Monday, December 29, 2014

A Day in the life of, December 27, 2014

December 27, 2014, 12:48 PM Keith is driving and I am riding and we are going up to get Keith's brother Paul and take him to see Keith's Mom, ML for ML’s ninety-third birthday and a belated Christmas.  Neil, Laura, Rachel Nathaniel and Sophia are also coming, and Graham says he’s coming too.  We haven’t seen Neil’s family since Easter.  Neil is my husband Keith's son.

It’s been raining but seems to have stopped.  I am down fifteen minutes on recent walking from yesterday, but our day will be so busy today we might not get to walk.

It’s grey.  “It’s a grey morning . . . “ Gordon Lightfoot.
I wish I’d remembered that I wanted to bring the story, “returned unhurt,”[1] and try to type it in while driving, but I did not remember.  I want to type it in and post it to Cowbird and dedicate it to Turtle.  But I didn’t.  Some other time, if I can even find it.  It might be in the box on the sewing table.

I would like to use this time for some good purpose.  But I am not properly prepared to do any serious work.  I didn’t prepare any “assignments.”

1:12 PM we just picked up Paul, wished him a merry Christmas and happy new year.  I think we were about ten minutes late getting him. 

4:35 PM well, the party is over, and a rip-roaring party it was.  Paul, Keith and I arrived first, and were there quite a while.  I gave ML the cards I made for her, and then Neil, Laura, Rachel, Nathaniel and Sophia arrived.  I let the kids open their gifts.  They were small gifts.  Each had a $20.00 attached.  Then Graham and Kristina came, and then Ben and Chuck Persick (sp?) came and we brought out the champagne, pie, fruit bread, cookies, etc.  Unfortunately, I kind of pigged out.   It kind of makes me feel bad, sad, upset.

5:07 PM now we have dropped off Paul back at his place and are headed for the Clinton River Park North, to take a walk.  It is getting dark.  But we have passed the solstice and the evenings, little by little are getting longer.  (Or, will be shortly.)

K says, “what is the name of the country where people with the name of Tarpinian come from near Turkey and the Turks did a genocide on them in 1910?” Out of the mists of my fuzz mind came Armenia so I said, “Armenia?” and he said yes.  J And was all pleased.  J

Sophia is in second grade and is seven years old.  Nathaniel is in fourth grade (nine?) and Rachel is thirteen and in eighth grade. Sophia is taller than Nathaniel.  They have all grown a LOT.  Rachel also seems much more grown up.  She was wearing tall high-heeled leather boots.  (These are three of our grandchildren.)

6:34 PM we walked one hour and one minute along the Clinton river from late twilight to full dark in a very light misting drizzle warm enough that I took off my hat and coat.  The car thermometer says 49°.  The light rain speckles the windshield with diamonds, sparkling from the streetlights. 
Other than eating “bad food,” I enjoyed the party more than I expected I would.  There was pandemonium of sorts, because there were so many people milling around in a small space all talking at once, but it was friendly and cheerful and fairly pleasant and fun plus I got to squeeze Sophia.  She sat in my lap a lot.  She was pretty in a white satin dress with a built-in veil-like appendage.  She had on brand new black leather boots, not as tall as Rachel’s.  Nathaniel was dapper in a long grey and black plaid shirt of a fine smooth woven cotton, many threads per inch.    Sophia is taller than Nathaniel.

I am getting a cramp in the back of my left hand from holding Winnie.  We are going to stop at ML’s house and do some more packing on the way home.  Guess I will turn this off in preparation, as we are approaching Garfield and Utica roads.

7:45 PM now we are back in a fully loaded car, trunk jammed with stuff, back seat jammed with stuff, headed home.  We have not had dinner, so when we get home, we need to unload the car (where we’re going to put an entire carload of mostly books I can’t say), make dinner and go to bed.  And we’re tired from a long day and I didn’t work on Frankie’s France book or anything else (I mean like novel or poetry or anything I need to get done like cleaning, packing and prep and wrapping etc. for Syracuse not that there is much to wrap, there isn’t.)  (Not much at all L!)  (But what little I have still needs to wrapped.)

(I took pictures, but haven't downloaded them yet.)

Hope your holidays were fun!!!  Fun of love, joy, happiness, good health.

[1] Later:  I looked for the story that I wanted to work on, “Returned Unhurt,” but could not find it.  I may have taken it to R’dale in one of my invisible cleaning furies.  I’d like to find it, take it on the trip to work on.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Two Moleskine Collabs

Biker Buddy joins the Crowd
 I added Biker Buddy to Mike's Crowd

Collab with Andrea
I'm neither as steady nor as creative as Andrea!  But I had fun with names.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


YAY!  I am a NaNoWriMo Winner!  I have written 51,207 total words so far.  The very rough first draft is NOT finished, but I have my required 50,000 words to be a "winner."  This is what I've been busy with, among other things.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

NaNoWriMo is coming up shortly

Peregrine's self portrait (by me)

NaNoWriMo is coming soon and I am working on the back-stories.  This is one, of the "guardian" character, Peregrine.

Words rattle around inside my head, unspoken and unheard. They have ricocheted there so long that they feel like stones I must pry from the frozen earth.  Only these words exist.  Today, I am Peregrine.  Who I once was or might have become is no longer of consequence.  So pry I will, with this shattered crowbar.  I need a conversation, even if it is only with myself. 
This morning, I saw a woman, a woman known hereabouts as a bag lady or homeless woman, standing in the doorway of the bakery to escape the freezing rain.  She was clutching a three seed roll, the roll that the beautiful hippie girl, Flower always offers the homeless when they come in to get warm. 
Flower.  So radiant, so handsome, her eyes as clear and blue as a cloudless September day.  Sometimes, I think she has known no pain, but then, a shadow passes, and I know she has somehow managed to pass through pain and come out whole, or nearly whole on the other side.  She wears long old-fashioned flowered dresses and white flour—sack aprons smudged with whole-grain flour.  Her dark hair has a few strands of grey, not unlike my own, or not unlike my own a few years ago, before the white hairs began to outnumber the black.  Her face is roundish, with a pointed chin and her cheeks are pink, verging on red from the heat of all the ovens.  She ties her hair back with strips of leather, but sweaty wisps of it always come loose and dangle at her temple.  She wears moccasins, much like mine, and I know, like me, she prefers bare feet and probably kicks off the moccasins the minute she leaves the bakery
The woman, the bag lady, I think her name is Hannah, stood in the bakery doorway, which is recessed and protected from wind and rain to some extent, and took great hungry bites of the steaming three-seed roll.  From the shadows where I stood watching, I could see the “smoke” of her breath and the wispier bits of steam rising from the roll.  A flock of pigeons rose from the alley behind the bakery and flew in a single fluid motion, like water pouring through air, over the street through the freezing rain.  I watched. 
Suppose the rain froze to their feathers and they fell like stones to the pavement and shattered like glass?  I held my breath, watching.  And as I watched, the bag lady stepped out into the freezing rain, raised her face, and watched the pigeons dance in the sky.  Even from where I stood, I could see joy on her weathered face.  My hearth thumped.  I wanted to go and place my hand on her arm and say, “Sister, we share a love of life and beauty,” but I did not.  Instead, I stepped deeper into the shadows and hid behind the dumpster.   
In that dumpster, earlier, I found this notebook and this shattered pen.  It still writes, if I hold the thin sharp shards of plastic in a tight grip.  When the bag lady left, I slipped to the back door of the alley and let Stormlight, Flower’s younger sister, hand me a three-seed roll.  Stormlight has honey-colored long wavy hair and wears the same flowered dressed and sack aprons as Flower always wears, and her feet were bare, though she must slip on her moccasins when she goes into the public areas.  I know bare feet violate a code, and a violation could cause the bakery to be shut down. 
A roll or two a day isn’t much to eat, but some days, A roll or two is all there is.  The bakery is only open for lunch. They are closed Sundays. Of course, the girls—young women, I should say-- are there baking long before lunch time, and in warm weather, the doors are open and we hungry ones can slip in after a couple of hours, when the first rolls start sliding out of the big ovens.  We could, if our timing is right, have one for a late breakfast and one for a late lunch.
Of course, other food is available.  Food lives in dumpsters, for example, behind the grocers and the restaurants and bars.  Other homeless folk beg on the streets for money or food, but I do not.  I like to stay out of sight.  And at the village of the homeless, the tent city beyond the bridge behind the bakery, it’s possible, if one is desperate, to barter for food with other homeless people.  But the price is more than I am willing to pay; I would rather starve, which is why I don’t go there anymore.  
I will not tell here what happens to women and girls at tent city.  Even elderly women like Hannah do well to avoid the place.  Some of the men there are more animal than human, and it only takes one to ruin or end a life.
Of course, I forage for food.  (Write more about this.) This is something I learned from my grandmother, Marialita.  She was half Native American and half Mexican, Little Maria, who was not little, but large-boned and sometimes fat, when enough food was available to become fat.  She taught me plants to use as food and medicines, and fibers for clothing, and how to set snares and dig holes to catch animals.  I rarely trap animals, as I feel a kind of kinship with them.  It is only when I am desperate that I will eat my brothers and sisters, the animal people, unless they have given their lives to cars, and then I scrape them up and use their bodies, because their souls have already gone elsewhere.  Their bodies and soul remnants nourish me and talk to me and tell me secrets which if the others, those with homes, knew of, they would put me in one of their funny houses.  Not funny ha ha, but funny weird crazy, as I am always labeled by anyone who sees or meets me. 
Perhaps I am crazy, living on burdock root from abandoned lots, eating the leaves of lamb’s quarters, the tiny wild rosehips and the bitty peppery leaves of ox-eye daisies.  Writing this reminds me of an essay I once read by Euell Gibbons called something like “Over-Survival on Bald Island.”  He went out to see if he could survive only on wild edibles and ended up getting fat.  But maybe he brought with him butter and flour—I no longer remember.  I certainly don’t get fat on burdock root and wild carrot.  It’s not tasty enough to eat more than I need. I wonder if the library has that essay; I’d like to reread it, but I don’t like going to the library often because they think . . . they think I’m a bag lady, dirty, smelly, and probably crazy.  I don’t even like to write that down, but I believe it to be their truth even if it isn’t mine.   
Or maybe it is my truth, and I am unwilling to admit it to myself.  I think I am different than other bag ladies.  And I am, but then again, each of them is different, in some ways, from every other bag lady. 

Now that I have written these few words, the remaining words inside me have shriveled up and refuse to be birthed.  Whether I shall ever tell whom I am and how I came to be here remains to be seen.

I apologize for the weird fonts, I tried to fix it without success, I am sorry.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Kissed Frankie Goodnight . . .

Kissed Frankie Goodnight
watercolor by Mary Stebbins Taitt
for my book
click to view larger.

They partied for days, weeks, months and years;

the sound of their laughter filled everyone’s ears.

They partied ‘til the moon came up in the sky

and then all creatures kissed Frankie goodbye.


I painted this with watercolors, finishing it (after many days of work), on 8/21/14 and today, I added the moon in Photoshop.   It is for the book I am working on for my grandson hopefully for his birthday, otherwise for Christmas.  He will be four years old on his birthday, and has just started school.

I posted it before, but I think this is the finished version (I hope).

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Preparing to mail another traveling sketchbook

Pelicans, front of envelope
click this or any image to see the images larger

Georges Braque
Back of envelope
For the pocket, I decided to make small note cards.
Fantasy in red
I did the Fantasy in red first.
Fantasy in Blue
Mary Stebbins Taitt
Markers and pigment pens
I picked up on some of the shapes and composition of fantasy in red for my fantasy in in blue, and added an eye and a nose.  I "organized" the random lines in the wide band in fantasy in red into an eye.
Fantasy in Yellow
Mary Stebbins Taitt
Markers and pigment pens
For fantasy in yellow, I added a second eye and a mouth.  On the wide band, I made two eyes.
An Organization of Mind
Mary Stebbins Taitt
Markers and pigment pens
Because the two eyes on the wide band in Fantasy in  yellow resembled a mask, I decided I need one more (I had only planned to do three, in primary colors.)
The completed series
After I "completed" the series (or thought I had), I made one more card for my mother-in-law, who was having dinner with us, and although I hadn't intended it, it ended up to be the 5th in series.  However, it is not in the pocket because I gave it to her.

An organization of Mind II
Mary Stebbins Taitt
pigment pen and colored pencil
(NOT in pocket)

Sunday, September 07, 2014

"I dream someone is drawing cards that will determine not only my dreams, but also my future"

"I dream someone is drawing cards that will determine not only my dreams, but also my future"
by Mary Stebbins Taitt
water color, pen and ink
I really had this dream!  And as part of a dream yesterday morning, two small children were turning back and forth from kids to a snail and a slug and ricing through hot soapy water.  It was nerve-wracking to watch/dream!

This is my last piece in Aya's Mole this round.  Yet to do is one or more pocket items and the envelope.  I was going to start the envelope NOW, but the top is stuck on gesso and I can't get it off.

We have NO power at home, and slept at the studio last night.  The internet here is unbearably slow, and we don't have a smart phone, so I won't be online much until we get our power back at home.  Wish you love, joy, blessings!

Friday, September 05, 2014

I dream I need help securing a prisoner

I dream I need help securing a prisoner
by Mary Stebbins Taitt
in Aya's Moleskine
I got new pens and failed to test them for water-resistance--they SAID they were water-resistant but were not!  DUH!!!  I messed up--should have tested them.  They drew really nicely but bad when water added.  I do that intentionally sometimes, but in this case, did not want the ink to run.  I would have painted over the lettering but it would have been a disaster.

Collab for Mike

So, I have one more to do and I will mailing this Moleskine off to Mike.

We have company coming next week--our daughter Sarah and her husband Steve. We'll be busy getting ready, busy with them, busy catching up afterwards.  But fun!  YAY!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

free-ranging fish return to their tank

The runaway fish return to their tank
by Mary Stebbins Taitt
watercolor and pen and ink
5 x 8
I dream that the free-ranging fish must be back in their tank before dawn or they will die.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

I Dream the fish swim out of their aquariums at night

I Dream the fish swim out of their aquariums at night
by Mary Stebbins Taitt
in Aya's book
I did this tonight, September 2nd, but accidentally put the wrong date on.  This is a real dream I have.  Or, used to have repeatedly.  Haven't had it recently (I no longer have an aquarium; that may be why.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Collaboration with Andrea in Aya's Moleskine Sketchbook

Breathing Under Water
collab Andrea and Mary
click to view larger
I have not mailed Ballookey's mole to Mike yet, because I have spent several days trying to get decent and usable scans or photographs, which I need for the book I am working on.  But last night, I did my first piece in Aya's mole, a collab with Andrea.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Preparing envelope to mail Moleskine

front of envelope
drawing with faber-castell artist pigment pens
by Mary Stebbins Taitt
click images to view larger

back of envelope
drawing with faber-castell artist pigment pens
by Mary Stebbins Taitt
click images to view larger
I'm getting there.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Kissed Frankie goodnight

"and then all the animals kissed Frankie goodnight"
click to view larger
painting by me, Mary Taiit, watercolor
This is an update on the painting I've been working on, which probably almost, but not quite finished.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Continuing work on Moleskine and Frankie and Noah have a Party

Frankie putting Noah and the animals of the ark away for the night
click image to view larger.
I've been working on this painting and also on cleaning up one of my earlier ones where the blue paint from the sky got on the yellow wings.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

The Swimmer Woman, the Sun-bathing Women and Me

The Swimmer Woman, the Sun-bathing Women and Me

           Out past the end of the long, curved jetty at Pier Park, I watch a deeply tanned, slender and beautiful young woman paddling a long red sea-kayak in from open choppy, water and feel slightly envious of her lean, strong, attractive young body.
I wander back around to the central pier in front of the Community House.  As I arrive at the observation platform, the young woman with red sea kayak speaks from the water below to another woman on the tower near me.  The kayaking woman has an accent, French, maybe.  The other woman, the one on the observation deck, turns to speak to two people around my age and tells them that they kayaker is part of a team assisting a woman from Canada who is swimming 17 miles, ending here at Pier Park.  She, the speaker on the observation deck, is part of the welcoming team for the swimmer.  The welcome lady points out to “sea,” far out on the lake.  I follow the trajectory of her finger and see another red sea kayak and a white motorboat next to each other.  I cannot see the swimmer.  The boats are guarding the swimmer from motorboats.  She is still probably a quarter of a mile out at this point.  The pretty kayaker heads back out toward the rest of the swim team. 
            A big boat, a ship, moves along behind the swimmer, but farther out.  As the assisting kayaker paddles closer to the swim team, a fast-moving motor boat cuts between the swimmer and the approaching sea kayak, closer than I would prefer,
            I look through the telescope and see the swimmer, a small bobbing orange head between the other kayak, paddled by a man, and the motorboat.  I feel a rising sense of excitement for the woman and her team. 
            When I leave the observation tower, I see and old man and two children motoring in the harbor. They pass me slowly in one of those inflatable raft boats. I am deeply affected by their reflection, following them along the water, serene and colorful, broken into tiny shards by the ripples.  Suddenly, I feel deeply alive, perhaps because of my excitement over the arrival of the swimmer.
             Teenage girls in tiny bikinis sunbathe on the docks. I weave among them to reach the end of the dock.  It seems as if to them, I am invisible.  They talk through me as if I were transparent or nonexistent. One of them has pale green toe polish that matches her bathing suit. I carry three cameras, but haven't taken a picture. I don’t want to point my camera at the girl with the green toe polish, even though I find it intriguing.
            Two women sunning at the end of the dock talk about how motorcyclists should wear helmets and how slick racing bikers should be more considerate.  One lady says she was riding a mountain bike and a racing biker almost blew her off the road, and she says, "Piss off!" to the biker in a caustic tone.  I miss the next thing she says, but then she says, "Now that I know that it annoys you, I'll do it all the more."  She says she is “in communications.”  Her voice grates in my ear and heart.  "I need to find a voice register that people listen to," she says, and I almost laugh aloud.  "I don't give a shit about kids, I hate them and I don't want to have anything to do with them," she continues.  "Lose the PowerPoint and distractions," she says, and the other woman says, "Simplicity sells."  The bitchy woman says, "I don't like redundancy." She says likes Donald Trump and Howard Stern.  
            I eye the woman from the corner of my eye.  I cannot see her well.  She wears a bathing suit with pink flowers on green leafy background and lies on a low chaise.  She sounds acidic as she speaks.  How terrible to sound like that. I feel sorry for all the times I have sounded bitchy myself.  If only I could be sweet and mellow and never sound like that woman. But, sadly, I too often fail to be sweet and mellow.
            The other woman says, "I help my clients by keeping it simple, creating word pictures, and saying ‘if you don't do this, this is what will happen.’ I explain the harm of procrastination.”  She likes Donald Trump too, but doesn't sound nearly as grouchy. Her voice is sweet and pleasant, and she sounds sensible.  She doesn’t know who Howard Stern is.
            Standing at the end of the second longest pier, the straight one next to the beach that ends at the opening from the harbor and boat wells, I see the two red kayaks and motorboat who had accompanied the swimmer arriving around the edge of the long curved breakwater pier, but where is the swimmer? There she is.  The two kayaks surround her, and momentarily hide her.  She’s headed for the beach, doing the crawl with strong arms and a strong, steady stroke. The motorboat turns to the side, declining to head into the shallow water.
I turn toward shore and peer sideways at the more pleasant of the two women who were talking about helmets, communication, Donald Trump.  Her chin is tilted up, slightly.  She has a beautiful face, fine-featured and sophisticated, with dark curly hair. She smiles cheerfully and her face lights up.  I don’t get a look at the crabby-sounding woman; she is behind me.  I imagine her looking cranky and sullen, then chastise myself for my judgmental thoughts.
Quickly, I walk back along the dock toward shore, dodging between the sunbathing teens, walking fast trying to get to shore before the fast-moving swimmer.  A man walks by, maybe 28 or 30, wearing tight biker swim shorts.  Love handles hang over his suit all the way around.  His face is agreeable looking, he has a gentle, sweet voice talking to his kid, but he would look better, to me, in the old, looser style bathing suit.  Styles change, but why do they so often, lately, seem to change for the worse? I feel as judgmental and bitchy as the woman at the end of the dock.   
 I race toward shore hoping to beat the swimmer, watching her as I go.  Up she comes!  The swimmer stands in knee deep water.  She probably couldn't swim well in such shallow water.  She stumbles slightly.  I worry she’s exhausted. The kayakers close around her.  I could take a picture . . . but it would just be a picture of a woman standing in the water, and from a distance.  I take it anyway.  She wears an orange bathing cup.  She walks easily up onto shore.  I am relieved. 
I walk across the beach toward her, trying to see her, but tall grasses hide her from view.  For once, I stride across the beach without looking for dead fish, flotsam and jetsam and without watching the children at their castles and games.  Instead, I am interested in this woman who just swam 17 miles. She comes around the grasses, turns and walks toward me, opening the top of her wet suit and letting it hang down around her waist, revealing a blue bathing suit.  She doesn't look tired. She looks fresher than I feel. She smiles.  She is not young, as I’d imagined, but maybe 45 or 50.  Grey at the temples.  Happy-looking.  Excited for her, I smile with vicarious pleasure in her accomplishment.  But as she approaches me, I say nothing.  I want to congratulate her, but she doesn't know me.  I feel shy and invisible and just watch as she passes, touched by her courage, strength and poise. Thursday, August 7, 2014

I wrote this as I remembered it, but I don't fare well as an eyewitness--the photo shows the swimmer with her wet-suit already undone and in hip deep water. Still, I left the story as I recorded it.

Monday, August 04, 2014

On My Feet

Keith holds two of nine jars of sauerkraut I just made
They have beer bottles in the top for pressing them.
click images to view larger

I am on my feet for hours and hours.  I am making sauerkraut again, cutting, chopping grinding red and green cabbage, carrots, parsnips, yellow and green squash, broccoli, cauliflower, blueberries, lemons.  After I grind them, I beat them with as glass carafe until I am tired, and then I add salt, stuff them into nine jars, add weights and press them.

Then, there is a huge mess to clean up.  Then I walk to the store for mushrooms and other things I can’t grow.  After that, I stand at the counter cutting vegetables for dinner, and then I take a walk while I am waiting for my husband to return from visiting his mother at assisted living.

I am tired, but this, and the above, is not a complaint.

I was sick for so long, for over a year (and for many years before that, to varying degrees).  For a year, I literally could not do anything.  Sometimes, I thought I would never recover.  And I am not recovered, not entirely.  But it is a miracle that I can stand for hours and hours and do all that work.  This is not a complaint; it is a good thing, a thing to celebrate.

I think perhaps the raw sauerkraut helps.  I don’t know this.  But I seem to be feeling gradually better.

Here is a note for anyone contemplating making sauerkraut.  My second to the last batch before this got moldy.  It was gross.  I kept scooping the mold off, because supposedly, the stuff in the juice is safe.  But some of the mold flavor carried over and I didn't like it.  So I read up on how to prevent mold.  This what I read:  mix 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of water and add this just to the top of each jar.  That’s a pretty strong salt solution, and I was afraid it would make the sauerkraut taste bad, but instead, it worked great.  My whole last batch was the best batch I've made yet.  Hope the one I made today is as good when it ferments.

He doesn't like the homemade sauerkraut from the garden. 
He prefers store-bought cooked sauerkraut.

  We are eating dinner as I write this. This is happening right now.  I took the pictures with the computer, so they aren't as good as camera photos.

The finished sauerkraut (from the last batch)
is a more uniform red color.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Change of Pace

The best laid plans gwyn aft awry
The daily challenge today was to eat a meal or snack in a different place.  I decided to eat out in the backyard, as it was cooler than it had been, and sunny. First I had to change my clothes, because what I wear inside is inappropriate for outside, and then I carried my food out to the backyard and the first thing that happened was the I sat in a chair with a puddle! I didn't see the puddle--it was invisible!  Now I look like I peed my pants. The next chair also had a puddle, but smaller.I stupidly moved there, and sat in a second puddle. Meanwhile, huge black clouds came up and a persistent fly buzzed around. I noticed that my son, when he mowed the lawn, piled the grass clipping on top of the tomato plant, damaging it and breaking off some small tomatoes! I got up, unburied the tomato and pulled some weeds. The dark front continued moving in until it covered the whole once blue sky. I ate most of my lunch outside, and then came in for the final part and I think that horrid fly followed me in. Well, it was a change of pace, anyway! If I hadn't gone out, I wouldn't have rescued the the tomato plant in time!  So that's the silver lining!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Self-Portrait Challenge July 27, 2014

Quick Self-portrait Sketch with no mirror or photo on left
adjusted by peering at photo on right
(but still not quite right)
by me, Mary Stebbins Taitt
Starting with the quick sketch I made of myself (without looking in the mirror), I compared it to a photo of me and then tried to make it look a little more like me while still being essentially the same picture I'd originally made.  It turned out to be as difficult as reinventing myself has been, all my life.

I would like to be thinner, prettier, younger-looking and enlightened.

Wait . . . .

I don't think those things go together.

I guess what I want--and need-- is to accept and love myself and others, just as I and they are.

Flaws, quirks splotches and all.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Keith: A limerick for Daily Challenge

I have a sweet husband named Keith
who is good for some comic relief.
     He likes a good hoax
     or some off-the-cuff jokes
and is full of Joy and Caprice!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fish Doodle For Daily Challenge

Fish Doodle in "Fresh Paint"
by Mary Stebbins Taitt
This is my challenge for the day. Done in Fresh Paint.
A five-minute sketch (actually 7 minutes and 33 seconds)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Progress on Moleskine and Noah book

"Bid Noah Goodnight"
"And they came in in twos . .  ."
Casual Poppy Card
print card from acrylic painting
for pocket
Not sure if these are done yet.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Biker Buddy With Potato Chips

Keith with Potato Chips
I made this on my new Surface Pro in Artrage

Keith with Potato Chips
Then I printed it, and painted over almost the entire thing with acrylics
click images to view larger.
The second one I am including in Ballookey's pocket.

I am still working on two other pieces.  I will maybe try scanning them later today.

I am looking at these two paintings and I see things I like in the original and may do more work on the acrylic.  Oops, thought I was finished.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Unfinished self-portrait with left hand

Trying "watercolros" and "pastels"

Switching to trying "oils"
I was using a brand new program (app?) (new to me), "Fresh Paint," and my left hand.  I got so frustrated my right hand kept trying to take over for my left.  I had to give up.  The reason I was using my left hand was for a challenge for Daily Challenge/Me/You health.

It made me think how frustrating writing and drawing must be for little kids who don't have much manual dexterity.  Seriously difficult stuff!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Updates on progress on my current painting.

After a week of work I still haven't got the first layer of paint down!
This is with a different camera!
Getting the colors right without a good scanner is a pain!
Day 8 on this piece
Still not finished!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

New Art in process, Moleskine, June 2014

I am sorry to report that my scanner is still not working, so I have tried to photograph the pieces I am working on.  The first one is a collaboration with Andrea.

Collaboration with Andrea,
PITT Faber Castel pigment pens and colored pencil

The second piece is the one I am currently working on, showing two stages of work. It is for my book, Frankie and Noah have a party.

Collaboration, 1st half, for Mike
The last piece is a collaboration for Mike to finish.  My intention was to do a simple graphic black and white but I got carried away and colored it.  "The owl and the Pussycat went to sea/ in a beautiful pea green boat."

Mike, feel free to change the these, paint or color over or change any part of what I did, etc.  You can erase the lines of the boat and the ear of the owl if you want to do something entirely different--it could be a scene in the daytime.

Click images to view larger.