Sunday, May 20, 2018

Down in the Valley a writing prompt

Writing fills a part of me that painting, dancing and even sewing cannot reach.

These are the prompts for this week from

THIS WEEK'S WORDS come from "Hello, Baihua Mountain" by Bei Dao: guitar, patches, sign, valley, sunlight, slits, tale, distant, waterfall, drifted, hand, abyss

 Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading my words:

                                                                  Down in the Valley

He played the guitar like she made quilts... patches of sound would surface and she would become attached to them.
The rhythm or melody bits drifted into her hearing as she read or stitched or daydreamed.
 While her hands made art from sewing patches of fabric or beads, her mind would travel to distant memories of hearing that song before.

Funny thing about the senses.

A tiny bit of a scent, or a sound will transport you to another time and place, and you can feel the memory.

 Sometimes it's like looking through gauze curtains, but sometimes it's instant and strong, like you are there again. Details stand out as if outlined by sunlight, as if watching a movie, as if the last 20 years had not happened.

At those times she wondered had they happened to her, all these events? How could so many events occur to one person, and how could one person hold so much in one lifetime?

Oh, play "Down in the Valley", she thought... a melody that haunted her from childhood trips to the gentle mountains of Appalachia. A song that took her soul to a soft place of looking down into a valley from a wooden porch, at a time when her poet's soul was but a child longing for the events to start.

Love, LeeAnna
has there been a song in your life that transported you to another time?


Saturday, May 19, 2018

How taking a walk leads to art!

Walking your dog leads to art... especially if your poodle takes a shine to a doodle down the street and their Mama's find out they both make art!

I have loved getting to know Connie, Carly's mama, and she invited me into her studio (you'll have to wait a bit to see that interview) to see where she works. She says she creates in nature, but takes the concept back to her workspace to make.
 Yesterday she invited me to a play date with her art group.

What fun! Want to see what we did?
We all worked on our individual projects at first, Erin made a birthday card, I sewed the beads around my V-day quilt, we had lunch and then I told Connie I was intrigued with her watercolor paintings, and asked if she'd show us her technique.

It's been a minute since I painted on paper. Connie combined the fun of stamps, water soluble markers and brushes, allowing us to use her supplies, while she taught us a new technique. Just look at all the stamps and inks she brought along.

* I learned you need to make a mess first, then make art

It is so much more fun to see the array of stamps and pens spread out on the table, than to have everything in it's case.
We taped a small piece of cardstock to a large piece of same weight cardstock to be used as a test for the images we were going to stamp. We had small brushes and water, some paper toweling and chocolate, good music playing and lots of conversation as well.
Connie started us with swiping ink over a stamp, then after pressing it onto your paper, gently going over the lines with a damp brush. This causes the pigment to migrate and create shadow.
* I learned how to use color in an additive way to layer, deepen, blend to create shadows

People think watercolor is not forgiving but I know one can remove wet pigment with a scrunched up paper towel (see my clouds formed that way) If you don't like something, remove some of it and stamp over the result.

*keep going because it's not over til it's over
Connie says, it's just paper... don't be afraid of waste or mistakes. Just have fun and keep going. Sometimes she puts it aside and comes back later to view it with fresh eyes, and a solution will come to her.
We do that with quilts right?

*have your supplies at hand and organized but available to use
*sharing is good
Connie's handiwork yesterday!
One of my finished pieces
*mix colors, remember to use light medium and dark for depth, come in at the end with dark markers full strength for definition

*sign all work even if you think it's not good

I went in at the end and added yellow to the center as it needed warmth.
The paint was diluted by rubbing the marker on a slick palette then diluting with a bit of water, and dropped onto the dry card.

*be brave and try it. Life is about learning and experimentation, don't be afraid to mess it up

my other finished piece
*masking the piece with tape before painting creates another element, the white strips top and bottom set the whole thing off to me.
*random is really pretty

as much as I like my two small works, and I do, I think I'm captivated by my scrap sheet of paper even more.

*unplanned random images can be the best work

I'm going to show you close ups of the test paper next because cropped into a composition image for the blog, I realize the value of the test work!!!

It is very pretty to me in it's random nature, and I spent no time nor decision making on any of it unlike the actual artwork.

* there is something to just play, don't you think? Unplanned and layered , overlapping images create vignettes you couldn't have planned.

Like the image at the top of my post, this was just a way to test mixing color on the stamp itself, and how direct marker application over watered down pigment would blend.

The blue is strong but not too strong for a future boat bottom or distant depth of water.

The blur of purple introduced when the blue was wet on the paper makes a nice blend.

The yellow green looks subtle but really pretty stamped over the blurry sky

I tested how much water to drag along the stamped lines before they got lost. I found I liked the lines emerging in a subtle way, more of a suggestion of lines, leading the viewer to the idea of a wagon more than a hard edged painting would.
*I also think gold warms up a piece in subtle ways.
Wouldn't this make a lovely book mark?

It's really quite easy to approach doing a watercolor this way

Stamps and some watersoluble markers, some heavy textured watercolor paper, a brush are all that's needed.

And a sense of play

linking to
all seasons

Friday, May 18, 2018

Mountain towns tour

While we can see the mountain range from our neighborhood, we decided to see them up close and personal last weekend. (First post on that is found HERE)
the towns we visited, Evergreen in this post (  HERE)  Frisco and Breckenridge started as mining towns with all that implies. Log cabins, banks, saloons, brothels, rooming houses, etc.
Frisco was named after the vice president in 1878 as a sort of homage and to entice the country into allowing them to be a post office town! It worked!
Over time, the buildings have been covered over, and this showed some of the layers of one wall
Frisco has collected original buildings and placed them in the town green as a historical center. There are about 15 such buildings here, and to join history with current life, there are many activities held here annually. We hope to go back for some of them although getting across the mountains to this area takes us about 2 hours. I liked that on the plaque next to the history, there is a sign that says this person "adopted" this cabin! Way to save history for us all!! Thanks!
there are existing houses still inhabited too.
The town is nestled in a dip of the mountain peaks but is still at 9800 feet! Woozy... 

Amid the historical collection is this beautiful pavilion where events can be held
 My attempt at artsy shots of the fairy lights in the ceiling. How magical it would feel to dance here with the wood floors, the mountains right there, and music playing.
I'd like to do an art quilt based on this!
I'd like to eat at this cajun food restaurant! I like gumbo! I like beignets!

that cajun must be lost if they are from New Orleans. (Nawlins as my friends say it)
look at this shop in Breckenridge. I was too busy shopping looking and panting to take many pictures. Milo was hyper too, and is just learning what shopping with mama and daddy means. He actually calmed down enough toward the end to look at stuff.
I looked at stuff, and got a sale sweater in this cool store but oooo lalala that cow head and tractor!

Have you heard of the small house movement? Crazy! We want more space! Well we saw this little house in Frisco
Apparently someone fits into it. Note the chairs out front for perspective.
Note the poodle out front for perspective
it seems to even have a SMALLER house behind it, for what I don't know!!!
As goldilocks said, "this house is TOO small"

So the hope is once we find and move into our own house, we can concentrate on exploration of the area, and you know I'll show you too! Wonder what's going on this weekend?

Thursday, May 17, 2018

I LIke Thursday #89 Mountains, craft shows, and a poodle

Welcome to this week's list of "likes" !
I love my pup... he's full of mischief and energy but... ain't he sweet?

This weekend to celebrate my birthday we went West! To the Mountains!
to Breckenridge, Evergreen, and Frisco CO. If we're a gonna' live here we better get to know it.

We started at one of my favorite things to do, go to an outdoor craft show! Horseshoe Craft show in Denver who invited all well behaved dogs and Milo met lots of them! He was so good!
How'd they know it was my birthday??!
We chatted with artists, and looked at pretty things, and met people and

 after enjoying this show, we walked over to the cutest little library...
It was in a tiny building in a park, built 100 years ago this year! I thought it must have been a church
But the librarian said it was built as a library. I love little neighborhoods like this with a respect for older buildings. They don't build them like this anymore
It was like a magical castle to my inner little girl!
We drove on to see what was happening in Evergreen CO, a little gold mining town that's now shops and bars
Built into the rocks of the Rockies
with mountain streams rushing through the town
The oldest bar, I was told Willie Nelson used to sing here.
The next day we enjoyed two more quaint mountain towns
in Frisco I think
Frisco an old mining town from 1870's and neighboring Breckenridge. Can't you just see miners coming into town on horseback, to weigh their gold and drink some whisky?

We started to get woozy after a few hours and dh looked up the altitude.
Too bad the oxygen store was closed, we were over 9000 feet and feeling lightheaded.

I have a lot more pics to share on the next post, but as this is an I Like post, I'll just throw in some normal likes such as...
Strong morning coffee (au lait) and an organic granola in a pretty dish. The day spreading before me...
Milo's growing rock collection
watching Milo play and get along with lots of dogs this weekend.
Hello cutie! Wanna come out and play?
He never got tired of it!
Milo's Moments: "Well, I might have gotten a bit of altitude sickness as I found I could only chase the phone case around the historic park for about 10 laps before I fell down laughing and panting. My peeps were amazed but I am just a "wild and crazy guy!"

Look at that cow kerchief Mama put on me! I got some pets from that you betcha! And that expensive harness you see??? I've almost chewed through it twice now! Ha! Enormous poodle teeth!
wanna read about my latest misdemeanor? look HERE

Don't forget to look for the other post on all the cool mountain stuff we did and saw coming up soon. Mama will put in a link: (mountain-towns-tour HERE !), or just go sniffing around!

My friends keeping it paw-sitive this week are....join us sometime, won't you?

linking to some of these
Our World Tuesday
Travel_Tuesday  Our World Tuesday

  http://sky watch Fridays
Thankful Thursdays pet parade
willy nilly Friday (random images)
habbyartboutique fridays