Friday, May 30, 2008

GOCCO!!


I SCORED a Gocco at the auction Tuesday night! I couldn't believe I got it so cheap. It's a never-used B6, complete with a cloth stamp kit.
And I got it all for
20 BUCKS.
I know--you all hate me.


But seriously, now I'm scared to use it, because it only comes with enough screens and bulbs to make 5 masters and what if I screw something up? Replacements are so expensive!
So I'm going patiently through my sketchbooks, trying to come up with the perfect image to make prints of. I think I'm going to do mostly prints of line drawings that I can go over with watercolor or other media. When I get some images together, maybe I'll post them here and let you guys vote on your faves. It'll be a collaborative effort!

I've never been much of a printmaker, I have no patience, but I've wanted a Gocco forever and I'm so glad to finally have one! There's no way I could have justified spending $150 on one, so I'm just so excited I got so lucky!

Poor Little Robin...

I was in the living room the other day and heard this huge "WHOMP!" I thought someone had thrown something large into the windowpane, but when I looked out, I saw this young robin sitting dazed on the porch floor. The poor little thing was blinking verrrry slowly as it quietly stood there--I was hoping it was okay and that the neighbor's cat wasn't out.

After five or ten minutes, it hopped slowly to the railing and sat there for a few more minutes before finally taking off.
I'm glad it wasn't seriously hurt--it hit that window so hard...




Um, that sand all over the porch is from my daughter's sandbox. And I obviously have some planting to do.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Leisure and Hardships" Series Barrels Along

June 27th is looming ever nearer and I've begun to paint like a madwoman, which is dangerous on several levels...

But I've made progress on "An Unkindness of Ravens", which, as you will recall, is a fictional narrative about a group of mysterious women who lure ships to their rocky shores to strand them and strip them of valuables. I have yet to paint the group of women already at the ship with baskets and barrels, and there's places on the ship to be touched up. but it's SO CLOSE!!




And this is one I started a few weeks ago, about a time of hunger and despair and giant insects. It doesn't have a titled yet, although typing "A Time of Hunger and Despair and Giant Insects" just made me giggle. Perhaps it's as easy as that. This is oil on masonite, 18 x 24".


Yum, yum, eat 'em up!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

St Louis Weekend

We got a wild hair and went to St Louis for a quick weekend roadtrip. It's the first trip we've taken in over four years (not counting visits to family), and we had so much fun! Esther is really not accustomed to traveling in the car for hours at a time and the drive there was peppered with classics like:
"Are we there yet?" (We'd been on the road thirty minutes)
"Nope. We'll tell you when we get there. It'll be a long time from now."
Two minutes later:
"Are we there yet?"
Then she decided that St Louis was just too far and she'd rather turn around and go back to Kansas City.

So we got there right at rush hour Friday evening--lovely. But we went down to University City and ate some really great Thai food and bought a bunch of records at Vintage Vinyl. And had ice cream! Already looking a little road weary, huh?

The next day we went to the City Museum. And for those of you who have never experienced it, it was one of the most amazing places I've ever been to! It's housed in a HUGE old warehouse downtown and is built of recycled, donated, and found materials--an old fire truck, aircraft, cranes, architectural pieces, etc. Everything there is meant to be handled, touched, climbed on, climbed through, slid down. And there's a refreshing lack of "idiot" signage--there's one sign at the entrance that basically says it can be a dangerous place and to use your best judgment and they leave it at that. Nice.
It was really incredible to see Esther, who's usually pretty timid, climbing all over stuff five stories off the ground. And of course Ricky and I were crawling around with her. It was a bit unnerving--your brain is telling you that welded steel is pretty solid and safe, but the rest of you is saying "Uh, no--I'm really really high up and the wind is shaking this flimsy little tunnel and..."

And they have a cool aquarium with all kinds of animals you can touch, and a circus area with circus classes, and an arts and crafts area filled with recycled and donated materials, and ball pits, and lovely architectural salvage from buildings around the midwest, and a fun old-school carnival-like arcade, etc, etc. WE WERE THERE FOR FIVE HOURS. We could have stayed longer, but it was getting way crowded and we were pooped.





Then on Sunday we went to the zoo. I really like the St Louis zoo--it's compact and easy to walk through. I loved the butterfly atrium. And the giraffes. They come right up to you!
Then we hit Trader Joe's on the way out of town and filled the station wagon full! I miss TJ's.

And then we came back home. It was fun. I think we'll start trying to take a trip every year or so, if we can afford it. I hear Omaha is a cool town...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

High School / Present Day Meme

This has been going around LJ and other places, and it's so amusing to see other people's, that I sketched a quickie in the ever-present big black book. I didn't start using the big sketchbooks until college, so I guess it's not fair to give one to my high school self.

The high school me is Amy circa 1991-92.



Some things never change--red lipstick, mary janes, black clothing, skirts and cardigans, and I'm still about the same size.

A Few Things:

Ajuga and spirea in the garden--I like the color contrast.
Last week we had a GNARLY storm blow through--the tornadoes missed our part of town, but we got hail and crazy strong winds and buckets of rain. "Buckets of rain, buckets of tears..." (Brief Neko Case channeling Bob Dylan moment)
ANYWAY, here's that storm rolling in at dusk. The sky was eerily brassy and the air was still.

Sketches, Drawings, and ACEO's

Here's a few things I've done over the last couple of weeks:


"Spring Song" Pen and ink on paper, 4 x 6 inches.


"Loretta in Gloves and Stripes", pen and ink on paper, 4 x 6 inches.




Sketchbook pages! (And messy palette)




"The Little Ghost Went A-Maying", ink and watercolor on paper, 4 x 6 inches.

"The Grim Little Siren", in and watercolor aceo, 2.5 x 3.5 inches.




"Loretta is Shy at the Party", pen and ink on paper, 4 x 6 inches.




There's still all the big paintings and commissions that I'm steadily chipping away at, but no great photos of those to share. Yet.

I feel like the time is getting away from me--I have SO MUCH I need to complete, but I've been having to work extra hours at my "job" job, and Ricky's working so much overtime, that the painting time just isn't there. It's incredibly frustrating--there's a million projects I want to start and a million more that need to be completed.

Maybe that can be my Mother's Day request--lemme freaking PAINT!! And give me some CHOCOLATE!!

Please?