Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Welcome to "a new era in a country where just 143 years ago, Mr. Obama, as a black man, could have been owned as a slave." from the New York Times
And you don't even have to go back that far- to the time when the "Grandfather clauses-" wouldn't of allowed him to even vote!

Whether this country loves him or hates him, sings his praises or curses him, credits him for our prosperity or blames him for our trails in the next four years- or eight-I hope we all remember the events of this election- that a black man, the son of an emigrant, can and did become President of our great ( not perfect) country- and just as important- that record numbers of us, from all walks of life, all colors, all classes, stepped out and made our voices heard. That is a great thing- no matter how you slice it or liked the outcome!

My husband,Jon, got the privilege of seeing our voting process first hand as an election monitor on the Ute Mountain Ute Indian reservation.
Seeing how most Native Americans have P.O. Boxes and not street addresses- the address usually goes something like " its the second trailer, past the corrals, and on the road towards the butte-", there was some debate as to is their tribal I.D.s would be sufficient.
Well on through the day, a little 80 year old Ute lady came in, needing a translator because she didn't speak English very well and after some calling back and forth to the County- due to her paperwork- or lack there of- Voted- Voted for the first time in her life!!!!!
Hope-Promise-Courage and Progress- Obama's campaign "catch phrases" are what has gotten this country through some tough time- I know it is sappy and the people smarter then me-who read the papers, listen to the analysts and know the stats are too practical to see it- but a shot of "sappy" once in awhile is a good thing!
Obama is not our Savior or a messenger from Satan- he is a man- who not only "had a dream.." but after the sacrifices of those before him, was able to achieve that dream!
For those who think the blessing of God will stop raining down on this country- because Obama is in office- I look to Christ's word- "give Cesar what is Cesar's" and I'll add- and "Give God what is God's" and we will be fine.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

IF: Packed

Stella knew she was no princess, but after a long hot soak in a luxurious tub, a delightful evening snack and a long slumber,even if there was a pea "PACKED" in between the mattreses, she was ready to hit the road and continue on her journey!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What I learned from Photoshop:Branding

As usual, learning about Photoshop has taught something about life.
Like "Branding"- what design companies do, to figure out just who might buy their client's products so they can even make them more appealing in the way they are packaged and sold.
Guess what- political campaigns do it too.
Look at Sarah Palin- she is everything McCain isn't. A women, young, a NRA member, a mother of a special needs child, a mother with a pregnant teen and a son in the army headed to the Middle East.
And it is naive to think that there were not strategist, in a small room all weekend long with take out containers all over the table, figuring out who just might buy what they were selling and how to make it more appealing.
Of course Obama had the same thing happen to- it is the meaning of a VP in this country-to appeal to the people who are still on the fence- which makes no sense to me- because barring the unlikeness of the President ending up dead or something, they have very little to do, but they seem very important as a "statement" during the election.
What seems more and more silly, is the categories the campaigns and the media want to use to "Brand" us, they don't seem to really fit anymore....cause how do you fit me, who thinks..... wolves are not evil and should be protected and we need to conserve way more land in wilderness areas for their benefits, we can find other ways to " fuel" our extravagant habits. But I also think that our right, like "the right to bear arms" is what makes this country great and has to be protected, as do our other rights like- freedom of speech or assembly,because too many great people have served and died for these ideals- including many men in my own family and it is what set us apart from the rest of the world.
America is a place where it doesn't matter who or what your father did- you can get ahead.
But it is also a country that is full of people who can't get ahead, for whatever reason and I don't believe they should be left behind.It is just down right stupid to not invest in our children, all our children! If we do not want to be weighted down under welfare, and the uninsured, then invest Now in our children- in schools, in teachers, in scholarships and funding so kids can go on to college if they want to. Which leads me to other thing I am passionate about I hate "Waste", waste of our tax dollars, where once the money trickles down through all the elected officials, it doesn't seem to get to the people who need it. Where big business and government interest seem to get all the money they need, but rural clinics have to turn people away cause they're overwhelmed
I hate all waste,the waste of a precious life, that does start at conception and has the right to be born and the waste of a wonderful mind that just needs to be educated and nurtured.
I hated the waste of our great planet- whether all the facts of global warming are true or not you don't have to be a scientist to know we can't throw crap into our water systems and suck out all of the planet's natural resources out and throw toxins into the air and not expect a reaction.
Have you been to a dump lately? We consume more then we need to and don't take minimal effort to curb it- like not buying for " convenience" when all we are saving ourselves is a couple minutes and creating a truck load of trash. Recycle- it does not have to a decisive action- its just taking the time to stick a tuna can in one bin instead of in another- what is so threatening about that?
We polarize everything in this country- we can't help it.
If you recycle- you must be a member of Green Peace.
If you vote Democrat- you must be a socialist
If you hunt- you must be a redneck hick
People- its just a tuna can!

Monday, September 08, 2008

I can "Bring Home the Bacon too!

After hearing about John McCain's choice for VP- instantaneously,my brain started to sing that old song, sung by feminists through my childhood and used in some popular commercial-can see it know a women dancing around with a skillet, cooking up some bacon- can't remember what the commercial was for-
" I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never let you forget you are a man-cause I'm a women- W-o-M-A-N"

It seemed to be the battle cry for many women in the 70's and 80's ( my childhood) the first generation who on their own, with no role models- declared their independence from servitude of husband's and their mother's expectations.

My mother did bring home the bacon- she had too- she was a single mother. I, just as many of my friend- were witnesses to this new Revolution- and were effected by the choices and consequences of our mother's- "bringing home the bacon,". Because of that, I think women of my generation seem to understand- we can have it all too-but not ALL at the SAME TIME.
This is my "gripe" with Sarah Palin- should the song go-
I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, never let you forget you are a man, have five children, still lots of them young, be there for my newborn special needs baby and support my daughter through the tough times of being a seventeen year old mother and hey- since I am a women- ALSO-run for the Vice President of the United States! Cause- hey- I am a W-O-M-A-N!!"
What does this say to young mother out there- who are overwhelmed- overwhelmed with getting a dinner on the table, actually getting a load of laundry done, getting kids up for school- and failing miserably at it- Heah- Sarah Palin does it so well she also got elected as a Governor- so since we women are always wanted to judge ourselves against someone else-lets set the bar there!!
I would of respected Sarah Palin more- if at 55- she ran for President of the United States and had this history- "mother of five- is racing a ten year old special needs child,supported her teenage daughter through an unplanned pregnancy, and she had a decade invested in her young children's life-" all in the past tense.
Because what is a decade really- - or at least five years-to invest in young children- every educator- will tell you those first five years are critical- for a special needs child- an invested mother- can be the the difference between a highly functioning child and one that is not at their potential.
I have been a nanny, a daycare provider, a preschool teacher, a elementary teacher and a mother- no one, no one will go the distance for a child like their own mother- we carried them in our belly's or we claimed them as our own- and we watch out for them the rest of our lives- we are aware of their every need and are their nurturers- Father's are their protectors- and there is a difference- not to say father's are not absolutely wonderful- but it is a second best- when father's have to be the primary provider- that is the mother's job-
Father finches (Birds) get to have the fancy feather, mothers finches get to be plain- yes, fathers, for dating-per say- but also to protect- to guard and then distract the intruder- mother need to hide with the babies- in those first few weeks for a bird and human mothers need to hide away for the first few years of their children's lives.
Of course- I am not putting us back-bare foot and in the kitchen- and I am all for keeping your toe in something so you don't go "loony" at home- with your only existence being "Barney, diapers and laundry" .
I started weaving baskets when I was home with my first child- started doing arts and crafts shows, putting them in galleries and got involved with a weaving guild who met every other Saturday- a great time to get a way- for me and for Jon to be with the girls.
I had friends who worked twenty hours a week- providing plenty of time to be there for their kiddos. Mom' who did some kind of a home based business- but I think we would of all have agreed- when we met up at the park- or the coffee shop- we probably could not of fit in running for Vice President of the United State- or Governor of even the smallest state- between the teething,potty training, cranky night, and sick days that even plague a mother who works a 40 hour week. Now, maybe- knowing how it is to be a mayor in a small town- probably that would be a doable job for a mother of young children- if one was so inclined.
Now- what I find ironic- and so typical of politics- is the "Conservative Right"- are singing the praises of Palin- even though she is a mother of young children working HUGELY out of the home- something that they don't support- in anyway.

And then- there is Michelle Obama- Yes- I know she is not running for office- but this is about being a role model- for women- what Sarah Palin is now, as is Michelle Obama- and what example is Michelle OBama giving- a Harvard Law grad-who was making $200,00 plus a year- she cut back her work 80%- to be a consistent force in her young girl's life. The OBama's only have a housekeeper- the parenting is left up to the parents. Not that things are not getting more intense- but Michelle O'Bama has had a limited involvement in the campaign with a limit to how many nights she will be away from her children- all this is not just her philosophy but her husbands as well-who has taken time off the campaign to "go off the grid" with his girls.
To me- this says something about "character"- and in one way it really isn't about about the election- but in another way it is-

Saturday, June 14, 2008


This week IF is "punchline". At first- I thought only the cartoonist on the list, would have anything-then remembered sketches I do while waiting as the mom/chauffeur in karate class.
So here is my "Punchline" or more accurately- a line of kids, waiting to go punch something.
This one was from last summer, either during a clinic or testing, can't remember- look what a black belt can do with a bunch of nine year olds- make them sit and wait quietly. If it was the clinic there were about five black belts in the room- making the kids "toe the line".
American Kenpo Karate has been a great experience for my kids- there is no "religous aspect"-so that doesn't entangle us- the kids have to work hard for their goals- no ribbons for just showing up and fairness is not a concern- you work hard you move up, they get reprimanded if they do not call their instructor "Sir" or are disrespectful, they have to teach their bodies to do what they want- all artist know that frustration- and frankly it is a beautiful art- the techniques have names like "Captured Twigs" , "Twirling Wings" and " Leaping Crane"- moves that have been taught for thousands- yes thousands of years in one form or another. Pretty cool to be connected to something that "Epic"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

An Unusual Baptism

We had an unusual baptism at church this Sunday. Three people were baptized- in a horse trough- on the church's stage. ( the horse trough seeming to be a practical solution to needing a baptismal when we first started the church, about five years ago- and now it is kind of a non traditional tradition)
The unusual thing about the baptism this week was two of the three baptized, were heavily covered in tattoos and one had rather pointy spikes coming out of each ear.
As I was a witnessed to this- I thought about judgement- not the judgement that God places on us, but the judgement we place on each other.
How many stories and parable and lessons are in the pages of the bible-pleading with us to not judge others? To not look at the outside and make our determinations by what someone looks like-tattoos? or does-drinks? or says-we all are idiots! But we do-all of us.
Of course writers of stories have encouraged such judgement of the "outside" with the notions of the guy in the white hat verse the guy in the black- or the antagonist having the sinister look to him, where the hero is almost angelic.
J.K. Rowling- did a marvelous job in Harry Potter- with the character of Severus Snape- a greasy, cranky, black character that appears to be the bad guy until it come out he is protecting Harry- though he does not like him.
So what is the church to do- on dealing with the outward?
Not much-
because- It is very, very easy to change our outward appearance and "appear" way more Holy- way more Perfect- then we are.
In fact- "The Holiness Movement" or the idea of "Christian Perfection" has swept through our world- in the forms of the Puritans, the Quakers, etc.- with the idea we can come pretty close to living without blemish-
Now- what if inside you don't really feel that Holy- one is still able to look the part- say the right things- do the right things- abstain from the wrong things-well- at least when others are looking-and appear as "Holy" as your neighbor-or better yet- a tad bit more "Holy".
We are mere mortals- we do not have the ability to look inside ones soul- to make a determination of what others feel or think or what their intent is- so what are we left with- what they look like, what they say, what they do-

Only God has the power to look into one's soul-

Romans 14:4
Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Will we ever stop looking on the outside to make a judgement of the inside- probably not. Just this week- I judged someone- decided they were uneducated, rural and probably not that interesting- then found out I was very wrong and needed to take a second look-
We all need to take a second look- or third look- or just have GRACE- which loosely defined is to just have faith that Their Master- is working on them- just like He is working on us- we need to do our own jobs- instead of providing those around us with a checklist on how they need to improve themselves!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Thankfully-my perimeter is covered!

From my travel journal(April 11,2008)
I'm sitting in a coffee shop next to the Boudler Book Store. Most of you will know what that is and where it is, but if you don't I will tell you where first- Boudler, Colorado- a mecca for those free thinking, insanely rich, environmental movers and shakers- who also like to be within a minutes run up into some of the most awe inspiring mountains on God's green earth, guarded by the Flat Irons- red rock formations nestled in green foothills that resemble several irons- like the kind you iron clothes with- you want to see them go to and you can see them in the back of the illustration.
Boulder is the home of the affuinate Colorado University, where student live out the hippie life ( now called granolas) with their parents trust funds- it is also one of the top environmental schools in the country.
I was born in Boulder, but grew up about an hour away in a more conservative community- but Boulder influenced my soul, so I love to come back to it as often as possible and wander the streets and watch the people.
And so here I sit, at a coffee cafe on the Pearl Street Mall, a walking only section of the old downtown, where musicians, mix with Yuppies and Granolas, CU students and Society People and the Homeless and as a Cornerstone in the Northwest corner is the Boulder Bookstore, the antithesis of the Starbucks-es yes I am making that plural on purpose. Where nothing matches, not the mugs, the plates or the chairs. Where a sign hangs reminding everyone to make a new friend by sharing your table during their busy times or let someone else use your table when you are done eating, and states the Golden rule, "to remember that next time it might by you who is in need of a little kindness."
And as I come in this lovely coffee shop there is a homeless man, with the bluest eyes in a weather worn face,covered mostly with a scraggle beard and a head of black thick hair under a blue knit cap and for whatever reason, he finds it necessary to raise his hand expressively in the air every few moments and snap, sometimes once, with several seconds or minutes in between, sometimes he snaps several times in a row. He is not getting in anyone's face, he is not acting agressive to anyone and obviously the owners of the coffee shop have an understanding with him and have no desire to tell him to leave.
I have no problem with him either and didn't turn on my heels and head back out the door when he made his first chorus of snapping.
I did debate using the open honey container, and wondered if that was wise, since he was the person fixing his coffee at the counter before me, but hey, I really like my tea with honey so I took my chances.
I think in his mind he is protecting us, he has a very soft mannerism about him, has not said one word and somehow I think he thinks he is warding off evil from this corner of the Pearl Street Mall. I have seen other homeless people behave in a way they are protecting themselves, shooing imaginary things away, this is not what he is doing, he is protecting this spot, that for whatever reason is special to him and because I am sitting here, in his zone he is responsible for, he is protecting me!
Now he is outside, and must have decided that the evil is coming from all sides and is walking the prerimiter and shooing things away.
And this morning, because I sm dealing with a situation beyond my control, that I have no other choice but to just wait and see how it will play out, that made me lay awake most of the night, and pour out tears and this morning has given me a sunken heart about- I actually would love to jump up and start snapping away the evil spirits with him, or a least ask him if he would do some extra snapping around me cause frankly I need it this morning- a really big dose of snapping and protection from evil spirits that will rip apart my tender soul.
But then I look up at the sign asking people to please treat others, in offering a table- the way you would want to be treated and I remember who authored that- who said that first- who is the creator of the idea, to be kind to others because you don't know when you will be on the recieving end of the kindness. Jesus- who is always walking my perimeter and not snapping the evil spirits away, but declaring in the power of God that I am His and any "evil-ness" that tries to hurt me and discourage me will be answering to Him. That if I have any thing in me, any sin in me, He will be taking care of it and He is the only one that can change me-and bottom line is- He thinks I'm pretty okay right now, dare I saw great, that He loves me as one of his children eveb though He sees my flaws.
So even though I would really like to jump up and joining my homeless friend, do a little snapping of my own to ward off those evil spirits, in reality, I don't have to because my perimeter is covered, the Lord of the Universe loves me, owns me, protects me and is constantly walking my perimeter and watching over me.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


As a writer, I am always analysing something- I can't help it even though it cause me grief sometimes, with my need to get down to the smallest detail- often my family takes my "intrigue" on past relationships and hard times as emotional upheaval on my part when in reality it is a desire to understand so that I can utilize that bit of reality in my writing. But that is a whole different blog.
Right now- I have a friend that I really clicked with at a writing conference- going through what most of us moms and dads would say is the worst nightmare- a child with cancer. And thanks to the Internet and a site called I can get daily updates on her son's progression of his treatment.
Today she was explaining the phases they will be going through and how each one is titled in a certain way and the literature that her and her husband get is very concise and worded in a way that if you are not a medical doctor you can still grasp what each one entails and more important-prepare for what is coming.Which I think is great that the children's hospitals they are dealing with are smart enough to hire some knowledgeable writers to lay this all out in a way where no one is surprised or overwhelmed in the gathering of information- because you are overwhelmed with so many other things when your kid is sick.
Things are also explained in a way for her son- who is six- so he can understand and communicate- a pain chart consisting of sad and smiley faces- a "comfort bin" instead of a bucket to throw up in- sounds a lot nicer.
Reading her updates reminds me of the fact I am muddling through learning Photoshop ( if you don't know what that is it is the professional standard software for the design industry- comes at a whopping price tag- $700 dollars- and there are whole design school classes devoted to it) and the current book I am reading- Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen's great novel~
Now before you say what the #$@$ do these have in common-let me explain- they are all "systems" and it never accord to me how many systems we have around us and what "Systems" truly do for us.
Obvious- Photoshop is a system- it is a set program- you have to learn- the program dictates all conduct- you can push the wrong button all day- it will not work in the third attempt or two hundredth attempt if it is the wrong button.
PC and Mac are systems on a computer- your computer will not humor you if you treat it like a Mac and in reality it is a PC. The system dictates.
My friend-who is dealing with hospitals- time is of the essence- a set vocabulary where everyone is on the same page is critical- it is not a place for a free thinker- not in the transmitting of info- no one should come up with their own terminology- that wastes time- Like I said a talented knowledgeable writer/writers thought of ways to word things so that quick understanding would come and God willing ( which all have faith he will) her son will go through the "System" of treatment and come out the other side a health boy!!!! and !!!!
Now on to Jane Austen- who wrote about another system that is still out there but might not as noticeable- Social Decorum. Austen wrote in an era of class structure- where depending on your place in it- you knew how to act- you knew who was allowed to address whom- who need to what until they were addressed. Where people -iF they thought of a clever- socially correct way to wield an insult they were praised for it- but if they blundered through a compliment- they were ostracized.
If you haven't read Jane Austen- do- or see one of the fine movies that are out now- just because books are on a shelve at B and N- doesn't mean they are any good, but the ones that are good- stick around for ever! Jane Austen wrote her books in the first two decades of the 1800s!!
Why are there so many systems around us? Well- mainly because when you are working in them- everyone knows what to expect- there are no surprises. The same vocab is used and the same steps are done- I am married to a lawyer- three years are spent in law school learning a system that shall NOT be deviated from- yes- an artist/lawyer marriage is also another blog!
There are people- and some of them my best friends- and yes my husband- who live quite nicely in a "System"- they have a certain way of thinking, brushing their teeth in a certain way, etc. and it is hard for them to deviate from it- then there are us writers- who want to move freely- humm? think that is where the phrase- "Buck the system" comes from?
Back to my husband- I am a writer, I am dyslexic and can be obstinate- and sometimes when describing things do not use the right adjective for the right noun- either to make a point or because I just say the wrong word- like this morning- like when I said- coming into the bathroom- "Where did that PILE of water come from?" referring to standing in water by the sink-" Now if you are with me and want to know "where it did come from" you are a person who does not have to operate in "System" - if you are back with my husband- bothered I used "Pile of Water" instead of "Puddle of Water", and five minutes later was unable to move forward because I was pushing the wrong button on the keyboard- and until I pushed the right button and acknowledge to him- yes technically it is a puddle not a pile- you might be a person who needs to operate in a system and really doesn't understand mixing things up for "dramatic effect"
Yes- in Photoshop, Law, Medical Treatment, computers technology we should have system- they are good- they are necessary- they save time and confusion- but read Jane Austen again- and read inbetween the lines- that lady knew "Dramatic Effect!"
And yes- Jane Austen in the most delicate way was "Bucking the System!"

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

how I'm doing?

"Up with the Sun," on the previous post was "tweaked" with Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 and me basically guessing! This "Up with the Sun" is after a crash course of about 8 hours a day for about four day- of me learning Photoshop- with the tutorials on came highly recommended by several illustrators and even an art director and could not be happier- my eyes are crossed but I am learning so much- and this image is still not right- just thought I would see where I was at!.....okay the other one looks better- better go back and finish the tutorial on sharpening- learning a foreign language has to be easier then learning Photoshop!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

"IF- Heavy"

This week's topic for Illustration Friday is "Heavy" and we, here in the San Juan Mountains have gotten a "Heavy" amount of snow-coming out of drought cycle- (any wood on a computer?)we are now at over 150% of our average snowpack. In a week of warm, nearly two feet of snow just got done melting-teasing the livestock in the pastures with the tips of old grass-but this morning it is snowing again!
Next we will have a "season of mud" where our shoes can get "heavy" by the amount of mud attached to them.
Next week is Easter- I wonder if people will accept spring ain't here yet or stubornly were their opened toed easter sandels to church? No daffodils peeking through the earth or chirping birds- but did hear a stuborn woodpecker whacking away at our furance exhaust pipe (trying to impressive the lady woodpeckers-accoustics are great) and the skunks have woken up- and are looking for a dry piece of ground to hang out!

P.S.- thanks so much to all who gave advice on using the camera instead of the scanner- you were right- and all I needed was to update my Corel Paint Shop- which is now much similiar to Photoshop- and get a tripod- still working at it-but you can see the improvement if you scroll down to the last IF entry! Thanks again!!!

"From This Day Forward"

This weekend we expanded our living space by decreasing. Huhhhh? you say. We moved bedrooms around, got rid of our family room ( it technically is a master bedroom) and by opening up one wall of another downstairs bedroom have expanded our great room.
Now not to bore you with our families remodeling plan anymore, let me get to the point. In all the furniture moving I found a lot of cobwebs, it had been a long time since I had done any spring cleaning in my house and I have to say it felt good- to have really-pull the furniture out from the wall-lift up the rugs- clean rooms- I needed that!
Then I went to church and played keyboard with the Praise Team, something I haven't done for a long time, corporately played praise songs which I haven't pondered in a long time and realized I had other cobwebs in places I haven't been using very much lately, like inside me.
I could blame it on our winter- unusual for the Four Corners where the sun shines most day- even when it snows some time- we are over 150% of our normal snow pack and the skies have been dreary a lot or I could blame it on the loss of my husband's mother, right after Thanksgiving- which needless to say changed everything for our family, but honestly-my cobwebs have grown in places they shouldn't for one reason-they have found places I have stopped taking care of, be it behind furniture or in my soul.
Through out the ages,cobwebs have grown in God's people as well. The Old Testament is a record of Israel wanderings to and from the protection of God. Back and forth through the generations- lead by the judges and kings, the people swayed away in good times and coming back to God in bad times-usually whining and moaning- with only the prophets being a constant reminder of God's provisions and love.
Haggai was just one of those prophets that God kept talking to and as usually when things started going "south" the people looked back to God for help.
And this is what God told him to tell the people (cool first line-BTW)
"How does it look to you now?
Does it not seem to you like nothing...
Be strong, all you people of the land,'
declares the LORD, 'and work. For I am with you,'
declares the LORD Almighty.
'This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt.
And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear."
Haggai 2:2-5
He goes on to tell them to basically clean out the cobwebs from their temple, from their barns, and from their lives and he will again bless them.
"From this day forward, I will bless you."
Haggai 2:19 NIV
So to have I realized I need to clean out my cobwebs from my soul. I am writing this to share- but also because it has been a long time since I have cracked the "book" and pondered the words of my Lord and Savior.
But thank goodness that the promise of "From this day forward" holds for me as well- because I need it about every day.
Was God with me- through the dreary winter and my families loss? Of course- he is with me always and I felt him- but like in a house, the cobwebs are not really very inviting- so it is time for some spring cleanig- consisting of a bit more praying and pondering through song and his word. Reality is once I blow the dust off- I'll start to feel better because He say...
"From this day forward I will bless you!"
It's a promise!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Thank you Miss Ginger!"

I'm a lucky person!I get to witness both the inner workings of making literature for children and seeing what that literature can do in the hands of a child! And I don't know which I like best- for the past five years I have had the fun of teaching ART to rural ranch kids and Native American kid,mostly Navajo, at Battle Rock Charter School in historical McElmo Canyon.
I'm also a freelance writer and aspiring freelance illustrator who is getting to know some very kind and cool illustrators-and one of the coolest and kindest is Ginger Nielson- who just donated a whole box full of her new book- "The Adventures of Cali" to my kindergarten through second graders.Written by Michele Lallouz Fisher, with wonderful "Ginger-esque" illustrations- she has such a distinct look- the story tracks the travel of a little caterpillar that is hiding in a delious tomato patch and found by a curious boy.
What makes these books really cool is they come with a little recorder- so the kids can have someone record the story and than they can read along listening to the device.
Anything, again I say anything, that gets these kids interested in reading is a good thing. As is true across the rural West,reading is a skill that is sometimes overlooked- and if a "gimmick" of a recorder- is used to get a kid in a lap of an adult reading- I'll do the happy dance.
The recorder, itself will be great for these kids as well- allowing them to listen to their own voices- Navajos, by their culture, can be very soft spoken- so sometimes it is hard to get these kids to talk much, but who doesn't like to hear the sound of their own voice!
So thank you, Miss Ginger, for your generosity- the kids loved the story and loved the illustration and thought it was pretty cool that I knew you! Some fuzzy caterpillars are coming your way- so watch your mailbox!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

IF- "Multiple"

This is an illustration I hadn't got up on the internet yet-and am using to try and learn how to use Photoshop lightroom- still not there but much, much better. ( and BTW- thank you a hundred times over for all the great advise I got on taking images of my artwork- you all were gracious and right on with the advice to use a ditigial camera instead of scanning!!! Thank you

I could use the theme "multiple" to describe the many attempt to figure this out and what a dunce I am at anything technical. But I have another thing to talk about- so if you are interested read on- if not- enjoy the illustration and have a great day!
Otherwise.....and this is about a writing assignment not art BTW

Today I gave up on "multiple" attempts to please an editor and just told him not pay me. It was work for hire and I just couldn't deliver what he wanted. Not that I didn't have the ability to do it- but I just thought it would be the wrong way of going about it. And since it involved teaching kids- I guess I wasn't willing to put my name on it.
When I was telling my friend about it, she didn't seem too surprised, saying "Of course- you're an artist."
What exactly is the definition of "artist?"
Does it mean just "creative"? Does it mean a person marches to their own drum- but then how can they touch the lives of others- what good is art for art sake if it doesn't move people? I'm hoping it doesn't mean "difficult" and "can't play well with others"
I think it definitely means- I don't need to be taking anymore Work For Hire writing assignments- cause I must not be very good at bring to life someone else vision-
and here again- I wonder, like I have written in this blog before- if my vision is anything that will ever be out there to "move" anyone.
It seems like I have explored a lot of doors down this hallway of creative pursuits and thus far with not the success I hoped for. I'm still turning doorknobs and have to be getting close just for the process of alimanation.
And I can hear the voices of my friends telling me the obvious- "finish your novel", "illustrate your own picturebook", "actually send something in" and Okay- you're right- but I just let my deluxe chef's oven slip through my fingers on a principle- so I need to vent-

Monday, February 11, 2008

IF- "Choose"

Help me "Choose!"
Should I get a new stove or Adobe Photoshop?

I am in a quandry!It takes a lot of "tweeking" to get my fabric collages back to looking good once I scan them onto the computer. The different textures and even some metalic threads in fabrics go all wacky. I finally gave up on this illustration-with courderoy and metalic tweed. I have been using Corel Paintshop Pro and it takes some doing to get the color and texture back sometimes.
I checked into Adobe Photoshop and of course am salivating at such a cool program- but Is it worth the almost $700 for color correction and digitial fixing? I am rationalizing that Photoshop is about 3/4 of a pretty nice range/stove I was eying and I do really like to cook!!
Anybody got some tips for scanning collages and texture and is it easier with Photshop?

Monday, February 04, 2008

IF- "Blanket"

Many times you see Navajos up in the mountains collecting long lodge pole pines for their teepees. No they do not live in them, but use them for pow wows and festivals. Often we'll see the poles stashed in a grove of evergreens, ready for camping or hunting season, when they will just bring up the canvas. I can't say I have ever seen a Navajo drive a classic old truck, mostly they are in minivans!

Friday, January 18, 2008

IF- "Plain"

Plain// (pl-a-n)An extensive, level, usually treeless area of land.

This "plain" is actually Lost Park, connected to South Park, below Kenosha Pass, off of HWY 285 heading east towards Denver, where my husband and I "romped around" and explored while he was getting his law degree at Denver University.

- this is not a depiction of "us" per say- our obsession with dogs hadn't started yet!

Friday, January 11, 2008

IF- Stitch

Well, for the Illustration Friday challenge I felt like I could do anything this week because, hey,everything I make is held together by "stitches". "Starry Night" was made with bits and pieces out of my scrap boxes. I save fabric as small as an inch square. Holidays, family needs and travel had kept me from my studio too long, so last week I just went in my studio, sketched this out and stitched just to get back in the groove.
As the needle went through the fabric and I could feel the friction of the thread, the stress of the last few monthes started to go away!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

One of the First Picture Books!

Was listening to NPR coming home and the most intereting interview was on.From NPR -"Geraldine Brooks got the idea for her new book, People of the Book: A Novel, while covering the Bosnian war as a foreign correspondent. The book is a fictional account of the Sarajevo Haggadah, a centuries-old manuscript." here is the link to hear an interview.
I think it was so amazing,because Jewish tradition, did not like any illustrations of God or really people- based on the commandment of no graven images. As an illustrator that truly believes that God gives gifts and the gift he gave me was the ability to draw- I have always pondered the right to depict "Jesus, God and holy things"- all very intersting and I think I will need to read the book Brooks wrote- a fictional account of the books travels. Check out the NPR interview and the one I heard-today on the 10th- not up on their website yet.

Monday, January 07, 2008

IF- 100%

I am 100% ready for a new year with new opportunties and adventures! 2007 was full- full of growth and challenges, good times with wonderful people and also some sad events. And Moonflower Musing was a great way to look back and remanince! Bring on the journey of 2008!