Saturday, 26 December 2009

On to New Years....

A bit more background complete and more layers on arms and shirt.

Christmas Eve and Day were lovely.  That being said, ......Family deaths, lost gift cards, decrepit pain ridden aging people, insanity, freezing rain storms, over tired children hyped up on sugar, Boxing Day advertising, bored family members, turkey, turkey and more turkey.....

I've had enough of this Christmas!  I'm looking forward to the start of the new year!  So....
Happy New Years!

To Very Yucky;

  Had you emailed you're address to me you and Mr. Yucky would have received your Christmas card that is sitting on my counter.  You also would have had a "Merry Christmas" phone call on Christmas Day had we known your new phone number.

 What kind of nuts wouldn't check their front door for the deliveries they were expecting?!!!  Not that Mom's explanation makes any sense since I can't envision your place since you've never sent THE PICTURES I'VE ASKED TO SEE!!!  At least I know you'll see this as I see you popping up on my side bar. [I'm now making an exasperated face at you.  Now I'm sticking out my tongue at you.  Now I'm sticking my nose up in the air (not that much different than it's usual pert position) turning abruptly on my heel and walking away.]

 Blow torches scare me.  I burnt myself just using the hot glue gun at school before Christmas working with the elementary children.  I think the blistering skin and screaming I did scared them.



Thursday, 24 December 2009

Only 1 More Sleep!

How many more sleeps
until Santa Paws comes???

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

More layers.  More background.  Still having problems with her right eye.

I came so close to scrapping this one yesterday.  A "mood" settled in that was the result of dropping children at malls and almost getting shmucked by a bus driver that shouldn't be behind any wheel.  Needless to say when part of the painting wasn't doing what I was imagining I wanted to rip it stomp on it and move on.  I walked away from it for a couple of hours and came back when I had calmed down.  I still may do a jig on it yet....just not yet.

The photo isn't actually this "orange"  bad lighting for the camera right now.

It's -18.4 F (-28 Celcius) with the windchill right now apparently.  This is not December weather but rather January's.  I want to move to Florida.  Anyone in Florida want to adopt me;-)  Even Vancouver would be okay.  Pleeeeeeeease!

Thursday, 17 December 2009


I'm going to answer Sandy's comment in a post and save her trudging though my archives (God help her!)
Mr. P. has been "encouraging" me to write something about myself for my art website.  This will get me thinking.  For everyone else you can leave now.  This is extremely boring;-)

I come from an artistically inclined family.  My father is a painter and I've learned how to work with acrylic paints by watching him as a child.  I used to peel off the dry paint on his pallett to get to the fresh paint underneath and I'd play with that. 

As a teen I did some painting and drawing.  I was offered a job illustrating some Christmas stories for a national news paper by a well known local author.  (no, not Brian Doyle;-)  I did the roughs but became intimidated and behind in my regular studies so I declined.  (Big chicken!)  I quit art just after that.

I became a Registered Nurse.  Hated it.  I became a Library and Information Technician and worked for a number of years for Nortel.  (Somebody please put that dieing horse down!)  I was a full-time stay at home mom for 10 years.  No art.

I felt an increasing frustration and great need to express myself somehow.  I would go out with Adventurer and decorate lawn ornamentation in various neighbourhoods under the cloak of darkness.  You know, put a miniature Santa suit on a gnome.  People seemed okay with it as they generally left the ornaments decorated.  We never knew for sure though since we didn't actually know the people.  This worked for a while.  Next I took up piano and learned to read music.  I took to it quite well, but it didn't satisfy the frustration for long.  I took up quilting.  Same result.  I started writing but didn't see that going anywhere.  I took up art and fell in love again.

I think the previous career experiences prepared me well for the art business.  I know anatomy and have no real issues with looking at naked models.  (After you've stuck a thermometer or catheter or your fingers for that matter into peoples orifices, nude models aren't an issue......well, except for the naked Kurt look-a-like;-)

I started drawing with graphite when I was about 40.  I picked up just about every art book on drawing and started studying on my own.  I was afraid to take a course as I didn't believe I had any artistic talent.   I saw a book at the store that had coloured pencil paintings and was amazed that coloured pencils could do that.  As my good friend "Adventurer" said,

"How come my coloured pencils don't do that?"

So I bought a set of Prismacolour Premier artist quality pencils and played around.  I then found Allison Fagan, and took her very informative coloured pencil workshops.  (Well worth the while for anyone local!)  I now knew how to colour, but not to draw well.

I have been taking "Expressive Figure Drawing" classes once a week for the last year and a half at the Ottawa School of Art.  My instructor is Pamela Cockcroft-Lasserre.  She has helped me to loosen up (something coloured pencil artists don't tend to do easily with all of the fine picky details they like to work on.) and be more free with my hand.  I've learned so much from her in such a short time.  She is a truly amazing instructor!

Pamela also teaches an "Expressive Figure Painting" course that I fully intend on taking in the future.  It is my intention and goal to eventually also work with oils as well as pencils. 

I continue to be a voracious reader when it comes to art books and magazines.  I try to speak with artists about their work when I can.  They are a bit secretive I find and sometimes reluctant to give up their knowledge.  At least for free;-)

That's me.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Another Half Day Later.....

First layer of shirt.  More layers on the face, chest and arms.  Still some repair work to do on the eyes.  More on the first layer of the background.  More on the hair with more colours added to the mix.  Reds, browns and yellows as well as some impressed line with a stylus.  Impressed line started on the collar for stitching in shirt (you won't be able to see this at this point.)  Sequins outlined on collar to show positioning.  Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!  Picky, picky little details make my eyes go crazy!

I was approached today while doing my morning sketching at "Bridgehead" in Westboro by a kind immigrant who had been watching me sketch.  She was interested in having a painting of her deceased teenaged son painted in coloured pencil.  I spoke with her for a long time.  It's made me rethink the whole portrait business.  This is not the first request I've gotten for a portrait of a loved one who is no longer with them.  How different it is from what I expected.  Seems that there are many people out there in need of art for healing purposes.  Something to preserve a memory and honour a loved one.  I try to capture people in their "normal" state.  Hair out of sorts, funny facial expressions that they usually make, etc... in an attempt to also capture a glimpse of their personality.  (see side bar for "Canada Day Cookies" as an example of what I mean.)  I think it would probably be different to some degree in how I would work a portrait such as this.  You still want to capture the essence of who they are, but in a more general, lasting way.

Friday, 11 December 2009

I know it doesn't look like much more was done, but the small bits that were have taken a couple of hours.  There are still more layers to go on top of her face as the shaded areas are quite dark.

Her hair has been started.  Already there are 7 different colours worked into the spots I've started.  At this point I've used sky blue, tuscan red, sand, ginger root, mineral orange, and two different browns.  Much more to come!  Even though this child is blond, her hair will contain a combination of many darker and varying colours other than "yellows."  So far I've only used one yellow (sand)!

Today was the Christmas lunch for the elementary school children and my kids school.  Hot turkey, potatos and gravy, vegetables and dessert for about 250 kids.  I came home wearing as much as I served.  One of the other volunteers asked me if I was having a plate myself and I told her, "No, I'd just lick my lunch from off my pants."  Yes, it was that bad!  I suppose it doesn't help that they have them sit on the floor to eat.  Perhaps they should just feed them outside and let the mess freeze to be raked up afterwards;-)

Anyhow, the teachers left the parent volunteers to clean up the mess afterwards while they went on their lunch.  I don't mind though, after all the seconds and thirds of cake we served the children....they'll be kept busy this afternoon until the sugar wears off and they crash.  Then the tryptophan from the turkey will kick in and they'll all be sawing wood by the end of the day. Hehehehehe!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

But she's supposed to look ugly!

Thanks for the kind comments re: yesterdays post.

At this early stage the paintings are at their worst and are supposed to be hideously bad looking.  The trick is to remember that what is laid down are just the undercoats and aren't expected to actually look anything but "ugly."  Once the basic few layers are down, the real work begins and the actual final painting will start to show through.  It's a gradual process and I haven't had one yet that's looked "nice" at this stage.  This was always a problem when I first started using coloured pencil because I didn't realize that things get better as they are worked.  Now knowing that though, I trudge through to a later point before judging whether or not the painting is likely to be sucessful.

All of that being said, I wasn't excited about doing this one from the start as it is a painfully difficult one in the first place!  A character builder perhaps;-) 

I do actually use "greyed lavendar" in the paintings.  The reason I mentioned purple not being a colour to use is that it is not a very light fast colour.  Purple pigment in coloured pencils has a life span of only a few years, from what I've read.  I've always used a workable fixative over my finished works so hopefully they won't fade too much!  But I generally shy away from drawing models that contain a lot of purples, such as certain flowers, etc.....

We are in the midst of our first snow storm of the year, so going out photographing wasn't possible due to the high winds and well, snow. Digital SLR's and wet don't mix!  Hot chocolate (probably trying to get out of having to deal with me this week so suggested this day not realizing it wouldn't stop me from getting out;-) suggested we go out today. We went for coffee instead and did some blind contour drawings.
If you've never done one give it a try.  They are a lot of fun!  Pick something and draw every little line you see without actually looking down  at the paper.  This trains your eye to draw what you are seeing instead of your mind to draw what you think something should look like.  It helps to train you to pay more attention to the shapes of models and with things such as forshortening when drawing an outstretched figure.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Help! I'm Ugly!

I'm at the stage of the work now where I hate it and want to tear it into small little pieces and throw it off the roof, stomp on it and mush it into a puddle.  I go through this with every painting, so I know it will pass once I get past the "ugly" stage. 

All of the above being said, the shading on this one is a killer!  The shaded flesh tones are actually shades of grey which one should not use when working a portrait in coloured pencil.  Anything but grey.  Well, grey and black.  Probably purple too;-)

This is the first time I've done eyes that don't actually show any pupil colour.  They're all squinty and basically black blobs.  This picture sure doesn't do this kid justice!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Ready, Set, Go!

Time to start another picture.  A portrait this time.  This isn't one that I'd choose, but it's the one that's been requested.  We'll see if it works out.  The shading is a bit wonky on it and the background difficult.  Never know though if you don't try!

I've also started another hand.  These aren't the things that are of interest to sell at La  Vieille Alliance in Aylmer, but I've not got any food related photos that I'm really happy with to do something a bit more fitting.  I'll have to work on those over Christmas when food is in abundance! 

My morning sketching is going very well.  I sit in a neighbourhood coffee shop in the mornings for about an hour and draw something, or a bunch of somethings, to keep in practice.  It will be especially important now that my drawng classes are finished.  I drew a Christmas planter that was sitting outside the window since there weren't any nudes lounging around the sidewalk.  It's snowing so they're all wearing coats today;-)

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Brian Doyle - It seemed like a good idea at the time!

I had noticed that Brian Doyle was coming to do a book reading and signing in the neighbourhood.  He is the author of many award winning books and particularily, "Angel Square" which 2 of 4 is currently reading in school.

A number of  Mr. Doyle's works are set in the neighbourhood during the same time period in which my Father grew up.  One of which is "Angel Square."   Mr. Doyle was also my highschool English teacher about 25 years ago.

The kids and I set off for the pub.  Yes, I said the pub.  At the time I didn't realize we would be going to a reading at a pub, but eventually as we stood outside the door realized, yes, it was indeed in a pub.

His manager assured me, even after one of the waitresses said the kids shouldn't come in, that it would be okay for the four of us to come in because it was also a family restaurant.  He had already started to read as we took our seats. Not long after we were seated he read the name "Lipschitz", one of the names used in his book.

"Well if his Lipschitz....what does his asshole do?" yelled out a patron from the audience.

The bar came alive with laughter.  Mr. Doyles manager went over to let the patrons know that there were children in the establishment.

About halfway through the final reading Mr. Doyle stops, leans over and asks,

"Excuse me, am I disturbing you?" politely to a man sitting square in the center of the pub.

"As a matter of fact you are!" He replies in a heavy French-Canadian accent.

"Just perfect!  This is perfect!" Mr. Doyle laughs and continues on.

"I just want to sit and enjoy my meal without having to listen to you!  Just some common courtesy for me during my meal is all I ask!" the French man continues.  He apparently wanted Mr. Doyle to immediately stop the reading and pack up his books.

Mr. Doyle continued to read as the waitress went over to explain that this event has been booked for weeks and that she's sorry he is not enjoying the reading, but he is welcome to leave should he wish.

He continues to grumble, others get up and start to yell at the French patron.  Brian Doyle jokingly yells,

"Break it up boys!" and continues to read on.

The French patron and his wife leave in a huff, the gentleman tossing his man purse over his shoulder as he leaves.

"Nice Purse!" Another patron from the crowd yells.  The bar breaks out into heavy laughter.  Even Mr. Doyle stops to regain his composure.

Finally as the door slams someone yells,

"And stay out!"

All in all I think it was a good experience for the kids.  They were able to attend their first book reading by a  famous Canadian author.  In a bar (family bar//restaurant).  Now they know what family bar/restaurants are like.   We got a book signed.  He says he remembers me, although I wonder.  I barely remember me from highschool.  And now I have a new joke for the next time I meet someone named "Lipschitz."  I'm sure they'll find in funny when I tell it;-)

Friday, 4 December 2009

Slartibartfast Comes Home

I got my painting back fromt the framer today.  Usually they don't make it to my own wall, but I hang them at La Vieille Alliance or where ever their new home will be.  One of my other paintings just went to it's new home the other day.  I sometimes find myself left with a wall full of naked charcoal people (currently men) taped up with blue painters tape.  Very attractive. 

This time I decided to actually hang the art in my livingroom since we're about to pass through the Christmas season and people may not appreciate their visiting children sharing in my love of the human figure, unclothed, in art.  Plus it's nice to have something a little more "formal" looking than taped up paper.

That's not to say I'll take down my drawings yet.  I just want to be prepared!

I just realized they were up still as "White Mocha's" kids came over for a visit a few minutes ago.  I asked her oldest if White Mocha showed the kids her drawings from Wednesday's "bring a friend" art class.  The child replied:

"She didn't offer to show them and I didn't ask!!!" in a dry comical voice.

Kids are such prudes;-)

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Wednesday's Expressive Drawing Class

Today was a bit surreal!  White Mocha was kind enough to come to "bring a friend" class today.  This was the first time they tried this and happend to also be the last class of the semester.  It was a lot of fun to have her there drawing with me.  She did a wonderful job despite the fact that she thought she drew something akin to a bobble head figure.  I think hers turned out wonderful.

I had a pretty big mental block to get over with this one.  This model looked a wee bit too much like photos I've seen of a certain blogger on one of the blogs I read regularily.  Mind you, I've never seen this blogger naked, or in person for that matter, but the face carried a pretty close resemblance and the general shape of the body from what I can tell.  It seemed to me that they also seem to share a similar personality.  I kept telling poor White Mocha how much this looked I can't say.  Any guesses?

We had a party/art show after with hors d'oeuvres and wine and cheese.  It included the painters from the "Expressive Figure Painting" class as well as all of the students from the "Expressive Figure Drawing" class.  Pamela gave a speech and was brought close to tears.  Some of the models were there.  Boy do artists know how to throw a party!

Anyhow Xxxx is now hanging on my livingroom wall for the time being until I get uncomfortable enough to take him down.  Even though I know it's really Mr. D, I can't stop seeing him as Xxxx. 

Monday, 30 November 2009

Who Ms. Vicki Is

Sorry for any confusion the previous post caused.  The past few years that I've been blogging, Ms. Vicki is an occasional visitor to my blog.  Ms. Vicki likes to post about her adventures.  She's a pair of my underwear (never been worn mind you!) and she travels with Mr. P (a.k.a. love muffin to some) my husband in my place when I can't travel with him.  She gets a pin or button wherever they go when they can find one.  Sometimes he even takes her out siteseeing and gets her picture for me visiting places of interest.

I'm living vicariously through my underwear.  Sad but true.

Ms. Vicki Back from Japan

Well Darlings,

  I'm back safe and sound.  An okay trip overall.  The only tedious thing about travel for me is putting all the jewelry back on once I'm back.  Perp won't let me travel with it in case it gets stolen.

  Nothing on the horizon for me darlings.  I'm hoping something pops up unexpectedly because theres nothing worse than gathering dust in a drawer.

Until next time loves,


Saturday, 28 November 2009

More From Japan

skinny little building

8 storey high electronics store

Guess you can tell what their priorities are! 

Friday, 27 November 2009

Good Bye Art Studio

I would show you the latest pictures and writings of Mr. P. but since he's accused me of slacking off on my blog and just plagiarizing his work I'll just say he's still getting laughed at where ever he goes and he is amazed by the amount of bicycles there.  He'll just have to put his stuff up on his own blog....oooops!  That's right....he doesn't have one;-)

I've put my art table and art away for the time being to make way for a Christmas tree.  I would say I've set it up elsewhere, which I've done, but out of site out of mind and so I might as well just admit that I've given up for the time being.  I've got stacks of lovely photos to work from but find nothing is grabbing me at the moment.  My last art class is next week for the semester and I suppose I've got to decide what I should do next.  Perhaps something that will actually make me some money would be preferrable!  My art instructor jokingly told us she was hoping she could lure some of us into the low paying career of art.  I have to laugh that a person will pay $200 for tickets to a hockey game, concert or evening out that's over in a couple of hours, but will gasp when they see you've priced a painting you've worked 40 hours on at that amount, even if they love it!  Silly people!

I think I'll disappear again for a few days to grow some brain cells.  Hopefully creativity will visit me again soon.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

A Note from Love Muffin

A note from 'Love Muffin':

This is a picture of a local grocery store. There are bikes everywhere and nobody locks them. I still don't understand why they would rather ride on the narrow sidewalk than use the bike lane on the street.

"I learned a new lesson tonight. When you order something, make sure it looks good, but more importantly make sure you know how to eat it. I ordered something and they brought it to me on a little propane stove. A side dish was a bowl of rice and a raw egg. There were 4 clams or oysters in the pot with noodles, ... I had to ask them how to eat it with sign language. They helped me. Everywhere I go, I order something, the girls will walk away after helping me and then I hear giggling. I must be funny in Japanese."

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Wednesday's Expressive Drawing Class

  I got in trouble in art class today.  I started the day off ecstatically happy (a mood I don't often experience.)  The art didn't go quite as smoothly as usual.  It started off with 8, 2 minute drawings.  I used my left hand exclusively.  The drawings were fabulous!  I didn't take any measurements, but went totally on instinct alone.  That's how I draw best.

  The above pictured drawings were based on 1 hour poses.  We had to use graphite and watercolour for one and gesso and charcoal for the other.  My charcoal drawing was gesso lite since I left my gesso at home.  They were done on Stonehenge.  I used my right hand for these.

  Stonehenge is wonderful thick paper with a lot of "tooth."  It can take a lot of medium, of whichever you choose.  It stands up to watercolour.  I use it almost exclusively for my coloured pencil works.  I'm  just not used to it with charcoal!  What an odd feeling having a paper grab so much of the charcoal.  Usually I just use newsprint.

  Anyhow....I was displeased with the results of my two, one hour poses and when I was preparing to leave I quietly tried to fold the large sheets in half to tuck them in my portfolio.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOO!"  yells my instructor in her heavily accented voice from across the room.

"Don't disrespect your work like that even if you aren't pleased with it.  You can always work into it some more at home!" she said

"I won't have that happen!" she added for good measure.

"But, but....." I stuttered

"Okay, you're right.  Sorry, I hoped you won't notice."  I humbly stated.

She of course is right.  I've kept some of the drawings I did a year ago in the first classes and can see a tremendous difference!  If I destroy everything I think is not up to snuff.....well, I won't have anything to look back upon in a year from now.

That being said, that's not the first time I've gotten in trouble for how I handle my art.  Often once I've finished a coloured pencil piece, after 40 to 80 hours of work might I add, I have a tendency to just toss it somewhere where it may get damaged.  Drink a coffee over top of it before it's been coated with a fixitive, let it fall to the floor and not pick it up right away.  I do tend to not see the value in my work.  I suppose I need to start respecting the work more if I ever expect someone else to show it the same courtesy!  I suppose part of me thinks that I can just create a "new" one, not taking into consideration that it would take a substantial amount of time to do so.

  Anyways....anybody want a drawing/painting of a fat chick, slightly folded?

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Pictures from Love Muffin-san


If I didn't know any better I'd say he's stayed in the Canadian city in which we live.  Looks much the same right down to the teeny weenie garbage can our city is trying to get us to adopt.  The only difference here might be that most of the signage that is not in English and French is in arabic instead of Japanese.

Monday, 23 November 2009

What is an Artist?

I find that since I'm having difficulty determining what is art, I'm also starting to wonder what makes one an artist. 

Artists are as often as not, not "traditionally" trained as in the case of many other professions.  You don't need a license, degree or formal training to "practice" art.  Some of the best "artists" I've come across have no formal training and in some cases have never once even enrolled in an art class.  Some make a living through their art despite their lack of formal training.  Some who are formally trained produce what I would consider the most hideous garbage out there!  So who's an artist?

Today Barbara Reid came to speak at our local public library for the children of my kids school.  She's a classically trained artist who works as a successful author/illustrator.  I wasn't actually paying close attention to her talk as I was sitting at the back of the room crochetting having just been a volunteer there for the purpose of getting the kids safely to their destination from the school.  Something caught my ear though as I was counting stitches. 

"When I'm finished my picture, it never turns out as great as I imagined it...." or something to that effect was what I believe I heard her say.  She had my undivided attention after that statement. 

Did I hear her wrong?  Perhaps, but I don't think so.  If she did say this, this isn't something you hear often from a professional.  Self-doubt. 

In my experience the people that generally are the best in their field are the ones that are constantly evolving and trying to figure out how to make things better.  When asked how long it took her to learn how to create art with plasticine she replied,

"....I'm still learning.  I'm always learning new ways to make things better."

As a health care worker in my experience the best doctors were the ones who were the least arrogant.  Arrogant people already know everything and aren't willing to listen to a new way of doing something.  I suppose it's the same in every field.

So a good artist is willing to continually open themselves up to new ideas.  Not arrogant.  Perhaps a bit scattered.  (This comes from watching those around me whos art I'm interested in.)

All of that being said here are pictures of dogs making art at Bruce Pit our local dog park:

Do you think this is art?  They are after all pouring themselves into their work!

Sunday, 22 November 2009


Somebody called me that had read my blog and said that calling Mr. P. "my man" just didn't sound right.  When I asked what sounded more appropriate I was told "love muffin." So just submit "love muffin" in place of "my man" in the previous post.  I really have to give up this blog.  Next blog I do I won't give any body I know the address.

Mr. P and Ms. Vicki in Japan

From Mr. P.
"It was almost 24 hours door to door but I made it. Funny thing is it is 8PM here but I am not tired. It is only 6AM at home.
The two most striking things so far are 1) alot of people are wearing hospital masks and 2) I am tall over here :-)
Vickie is having a good time. I think she likes Sushi.
Bye for now."

From Ms. Vicki
"Dibs on the bed!"

From Me:
I was at our local Walmart yesterday and I think that every single short person in the city must have been congregating there.  I was looking over everyones head  and I loved it!  I could live in a country of short people!

At 5'10" my man isn't tall, but he is broad shouldered and muscular.  I've been told by some here that he looks scarry.  I bet he clears the sidewalk over there!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Slartibartfast: "Perhaps I'm old and tired, but I think that the chances of finding out what's actually going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is to say, 'Hang the sense of it,' and keep yourself busy. I'd much rather be happy than right any day."

Arthur: "And are you?"

Slartibartfast: "Ah, no. (laughs) Well, that's where it all falls down, of course."

Friday, 20 November 2009

bigger than my hand"  x  smaller than my fridge"
Coloured (or colored) pencil (or pencil)

It was mentioned to me this morning that someone noticed that I had quit my blog for a second time earlier in the week, and was this true.  Yes.  I totally deleted the blasted thing for a day or so.  Unfortunately blogger allows one to bring it back within the first 90 days before it utterly annihilates it for ever and ever.

I don't know what art is anymore.  I have not one iota of a clue.  Zilch....nada!  Paint slapped on a canvas, hyperrealism, a man defecating.  All have been called art.  The range is great, or not so great depending on what your preference and definition is.  Above is my latest expression of what might be called art by some.  I'm just now sure who?!

I told my art instructor about a month ago I was considering quitting "art."  (Like it's something I have the ability to do.)  She very seriously instructed me that shouldn't be something I should ever consider.  I've tried quitting the blog, my art, my sanity (that's the one I'm working on now.)  For anyone out there who bought my art for the purpose of having it increase in value when I die or go insane....good for you!  (There are some who have told me they want my art just for this very reason.)  Be happy in the knowledge that you've made a wise investment!  One way or another I'm getting off this crazy ride!

Oh, and one last thing......

SLARTIBARTFAST!  LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the neighbour who thinks that he should be able to buy one of my works for a hundred bucks....time for a reality check.....that's what the frame at one of the more reasonable framing establishments costs.    Pthhhhhhhhhhh!  If you want I can poo on the floor for you for a hundred bucks.  Some people make money as artists that way.

I have to go, if not for ever at least for now.  I have a headache.


Thursday, 19 November 2009

Vicki Off To Japan

Well Hello Darlings!

  Me again!  I'm getting packed up and ready to head off to Japan.  I missed out on India and don't plan on being left behind this time....pun intended darlings.

  Hopefully I'll have pictures although the camera seems to have developed legs and wandered off somewhere. 

Till later loves,

Vicki Stripes

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

This weeks model was the first we had that has curves.  She was fun to draw!  Only a couple more classes left in the semester.  The nice thing is that there are places I now know of where there are groups of artists who get together and hire models once a week for a day.  Gives me extra time to practice on days other than those on which art class occurs, for a nominal fee.

I've joined the Colored Pencil Society of America.  Not sure exactly what the benefits are, but guess I won't know if I don't join.

Christmas Cards are done for this year.  I'm thinking were I to start over.....I wouldn't.  Next year I'll send a card out saying I'm not sending cards out;-)  I often wonder if anybody would even notice if they didn't get one from us.  (Other than my sister in law who was insisting I send her one in July because I didn't send her one last Christmas.  She's moved so often I gave up trying to figure out her address.)

BTW....Very Yucky....please send me your new address.  Is your new province small enough that if I just address it to your name you'll get it?  Please buy a cheap digital camera and send me some pictures.  Or draw me a picture of your new place.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Christmas Cards .... Bah Humbug!

I'm not dead from the flu ....Yeah!!!!!  Onto the next crisis. 

Ahhhhh!  I can't cartoon!!!! 

It's been while since I've gotten out the cartooning sketchbook.  It seems harder than it used to!

I've been drawing up the Christmas cards for this year and it's been a struggle.  (And yes Kurt, also some fish.)  My Santa looks like he's had a stroke, my reindeer looks stoned and my fish.....well, they're okay, but not what I need for my Christmas cards.  Maybe I should make a fish Santa and Rudolph.  It would make life easier!  Anybody got a good "Fish as Santa Clause" punch line?

Monday, 9 November 2009


Saturday, 7 November 2009

Puppy Love

I like this dog.  I met him for the first time at Adventurers house.  Her family were kind enough to let me borrow him for a couple of hours this morning to go for a play.  He and Mr. Hunter had a grand off the leash run in behind our house in a large field full of big dogs.  It was like candy for the soul to watch.   I imagine he'll sleep well tonight though! "Grandma C" you have a most wonderful family there!  Such a kind and generous assortment of  nuts.

When I stopped by earlier in the week to drop off the art the game that Mr. and Mrs. Adventurer played was, "try to see if you can get out of the house without our assistance.  If you can then "Child Unit 4" can and we have to rethink the door locks."   They then stood together and laughed as I attempted to exit the premises.  Unfortunately the laughing was short lived and after a few minutes I was able to open both doors eventually leading them to ponder what else they could do to keep their little houdini in the house.  At least the child is a sensible pre-schooler and dresses properly before he takes to the streets alone! 

The art is now up for next weeks art benefit,  It was interesting to see the different types of art.  Such a broad range!  I've picked out my favourites.  I tended to prefer the photography in this exhibit this time.  Funny what catches ones attention above all others.  Something for everyone.  Each person in the room assisting with the mounting of the work had a different favourite.

I stabbed myself again with my poppy on my way to the gallery.  I'm sure in time my nipple will heal.  The children thought it was quite funny until I offered to give them a first hand feel for what I was going through.  They weren't interested.  How the heck to people get nipple rings put in I want to know.  My poppy is now off my coat.  I realize that what the soldiers that we are remembering have gone through worse, but I think I can remember without stabbing myself repeatedly for the cause.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Friday Again

Firstly, I never mentioned Government conspiracies in the below post.  Pharmaceutical company profits yes!

 I went out with "Hot Chocolate" today to do some photographing and forgot my camera card on my computer desk.  Then I stabbed myself in the arm with a poppy pin.  Ouch.  It went in a good inch or so and left a lovely mark.  Close enough to a  flu shot for me.  I had a coffee this morning to start my day and picked one up on the way home at lunch.  I think I saw her put a double shot of espresso in it.  I just grabbed it and left thinking of things to ponder for when I will be up at 3am tomorrow morning.  Luckily it's a weekend coming and I can sleep in.

On our outing today we drove by Stephen's place and took some pictures just down the block.  (The video is humourous once you get past the first minute and a half.)  Well, at least one of us took pictures.  I don't think he was home on a work day, but you'd never know it with the RCMP presence at 24 Sussex Drive.  You couldn't swing a cat without hitting an officer in a bright yellow coat.  Not too stealthy guys!

Speaking of 24 Sussex, it got me thinking of one of our previous Prime Ministers.  The thing (only thing) I really miss about Jean Chretien is that when someone theatened or pissed him off he took them by the throat and pushed them away....literally.  That was great!  When an intruder broke into his home when he and his wife were sleeping his wife dealt with the situation, thus embarrasing the RCMP.

So on the way back down the rollercoaster, I'm not quite ready to quit again yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

BTW:  If you aren't on my Christmas card list and think I'm a terrible person for not having ever sent you a card, you can drop me your address at the following email address and I'll add you.

Two years ago I hand drew and coloured about 40 cartoons cards.  Some with personalized jokes.  Last year I printed out about 60 then hand coloured them all.  This year I'm not sure what I'll do, but I'm pretty sure it won't involve anything quite as thoughtful as all of that;-)  Why the heck do I send out so many?  Big family.

P.S on the BTW:  Grandma C and Very Yucky, the above is specifically meant to get you two to send your addresses.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Chicken Little

Okay, 2 cups of coffee turned out to be a bad plan.  I awoke at 3am refreshed and ready to go for the day.  By 6am  I was ready for sleep.  That's a good long time to think and stew.

If I have one more person come up to me and tell me how important the H1N1 flu shot is I may rip off their head.  When people ask me if I've gotten mine I can honestly say...."I'm not in the high risk group and neither are my kids, so we aren't supposed to wait in line for 9 hours to get turned away, at this time."  Every time I bring the kids to the doctor there's been a new shot invented that I just have to get or they just might die right there on the spot.  Oh ya, and it's only $150/child.  I tend to stick to  the old standby's.  MMR, tetnus, etc....Flu shots tend to be on the bottom of the list, even though they're free.  Funny thing is when SARS hit, there was no vaccine that would be ready in time for a possible outbreak and that one was scarry!  They contained it and controlled it.  Why was that not possible with H1N1?

Remember the past two years it was that we were all going to die from West Nile Disease?  We had to completely destroy any flying thing that might resemble a mosquito and if we found a dead crow or blue jay we weren't to touch it but call the authorities immediately.  Like I go around playing with rotting animal corpses.  We couldn't go out without all our body parts covered with clothing and bug spray (chemical garbage might I add) even though it might be 100 degrees outside.  Puleeeeze!  Those species of mosquitos are still around as is the disease.  Why aren't we having a body count on those every year still.

Oh, and lets not forget "Global Warming" that was later changed to "Climate Change".  That was a popular place to throw our money away until the "Global Recession" hit.

What ever happend to the ozone layer being destroyed?  Is it gone yet?  And why if all our children are wearing sunscreen and are staying out of the sun is the skin cancer rate amongst young people is up.  Perhaps we've interferred with our body's way to pretect itself by not exposing ourselves to the sun at a younger age.

Can anyone say "CHICKEN LITTLE! and Huge profits for the drug industry?"

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Energy to Spare

I was fully prepared to continue on with quitting my blog and sucking at art class today, but it was not to be.  I'm back on top of the rollercoaster waiting to plummet yet again.

Apparently the recipe is 2 cups of coffee in the morning to fully wake myself up.  Today we had to draw about a third of the 16 or so drawings with our non-dominant hand with the focus varying with each drawing.  My instructor told me I took a big leap today.  It just all clicked.  Apparently I'm not as right handed as I thought!  That lead to a good mood.  When I got home Mr. P. informed me there had been a call from someone who had picked up one of my cards in a coffee shop.  Then I went and picked up the painting I will show in the art benefit this weekend and I got it home without breaking it!  What a good day.
Don't worry though.  I fully expect to be brought back down to earth within the next couple of hours or tomorrow at the latest, when the rollarcoaster is bound to head back down.  I am and will be fully prepared to quit my blog again either later today or possibly tomorrow.  See you then.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

I think it may have been the South African's streaming video into my head as "Hot Chocolate" suggested that may have made me quit yesterday.  I just didn't have room for one more thing up there and something had to give. 

Time to clean house.  Literally.  Also, find some space in my life to actually clean my house.  What to give up.  Hmmmm.....

-art.............Some days I'd like to dump the art, but it's too much a part of me, for now.

-art school...I can't find naked people anywhere else willing to sit still long enough for me to draw 'em.
-kids............They're not ripe enough yet.

-husband......He's heading with Ms. Vicki to Japan soon.  He already decluttered himself for me, at least temporarily.

-dog............He actually likes me the best!  No way!

-flu...............I'm waiting for my turn.  Two of Four just finished hers.

-crochet.......My sanity.

-exercise......When I start again perhaps I can give it up.

-gazillion goldfish and counting.....One of Four would disown me.



-chores...........tough one!


.....or so I thought.  I had contemplated finishing it off  previously.  Even almost clicked the "Delete Blog" button seriously at least once.  So thought I'd just close it off.  So I did so yesterday.

  I can't get the blasted thing out of my head!  I took off comment moderation so I wouldn't have to okay comments coming to my blog.  I tried not to think about it.  Out of site, out of mind.  Last night I must have spent half the night dreaming about blogs.  I got a call today asking simply...."why?"  I went for a long walk to run an errand today and found myself writing my blog in my head.  I can't shut it off.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  STOP!

Something's gotta give.  Maybe I'll try again tomorrow!

Monday, 2 November 2009

I Quit
The End

Perpetual Chocoholic

Saturday, 31 October 2009

To Very Yucky (You know who you are!)

Hello Very Yucky!  Is that you there?

I think I see you popping up in my "Feedjit traffic" bar?

I want pictures of your new home please! 

Friday, 30 October 2009

Happy Halloween

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Only 2 More Sleeps

Click to enlarge

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The wall in my workspace is starting to get crowded.  This is this weeks batch from my "Expressive Figure Drawing" class.  We had to use a variety of mediums that we normally wouldn't work with.  I almost exclusively use charcoal for these classes, so it's always a good exercise in loosening up ones work.

The purpose of this class wasn't in making sure that proportions were correct, but in capuring the expressiveness of the pose.  This is done with quick lines and pure instinct.  I was quite enjoying working with watercolour for two of them since I don't use it any other time and you can just slop it on when using it for this type of work.

The final photo is of my latest colour pencil painting that I'm currently working on.

Oh, and you may have noticed in the wall shot a little half apple picture (in dark blue) beside the reverse charcoal drawing.  Guess what that is!!!!  The promised coloured pencil demonstration gradually getting burried.  I know, I know....I'll pull it out and move it back to the top of my pile.

BTW...."Fallen I" and "Granny Red" are now for sale and hanging at "La Vieille Alliance" in Aylmer, Quebec.  If you go by make sure to buy some bread.  It's the best in the region!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

From "I Like Pie Better"

A very old friend that works for a certain software company that allows one to manipulate photos played around with my recent painting and sent me this.  At first I thought it would perhaps pop out my secret message, but alas, it remains well hidden.

When I look at a large version of this I find it interesting that it shows the little lines I put in the hand to make it look more realistic, stand out.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE AND SEE LINES....If you care.)  Cool!  It's kinda neat to look at it a different way to see the layering of colour.

BTW, I'll call this friend "I Like Pie Better"....GET BACK TO WORK DUDE!  Lunch hour my a**.

Friday, 23 October 2009


Now for the not looking at it for a couple of days then coming back to do the touch up phase.  It's still untitled.  I'm afraid I have a headache and am not feeling very witty with the title for this one.  Any suggestions?

Oh! BTW....there's a secret message written into the painting somewhere.  I can barely make out where it is and I'm the one who put it there.  Doubt you'll find it and I'll never tell!

Parliament Hill - Again

You can click to enlarge any of the above photos.

One of the arches pictured (third picture from the top) has various animals carved on the stone.  This is the memorial room which includes the names of those who served and died in the various wars and conflicts.  This includes the animals which served as well.

Now the purpose of the gargoyles???  I believe they are there for the protection of the building.  Although they are too difficult to photograph, they litter the top outter side of the building.

You also find carvings of the faces of various men who built the buildings and a multitude of creatures both real and imagined inside.  I'm not sure what got to that squirrel, but whomever carved him mustn't have been fond of the creatures.