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