Thursday, October 31, 2013

EDM 141 - Something with Bristles

This was just fun to do. It helped that I got to talk to my daughter on the phone the entire time I worked on this piece. So, this was REALLY FUN!!
EDM 141 - Bristles; 3x3" watercolor

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

EDM 140 - An Envelope

I'm trying to make short trips outside my comfort zone where the new-to-me art supplies have been living for many decades. My first few attempts with acrylics were frustrating, and I've always been overwhelmed by the vast array of paint additives on the shelf. This piece features metallic acrylic mixed with matte medium and watercolor diluted with granulation medium. This is about as wild as it gets with me.
EDM 140 - An Envelope; 3x3" watercolor & acrylic

EDM 139 - Something with a Handle

I knew when I saw this old water pump that I would want to paint it. I love how the rust is complementary to the sun-faded paint. It reminds me that time is a tireless artist. Whether we see its "art" as beautiful is a matter of opinion.
EDM 139 - Something with a Handle; 3x3" watercolor

Sunday, October 27, 2013

EDM 138 - Something Soft

Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Flowers are closed and lambs are sleeping;
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Stars are up, the moon is peeping;
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
While the birds are silence keeping,
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Sleep, my baby, fall a-sleeping,
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!

~Christina Georgina Rossetti
EDM 138 - Something Soft; 3x3" watercolor

Saturday, October 26, 2013

EDM 137 - Something That Turns On and Off

I took a picture of this truly elegant old water fountain at an Interstate rest area somewhere in Virginia. It turns on and off with a foot pedal.

At some point in my lifetime, Americans ruined their taste buds for cheap or free water. There was no line at this fountain or even evidence that anyone uses it anymore. I did see people buying bottles of "the good stuff" from a nearby vending machine. I'm not judging. I didn't drink from the fountain either.
EDM 137 - Turns On and Off; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 136 - Something That's Alive

The label says this yogurt is alive. We're conditioned to forget about that before we eat it because we would never voluntarily eat something that's still alive, would we?! Wink. Wink.
EDM 136 - Something Alive; 3x3" watercolor

EDM - Color Therapy

A couple weeks ago, I suspected that I was mired in a "blue period." I think my last four sketches speak for themselves. I'm cured! Talk about bright!
EDM Brights

Friday, October 25, 2013

EDM 135 - A Salad

In my opinion, there is one perfect salad--a fresh fruit salad that contains NO melons or apples--and then there are all the lesser kinds of salad, including green salads. They're all fine, but I'm kind of crazy about fruit salad. It MUST be homemade.

Sorry, melon-lovers, if I offended you, but I am not a fan. And, I love apples, but they don't belong in fruit salad. I'm not opinionated about this at all. I just know what I like. The perfect salad is kiwi, pineapple, mango, grapes, strawberries, mandarin oranges, and bananas. No sugar. No yogurt. Just the fruit. Have I made myself annoyingly clear? :)
EDM 135 - A Salad; 3x3" watercolor

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

EDM 134 - A Familiar Thing from an Unusual Angle

This is the view through the bottom of an empty olive oil bottle. I call this "Through the Cooking Glass." It's a little weird. What can I say?
EDM 134 - A Familiar Thing; 3x3" watercolor

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

EDM 133 - A Peach

Yes, we have no October. I refuse to buy the peach-colored, peach-fuzz-covered rocks that are passed off as peaches in the grocery store all year long. The name "stone fruit" doesn't mean they're supposed to feel and taste like rocks! And, that ends this "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" public service announcement for today.
EDM 133 - Peaches; 3x3" watercolor & markers

EDM 132 - A Chain

It was fun creating my own Charm City. I wasn't going for excessively cute, but I think I ended up there.
EDM 132 - A Chain; 3x3" watercolor

Monday, October 21, 2013

EDM 131 - A Spray Bottle

I wasn't sure how to make this interesting. I went with an unusual view. It's kind of an odd little piece. Put it in the file with all the other odd little pieces I've done, and instruct them to keep it quiet in there! (The art ain't the only odd thing that exists around here at 2:00 in the morning!)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

EDM 130 - School Supplies

I went with ART school supplies. These items were my constant companions during my year of studying commercial art in Chicago back in the mid 1980s. I photographed the finished piece with the actual black plastic gear that appears in the painting. The gear is the mechanical key for twisting the nib off a Koh-i-noor Rapidograph mechanical pen (pictured at the top). I used Rapidograph pens every day in art school. I loved them!

And, for the puzzle portion of this piece: when unscrambled, the brown letters scattered around the piece spell "art school."
EDM 130 - Art School Supplies; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 129 - People Doing Something

I snapped the reference picture for this in June. The lovely Asian woman with gorgeous black hair seemed fine with getting the bottom of her beautiful, tiered dress wet in the Crown Fountain. It seemed like the epitome of stop-motion, carefree-ness to me. I loved this place and wanted to stay forever. Wish I were back there right now.
EDM 129 - People Doing Something; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 128 - A View through a Doorway

This is one of my favorite views in our house, from a dark room, looking into a sunny one. I'm sure it's a metaphor, or something.
EDM 128 - Through a Doorway; 3x3" watercolor

Thursday, October 17, 2013

EDM 127 - A Skyscape

What's the most famous skyscape in the history of art? Yeah, I went with the obvious on this one. I love Van Gogh's original. I never planned to try to copy it. Not ever. I'm not sure I should have, but it's too late.
EDM 127 - A Skyscape; 3x3" watercolor

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

EDM 126 - A Sponge

This is a weird piece, but that's one of the privileges of being an artist. I spent a few minutes contemplating the life of a sponge. (I'll never get THOSE few minutes back!) Sponges don't make messes; they clean them up...OUR messes...our grape Koolaid messes...and so many others. I'm not suggesting a national Sponge Appreciation Day or anything....
EDM 126 - A Sponge; 3x3" watercolor

Monday, October 14, 2013

EDM 125 - A Bird

When I saw "draw a bird," my mind immediately hatched a plan to NOT draw a bird. I'd rather admire beautiful nature drawings and paintings done by others than do my own paintings of nature. But graphic design? Sign me up! I used what is probably my favorite design element. Negative space = how to draw something by not drawing it. It feels a little like cheating.
EDM 125 - A Bird; 3x3" watercolor

Sunday, October 13, 2013

EDM 124 - All Things Yellow

Yellow has been my favorite color my entire life. I think I liked yellow before I even knew colors had names. One of my earliest memories is being asked by an adult what my favorite color was. I still remember the surprised look I received after I answered, "Lemon yellow." I think I was four years old. I got the very precise color name from my favorite crayon color. I assure you, I was not all; just an artist in the making.
EDM 124 - Yellow; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 123 - A Bell

This is another goody from one of my husband's collections of unique, old things, that he has had since before I met him 30+ years ago. This is a brass Indian elephant bell (I Googled it), and I painted it pretty much actual size. The sound it makes is mesmerizing.
EDM 123 - A Bell; 3x3" watercolor
And, here is a picture of the baby bell with its bigger brother. The sound these bells make is amazing. I would love to have a wind chime that sounds like they do when they ring.
Brass Indian Elephant Bells

EDM 122 - Essential Shadows

Sunny days make for great weddings, but anyone will tell you that it's the shadows that make for stunning wedding pictures. You can't have shadows without light, but it must be slanted light. The severe slant of hard winter casts the longest shadows. Bright, summery sunlight, directly overhead, makes for flat art and for a flat, untested life. You don't get to the end of a beautiful life without spending a good deal of that life enrolled in the School of Shadows. So, we should embrace the "certain slant of light" and trust the One who determines its degree. Here's a favorite poem about the "slant of light" by master word-painter Emily Dickinson.
EDM 122 - Essential Shadows; 3x3" watercolor

Friday, October 11, 2013

EDM 121 - A Childhood Memory of Coins

My dad threw all his loose change into a jar in his closet. When he had a bunch, we sat around our 60s-vintage, white Formica kitchen table to roll coins. We always looked at dates on the coins and weeded out old ones. I still have a habit of checking every penny I handle, looking for wheat-backs. They are pretty rare these days, but I get one now and then.

We still sort our change into jars--antique canning jars with cool glass lids--and roll coins occasionally. We are carrying on the family coin tradition.
EDM 121 - Coins; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 120 - A Flashlight

We have a dozen flashlights around our house, but when the power goes out, I can never find one that works. The flashlight in this painting is practically new, but it doesn't work. Dead batteries. It's a doesn't-flash-doesn't-light.
EDM 120 - A Flashlight; 3x3" watercolor

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

EDM 119 - Rocks

I think rocks can be some of the most beautiful things on the planet. They are truly natural and ancient art. My dad brought home a bag of beautiful river rocks from every family vacation when I was a kid. I wonder what he did with all those beautiful rocks....
EDM 119 - Rocks; 3x3" watercolor & graphite pencil

EDM 118 - Some Hair

I cropped this in a way that makes it downright creepy. That takes lots of talent...or not.
EDM 118 - Some Hair; 3x3" watercolor

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

EDM 117 - Something Round

I keep a cheap glass sugar bowl on the desk in my studio, but it has salt in it. The bowl has a round knob on the lid.

Most people think painting glass is really difficult. It's really no different than trying to paint anything realistically. You paint what you see, not what you think is there. Now, drawing stacked ellipses that make up a cheap glass sugar bowl? THAT is difficult!
EDM 117 - Something Round; 3x3" watercolor

EDM 116 - Something Green

This isn't very original, but I've been wanting to try drawing water droplets with watercolor and colored pencils. This is drawn from a professional picture that I use for my computer's desktop background.
EDM 116 - Something Green; 3x3" watercolor & colored pencils

Monday, October 7, 2013

EDM Blues

Is it possible I'm in my blue period? Or, do you have to be famous to be in one of those?
EDM Blues

EDM 114 - A Shopping Cart

I confess that I frequently participate in shopping cart snobbery. In this game, you look at what others in the checkout line have in their carts, and you feel quietly snooty and snobbish that your cart's contents are much healthier, far less processed, and less package-heavy. Then I remember that I'm at Wal-Mart. You really shouldn't play this game when you shop at Wal-Mart all the time...and, I do. Come to think of it, I shouldn't play this game anywhere. No one likes a snob! I am ashamed.
EDM 115 - Shopping Cart; 3x3" colored pencil & ink

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Which blog does this belong on?

I have more than one blog. In fact, I have started three art blogs, and it's getting a little hard to keep them sorted in my brain. My newest blog is specifically for my new business. The business is not merely in its infancy; it's in a preemie state, having been born, but barely breathing on its own. So, I'm wondering where to post new pieces these days. Today I'm going the solve the problem by doing a little blog cross-pollination. (Please, pardon the whiplash-inducing movement between metaphors—babies and now bees. What's next? Birds? I'm a little sleep deprived, which might be obvious to you.)

Anyway, I finished a large piece of art this week, but it seemed to fit better over at the new business blog, because it might be something I will do on a commission basis at some point. So, if you're so inclined, head on over to "A Happy Marriage of Friends" on the Blu Jar Studio blog, but don't forget how to find your way back here, because this is the place I hang out after the serious art is done!

EDM 114 - Something Ugly You Keep for Sentimental Reasons

When prompted to draw something that we keep even though it's ugly, I was stumped. I have boldly proclaimed myself as someone who sees beauty in the common, so I think everything we have, no matter how humble, is beautiful somehow. There are, of course, plenty of things in my home that are purely useful, but there is a beauty in usefulness. So, I was stumped by "ugly." I just didn't want to admit that we've been keeping anything ugly in our home.

Then, I remembered the old-ugly box; the box I keep out of sight; the box I try to forget we have. It is an extremely old, octagonal, lidded, crudely constructed (I could go on and on) box that my husband brought home from a friend's moving sale many years ago. We have no idea what it is or what it was used for, but we keep it because it's obviously very old. It's in sorry shape. Many of its seams are popping, and some of its rivets are missing. The lid is warped and sits cockeyed. The wood is cracked and rough. It has no latch or evidence of ever having had one, so I don't think it held anything precious. I suspect it was the ordinary breadbox of its day. We're guessing it's from the 1800s or earlier. If the Antiques Roadshow ever rolls through our town, I might take our old-ugly box, just so they can tell me what it is.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then it stands to reason that "ugly" is, too. Ever since the moment I first beheld this old, wooden box, I deemed it ugly. Maybe I should start using it, instead of hiding it behind furniture, because there is a beauty in usefulness. Am I repeating myself?

Why do we keep the old-ugly box? Well, if the grand collective of old things ever needs a protector and caretaker, my husband would gladly apply for the job. In his mind, something that has survived many decades of use and abuse should never be discarded carelessly. It's an aspect of his character that I find very charming. He is loyal to a fault, and very old things need never fear for their lives around him! :) He rescued the old-ugly box from certain doom, and we are keeping it for good...for ever...for now...until the Roadshow tells us it's worth thousands of dollars.

Since I am pretty sure they were using dip pens when this box was first made, I decided to draw it using dip pens and calligraphy ink. I drew the letters first, and because I'm very impatient, I ran my hand through the still-wet ink while I was drawing the box. I had to make the mistake look intentional, so I pressed my finger into the ink and stamped the image all around. I kind of like the effect, like letter ghosts. (I wonder how long it will take for the blue ink to wear off of my fingers). My calligraphy ink is not waterproof, so I could not hit this with any paint. I think it's a fairly strong line drawing...and you probably think this is a really long post about an old, ugly box.
EDM 114 - Ugly but Kept; 3x3" watercolor

Thursday, October 3, 2013

EDM 113 - A Fence

This is my feeble attempt at social commentary. My artistic license is up-to-date, so read on at your own risk. A great deal of human effort is spent trying to position oneself on the correct side of any and all fences, as if that were the primary meaning of being human. I've spent too much time being on the "right" side of the fence and the wrong side of being gracious. Note to self: humanity resides on both sides of all fences.
EDM 113 - A Fence; 3x3" watercolor

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

EDM 112 - Something Fresh

I'm in my third day of a juice fast, so this was breakfast this morning. I want to live in the colors of this painting. They just shout "Sunshine" to me.
EDM 112 - Something Fresh; 3x3" watercolor

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

EDM 111 - A Bowl

Either this is an imperfect painting of a perfect, little salt-glazed pottery bowl or it's a PERFECT painting of a little bowl I selected from the second-quality bin at an art festival decades ago. Or, it's both! And, since this is an example of one artist of handmade things trying to capture the essence of another artist's handmade thing, it might just be perfect. Who's to say, really?

If you're struggling with trying to draw and paint something perfectly, I encourage you to go find something that ISN'T perfect, and then do your best to draw that thing. You can't really go wrong. I'd lend you my little, lopsided pottery bowl, but it has already gone back to work as a paperclip holder--a job it does perfectly!
EDM 111 - A Bowl; 3x3" watercolor