Thursday, August 29, 2013

EDM 85 - A Store in My Neighborhood

This souvenir shop is close to being in my neighborhood, and it has been around since the 1940s. It looks like it, too! I drive by this crazy windmill almost every day. Don Quixote, eat your heart out!

If you live in a tourist area, you can bet on one thing never changing. There will be at least one legendary souvenir shop that sucks in the most tourists and sells a disproportionate percentage of stuff that has nothing whatsoever to do with the authentic local attraction, which in our case is the Amish. And, you can also bank on the fact that the year-round residents never go inside that shop. Such is the case with Dutch Haven. But, in the spirit of not biting the hand that feeds me, I am thankful this place does such a robust business because I suspect it's one of the reasons our county weathered the most recent economic crisis so well.

So, cheesy windmill, keep on spinning, and we locals will keep driving past without "tilting at you" at all, for you are not the enemy. You are a friend!
EDM 85 - A Local Store; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 84 - Bread

Just a little creative advertising for The Grown-Up Bread Company, a bakery that doesn't really exist, but should. These sourdough heels were actually in my fridge. Right after I took their picture, I ate them. Why do children hate the crust? It's the best part!
EDM 84 - Bread; 3x3" watercolor

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

EDM 83 - A Local Body of Water

We buy our drinking water and dispense it from huge bottles set atop a water cooler. Lugging the bottles from the car and lifting them onto the cooler provide a mini-cardio workout for wimpy me.
EDM 83 - A Local Body of Water; 3x3" watercolor

Monday, August 26, 2013

EDM 82 - My Workspace

My studio is a small, sunny room on the middle floor of our 80-year-old house. It is super cozy. The eclectic collection of repurposed furniture fits perfectly, and there's very little extra room to get overly messy, which is a good thing. I have to have relative order to be creative. My dad was an architectural engineer, and I grew up loving blueprints (including the smell). I used to enjoy designing dream houses, and I still love bird's eye views of rooms.
EDM 82 - My Workspace; 3x3" watercolor

BluJar Gets a Home

I drew and painted this several weeks ago, when I first set up my new studio. The layout has changed a little, as I've added more desk space, but generally it's the same. The studio is very small, but very bright. Bright is more important to me than space.

I haven't wanted to post this picture online because I didn't want to make the name of my studio public until I was closer to opening for business and until I had the name registered. I am getting closer to launching, and the name is officially mine, except it has changed from BluJar Design, as in this painting, to BluJar Studio, which better reflects what my plans are for the business. I am a graphic designer, but I'm not interested in doing graphic design exclusively. I want to paint and sell artwork. My pieces often have an element of graphic design about them. I can't really help myself. If I were a landscape painter, which I'm not, I would find some way to "design" the scene. It is how I see the world.

I am having so much more fun now that I've stepped away from graphic design (all on computer) and picked up pens and brushes again. Getting up in the morning and working in my studio is a joy. Having to leave the studio and do housework? Not so much, but I am enjoying being home after years of working in an office.
New BluJar Studio; Moleskine Watercolor Journal

EDM 81 - A Streetlight

I took this picture when I was in Chicago a couple months ago. I knew I would enjoy drawing this streetlight, and I did! The lights on Michigan Avenue are so classy and charming. I wonder how old they are. The picture I drew from had a very modern high-rise building in the background. I left it out, because it just did not go with this "graceful lady."

EDM 81 - A Streetlight; 3x3" pen & watercolor

Sunday, August 25, 2013

EDM 80 - Makes Me Happy

Fireflies make me happy. For 12 years we lived in a part of the country that doesn't have lightning bugs. Then we moved back north to Pennsylvania when our kids were 7 and 4 years old. Seeing the kids experience the wonder and joy of fireflies for the first time made me realize how much I had missed them. They are an amazing thing! AND, they are quiet!!
EDM 80 - Makes Me Happy; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 79 - An Ear

Forgive me for engaging in a little social commentary, but this is a peeve of mine.

America has an increasing noise pollution problem. I'm not talking about cars, busses, motorcycles, or jet airplanes. I'm talking about the fact that it's almost impossible to get away from the constant broadcasting of one sound or another in this country. It is piped into our ears everywhere we go, and there seems to be nothing we can do to avoid it. TVs or music play non-stop in grocery stores, bookstores, and even OUTDOOR shopping plazas. Amusement parks hide large speakers behind every bush or tree and blast you with more noise, as if the screams and laughter aren't noisy enough. Waiting rooms, airports, restaurants--they all have decided we can't sit in silence. Even our churches are afraid of "dead air," and play music or some other audible filler every minute, even before and after services.

It's gotten to where you cannot find quiet anywhere. And, if there isn't enough noise already, it seems like more and more people are walking around with thin, white wires hanging out of their ears, sending the message that their ears are busy ingesting more intentional sound waves. Our ears never get a break. They get constant practice in listening. You'd think all that practice would result in our being better listeners, but I find just the opposite. Real listening is a dying art. I am no better at it either. I am not a good listener. I fear there is no solution to this. Sigh.

Okay, rant over.

I know body parts out of context are kind of creepy, so I apologize if this painting is disturbing. I know it's an odd illustration and perhaps a little too realistic.

EDM 79 - An Ear; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 78 - A Souvenir

I've traveled quite a lot in my life, but I'm not much of a souvenir buyer. I bought a woven scarf in Costa Rica, even though I'm pretty sure I could have bought it in the States. I'll always remember the shop where I bought it and how hot the weather was that day and how we had difficulty understanding the shopkeeper's English, since my Spanish is almost non-existent. So the scarf makes me remember. Voila! It's a souvenir.
EDM 78 - A Souvenir; 3x3" watercolor

Saturday, August 24, 2013

EDM 77 - Something Cold

My feet are always cold, but that is not why I painted my toenails HOT pink. Today is my birthday, but that is not why I painted my toenails hot pink. I don't care anymore. THAT is why I painted them hot pink. You see, when I was 12 and in junior high, a boy who was a little older and a lot cooler than I made fun of my big ugly toes. I know now that he was just doing what insecure junior high boys do. And, likewise, I responded like a typical insecure junior high girl. I became extremely self-conscious about my big, ugly toes. They really weren't/aren't very attractive. But, today, after years of hiding my less-than-attractive feet, I painted my toenails a color that says, "Look at me!" I'm 51, and I just don't care anymore. :) (BTW, I used the actual nail polish in this painting. It is WAY bright!)
EDM 77 - Something Cold; 3x3" watercolor

Friday, August 23, 2013

EDM 76 - A Flower

This flower is doing so well on our porch this year. And, I actually know what this is: some variety of hibiscus. And, we'll just leave it at that.

EDM 76 - A Flower; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 75 - Favorite Recipe

This is one of my favorite vegan recipes. I enjoy this kind of small, impressionistic illustration. It brings back memories of the Steven Cartwright find-the-yellow-duck books I used to read with my children when they were very young. Now my daughter is married, and as part of her wedding gift, I illustrated and laminated cards of several favorite family recipes in this style (second picture below). It was a fun project.
EDM 75 - Favorite Recipe; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 74 - Clouds

This is painted from one of my favorite pictures taken at our daughter's wedding in June. The gray clouds parted and dispersed just before the reception. It was pretty much perfect.
EDM 74 - Clouds; 3x3" watercolor

EMD 73 - My Mailbox

Another drab black item enlivened with watercolor. I did something similar with a doorknob in my house. Color my world....
EDM 73 - My Mailbox; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 72 - Something New

My husband and I finally went inside a restaurant we have passed for years. So the place was new to us. This flowering bush was near our parking spot. Of course, the landscaping around ANY place is usually new to me, since I can name so few plants, flowers, and trees. Last time I painted a flower for which I didn't know the name, I wasted too much time researching the name, when I should have just let the smart gardeners here do it for me. So, here you go. Ready, set, GO! And, if you tell me to look it up, I WILL roll my eyes at you.
EDM 72 - Something New; 3x3" watercolor

Thursday, August 22, 2013

EDM 71 - Favorite Sport

Some reasons I enjoy watching golf: it's slow, the scenery is beautiful and green, the players are polite (almost always), honor is key, and above all, the courses are meticulously designed. I love design!
EDM 71 - Favorite Sport; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 70 - Afraid Of

No matter what I'm doing, whether it's fun or housework, I always feel like I won't have time to finish. Time always moves faster than I want it to.
EDM 70 - Afraid Of; 3x3" watercolor

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

EDM 69 - A Beverage

I don't LOVE coffee. I really only sort of like it. If it weren't warm and intensely aromatic and didn't come surrounded by quaint coffee shops, I doubt I would drink it at all. I go days and sometimes weeks without drinking it, so I don't think I'm addicted to it. Diet Coke, on the other hand, I am always trying to quit. If only I COULD switch to coffee!
EDM 69 - A Beverage; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 68 - My Computer

My phone can do almost everything my computer can do, which begs some questions. When will traditional computers become obsolete? My thumbs are so well trained now, will they even bother to teach touch typing anymore? Why are iPhone cases so expensive? (Okay, that last one is just something I'm curious about.)
EDM 68 - My Computer; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 67 - Something "Mom"

My mom patiently taught me to sew when I was very young. It was a great gift. Pretty much all my life I have loved fabric stores. It's such a feast for the eyes and hands and even the nose. You have to handle the fabric, you see, and the smell of new fabric is part of the experience. Spools of thread remind me of colored jewels. Come to think of it, that's what draws me to watercolors, too.
EDM 67 - Something "Mom"; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 66 - A Fire Hydrant

So, about how the fire hydrant ended up next to the dog? Can't make this stuff up.
EDM 66 - Fire Hydrant; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 65 - A Nose

Our dog's day includes large blocks of time, sitting atop her dog house, patrolling the backyard, and catching rabbits in her dreams.
EDM 65 - A Nose; 3x3" watercolor

Monday, August 19, 2013

EDM 64 - A Sink

This seemingly abstract drawing is actually a continuous contour drawing of a pedestal sink in my bathroom. The line starts at the top triangle and ends at the lower one. This was fun to take from concept to completion.
EDM 64 - A Sink; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 63 - Nature {Backyard} Walk

I'm in the middle of a big project, so the nature walk was shortened to a stroll around the backyard. Looking up the name of flowers you're unfamiliar with is similar to your middle school teacher telling you to look up words you couldn't spell in the dictionary. If I knew how to spell it I wouldn't be asking. Where do i start? So my "research" for naming this backyard flower was a Google search that went something like, "strange pink flower on long stalk blooms in late summer." Honestly, if Google didn't have that "Images" tab, I'd still be looking for the name of these crazy things growing at the back of our property. Nah. I'd have given up, because I'm just not that curious about flowers. They're pretty and unusual. That's enough for me.
EDM 63 - Nature Walk; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 62 - A Different Medium

I remade a favorite Gerard Manley Hopkins poem from EDM 15, but this time I used a dip pen with a very small flat calligraphy nib and gold pen ink applied with a brush. It's much more sparkly in person. I wish I had painted the background a warmer color to start with. After the words were down, it was too late, because my sepia calligraphy ink is not waterproof. Next time. There will be a next time, because I love illuminated manuscripts, and I want to do some for real someday.
EDM 62 - A Different Medium; 3x3" calligraphy and watercolor

EDM 61 - A Grouping of Similars

I love scissors. Really love them! But, 4 S's in one word? Really? I never counted them until I started trying to draw them. So, this is a grouping of scissors or of S's. Either way, it was fun to paint.

EDM 61 - Similars; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 60 - Part of an Automobile

I have this thing against symmetry in design. Unless it IS the design, symmetry is just the lazy, easy way out. This, of course. Is my opinion. AND, the double design no-no is to color your symmetrical design gray. Nap, anyone? Putting drivers to sleep with your designs? Can you lose your artistic license for that? My old Toyota Avalon (old, as in it has a cassette player and almost 200K miles) has the most boring gray, symmetrical console, unless you count the shiny faux mahogany accents. I jazzed it all up a tad. Drive awake, people!
EDM 60 - Part of an Automobile; 3x3" watercolor

Friday, August 9, 2013

EDM 59 - A Sign of Autumn

The corn here grows to 13 feet high during an average summer. There's no telling how high it will go after the wet, warm summer we're having. Corn farmers are ecstatic! In the early fall, when the corn starts its quiet, gradual fade to harvest time, the mighty giants will shrivel and thin, and we'll be able to see the horizon again!

This painting was on life support more than once. At one point, I scrubbed it with salt and water to take it back to something I could start to like. I'm going to call this technique "heavy lifting." Get it? Lifting paint in a big way? Heavy? Lifting? I know. Move on. I learned a lot about what the paper can take. I might even do it intentionally someday. In the end, I liked the effect of paper that had been harshly stripped of paint--sort of the watercolor version of stone-washed jeans. As so often happens, an accident turned happy.
EDM 59 - A Sign of Autumn; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 58 - A Sentimental Hat

In 2006, my husband, our two children, and I went to Hong Kong for 9 days as part of a team from our church. We did not go primarily to see sites or to shop for souvenirs, even though we did a little of both. This funny hat is one of the only things I bought. We got some formal chop sticks, too, but the hat is more interesting and really fun to paint.

I don't keep black or gray paint on my palette, so those are honest-to-goodness brown/blue/violet mixed blacks. I'm strangely proud of the fact that I can combine three colors and make inky mud, and it just seems smart to free up space on the palette by taking out default colors that can be easily mixed when needed. Proud AND smart. Sheesh! Someone's head is certainly getting large!
EDM 58 - A Sentimental Hat; 3x3" watercolor

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

EDM 57 - A Favorite Frame and Picture

This is my favorite picture of my children. They were three years old and nine months old at the time. They're 21 and almost 19 now. When we brought our son home from the hospital as a newborn, his big sister was two years old. When she saw her tiny brother, she kept repeating, "I wanna ho'd him. I wanna ho'd him. Please, can I ho'd him?" They've been buddies ever since. What a blessing!

I agonized over whether I should add color to this piece. After a brief survey of members of the EDM group, I've decided to leave it as is.
EDM 57 - A Frame; 3x3" Prismacolor Premier pen

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

EDM 56 - Self Portrait

See, if I weren't committed to going through the list in order, I would have skipped over #56......FOREVER! When I posted this to Facebook, it appeared right next to my profile picture, which happened to be the photo reference for this piece. So, my friends could compare the painting with the photo. It hadn't occurred to me that the pieces would end up side by side. But, I will recreate the same arrangement here, if only to demonstrate how much of a portrait artist I'm not! Can you say, "What big eyes you have"?
EDM 56 - Self Portrait; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 55 - A Doorknob

Here I go again with another surreal doorknob from my house, complete with perspective and ellipses run amuck and over-saturated, crazy colors. I did this in blues and purples for EDiM. Maybe one day I'll paint the knobs realistically, but that would be really boring.
EDM 55 - A Doorknob; 3x3" watercolor

Monday, August 5, 2013

EDM 54 - Something I Love

I love sunny windows. Sometimes I think I might be part houseplant. I require lots of warm sunlight, and I'm frequently thirsty. I've drawn this scene before (see the second image). I'll probably draw it again. It's how I live in the picture, since I don't actually have a window seat like this.

EDM 54 - Sunny Window; 3x3" watercolor
Version 1 and 2

EDM 53 - Mouths

My sister has a lovely painting of Mother and Child hanging in her kitchen. I love the painting, and noticed on my recent visit to her home how lovely the mouths are in this painting. I didn't capture it in this medium, but that doesn't make it less true.
EDM 53 - Mouths; 3x3" watercolor

Thursday, August 1, 2013

EDM 52 - Our Dog

When our yellow lab was a puppy, she was over-the-top cute, all the time, and it was excruciating.
EDM 52 - Our Dog; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 51 - T.V. And Favorite Show

Any favorite T.V. shows I would name would be old shows. I watch almost no T.V. now, and am happy to have the armoire doors closed. T.V.? What T.V.? I drew this from memory, and it looks like it!

EDM 51 - TV Show; 3x3" watercolor