Saturday, January 31, 2009

paints / pencils

L- Nikon D40x / T - phone pic (both posterized)

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” -Thomas Merton

I started painting on a 30 x 24" canvas today. I built a fire then set up my Julian Paris easel, that I received for Christmas, for the first time, placing it in my dining room where the light is wonderful. I kept the fire going all day so the room was cozy and bright and I was having fun, I didn't want to quit. This was my first time trying the water soluble oil paints. I bought the minimal set to make sure I liked them - clean up is so much easier and they work just like oils without the smell - I think I'm converted. / next assignment -create a moire effect with colored pencils on black paper.

Friday, January 30, 2009

so true

solo post - L, iphone pic at work

I took a break and walked over to Starbucks around 3 today (about a 5 minute walk in the brisk cold air). I got a London Fog Tea Latte. Have you had one yet? It's my new favorite afternoon drink. So good. The quote on my cup was perfect. So true.
"Success in life is that your kids want to spend time with you once they've grown up." - Paul Orfalea (founder of Kinko's)

I think right now I don't feel completely "successful" in this regard but she's not really grown up yet either is she? It doesn't count yet does it? I mean, as long as she's in school I don't think it's the coolest thing to spend a weekend with your mom. There are much more appealing offers coming her way. I do feel blessed however - T and I have a wonderfully close and open relationship and I cherish that more than anything in this world. When she chooses to spend time with me, over her friends, now that's pure joy.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

cheerful/ smile

"Do not expect the world to look bright, if you habitually wear gray-brown glasses." - Charles William Eliot

Was there a bright spot in your day?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

no style / in style

It had been 2 months since I last got a haircut and I couldn't stand it any longer. I am not one to make an appointment with a stylist on a regular basis, so 9 times out of 10 I will get fed up with my hair one day and go right then to get it cut. I know this isn't the best way to go about it. And tonight might have cured me from ever doing that again. After work I went to a haircuttery I've been before but got a new stylist. For some reason I had a feeling she wasn't a safe bet so I told her to just cut a half inch. She barely wet my hair with a spray bottle and seemed to just start cutting randomly, and it looked like more than a half inch was coming off. I cringed at what I was seeing. After less than 10 minutes she asked how I like it. I honestly could not say I liked it. I said I've never seen my hair look so bad - there is absolutely no style to it. But I also admitted that it was extra frizzy today and I would just have to wait until I washed it and then see what I thought. She said, "I can see by your face you're not happy so I'm not going to charge you." I didn't even offer to pay. I went straight home and washed my's not quite as bad as I thought. Should I go back and pay? / i realized i have a lot of necklaces - most of them from thrift stores - i just can't resist them. does it look like an abundance?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

preparation / insight

I came home for lunch today and as I was fixing my lunch I looked out the window and saw a squirrel trying to go through the tiny hole in our big polar tree with a very large mouth full of leaves and wood scraps - she was having a hard time. So I rushed to grab the camera in hopes of getting a photo of her, but by the time I got back all I saw was the tip of her tail as she went in the hole. I waited for a little while in hopes that I would see her going back in with more materials for her nest, but I couldn't wait any longer - I had to get back to work. I read a little bit tonight about the squirrel's nesting habits and found out that there are two mating seasons - one in January and one in June. I think maybe that little squirrel was preparing a nest for her young. Every spring we see a family of about 3 - 5 living in our big poplar tree, chasing each other and poking their little heads out of the hole to see who's watching. I know some think they are just pests, but I enjoy watching them play. / i received Annie Leibovitz's new book as a Christmas gift and i can't wait to read it. Annie Leibovitz introduces her book: "It is written for someone like the person I was at the beginning of my career, when I was in art school. A young me. I didn’t know which road I would take. Whether it would be a commercial road, a magazine road, an artistic road, a journalistic road. It’s written for that person. Someone who is interested in photography but isn’t sure how they want to use it." ...that person is me. it should be interesting reading - she describes specific photos and how each shot came about - the who, how, where and why - giving the reader real insight into each photograph. i don't know which direction i am leaning - what road i will take - but i changed my major from photography to graphic art (my emphasis will be on photography) in hopes that there will be more roads from which to choose.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

clear / confusion

Nikon D40x - L / phone pic- T
I drove up to Athens and spent the day with T on Saturday - we had a wonderful time. We met for lunch at a little place called "Five Star Day Cafe" and talked about the houses the girls wanted to check out. T and her roommate plus 2 other girls have in mind that they want to get out of the dorms and into a house or apartment. They claim that the close living quarters and community bathroom is just too hard to bare another year. Well we'll see. We saw some adorable houses that were built especially with college students in mind - rows of brightly colored houses built in a craftsman style with sidewalks in front, and hammocks hanging on the porches. Who wouldn't want to trade a tiny dorm room for that? It's just not that easy. I think the girls got a little confused with all the choices and things they have to think about in order to make this move. It was a long day of looking, but it was a beautiful, warm day and we had fun. To end the day we went to dinner at a nice restaurant called "Casa Mia" - wrapped it all up with coffee and Tiramisu - yum!

Friday, January 23, 2009

cat / bird

Kodi loves to look outside Ts window in the morning - there's a tree just outside the window that has berries on it and the birds love it. She'll do anything to get a better view of the activity out there - including trying to climb the curtains. bad kitty. / our first project in drawing II is a collaborative one. the name of the assignment is "multiple headed hungry monster." we went to the library the second day of class to get inspiration and then we were put into groups the next class day. i'm in a group with two other people and we have to each create a monster head that eats something specific and then we all do the body and somehow show in the stomach what our monster has consumed. mine is a girl with feathers for hair and a bird's nest on her head and a berry necklace (to attract birds to her). so she eats birds and uses their feathers for her hair. i did it in pen and ink. this is just a portion of the her insides - the branches form her ribs. i hope it turns out like i envision it - should be pretty cool if it does.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

patience / hoping

“Beneath the crisp and wintry carpet hid A million buds but stay their blossoming And trustful birds have built their nests amid The shuddering boughs, and only wait to sing Till one soft shower from the south shall bid And hither tempt the pilgrim steps of Spring.” -Robert Bridges

This little bird (and more over here), sitting in her nest, beak opened in song, makes me happy just to look at her. I keep feeling like spring is just around the corner. Patience. /dorm life is great and everything - i love living in really close proximity to my good friends - but having a house would be fantastic! i have an opportunity to look at a house with three of my close girl friends and i am beyond excited - our own furnishings, our own rooms, our own bathrooms! we might even get a front porch. we'll see how it goes, wish us luck [:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

gleaming / illuminating

phone pics from both of us
“There are two kinds of light - the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.” -James Thurber

We didn't get any snow - the prediction changed before the night was up. But this morning beautiful ice crystals were on my window - sparkling and glittering in my view. As pretty as it was, I should have scraped it off before I began driving. I couldn't see anything on the road. / i can't give you a review yet - i just started reading - but the movie is one of my favorites. do you read the book before seeing a movie or the other way around?
"I have reflected many times upon our rigid search. It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past. It is always along the side of us, on the inside, looking out. Like you say, inside out. Jonathan, in this way, I will always be along the side of your life. And you will always be along the side of mine." - Alex from the movie Everything is Illuminated"

Monday, January 19, 2009

one year ago / snow

“The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event”

Dashboard (desktop weather on a mac) shows it's snowing right now in Atlanta but I look out my window and I sure don't see it. I'm like a kid - I'll go to bed tonight and wish for snow. Little children say if you flush an ice cube down the toilet you will awake to snow the next morning and if you want an even a better chance at a "snow day" then also wear your pjs inside out. Since we don't see it much down here we get a little excited when it does snow - it is a "magical event" indeed. I remembered it snowed last year around this time and when I looked back on the photos it was, in fact, the very day - Jan 19. It was so pretty - the kind of snow that blanketed everything. I got so much joy out of taking pictures of the girls playing in it - all their inhibitions aside, they let me take pictures of them in their natural silliness. I can imagine T and her friends on campus - what fun! And I'll miss out. I remember what a blast we had at college when it snowed - the campus was one big playground. So for tonight's post I asked T to send me her favorite from that day (if she had them there at school). / i only had a screen capture i had made from iphoto - this is just a small section. snow days have forever been the dream of young children, but its definitely not lost by the time you "grow up". Last year's snow day was long awaited and it was a lot of fun to play around in it and take pictures with my best friend. we did learn, however, that it's pretty hard to operate a camera with gloves.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

warm / cool

solo post again - L
In the daytime the shadows the sunshine plays on the wall excite me and in the evening I am always delighted by the multiple shadows the dining room light reflects on the table. Tonight I had my metalsmithing class. This was my first attempt at sawing copper. The design isn't quite symmetrical, but I think it will do for my project. I hope to share more of it next week - I barely got this portion completed before the time was up tonight.
The shadow on the wall is from the sunlight shining through my wasp jar - you know the kind you hang outside to keep the wasps away from your picnic. The wasps fly in through the opening at the bottom in order to get to the sugar water you have placed inside, then they are trapped. poor guys. I use mine indoors for decoration.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

this and that

solo post - L
Today consisted of a little of this, and a little of that, and not much of anything. I started out the day saying, "don't put off til tomorrow what you can do today" with my mind set on getting some things accomplished. See that TurboTax CD back there on my computer? That's what I was thinking I would do today and yes it got shoved to the back and was not touched further. I got side tracked many times - mostly with... well I don't know really but I enjoyed my day. Hope you enjoyed yours.
T, I sure hope you join me again soon.

Friday, January 16, 2009


"Firelight will not let you read fine stories but it's warm and you won't see the dust on the floor." ~Author Unknown

I spent a lot time this evening in front of my fire. I was entranced by it's flicker and it wrapped me it's its warmth to where I couldn't break away. (No worries of the dust on the floor either - I'll tend to that tomorrow.)

Stay warm this weekend.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

snack / nourishment

I just needed a sweet snack today - peanut M&Ms - and they weren't even very good for some reason. / i know it's only been a week, but i feel good about sticking with my workout plan every day. one thing's for sure, it's made me hungrier for breakfast (scrambled eggs, cheerios with soy milk, and a banana (apple for a snack later).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

secret / mystery

I sent this package off Monday - it contained my "mystery" painting. Mystery in that each artist had to sign the back of the canvas so that the artist of each painting remains a secret until after the purchase. I packaged it up and then realized after I dropped it off that I had not taken a photo of the finished painting. I'll probably never see it again. Oh well, you can see pretty much what it looks like here. The auction is in February. I hope my painting will help raise some good money for the community. As long as I have been an artist I admit there are still times I doubt my talent a bit. I wonder if other artist feel this way every once in awhile? I joined a group today that I hope will encourage me to do more painting and share more of my work. It's a book blogging group on "12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women / i don't have a photo from today but i was looking back through some old stuff from about a year ago and came across this. remember mom?
you'd think experienced trespassers wouldn't be spooked by the average thump, especially given the fact that it wasn't even at night. but this house did a good job of making us leave. who knows what made the sound, it could have been the wind but it also could have been someone inside the house warning us not to enter. regardless, mom and i both jumped a couple feet up in the air and got outta there - me vaulting off the front porch after snapping this photo of forgotten journals, and her hopping in the driver's side to make for our getaway. haha i still want to go back - there was so much potential there.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.” - Bern Williams

In Atlanta we have barely reached freezing temperatures and the plants are in a state of confusion. I know it's not spring just yet but I saw a forsythia in bloom yesterday. I thought of all of you who are under more snow than I could possibly imagine and I know the below freezing temps are getting you down. It seems many of you are longing for warmer weather, a beach vacation, for the snow to melt and for the budding plants to peek their way through the soil and soon please. So I thought of you when I bought this tiny little daffodil. I know it would have been prettier photographed in the sunlight hours but alas it was dark when I brought it home from Trader Joes tonight and I couldn't wait to share a tiny bit of spring sunshine with you.

And just remember
“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” - Hal Borland

Monday, January 12, 2009

recipes / reference

I bought myself this beautiful cookbook titled "Apples for Jam" by Tessa Kiros - admittedly because it has beautiful photos. Interestingly the over 200 recipes are organized by color - red, orange, yellow, pink, green, gold, white, brown, monochrome, stripes and multicolor. It combines poetic writing, art and time-tested recipes shared for generations – the pages are filled with gorgeous photos and children's artwork. And, throughout, little snippets like this "...then we sat on the doorstep, munching, staring at the cherry pinks and plum purples, the lemon blossom, the blue sky, and the soft whipped cream white of the clouds". How can you not love a book like that, regardless if you cook or not? Taylor next time you're home we'll fix one of the dishes together - I think you'll like it. / today, believe it or not, was my first time ever setting foot in my school's library. last semester i used my computer or a book i already possessed for research. we were sent there, to the library, to find inspiration for creating some sort of "monster" for our drawing class – we are to compile images of things, reminiscent of arcimboldo (take a look at his work). i started out wanting my monster to be in the style of cyberpunk, but i pretty much changed my mind while i was inside. it was very nostalgic being in there, whispering and searching for the perfect book to give me inspiration.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

fun / relaxation

solo post - L
Evee spent much of her day outside - even in the rain. I guess she likes the new raincoat she got for Christmas. Kodi on the other hand enjoyed her day in the house - snug and warm.
I had a great weekend - maybe I could say it was a jump start weekend - I was creative, away from the computer and camera, AND I tried something new. I didn't leave the house all weekend until tonight - always makes the weekend seem longer to me when there is no running around I have to do. I enjoyed keeping the fire going, reading and drinking hot tea, working on my painting, catching up on your blog-posts, a little walk in the rain, but most importantly I started something exciting and new for my weekends. I'm taking metalsmithing at our local art center on Sunday nights. My boss told me about it and I decided back in November that I would sign up for the January thru March session - a great way to start the new year. It's kinda cool that I can enjoy doing something like this with my boss. We had a lot of fun and I'm excited to make some neat jewelry. Tonight was an overall safety lesson (there is extreme heat involved) then we started making a simple copper bracelet. I had expected that I would have something to show you tonight, but we ran out of time before I finished mine. Personally I think there are too many people in the class and it will be hard to get the use of all the equipment - namely torches. We'll see. Next week I hope to have something I will be proud to wear.

I hope T will get back in the groove soon. Though I'm afraid I may not be able to expect but a couple of post from her a week.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


solo post - L

I've been working on this painting for the auction I told you about, but I'm a little hesitant in showing it. I haven't painted in a long time and was feeling somewhat intimidated in picking up the brush - a feeling somewhat like Anna Weaver was talking about in this post. So I'm putting myself out there for critique by you. I'm not sure that the painting is complete - I think I have some little touches to make on it before I turn it in. I'd like a place to get feedback from people besides my family so... To you artists out there - do you have any suggestions?
I look at the painting now, in this photo, and I don't think the details are showing up. I should try to get a better photo in daylight. Anyway you get the idea of it. Thanks

Friday, January 9, 2009

contentment / peace

I found this quote tonight: “When you can think of yesterday without regret and tomorrow without fear, you are near contentment.” A state of happiness and satisfaction - to be at peace with our decisions, to know you're moving in the right direction, not wishing for something more or something different - in the end to be able to say "life is good" just the way it is - that's contentment, right? I want to always be able to say, "Life is Good" like the sticker I have on my car and T has on her car. / i miss my kirby. i don't really need a car at school so much but something about having him here gives me a sense of security. (the day i had to go back to school kirby wouldn't start). i hope he's being fixed.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

spectacular / extravaganza

phone pics from both of us

Even though these two photos weren't technically taken on the same day I couldn't help but put them together - to me they're a perfect pair - in both "venues" we watched in amazement, awe and wonder. My iphone pic of the magnificent sunset was taken yesterday. Her's was taken with her phone Tuesday when we went to see Cirque du Solei.

The sky was amazing to watch from early morning until the sun went down. It such a wonderful thing to be able to watch the sky so constantly - 360ยบ view all around our office. So many times, towards the end of the day, you'll hear someone say, "hey come look at this sunset" and we'll gather in someone's office just to watch as the sun sinks lower and lower into the horizon. This day we also saw striking sun beams in the morning, a beautiful rainbow in the afternoon, and a vibrant pink sunset as the sun sank deeper into the horizon.

/ mom bought tickets for us to go to see the cirque du solei performance of kooza the day before i went back to school. great way to end the holidays. i've been to several of the cirque du solei performances and i am amazed every time at what these people can do - crazy exciting stuff. "KOOZA tells the story of The Innocent, a melancholy loner in search of his place in the world. Between strength and fragility, laughter and smiles, turmoil and harmony, KOOZA explores themes of fear, identity, recognition and power. The show is set in an electrifying and exotic visual world full of surprises, thrills, chills, audacity and total involvement."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

late / late

Here I sit facing the computer screen - no words come to me, yet a lot has happened since my last real posted. T left me some of her "To Life" tea - it's relaxing. The house is almost too quite - T has gone back to Athens. It's late, the clock reads 11:55 - I still can't seem to get to bed at a decent hour. But I just had to post... something, before I go to bed. Maybe tomorrow the words will come / presents wrapped - still not given to my friend - where did the time go? better late than never right?
the holidays were great - i loved having the time off and seeing old friends, being with family, having my kitty sleep with me, cooking some great meals, having "space" - all the comforts of home, but i have to say i missed my new friends and my "home" at school - it's good to be back. mom you understand, right?

we miss you all

I feel so badly about neglecting our blog. I just have to post something, very quickly, to let you know we have not abandoned the blog. I hope we have not lost friends because of our negligence here. It's just that we've been pretty busy having fun over the holidays. But I, for one, have missed blogging so much and will return soon - Taylor will too. 
I can't tell you often enough how meaningful your visits and comments are to us. There are so many days that just to get a simple comment from you makes my day and visiting your blogs is my joy. I am inspired by you every single day - so many of you give us important things to ponder; your beautiful photographs take us around the world or to another environment - i love getting glimpses into your world; and most of you write with such flare - some humorous, some tender and sweet - it's like reading a wonderful novel. I love visiting every single one of you for different reasons - I feel so blessed to have made these connections with you all. 
I want to thank you so much for being our friend.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

a blank canvas

solo post - L

I could look at this new year like I'm looking at this blank canvas I need* to paint - with intimidation and somewhat with fear. It's paralyzing in a strange way. I just stare it not knowing where to begin, how to approach it, what to create - what will it become?
Van Gogh wrote on "facing a blank canvas" :
"Just slap anything on when you see a blank canvas staring you in the face like some imbecile. You don't know how paralyzing that is, that stare of a blank canvas is, which says to the painter, ‘You can't do a thing’. The canvas has an idiotic stare and mesmerizes some painters so much that they turn into idiots themselves. Many painters are afraid in front of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the real, passionate painter who dares and who has broken the spell of `you can't' once and for all.”
(Letter to Theo van Gogh, October 1884)
OR I could choose to look at this new year AND this blank canvas and say " I CAN" - break the spell of "I can't, it won't work, it's no good." And go at it, like I said yesterday, with gusto - just throw some color on it and don't be afraid - just get it going.

Be daring and passionate in this new year - say "I can". May your new year be painted bright and cheerful (and all the other wonderful adjectives for bright - cloudless, promising, dazzling, vivid and strong, glowing and rich). Happy New Year all my friends.

*Procrastination got the best of me and the painting is due next week. I was invited to be a part of our community 20th anniversary gala/auction/fund-raiser and have to paint this 5 x 7 canvas as a part of the Gallery of the Stars - Mystery Artist Event. The mystery part is that the artist will sign the back of the canvas - leaving it a "mystery" as to who painted the canvas until the piece is purchased.


The photos on the left are taken by me, Leslye, the mother. The photos on the right are taken by my daughter, Taylor – unless otherwise noted. Comments are always welcome. thanks
If you care to visit, I, Leslye, have another blog - AutumnSun where I ramble around different paths and pleasures of my own.