Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Sky Shimmers With The Muffled Chatter of the Stars and the Tumbling Thoughts of a Pensive Moon

  Here is an illustration I did for the Illustration Friday theme for this week which is 'Sky.'

    In the night sky the stars merrily chat while sharing a pot of tea. They watch the galaxy swirl and explode around them. The stars like to imagine what stars are like in different parts of the universe, thousands of light years away. Together they make up stories about what life is like in different corners of the universe. The moon is less social than the stars. He is an introvert who prefers empty spaces where he can pull out his book and read. He likes to imagine what the world is like in different places too, but he goes about exploring his curiosities in a different way. Instead of making stories up with friends, he reads as much as he can from books he gathers from all around the universe. He reads stories about people on earth and also stories about people from different planets far from earth.  When he falls asleep, he dreams about the characters in the books he reads. When the stars fall asleep, they dream about the people they make up while sipping on tea together. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Reading with Sunshine on Your Face, Reading with the Sound of Rain Pattering Against the Window

   This summer I read the very intriguing mystery book 'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flynn. It really is the perfect beach read. It has twist and turns and surprises that makes this book good company while relaxing in the sunshine. But beach reads translate well to rainy day reads. Today where I live the streets are soaked with rain water. It is definitely the type of day to curl up with a good book and a hot mug of tea.
   This picture was taken on a night very opposite of today. The day had been hot so I had all my windows open. The cooler night air was drifting into my stuffy house. I was inside enjoying the cool breeze from a fan, summer fruit, iced coffee, a cupcake and a thrilling mystery!

   'Gone Girl' is not only a gripping mystery but an exploration into relationships and how people start off happy and end up somewhere else. After Amy disappears, her husband Nick is implicated in her murder. Each chapter goes back and forth between Amy's story and Nick's. Nick's story starts the day his wife disappears. Amy's story is told through diary entrances that start years before the incident. Through the characters descriptions and different perspectives the reader is led through a story full of twists and turns! Because of the twists and turns I have tried to be adequately vague in my review.
   Overall, I found 'Gone Girl' completely enthralling! I had a difficult time putting this book down. I love finding books I can't put down, but it can be dangerous too because I forgo being productive and responsible (ex. going to bed at a reasonable hour)just so I can spend more time reading.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cloud Creatures

Here is another miniature story that I made. It is about cloud creatures.

Friday, October 19, 2012

“If More Of Us Valued Food And Cheer Above Hoarded Gold, It Would Be A Much Merrier World.”

The sentence used as my title for this post is a J.R.R. Tolkien quote. I thought I'd start using good food quotes for my titles in food related posts. All of these food items are from summer.

   Raspberry scones with raspberry tea! For a short while at the end of summer, containers of raspberries were only one dollar! I bought several and made scones out of the raspberries from one container. I used the same recipe that I used for my blackberry scones.

  Homegrown vegetables from my upstairs roommates dads garden. He also made the chocolate zucchini bread from his zucchinis. It is a treat to get homegrown veggies  Besides the bread (I'm a sucker for sweets), the green beans were my favorites!

Crab! For the most part I am a vegetarian but I sometimes cheat with seafood. I got these crabs from a man whose boat I was working on. He caught them himself. Apparently he is known around the dock as the 'crab man' because he is always catching crabs and sharing them with his neighbors. It was very sweet that he shared some with me too. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Clementine Sylvan

  I'm starting a new series of paintings... portraits of people with leaf hair. I've only done one so far, here it is! I painted it on a board that I cut and covered with gesso. She is painted with acrylic paint.

    Clementine lives in the forest, along with the rest of her leaf haired family. The Sylvans often get odd stares when they walk around the city or suburbs. But this is not why they moved to the forest. They just feel more comfortable among the wildlife. The Sylvans are happier surrounded by trees. During the winter they loose all their hair, but it grows back in the spring. Thousands of years ago the first Sylvan child was born from a magical tree deep in a strange woods. The woods were full of mystical animals and fairy folk. The fairy folk regarded the tree as sacred and would make yearly pilgrimages to the tree to ask for favors from the old tree. One year, a group of fairy folk were surrounding the tree when a giant nut fell from the highest branch. It landed with a crack. The nut wiggled and rocked back and forth. Then, a tiny baby pushed it's way out of the nut. The baby was rosy cheeked and had a head of bright green leaves. One of the fairies gasped in surprise when she saw the baby. She had just been asking the tree for a baby for her and her fairy husband. The surprised fairy brought the baby home and she was raised as one of the fairy folk.
   The Sylvans no longer remember their family origins. They have no idea why they have strange hair and like most people they do not even believe in fairies. But since moving to the woods, Clementine sometimes has odd dreams. In them she is living in a different time. All of her friends are sprite fairies that glimmer in the sun and dance instead of walk. In her dreams she see's the strangest and most beautiful animals. She wanders with the animals and fairies through the woods. In one of the dreams she leans down over a still lake to have a drink. She sees her refelction in the still water. But her reflection is not her own. It is a reflection of another girl, but this girl has leaf hair too. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Little Things

Here are a few photos of little things.....

Eight four leaf clovers...! I should have very good luck. When I was little, it was almost a certainty that I could find a four leaf clover in my neighbors yard. So if I needed a bit of extra luck, I knew where to go. It was like a magical lawn of four leaf clovers. I lived next to a kind elderly couple, so they didn't mind having a little kid searching through their yard for four leaf clovers. I got these eight four leaf clovers from my own front yard, so I guess I have found a new magical lawn of four leaf clovers.

  Since there is nothing to compare it too, it is impossible to tell, but this lady bug was actually quite large! It was almost as large as my thumb nail.

 A dragonfly and a moth.... or is it a butterfly? Every summer except for one in the past ten years I have found a dragonfly. The first one I found in a parking lot and the second one I found on my window. The third year I think was the year I didn't find one. This one I found on a boat. Both moths and dragonflies are beautiful insects!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Rain, The Sea, The Night Sky.

   Here are a couple of illustrations from my sketchbook:

   Today I was outside watering my plants when a squirrel scampered past me on a fence. He was a brave squirrel because the fence was only about a foot away from me, and usually squirrels like to keep their distance  Unless they are squirrels that live at tourists attractions and are accustomed to humans feeding them bits of pretzels or popcorn. I met a squirrel at the Ballard Locks that came right up to me while eating a a sandwich and practically demanded I share it with him. But anyway, the best part of the squirrel I saw today was that he actually had an acorn in his mouth. Squirrels are always pictured in art as having acorns in their mouths or tiny hands, but I never actually see squirrels with acorns, until today! It was pretty darn cute. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hugo and Bridget Enjoy Ice Cream on a Sunny Day

    Hugo and Bridget live in a world where it is always quite clear what is inside people's hearts. While walking down the street in their world, you may see an old man with a scowl and you may hear him noisily grumble a 'harrumph.' But along with his outwardly grouchy exterior, he could have a heart full of sunshine or old trees. After seeing what's in his heart, no one could really be fooled by his unfriendly expressions and displeased protestations. But sometimes someone who seems perfectly friendly will have a heart full of coal or small bones. When Hugo and Bridget met, they were quite excited. Hugo's heart was full of flora and Bridget's was full of fauna. They both believe that flora and fauna go together, and ever since meeting they have been enjoying each others company. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Experimentation in the Trojan Horse Method of Infiltration

   As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the them on Illustration Friday this week is 'book.' So this is the perfect week to share a comic I finished recently about books!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tessa Delights Her Little Siblings By Summoning Forth A Story Person

   Here is another illustration I did for Illustration Friday. The theme this week is 'book.'

  Tessa has two younger siblings who are both rambunctious and restless. Tessa has always been a calm girl, even when she was the age of her younger siblings. But her small sister and brother move through life like miniature whirlwinds. They do not like to sit still, they like to run through meadows and climb tall trees. They do not like to listen to sound advice, they like to experiment with their own ideas. Tessa has learned that the only thing that can calm her little siblings is to read them stories. To Tessa, books are not just paper and ink, they are dear friends. And some of her books are more like dear friends than others. Tessa recently discovered that while reading some of her books aloud, she has the ability to summon forth a story person. The story person seeps from the book and appears beside Tessa as she reads. Like a skilled magician, the story person brings the stories even more to life by sending bursts of images into the air. Both of Tessa's siblings are delighted by the stories Tessa reads and the pictures  created by the story person. Together, Tessa and the story person tame the miniature balls of energy. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

Rivers and Bird Songs

 When I named this post I didn't even realize I was almost making a Doctor Who reference (one of the characters is named River Song). But rivers and bird songs are two things often appreciated during a camping trip. Here are the rest of the photos from my Mt. Rainier camping trip. They are from the campsite and the river near the campsite. While everyone else was taking a nap, I wandered to the river and explored.

Giant Leaves!
Tiny Caterpillar
Staring Down at the Milky Water

D and I collected Sticks for the fire.
Campground Art That I Made
More Campground Art
Last Campground Art
I was so excited when I found this strawberry beer! Delicious! 
Marshmellow...heck yeah! 
My Ketchup Drenched Tofu Dog
  One item I brought to this camping trip (as shown in the previous post about camping) and didn't actually use was the bird identification guide. A couple of weeks prior to this trip, my boyfriend and I were outside in our front yard admiring the birds. We pulled out the bird guide (the bird guide I have is 'National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds') and it was great fun identifying the birds and learning more about them. Unfortunately there really was never much time to appreciate the birds on the camping trip. After all, our camping trip was only a day and a night long (I definitely over-estimated the amount of activity that could be accomplished in such a short trip.) But one thing I love about the bird guide is the way the authors describe bird songs (or voice, as the book calls it.). The descriptions are like miniature poems. Here are some examples.

  • Leach's Storm-Peterel: A variety of trills, screams, and cooing notes. (pg. 366)
  • Sharp-Shinned Hawk: Sharp kik-kik-kik-kik; also a shrill squeal. (pg 432)
  • Western Wood-Pewee: A harsh nasal pee-eer, very different from the sweet peee-ah wee of the Eastern Wood-pewee. (pg. 602)
  • Least Flycatcher: Dry, insect-like che-bec, snapped out and accented on the second syllable, and uttered incessantly through the hottest days of summer. 
  • Veery: Song a rich downward spiral with an ethereal quality; call note a descending whew. (pg. 666)
  • Lark Sparrow: Alternating buzzes and melodious trills. (pg 731)
  • American Coot: A variety of clucks, cackles, grunts and other harsh notes. (pg 468.)
  • Least Sandpiper: A clear treep; when feeding, a soft chuckle. (Pg. 496)
  • Bonaparte's Gull: Rasping tee-ar; soft nasal snarling note. (Pg. 513)
  • Yellow-billed  Magpie: A raucous qua-qua-qua and a querulous quack. (pg. 634)
  These are not a even a survey of the very best bird voice descriptions. I found these by thumbing though pages at random. I remember reading one description in this book a long time ago that described the bird song as sounding like 'the creak of a rusty-hinged fence blowing in the wind.'.... or something similar to that. But I can't remember which bird was being described. Someday I will be outside riding my bike or taking a walk and will hear a rusty fence blowing in the wind, only to realize that there are no fences around... and the air is still! I will look up to see a bird singing on a branch and realize the bird is the creaking fence. 

(Bird book cited: Udvardy, Miklos D.F., revised by John Farrand, Jr. National Audubon Society Field GUide to NOrth American Birds. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000. Print)