Monday, June 18, 2012

Monterey Bay Aquarium Day 3

Today I just stopped by the aquarium on the way to Trader Joe's. Mom and I got to pet the bat rays. They are very strong, and they amused themselves splashing a delighted child. Here is a photograph of the sand dollars' dome:
Today's re-entry hand stamp was a shark. My visit was around closing time, and the little cabinet filled with uv stamps was ajar. My greedy heart fluttered. Maybe I will ask if I can stamp them in my journal, but I don't want to bother anyone. If I had an address, I would probably order the invisible UV ink today. 

Monterey Bay Aquarium Day 2

Today I went to the aquarium with my Mom. We immediately got seperated but I am really happy with the drawings I made.

Blind contour drawing is an exercise where you try to capture the outline of the subject without taking your eyes of your subject- you never look at your drawing. When you do this exercise in an art class you have to draw your hand and it is the worst, but I think these sharks came out pretty good. The Open Ocean Exhibit is quite dark, so it was easy to keep from looking at my faint pencil drawings (I went over them in ink at home when I inked everything else.)

The Secret Lives of Seahorses exhibit is beautifully designed with kind of Victorian tracery, silhouettes, and filigree on the gates and illuminated on the walls.

I felt like I was really appreciating the designers by sketching this lovely entryway, but the sketch came out loose and so it doesn't show off the dainty, pretty metal. Oh well, I have 3 more aquarium visits.
I am really pleased with how these two sea dragons turned out. This is the best I can draw, and I can only do it when I have been practicing.

I went into a children's exhibit and there was this little stamping machine. Children select a bookmark with conservation facts on it, put it in the machine, and press a button to stamp an anemone, penguin, or seadragon. There were two, so I didn't feel bad monopolizing one.

Today's UV stamp was a sea otter.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Monterey Bay Aquarium Day 1

My family is on vacation in Carmel and the cottage where we are staying has guest passes to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I plan to escort everyone to the aquarium and thus get to visit it every single day to draw the animals. I have wanted to do an extended study like this for a while. The aquarium is great because it's out of the sun and there are loads of exhibits. 
Seadragons are my favorite. This is a composite drawing of all the Leafy Seadragons they've got. These were pretty slow moving, but they drift in the current a lot. I noticed that everyone who visited the exhibit said the same couple of things, and also everyone had to take a picture. That was annoying because of course it got in the way of my serious pursuit and also it happened over and over.

When I was done sketching, though, I took some pictures. In this picture his nose is at the bottom and it's a picture of his spine.

I am also using their UV re-entry handstamp in my sketchbook every day, but I don't have a picture because I didn't bring my blacklight on vacation. I really like UV ink (I have been eyeing the Noodlers invisible fountain pen ink for a while) and I really like stamps so it's worth having to explain to the re-entry attendant what I am doing. For Monterey Bay Aquarium Day 1 the stamp was a sea turtle.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

TransAmerica 2012

Okay. I am driving across the country for the first time. I'll be documenting my trip with tiny water color paintings sent as postcards. I've already stamped and addressed the post cards, and rubber stamped them with a "map" of the US which I carved by hand. I am going to hide the stamp in a letterbox on the western terminus of route 50, with a corresponding stamp hidden at the east end. I am calling the whole project TransAmerica 2012.

This is TransAmerica 2012 #1. It's a local abandoned building that I love and I painted it as a trial. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

May Resolution

I never make it past May with my New Year's Resolutions. After all, it's summer! I am eating great because everything is in season, and I am getting plenty of sunshine and exercise. I hoped this years' monthly resolutions would circumvent that problem. To be extra sure, I gave myself an easy goal for May- get up before noon every day. This happened to be easy this May, but sometimes my sleep gets erratic and it's impossible to put it right. 
Even though I managed my "goal", I mailed off the postcard around May 27th, so ended up getting postmarked in Morning Sun, IA on June 4. Some people collect postmarks by sending along an extra self addressed, stamped envelope to keep the postcard clean but I prefer just to be annoyed at the over-stamp.
 Oh, May, you are impossible. Getting back on track, I have my June Resolution stamped and ready to go. I'm supposed to meditate every day. So far I have missed 2 days. 

April Resolution

In April my resolution was to go ice skating. I signed up for Learn to Skate and went every week. I did ankle strengthening and I learned to do a two foot turn, and skate a little better backward.

 The Snowflake Arizona postmark bled through, and it got stamped over in Phoenix, but I still love it! Arizona has great town names. I have one more postcard going to AZ and I'll use the new Arizona stamps for it.

The Best Day!

Yesterday I happened to be in Santa Cruz when I learned that UCSC Open Studios was going on. I was so excited! Casey drove us up to campus and I got to see all the art. A lot of it was really gorgeous. I brought my camera but didn't bring my sd card. I saw a giant roll of 'film', a surprising number of great 3d oil paintings, and beautiful steel sculptures. I have had a hard year since I graduated and I've been very nostalgic for the days when I just had to get myself to campus and paint and I could study at the beach all the time. But, seeing the open studios made me realize that's not the right place for me anymore; new students are retreading the pieces I've made and seen made. It also seemed more insular than I remember. But I will always miss that metal shop

Since I didn't have my camera, the only thing I have to show is some extinction trading cards from Public Art 2. 
I took a bunch of these! These ones say "Passenger Pigeon. Deceased: 1914 AD Cause: Man," "Coal. Created: C. 300,000,000 BC," and "The Corporation. Invented: c. 1602 AD."

The Colors!

At Daiso (the Japanese $1.50 store) I saw a set of oil pastels. For $1.50! But I've never been able to coax anything pretty onto a page with oil pastels so I didn't buy them. But when I saw the same set at Casey's house I noticed the colors were all labeled in Japanese and I got really excited because I can only name 9 colors. So I copied down all the names and Casey's sister let me use her awesome watercolors to fill them in. (the two blank shapes on the left are going to be gold and silver but the one in the middle is white/shiro)

When I was little I would put pressed flowers and carefully blended rainbows into my sketchbooks so I would always have them to look at. I guess I still like that.

I'm planning to do watercolor sketches on postcards to document my upcoming road trip. I liked the koi colors but I plan to just add individual tubes to what I've got. I tried to pick a neutral red and neutral yellow, with a warm blue and a cool blue, but my watercolors all come out looking the same.

 I don't really know what to add. Gray? Brick red? Lemon yellow? One time I got a guoache set in my Easter Basket that was the cmyk colors. I think those would set off the colors I have really well.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

razr redux

I don't remember why I got a Samsung Impression two years ago; the razr I got in 2007 certainly still worked. The Impression won't take a charge anymore, and I went back to my reliable old razr.

In 2006 the razr was my favorite phone, but I considered it too fancy to want. A friend of the family happened to get one for me, and I was thrilled. It was pink when it was new-to-me. When it got some scratches I painted it blue with tiny yellow horns. After a couple of years of use it got pretty beat up.  It's embarrassing to use a shabby customized phone in public so when I used it to replace my Impression I built bigger horns and painted it gold. I painted the charger too so I won't lose it. When the charger is plugged in, the tentacles make a little rack for the phone.

The razr was a good phone in 2006, and it is a good phone now. If the iphone was affordable I would consider wanting one (my compass doesn't really work when it's in a car), but nearly the whole surface is a screen- I can't paint that.

I tried to set the razr to Japanese for extra practice. But it only has French, English, Spanish, and Portuguese, so I set it to Spanish. It takes me extra time to borrar my mensajes and such but I like it. I did manage to set my ipod to Japanese, though, and it took me a bunch of hours with a dictionary to sort of figure out what it says. That's why I'm really glad I didn't set my phone to Japanese, because my phone has to be usable right away when I have to save a contact or something.

Monday, June 4, 2012

May Party

 This weekend I went to Clear Lake for the May Party for the maiden voyage of the Red Couch. We all camped right on the water. I took this photo from my bedroll. In between eating and going on the water and playing on the zome, I just knit, because the party was too much fun. But, I appreciated the live music drifting over the water while I lounged different places with my sock.
 It was very hot. The first hour after sunrise it was just bright, and then it got hot. Everyone was hanging out in the shade of some old trees, which meant I couldn't go there if I wanted to be able to follow the chart for my lace.
There was a beautiful nearly full moon (full tonight), so bright that I could sort of knit by its light, very slowly. The sock is knitty's Interlocking Leaves, so it is much fancier than any I have knit before and pretty challenging.