Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No words are good enough.

My amazing, incredible, funny, creative, loving, and caring boss and friend, Rich, passed away this weekend. My heart is breaking.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Paul's turn

Here, finally, are Paul's trees. You're seeing them much much smaller than I painted them; in real life, they're 12 inches across. But they're about to get bigger...

Since we built our fireplace years and years ago, Paul's always wanted to have different pictures hanging above it. Something with lots of trees, since we both love them, and paintings we could change with the seasons. But I work on a rather small scale, and this size honestly took me days and days and days. Weeks even. Forests are involved like nobody's business, and it's hard to get down the feeling and the color of the forest without making it look like you're being clubbed with the details. I kept remembering this painting my Grandma had where every single leaf was rendered, and I was trying to do the opposite of that. I would paint in my studio, bring everything down to the dining room and paint more while the kids had a snack, look at it after dinner and splash more paint on it, hate it the next morning and lift sections of paint off of it only to drip on more once it all dried again. I swear that last weekend I was painting WHILE I MADE DINNER. I had it propped up on the counter, would go stir everything the stove, turn around, and paint again. I literally could not stop painting.

I have one small bit left to do on the path, and then I'm scanning it all in. Inspired by the way the poster of Tree/Bird/Heart came out, we're making it into a poster so it will be huuuuuuge! Framed and matted, it'll go over our stone fireplace and we'll be able to see every line and edge of color as we get close up to it.

And from the couch? It'll just look like a forest.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

...fer you, to HAVE!

I am coming up on my (gulp!) 15-year anniversary of working at PRI, in March. My boss just circulated an email saying, "When you first came to work for me you had pigtails and you said that some people said you reminded them of the girl in the Bugs Bunny cartoon about Red Riding Hood. I knew immediately what you meant, and I knew immediately we'd hit it off." And attached a link to this piece of awesomeness:

By the way, 15 years later, we're still completely on the same page. :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

just duckie

At last, here's Peter's painting of his favorite stuffed animal, his beloved Duckie. He wanted a formal portrait of Duckie after considering and then (thankfully!) discarding the following subject matter:

1. Portrait of Cookie Monster to go next to the painting of the chocolate chip cookie he requested when he moved into his own room (actually, that would have been pretty cool to paint, I have done the big guy before.)

2. A race car with everyone you can think of from Sesame Street riding in it. No, wait....

3. Five cars, and all of them should have a separate Sesame Street character in it... and they should all be racing!

And thankfully, idea four was Duckie.

The part that impressed me most was that Peter showed this painting to everyone who came over for Christmas, and rated it as his favorite present over (get this) two remote control cars. What 4-year-old boy likes a painting of his special fluffy over remote control cars?

A boy who loves his Duckie. And clearly, who has good taste.

Extreme closeup:

Sunday, January 04, 2009

three balls and a frog

I foolishly didn't have time to scan in any of these Christmas presents (held by my awesome niece and nephews, their proud owners), so I had to settle for snapshots as they were opened. I'm especially miffed I didn't get a good shot of Kermit, as he came out pretty darn good.

But my favorite story is about the space pic in the lower left corner - it was for my nephew Joe, who as I understood, wanted "the night sky." So I looked up what the constellations would look like on his birthday, masked them out, added a moon, and painted it up. One night while I was talking to him on the phone, he mentions the TIE fighter he wants in the picture. "What TIE fighter? I'm done!" I said. But he's my nephew, and one of my godsons, and darnit, it's Christmas, and I love him, so I went back in with a wet brush and lifted out a whole bunch of sky and made him a TIE fighter, and while I was at it, made the moon into the Death Star for good measure. I think it came out even better, so everyone wins.

So I was telling my brother (his dad) that there's now a TIE fighter, it looks great, the force is with me, and all that. And he says, "Which kind of TIE fighter did you paint?" and my blood ran cold. I had no idea there was more than one kind! Luckily for me, the one I painted was the correct one. Phew!

While my pre-Christmastime was very busy with all the painting and crafting, I can honestly say it was also exhilarating. I spent my time painting and painting and painting, and I was so proud to when it came time to wrap them. I learned something new with each painting, and yes, there are even more to show (and... to finish.... ) I still also have one yet to scan and two more still to start! I'll show Peter's (which I did scan) next, and Paul's which is a work in progress that is proving to be quite a challenge.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Now showing: no guys, and dolls.

The dolls are done! And are getting played with lots, thank heavens. At last they're finished and sat for their first photo shoot:

Angela's doll's dress is a sundress (under that fluffy lavender sweater) that is modeled after her favorite tie-dyed summertime dress, which naturally is also purple. She got it right away. Angela named her doll Velvet, after Angela's name she uses when we play fairies.

Sophia has named her doll Grace, after her own middle name. Grace's stockings are made from leggings Sophie wore a hole in as a baby, and her jumper is from the leg of embroidered corduroy pants Sophie outgrew long ago.

Peter and his doll refused to pose, but we set up a photo shoot for them anyway. His doll (as yet unnamed, but we're calling him PJ right now) wears jeans made from Paul's old pants. He will have an extremely colorful sweater that borders on being Cosby-esque as soon as I finish knitting it, as Petey loves to wear sweaters and the colors in it look like one of his meticulous drawings. But in the meantime, his doll wears a stripey shirt made from an old onesie of Peter's from back in the day. Good think I never throw anything out, huh?