Monday, April 28, 2008

Tagged Again

I've been tagged again, this time by Karen Lee, one of my writing pals and writer/illustrator extraordinare. The task is this: pick up the book nearest you, turn to page 123, find sentence #5, then write down the next three sentences. She has this posted on her blog: Well, the closest book to where I'm sitting at the computer is one I'm saving for this summer to read at breakfast with my cats: Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke. She is one of my top five favorite children's authors and this is one of the few she's written I haven't read yet. Here goes:
" 'He certainly would," agreed Sir Lamorak. "And your brother is acquitting himself bravely, but it's high time we got our own magic powers back so that we can put an end to all this tail-curling nonsense."
"I'm really sorry that you are our guest at Pimpernel at such a difficult time," Melisande continued to the Sorrowful Knight, who was still standing by the door looking uncertain of himself."
Now, I'm more anxious than ever for school to end so that I can actually enjoy breakfast without feeling guilty about not being in more of a rush and have time to savor reading this book, rather than stealing minutes here and there. The birds are frequenting my backyard feeders more now and we've started landscaping. We planted a coral bark maple in the backyard and a red dogwood, miniature roses and Mexican heather in the front. The pond should go in later this week. With the recent rains, our drought restrictions have been lifted and we can start buying shrubs and flowers to add to the landscape. We're planning a Japanese-style garden in the back, which we've wanted for some years now. Thirty-nine more days, including weekends...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lisa's Plate

Okay, so I've made a little progress on the plate. I waited a day to let the background dry. I decided to cut out the sketches I made of the giraffes and monkeys so that I could figure out placement on the plate. I'm glad I did since I did a separate sketch of each. The baby monkey's head was much to large. I played around with my scanner and transferred the image to Paint so that I could save the image as a jpeg. For some reason, I can't get my scanner program to save any images to anywhere else in my computer. I pulled up the image using Adobe Photoshop and shrank it to fit the image of the mother monkey. After placing the images on the plate, I traced around them with a piece of chalk, then began to fill in the tree. I've also started basecoating the giraffes. I think I may wait another day to go back to add details. I may basecoat the monkeys tonight. That depends on how long the NFL draft lasts which will determine if Henry is available for movie watching....

Friday, April 25, 2008

African Animals Plate

A friend at work asked me if I would paint a plate for her and I agreed. Well, the plate turned out to be this wonderful bright red, maybe thirty-six inch diameter floor model. I've started sketching some Vervet monkeys and giraffes. She said her living room where this usually sits on a stand is done with African animals, so she wanted this to coordinate with those. I'm using a high-definition paint and pattern from a Donna Dewberry pattern book for the background, begun last night. I'll post more as I near the finish with this.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Turtle Tie Auction

I took this off because I thought it was over. No, it's ongoing now. This beautiful turtle tie was painted by Ian Sands, a very talented art instructor and novelist from my writers' group. It is being sold for auction on ebay now. Proceeds go toward a special charity, a special needs charity hockey team for kids. Read more about it at this site:
It's one of a kind and you're helping out our kids. Thanks.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Frances O'Roark Dowell

Frances O'Roark Dowell highlighted our Goalies writers' group last Sunday at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC. She was very gracious with her time and talked very frankly about writing, it's challenges, using voice when writing, and also about the characters in her books. She is the author of Dovey Coe, Chicken Boy, Where I'd Like to Be, the Phineas L. MacGuire series, The Secret Language of Girls and Shooting the Moon. If you have not read any of her work, you're missing out. I recently finished Chicken Boy. The voice in the characters of this book are strong and believable. I was easily able to identify character types in children and families I've worked with over the years in education. I look forward to reading my autographed copy of Dovey Coe. I tend to read and write mostly fantasy, so when an author of fiction compels me to buy and read everything she/he has written, it speaks very highly of her/his work. Thank you Frances for speaking at our schmooze and thank you to all of our guests. We loved meeting all of you. I am always very recharged whenever our Goalies group gets together and Sunday brought it home to me again as to how lucky I am right now to belong to such a supportive writing/critique group.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bill's Visit

I had the opportunity to see Bill Clinton in person today at our local high school here in Goldsboro. It was a little wait, but I enjoyed the speech very much. He was very gracious and stayed to shake hands with everyone afterward, including myself and my husband. Admiral William Owens was also on hand to endorse Hillary and to introduce the former President. Thanks, Mr. President for taking time to come to our town.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

New Tulip Painting

I decided to try the new High Definition paints again. I was rather frustrated with them after the training camp. But, I was determined to do better, so I bought one of Donna Dewberry's HD DVD's and stuck with it. I tried the Field of Tulips project. It was so much more fun. Maybe I was more relaxed sitting in my own workroom without anyone else around. For whatever reason, I now really like the paints and am determined to do another project. I've covered an old painting I didn't like with white paint and hope to get to it next weekend.