Sunday, December 30, 2012

Life on the Coast

Last weekend harbour stroll of the year here in Morro Bay.

Friday, December 28, 2012

From the Bookshelf

If you've read my blog for awhile you know that each new year I choose a book that I read a bit of every morning on the first day of the weekend. I try to find one that can be easily broken up into 52 parts - by chapter, number of pages, etc.  This one looks like there will be a couple of "things" each week.  So obviously since I haven't read the book yet, I can't give you my review so here's what Amazon has to say about it -

What is the first thing to learn in art school? "Art can be anything." The second thing? "Learn to draw." With 101 Things to Learn in Art School, artist and teacher Kit White delivers and develops such lessons, striking an instructive balance between technical advice and sage concepts. These 101 maxims, meditations, and demonstrations offer both a toolkit of ideas for the art student and a set of guiding principles for the artist. Complementing each of the 101 succinct texts is an equally expressive drawing by the artist, often based on a historical or contemporary work of art, offering a visual correlative to the written thought. "Art can be anything" is illustrated by a drawing of Duchamp's famous urinal; a description of chiaroscuro art is illuminated by an image "after Caravaggio"; a lesson on time and media is accompanied by a view of a Jenny Holzer projection; advice about surviving a critique gains resonance from Piero della Francesca's arrow-pierced Saint Sebastian. 101 Things to Learn in Art School offers advice about the issues artists confront across all artistic media, but this is no simple handbook to making art. It is a guide to understanding art as a description of the world we live in, and it is a guide to using art as a medium for thought. And so this book belongs on the reading list of art students, art teachers, and artists, but it also belongs in the library of everyone who cares about art as a way of understanding life.

By  the end of the year I hope to have a better understanding of what I missed by majoring in music instead of going to art school.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day

In my younger days, this was always the day we took a long walk through the woods, came home to eat Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding and Sherry Trifle, and pulled our Christmas crackers. The riddles were read aloud and puzzled over, the tiny toys played with and best of all, the funny paper crowns to wear while the Stilton and Port made the rounds. This very English tradition was started to help a young friend, recently come from the British Isles, who was homesick and finding an American Christmas missing a few important bits and bobs. She was 13 at the time and celebrated every Boxing Day with us for the next 20 years. Happy Boxing Day, Michelle!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Christmas to All

A Jolly Old Elf 11x14"

"And I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight
"Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!'"

The best of the season to all of you from Altered by the Sea!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pickwick's Christmas (for Bronwyn and Jenny)

 Today is the 22nd day of December.  For my daughters and I that always meant Pickwick's Christmas.
Sometime during the '70's I stumbled across the recording below that included a reading of a Christmas chapter from Dickens's Pickwick Papers.  It begins thus "As brisk as bees, if not altogether as light as fairies, did the four Pickwickians assemble on the morning of the twenty-second day of December..."  It soon became a regular part of my holiday traditions. By the time the girls were born and old enough to listen I had transferred it to cassette tape and each year, on the 22nd of December, we would listen to it in the car as we drove to go shopping or on errands. Charles Laughton does an excellent reading of the tale and after not too many years  the girls could quote most of it from memory.
From this album and then to the cassette tape and this morning on the way to work I'll listene to it on my mp3 player plugged into my car's stereo system.  Times may change, but some traditions are forever golden.  Happy Holidays, especially to the two best daughters in the whole world.  Love, Mom

Thursday, December 20, 2012

New Journal, New Pages

 I started a new journal a few weeks ago.

 This is one of the ones I made during 

 And the second one, from the class,
that I've used as a daily journal.

 The cover is from an 1890's series of essays,
 lovely marbled paper on the book boards.

I made the signatures out of vintage and repro ledger paper, 

and vintage-y scrapbook paper.

A wide striped ribbon  wraps the spine
and does duty as a bookmark. 
 I really like this one and am having
a lot of fun working in it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tag - You're it!

Call it not paying attention or brain glitch or whatever - but this was the first holiday season when it occurred to me to make my own tags.

I had recently purchased a package of medium sized shipping tags from Staples and they were sitting on the art table and (light-bulb over head moment) it dawned on me that I could use them, along with rubber stamps and ink, to make tags for presents!  I know, right?  Don't ask - I don't get it either.

So, here are some of the results -

once I started it was hard to stop.

Great results, so quickly.

I used Distress Inks for the backgrounds, and Archival Black for the stampings.

Now I wonder what else I haven't thought of?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Life on the Coast

A spectacular weekend sunset here in Morro Bay.

Friday, December 14, 2012

From the Bookshelf

The Art of Urban Sketching is a wonderful "get lost in" book.  Sit in front of the fire on a winter's evening, when you have a few hours free, and travel around the globe, stopping in numerous cities with dozens and dozens of urban sketchers.  The art work is varied, colourful and meaningful.  Each artist provides a mini bio and a handful of annotated pieces.  It's a labour of love put together by Gabrial Campanario.  At this holiday season a perfect present for a sketch loving friend or - gift yourself. "See the world one drawing at a time"!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our Lady of Guadalupe

A day to remember and give thanks.

A day to reflect and ponder.

A day to celebrate.

A day to rejoice.

A day for our Lady of Guadalupe.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Decoration Time

 Here are the contents of last Saturday's
suitcase up on the trees.

Our cats who are wild two year olds keep us from having a 
traditional tree and because we love them, this is OK.

Someday they'll be older and calmer.

Until then we decorate bunches of
curly willow around the fireplace.

Not the same as a big fragrant spruce or pine,
but beautiful none-the-less.  

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Suitcase Saturday

 This is a vintage brown leather train case that
 I picked up at a local swap meet.

 It provides an off season home for my collection
 of small ornaments that decorate a bunch of
 curly willow branches in our great room.

There are many from Wendy Addison's Theatre of Dreams, 
collected over the years.

And other small vintage stars and bells. 
 Soon they will come out of the suitcase and
 be hung up to enjoy throughout  this  holiday season.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

More Esty Fun

Also now available in our Esty shop - 4ARTGIRLZ -

These vintage invoices dating from 
the 1890's through the 1920's.

 I've altered them using rubber stampings, cigar bands 
and vintage fiscal and postage stamps.

Over a dozen available, all different - $10.00 each.
 The perfect gift for the "all things vintage" 
person on your holiday list.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Just in Time for the Holidays!

I've added some new art to our Etsy Shop - 4ARTGIRLZ.

Eight delightful clown collages, on 5x7" canvas panels.

Even collaged on the back!

Check out the entire group here.  $25.00 each.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Life on the Coast

Our "pet rock" here in Morro Bay.

Friday, November 30, 2012

From the Bookshelf

I found this fascinating book on my recent trip to the San Francisco MOMA, in their wonderful gift shop. Amazing and hard to put down.  Not everyone's type of eye candy but I love it.  Here's what Amazon has to say:

Skulls, butterflies, hunting trophies, ancient Egyptian artifacts, the alleged skeletons of mythological creatures, and many other mysterious oddities fill cabinets of wonder. A centuries-old tradition developed in Europe during the Renaissance, cabinets of wonder (also known as curiosity cabinets) are once again in fashion. Shops, restaurants, and private residences echo these cabinets in their interior design, by making use of the eclectic vintage objects commonly featured in such collections. Cabinets of Wonder showcases exceptional collections in homes and museums, with more than 180 photographs, while also explaining the history behind the tradition, the best-known collections, and the types of objects typically displayed. Offering both a historical overview and a look into contemporary interior design, this extravagantly illustrated book celebrates the wonderfully odd world of cabinets of wonder.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Theatre of Dreams 2012

We took our annual trip to
Wendy Addison's Theatre of Dreams
 in Port Costa the day after Thanksgiving.

Lots of glitter, lots of colour, lots of magic!

Vintage beauty everywhere you look.

 New Christmas pennants, with a "circus-y stripe".

 We purchased a few presents for special friends,
pick up some letterpress discs and 
a new Christmas ornament.

And what trip to The Theatre of Dreams would be
complete without seeing the shadow dancer!
Open Fridays and Saturdays 10-4
through December 21.