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.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Pink Horse

DRAWING CHALLENGE INVITE (All are very welcome here!) To join in this fun challenge, just leave a comment below and I'll add your name to the list. When you've completed your offering/contribution to the challenge, I'll link your name to the list so everyone can come visit your site. So, to join in all you have to do is: a) leave a comment below indicating that you are IN the challenge, b) do your art piece, drawing, painting, sculpting, photographing, installation, whatever your expression is, c) let me know in the comments section below that you're ready to show your art and I'll then go in and link you in the players's list which will be at the bottom of this post, d) on the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of April, visit the folk on the list who are playing along so you can see what they have done. It's easy to visit the list, as they are all in one spot at the end of this blog post and are all highlighted so all you have to do is 'click'! I hope you will join in for the fun here.

DC No. 192: Pink Horse

Well, judging from my last post it looks like it took just under a month to get my dining table up and running and back to normal (ahem). This is what it looks like right now, March 21st, that is:

I got a neat little wood display case that is very narrow, wall hung and with a glass door. Perfect for my little books. Just bringing your attention to it as it contains a few books at the moment.

So working on the dining table was impossible and I moved over to my other actual work table, equally messy but where I work most. My work desk is overlooked (freudian slip) by a religious figure as I do need help in the cleaning department:

Most times I feel like the saying in the post card:

I knew I was going to do a little book with a pamphlet binding. Here's a pile of visuals and I chose the horses on the post card for the front cover:

I made a selection of papers from my favourite paper mill (Canadian I am proud to say.):

Then I went to 'the SUITCASE':

The suitcase contains paper, and I opened it:

I'd found an image of two horses, one of them pink, that I liked and had chosen. Perhaps I should use this pink gun found in the suitcase? Perhaps not:

I surveyed my pencil crayons:

And then got down to work.

I was laying in bed waiting to go to sleep the other night, when a flash of an idea came to me: why not use the 'channel' where the blade runs along to slice through paper, on my paper cutter to draw a crease in paper to act as a fold line? Wouldn't the width of the bone folder I have run along that channel nicely? Honestly, I don't see why not is what I said to myself just before I drifted off. And then forgot about the whole brilliant idea upon waking the following morning!

Until I remembered it earlier this day. It launched me. I have had the idea for a long time, that a person (me!) could make things from what they (me!) already has. So I jumped up, found some suitable paper and tried the running the bone folder along the channel to score a piece of paper idea. SUCCESS.

That was the leap off of the tall diving board, creatively speaking. I decided that I could make a little book and be a host of the wonderful paper swap for this week at the same time. So I rushed to action, sourcing out things in my home.

Time for some words. I went through the stack of books I keep for cutting up and as I scanned the pages, really, a story evolved on its' own from the first page I looked at. Suddenly the picture I chose now has a story to it. And it's taken on a life of its' own. This is the muse at work. A surprise for me, and a surprise for you at the same time...I think this booklet might be a story about two gay guys. It's called PINK HORSE, starting from an image of two horses, one a pinkish hue. And I chose a bunch of pinky, purple papers to do a collage with and beyond that I knew not what it would be. But, I found a picture that I've been long long in love with and decided to use it in the centre (chosen mostly for the pink tie and purple vest in the image) and then stumbled across some lines on a page in an old book, and a story emerged. All by itself. I think it is about a jockey. Is he a former jockey? Did he retire? Get kicked out of the community? Feel shamed in some way? Maybe he is still working...a current jockey. In any event, he is feeling sad. I decided to tuck his friend into a pocket in the previous page so our jockey can just get a glimpse of him. Perhaps his friend is just a memory. Or a fantasy of the night. We really do not know.

So the idea popped into my head to search for the 'pansies' image I have somewhere...somewhere...I began the search...and didn't find pansies (though now that I think of it, pansies would be 'guilding the lily',) but came across a bookmark with the word COCK written in large pink letters and I'm thinking of using it to tuck into the pocket with the friend. And then I came across another little box of papers which contains quotes, and the first quote I came upon says: " Ancient lovers believed a kiss would literally unite their souls, because the spirit was said to be carried in one's breath." Okay that quote will definitely be tucked in with his friend in the pocket. On with the search. Be back soon.

Well it didn't take long. I found a cover image. And so I'm going to throw out the whole idea of doing a collage on the front cover. I'm only going to use the horses image from the very first bookmark cover design idea. Back to searching...aaaaaaaand it's done! Quickly, I came across a pink horse (another one), pink lipstick, and an image of a Japanese actor with a lipstick 'cross' over the lips. Perfect. Now time to dig out the glue.

Okay this is getting to be too much. Even for me. A believer (in the muse; in serendipity.) I was cutting out the pink horse image to start to glue it down, and swished away a section of my messy work desk, and what fell onto my lap? The following quote: "My inner male loves and supports me." Nuff said.

I just cut and pasted and glued to my heart's content and here is the finished book. It's a small 'pocket' book with only 6 pages plus the front and back cover, but it is a story complete unto itself nonetheless. The inside pages being planned:

Our fella is feeling very sad indeed:

All of the images have been chosen:

And the binding selected:

And the book, completed. Here's shots of inside pages, and front and back covers:

The last photo is the front cover. The title of the book is "Pink Horse" and it tells the story of a man who is very sad. The visuals show pink lipstick, a Japanese actor with a lipstick cross "X" on his lips, 3 different pink horses, and other horses so perhaps this guy is a jockey. There are a quote and an affirmation about the 'inner male' and about 'a kiss', and the word COCK written in large capital letters. Two pockets hold some of these things.

Well, my muse took me on quite the journey this time round. I do not judge my muse, only obey.

Thank you for joining in for this week's drawing challenge and I hope you've all had a blast and I know I'm going to have a blast visiting your sites to see what you have done. Bye for now, and thanks for dropping in. All the best to you, with love, Norma, x

P.S. If you want to join in on this drawing challenge just leave a comment below on this post. I'll make a list of who is joining in this time.

THE PLAYERS: TammieLee, Melodye, Veronica, Lucia, Mano, Ariane, Nadine,


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