Wednesday, September 29, 2010

9-29-10 Start of airbrush painting of "Kitchen Tarot Café" ... and some puppies!

I've been slowed down in my studio work: both by my birthday celebrations for turning 60 yesterday, and by catching Dog Fever! First I'll show you some pix of me airbrushing the starting painted drawing for my piece "The Kitchen Tarot Cefé: 4 of Wooden Spoons," aka "4 of Spoons." I started this painting on Sept 23rd, and I think there's too much going on, with the birthday stuff, to get back to coloring in the painting til next week! Yikes! Good thing I only have one 60th birthday! I'll do a blog of all the partying, once it's all done, by mid next week. Jeepers, sorry!

I did a few more drawings on paper, before I started painting though, so here they are. In this one, I went back to thinking about Denny playing a violin, for elegance!

Then in this one, I shaded the drawing with my bic pen. I added our cats and Denny's, and got Denny back to helping me hold up the tray of the KT suits. I like having him writing about the KT on the table, with some cards laid out.

I'm including my 2nd drawing again here, because in looking over all the drawings, I liked a lot of what was going on here. But you'll see that I really only kept the lamp from this sketch.  :)  It's hard to decide, and sometimes I wonder whether I might be better off just drawing the first thing that comes into my head, like I used to do with my big pieces.

Here you see that I've got my big fabric panel sewn together, to be something like 86"h x 79"w, and that it goes out onto the floor, which is bad for ease of painting. But I don't want it to be shorter, so I'll have to hike up the bottom part, each time I work with a different color of paint in my airbrush.

This is the big colored sketch you can see on the floor above, and I really liked referring to it, while I was freehand drawing my black lines onto the big cloth piece.

Here's the start, tho I didn't shoot the very start. I think I began with the table top this time. You have to settle on something to draw first, and that image's size will set the scale for the whole piece. It's a little scary sometimes, but I wasn't so scared this time that I had to go get me a tad of wine!  :)

Jimmy was sick that day, so I took most of my pix myself, so this is the only picture I have of me painting the drawing for this piece. Usually Jimmy stops on the way to his own studio, grabs my camera, and shoots a few pix for me, of me working on each stage of the airbrush days painting.

Here's the drawing, after I hiked up the bottom to draw in the images down there. This involves pinning the whole bottom part up higher on the piece, making a big tuck out of it.

I squeezed in the fringy lamp, a couple of the café windows, the palm trees, and the big café curtain at the top, but I ran out of room for some things.

I didn't draw faces on the spoons yet, but I got all the suits images into the tray, which coulda been bigger, but then I wouldn't have had room for the floating windows.

See, it's the 4 of Spoons!  :)

You can see I need more time with our future puppy, so I can draw her better! she's kind of a pinhead here!

But on Monday, the 27th, we went down to Yesteryear Acres, below Newark, Ohio, and spent time with Renee and Darwin, the owners, and played with 4 girls from the six week old litter of 8 Double Doodle puppies.
Their mother Lola is a golden doodle: half golden retriever and half poodle. Their father Tigger is a labradoodle: half labrador retriever and half poodle. So the puppies are half poodle, one-fourth lab and one-fourth golden retriever. They should be very smart, friendly, and shed very little.

There are 3 people who'd made deposits on girls from this litter before we did, so we had to choose 4 girls, one of which we'll get to take home on October 8th. So now that's only 9 more days away! We've got a new cage and a gentle lead collar and a big beef hank bone, all set for our Baby Girl! We'll find all of Hattie's dog toys and wash them up. We haven't had a dog for three years now!

Enjoy watching the little video I made of the 4 girl puppies yesterday! Thanks a lot, Renee and Darwin, for raising such wonderful dogs!

I think now I like little Green Collar Girl the best! She has some blue yarn hanging down in front, so it's confusing, but she's the little one, who says goodbye at the end here! OK, I will be very happy with any of them.

Here's my Jimmy holding little Green Collar Girl.

You can see all the puppies in this litter at Yesteryear Acres here. Be sure to scroll all the way down the page, since Renee keeps adding pix of the pups as they grow older. At six weeks, they have lovely little portraits.  :)

I'll let you know, when we know, which one we'll be waiting for!

Love, Lucky

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Drawings for my next piece: "Kitchen Tarot Café: 4 of Wooden Spoons in the Kitchen Tarot."

I started sketching for this next Minor Cards piece, the 4 of Wooden Spoons (Wands, in  normal tarot parlance), for my Kitchen Tarot deck, right after GEM went with us to the Wayne County Fair on Sept 11th. This 4 of Spoons will be my 7th minor card quilt, out of 56.  Cookin' right along, huh?!!

So here are all the drawings I've done to help me figure out what to put into the piece. So walk with me down my garden path, where I choose which way to go next, based on what I've just drawn each time. Most of these are in my sketchbook, which has 9 x 12" pages, so the double wides are 18 x 12". The colored drawing at the end is much larger, 20 x 26."

I made most of these drawings with black Rub-a-Dub markers and blue Bic pens.

In this first drawing, made three days after we went to the Wayne County Fair with GEM (Gretchen, Eva, and Mike) and my niece Aimee and her daughter Calise, I focused on the girls on the Merry-Go-Round, but merged that idea with them both riding the real, live ponies, which they also did.

In the 4 of Wands card in most tarot decks, the idea is of a very good place to be, being protected, happy, and satisfied.  Very good news, getting this card, even when it's upside down. It's also considered to be the Venus in Aries energy, so loving, good things going on, in an assertive way. Some decks show a structure (the 4s are all about structure, stability) that's being built with the poles/wands.

So in this sketch, I was going with the idea of the girls at the Fair, and the four big wooden spoons are holding up the tent or Merry-go-Round, so they're creating structure.  But it was just too cute for me. It's really hard to make little kids be your main characters in artworks, without having the whole thing turn too sweet.  And you know I'll be writing about all kinds of stuff here, so I don't want that sweetness to be the main event.  Sorry, girls. You have to remain in a drawing, not a quilt.

Next I got to thinking about how Denny Fairchild, my co-author for the Kitchen Tarot, made a Facebook page called the Kitchen Tarot Café, and started to think muse over how it'd be to have this card, the 4 of Wooden Spoons, be about the cafe, with us as the cook and waiter.

Here you can see the drawing above better.  After making the rest of the drawings, I can tell you that I still like this table and fringed lamp really well, and may end up using them in my big painting. So hold that thought! Now the four spoons are on the set table.

In these sketches, I jumped outside, exploring how it'd be to show the outside of our conceptual café, instead of it's imagined interior. The spoons are here and there ...

Still outside, but I'm exploring giving Denny big pockets in big pants. I was looking at using the pockets to show how he's got gobs of stored up knowledge of the Tarot and Astrology, since he studied them from about age 7, when he went to live with his professional astrology grandmother, who taught him very well.

I also brought in Jimmy and some cats of ours and Denny's one cat Kami. (No dogs in the drawings yet, but you'll see one later, as I have Dog Fever bad now!)  I put the café as a tiny building on the serving tray.  Hmmmm. Gave Denny a big old bottle of Merlot to serve. The four spoons are looking almost like measuring spoons here.  I like that, as I've done measuring spoons in a lot of my kitchen artworks!

I started drawing our feet as really tiny here.  I like that.

Then we went back inside of the café, giving me a tray of tArts and Denny a violin, so he can be a musical waiter! The spoons are floating around in the drawing on the left, then I put them into a big bucket, which is how I saw them in a pub in England in August.

At the Little Owl Pub, they have painted wooden spoons, with numbers written on them, in a big bucket at the bar, where you order. They give you a spoon to carry back to your table, so they know where to bring the order of that number.  I loved that pub!

I guess I gave up on this very small drawing before I even got around to drawing in the spoons.  I like how Denny's body is wiggling around in tune with his fiddle playing. May hold onto that posture for the painting.

OK, so then I tried putting the spoons up on a serving tray, but they look like goblets. So that was a flop. I stuck four more on the table, to make up for the flop!

Back to the spiraling table setting with the spoons, not as good as in the second drawing though. Put fancy feet on the table and added a rug. Moon in the window. Like that, and the portrait on the wall of St Quilta the Comforter, who probably owns the café.

Now: this is my great big drawing on 20 x 26" paper, that I colored in with markers and crayons. I like it, but want to probably do another drawing that's this size. I don't like the palm trees, that look more like weird little third arms sticking out of our shoulders. ick. I like the spoons on the table in the Little Owl Pub bucket and I like the tray with the four suits of the Kitchen Tarot on it. I like Denny writing on the table and me being ready to paint. I like the dog on the floor, since I'm in the grips of dog fever (dog-buying fever, that is.)  And I like making St Q be a full blown buddha girl, sitting on the floor, instead of just being a portrait on the wall. I like the tablecloth and the café curtain at the drawing's top, and the windows with curtains, etc. But I don't like Denny's hair (looks like a helmet!) and those palm trees, etc.

I started personalizing the symbolic images in this drawing more, partly because the drawing page is so much bigger.

I also added some of my Peace Roses in this drawing.  I love to twine them around in my work, to show how Peace needs to grow in our lives, all through our day's activities, big and small.  See that doggie?  As I write, I've discovered a wonderful breeder of Labradoodles and Golden Doodles, Yesteryear Acres, just south of Newark, Ohio, less than 2 hours from our place.  OH MAN! Labby personality with very little shedding!!!! Could be our dream come true, now that we've got dog fever for the first time since Hattie died, three years ago.

Above is Belle and one of her puppies in a litter they have now at Yesteryear Acres. 7 boys and 7 girls!!!!  :) Her pups are F1b, which means they're one fourth golden retriever and three fourths poodle. VERY little shedding. They'll grow to about 50 pounds, which is smaller than our black lab girlies were.  More middle sized.   I am so smitten!

But I digress! Today I'll make one more big drawing, then sew together a big piece of white cloth, so I can start airbrushing maybe tomorrow on "Kitchen Tarot Café: 4 of Wooden Spoons."

If you're thinking about taking a class from me, check out my  Valley Ridge Art Studio drawing class near Muscoda, Wisconsin. October 26 - 28, 2010. This is a 3-day class in life drawing, drawing realistically from things you're looking at, mainly people (in their clothes). Taught more formally than my usual classes, but not AS formally as a lot of drawing classes. If you make art, you really should know how to draw, and it IS learnable! Valley Ridge is out in a beautiful and scenic rural part of the southwest tip of Wisconsin. It's an amazingly cozy but elegant place to work at!

And my 4-day class at Art Quilt Tahoe: Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, NE will be Nov 7 - 13, 2010. I love AQT, and this time we'll be right on the lake itself! My class will be my usual thing, teaching you to open up and make unguarded art, using markers, brush and fabric paint, optional airpen, and machine quilting.

Back to the drawing caper for the 4 of Spoons!

See ya, Lucky

Saturday, September 18, 2010

9-18-10 Online pre-bidding for my work for the Heifer International auction.

I hope you'll consider bidding on and buying my painted diary art quilt, made especially for the Heifer International auction. Since 1944 Heifer has brought very successful sustainable food programs to people all over the world, in the form of ... heifers, and other livestock. Heifer and I have agreed to take pre-auction online bids on it, because I know a lot more people here know about my work than the number of people who'll be at the actual auction that day.

Above is a detail of my art quilt "Heifer - UK (Cheeky Pigeon)," which I made starting on August 17,  and finished September 9, 2010.

So scroll down, look at the pictures and read my stories about the piece, and at the end of this entry, I'll tell you how you can make an online bid on this piece between now and Nov 5, the day before the auction.

This is a full view of "Heifer - UK (Cheeky Pigeon)," a 20"h x 28"w. Retail price $2,250. Opening bid will be half of that.

This is a whole cloth painted art quilt on white kona cotton fabric. Beginning drawing made with paint markers, then colors painted with hand brush and fabric paint, then airpen writing made with fabric paint. Machine crazy grid quilted with Aurifil Mako cotton thread, using Nature-fil bamboo / cotton batting. One row of hand sewing inside edge of border, using perle cotton. One Green Temple Buddha Boy bead. (This is the first piece in which I used the amazingly beautiful Aurifil thread to do the quilting, and I love it!!! It looks AND sews better than ANYTHING I've ever used before.)

All the images below are my detail shots of "Heifer - UK (Cheeky Pigeon.)"

Story:  My purpose was to make a piece about Heifer International, to donate to its November, 2010 fundraising auction. But I was so amazed by my experiences on my first-ever trip to England, that when it was time to draw and later, to write, I had to balance Heifer with Big Ben! (Never mind that I was nowhere near London!)

My class in England had nine students from four countries, and as a group we created a list of theme ideas for the three days’ worth of paintings to be made in the class.  We voted in the theme “Shoes” for the first day.  So now my piece would be about Heifer, England, and Shoes.  Quite a challenge!

Heifer is the Church of the Brethren’s world service project to help people in many countries become self reliant for food and other sustenance needs. Heifer uses the money it collects to buy heifers and other farm animals, which it gives to needy people who’ve been trained to take care of their new livestock, and then to share their animal's female babies with other families in their village.  See, if you’d like to know a lot more about Heifer. Or buy this piece, so you can read at least a little bit of their story, at your leisure!

On that first day of class, I made a few little drawings for the piece, in my sketchbook, but the thing that popped out most in my mind was to make the shoe thing be a Shoe Fly Pie. It was when I started drawing that I thought of the four-and-twenty blackbirds that were coming out of that pie … and how the housekeeping lady who came to my UK hotel room to help set up my wifi, told me to close the window, so the CHEEKY PIGEONS wouldn’t come in!  She must have used that phrase about five times, and my picture-conscious imagination was … well, it was flying!

NOW, while drawing the piece about shoes, I had to, I just HAD to make the fly part of the Shoe Fly Pie be a Cheeky Pigeon.  Give him a top hat, so he looks English. Does that work for you?  Wait!  He now looks like that bird toy thing my Grandma Shie had, that dipped its beak into a glass of water and kept swinging up and down and dipping. And it wore a top hat!  ☺

I included myself as Twiggy, since my friend Rita Chewning had cut my hair short, to look like Twiggy’s, before my trip. And I got her to put a streak of blue dye into my short hair, so with short white hair, I wouldn’t be mistaken for a normal old lady.  ☺  And I included a big platform shoe (for the pie to be a Shoe Fly Pie!) and a big palm tree, to be one of my Peace Palms, since the Church of the Brethren and Heifer are all about promoting world peace, as am I.

I drew in Big Ben, of course, as he represents not only England, but also the Roger Miller song “Engaland Swings like a Pendulum Do,” which kept playing in my head all through my 10-day trip to England. It doesn’t look like Big Ben, I’m sure, because I’ve never seen Big Ben, but I covered myself there by writing his name on him, which is my usual way of guaranteeing that people see something as what I want it to be seen as.

Wait!  Gotta put that Heifer in there for the auction, right up at the top, so even tho it’s kinda small, it hits you right away!

When I got around to doing my actual storytelling with my airpen and black fabric paint, I looked up some good Heifer International history and at least paraphrased it, when the class and my solo show were overwith, and I was back home in Ohio. I also told stories about the trip I’d just had to England, so The UK and Heifer stories are all in there together.

My favorite Heifer story is that when I was doing research about the history of the project, I ran across a few diary entries from Church of the Brethren farmers who volunteered to take the first cattle across the Atlantic to other countries in 1944.  One of those first guys was Wayne Hostetler, who was my parents’ age and belonged to our church, East Chippewa Church of the Brethren at Smithville, Ohio. The weird part was that I never heard Heifer stories all the time I was growing up in the church.

I asked my best friend from church and high school, Mavern King, and she told me that her own father, Vernon King, was also one of the volunteer "cowboys," along with Wayne Hostetler.  So with this little piece about Heifer, I’m connecting with my own church’s history. I haven’t attended church there since high school, but Mavern says that the Heifer Project has been an important part of the service work our church does, for a long time now. So they revived it.  Good!

The story of the Cheeky Pigeon is written all over the pink bird (it really IS a pigeon), and the stories of my trip to England are mixed in with the Heifer history stories. There wasn't a lot of room to write on this 20”h x 28”w piece, but I’ll be writing more about Heifer on my next very large piece, which I think will be called “The Kitchen Tarot Café: 4 of Wooden Spoons.” It will be the seventh minor card (of 56) in my Kitchen Tarot deck, for which the 22 major cards are already published.

But before I start that next, large piece, I need to set up an online bidding thing for THIS piece, here and on my facebook page, so we can hopefully end up getting the piece’s retail price of $2,250. for it, to contribute to Heifer’s wonderful work of ending world hunger.

If you are interested in placing a pre-auction online bid, please send an email to include both me ( and Vicki Burge Clarke, the auction organizer ( I'm sure we'll both write back to you, to acknowledge your bid. You can choose to have your name listed online with your bid, or to anonymous.

The opening bid on this $2,250. valued piece must be at least $1,125, which is half of the full price. I'll post when a bid is made, so that others can know whether they want to join or continue the bidding. Please make bids in at least $50. amounts. I'll post the bids here on this blog entry as comments, and also on my Facebook page. Online bidding will close on November 5, the day before the live auction in Chicago. The top bidder may give Heifer information about how much higher they're willing to bid against live auction bidders on Nov. 6.

The winning bidder will send the money directly to Heifer International, according to Heifer's requests, and they will send the artwork to the buyer.

All of the money from the sale of this piece of mine, "Heifer - UK" will go to Heifer International. Making the piece is my contribution to Heifer.

The Heifer Auction and Craft Fair will be held Saturday, November 6, 2010
9 a.m. — 4 p.m.
Auction begins at 11 a.m.
Glenview Community Church
1000 Elm Street, Glenview, Illinois (Corner of Glenview Road and Elm Street)

Watch a really inspiring video about the history of the Heifer Project.   

Friday, September 3, 2010

Three classes of mine coming up soon!

Now that the big adventure in England is over, I'm looking to the Fall, to classes I'll be teaching in October and November.

My 3-day class at the Budding Art Ideas Workshops at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, will be Oct 5 - 8, and you can get a $50. discount by registering by 30 days in advance. This is the first year of this exciting art workshops program, held in U of M classrooms. I'm very excited and hope you'll come! Note that this class is a half day on the first day, followed by two full days, and then a last half day, Tuesday into Friday.

Here's a piece much like what you can hope to finish during my class at Budding Art Ideas Workshops. Actually, I finished it two weeks ago in England, at my Festival of Quilts 3 day masterclass.  You'll actually be able to finish one of your 18 x 22" paintings into a quilt in your class, so that's bigger than this one.

My piece above, "Garden Hug #1," about Michelle Obama and Queen Elizabeth meeting in England and hugging (also magically in the White House vegetable garden), is 13.25"h x 16.25"w, is quilted mostly by machine, and is for sale now for $900. plus shipping.  Let me know if you want to buy it.

It's the last of four "Garden Hug" pieces I made last June in a tiny series, with the first quilted one going to the SAQA online reverse auction last year. You can check out my piece "Heal the Gulf #1," in this year's SAQA auction, with my piece being in the last group of works being auctioned, starting October 4. (The first group will start bidding on Sept 20, the second group on Sept 27.)

This is at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens at the University of Michigan, where our classroom will be for the Budding Art Ideas workshop.

This is the kind of works you can learn to make in my class at Budding Ideas Art Workshops: whole cloth painting with brush and airpen, both using fabric paint.

My 3-day Life Drawing class at Valley Ridge Art Studio, outside of Muscoda, Wisconsin will be  October 26 - 28, 2010. This drawing class is my first time to teach drawing since when I was a graduate student at Kent State, teaching Drawing I and II to undergrads. I think every artist should know how to draw realistically, and this is definitely a learnable skill, like any other. You can do it! Valley Ridfge is such a beautiful place, and oh, what a wonderful director! Out in the beautiful middle of nowhere! Peaceful to the max! Please come!!!

My students last year at Valley Ridge, Pat and Sue, using airpens (which are NOT part of this year's drawing class.) Give me a couple of days, and I'll make a new, realistic drawing to put here, to show you what you'll be doing in my class at Valley Ridge THIS year.  :)

OK, now it's Sept 4, in the evening, and I've just finished this drawing of my friend Rita and her daughter Jess, who just had her new baby, Ash David, on August 28th.  I was over to see them the other day and took a bunch of pix. I used one of my photos and altered it a lot, drawing it freehand with pencil on paper.  This is what we'll be doing in the class, but working more often from life than from photos.  I try to only use my own photos, when I draw from them, and I don't trace.

If you're taking my class at Budding Art Ideas, bring a few of your own photos of people or things you want to draw, but don't bring others' photos!  For realism I do use erasers, which I never do when I do my freehand funky and looser style of drawing. But man, for getting someone to look like themselves, in a photo kind of way, you have to have that good old kneaded eraser in your hand, keeping it warm and ready to work!

The Valley Ridge studio is well equipt!

This is MY dog Blondie, who lives and is boarded for me at Valley Ridge!

This is the river at the bottom of the Valley Ridge property, a safari well worth the effort to get to, to enjoy this scene!  This is pretty rugged to get to, but you can take long walks on the quiet and hilly country roads at Valley Ridge, and last year we walked every morning and sometimes in the evening, too.  So relaxing and good for you!

The secret of Valley Ridge Art Studio is that there's this Monkey Muse, who's in love with Topo Gigio, the little Italian mouse that used to be on the Ed Sullivan Show. Kathy (the owner / director of the school) often consults both the monkey and the mouse, and becomes infused with artistic genius, having absorbed their ancient wisdom!  This particular sock monkey is more psychic than an Eight Ball!

If you like, go read my August 2009 blog entry about my last year's class at Valley Ridge Art Studio.

My four day class at Art Quilt Tahoe, at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, Nevada will be held Nov 7 - 13, 2010. It's at a really cool and earth Presbyterian retreat center, which AQT started using last year, and which I've only heard super good things about.  I love AQT, and this time we'll be right on the lake itself! Imagine what a good time it'll be, to be with this crowd, high in the mountains, along a gorgeous lake, making art!

Here are some of my favorite students at Art Quilt Tahoe, the last time I taught there, in 2008, when we had to wait for the one time all week when we could be at the lake.  NOW the whole thing's at Lake Tahoe's shores!!!

Expect to finish quilting one of your paintings in my Art Quilt Tahoe class, much like this piece, which is sort of a fat quarter size (18" x 22" plus the little border.)  You'll be using fabric paint with brushes, airpen, and optionally markers, for those who end up disliking the airpen. (You either like it a lot or you don't!) This piece was done all with fabric paint this year.

Carlene and Judy of Hand Dyed of Sebastopol are two of my favorite vendors at the incredible vendor mall at Art Quilt Tahoe. You can find almost everything you need for your class supplies there, except for some of the weird stuff I ask you to bring. Sorry!  Still, just look at that hand dyed loot!!!!

That last time I taught at AQT was right after Obama won the Presidential election. Many of us were just plain supercharged, and I was so happy to stand with my piece in the AQT faculty show.

Fearless leaders / owners of Art Quilt Tahoe: Walter and Judy Bernard.

Please also consider taking a class from me at my home in Wooster, Ohio. I'll be posting the Turtle Art Camps schedule for my 2011 camps by Oct 1.

Turtle Art Camp July 7 - 13, 2010 (catch up on blog!)

We had a super nice TAC (Turtle Art Camp) here at our place in Wooster, Ohio in July, but when it was overwith, I went into crazy mode, finishing my entry for Quilt National, "Stars on the Water (the oil spill): The 5 of Paring Knives in the Kitchen Tarot," which I can't show you yet, due to Quilt National's entry rule on no peeking!  Then I had to photo that piece and do the online entry for QN. Then I was all busy getting ready to go to England to teach and have my show at the Festival of Quilts. Now that I've written here about that, I can back up and tell you all about the cool camp in July!

First I'm jumping ahead to introduce you to Wilma Kenny (left) and Jennifer Bennett (right), in a photo Jimmy took of us at the end of camp, when we had all the work we'd made all week up on the wall to photo and admire. These women are from Sydenham and Hartington, Ontario, Canada, and they drove down together to Wooster for the class.

When camp started, we did our daily Library Time, and here Wilma's showing us her writing and drawing from that first session. We use children's markers, so we can relax into a state of enjoying drawing and writing, knowing we can't erase, and getting into the beauty of the colors.

After we made a list of theme possibilities, we tried to settle on the theme  for the first day, but since we each chose one of the themes from our list, we decided to try to combine them: Evolution, Haiku, and Stars. Hmmmmmmmmm.  Jen got right into her painting, after I did my own painting demo, to show how fabric paints behave.

For Library Time the next morning, I wrote and drew about Jen and Wilma doing tai chi in the front yard early that morning, and letting me jump in and try to follow along. They've been doing it for many, many years, and are excellent at it. Not me. Back to yoga! But I really loved trying tai chi!

Once both women had their one-on-one airpen lessons, they were off and running, bravely leaping right into work on their paintings from the day before. Here's Wilma, writing on her piece about her grandmother, for our three-theme Thursday theme!

This is the start of my painting for the Evolution, Haiku, Stars theme. Quite a challenge! I made up the haiku "A star is born BANG. It grows and shines on and on. Then Red Giant dies." If you really study the painting, you can see the haiku is illustrated.  good luck.

Time flies when you're having fun, and with everyone working hard on their paintings and writing with airpen, before we knew it, it was time to go into town on Saturday morning, to have breakfast at The Parlor and look around the stores and the farmer's market! Above: tasty breakfast has just arrived!

Here are our girls, walking to the farmer's market, passing the LeRoys (my name for those scary statues on the courthouse's doors  There's another set of them around the corner, too.  They scare small children and dogs ... a lot!)

Wilma's buying something tasty from this Amish woman, who's got the most beautiful rainbow umbrella I've ever seen! Apparently there are no rules governing the colors of Amish umbrellas. That's good!

Back to work in the studio on Saturday afternoon: I started an airbrush demo about Jimmy. The theme the day before was Shoes, and I'd missed starting a piece on it, because I was teaching airpen. All I could think about was a print I'd made of Jimmy with his French hammer and a boot upside down on a shoe last, doing some shoe repair, back when I was going to college, and we were much younger.  I decided to make a sort-of lifesize piece and not go back and peek at the woodcut I'd made at The College of Wooster, and just wing it. And I added all three of the black lab girl dogs Jimmy and I had over a 30 year period: Lucy, Elvira, and Hattie. (Lucy came with her name, Jimmy named Elvira, and I named Hattie, our last doggie, who's been gone now nearly 3 years.)

Here's what my Jimmy painting looked like, when I had all the colors airbrushed into it, and it was ready to take down and heatset, before starting to write on it with airpen.  I think its title is "Jimmy Acord, I Love You." Sez so at the top anyhow.

Oh, and the theme for painting on Saturday was Tomatoes, so I stuck a tomato into my shoe piece, and that tomato is ME. (One of my nicknames is Lucky Tomato Pincushion. Ask Elizabeth Owen.)  The "rules" here include being able to lump two themes together, besides not even doing the theme the group makes up. All sorts of cheating are allowed here.  MY rules!

Then it was Saturday night, and we all went over to Orrville and ate at Señor Poncho's, since El Canelo closed in January. We sat outside and had a good time!

Then Jen and Wilma were ready to start their airbrush paintings, and since they work really well together, as such good friends, I set them up to take turns painting with the same color, side by side. Look at Jennifer go!!!! She's working on Sunday's theme of Sisters.

Wilma was making a seed-packet design piece for our Saturday Tomatoes theme, but including a very nice looking tomato worm in the picture.  :)

And when we needed a break, we invaded Jimmy's leather studio and watched him work on painting on one of his hand-carved images on a fly case he'd created.

Here's Jimmy taking a break with us, and telling the girls about his work and his love of fly fishing.

Miss Marigold, who now lives in Jimmy's studio, liked Wilma and Jennifer just fine.

This 1914 Singer patcher sewing machine is something everyone falls in love with in Jimmy's shop. Jimmy does hand sewing on his fly fishing cases, but when he needs to repair leather stuff that's hard to get into, this is what to use. (He doesn't do repair work for hire anymore. Forget it.)  I used to use it to repair jeans knee ripouts, when I was The Jeans Doctor, back at our commune. It can sew in a 360 degree angle, so you can sew in every direction, in a tight spot, without having to keep turning the thing you're sewing. Just turn the sewing head! And it has a lovely treadle, like the Singer I learned to sew on at home!

It was made in England. Did I tell you about my new love affair with England?????

We just had our patcher repaired at Akron Sewing Machine Center, and it's happily back home, rarrin' to go!

Back in my studio, Jennifer sets to work to quilt one of her paintings, after I've demonstrated my pretty odd way of doing it. She's using my Pfaff, which Jimmy and I got for ourselves with wedding money in 1990. I still love this Pfaff 1473 very much! It's just not wide enough in the throat to work easily on my great big pieces.

That's why I bought this big Janome 6600 a couple of years ago. Here Wilma's sewing on one of her paintings, making it into a quilt my way.

Now it was the last afternoon of the camp, and the girls were putting up all the work we'd made all week, making a harmonious arrangement from everything.

Here's what we'd made in five solid days of Turtle Art Camp.  We really put those airpens to work, I think more than any group I've worked with before. these two were really into it!  I was, too!

Wilma's big tomato piece. Airbrushed, no airpen yet.

My Jimmy with about half of his very abbreviated life story airpen written on it.  I hope to finish this piece soon!

Here's Jennifer's airbrushed piece about herself and her two sisters. She'd already put a LOT of airpen writing on this piece, considering how big it is!

This is my piece for our first theme, the combo of the themes Evolution, Haiku, and Stars., quilted and all done except for writing and stitching by hand around the border. The haiku is on the left side of my quilt here.

This is Jennifer's painting for that same three-theme theme thing of Evolution, Haiku, and Stars. (After that one, we decided to stick with one-theme themes!)

And this is Jen's Shoes piece, all written on!  "Shoes" was our Friday theme, which both the girls did pieces about, but I didn't.

Wilma got her writing all done on her Shoes painting, about her son Peter choosing shoes with a fancy tread, because he was into what the footprints would look like.

Wilma's completed piece about her Grandmother's story, as her solution to that complex theme thing on Thursday - Evolution, Haiku, Stars. The haiku is in the bottom right corner.

Here's my lifesize Jimmy ... and my lifesize Jimmy.  :) Now I have to go back and read what I've written here, so I don't repeat myself, when I do the rest of the airepn writing on it.

Wilma enjoyed doing her email on my laptop next to Otis Earl Hawkins, who just loves to do the rounds of all bedrooms with open doors at night!

Well now! I was looking for a picture to stick into this blog entry, to show my cat Ome, since I'd already put Marigold and Otis in here. This picture is just from a few days ago, when I collapsed in the afternoon (just a snooze, not a REAL collapse!) and Jimmy took this picture.  Ome gets up on my stomach usually, but if I'm too konked out to hear her meowing for me to roll over, sometimes she climbs up on my back and lays down.

So now we've got all three cats, and that's the end of my story about the fine Turtle Art Camp with Jennifer and Wilma in July.  You can see a schedule of all my classes on the front page of Turtle Moon Studios, including my camps and a separate listing of all the classes I'll be teaching "out."

Thanks for reading this!  Lucky