Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat

Sometimes she makes me do silly things.

About self paced study format and Denmark

The Postcard Challengers are working on Week 44.  
I just finished Week 31, Denmark. 
Which is the lesson for Week 17 in A Diary of Faces. The lesson is about painting hair.

A Diary of Faces Weeks 1 through 9 is available in a Self Paced Study format.
Notice I said "Self Paced".
That means,
I changed the format by adding comment walls and a gallery forum. 

It all came down to the fact that the classroom was just too quiet.
I really enjoy having a conversation with the students
and being able to see their art
and answering their questions
and seeing them interact with all the other students. 

So, if you like that too, I hope you will jump in. 
for your self paced study. 

PS.  I will be adding a classroom for weeks 10 through 18 soon too.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mist in the Valley in Orvieto

At breakfast, someone said, "There's mist in the valley today".
instant inspiration
became a part of
this painting which was an exercise using paint and no sketch.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I didn't quit the challenge

Did you think I quit? No no, but there is little hope that I will ever catch up with the other challengers who are still playing with Darcy of art-and-sole.   You can view all of my cards in order here.

My imitation for this postcard is from the very famous poet from India, Rabindranath Tagore who took up painting very late in his life.  There was something about his style that appealed to me and my sweet sis-in-law suggested that this was my Halloween picture for this year. That never occurred to me but of course, she is right. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

On the train to Orvieto

 First of all, you know how I love to share my WIPs. Could be because I like to see them here too:)  Anyway, while in Orvieto, I discovered how crazy easy it is to use my iphone for snapping quick shots. 
You may not need to know that I HATE HATE HATE the Termini  train station in Rome. My experience the first time I went almost kept me from going again. Yes, this time is was the "fear of the known" instead of the "fear of the unknown". 

However, as many of you have heard me say, "if I did it once I can do it again".  And that was what I had to hold onto. I won't go into the gory details except to say it was just as traumatic the second time as the first. 
When we heard the assignment to paint a story with two or more characters, I had one to tell. 

Once I finally boarded the train, I saw all these people.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Smiling from the studio in Orvieto

I never stopped smiling while in Orvieto but my favorite time was while in the studio with Misty and all of the beautiful Artist. 
In my little town, I just don't get to share art space like that. 
Here, a study of values and seeing light and dark shapes.
With reference in hand Misty challenged us to start without a sketch, lay in the dark shapes with charcoal and then manipulate the charcoal to get all of the values.
I was satisfied to find Professor Doctor Tad Keys right there in the studio of Orvieto. No need to travel to Pelago.
Dot snapped this one from here side of the studio. Thank you Dot!
 Next up: Do the same thing but with paint and and no sketch.
Me still smiling on the last evening when we showed and shared.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Not your Grannies biscuits

...but YUM nevertheless!
I gave this Yogurt Biscuit recipe a trial run the other day but did not have the self-rising flour that it called for. So today, I tried again. The recipe was published in a supplement, Relish, that is included weekly in our newspaper. 
3 ingredients:
self-rising flour
plain Greek yogurt
I adapted the recipe to accommodate the 7oz size of Fage all natural low fat (2% milk fat) Greek strained Yogurt:
1 cup self-rising flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tub (7oz) plain Greek yogurt
Whisk flour and salt in large bowl. Pour yogurt into center and mix with fork to form dough. Turn out on floured surface and sprinkle dough with flour. Fold in half and pat to 1/2 inch thickness. Flour again, fold in half and pat dough to 1/2 inch thickness. My dough yielded 10 biscuits using a 2 ¼" cutter.  Bake at 450°F about 10 minutes.
Of course, there was a method to my madness.  I bought these cute little jars of jam in Orvieto; I really meant to gift them ......sorry my friends. We sampled in Orvieto and I knew they were wonderful but I could not resist. They are from Agriturismo Valle del Tione in the valley just out of Orvieto. 

Wish you were here for breakfast friends.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Orvieto Knockers

 When going back
to where you've been,
 the view is richer
and more focused
on the little things. 
 When last I visited Orvieto,
I saw the doors and portals and alleyways.
 This time, I was totally aware
my focus had narrowed to
smaller details
like door knockers and knobs.

But I still wondered who are the people who cross these thresholds and what brings them here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Day in the Studio in Orvieto

This is just a sampling of my pencil exercises that Misty challenged each of us with during the first full day in the stuido. 
A big part of Orvieto is eating. (And I do it well)
Each day we shared a family-style picnic lunch in the courtyard of the Convent. Oh what a wonderful time to relax and enjoy!

 Jenny and Renèe
Mattie, Jeanne-Marie, Dot and Jenny

Friday, October 12, 2012

Inspiration in Orvieto

Our first full day in Oriveto included walking and walking and walking.

Bill and Kristi gave us the full town tour which left me with aching muscles and joints.

We were on a artful mission.

 To observe, sketch, collect visual imagery with camera and rubbings,  and to take inspiration back to the studio.
 For our first studio warm-up we carved a stamp using the found inspiration.  Our packet from Misty included this tiny journal and I used my stamp for the cover. I came home with the assignment to fill the pages of this tiny journal. 
I will.
Our packet also included a page from an art book that we were then  suppose to use as inspiration for a quick sketch. This was on one side of the page. Dear Misty, I had a fleeting thought about using it.  Fleeting! However, The Rucellai Madonna was on the other side and I chose it for the above. I carried a set of chalk pastels and used them for the first time. There was no time to finish as we were off for a wine and olive oil tasting at The Palace of Taste and then a group dinner at LaPalomba.
Dot, Misty, John and Kristi.

More later,

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Going back to Orvieto

After being missing in action, it is always hard to come back and know where to begin again. My Celebration Break took me to Orvieto. My celebration was about 50 years with a DH who didn't blink when I told him I wanted and needed to go back. My celebration was also about beginning and embracing the retirement path that I now find myself on. I could not imagine a better way to really start down this new path.

When I woke on the last Monday of August, my first thoughts were about going to Orvieto. I have known for 2 years that I could go back but on that Monday, I knew my reasoning for not going was flawed. It didn't matter that I was returning to the same place for the same thing with the same people. It only mattered that I was different. And that was the word that echoed from my heart and soul. Different. "This will be different for so many reasons." It was and I plan to share all of it. Slowly and surely. 
To start, I challenged myself to carry a tiny blank journal and Pit Artist Pen to document my journey by capturing moments that I shared with strangers as well as a few moments I shared with new and old friends. None knew that they were becoming a part of my memories. 

I wasn't trying to get a likeness and if I did or did not, no one will ever know. The challenge was to sketch fast my moving targets without being able to erase. 

I regret that on my return trip, I was simply too exhausted to continue the documentation. But I love this little journal and I see my self taking it out to find new memories with the strangers in my life. 

More later,