Monday, July 21, 2008

The Simple Things

The best way to train your eyes for drawing, is drawing what is around you. I remember an assignment in my early years of college in basic drawing classes. The professor gave us a printout of things we had to draw by first term.

The list was as follows: (what I can remember anyway)

a branch


something "hard" & something "soft"



a rock

I remeber a lot of grumbling...but I learned so much from just drawing mundane everyday objects. Light, shadow, attention to details, etc.
We also learned to draw everyday things in different styles too. Stippling, blak, white and grey colored paper, different ways of looking at the everyday and making the ordinary, extraordinary. I find I like to draw things around me, that most people don't pay much attention too. A coffee cup, the mantle over the fireplace, a spoon laying on the table.
This particular drawing is of our mantle, but not as it really looks. It is drawn the way I want it to look. With the ornate finial scrolls to really dress it up. I enjoyed drawing this, it was simple, uncomplicated and soothing to me.
I think I am going to go back and redo some of my old college assignments and really have fun with them. As I go back to find some of the assignments, I will write them out here and maybe you can try your hand at them as well.
Gotta dental work has been really hurting me (unusual for me because I ususally bounce right back after having work done) and the pain meds I am on, make me..."zoney" for lack of a better vocabulary.
my thought for the day is, there is beauty in the most mundane, or maybe, beauty is in the eye of the beholder?
Have a great evening.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

As Promised...

Here is the first sock in the "Starry Starry Night" colorway...a picture just does not do it justice.

have a nice weekend...


Friday, July 18, 2008

Starry Starry Night

While I was in the dentist office the other day, (in the chair, actually). I was asked who my favorite artist was. I actually couldn't answer the question. Had I been asked who my favorite impressionist was, my favorite sculptor, my favorite photographer, I may have been able to answer. I can't limit myself to just one artist. Every century, every medium, every genre' has a uniqueness to it and so I have favorite artists and mediums in almost every time period.
My favorite impressionist has to be van Gogh. I love his use of colors and paints. Yes, I know his style of painting came from the fact that he suffered from a terrible disease, but I love his work. The Starry Night, is one of my all time favorites. Back in March I bought some sock yarn from LaLa's Knits and it iss called "Starry, Starry Nights." I began knitting the yarn into socks the other day and I have to say, they haven't disappointed me. The yarn is striping up beautifully and have not pooled on me the first time. I think they pay homage to Vincent van Gogh perfectly. I will get Tori to take some pics and post them later.
Most people are familiar with his beautiful paintings, but have you ever seen his drawings? They are an incredible diplay of different markings to give the illusion of texture and depth. I think his drawings demand as much repect and study as his paintings. I love what he wrote to his brother...I feel like I can relate to this, especially now.
“Well, and yet it was in these depths of misery that I felt my energy revive and I said to myself, I shall get over it somehow, I shall set to work again with my pencil, which I had cast aside in my deep dejection, and I shall draw again, and from that moment I have had the feeling that everything has changed for me, and now I am in my stride and my pencil has become slightly more willing and seems to be getting more so by the day. My over-long and over-intense misery had discouraged me so much that I was unable to do anything.”
Wow, I have been feeling like this too, he used his pencil as an outlet for his depression... well, my medicine is kicking in and I really need to go lie down. It makes me a bit nauseated too.
I have no thought for the day... my brain is clouded by the medications.
good night...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bella Bunny

Bella Bunny was one of those characters that was born from one of my stories I made up for the children when they were little. She was actually a sequel to my first story about Benjamin Bunny (NOT to be confused with Beatrix Potter) in which she becomes the wife of Mr. Bunny.

The first story was born, when my youngest daughter would not eat the vegetable soup I had made. My family makes a borscht of sorts and I had used purple cabbage to make mine. Well, the youngest would not eat it until I had told this elaborate story about a cabbage patch, a bunny and a purple caterpillar.

The story is written out in my sketch book and my husband has asked me several times to try and get it published. I guess I have not done it because of possible copyright issues with the name of Benjamin Bunny. I guess I could change his name, but it fits so well. Then, I would have no clue as to how to get it published. I have researched before, but it seemed like it was always going to cost me money. I don't have money. LOL!
At any rate, here she is...just the drawing, but I would love to have her in watercolors. She would be so pretty.
my thought for the day? Necessity is the mother of invention...or in my case, getting the kiddos to eat borscht was the mother's inspiration for a story.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The VOTES Are In!

yeah, all 2 of them...thanks bunches.

It's a toss up between oils and watercolors. Both are good mediums, good choices. I'm a bit disappointed there wasn't more votes or responses, but hey, I am sure I do not have an extensive reading or viewing audience. LOL

I think one thing that I am very good at is making parodies of everything, and I mean everything. I can take a commercial, movie, story, music, you name it and make a parody of it. It's a gift. I know...

Like the time my son's troop got their new bus after having to retire the old "Swamp Fox". The Scout Master was and is very proud of the new bus, and they keep it in pristine condition. Well... my mind was up to no good and I thought it would be funny if somehow that show "Pimp My Ride" came out and did the whole bus. (not that I would really do that) It was funny to visualize the bus all shagged out, paint job, the stereo thumpin', all the while, the bus is doing that "low rider" thing bouncing up and down. ok, so you get it. THAT is how my brain works.
Pretty scary, I know. So, that story leads me to this lovely little sketch page. I am sorry you can't see it better than this, but my kids and I were on my bed discussing Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and yes, my mind was on a "parody" tangent and we came up with crowns for the ever crown obsessed, King Friday. We figured his present crown wasn't very fitting and he needed a crown for everyday of the week. But why stop there? Why not make them obscure, a play on words? So that is how we came up with these. Look closely...
Assembled and adoring neighbors, I presume?
1. Sunday...yes, that is an ice cream sundae
2. Monday...that was a hard one, but it is a moon crown with a little bitty astronaut, space shuttle and flag!
3. Tuesday...a crown with 2's all over it. Ok, so that wasn't pure genius, but it was good.
4. has question marks all over it because it is a "when?"s day, with me here people.
5. Thursday... "thirst" day...a big drink with a straw...and I think it would eb great if it said "Super Size" one it too.
6. Friday...fries...of course..."Super Size" those bad boys too...
7. Saturday... one of my personal favorites... a nice, royal, velvet, wing back chair...
Anyway, the kids and I had fun with it. Oh, come on, loosen up! Sure it's goofy, but it was still fun.
Time for dinner again...
thought for the day?...the mind is a scary place to be sometimes...especially if you are me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tori's Favorite

A few years ago, I drew this while waiting for my kids to finish taking some tests. I was bored and have this curious fascination with columns and masonry. Totally weird, I know.

Fantasy. I love reading fantasy, watching fantasy movies and some art work. I also love medeival times, Lord of The Rings and stuff like that. There is a popular book series by author Brian Jaques called REDWALL that I read and collect too. So, I guess this is my little contribution. This is also my daughter's favorite, all time drawing.

It wasn't/isn't meant to be a serious piece of work, like all the stuff I draw in my sketch book, it started as a doodle. It could be used as a book illustration, maybe a stage set. Mostly, it's just something I did while bored in a crowded room.

I have thought about doing book illustrations for children's books, but I dunno, when you end up having to create something because you are being paid...I kind of get artist's block. Maybe that is why I couldn't cut it as a graphic artist. Too much pressure. On the other hand, when I get to just do my own thing and create, I can think of the best stuff, so if I wrote & illustrated my own childrens book, perhaps I would do ok.

I'll cross that bridge when/if I ever get there. Time to close this out and get on with my evening.
My thought for the day? When you get to create instead of have to create, it goes from being fun to being work. I need to get over that.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Another Chapter

These were my first attempts for a good soap label...I eventually morphed into something totally different, but looking at them now, they were "me". I now find them more whimsical and somehow, a little more magical. *notice the coffee stain?

A few years ago, I made and sold natural goats milk and oatmeal soap, as well as other bath and body products. It was out of necessity that I embarked on that adventure. Tori (my oldest daughter) had eczema pretty badly and everything over the counter made it worse. We were raising dairy goats at the time and I had just read an article by a woman who had 2 small girls with the same skin problems and allergies as Tori. There was a recipe (which I tweaked) and I thought, I can do this. After the first week with the new soap I had made, Tori's eczema healed and vanished and we never looked back. Turned out, A LOT of people suffered with skin problems and my ugly bars of soap were helping them get better!

I started selling the bars of soap and adding essential oils to them. I had a wide variety of soaps and fragrances that I probably could have kept going with, but my husband was growing weary of my being gone every weekend at Farmer's Market or craft fairs and I was getting tired of showing up and finding a dozen other soap makers there as well. (I was a bit of a purest and it bothered me that some of the vendors were selling melt and pour soaps) That is another discussion that I won't venture into.

Anyway, we were slated for a trip to New Mexico one summer, so I sold all of my soaps and lotions at buy 1, get 1 free, prices and walked out of the soap business. I still make soap for the family and have tons of essential oils and supplies, but I don't/won't sell it anymore. If I did, I would totally go back to these "grassroot" labels.
Time to get dinner going.
My thought for the day? Soap does get in your eyes.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Drawing from Memory

I actually started with a doodle, just some lines while talking on the phone. Then my mind went back to the summer I went to Destin, Florida with a friend of mine. It rained almost the whole time we were there and to make matters worse, there was no swimming because of all the jellyfish being swept in from the ocean. Even with all of that it was one of the best vacations I have ever had.

No family to have to feel obligated to go and visit. No iternary to have to follow. We shopped, slept and relaxed whenever we wanted. At night we would take a bottle of wine, some glasses and light blanket (it was actually cool after the storms rolled through). We would sit there for hours, watching the night sky and talk about anything and everything. I needed that more than anything else right then. It was the summer before I started my first year of college. Good times.

I told the kids not long ago, that I would love to go to the beach again someday. Just to chill. Not having to be anywhere or do anything but play in the sand and waves, look for seashells and relax. I think they would like that a lot. *sigh* someday...

My thought for today? As much as I would like to go, the sudden realization that I would have to wear a swimsuit in public just made me cringe in horror. Maybe we'll go north to Montanna instead?


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Old Is New Again

Yup! More "Brown Bag Specials" designs. I had a whole mess of designs created for this line, and truth be known, I could completely go back to this and run like crazy with it.

When I started Art College, my original intent was to go into Graphic Design. I quickly discovered that I was just not very "quick" at coming up with really snappy concepts. My first love had always been fibers. After a year and a half I changed majors and played "catch up" for my Fibers degree.

I love color (I aced color theory) and patterns. So, I am drawn to fabrics, and dyed yarns and design plates. A lot of the early sketches and designs were primarily for fabrics, then something happened. I found out that Hallmark Greetings were hiring surface designers to create gift wrap and bags for the company. That changed how I looked at my designs. I love all the little accessories that go along, bows, tags, the extras. I had ideas for those too.

I got away from working on that, when I found out I was pregnant with my first son. My priorities completely became focused on the new life within and I obsessed over him and he became my world.

As I look back on these designs now, I am amazed at how ahead of my time I was. Realistically, people were talking recycling and reusing, but this next generation are really more conscious of it. You go in the stores and can by organic and recycled anything, just about. So, my Brown Bag Specials would fit right in. I may have to give my concepts another try and actually market them.
Maybe, I will research some firms that might take a look at them and give me feedback. I am working on copyrights now.

I still haven't given up on my beautiful seashell. I just don't have the resources to implement it right now. I have my colored pencils and some design markers and that is about it. Hopefully, I should be slowly getting more of my supplies together as I begin my teaching job.

Well, it's Saturday and I need to get something done around here.

My thought for today? Old is new again.


Friday, July 4, 2008

Stars & Stripes Forever

I guess you can tell when this design was born by the date here. This was a concept I had come up with for a line of wrapping papers and gift bags, using recycled, brown, craft paper. I called them, "The Brown Bag Special" (Katherine C. Wright Designs - copyright 2008).

I thought you would enjoy seeing it and it was appropriate for today.
happy 4th!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Looking Back So I Can Move Ahead

( a page from my personal sketch book circa.1990)

I was reflecting on my art work, or lack of it, over the past.. *cough*... 20 years. My portfolio is, well, non existent and I have nothing to show in the way of weavings, oil paintings or even photography. All I have is my sketch books, which are, well, just that, sketches, ideas, doodles, and misc. projects from over the last 20 years. So, I decided to go back in time and rethink these designs and see what I could do with them in the here and now.

Behold, the seashell you see above. This was originally going to be used for a wrapping paper design (when I was trying to put together a portfolio of design plates for Hallmark, yes, Hallmark Greetings.)

If I can decipher my own notes, I think it was supposed to be for a bag design. I was looking at it this morning over a cup of coffee and thought, this would be incredible as an oil painting. Then I sighed, remembering that I no longer have any of my oil paints, brushes or even canvases to work with. It made me feel melancholy, "Rats." I said and shoved the book away from me.

Somehow though, that seashell keeps beckoning to me. I keep looking at it and thinking about how beautiful it would look against a washed cream background in oil paints. It wants me to paint it. I need to paint it. I feel like if I don't, I will be haunted by it. Like it will mock me like the Tell Tale Heart, "See? I am another beautifully inspired idea, never fullfilled, never to see completion, kat. Paint me."

I want to, but no paints, no canvas. So, it must wait until ... until I can. Money is tight right now, and anything extra, is having to go towards braces and all of the other everyday things a parent's money goes to. Not complaining about taking care of my family, just, "le sigh", it would be lovely to be able to whip out my paints and create.

The brighter part of creating a new portfolio for myself, is the little issue of photographs. I use to have to take the old PENTAX, several rolls of color film, photograph everything and take it to a photo lab and have the pics made into slides. AH, but NOW, with the age of digital cameras, desk top processing and POWER POINT, you can totally have everything done, right in your own home, for just your time. You can email galleries your art work, send cd's or dvd's of your work, or do a power point presentation. It is absolutely heaven! My digital cam finally gave up, but my daughter got one for her birthday and you can actually change the pixels, so you can have the highest quality pictures available. This will keep documenting my paintings so very easy for me.

For now, housework is calling to me and I have things to do. Stay tuned for more sneak peeks into my personal sketch book. It is a very intimate thing to me and to actually show it publically is huge. You won't see everything but you will get to glimpse into my inner thinkings and inspirations.

my thought for today is, you can't redo the past, but you can learn from it.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Making The Most of My Time?

I am at the local library and I have to say, I am wasting time. Time I could be at home cleaning house, knitting, reading, something!

But what am I doing? Yup, I am sitting here on the computer, looking at Youtube and blogging. What a goober!

I did find some books to take home, none of which have anything to do with knitting. Write that down. I usually go home with one or two, but our library has the same ones and I am bored with them. This time, I am checking out some books about grant writing, I recently met someone who does that and was intrigued. I thought I would see what that was all about, at least I can hold a conversation with the person next time they start talking about it.

Then I checked out a book about Blogging. I figured if I am going to spend time doing a blog journal, I might as well try and do a good job of it.

Let's see, then I checked out a book about writing and illustrating children's books. I have several sketch books from over the years of short stories that I have totally made up from the hip to entertain my children then wrote down. My husband & kids keep telling me I need to try and publish them. I thought I would at least research it.

It's kind of irritating being here actually. There are a lot of kids here, and on the computers. They are so LOUD and disruptive. I can hardly hear myself think. The women sitting next to me just got mad and left. I'm about to complain too.

I remember when I was a kid, you got that LOOK from the librarian if you even appeared to look loud. The worst (for me anyway, because I loved books and reading) was to be kicked out of the library, for the rest of the day or even a week. I never was thank goodness but I knew of a few kids that got banned from the library for the whole summer! Wow, they were truly miscreants of society, back in my hometown anyway. LOL!

Now, I can't tell if the librarians just are softies, afraid to confront them or don't care. They do have a security guard, he is really good actually. I've seen him keep order on several occasions without having to be ugly and yelling. He just firmly tells them what he expects and he seems to be just great.

The biggest reason I am even here is for the kids. They can't do anything on the antiquated dial up we have out where we live and if they want to update anything, watch youtube or catch up with long distant friends, they need something better. My son has friends in Germany and Ireland that he likes to chat with.

Well, I have a pinch in my shoulder and I don't think I can take much more typing time. So I am going to call it a day. Hopefully something more interesting will be taking place here.

my thought for today is... where is the shhhhhhhhhhhh! in the library?


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

With Feet Firmly On The Ground

As of last week, I no longer work for the airline industry. It was beginning to wear me down and out. 4 days out and only getting 24 hours of pay to show for it, hardly justified the time away from home. I felt fickle for having done it, but I resigned none the less, and aggressively pursued other jobs.
For now, I am once again a stay at home mom and I don't mean that in a derogatory manner either. Sometimes in life, things will happen so that you look back and say, "You know what? I had it good, what was I thinking?" Never again, will I refer to myself as a "house mouse" like it is some sort of affliction.
YET, I still had to pursue a job, there are still debts to be paid. So, what to do? My first love will always be to Art and I was desperate to find something that I could do with my degree. NOT AN EASY THING TO DO! I used every search engine, job service, website, etc probably known to man and could not come up with anything, especially in the textile field. I have a bit of web designing under my belt, but even that is rusty and my portfolio is...old. I haven't really kept up a portfolio in 10 years or more because I have not had time to really devote to my art. I was/am raising 4 children and they were/are the priority.
I scoured the papers and library computer constantly. I had some interviews, pretty much have the job and they would call and tell me, "We were really wanting to hire you, your interview was fabulous, but we just got word from another dept. we have someone transferring in to fill that position." Happened to me TWICE! Every time, I would be absolutely devastated.
Then it happened, I picked up a local paper and found an obscure little ad, looking for art teachers. I use to teach years ago for a nearby local city school district and I had my degree in art. Maybe, just maybe, it will be what I am looking for. Long story short, I did get the job, then didn't have the job because the positions were all filled (remember earlier? same thing happened again), then when I was beginning to give up hope, I got the job again and it was an even closer location! So, starting July 28, I will be an Art Instructor. It will be wonderful to work Mon-Fri, be home around 4:30, have my weekends free, and all government holidays.
In the meantime, I am trying to get my house in order, enjoy my time home with the kids and embrace what I have learned from being a Flight Attendant. My only regret about my FA job, was that I had put so much into it to get so little back out of it. Just another one of those life lessons.
Thought for today? Behind every cloud...there is probably a flight attendant working their tails off for little to nothing, so treat them nice.