Saturday, May 27, 2017

I'll see you all later today (PST) 

Having computer issues and I have a post in mind, showing my contribution to the drawing challenge but ran into a snag. Just untangling things now...see you later today. N, x

I'M STUCK ON 'STUPID' AND CAN'T FIGURE OUT THE GLITCH. So meanwhile, I did a post here on Instagram, for this time around. (smiles) N,x

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Room With a View

DC/AC 197

Thinking about this theme of a room with a view, I knew I'd head on over to my pinterest boards and though I have ten [and counting] boards related to living spaces, I managed to sort through only the first two of them. I've known for ages that my most important view would be of water. In real life I have a sliver of a view of our harbour in Vancouver. Literally, I can see a sliver between two buildings. At night when it is very dark, there is a reflected line along the water surface that is coming from a large light on one of the docks. It looks like reflected moonlight to me. My second most important view would be of trees. I have those in spades where I live. Nonetheless, here's some culled photos from my pinterest boards with the idea of a 'view' from a room:

An indoor/outdoor koi pond would be a nice view.

A river right under the floor would be a nice view.

I like a view of trees (or one gorgeous tree).

A tree view that makes me happy.

A view of lots and lots of trees.

This Japanese garden has all kinds of interesting trees. Koi perhaps as well.

A view of water with koi.

A view with lots and lots of water.

Another tree view that makes my heart sing.

A koi pond on a balcony with trees works for me!

How about an indoor pond?

Saving the best for the last. A water view and a private swimming pool all at once. Each apartment has their own. Oh hello!

Well there's my room selection. Nice to see you here again, and thank you to Nadine for this wonderful inspiring theme she chose. Have a look at her blog to link to other rooms with a view. Bye for now good friends, Norma, xo

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Red Wall

DC: 196 BLUE

Who knows how these things work. I painted a blue female figure reclining against a red wall backdrop with the idea of entitling the piece, 'blue lady' but when it was finished it demanded to be called 'red wall.' In any event, this is my contribution to the art/drawing challenge for this week.

And what I thought was going to be a boob turns out more of a shoulder but hey, Picasso did transpositions of body parts so who am I to judge. HA! Anyway, this is my first acrylic painting. I pretended that the medium was oil (and I have never even opened a tube of oil never mind try it out) and just pushed the wet acrylic around on the ground while wet because I dislike how acrylic meets its neighbouring colours in a dried piece. The edges are way too edgy for my liking. I mean for loose compositions. Actually I haven't tried any kind of acrylic painting, so I'll be quiet about my opinion. I don't know what I'm talking about here. I loved trying this out and hope to do more.

The creative process is endlessly interesting. I started out painting with graphite watercolour, a crow perched atop a blue faced (coloured pencil with graphite watercolour) Krishna; went to a completely different piece [an angel in the clouds with stars, and things 'universe',] done with the graphite watercolour as I'm now getting the hang of it (learning curve) and like it a lot, combined with watery blue pencil, but then gold started wanting in, and pumpkin oranges, so it was growing way beyond a few hours' work; so I then moved over to this acrylic blue reclining figure. All in the space of an afternoon, evening, and next morning. Now it is the afternoon and I'm finished. Whew.

I am sending a very heart felt thank you to Patrice who is the host for this challenge. You really got me going my friend! All of the players who have joined in for this challenge can be seen here, which is Patrice's blog. There are links to all who contributed and you'll see a really interesting mix of expression.

Thanks for popping in today. Norma, x

p.s. here's my rejected Krishna (line drawing transfer to paper):

here's my rejected (for this challenge) angel with cloud hair, star and things universe done in graphite watercolour and coloured pencil:

Sunday, May 29, 2016


DC195: Garden Party

Two days ago I went to a book sale held at the main branch of the Vancouver Public Library. Zillions of books. Two dollars for hard covers and one dollar for paper covers are the common pricing. I picked up a small hard cover, published in 1913 called "Wild Flower Preservation." The book has heavy cream paper and brown age spots throughout. It smells like an old book. In front a quote reads:

...We shall find that the love of nature, wherever it has existed, has been a faithful and sacred element of feeling...        -John Ruskin

I knew that the drawing challenge held the theme 'garden party' and as I do not have a garden myself, I headed to the boulevard out front and walked around looking for buttercups. It didn't take long as they are everywhere. Lesson I in the book tells how to preserve buttercups. Doing this exercise will be my contribution for a garden party of sorts. My kind anyway.

Before I begin to show what I did, I just have to read to you a bit from the foreword: "I must admit that the very word 'herbarium' sounds prosaic, and that the terms 'dried plants' and 'specimens' are absolutely devoid of poetry. That is just the pity of it all, for flowers and poetry should be inseparable. Who will give us a word instead of 'herbarium,' some word with a vision in it, a vision of all the grace and loveliness of wild-flower land?"

I want to have a cup of tea with this guy at my garden party.

Okay, so here's my page of buttercup preservation. Pretend I am 11 years old as the printing reflects it. HA! I need to practice my hand. Also, spelling. 3 mistakes that I know of, one I did not catch, and who knows how many you may spot that I missed...

I keep a penknife in my pocket at all times. Just because. It came in handy to dig a clump of buttercups.

I love my penknife. I often use it to slice sushi in half when I'm out and about.

A closer look.

The finished page (for photographic purpose.)


Another closer look.

So there's my page for the challenge this week. To see more players who have joined in for the fun, visit this page to meet Tammie who is hosting for us. THANK YOU TAMMIE! Thanks for dropping by and I hope to see you again soon! Hugs, Norma, x

Friday, May 13, 2016

Airmail zine

DC No. 194 Sky

I am reminded of a poem entitled "Who has seen the wind?" by Christina Rossetti:

Who has seen the wind? Neither I nor you. But when the leaves hang trembling, The wind is passing through.

I think of Sky the same way I think of Wind, as both are impossible to draw, or capture visually really. I can describe sky as blue or many other colours. I could pull a coloured pencil or pigment of some sort across a ground on a canvas. I don't feel confident I'd capture 'sky.' Drawing clouds would be my best bet I think. But it's an indirect route to sky. Anyway, I decided to not actually paint or draw or capture sky at all, but my contribution to this week's drawing challenge will be to share my small thoughts about sky, and to show you an airmail zine I did a few weeks ago. The plane after all needs sky to operate so that's my IN to the topic.

I received by airmail, snail mail it's sometimes called these days, a zine done by Lucia (she sent me a photocopy of her original as I was so in love with it.) The envelope that housed her zine was laying on my worktable and I just spontaneously picked it up and started and finished a little 'one-off' zine made from the front of her envelope. I didn't made itself, really, until I finished it.  The muse speaking once again...

I've been waiting to hear when she's back from her visit to Russia, before I put it into the 'air' mail for her. I need to get this mailed to her, but before I do, I'm taking pictures in a minute, so this will be my actual contribution to the drawing challenge this week. THANK YOU ERIC FOR HOSTING! I appreciate it tons, as I was very much in the mood to play again with you folk. So here's the zine:

Lucia's zine is at the bottom. You can see that mine is about a quarter of the size of hers. The front of my zine is shown above.

Front cover.

Lucia, sorry to spoil the surprise, but I'll get this into the mails a.s.a.p.!

Have a visit to Eric to see other contributions to this drawing challenge of SKY. Thank you again, Eric!

Thanks for stopping by, I'll see you soon, I hope, N, x

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sumi-e Bird

Back to painting...

I'm out of practice and loving the feel of the brush in my hand, travelling over the lumps and bumps of hand made paper. It grabs and drinks in volumes of liquid in thirsty unforgiving gulps so I must remember to load the brush real good. Unless I want a dry brush effect and then that is like riding a bucking bronco over the lumps and bumps and valleys but what a ride. Must remember to breathe. I am never in control but love every second of the process. The results are always a surprise. Especially when I haven't done it for months at a time. Well, here's my sumi-e painted bird.

The first thing I do is grind the ink stick with a tiny bit of water in the stone well. See that tiny dipper? It allows a literal drop at a time.

The ink well is missing as I rinse it immediately after using. I've got many different colours of ink stick. Is it possible to be in love with art materials? Paper? Colour of inks? I think so.

Well, back to the drawing board. Thanks for popping in. See you soon, I hope, N, x

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Meditation Zine

DC: 193: Prayer/Meditation

This week's drawing challenge pushed me to design my first real 'zine.' The theme Prayer is interpreted by my self as 'Meditation.' Thank you so much TammieLee for hosting this event and choosing such a lovely theme for us to consider.

Firstly, this is a prototype, a design idea, a learning curve, an experiment. It is a zine about meditation and the graphics are collaged tea bag paper (used) with watercolour birds and stitched (oh it is awful but oh well) outlines for veins, etc. With all of its warts and (hateful due to machine issues, etc.) stitched boo-boos.

Here's some stems with tired worn out brown leaves from a lotus plant.

This is the entire 8.5"X11" sheet filled with old lotus plants.

We find a colourful bird has found its' way into the lotus grove.

Birds have been painted, and machine stitching added to denote veins, etc.

Words have been added.

And the pages folded and cut. It's ready to be born into a zine proper:

Front Cover.

Page 2 and 3.

Page 4 and 5

Page 6 and 7

Back Cover.

So I learned a great deal. The beige on beige is boring so I have in mind some very colouful bugs to time. And I want to do hand lettering for the type. And use brown thread in the sewing machine. And to play with the machine to get control over what I want to happen on the page...

And so dear readers, thanks for dropping by. Click on Tammie's blog to see what others have added to this great drawing challenge this week. Bye for now, hope to see you again soon, Love Norma, x

I want to express my heartfelt thanks to a friend who sent me a surprise gift in the mail. Her art inspired me no end and launched me into a whole new world of tea bag collage. Thank you so much Kim Henkel.


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