Friday, May 30, 2014

Inspiration feeds Inspiration

Inspiration feeds Inspiration

I don't really know what that means.

Prayer Book
 Inspiration feeding inspiration is something that I feel. 
I feel it when painting and I feel it when stitching.
The only way I can explain it is knowing that if I take the first stitch or the first brush stroke, inspiration will come for the next stitch or stroke and so on and so on. 
The term, blind faith, just came to me.
I looked for a definition and found:

Blind Faith
Definition:  belief without true understanding, perception, or discrimination

I think that is what it is; believing and trusting a beginning inspiration.  

Prayer Book Bird
Oh dear! 
I got way off track with that. 
I simply wanted to share the beginning of this little prayer book.
to say that you can follow me on
this rabbit hole that I recently fell through.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I passed the countdown mark

One Hundred Faces
Face No 90

One Hundred Faces
Face No 91

One Hundred Faces
Face No 92
It's countdown time. 
All three of these are in the dime-zone (meaning their face can be covered with a dime) and when I painted them, it was dark and cloudy outside. 
I couldn't see what I was doing.
But I had no idea No 92 had been out in the snow. 
Only three more of the tiny spots to go.
My fav of this group is 91.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Take time to look at No 89

One Hundred Faces
Face No 89 is 1.25 inch square
I have a lot to say about No 89 and hope that I can express my thoughts, as well as, show behind the scene of painting No 89. 

The first thing you should know, she is small. I never counted this one in the dime-zone, however, she is one and a quarter inch square....more or less. I just checked and she could be considered quarter-zone (meaning her face can be covered by a quarter).

The next thing you should know is she is painted on the one text-place-holder out in the middle of the blank space surrounded by the dime-zone.

While painting one hundred  eighty eight faces, there has been a lot of time for thoughts to swirl around. More than once, I worked myself into a frenzy about what to paint where. In other words, some of the place-holders seemed more important than others. 

This one is a fine example of that. Right out in the middle. Alone. In my mind, she would stand out and needed to be special in some way. She demands to be seen because of her placement away from the crowd.

All of these thoughts are swirling along with wondering when the time would come to paint on this special spot. While I was curious, I held onto the plan to be intuitive about when and what.

While resting in the chair zone several days ago, I flipped through the pages of a W magazine just looking at faces.

reference for face 89
This one jumped out at me. I bookmarked the page and kept flipping. Then yesterday, after a great afternoon nap, I woke thinking it was time to paint No 89. I sat down at the easel and stared at the board wondering what face would show up today. 

Then, I picked up the W magazine and opened it to the bookmarked page. 
I had forgotten about her.

It all made perfect sense to me. 
Straight forward pose.
Exactly the pose that should stand alone, away from the crowd, surrounded by the dime-zone faces. 
I get thrilled when these things become so clear to me while painting.

beginning first sketch
First I decided to give the text square a background layer of white. After the first swipe of white, I stopped and painted all except the middle with black.  Then, went over the black with white leaving a black border edge. I continued with thin layers of white and really liked the result.

I did purposely paint the chin line. However, the face that you can see under the first pencil marks is coincidental.
I love when a face emerges even before I get going!
I laid down some pencil marks to guide me with the feature placement. 
iPhone reference
However, as you can see, the face covers the whole page and is very awkward to paint a quarter size face from a big magazine page. 
Instinktively, I picked up my iPhone and decided to crop out the part I was not going to paint. When I did this I realized that I could paint from my iPhone instead of the magazine.
editing reference
When I chose the square aspect mode, it dawned on me that I could use the lines to help with the sketch.
I kept a screen shot to paint from.
And do you remember the 1/3 rule? 
Of course, that is where I lined up the eyes.

layout for sketch
I erased my first bit of pencil marks and started over.
new sketch
Once I am deep into the zone of painting, I forget to stop and take photos. 
I was loving the result of every brush stroke. 
And, thinking about how often I do love every stage but feel it is unfinished and keep going. 
Somewhere along the way with her, I made a decision to "not" keep going. 
The very next thought was to leave off any color. 
In other words, wouldn't she be more special and different and demanding if she was painted in black and white.  
painting with iPhone reference in hand

she gets her number
When I am finished, I give them their number. 
They are too small for a signature and it just seems like the number is my signature.
The final touch. 

Face 89 in the scheme of 100 faces
But wait!
face no 89
I went back and looked at the magazine reference. 
Suddenly, the word jumped off the page!

Throughout this whole project, if you were talking to me about it I would tell you that my whole point in painting these many tiny faces all together on one piece of art was to get you to stop, get close and linger over the painting.

I want you to Look around the whole board at each and every face.
I want you to choose a favorite.
I want you to make comments about the ones that speak to you. 
I want you to see what I see.
I want you to see what I don't see. 
I just want you to Look and take it all in.
Take time to Look.

No 89 demands that you Look!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

This week in my Gardens with critters


A View

The week started Sunday on my "think tank" going around and around and around at least 6 hours. 

 I love Zinnias!
The cool thing is how fast they germinate. 
I over seeded this window box with the idea of transplanting some to the yard beds. 
Purple Wandering Jew
 Eventually I will move these rooted cuttings to a bed. I want to give them a good start first. 
They also do well in hanging baskets.

 I promise!
I promise I will not show every bloom and seedling. 
I promise.
But look at those pickle blooms about to go up the trellis. 

Garden Critters!
Add caption
 Imagine my surprise, shock and utter disbelief when I went out early Monday morning and discovered this!
rolly pollies aka pill bugs aka sow bugs 
What to do?
Well, I started going out each morning by 6:30 and collecting them in a cup with bamboo tongs and then transporting them to the compost bin.
I figured they might as well go to work for me since they mainly diet on decomposing things.
Here's the thing, I unknowingly created a fairy size ecosystem where during the day the pill bugs stay behind the white rocks that I placed around the tree and at night they come out to dine on my fairy moss. 

 This is what it looks like today. 
I gave up.

And then went to the garden and discovered a hole on a bigger scale.
No doubt made by an armadillo. 
Just a larger version of a pill bug. 
Don't you think?

 A Rose Garden Dream
on my "when I retire" list
three new roses in the first section
before in the second section

 I added a 4th rose and transplanted scarlet morning glories from the garden to the trellis. 

 A Bed in Progress
ready to seed

seed packets
How can you pass up 20¢ and 50¢ seed packets.
I'm a seed hoarder.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

No 88

One Hundred Faces
Face No 88
She is in row 3. 
I decided that I should go ahead stay in the area of larger faces.
It seems the closer I get to 100, the slower I am. 
But that is mostly because I am spending a lot of time outside.
I come in a sweaty mess and too pooped to paint. 
I know you can do the math...
but 100 - 88 = 12!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

No 86 fits on 87's cheek

One Hundred Faces
Face No 87
 Face No 87 is in row two.
Which means she is the largest face so far.
She is 3.75" x 5.75".
The truth is, I got real comfortable painting tiny faces. 
I also felt myself dreading rows one and two.
Last week I had to just do it. 
She is under Face No 87
 This is what happened.
I sketched.
I painted.
I wiped.
I recognized that I DID NOT want to be at the easel. 
So, I went outside and did some digging in the dirt. 
Soul feed.
One Hundred Faces
I think it was Sunday that I started again.
Here I show you the difference in row two and the dime-zone.
No 86 fits on 87's cheek. 

I love them both!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

This week in my gardens


egg plants germinated

dill germinated

cucumber blooming

my galvanized bucket collection is growing


compost bin doubled in size this week

new potting shelf behind the greenhouse

old bucket used for potting shelf legs

added Mexican Heather to upper patio garden

squash blooms about to happen

cherry tomatoes blooming

fig crop

pepper blooms

wildflower at the end of the garden
kitty in the background

transplanting moss
the fairy house moss garden

landscaping around the base of the tree

ajuga transplanted

Fairy Garden