HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY!!
Gladiola Groundhog Sleeps In has been a looong time in the works. To celebrate the fact that the end is coming nearer you are getting a sneak peak in honour of my favourite special day. The story has been read and corrected a million times, the drawings have morphed over time to be the best I can make them and the paintings are half finished. I had hoped to have her published by Feb 2 this year but alas that is not going to happen. However, I am on a roll with the paintings and they should be completed by early spring at the latest. Then off to the printer.
The concept of Gladiola first saw the light of day back in 1988 in my kindergarten class, so it seems fitting that she should go to print in 2018. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing with you some of the paintings as they head towards completion.
IT IS WITH SOME SADNESS THAT I REPORT THE “POTENTIAL CLOSING” OF THE 52 WEEK CHALLENGE. THE PERSONS THAT HAVE BEEN RUNNING IT NEED A BREAK FROM THE JOB OF KEEPING ALL THE BALLS IN THE AIR. THE IDEA THAT THE GROUP WOULD BE PACKED UP REALLY KNOCKED ME FOR A LOOP. I HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO CONTRIBUTE SINCE JUNE FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS. I HAVE HOWEVER, ENJOYED SEEING THE WORK THAT OTHERS HAVE PRODUCED AROUND THE WEEKLY CHALLENGES AND HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH FROM ALL OF THE PARTICIPANTS. WHEN THE LAST WEEK ROLLED AROUND WITH THE CHALLENGE “CELEBRATE” I COULD NOT LET THE OPPORTUNITY PASS WITHOUT PRODUCING A QUICK LITTLE SKETCH. BELOW YOU WILL FIND THE LAST ENTRY OF MINE FOR 2017. IT TURNS OUT THAT THERE WAS SOME VERY IMPORTANT LEARNING JUST WAITING FOR ME!
Hi all! Wishing you all a wonderful year to come. Like many of you I was shocked and horrified at the news of the shutting down of 52. As I read comments and and adjusted to the concept I began to make peace with whatever the outcome might be. The learning curve has been huge for me and I have gained so much from seeing what my fellow creators have posted.
It has been six months since I have been able to send in work and as the close loomed closer I realized that I did not want the end (or a new beginning) to come without an offering from my brush. but what? With that question one more chunk of learning came to me. I realize that I hold myself back because I am always looking for the perfect, just right and amazing idea and often just let the opportunity to create disappear because it does not live up to my self imposed expectations!!
This wee Deer mouse appeared in my family room a couple of days ago and I took the opportunity to do a quick sketch. This morning I decided to include him in the Celebration of the End (or the New Beginning) My new motto for the year to come—DON’T OVERTHINK. JUST MAKE ART! I hope to make it my way forward! Thanks to you all for the fun and games and creativity!
IN THE END WE DISCOVERED THAT THERE IS A LIST OF CHALLENGES FOR 2018 AND THE POSSIBILITY EXISTS THAT NEW PERSONS WILL BE ABLE TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE AND TAKE THE CHALLENGE INTO A NEW INCARNATION. STAY TUNED!!!
If you are a follower of my little blogette you will know that I have been struggling with transmitting the scans from my new printer to the folks at the 52 Week Illustration Challenge. It has been a very slow process. It seems that the file I am sending are too large and this morning I have been playing around with different ideas. Just noodling around technologically speaking! It seems as if I have success at last buuuuuut-I HAVE NO IDEA OF THE SEQUENCES THAT I USED!!!! LOL. If I can recreate it I will soon have more work to submit. For a variety of reasons, technology included, I have not been able to post since June. If I can recreate the technological path to success I will soon have more posts, if not I will keep on keeping on! I do so want to catch up if I am able.
Oh yes, the painting above is
Week 40 Rope-Water colour
SO with that mysterious outcome under my belt I was encouraged to try again! Et Voila! Success once more. I realize of course that really my skills with the computer have had nothing to do with the outcome. My Dad used to say “It’s all in the way you hold your mouth” and I think perhaps in this case he was absolutely right. So here with out further ado—
Water colour-Pencil Symphony
Just a story fragment really. I love my mechanical pencils-They never get dull!!!
When I spoke to them about this challenge they suggested that they invite their friends, the paintbrushes, to go on an adventure together. This is the result.
When we got together to discuss the results we noticed that the paintbrushes did not like staying within the lines and did their best work when allowed to move freely about. The pencils on the other hand felt much more comfortable with much structure. We all decided that it seemed like a symphony where everyone has a part to play to make a wonderful whole. We all applauded the concept of different but equal!
So it seems as if technologically I may be back on track. I have tons of ideas rolling around in my head but time is running out to complete the Challenge before the end of the year. I will see how it goes. Stay tuned!
Edward Covered stepped out this weekend to Ellena’s Cafe in Napanee, Ontario. You can see by the pictures below that he is traveling in most illustrious circles-pun definitely intended. Edward can be seen in the bottom right, peeking at that lovely Giraffe. If you are needing children’s books for upcoming special occasions, pop on down to Ellena’s to view this amazing selection and treat yourself to a wonderful gourmet luncheon or snack. The laughter and smiles from the staff will make your day!
There is also a display of lovely and whimsical art upon the walls of the cafe. I was privileged to have 3 of my paintings chosen to hang in the show.
So—–get a group of friends together and head out to Ellena’s. Check out the art and investigate the wondrous culinary delights that are in store!! You will have a wonderful experience.
If you are a follower of news from our garden you will be familiar with the yearly angst of that comes with the arrival of Wild Cucumber. We have had a bumper crop this year and there have been some magnificent displays. One of the most profuse presentations occurred just over top of the garden pond. A huge swath stormed over the top of the Forsythia and Mock Orange and proceeded to plunge towards the water in a 20 foot festoon! We enjoyed it for days, wondering if it would grow as far as the water.
All around the property the beautiful snowy garland decorated the tree tops.
As the blooms faded we set about the onerous task of tearing it all down and bagging it up for the garden waste collection before too many those prickly seed pods descend to earth! So it has been a very busy week in the garden.
Say hello to Jewel Weed in our garden! It has generously volunteered to be a most beautiful backdrop for the Coleus and Dusty Miller in our flower bed near the back door. We have never had it in this location in 30 years. Kind of make me wonder how it came to be there.
Just after July 1st we bought a few red and white impatience planters that were looking a little scruffy and nursed them back into shape. Now they are looking very cheerful and ready to welcome September!
At the same time I want to share a glimpse of the crazy giant frog who guards the patio! He appears to have a serious case of excema but he looooves his tin tub!.
Bruce’s planter full of succulents is making a good show as well. We have added some plants to the back garden and it is beginning to take shape. More on that in later posts.
Our big news, Garden-wise, is the completion of our fish pond upgrade. The whole project had become stalled due to our diminished abilities to tote and carry heavy objects. With the help of the amazing young men from Highway # 2 Landscaping Company, Trenton Ontario, the project was completed just before the celebration of my Mother’s 100th birthday celebration on July 30th.
The result was that we, and the garden, looked spic and span, when family and friends gathered to celebrate Verena’s most amazing accomplishment. Here we are about to cut the cake.Mother Nature has helped out by sending enough rain to keep everything green and lush and we send her our most hearty thanks. We do not forget that at this time last year we had learned to bathe in a tea cup and were saving every precious drop of water used in the house. We doled it out parsimoniously to all the fainting plants and apologized to those that had to wait until next time for a drink. There are those persons who are complaining about the amount of rain we have received but I am not one of them. Thanks to the Annabelles and the Lilies for showing up just in time for our celebrations!
Well, the garden has kept us very busy in the last little while. But before I get to that I am posting pictures of the paintings that have been piling up. The end of June saw the completion of a full six months of the challenge. That was my original goal and I MADE IT! I am taking a little break while I concentrate more seriously on getting Gladiola Sleeps In ready for the printer. Here then are a few more paintings that I completed for the Challenge.
Week 16 Experiment-
Week 17- Long haired Animal
Week 22-My Favourite Thing
Foxgloves have been a favourite of mine since I was a small child. They seemed so very magical to me. Why I could even see the imprint of the fox’s paws! When I got to make a recitation about foxgloves at Nursery school graduation our next door neighbour gave me a bouquet to carry for the performance. I realize that it is a long time ago and may all be part of my imagined past. However the fascination for foxgloves remains and the ones in our garden were particularly fabulous this year.
Playing catch up here folks. While my creative activities have been rolling along my computer wrangling abilities briefly sank to a new low.
Week 15 Thread and Week 24 Multi Cultural
Paper Collage and pigma pen.
Week 15 stumped me for a long time. I felt that I wanted to do a quilt-ish kind of thing but nothing resonated or took hold and rooted. So I just left it to stew in the back of my mind. Then Week 24 came around with the theme of Multiculturalism. I thought of all the wonderful benefits that accrue to our various countries by the addition of other cultures and then it came to me that a quilt is a perfect metaphor for our diverse cultures, all stitched together to make a new and richer whole. As I am a passionate scrap book-er, I have at my disposal a whole mountain of paper scraps. I took photos of a few quilts that have family history to put into the mix. Add to those things, an image scanned from one of my favourite tee shirts and then I was off to my sewing machine. She was up to the task. I find am pretty pleased with the outcome. It just took time for it all to coalesce.
Week 18-Rain Clouds
Downpour-Lake Opeongo, Algonquin Park, Ont.
This is a project that began with the challenge Perspective. An idea has taken shape that I will/can illustrate some of my childhood experiences and create a book for my grandchildren with stories of adventures of my past. This illustration comes from the memory of camping with my family, and being in an open boat, far from shore, when a violent storm struck.
Week 23-Texture -Version #1
In this version I approached the paper with no idea in mind at all. Over several days I just kept playing with the paint until I was sort of satisfied with the outcome. At the last moment the wee fish swam into the picture and demanded to be allowed to stay. Not sure if the whole thing really works to my satisfaction but the fish stays. I sense a story therein. He and I will spend sometime together and see what kind of adventures await.
Week 23-Texture -Version #2
My first effort at the challenge Texture was not completely to my liking and I let the whole concept just rest for a while. A visit to a local restaurant turned up an interesting installation of metal plates in the Ladies room. My brain grabbed it and ran! No story with this but I had so much fun with the colour and texture!