Day 124: Tuesday, August 30 - the 2nd "Conversation"

And then I shut the door on the painting room and stayed there until I had figured out what to add to the second "Conversation" that Nancie Johnson and I are working on.

We had had the conversation about the "Angry Bird" and the Cat. I had the cat kill the bird, leaving a feather in the panel I painted.

Nancie showed the bird house now for rent in her panel.

I imagined that there were some furnishings left in the bird's house, such as fish in a fish bowl which would now be looking to be adopted?

 And together the story is:

Day 123: Monday, August 29: The Conversation with Nancie Johnson continues.....finally

I have been having way too much fun in too little time!  Have been feeling very guilty about having both ends of "The Conversation" that Nancie Johnson and I are doing for the Sketchbook Project.  This morning, having had two weeks to contemplate this particular conversation (The Helix), I locked myself into the painting room and painted away.  Got my next addition to The Conversation completed and off it will go in today's mail.

This is what Nancie sent me several weeks ago. I have to paint off of the right hand edge:

 And this is what I painted, off of her right hand edge.  Since the final "conversation" needs to wrap itself back around to the front page (or at least we think that's how it should end) I decided to put some dark blue back into the painting to get that color flowing again.  Ergo? dark blue wine bottle which doesn't exist in nature!

And when hooked together? Here's the continuation of the story.

Day 122: Friday, August 26 - Air Swimmers

I have an aquarium in our dining room.  A 100-gallon tank. With 4 Koi fish. Who are 7 years old at my house (who knows how old they were when I bought them), who outgrew their 27 gallon tank so for Christmas I gave them a new, huge tank...............and they have expanded to fit their space. 


They're huge!  And they know me and come frantically to the corner of the tank every morning to be fed. And they're carnivores.  If you put any other kind of fish but a koi in their tank, they eat it.......lost a really fluffy gold fish this way in the beginning.  They love to have a sliced orange tossed in the tank so I do this right before I clean the tank - which is often because they're really dirty fish.  And then for my birthday and theirs (the fish have my birthday assigned to them as does the cat - that way I know how old they all are. Dogs always have my older sister's birthday since Australian shepherds tend to be born in May.)...and then for my birthday and theirs, I bought myself and them a new little brother, Nemo.  It took Nemo a day or two to figure out how to grab  some food from the big guys, but he's well on his way to becoming a big monster too. 

My husband sent me this link in an email today.  Absolutely love it!!  For all of the above reasons.

Maybe my husband's getting me one of these for my Virgo birthday?

Day 121: Thursday, August 25 - Why the hell not!?

What a hiatus!!  My mind has been racing as has my body....too many fun things happening and no time to talk about them!  Today is a "for the hell of it day".  The latest Artist Magazine arrived asking, no begging, for entries from "old people" - old if you're over 60 and since my children are the only people I know who are younger than 60, moi decided to enter.

"Why the hell not" was my thought.

So I found the jpeg files on the computer and sent them off via the on-line entry form.  Have always loved the portrait of my cousin Swampy whose Virgo birthday and my Virgo birthday will be communally celebrated on the 8th with my Virgo sister.....

And then there's this portrait of Carol Marine, the Cheerleader for all of us, leading daily painting challenges, egging us on through her blog.....

And then the portrait of Karin Jurick, who mounted fantastic painting challenges before she became incredibly famous.  She now has the most fabulous paintings and a wonderful blog.  If you don't know her work, go take a look!! 

Karin had the most fantastic painting challenge of anyone.  She had over 180 people, all followers of her work, send her a photo of themselves. She then paired each of us up with an unknown person.  We had to paint them, they had to paint us, and we all had to submit our paintings so that she could post this incredible challenge.  I painted a wonderful (I thought) portrait that I've always called the "Hairdresser"

The hairdresser never returned the portrait she was supposed to paint of me.  But!!  I got my portrait painted by Karin which was, I thought, a really good deal!!  Because of Karin's generosity of time and spirit in mounting this fun, fun challenge, I secretly mounted a Thank You Challenge to Karin. It was the subject of my very first blog, over a year ago now.  I contacted everyone that I could who had painted for Karin, sent them a photo of Karin that I had found on the internet and we all painted from the exact same photo.  I had a book made of the paintings at Snapfish which we mailed her.  The link to all of the paintings that were done is at Picasa.  I'm still blown away that all these unknown people painted for me and that I was able to get everything up and onto the internet. Karin was stunned which was what it was all about.  Go to this Picasa link to see the paintings.

I'll try to catch up with what I've been doing.

Day 120: Thursday, August 4 - a mouse named Nosey

Lots of explanations in order to explain today's posting.

There's a San Francisco based artist out there, Chris Beck, who has her own website "I'm Painting As Fast As I Can". 

I've followed her personal work off and on for several years as she has such a sense of humor and such a definitive style of painting that I always smiled when I saw what she had done lately.

Where she got "famous" in my mind was with another blog she started called: Brush, Paper, Water.  Bi-weekly she would find a fabulous watercolor artist and would then fearture this artist on this blog.  We were exposed, as a result, to some really wonderful painters, each with a different style and/or subject.  Flowers, realism, plein air, architectural......just wonderful painters with wonderful styles.

In 2011 she featured the following artists:
Amanda SpencerAnders AnderssonAud RyeChris Krupinski, Diane Morgan, Gary Bukovnik, Geoffrey McCormack, Ismail Kadir, John Salminen, Jonathan Frank, Phang Chew  and Ron Morrison.

If you go to the bottom of this link, you can see all the other fabulous artists she featured.

Chris called a halt to this blog about 2 months ago as life with her own painting was coming to the front of the pile and she wanted more time to paint for herself.

And then today, out of the blue, comes a blog posting from Chris that just made me smile and smile. 

See that little mouse on the top of the pile of books?  It's named Nosey and it's a bronze mouse made by Steve Worthington.  Over a year ago, Steve, who creates these fabulous bronze mice and lots of other wonderful bronze sculptures, sent 20 artists that he knew, a Nosey mouse, and asked them to create paintings featuring the mice........

and here I'm going to put Chris' words about what Steve asked of the artists: 

Chris said:  I'm pleased to introduce Nosey Mouse. She arrived this afternoon and has been exploring the studio. When she settles down, we're going to work on a challenge painting.
Sculptor Steve Worthington has asked approximately 20 artists to participate in a challenge using their choice of one of five bronze mice he's created. When all the paintings are finished, he's going to gather them into a book which he plans to publish this summer and he'll donate the proceeds from the book sales to animal shelters. I'll post updates here as things progress.

I can't encourage you enough to explore Steve's blog and website -- he has some fabulous sculptures of mice, frogs, and toads, to name a few of his critters. And his short videos are very quirky and fun to watch!!
And then the wonderful paintings of the mice started.  Take a look at the 20 paintings here:

See I told you there were lots of explanations today.  This whole post started because Chris Beck, in today's email said that she got the news earlier this week that Nosey Mouse will be taking a little trip this fall.  Her painting of Nosey Mouse was accepted into the National Watercolor Society's Annual Exhibition in San Pedro, CA and Nosey will be visiting Los Angeles as a result. This painting also qualified as a Finalist in The Artist's Magazine Annual Art Competition for 2011. Award winners will be published in the December issue of the magazine.

Ted Nuttall, watercolor portrait artist, who comes to California every spring for a workshop in Pasadena, will be the main judge at this show.

Day 119: Monday, August 1 - The Fruit Conversation

And "The Conversation" for the National Sketchbook Project (see earlier posts) continues.  Nancie Johnson and I have named this one the "Fruit Conversation" because of its initial page which was an apple, some grapes and a banana.  It has morphed way beyond the banana and the apple.

I had sent her the beak of a bird, attached to the banana:

Nancie took the half of the bird I had made on the right hand edge and morphed it into an "Angry Bird".  That was Nancie's latest entry, complete with sleeping cat, full of z's.

With no hesitation on my part, the 5th panel became?  A flurry of feathers.
So sorry, said the cat.

Here are 3 panels together. It's getting too long, now that it's five panels, to show it in full.

It's now back into the mail, off to New Jersey, to see what Nancie's going to do with the remnants of a bird.