dark out now, so...

...slide into that hot tub and enjoy a soak. You haven't had time to fret about how you look in the suit, and you probably look just as good as anyone else in the pool area.
 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Choking on Chocolate, & a movie review

I prefer not to dwell on it, but I do occasionally write about my main infirmity because others with Sjogren's Syndrome might be interested.
Sjogren's Syndrome affects many, many areas of my body and my life, but one of the most constant reminders that my body is screwed up is my inability to swallow anything unless chased by copious amounts of liquid. Sjogren's isn't just about having a dry mouth; and saliva isn't just about drooling! I wouldn't dream of sitting down to eat a snack or a meal without a big glass of water. When offered a sample at a grocery or farmer's market, I have to pass. I've choked on way too many teeny cubes of artisanal cheese.
Today, I made the mistake of thinking a little, old, Hershey Kiss wouldn't be a problem, because surely, it would just melt in there and trickle down my throat. Right? 
Wrong. And when the chocolate became wedged in my throat, it burned! Ouch! (and dangerous.) Makes me wonder if my medications (Evoxac, Rituxan, Plaquenil) are doing anything. I don't want to write about this anymore, so I will clumsily segue into...a movie review.

The Woman in Black. Trailer implied spooky, beautiful, and set in the Edwardian Era, my favorite for costumery. (Titanic, Oh! Downton Abbey, Ah!) Don't rent it! The premise: A family matriarch has died, and young, widdowed, lawyer Dan Radcliffe is to settle the estate. (I think. It wasn't exactly clear, and the dog was barking up a storm, at this point.) So does Dan work his way through a stack of papers in the office? No! Despite that he's a single father with a toddler son, he must go do his lawyering at the remote location of the big, creepy estate and look through the family papers, there. All alone. But not all alone for long, because his son and the nanny are scheduled to come join him, at the remote, creepy mansion, in a couple of days. 
Children in the surrounding village are killing themselves at an alarming rate. They drink lye, drown themselves, and jump out second story windows. They kill themselves after they see the ghost of the woman whose son died, young, and whose body was never recovered.
Dan must be sleeping all day, because it's always night when he's working through those papers. Ghostly noises. Ghostly visions. Ghostly everything. What looks to be poorly taxidermied monkeys that play musical instruments. Does Dan leave? Of course not. After another child suicide or two, Dan and a villager decide to wade into a muddy lagoon and look for the ghost woman's dead son's body. Because that's got to be easy, right? Even though no one else has ever been able to find him.
And it is easy! Dan wades into the La Brea Tar Pit of cold mud and--luckily, he's tethered to the villager's vintage automobile--here's the body! Dan and Villager wrap the boy's remains in a sheet and leave it where his ghost mother will see him and be so grateful that she'll stop haunting the village children to death. She must not have been grateful enough.
And then it's time for Dan's son to join him. After watching a few children kill themselves and hearing about all of the other children who have met terrible ends, confident Dan meets his sweet, little boy at the train station and greets him, then allows him to slip away and wander off--even though the children in this village die, die, die when they're not directly supervised--into big, surprise ending!

I'd love to divulge the rest. Especially because if you follow my advise, you won't bother to rent this movie.

But.....well, if you must know...SPOILER! SPOILER! Dan has allowed his sweet, little boy to wander away in this town of extreme danger-danger-danger for all children, and the boy's spotted the woman in black and wandered right down onto the rails, right into the path of an oncoming train that must be an express--it isn't slowing down. Dan jumps in, and the train blasts by. He couldn't have escaped death!

The train passes, and ...Dan is standing on the tracks! Hugging his son! But wait! Where is has the nanny gone? She'd been standing on the platform.

Dan and son look into the distance. "Daddy, who's that lady?"

pause

"Why, that's your mother, who perished birthing you."

And they all walk off to Heaven. All, happily dead together.




Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Word A Day Wednesday: Just Too Easy


     "Macrame," bellowed the belligerent eighth grader. "This is supposed to be art--not home and careers."
     "Macrame is a craft," responded the sophisticated, classy, clever and beautiful Mrs. Brawnschweiger. "Not a comestable. A craft that you will all be glad to know--a skill you will be glad to possess, should you ever need to suspend a fishbowl from the ceiling."
     "Huh?" Four of the students had their heads cocked to the side like confused puppies, three of the students had their hands under the table, texting away, and the rest were rolling their eyes. Lots and lots of eye rolling.
     Mrs. Brawnschweiger opened the cardboard box and pulled out a big spool of jute. "I have jute for everyone: natural, fragrant, undyed jute. With that, and a brass ring apiece, you will make some very handsome belts."
     "Can we line up?"

Oh, no, no, no. Not the LITERAL meaning, for Pete's Sake.


 Writing stories and sharing them with the world is exhilarating--and simultaneously, makes me want to take my stripped-naked and exposed self right back up the stairs to hide beneath the sheets. When someone lets me know that they got a laugh or two from reading Kismet, that they found some pleasure in those words, I feel like I've reached for and hooked myself the brass ring.



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Titillation Tuesday, or I Chicken Out


My intended topic, as hinted at yesterday, will be postponed until further notice. Despite staring at my little "Don't Be So Chicken" and trying my best to live by the Creed of the Rooster Poster, I am not going to relate the story of Losing My Magic Feather, which could also be called Poor Self Image: Fifty Shades of Ugly. Maybe someday.
 Dumbo image copyright of Walt Disney Corp.
So instead, I will offer up a short scene from a new novel that is close to publication. May you never freak out over losing your own Magic Feather.

"Here we are."
Ruth pulled the leather reins back a little, and Doc came to a neat halt in front of the Victory Mercantile....I knew that I probably looked like a five-year old in a candy shop when I walked through the door, gaping at everything the way I did. The embossed tin ceiling gleamed, as did the glass and wooden sales counter. "Oh!" I said, aloud. When Ruth looked at me with a questioning glance, I added, "This is a very nice store!"
The shopkeeper heard me and responded, "Thank you young lady. Welcome to Victory Mercantile. Or is it welcome back? I'm sure I've seen you before."
I couldn't help but smile. No. He had never seen me before. 
 Ruth quickly interjected, "Miss O’Keeffe is visiting us from out-of-town, Gerald, from…down south…and she packed for the wrong weather. So now she needs some suitable clothing. A couple of skirts, some blouses, unmentionables, a pair of boots."
“Well," said the shopkeeper, "It sounds like you're talking about a whole new wardrobe. Did you want to purchase all these things ready made, or were you ladies planning to do some sewing?"
In unison, the Ruth and I chorused, "Ready made!" and laughed. Gerald and his magnificent mustache came around from behind the well-stocked counter and directed us down an aisle that contained everything from garden tools to digestive biscuits. At the far end, there were bolts of cloth and pattern books, hats, both plain and fancy, and some folded clothing on shelves. The door chimes sounded, again, and Gerald left us alone to look through his stock, with a reminder that, "Anything you see in those catalogs there, I can order for you and have delivered in a couple of weeks."
Ruth noticed two of her friends passing by on the sidewalk, and she excused herself in order to step out to exchange pleasantries with them. I was left to rummage through the inventory by myself. This trip into town was just what I needed, and I was relishing this time in the store. Meeting Gerald. Looking over shelves of colorful merchandise, admiring objects for which I could not imagine the use.
The pair of shoppers who had entered after us must not have needed Gerald's assistance, because he was soon back behind the counter moving around boxes and singing under his breath. I heard “by the light…of the silvery moon" in a soft, clear tenor voice. I could also hear the other shoppers talking, because they were only on the other side of the apparel display. They sounded like a couple of young women, and without trying too hard, I caught some of their conversation.
"Did you hear 'bout the fire at the Morgan place last night?" My ears perked up.
"When Daniel was with me?" replied the other woman. Evangeline!
I bent down to see if I could glimpse the women through the display shelves. From what little I could make out, one woman had on gloves and a shiny, satiny skirt, and the other woman had bare hands and carried a large parcel. Standing on tiptoe, I attempted to see over the displays, while remaining undetected by the women.
"This was pretty late. I heard that Daniel was headin' home in his wagon when he saw lightning hit a tree near one of his fields, and it quickly become a conflagration. He woke all the men, but before they could get there, he—”
Standing on tiptoe, I could just see over the shelves enough to see that the one in the fancier dress and gloves was also wearing a large hat that obscured her face. The woman who was recounting the tale of the fire was of medium height and voluptuous, wore a plain white blouse tucked into a striped cotton skirt, and she was the spitting image—the female version—of one of Daniel's three workers. I still couldn't get a good look at the fancy woman, the one that had to be Evangeline.
Fancy Woman said, "What happened next? I would have known if anyone was hurt, because they'd have summoned my father. How much damage was done?"
"Nothing lost but the hay, from what I understand. Bennett told me when he came home for a bit o' breakfast this morning that the rain came just before the fire spread out o' the field. Put it right out. He said the boss was frantic about something besides his hay crop, though. It was like he was tearing off to look for something in the woods when the men all run back to the bunks to get dry. That handsome son of his was with him, off in the woods, too."
"Did they find anything, Bertha? What did your brother say happened then?"
"Bennett didn't say, 'cause he went with the others to go back to bed. Daniel let them sleep in this morning. Bennett told us that he had the morning milking off. That's how he come to be home with the news."
By now, I had stealthily made my way to the end of the aisle so I could pretend to be looking at something up there, and so I could get a better look at Evangeline. Unfortunately, Evangeline's beribboned back was to me, but I could see that the woman was a tiny-bodied, wasp-wasted creature. 
Evangeline changed the subject. "I have something even more exciting to tell you, Bertha."
"More exciting than a blazing field and a half-day off from work? Do tell."
"When Daniel left last night, there was something different in the way he acted.” She giggled. “He was so romantic, so passionate. I think he's ready to propose marriage! Perhaps he's even spoken with my father already!"
Teetering on tiptoe, so close to seeing Evangeline’s front side, I leaned out and reached for the shelf to steady myself.
The sound of dozens of tins of Prince Albert Crimp Cut cascading to the floor was loud enough to summon the dead: certainly, loud enough to get the attention of everyone in the shop. I fumbled and scrambled to grab the tins as they fell, but in my frantic attempts, my elbow smacked into a mechanical contraption, and that, too, crashed to the floor. Gerald rushed out from behind his counter to help stem the tide, and the women stopped talking and stared at me. The fancy one, the one I’d been guessing was Evangeline, wrinkled up her little nose as if to say, ‘bull in a china shop.’ Bertha spent a minute staring at me, then grabbed her friend's arm and propelled her to the door.

From The Way Back. Stay tuned for more. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

4 Reasons to Love Sunday Evening

Sunday night: typically, a mini-mourning, as we all contemplate the end of the weekend and the resumption of another 5 days of work. (Please don't hate on me, folks who have other-than-the-"normal" schedules. I feel for you, too.) However, I've been looking forward to my Sunday evenings lately because it has been the time to get comfortable on the couch and tune in to Mahstapiece Theatah. Even though Downton Abbey is over.


Because of Sherlock! 


I Love Sherlock:


1. Because I've always loved Sherlock. The original Sherlock Holmes stories, that is. As a kid, I gobbled them up along with my Nancy Drew and the Agatha Christie novels. Can I figure it out before the end? As an adult, I read them for the mystery, yes, but also for the comedy. The quirkiness and the--may I say it?--Aspergerness--of the man. The British series Sherlock has that in spades.

2. Because they do adhere to canon. Yes, Conan Doyle didn't include the cell phones and the visualizing-the-inside-of-Sherlock's-mind stuff, but I feel more of the sense of the original watching the British show than, for instance, while watching Jude Law and Robert Downey, Jr. Or the old, "Elementary, My Dear Watson" ones, for that matter.


2. Because Sherlock, like other British television programs that I've seen, are rife with people who look like real people. American TV shows are chock full of people who look like Miss America and Ken (as in Barbie and Ken.) The leads are gorgeous. The secondary characters are gorgeous. The bad guys are gorgeous. The blurry extra walking across the road in the distance is gorgeous. It seems like the British producers are more in touch with the rest of us. Is American television a plot masterminded by plastic surgeons and cosmetic dentists, personal trainers and hair transplant doctors?*


3. Because...Benedict Cumberbatch! Best. Name. Ever. I wonder if he has a middle name?


4. Because, finally, it's entirely spoof-able. And I fully appreciate this Russian Sherlock Spoof even though I don't understand the language. Except the "elementare."

*Revisit tomorrow, for more on the topic of personal appearance and....

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tweakin' the Beak





A little background wash, a little beefing up of the lettering, and the Inspirational Rooster Poster might be finished. 


And while on the theme of "Don't Be So Chicken," I must offer up the account of my Monday Evening.


To backtrack: My artistic background has always been from the Graphic Arts/Ad Design realm (earlier college years, job in my 20's) to the 3D realm (later college years, craft fair circuit years, the courses I teach at public school) and so my 2D illustrative skills are not tip top. I wish I'd had more training. But while I often bemoan that fact, I shouldn't. I should do something about it.

To that end, I make myself assignments and I practice, and I recently sought out figure drawing opportunities, and there was an opportunity very close by! Last Monday evening, I put on my big girl pants and went to Sketch Club! Kind of like Fight Club, but no punching. A group of nice people who like to draw, paint, sculpt the figure meet every Monday evening in the Saratoga Arts Building for a three hour session with a model. They are very, very skilled. It will not hurt me at all to continue going to Sketch Club, and to soak up as much knowledge as I possibly can from these artists. 

I'll post results....wait and watch.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

10 Things You Should Not Donate to the Library

It's the rare magazine cover that does not shout at us to buy it to read about:
10 Tricks to De-Clutter Your House

8 Days to Dental Health!

5 Foods that Fight Fat!

6 Sexy Secrets to Spice Up Your Summer Nights!

 3 Exercises That Will Make You Skinny!

 (and always, always) 4 Best Jeans for Your Body Type


I don't know if it's a trend, or if I've just been noticing it more and more--I wonder if lady's magazines from the nineteen-naughts had those same headlines? Anyway, I am not a physician, dentist, personal trainer, sex therapist or fashion columnist, but I am big into volunteering at my local library, and the book sale room is my domain. As such, I am somewhat of an expert in what can be resold in a library book sale and what will NOT EVER SELL and YOU SHOULD NOT DONATE IT BUT SEND IT OUT WITH THE PLASTIC BOTTLES AND OLD NEWSPAPERS AND THE REST OF YOUR RECYCLING, DESPITE THE ADVICE THOSE DE-CLUTTERING ARTICLES GIVE YOU TO DONATE EVERYTHING YOU ARE THROUGH READING TO YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY. Please pardon my screaming rant.

10 Things You Should Not Donate to the Library


1. Anything with "Readers' Digest" printed anywhere on it. The people who come to library book sales are READERS, and they don't buy condensed material.
2. Your National Geographic collection. No--school children do not want them for research.
3. Sylvia Porter's Money Book, or any outdated financial advice book
4. American Heritage hardcover book-magazines
5. Textbooks. The professor will want you or your child to have the specific edition that he/she just wrote.
6. Almost anything that would be shelved in a "religion" section.
7. Outdated travel guides. (Same goes for Almanacs, Buying Guides and the like)
8. Old art books that have poor black and white reproductions of famous paintings. I know. I love my 1979 Jansen with the little sections of colored plates, and those books cost a lot. But in the 21st century, we have art books with colored reproductions on every page! Not to mention access online to any painting in any museum, anywhere at the touch of a button.
9. Colored-in coloring books. Really. (Does that need to be said? Unfortunately, yes.) Same goes for completed crossword puzzle books or Sudoku books.
and 10. Encyclopedias. And Encyclopaedias, too.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

OH SNAP!

and YIKES!


By uploading the "revised" edition of Kismet (to Amazon) I was able to add the new cover, but for some reason, the old cover is still there. After the new cover. And then after the old cover...another old cover. At least this is what one sees if they click on the "look inside" button, making it look like the book is completely unedited and submitted by a moron.


The uploaded/reloaded version doesn't even HAVE that old cover, so where is it coming from? Twice??


(Maybe those Amazon people just really, really liked the old cover.)







Monday, May 14, 2012

Don't Judge a Book by its Cover, except...

...when it has New Cover Art! 


Actually, not new art, because the painting that now adorns the cover of Kismet was painted over a hundred years ago, by Anders Zorn. A late Victorian Era lovely (the painted subject, not Zorn. Not that I'm putting him down, but I don't think he qualifies as "lovely.") I am still very, very fond of the original cover, a sketch detail by John Singer Sargent. However, I think color trumps quirkiness in this case, and the lettering change on the shaded band is an improvement, too.


Friday, May 11, 2012

New Images

In my quest to improve my drawing skills, I've tried to draw more often, and although I still haven't developed the constant sketching in the sketchbook habit, I have definitely stepped up my drawing frequency. I'm trying to allow myself to "play." Here's the latest playtime product:


AND, he happened to be tossed on the kitchen table when my friend Darcy visited, and I felt a little embarrassed because Darcy is an AWESOME professional illustrator. With actual, published books. Darcy's Website 

AND then I was doing some research about the upcoming Vermont Open Studios Tour, and came upon this most amazing woman and her artwork. WOW! I want to be Cynthia Emerlye when I grow up!


Ten Thousand Hours. That's all it's going to take. I've got that.

Incidentally, I'll be swapping out the Sargent cover for Kismet next week, and giving it a Zorn cover. A little color, and an almost era-appropriate dress.


Isn't she lovely?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Word A Day Wednesday + Rituxan Results?

My afternoon looms ahead, a very happy thing, but my ideal ways to spend it are discrepant: Part of me would really like to hunker down with the watercolors and finish my latest CHICKEN illustration, but another part of me would like to get out there and mow the lawn. Of course, once I start making a list of all of the wonderful options (write some Rapunzel, bake some gluten-free brownies, go to the library and shelve books, clean--no. Strike that one!) "research" sounds like the best way to spend my time. Especially when "research" involves reading and looking at pictures and playing around online.


Or I could research some Autoimmune Disease Stuff. Keeping in mind Rituxan Results Research (research?) I have to note that my mouth and other systems seem to be a little less dry than before the infusion. Maybe. Subtly. Mostly, this is based on how often and how desperately I need to sip water, while teaching. Less lately--or is it because the heat is off and it's not so dry in the classroom? I don't feel much change on the tiredness scale.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Old Gizmo, New Life?

This was a busy weekend. More fun than work happened. Yeah! Handsome and I spent some time at a local antiques fair and flea market. Handsome's interest: old woodworking tools (purchase = a big, flat, hatchet thing that he thinks will be useful in making shingles for or future house.) and expensive implements that he can use on the farm (purchase = a big, industrial strength power washer.) 

My hunt was for: small oil cans that I find amongst boxes of junk and buy for mere pennies--must be a real "find" or the challenge isn't there and I don't buy it--(and I didn't. no purchase there) and interesting mechanical or architectural elements that I can remake into furniture or other household items. Here's my weekend purchase:





It's an antique drill press!
All of the parts seem to be there, and all seem to be working, and it has one big, fat drill bit in it. Hardly any rust, moderate grease and dust. (I'm a poet and I don't even know it.)


Now, this "find" could be bolted to a beam and actually used, but I'm brainstorming different ways to incorporate it into...a coffee table? a chair? a lamp? Plant stand seems too easy. It does have great potential though. Right? I would be very, very interested in your ideas. Please!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Nice Day to Sit in a Hammock and Read

Tomorrow, I'll be showing a snapshot of the AWESOME antique mechanism I bought at the flea market/antique show at the fairgrounds. I'm going to use it for...something. Someday. But for now, I recommend downloading a fun read and putting up your feet and relaxing into an easy chair or a lawn chair with Kismet, of course. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Excerpt! (from new work, probably not to be called...Steam and Steel Rapunzel)


“Henry, I know what I need.”
“A glass of water, Dear?” He began to sit up.
“I need an automaton.”
“An automaton?” said Henry. “Why ever would you—”
“I am too indisposed to keep up with the housework, Henry. One of M. Tuttle’s Home Help Automatons is quite what I need.”
“Dear,” said Henry. “You’ve seen the types of people that come out of that shop with automatons. Gentlemen and bankers. Solicitors. Not people like us. Not common folk. Why…I can’t begin to imagine the cost of an automaton.”
“Of course. Of course.”
Henry rolled over and went back to sleep, and Ruth did, too.
However, the next day, when Ruth felt well enough to arise, yet unwell enough to attend to any of the household chores, she put her mind to it and managed to get dressed and walk across the street. She paused in front of M. Tuttle’s Home Help Automaton shop, eye-to-eye with the display automaton on the sidewalk. It was an ugly thing, indeed, with its dull, metal waistcoat and its rusted metal boots, its single, central eye and its metal hook hands. If one could call them hands. She began to have reservations about moving such a thing into their household, until she remembered the coal dust on the carpets and the cobwebs in the corners. Ruth turned away from the automaton, and pushed open the door.
She found herself alone in the small shop, alone—amongst piles of cast-off tea kettles, carriage wheels, trumpets and buckets, shovels and pick axes. On one side of the shop, there was a tremendously long curio cabinet that stretched from near the front window of the shop to very near the back wall. She peered through the glass and saw several flutes, dozens of mouth organs, and a wondrous array of jewelry. The piercing shrill of a steam jet caused Ruth to jerk her head around to find its source, and she watched as a person in a long leather apron emerged from a door on the back wall.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fun with Markers

Although it pains me to expose myself as a Draftsperson In Need Of Intervention, here's the second-day work on Miss Kittie, my marker on bristol board interpretation of a vintage photographic portrait:


Meh. I pulled out one of her contemporaries. No name on the back, so I dubbed her "Not Kittie."
Not Kittie was a less-exacting illustration, more lines for shadow and contour on the face, but all-in-all, simpler. I like it better, and so I'll try a few more in this direction. One revelation: Sakura Markers! I've always been a Sharpie Girl, love to draw with Sharpies and over the years, the smell's even lost its "sick headache" connotation and I kind of like it. In moderation. But one thing that's always messed up my drawings in Sharpie is the little (or not so little) blobs of ink that happen if I hesitate for even a split second on the paper, and always, at the end of a line. The Sakura markers don't seem to do that. They make a BEAUTIFUL line right where I want it-no blobs. Yay, Sakura! I think they're supposed to be archival, too.

If only my fingers would cooperate, now!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Word A Day Wednesday

"Pass the tartar sauce," said Mike, "My fish sticks are getting cold."
"And you wouldn't want to eat cold fish sticks?" asked Roger.
George chimed in. "Mmmm. Only thing better than a hot, compacted wand of dust-mite-sized pieces of a less-than-desirable species of fish that's been plunged into a thick, doughy batter and then fried in old oil, would be--"
"PASS THE TARTAR SAUCE." Roger and George simultaneously reached for the small bowl of mayonnaise and sweet pickle relish; the unhappy result being a puddle of tartar sauce on the tablecloth, and none for Mike.
Mike blasted out of his chair and grabbed Roger around the throat. Roger flailed and sputtered.
George turned to the other nine guests at the dinner table and said, "That Mike. He can be a right tartar when he gets riled."