Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Best Christmas Gift Ever!

There was no art made at my house this past weekend. Plans for a quick trip to New York to hear friend and awesome singer/songwriter, Michele Karmin, turned into one festive expedition for six of us. It was all about wonderful friends, family, extravagant food, and so many laughs. I did manage to trek off to the Museum of Modern Art for a few mind-candy hours. I caught up with the rest of the group in time for the three-touchdown, fourth-quarter of the Eagles and Giants game. We all should have bought lottery tickets . . . it was just one fantastic event after another.

I have been catching up on some overdue illustrations. Today's New York drawing is a bit ironic, as there was no time to shop this weekend. I did purchase a few drawings of the city from a street artist. I love souvenir art and the rush of memories whenever I look at it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Read Between the Bylines

Writing has become a second (or is it the third, fifth, eighth . . . too many to count lately) job for me. I'm certainly not alone. Many of my favorite artist blogs are filled with interviews, stories, commentary; and yet the artists still manage to regularly post their artwork. I'm sure many of them also write for others. Although I've done my share of copywriting, I have avoided it whenever possible. I'm an artist, not a copywriter.

This is the last thing I ever thought I'd spend this much time on. Paintings to finish, a new website to design, and article commitments to keep; how does everyone manage this? (I didn't even mention a regular job.)

I am somewhat of a spelling and grammar Nazi. For my own blog, I try to edit carefully before I post, but if there is one thing I have learned from my advertising experience, it is no one will care how perfect the ad is if it doesn't make the deadline. There are some gremlins that manage to appear between my iPad writing app and the formatting on the site. I'm still catching typos and revising sentence structure after I post, but it is my blog. I set my own deadlines (I really don't have any,) and I don't have to be too fanatical because I know I can change it later.

Writing for others is a whole different zebra. In addition to a thesaurus, a dictionary and a grammar reference, I'm now a regular visitor to the "AP Stylebook" online version. I'm learning a new variation of  'getting over perfectionism;' write it, post it and hope the editor approves.

I have added a new tab section, "Other Stories." I will post some guest articles here, when I am permitted to do so.

Can I go paint now?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

You Can't Always Get What You Want

If you've read this blog from the beginning, (not all that long ago,) you might be wondering how things are going with my efforts to find a social life, so here's an update.

Still haven't actually joined anything (Groucho would be pleased.) The Art Director's Club of Philadelphia (missing for a few years now,) had a Launch (or re-launch) Party on Nov. 11th. I missed it, but I keep looking for updates on the somewhat blank website. Nothing. Another artist group proves my point. (See: Where Do You Go to Meet People in 2010?)

What can I say about my Match adventures? I still look, but I've been a little busy the last few weeks. Before that? Well, no, you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime you just might find, you at least get yourself out of the house.*

*Thanks to The Rolling Stones for the paraphrase.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

No More Excuses - Excuse Number One, Which Paint?

My mother loved the paint-by-number sets in the fifties. Somewhere along the line, she discovered 'someone' was borrowing assorted tubes of paint from her sets. One Christmas . . . I think I was ten, I opened my first treasured box of oil paints, brushes and canvases. I could't tell you the brand, brush numbers or number of colors. It didn't matter. I was in love and lost in my room for the duration of Christmas vacation, except for a few ice skating breaks (the winter thing to do when I was ten.) My first painting was a still-life of an orange and a Heinz ketchup bottle. I think I liked the colors.

Remember construction-paper turkeys? That was pretty much the sum of grade school art class. My best memory of high school art class was the day we were assigned the task of creating a crucifix in clay. I attended an all-girls Catholic high school. I stress the 'all-girls' aspect, because in this environment (no boys to impress,) being a lady wasn't a consideration. A clay crucifix? Really? The energy that day was spent hurling gobs of clay at each other (the teacher had left the room,) in the most creative ways possible. I was fortunate to attend Saturday classes at the Cooper School of Art in Cleveland (doesn't exist anymore.) College level art classes taught by professors who dismissed the idea that we were kids. I was in my own little form of heaven.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Continues . . . I'm Just Grateful!

Today, I am most grateful for my very wonderful son, his most-gracious girlfriend, and her family. Thanks to all for fantastic food, a really fun time, very enjoyable company, and a peaceful night in another part of the state.

I am grateful to new friends I've made in the last few months. It may have only been a drink or an evening, but those moments will stay with me for a long time. I'm grateful that my near decade-long life of a hermit has been disrupted, in so many good ways.

I'm grateful for running out of excuses. After listening to myself talk about why I haven't done this or that (all kinds of things, really;) I'm now doing those things.

I'm grateful for new books, new inspirations, and new reflections on some older ideologies that have put my own trivial pursuits in their appropriate perspective.

I'm grateful for new work I am excited about. Sometimes things just happen when one is not looking . . . kind of like love. I'm grateful for tea. I could learn to love it.

I'm grateful for Netflix, Kindle, Elements, Wordbook XL and Angry Birds on my iPad.

Today, I'm also grateful I wasn't anywhere near a retail store.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Where Do You Go to Meet People in 2010?

Unless you prefer eHarmony.com or Chemistry.com. Neither was a good choice for me. After an hour and a half of answering questions on eHarmony, I was blurry-eyed. It was a “free” weekend and I just wanted to check the site out. By the time I finished answering and writing my life history, the free weekend was almost over. They sent me 4 matches over 2 days, and there is no way to search for yourself. One of my favorite customizable “matching” criteria was height. The question just asked for my height (I’m 5’5”), then asked me to rate how important that is to me. Huh? Well of course it’s important to me, it’s....me; and it’s even more important when I’m looking for jeans with a 34” inseam. Whether or not it’s important to someone else might have been a better question, or how about how I feel about my match’s height. I also think there should be an addition to all female height-related questions. I’m 5’5” barefoot, 5’8” in heels, and yes that’s very important to me. Needless to say, my matches were all shorter than I am. I’m sure they were very nice gentlemen, but I also have nothing in common with someone who hasn’t read a book since high school. This isn’t a judgement thing, I was “shopping” after all. If I went to a store looking for a white silk blouse and I was shown only green t-shirts, I’d probably say thank you and go to another store.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It All Starts Here

Edit: I've changed my blog appearance, thought I'd try something new. Sometimes simpler is better. I still like my hibiscus (it was the background art), so here it is just in case someone else liked it also.

Changing one’s life, at any age, is always a bit anxiety-prone, starting over everything at age 60 has it’s own set of problems, as well as advantages. I’ll have to discover the advantages as I go along.

I’ve been an artist forever, and a graphic designer, art director, illustrator for over 30 years. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to work doing what I love. I not only smoothly transitioned from the traditional drawing board to the computer, I was immersed in it. Work during the day, come home and read software manuals and books at night. I was very good at it. About 8-9 years ago, I took off for awhile. Since there had been a lull in what was a fairly successful career, I decided to take a side road. I’ve always enjoyed architectural work, since the pen & ink days, so when an opportunity presented itself to work in architectural illustration, I accepted it.