Tuesday, November 20, 2007

knitting like a fiend

Sorry all, no art post today. I have been furiously knitting with Christmas approaching, so all my creative energy is being taken up with that right now. I do have a journal page that I will post soon. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

It's been a month already!

I can't believe it's been a month since I posted last! The last few weeks have flown by. Working my new job has completely taken over my life..Pretty much I go to work, come home, eat dinner, do a few chores, get ready for the next day, then go to bed and do it all over again.

My Grandma is back in the hospital with a blood clot on her brain and one on her heart; it's very touch and go right now. So I talk with my Mom everyday after work also.

My energy has been very limited, and I feel badly that I've neglected some of my faraway friends. But I can only do so much. I'm trying to be gentle with myself, and take one day at a time..

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

fun with magazine photos

Saw this doggie photo in a magazine recently and just had to play with it. I did this page with my friend Dawn in mind, and used some of her drawing inspirations to do this. It was great fun just to sit and doodle on the page, making shapes and coloring. Just like a grownup coloring book!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

This is a painting I did for my living room. I like the peaceful, flowing feel of it. In other news, my Grandmother is doing much better - it's been almost miraculous, her rate of recovery. She's improving a little bit each day. Thank you for all your good thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

good thoughts for Grammy

The painting above was birthday present for a friend of mine...

What's been happening in my life these past several days. My grandmother has had 3 strokes in six days. Miraculously, she's still with us, but has suffered significant damage. She is able to talk, but has widespread paralysis. Please send her good energy, say a prayer, whatever works for you. I feel so helpless here, so far away from my parents and grandmother on the east coast.

I also started my new job on Monday. I think it will work for me. It's started out very slow, but once I am able to get going, get calling on customers, it will improve. We'll see...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Here's a little something I did last week. It's not my favorite piece, but it was fun to do. I'm ready to get back to figure drawing. I don't want to lose the skills I gained in school. I need to do some investigating to find open studio times somewhere around town.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

my walk today

A wooly bear caterpillar going about his day

A really cool tree trunk

An Osprey nest

A guaranteed blue heron sighting...on the mausoleum; go figure...

The beginning of the trail...

part way down the hill

view of the marsh

a beautiful complement of colors

the Willamette River

Today I walked the trail at Sellwood Park. It's hard to believe this is a city. Wild areas are everywhere! While I hiked, I saw all sorts of birds, most notably a little duck that was happily paddling away in a swampy area about 8 ft from me, and some great blue herons. There's something about those birds that fills me with awe every time I see one. Just gorgeous.

Decided I better take advantage of the beautiful sunny day we had and my last few days of freedom before I go back to work. I got my official offer today; I start on Monday. Yeah!

Monday, September 17, 2007

the finished scarf

Here's the flower scarf I finally finished. It was really fun to do, and I'm already looking for my next crochet project. I signed up for a knitted sock class with one of my crafty Portland friends in early October that I'm looking forward to. I'll post the results.

I'm fairly certain I'll be an employed person by the end of this week. That's a good thing. Tomorrow morning I'm thinking I'll take a walk on the trail I went bird watching on on Sunday. I'll post some photos. Then clean my house, do some grocery shopping and prepare to become a working stiff once again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A quick post

Ok, so I'm back. I finished this self-portrait today and wanted to put it up. I'm pretty happy with it overall. It felt good to just paint. I've been feeling a little stuck lately, so this was a good exercise for me. I'm working on two other paintings right now as well, but am not happy with the way they're going. So it's nice to have completed something I like. It looks like me too!

I'm still looking for work and waiting for possible offers, so I'm making the best use of my free time while I still have it. Later I'm going to work on my crocheted flower scarf and finish it hopefully, while watching the WNBA finals game tonight (I'm finally going to finish that darn scarf, Dawn!).

Friday, August 31, 2007

taking a break

I'm going to take a break from blogging for a little bit. I attended a class on blogging about a week ago, and I want to consider some of the things I learned from the class to make this blog better. I'm not even sure how many people are reading it at this point, and I feel like if I've lost interest (which I kind of have the past few months) then my readers probably have to.

So I'm going to rethink, re-format, and come back with a stronger blog that hopefully you the reader will enjoy. Till then, thanks for keeping up with me, and check back in a few weeks for the all new and improved girly girl art blog.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

finished projects

Here are my little canvases lined up in a row in my bedroom. I'm really happy with how they turned out. I may embellish that wall a bit more. I think I have to live with it for a bit, ruminate on it. Tomorrow I'll post a photo of my finished shower curtain.

Monday, August 20, 2007

the start of something small

Here's the start of a series of small paintings that are meant to hang together. The canvases are about 5 x 5. Haven't decided yet if I'm going to go in an abstract direction or do something figurative. Probably figurative, a series of birds. I'll post the finished results.

Tomorrow night I'm going to a blog class to learn how to improve your blogging, etc. I'll let you know how that goes.

Also tomorrow I'm heading down to the Oregon DMV to take their written test (Bah!) and get my license, so I can be official. In Arizona, I just had to show up and hand in my old license for the new one. I liked that a lot better.

The search for work is progressing nicely, and I'm hopeful I'll have a job by the beginning of September, mid-September at the latest. So far sales jobs are what I'm able to get interviews for, so I guess it's back to sales for awhile.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

shower curtain

My creative endeavor today has been to work on my shower curtain; finally! I have it pieced. Now I have to add the top panel, put buttonholes in the top, hem the entire thing, then add the trim (the little pink ball trim you see here). It's much straighter in person; I had to lay it out in a bit of floor space, hence the crooked lines. I'll post another photo of the finished project. I'm hoping to get it done tomorrow, though I've never done buttonholes. I'm a little nervous!

I also went on a job interview today at Portland Monthly, a glossy, high-end magazine here in Portland. I have two more interviews coming up and am still applying to others, so things are starting to happen. Hopefully I'll have a j0b by the end of the month.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

anti art school Portland

They do it differently in Portland, that's for sure. I attended the Anti Art School session this past Wednesday night. It was in a bar called Dante's Sinferno (yes, it's true) on 3rd Ave and Burnside. Almost next to the homeless mission and a very sketchy (no pun intended) part of town. I found a parking lot right next to Dante's, so that was a great relief. It was not the kind of neighborhood I wanted to be walking around in by myself.

I entered the bar and found a spot to sit. The lighting at that point was terrible; it was bar lighting, dim and dark. Not the kind of light you want to be drawing in. That got fixed after about the first 20 minutes of drawing, thankfully. Until then it was like drawing in braille. I looked around me and seemed to be the oldest person there. It had much more of a party atmosphere than the one in Phoenix. In Phoenix folks are quiet and very focused on their drawing. Not so here. To give you an idea, they were going to give out prizes for the most inebriated drawing. Yeah, it was like that. People were talking and yelling up at the models and to each other. A little distracting. Also, the poses were no more than 15 minutes long. The one above is a 10 minute drawing.

On to the models. Our first model was a young man, dressed in an interesting mix of clothes (that's a pair of little fur bear ears on his head). He was fun to draw and a good model; the poses could have been a bit more challenging, but he did just fine. Our second model was a young woman dressed as an East Indian, sari wrap, kohl around the eyes, dots on her forehead. She was a striking girl, and an extremely good model pose wise. She did some great poses that I would've loved to have seen be an hour or more. But when she got up on the stage, they changed the music. They started playing something that seemed to be just reverberation from the base of the speakers, like when you're passing someone in one of those tricked out car and the base is booming, you can feel the vibration in your own body. It was intense. Then as she's posing, she begins to do this sort of humming, squealing, screeching kind of noise to go with the "music" (I use the term loosely). This went on for about a half hour. Thankfully, it finally stopped. And we went back to normal music.

By then, I had a bit of a headache, and it was past 9pm, so I decided to call it quits. I'll go again, because it was so good to draw and practice. Even though they were short poses, I still got a workout, and got my mind and fingers warmed up. I'm going to look for some other open session figure drawing opportunities here. Something a bit quieter.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

my afternoon in the park

This past Saturday I went to Laurelhurst park not too far from my home. It was a glorious day and lots of people were out, walking their dogs, having picnics, and just generally enjoying each other and the day. I sat on a bench parallel to this little dog and his owners, a group of elderly, jovial folks. He was just so cute I had to draw him. Most of the drawing I had to construct on my own; dogs don't stay still all that well sometimes. But I managed to capture the spirit of him.

I admit to feeling a bit melancholy and lonely out there that day. Everyone around me was with others, having picnics and laughing, tight family groups and groups of friends, of co-workers. And there I was, knowing not a soul, in this city that I'm growing to love but isn't home yet.

I've been traveling back and forth between being very happy to be here, to feeling lost and lonely. Really enjoying my own company, and feeling an emptiness, a hollow lonely feeling. All part and parcel of making a new life in a new place.

The employment search is turning out to be a bit more of a challenge than I anticipated as well. So far I've sent out dozens of resumes, answered countless employment ads, and have yet to get even an response, let alone an interview. Yesterday I broke down and started applying for sales jobs. Not what I want, but I have to get some work.

I am working on networking here with some business organizations, so hoping something will come of that.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

my new neighborhood

This is my street, as I was walking towards my apt complex...

This is the street around the corner...

This was in someone's window on 21st Ave; don't know what it's about, but it's pretty cool.

I love this neo
And the little robot on the sign!

Some graffiti I spied on an earlier walk; I love the shapes

more of the same...

They call this the city of roses and I know why; they're absolutely everywhere!

I took a walk this morning around my neighborhood looking for some interesting shots. Most of these are on a main drag (21st Ave), but a couple are the street around the corner from me and my own street. The weather has been flawless and I'm taking as much advantage of it as I can.

Part of every day is spent inside on the computer looking for work. I've responded to a ton off Craigslist, and some of the online job sites, but so far no calls or emails to interview. Kinda bummed about that. Hopefully soon some things will start to happen. I've been sending out feelers in all directions. Yesterday I attended PABA (Portland Area Business Association) an LGBT business organization in town. I'm hoping some leads will come from that. And in a couple of weeks the AIGA chapter is meeting as well, so more contacts will come from that. So I just have to keep "stuffing the pipe" as we used to say in sales, and work will come.

I started a new painting the other day, and hope to get some work on it done this afternoon. I also am working on a mail piece to send out to prospective employers. And I STILL have to start on my shower curtain!

I've been reading the last Harry Potter book, and tonight I'm finishing it. I only have about 45 pages to go. I'm excited to finish, but also a little sad as once it's done, that's it. There are no more. But, wow, what a story!

Friday, July 27, 2007

I'm back in business!

I got my scanner hooked up yesterday, so I'm able to post some art once more...yeah! This is a piece that I'm working on. I'm doing some painting on it in Photoshop and will try to post when finished. But this is the sketch.

Yesterday was interesting. I had to go downtown again to the temp agency I'm working with. Of course I got kind of lost, ended up on a REALLY seedy end of the street I wanted to be on, going the opposite way. I ended up having to stop in a bar and ask directions. Yes, there I am at 9:15 in the morning, in this totally seedy, dark bar full of men (me in my heels and skirt) asking them to tell me how to get to the address I needed. It was fun.

Anyway, I got there, in time too, and it looks like I'll be starting temp work next week. I'm ready to get back into the work force again and am actually looking forward to it. The "real" job search continues, of course, but this will give me some money coming in.

Now I'm off to lunch with a new friend here, so will post more another day.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ok, that's funny

Well, after I finished that last post and turned around, there in the box behind me was the camera cord! So I'm posting a few photos of my life the past few weeks:

This was a truck I found out at ASU campus shortly before I left. Great texture and color!

This is a park in Ashland. Funny to have a park so thick with foliage in basically a desert landscape.

This is an overview of the town as I gazed on a rooftop.

This was on the way to Ashland. Spectacular mountain, isn't it? Now, if I could only remember its name...

Yes, I was driving and taking pictures. I know, I know....

This was July 4th at the beach. It was super windy and kinda cold, but wow, what a view!

Here's me on the beach. In my borrowed wool sweater. Trying not to freeze to death.

And here's a shot of the water lilies on the lake kind of behind the ocean being enjoyed by the dogs who accompanied us on our walk. They had so much fun, but they smelled SO BAD afterwards!

still unpacking

The unpacking continues. I wanted to post photos today that I've taken over the past few weeks, but I can't find my cord for the camera to transfer the pics. Sigh. I'll have to keep looking.

Things are coming together though. My place is really shaping up. IKEA just opened today in Portland, so I'll be getting my desks, etc. soon and be able to set up my studio (and find my errant camera cord!).

Hang in there with me...the best is yet to come!

Friday, July 13, 2007

I'm alive!

I finally have internet, so here I am! In beautiful, sunny Portland, OR. Yes, sunny! It's been beautiful since I got here a week and a half ago. From what I hear, this is summer in Portland. Yeah, I'm lovin it.

Let me start with my road trip. It was hard leaving AZ, there were a lot of tears, but once I got on the road, I started to feel excited. I drove by myself, and I'm glad I did. It was nice to have the time to myself, and only have to worry about me. I drove about 10 hours the first day, but hit a major traffic jam in California that set me back about 2 hours. Spent the night in a Best Western in the middle of nowhere. Seriously, there was NOTHING there! Flat farmland for miles in every direction. Probably much like Kansas in spots (remember "Children of the Corn"?).

Got up the next morning and hit the road early. In my travels that day I saw about 20 paintings I would've liked to have done. Many beautiful pastoral landscapes. Drove all day till I reached Ashland, OR and spent the night there. What a great little town! I took a walk in the park just around the corner from the hotel I stayed in shortly after I got there in the evening. It was filled with young families playing with their kids, some dreadlocked "travelers" hanging out playing guitars and drums, and older folks enjoying the trees and park benches. The next morning I walked up to town and stopped into the shops. They had some great little places there and I got a few things for my new home. Then I hit the road again around 1 pm and got into Portland about 5:30p.

July4, J and I drove up to Cape Meares for the day, just missing the July 4th parade. It started at 12N, and we arrived at 12:10p. Yep, it's pretty small. Then there was a town picnic/potluck loaded with yummy food that we enjoyed. A walk by the water after lunch, some visiting with new friends and watching the pelicans completed our day. It's so beautiful up there; rugged cliffs, crashing waves and a stiff wind. Wild.

The rest of the time so far has been spent getting settled, shopping for furniture and household goods and getting the cable,etc. hooked up. Am having a difficult time with my wireless router, so am confined to the living room floor to work online for now. I won't have a printer or scanner set up for a bit yet as I'm trying to fix my router. As soon as I have things set up, I'll post pictures and new art.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


The packing is finished, now it's just a matter of waiting till the movers get here in a couple of days. I leave this weekend. So I will be offline for a little while till I get to Portland. Till, then, take care everyone and I will be posting in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

open figure drawing session

There was an open figure drawing session yesterday at MCC, arranged by my life drawing teacher. It was so good to go, to draw and spend some time doing art. I didn't realize how much I needed to do this until afterwards. On the way there, I was in an out of sorts mood, feeling pretty annoyed at everything. Then I drew, and I felt better. I think the drawing helped me regain some balance that I sorely needed. There's another session coming up the week of 6/25 that I'll be attending, so I'll have another chance to draw from life.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

another page

Another old journal page. This one needs some writing and doodling to finish it. Will post again when it's in the final stage.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

items found while packing

Found a journal buried under a pile of other books while packing today, and scanned in some pages. The journal is from about 3 years ago while I was making the decision to accept the buyout my business partners offered me. I wanted to do more art at that time, and this journal was a start in that direction. Will be sharing more pages in the days ahead.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

journal page

Am working in my little journal, just drawing as things are being packed up every day and I don't have access to my usual supplies. Maybe it's good; it's forcing me to draw, to think creatively with very few materials. Not having the security of everything handy has been interesting.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

small journal page

Finally sat down the other night and worked in my small journal. It felt so good to do that. All this moving stuff has everything in chaos, my studio looks like a bomb hit it, and I'm at least a month and a half out from getting everything settled. I've kept a little "journal kit" out, so I'll be able to do a little bit anyway during this time of upheaval and resettling.

I'm leaving Phoenix on 6/30, hoping to arrive in Portland on 7/1. It's a 2o hour drive, over 1300 miles. I'll get there, spend a couple of days with my friends while I buy a bed and basic supplies to get me going in my new place. IKEA opens 7/25 there, so I will be waiting a bit to get some furniture, etc. from there. It will be bare bones for about a month. I won't set up my new studio until after I get bookshelves, etc. to store all my supplies.

I also plan to hit lots of garage sales for furniture that I can repaint, refinish, and use in my new place. Portland is the town for re-use and thrifting, and I'm looking forward to doing some creative things for my new home.

Monday, June 04, 2007

finally...some photos from my trip to Portland

This is the neighborhood I stayed in while visiting Portland

And this...

And this...
It's just beautiful! And my apartment is in this area as well, so this will be my regular walking route/stomping grounds. Sweet.

The three photos above were taken on the Lost Lake hike. What a spectacular place, majestic, beautiful.