Friday, June 17, 2011

Paint Party Friday: Summer Vacation

July Artist of the Month

I am going to be Artist of the month for my county Art Club.  It has me in a panic because I want to show a masterpiece and of course, I have not painted it yet because the one you are going to do is always better than the one you just finished.  

Is it just me or do others get...... for lack of a better term...."stage fright"? 
I look at that huge piece of paper and think:
I will not be able to do this one. This is the one I will throw in the trash.  It will be the one I will not want anyone to ever see.  I will never complete it. 
Logically, I know I can.  I teach it!  I battle students who say these words to me and I laugh with them.  I talk about the awkward stage of painting to my students and warn them about it and talk them out of quitting paintings at that awkward stage. 

If I do not turn out a masterpiece by Monday....I think the painting or paintings I will use will be "Caleb's Love" (left) and it's companion piece "Gaby's Love" (right) (the couple's honeymoon pictures from Playa del Carmen).  

I love the figure in Caleb's Love but the rocks in Gaby's Love are much fresher looking and more spontaneous, less labored looking. 
(Please, excuse these poorly photographed images.)

A Basket for Ron:  Sock Roses

We found out this week that one of our men from church has been diagnosed with colon cancer.  At a loss for what to do for the family, Gaby, my daughter-in-law suggested we put together a basket for Ron and his sweet wife, Kay.  After making a few calls and asking friends who wanted to contribute to the basket to bring specific things we had a basket full of good things for the hospital visit.  

As always people are so generous!
I asked for socks to keep his feet warm in a cold hospital, I got twelve socks! 
I asked for a small container of mints and lip balm for dry mouth and lips, I got two big bags full of mints and lip balm.  
I asked for a music two!  
I asked for quarters for the vending machine....I got twenty dollars in quarters (we put in medicine bottles for the basket). 
Add instant soups, bread sticks, peanut butter crackers, cheese crackers, and various nuts for the family, and a package of caramels, a few microwave safe disposable cups, instant green tea, a wrap to keep Kay warm and all the love that goes with it.... our basket is filled to brimming. I almost had to go find a bigger basket.

Now with all that good stuff  I had the task of how to make these random things look pretty in a basket.  Those socks just took up space and did not look pretty at all so I took them out of the package and started to roll them when an idea popped into my head....rolled socks can look like a rose bud!  So here goes!
 Start with a pair of low cut socks or short socks and a skewer or some sort of craft stick.  Fold the toe end down to hide any writing that may be on the toe.  Make sure the heel is to the top as seen in picture.  Begin a slight downward spiral, allowing the heel to wrap outward a little to create a petal for the bud. I used a rubber band and wrapped securely to keep the sock on the stick. 

Cut a strip of felt about 12 long and tapered from about 3 inches wide on one end tapering to about an inch on the opposite end.  Start with the narrowest end and wrap around the rubber band.  Secure with hot glue when the felt begins to overlap.  (glue felt to felt not the sock) Randomly cut a leaf shape on the wide edge of the felt with the remaining flap of felt.  Allow leaf shapes to vary, some small, some larger.  Vary colors of green from lime green to deep green. 

Once you have a dozen sock roses you can bundle them into a bouquet.

I gathered mine in a loose bundle, secured the bundled sticks with a rubber band so the roses stayed as I had them.  I wrapped the bouquet with paper by cutting a piece of paper 12" by 12", turned it to make a diamond shape with one corner at the top.  I then created a cone shape which wrapped around the sock roses exposing the socks and the pointed end of the cone behind the bouquet.

Photo Fun: 

I got out my camera this week while I worked and organized and took some photos just for the sake of finding my creative outlet.  
I did a little research on food photography and then started playing with the idea of photographing food.  (This is Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies.  The recipe will be posted tomorrow on Strictly Saturday's Chocolate post.) Food Photography is more fun than I thought.  I knew I enjoyed eating, but photographing what you eat?  Yes! 
The African violet I purchased for a friend who loves them and is very successful growing them.  I noticed a new color for her.  The plums are from my tree out back that was very abundant this year. 

The week that is behind me:
So there it is....besides cleaning, organizing my studio and sewing areas, cooking meals for hungry men, baking for fun, experimenting with pickle recipes and making juice from my plums, (sounds sort of Martha Stewart-ish...huh?) I have pulled a few weeds in my garden and fed the fish in my pond, I have doodled a little but never enough, I have wet my watercolor paper and been called away....several times and started a new full sheet watercolor drawing (not pictured....yet), finished a good book (only reading at bedtime) by Charles Martin (one of my favorite authors) and started a new one, I have hugged on my grandchildren, played with their toes, tickled their bellies and kissed their necks.....all in all, a good summer week!
Painting In Progress

As I post this I have my painting, paints and all out on the table about to find the time with everyone in the house still sleeping a quiet hour (at least) of my personal Paint Party Friday time!  I'm excited!
Getting Help from my little experts.  Thankfully, on the masking tape.

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  1. I know exactly what you mean about looking at a blank page before you start and feeling like you won't be able to do it. It is very reassuring to hear that someone who teaches art actually feels that way too!!

    Your paintings are wonderful - the sea and shoreline are amazing - so realistic.

    I'm sorry to hear about your church friend but what a wonderfully thoughtful gift you are bringing to him. So much thought about what things he will need and the way you make that sock bouquet - I love it!

  2. Your paintings are incredible! No wonder you were asked - your work will be appreciated, I am certain of it!! The sock bouquet you created is very thoughtful. You are very creative and I would love to have you link your tutorial up next week Tuesday at for the 2nd ever Toot-torial Tuesday. Thanks for considering :-) Mary Ann

  3. I guess that's the equivalent of "writer's block", right? I do the same thing before I cut into fabric that I love. I feel like it is so permanent!
    You've been so busy!!! I've seen the socks done that way with baby socks for little corsages. I love what you did. Sorry to hear about Ron! What a great basket, though. It should be really helpful while he's in the hospital.
    I'm glad that the grandchild's artwork is on the masking tape. I've come back with little fingerprints all over my laptop's monitor!! It is all coming back to me now!

  4. Both terrific paintings, am in awe of your great talent.
    Terrific idea about the basket and how you've arranged it. Am sure it will bring a smile to their faces. Happy PPF. Annette

  5. You are a great artist! the two pictures are amazing ... plus pink socks factories and kitchens ...? .. You are very good, the work that you half believe it will be great, and looks handsome. Saludos

  6. The blank page always scares me too :) The cure is to just start painting. Too bad I don't follow my own advice.

    You are so talented! I love your paintings. Congratulations on being selected for Artist of the Month!

  7. What a jam packed post!! I thought it was four different ones.

    The paintings are wonderful! Best of luck - I know the "stage fright" feeling well - though for presentations not art.

    Your sock flowers (wow!) and other treats are such a sweet gift!

    Sounds like an amazing week! Happy PPF!

  8. I really love Caleb's Love, but am sure you will come up with a great painting. I know about the blank page....
    What a thoughtful and attractive basket.

  9. I love both pictures. Love the sea. I am sure your work will be loved. Sorry about your friend at church. Take care.

  10. The SOCK ROSES are fabulous and the photography of the sweets is elegant and very inviting to the eye and my cravings!!!! HAPPY PPF!

  11. There is sooo much to love here! The sock roses the beach scenes everything! :-)

  12. congrats on being artist of the month!! your work is awesome! no matter which piece you choose it will be wonderful!

  13. Gosh I almost didn't leave a comment as thought there was no where to comment? any way what a full post (think it looks like there are quite a few separate posts) Any way love the beach scenes beautiful done. and what a fab basket for a poorly person in hospital very well thought out and I love what you did with the socks ;0)

    Love Dawn xx

  14. I'm always relieved to know that others hit that panicky stage of a painting...I almost always do in my work- especially when I'm trying new things! Your "fall back" choices are beautiful- and see, you've already prepared yourself for the worst case scenario- so you KNOW the new painting will be perfect now that you've removed that fear!
    Also, I love your food photography, makes me want to try it myself, and lastly, I'm off to see if you posting that scrummy looking recipe yet- you actually made my stomach growl :D
    Happy PPF (a day late ;))

  15. Gorgeous work! And what a lovely gift you put together for Ron. The rose sock bouquet is beautiful!

  16. I love your paintings, all of them. Sounds like you need to give yourself a good talking too. Push that stage fright out of the way! It can be such a pest.
    I love how you all got the basket together and I LOVE how you made the socks to look like roses! Your friend is truly blessed to have people like you in their lives. Prayers sent out for him. Happy PPF!

  17. I always feel a panic when I have a deadline, or obligate myself to paint! The ones you have there are masterful enough! Very pretty, at first I thought they were photos!

    Lovely gesture for your friend. Those truly are the thoughtful kind things to give someone in the hospital. Prays for him!

    Hugs Giggles

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  19. Darla, what a beautiful entry! I love the painting you have done about Caleb's love. I am sorry for what happened to one of your men in Church. I pray for his speedy recovery. What your family have done is just so awesome.. people helping one another:) Lovely rose socks! It's so lovely to read what you are up to. Take care and have a great day! :)


  20. Loving every bit of your watercolor work. A very skillful use of the medium. Wish I'm that good! ;)

  21. Your intro made me smile. I think we all get stage fright and I agree, the next painting is what has our interest and focus (not the last piece we finished). I think your very talented and your artwork is wonderful. I am enjoying looking at your ocean scenes--the water and light are beautifully done (as well as the people). Best wishes on your upcoming show!