My friend Marilyn is a talented watercolor artist. She’s sort of a perfectionists, though, and sometimes when she messes up she throws her paintings away. I’m the type who saves everything just in case I can make it into something. So I tell her, “Don’t throw away that good paper; give it to ME!” Well, this is one of her throw away birds. I cut up the paper around the bird and saved it for the center of this piece. I think this red bird is adorable! I can’t take credit for it’s body – that’s Marilyn’s work. (*See more of her wonderful paintings here 🙂
Recently I was rearranging some tables in my studio and noticed an old typewriter tucked underneath with boxes of supplies. I’d found this portable Royal Caravan at an estate sale for $7. When I first showed it to my young grandson a couple summers ago he went crazy over it, mesmerized by a keyboard that clunked with each punch of the key… and so slow…! It occupied him for hours just examining the mechanics of such an ancient tool. I had forgotten about it until I opened the case and found this message:Translation: Helo Nana, how are you doing since I saw you last? I can,T wait to see you again! You are soo fun, and I love seeing you! I wish we could just live together. I think we should be neighbors! That would make our life sooo much easy er! We could get everything we want done I hope you have been having a great time without seeing me, and without myself seeing you, because of school. We have to find time to see each other again!
Someday he will be a grown man, busy with lots of responsibilities. I know that, so I’m cherishing our times together now.
I love when young people visit my studio. They approach my space as if it’s a playground, which it is. Paints, colored pencils, inks, clay – all kinds of art supplies are laid out on a messy array of tables and shelves.
Not too long ago a young boy and his mom came to see me. He promptly set to work on a composition called Day Train, while she and I walked around chatting about my various on-going projects…
When I was his age, I remember doing my version of Day Train. It was “My Back Yard” with swing-set, sand box, circular baby pool and brick house in the background. It’s the details that are telling. I put a girl sunning in the pool, arms out-stretched with hands sprouting fingers with red points on the ends of all ten. I didn’t have fingers like that. My mother did not have fingers like that. My mom had work hands from gardening, cooking, laundry, changing diapers. But I had somewhere seen ladies with delicate manicured fingers painted bright red. For me, making those fingernails was the most important part of that drawing.
Now, I happen to know the parents of my young visitor; very healthy types who work in the medical field. As I tick off all the wonderful details in his drawing (strong tracks to carry the train, blue sky with fluffy clouds, sunshine, a guy climbing a ladder up the back of the train, smokes stacks, and more…) the one thing that makes my eyes open up big and wide is the conductor with a smoking cigarette hanging out of his mouth!