I caught a bug.

Last week, while perusing the internet looking at art, my home computer contracted a nasty, nasty virus.  Thank goodness I have a lovely neighbor who is also well versed in geek matters.  She worked with me for several evenings to decontaminate my poor PC, which is not quite, but mostly, back to normal.  Seriously, I am so grateful to my friend and neighbor for helping me through this ordeal!  If it weren't for her, my computer would have been tossed from a window.  But, after this most frustrating of calamities,  I find myself hesitant to venture out on to the web in search of information and inspiration. I fear I must return to the old fashioned methods I once employed to seek enlightenment and revelation...visiting the library, perusing the shelves of book stores, reading books, touring art museums...hey, that sounds like fun.
I began a new print over the weekend.  Would you like to take a guess as to what it will turn out to be? 

I love starting a new piece!  I've said this before, and it's still true:  to me, starting a new piece feels a lot like falling in love.  And here is sketch number 32 for 2011.  What, no sticky notes?  They're there, but they're white. 


This year, last year and the year before that.

The dust is beginning to settle around me.  For the past several days I've been consumed in a frenzy of reorganizing.  My house, my office, my studio, nothing has gone untouched.  Earlier today it occurred to me that last year, right about this time, I was also in a domestic groove.  At first I thought it might be a pattern of behavior, so I looked through the archives of this blog.  In doing so I discovered that two years ago at this time, I was in Florence, Italy.   Then I got depressed.   Assembling metal shelves and loading them up with dusty boxes full of stuff gleaned from my children's rooms is just not the same as roaming down medieval streets, considering the works of Giotto, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Fra Angelico, Bernini, etc., or consuming the most excellent pizza EVER.  So maybe the household hysteria in which I've engaged, this June and last, has been a convenient, if not productive way to avoid a maudlin stroll down memory lane. It's nice to have my yard in order and dozens of boxes aligned neatly on my newly assembled shelves, but I'd really rather be in Italy.

Some of my fellow travelers and me, enjoying the chapels of  the Basilica of Santa Croce
Florence, Italy, 2009

In between shuttling boxes and moving furniture I was able to finish my print for the SPA Print Exchange.  I am satisfied with the result.

Conjoined I
Wood block print
11" x 15"
2 blocks, 6 colors, 6 passes

Unfortunately, I didn't get much time with my sketchbook this week. So in honor of all dad's everywhere, I'm re-posting this sketch of my dad; an interpretation of his graduation photo.

Richard H. Best ~ Flint Central High School, Class of 1943
Best Dad EVER


I was trying to daydream but my mind kept wandering...

Another scattered week has passed.  Sometimes my cousin and I joke about contracting adult onset ADD, but I sometimes I'm not joking.  It often feels like I am too busy, and wearing too many hats for the small sphere that is my life.  I'm suddenly reminded of this book from my childhood!

It was one of Captain Kangaroo's read-aloud favorites.  (Having just spent a few minutes reading the Wikipedia entry on Captain Kangaroo I am further reminded of Mr. Green Jeans, Mr. Bunny Rabbit, Mr. Moose!)

See what I mean?  Scattered, distracted, prone to flights of fancy, that's me.  Perhaps this is due to a sort of mania that can accompany the long summer days in the northwest, (over 15 hours of daylight today! sunset at 9:07 p.m.!) or maybe it's the fuzzy thinking that comes to women of a certain age...walking into a room to get the car keys and 30 minutes later three bookshelves have been straightened and the sink has been scoured, but I'm going to be late to work.  Again.   At times I am able to hyper focus, (which I have learned is a paradoxical ADD ability).  This usually occurs for me, typically, when working in my studio.  At those times the cats go hungry, the mail piles up, I live on coffee and pita chips and wear my pajamas all day.  (I'm just kidding about not feeding my cats.  I love my cats.  This week was Henry's first birthday!).  Yesterday, my hyper-focusing ability allowed me to accomplish  a bit on the print I'm working on for the upcoming print exchange.  So far, so good.

print, carve, print, carve, print

And my sketchbook and sticky notes have always provided ample opportunities for me to while-away the time that could be spent dusting, paying bills, making a hot meal for myself, or trying to figure out why my sketch postings of late tend to look blurry, (see below).

That's my week in a nutshell. (Having just spent reading the Wikipedia entry on nutshells I have learned that walnut shells can be used for cleaning and polishing, as a filler in dynamite, and as a thickening agent in paint!)


In search of sunglasses...

The sun is pouring through my windows and the out of doors beckons!  Spring in the northwest has been quite dismal this year.  Lots of rain and skies grayer than usual.  Last night water was overflowing from my gutters and I felt sure they were clogged with last autumn's leaves.  Upon inspection early this morning I discovered they were clear which simply confirms how much water was pouring from the heavens.  But back to the present...the forecast is for sun and warm temps all weekend!  So I am putting all work aside and plan to spend the next two days soaking up copious amounts of Vitamin D.  I've made a small start on my current print; one very uneven run through the press.  I'll get back to work on Sunday and hope to have more to show for myself early next week.

 And here is this week's sketch, inspired by my longing for sun filtering through fresh spring leaves. sigh.

To all who are currently experiencing mother nature's gentler side, enjoy.  To those who are not so fortunate, my thoughts are with you.  Happy weekend.


Happy June

The kind of June first I wished for.