Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Class Assignment - Design a Cap

Sometimes it's fun being married to a teacher because I get to work on the creative bits of lesson plans. Hubby asked me to make a ballcap blank so the kids could design a souvenir cap from Arkansas.

OK, that part was easy enough. Clicky clicky clicky, modify some clip art, done. Yeah, I'm lazy.

Then I thought I would make up some examples to get the kids' creative juices flowing. Arkansas is known for her diamonds and pine trees. That's about it. Otherwise there is miles and miles and miles of nothingness. Oh, we have fish too.

I figured if Wisconsin can have Cheezeheads, Arkansas can have Pineconeheads.

Then I started thinking about the cities down here in Lower Arkansas and their claim to fame.

Oil was discovered in Smackover.

Camden has a railroad heritage. That may be a steamboat heritage, I forget which.

Magnolia has a cute name. That's about it.

Crossett is whiffy because of her papermill...

...that manufactures toilet paper....

...but Crossett also has a zoo.

I was going to limit the cities to those the kids might know or actually visited, but I couldn't resist this cheesy tagline for Russellville, home of Arkansas's only nuclear reactor.

Yes, I have waaaaay too much time on my hands.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nose Hair Trimmer


Since Hubby passed the mid-century mark he started growing hair in unexpected places. Decided he needed a nose hair trimmer so we bought one tonight.

He asked me to take it out of the packaging and get it ready to go. I did so and he headed off to the bathroom with it.


"Good grief," I thought, "I *know* he doesn't have *that* much nose hair."

"How's it working?" I yell through the door.

"Not too good. Did you put the blade in it?"

"The blade was already in it. It cut fine when I tested it on my arm."


I stick my head in and watch him swirling it around in his nose.

"It doesn't seem to be cutting," he says.

"Let me see it."

He hands it to me, I look at it, then hand it back to him.

"It would work a lot better if you took the safety cap off."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Books, I Have a Few

(bang, bang, bang!)

"This meeting of the Notebook and Sketchbook Hoarders Anonymous meeting will now come to order. Tonight Speck will tell her story...."

(smattering of handclaps)

Hi, my name is Speck.

Hi Speck!

My story starts back in June of 2008. I wanted a sketchbook so I made my own out of stapled-together copy paper. By October of that year I was secretly craving more; bigger, better. That's when I bought my first little 4" x 6" hardbound sketchbook.

My sickness wasn't so bad back then. I filled the first little sketchbook and bought just *one* more to replace it. Then I filled the second one and replaced it with *two.*

It grew slowly after that, picking up an extra book here and there, even getting ones for gifts. Then I acquired a couple of marbled composition books for free, and a notebook for my purse.

Then suddenly this summer...I...

...I developed an obsession for lined writing journals...

(pause; downward cast eyes)

...I don't know what happened really....(lower lip quivers)

Something went...

...something went just *horribly* wrong!!!!!


OK, back to reality...

It isn't as bad as it looks, but I was appalled at the amount of books I have acquired (57). I didn't realize there were this many until I collected them from all their little hidey-holes and put them in a pile. Granted, some of those little itty bitty ones don't really qualify as "books", do they????

Eight of the sketchbooks (3 med, 5 small) are filled and retired as well as a medium sized writing journal.

Six of the sketchbooks have just one or two sketches in them. The two square ones are almost filled.

I'm not quite sure how to classify that stack of five Black-n-Reds in the upper right. They were bought as sketchbooks, but they have lined pages. One is about 1/3 filled with pencil sketches. I may end up writing in the others. Hey, at $5.00 each, I just picked up an armload. I'll figure out what to do with them later.

Six books are newly acquired writing journals. Who could resist a Beatles' Abbey Road or Yellow Submarine journal??? Yes, that's a little twee for someone my age, but I didn't care. They were only $4.00.

These are my current working books:

-Illustrated journal
-Writing journal
-Pen Inventory
-Commonplace book
-Note jotter when watching TV (a ripper)
-Note jotter for desk (also a ripper)
-Note jotter for purse (another ripper)
-Mini sketchbook for purse
-Square green sketchbook for purse

Do I need an intervention, or am I merely well organized? You won't find any loose scraps of paper on my desk or in my purse. There is no artwork laying about in teetering piles.

(evil grin)

I may need a new book to keep an inventory of all my other books! Yes, yes, that's the ticket!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pens - I Haz Sum

Thursday night at the Penaholics Anonymous meeting....

"Hi, my name is Speck."

"Hi Speck"

"I don't really have a pen addiction. I just have a *few* pens really.....

Pens - I Haz Sum
(Click to embiggen. The image links to Flickr where you can then click on the little magnifying glass and then click "view all sizes." The original (2112 x 2816) will allow you to get a hairy eyeball on the branding on the pens.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Collaborations Exhibit

Went sketching with Miz Dee today at the local arts center. In the gallery was Collaborations: Two Decades of African American Art, an exhibit put together by Hearne Fine Art in Little Rock, Arkansas.

This collection was PHENOMENAL!!!

There are not enough positive adjectives in Webster's to describe how wonderful this collection was. I was blown away by every piece. Garbo Watson Hearne, owner of Hearne Fine Art, has an exceptional eye for fabulous artwork.

Miz Dee and I went to see the exhibit late yesterday afternoon and didn't have much time to look. We were so excited about it we went back today to give it a good hairy eyeballing and to sketch some of the sculptures.

My pitiful sketches won't do these pieces any justice of course, but here they are. Title, artist, and medium are below each sketch.

Dance II Triptych, Artis Lane, bronze.

These are each the same figure but in different finishes and mounted on large slabs of marble (which I didn't draw). The near dancer was ebony black, the middle one bronze, the the far one white. I could feel the joy emanating from them. If I had a spare 54K laying around they would be mine.

Blue Note, Chukes, ceramic clay.

This may not be obvious from my sketch, but this is a pair of hands, other than the girl's hands, cupping her face. The forearms continue down to almost the elbow and form the base for the sculpture. I struggled with how to describe that because "a pair of hands holding a disembodied head" just sounded too creepy.

Iris, Tonia Mitchell, fiber art.

The arts center director told us he and another guy drove to Little Rock to pick up all the artwork for this show. He had to hold Iris for the three-hour drive back. Said he fell in love with her during the trip. Now refers to her as "his girlfriend."

These three sketches were done in the new Strathmore Visual Journal with 90 lb watercolor paper. Love the paper, love the size, and (I never thought I would ever say this) loved the spirals. It was a very handy little book for sketching while standing or for resting on my knee.

And that concludes my sketching adventure for today.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Wolfe Street

Had an hour to kill so I started sketching. A view from the big conference table towards the front door at Wolfe Street. I left out the ginormous Pepsi machine in the corner. It clashed with the chandeliers.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

O2 Arena

Yet another ballpoint pen doodle for the Shapes project.

This is the O2 Arena in London. I thought it was cool because it looked like a dead bug on its back with its legs sticking up in the air.

I ain't right.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Another ballpoint pen doodle in my on-going Shapes project. I went back over this with a fat pen. That was a mistake. I thought it would improve it, but alas, no.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pen Obsession

Bought another pen tonight to add to my overwhelming arsenal of writing instruments. This one is a Pilot G-2 Gel Rollerball Ultra-Fine 0.38mm. It is actually for guerilla sketching instead of writing. It's a little scratchy bit it will do.

My writing pen obsession is becoming an addiction. I need them all! Every one I tell you! They will be mine!!!!!! Bwahahahaha!

...And a new pen case to hold them all.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Electric Car

I was making shorthand notes on a painting I wanted to do of a slice of life in the day of the triplets. What I wrote was "trip in elec socket." Translated, that meant a triplet down on all fours sticking a knife in an electrical socket.

Days later I wanted to do a rough sketch of the scene to figure out placement of the characters and perspective and such. I dragged out my little notes and found the written "trip in elec socket" note.

Well, my little brain went all kinds of places with that. How cool would it be to take a trip in a car that looks like an electrical socket? Too cool, that's how cool.

The other thought was to be an electron and take a trip down the wires then out on the worldwide electrical grid. That would be more cool but I couldn't figure out how to sketch that.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


This is a quicky doodle in ballpoint pen while studying shapes. It's actually The City of Arts & Sciences in Valencia, Spain. I think it looks like the stern end of a sinking ocean liner just before it goes under.

I like how I caught the pale yellow of the sunset on the far right side of the building. Woot! I'm paying more attention to colors these days when I'm painting.

I guess watching all those painting shows on TV where the artists talk about "color notes" has paid off in some small way.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Strathmore Visual Journals

Squee! Look what Miz Dee bought for me!

There is a 90 lb. watercolor paper, a 140 lb. watercolor paper, and a Mixed Media journal. The Mixed Media paper is amazingly smooth and I can't wait to try it out.

Miz Dee is the greatest sketch partner in the whole world!