Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Day 218. Pumpkin Pie in the Watermelon Boat (SOLD)

It's hard to believe the weather this summer in comparison to last year.  The heat and humidity were so unbearable during 2012.  In contrast, yesterday the drizzly, overcast weather almost made it feel like fall.  That's fine in my book.  Give me a 63 degree day over one that's 97 Fahrenheit any ol' time.  Like my Day 36, "Spring Day Folded into Winter," ( I'll take an inter-seasonal day whenever they pop up. (-:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day 217. They're Real and They're Spectacular (SOLD)

Vanessa knew that her curvaceous body had power over men.  Maybe some would see that admission as a bad thing, but then she thought of those beauties of the big and small screen--Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Monica Bellucci*, Christina Hendricks, Sophia Vergara and yes, even Jessica Simpson and Kim Kardashian.  On some level (and perhaps on many), they enjoyed and luxuriated in their overdeveloped God-given curves.  If they could, why couldn't she?  She would celebrate herself and be proud of her body.

With that thought, Vanessa dressed carefully for the evening, wearing just the right gown.  And when the time was right, she positioned herself underneath a sparkling, pink chandelier, letting its soft light shimmer onto her skin.  She had picked her prey for the evening, and when he leaned in and boldly asked, "Are they real?"  She laughed seductively, briefly recalling Teri Hatcher in a Seinfeld episode, and said, "They're real, and they're spectacular."

Teri Hatcher in "Seinfeld"

*See Monica Bellucci in the French film "How Much Do You Love Me" ("Combien Tu M'Aime?) for the best explanation of what I'm trying to convey--9:15 to 12:00.   I'd put in a YouTube link, but it's a little too spicy. (-;

Bellucci: "It's only natural. All men love me.  That's what I was made for, to be loved.  All I have to do is move a little."

Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 216. Curling Mousse Goes into Overdrive (SOLD)

Oh, good grief!  Her friend had convinced her that putting some curling mousse into her hair would give her a younger, fresher, "beachy" look.  Meredith was hesitant.  Her hair had curl in it already, but since she blow-dried it straight every day, not many people realized it.  Having been out of the practice of using any hair product, she maaaaaay have used just a little bit too much.  Who knew it would have so much power?  She now found herself walking around the house, tangling her hands and feet in her own curls.  She did find, however, that she wouldn't have to mop the floor later.

String Gel, Acrylic, Ink

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Day 215. He Was A Slow-Talking Cowboy (SOLD)

This painting was inspired by my facebook friend, Conversationally Crafty.  One day in June she posted this beauty:

"He was a slow-talking cowboy in a Taco Bell uniform
who told me my order was made with love and joy."
Oh!  I loved it so.  She gave me permission to use and illustrate it.  I added the little "saucy" exchange between the pretty patron and charismatic cowboy. (-;
Conversationally Crafty, in her own words says, "I tend to be a bit poetic at times.  I write a lot of business-related copy, articles, etc."  She comes up with some wonderfully insightful posts.  Thank you, CC.  You are a beautiful writer. (-:

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Day 214. Long Fingers Give Good Piano (SOLD)

Finally, he was no longer seen as a "strange creature with freakishly long fingers."  From the moment he sat down in front of a piano, his raison d'être, the reason for his existence, the reason for his physical abnormality, became clear.  He was made, unlike anyone or anything else, to master this beauty before him.  Now, celebrated as unique in the world, his ability to play 4 octaves with one hand could be surpassed by no one.  True love, indeed.  Now with complete certainty he knew, there is "a lid for every pot."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Day 212. Do I Already Have Cinnamon?

You know how you're in the grocery store and you're standing in front of the spices and you think, do I have cinnamon at home?  Maybe your faulty memory extends to allspice, nutmeg, cumin, cream of tartar, dried mustard, tarragon, or almond extract.  So, just to be on the safe side, you throw that little jar into your cart, only to get home, open your cupboard, and find 3 jars of cinnamon staring back at you, and then you realize, what you really needed was ginger and thyme.  Well, I've done the same thing when I'm staring at art supplies.  You know those babies aren't cheap, so when you finally make your decision to buy a tube of Cobalt Violet Daler-Rowney Oil Color and a pale orange Faber-Castell Watercolor Pencil and you come home and see that you've already got them, it's complete buyer's remorse!  Not that you won't use them, but there were so many other colors you could have picked up for a relationship. (-;

I got the brilliant idea of writing all my supplies down (not really, but I started with good intentions).  Basically I have one brand of oil, acrylic, and the aforementioned watercolor pencils written down.  I only have 85% more of my supplies to record.

This tool works fantastically if I remember to bring the notebook with me...which I did for awhile.  Then, if you look closely at the stain in the middle of the notebook, the second you forget that you threw a small package of goat cheese in your purse and forgot about it all day long, and it completely reached a beyond-brie-like melted stage and oozed its fatty nature all over your art supply notebook, you decide to take it out of your purse and JUST take it with you when you go to the art store.  But then, you're at the art store and you have forgotten the notebook.  And guess what, you come home with another tube of flesh tint acrylic color.  Drat!  Foiled again!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Day 211. Claire Craves Plum Clafouti

One of my favorite desserts is the French-inspired plum clafouti.  I also make them with Bing cherries (which I just saw at the grocery store for $8.88 a bag and which prompted this post) too, but there's something about the plum one.  I always made the full-fat version with heavy cream, but about 15 years ago I found a lightened version made with yogurt in Martha Rose Shulman's book, "Provencal Light."  It became my go-to recipe not for its lessened calories, but rather because it had this thick, baked consistency that permitted the juice from those luscious plums to bubble and burp their sweet purple liquid all over the golden custard they're encased in.  Yum!  Throw in seeds from a real vanilla bean, and you'll look at this dessert with the same crazed eyes as Claire!

I'm still going to give you the full-fat version here, because it's always important to start with the classic so you can compare variations against the original.  Besides, you might be in the mood for full-blown indulgence. (-:

One last note, unless you live on an orchard or the south of France, the only plums you have access to may be the rock-hard variety in the grocery store.  When you're in the mood to make this, you can't wait for a week to pass as your plums ripen in a brown paper bag.  Instead, use the canned brand OREGON fruits in light syrup.  It's located by the pie filling.  Do not use pie filling for any version of this clafouti, though.  Yuck!  And finally, if you can find a good plum liqueur or plum brandy, use that to replace the brandy and amaretto.  Isn't this recipe getting more enticing by the second?! (-;


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day 210. Are These Bifocals Really Helping?

This painting started out as an experiment.  I wanted to work with a palette knife which I have never used before.  They stared at me from Dick Blick's wall, all shiny and professional looking.  I've had them in my mini shopping cart many a time, but have always put them back.  Not this time, baby!  I grabbed a small one, and it has hung out in my art room for only a few days.  Now is the time!  I didn't use the knife with oils, however, but rather with acrylics.  Let's see how I did, shall we?

Here's my awkward handling of it.  But gosh darn it, maybe I'm some totally twisted freak, but I really like it.  I secretly wish I still had this one. (-;

Here's where I spilled an entire bottle of red paint on the floor, my chair, and my new white skirt that I wore for the first time today.  I was 3 minutes from the finished product.  I ALWAYS think I won't get the paint on me.  Uh huh.

Here is the final product after I whipped out my brushes.  I tried to retain some of the crude painting marks.  See how he's trying to convince himself that these bifocals work? Ha!  His mouth tells the truth.

Here's a close-up of the floating eye chart I tried to put in the background.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Day 209. Brandon Left the Party Like a Slinky Toy

Brandon, tired of being talked over by a psychedelically-influenced partygoer with bad teeth, a bad hat, and speech filled with poppycock, inched his way out of the party like a slinky toy.

 Paper, ink, acrylic, glitter, dried acrylic, bead

This creation started out with me drawing the left-side character on the edge of an envelope.  I cut him out, added paint and it grew from there.  I had to figure out why he wanted to drip off the edge of the page (the floating disco 'shroom came later).

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Day 208. All Aboard!

My husband's birthday was Friday (today is Sunday) so here's a slightly belated birthday drawing for him.  He is a train fanatic.  Um, that's putting it mildly.  When I first met him, I thought he was the only one of his kind.  However, like the millions of private worlds in this big world, I soon found out there are all sorts of train freaks.  I've sat for hours at a place called "Blue Island" right outside of Chicago where all these photographers and audio recorders would sit around waiting for trains to pass.  Heavily crisscrossed with multiple tracks, it's a hot spot for choo-choo enthusiasts.  I've ridden historic trains in 100 degree heat that were supposed to be pleasure cruises until the air conditioning went out in some cars and everyone piled into ours after a 2-hour delay in the middle of nowhere land.  I know the difference between a covered wagon and a GP-30 (I prefer the looks of a covered wagon.)  I know the difference in sounds between a CSX train horn, a single trumpet, a multiple trumpet, and a clogged trumpet.  I'm even privy to the variation in horn sound due to a warped diaphragm.  I know how much air will really make a horn sing and that down in Alabama there's a guy called the "Horn Doctor" who'll fix up your ailing horn.

Who would ever think there are such things called "train blows" and "run-bys" and railroad museums and "Milwaukee Road" train conventions, oh my.

I've ridden in the cab of a covered wagon, sat in the "Big Boy" and road the Milwaukee Road 261 refurbished steam train.  One hundred percent authentic, I'm telling you, and I have the greased-stained purse to prove it.  I could tell you about our door bell which is a replica of a train horn or our scanner that picks up conversations between train engineer and train conductor, but you get the picture.

Who knew when I once took a train back from San Francisco to Illinois, it was only the beginning tunnel into a world I never knew existed, one complete with its own vocabulary, history, and yes, fanatics.  I hope you have your own world of joy out there.  Here's to K-man's.

Hey, hey--here's a picture the National Art Society just posted on FB--A rare photo of Walt Disney and Salvador Dali.  What do you know!

Rare photo of Salvador Dali & Walt Disney.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day 207. Blue Earrings (A Question at the Community Center)

I drew this picture while pausing the movie trailer for a flick called "Finding Joy."  Older faces have so much more character than unlined perfection.  Oh, and I think this was probably a library, but "Question at the Community Center" had a much better ring to it.  It's like fiddling with the engine on a car, isn't it?--the joy of fine-tuning.  (No linguistic fiddling is needed, of course, if you're in the land of Spanish, when being at the library--(Una Pregunta A La Biblioteca)--or anywhere else for that matter, sounds lovely.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Day 206. Mother and Child in Bronze (No longer available)

One of the perks of my job is that throughout every week, I get to see young moms and their beautiful babies.  This past Wednesday, a very pretty girl came in with her adorable 7-month-old.   I asked what the baby's name was, and she told me Joonie. (Could have been Junie, Juni, etc., I didn't ask for the spelling...)

Anyway, this little cutie pie was full of smiles and big brown eyes.  What completely disarmed me, though, was the way she would smile, smile, smile at you and then she would push her little neck back and over to the side and look up at you again and smile.  Oh my gosh!  I mean, it was the sweetest thing I've ever seen, and she did it over and over again.  Where was my camera?!

The mom had to go to another department so I personally escorted her over to it with the added intention of sharing this little bundle of joy to some of my co-workers.  As luck would have it, my accompaniment paid off in spades as I got to hold this little charmer while her mom filled out a form.  She looked up at me and then buried her soft, downy head into my chest and then looked up at me again.  It's a good thing this bambino wasn't mine, because I think I would bankrupt my life spoiling her! (-;

Oh!  There's so many sweet little pumpkins around.  I have co-workers who have beautiful, model-like children, and my friend Lynn who shares daily pictures (at my pleading) of her niece, Bella, a sweet, dimple-filled, fashionista with headband accessories that would make any Philip Treacy (glorious Irish milliner) fan envious! (Just an aside, back in April he declared that "Fascinators"--his claim to fame--are "dead."  I'm waiting for his retraction--probably too much Guinness proceeded that statement. (-;)

Here's a little tribute to you beautiful mothers and your sweet babies.  Thank you for sharing them with the world (and me). (-:


Philip Treacy creations

Philip Treacy was the creator of Princess Beatrice's royal wedding hat, which raised £81, 101 for children's charity Unicef yesterday.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day 205. Love


So in love, completely entwined. 
Rich with the deliciousness of falling, falling, falling into rapture,
one cannot separate the two. 
Ah, beautiful enchantment.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day 204. Hipster Says, "Ya' Don't Say." No Longer Available

Inspired by the 2006 movie, "Factory Girl" about Edie Sedgwick's life (mainly during her association with Andy Warhol) and starring Sienna Miller.

Staying true to the spirit of Warhol, I thought I'd post the painting in multiple lighting so it looks like I, too, am issuing multicolor, "pop"-ilicious prints.  Let the millions start rolling in! (-;

Monday, July 15, 2013

Day 202. Face in Yellow and Pink

Face in Yellow and Pink

This actually has a yellow glitter scattered throughout the face, but my camera didn't pick it up.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Day 201. Dolphins in the Off-Season (SOLD)

Several friends of mine have taken their children to Sea World or some other aquatic park for their summer vacations.  It got me to thinking, what DO dolphins do in the off-season?  No one ever talks about their day job in the frosty months.  Here's how I think they stay in shape and still bring home a paycheck during the cold light of the silvery moon.

Hmm. I wrote that last line above, and then I thought of how my Grandma Peacock used to sing that song.  Growing up, I would always watch "old movies" with her on "WGN" out of Chicago.  From 9 until 11 a.m. (was it just in the summer, was it just on Fridays?  Maybe not, because I can remember "Elvis Week" or "Clark Gable week") we would watch these old MGM movies.  I have some distant memory of hearing Doris Day sing this song from the movie "By the Light of the Silvery Moon."  Bing Crosby sang it, too.  Surprisingly, a YouTube search brought up Little Richard and Jackie Wilson crooning to it.  Who knew?!  Well, Little Richard didn't croon it--not possible.  I decided that my dolphins would probably be gliding to a version like the one below rather than rocking out and cracking the ice pond.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Day 200. Un Cadeau Pour Moi? (A Gift for Me?)

Day 200.  Hard to believe.  Somehow reaching this day has more significance to me than that halfway point (Day 183-Six Months)  You may be thinking, uh, no doubt--you're 17 days further along!  I know, but there's something more.

I had read about some study that said that you are 10 times more likely to complete a year-long project once you hit that 1/2 way point.  Somehow that rounded number of 200 makes that probability believable.  See, I have to keep reassuring myself along the way that it IS possible, because even after this long period of time, I still need encouragement--I guess even if it's just from myself!--that I can do this.  Other than a small handful of people, I think I'm the only one seeing these drawings/paintings. Ah, well, so it goes.

So, here's a little acknowledgement from myself to myself--you've reached 200, baby.  Here's a gift for you--Un cadeau pour moi?  Mais bien sûr! (But of course!)

I hope all of you acknowledge your own hard work on whatever it is you're working on.  Life is hard, darlings.  Love yourself a little bit more. (-:

Here's one more gift for you, loyal readers.  This little ditty will wake you up!  Enjoy and have a great day. (-:

AC/DC and the Rolling Stones--2003, "Rock Me Baby--from Festweise, Leipzig, Germany."

Friday, July 12, 2013

Day 199. Decked-Out Duck - SOLD

I haven't done anything glittered or bejeweled for awhile so here's a decked-out duck for you.  Or maybe it's a crystallized crocodile.  Anyway, this creature is dressed to the nines! (-;

And below is a little clip from the '70's.  A little "Disco Duck" for you, which has nothing really to do with the picture above, but the word "duck" brought it to mind.  Now try your luck, don't be a cluck, and have a listen! (-;

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Day 196. To See in Many Ways

This oil painting may be one of my all-time favorites.  I usually paint in acrylic or watercolor, but I also have some creamy oil paints, and again, because I had the leisure time over the holiday weekend, I was able to take my time and build this painting up.  I guess 10% is acrylic.  I smeared watered-down acrylic on the canvas and twirled the canvas around a few times and then stared into it.  To me, I could see eyes looking peering back at me so that's the direction I went in.

I took these pictures this a.m.  I think that the daylight did not do this painting a favor--I just don't think the rich colors of the oil paint are truly reflected here (does this get me off the hook for being a bad photographer-ha!).  I took the last image at a different angle/light.  You can also see how the oil paint is still wet.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Day 195. Wild Flowers and Hypnotized by Bob Dylan (SOLD)

Last year over the 4th of July, it was so hot with long days touching their fingertips on 100 degrees.  I didn't go anywhere and watched Alice in Chain's phenomenal "Unplugged" special on MTV in a cold, darkened room.

This year we gratefully didn't have that extreme heat, but I was still inside.  The last two weeks I could feel myself coming down with something which culminated with me Saturday night at Walmart's Fast Care for a sinus and ear infection.  There was one benefit to staying close to home and trying to get some rest--I could take my time playing with my paints.

Here's something I did over a 3-day period.  I just left it on my desk, and each day I would add a little something to it after I was done painting on something else.  The time it took to add all the little detail with acrylic and India ink was helped by my being hypnotized by Bob Dylan.

Bob.  I'll have to write more about him another time.  Suffice it to say, I think he's a genius.  The words, people.  Listen to the words.  I've seen him in concert more times than I can count, and it's true that at this point in his career his voice is shredded.  However, on his albums, his voice is still able to clearly deliver his message.

Below are three favorites I listened to that kept me in a suspended state of dotting my finger and leftover paint to watercolor paper and drawing very sloooooooowly.  At this point, the links are no longer working, but still, it's so worth it if you hunt them out for yourselves.  Listen to those repeating melodies meandering slowly behind the story, mandolin and fiddle luring you into mystery worlds.

From "Tempest"  "Scarlet Town"

From "Modern Times" "Ain't Talkin'"

From "Time Out of Mind" "Highlands"

Alice in Chains- "Unplugged" from MTV

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Day 194. Popular with the PB&J crowd.

Here's one for a good laugh.

I went to apply paint to this canvas and paint exploded out of the bottle I was using.  I liked the glob, and I liked the splatter so instead of spreading it out with my paintbrush, I decided to leave it overnight and see what it looked like in the morning.

Here's what I came up with in order to maintain my serendipitous splatter.  (-;


"Your hat!"  Mildred gasped.
"Isn't it great?  It explodes grape jelly on command."
"I bet you're really popular with the PB&J crowd."
 (Peanut butter and jelly)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Day 193. The Storyteller

The Storyteller

Using my hand as a palette.  Seems to happen all the time...wonder what these pigments are doing as they seep into my skin.