Sunday, June 17, 2007

Ode to a Certain Mom

Yesterday, I received a beautifully written (in laborious cursive) original poem from Gavin. I don't get much original poetry written for me, so this indeed is special:

Ode to a Cert
ain Mom

We are in the month of June,
Where birds are singing,
And bells are ringing,
In a most glorious tune.

But if you have not noticed
That something will happen soon,
A certain child's half-birthday
Near the night of the full moon.

He does not wish for very much,
But let me tell you this,

There are books out on the web
That would bring lots of bliss.

He swears by all that's
Golden, silver and bronze,

He also swears by the love
That children have for their dads and moms:

That this is not some sort of scam to get junk and toys.

A poem of a certain beauty, yes?

Compositionally Challenged

This is my submission for a challenge in the Yahoo collage composition group I belong to. By way of introducing ourselves, we were to choose one word that describes us and make a collage to post to the group that will then be constructively critiqued. Mine is completely done in Photoshop, as you probably can tell.

As the two images imply, I cannot decide which is the better composition of the two. It is easy to over-think such things, especially since I'm not truly happy with either one. (It's the flat line-art figure that bugs me, but it's the right pose, so I'm going with it for this exercise).

The flaming heart is my first attempt at "painting" in Photoshop, and I'm pleased with the hand-painted effect it has overall. (The .jpg compression for the web gives the heart a mottled effect here that it doesn't have at full resolution.) Painting with real paints is still easier, in my humble opinion, though I'd have to tear myself away from the computer to do that.

Critique from my loyal reader (?) welcome...

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Good Grief!

Finally, I think I'm starting to get over this hurdle, the idea of saving stuff "for good." You know -- where you buy or receive as gifts beautiful things and then stash them away in a closet for Someday, that special day that requires "good" stuff. I bet lots of people die before they get to use the good stuff.

My particular stashing includes fabric and other artsy-craftsy supplies. I guess I'm waiting until I feel I'm "good enough" at something to warrant using the supplies. Well, duh, how am I supposed to become even remotely good at something if I *don't* use the necessary supplies?!

Case in point: a set of silk painting dyes, a beautiful Japanese bamboo-handled brush, some gutta (a liquid resist used for clean-edged lines) and a white silk square scarf. I bought these little gems in Vancouver, BC, more than 15 years ago. Then I hoarded them for years, moved them across the Atlantic, and hoarded them another 10 years. Why? Not really sure.

Until today. Today I decide to try the dyes on some other silk I have, so I can do something fun with it (make fabric beads, another post later). Upon opening the box, I discover the instructions missing, the gutta completely dried out, and the dye-fixative turned a nasty brown gummy consistency. I toss the gutta. Now my painting will have to be soft-edged blurriness. Fine.

But no instructions? And what about the spoiled fixative? Hmmm... time to check the web. Googling leads me to a practical alternative for setting the dye without the fixative, plus expands my knowledge about silk paints vs. dyes (who knew?).

Now I'm set. I tack the small silk square scrap onto the wood frame, squirt out some dyes onto a plate, and start painting. What fun! How nicely the colors run and bleed together! At least the actual dyes hadn't spoiled over all this time. Tomorrow I will try the steam-set method I found on the web, and then maybe pull out something, anything, else I've been saving "for good" -- tomorrow will be a good day for that.