Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fourth layer of paint on "Had Races and Won"

Everyone Cheered to watch Racers Run
4th later of paint
Acrylic, by me, Mary Stebbins Taitt
Click to view larger

I've added a fourth layer of paint, which took about 4 days, and as you can plainly see, it is till quite a ways from being finished.  I added turtles in the audience at the lower because the space seemed too empty, but they need work, and I painted out the head of the wolf on the furthest left because its legs were too short.  Since the light is coming from above, slightly behind and to the right, I will have to do some work with the sun and shadows, which right now is just plopped on (To make the turtles more visible.).  Too bad, because I was reaching a point of being almost happy with the grass before.  I think the Dachshund is finished or nearly finished, and maybe the cat, too. The elephant is getting closer. (Too bad the scanner won't scan the gutter! :-( )  Frankie is my grandson, and this is for a book for him.

*The paper is getting progressively thicker!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book List for 2014

A few of my recent books

I don't think I ever posted my book list for 2013 because I hadn't finished it.  This one isn't finished either, but I'm going to post it anyway:

A word about my reading:  We have inherited a huge library from Keith's parents, ML and Dean and I am working my way through some of their books (In addition to books gifted to me and some I acquired myself).

Books, 2014

Adult fiction:
  1. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell, January 8, 2014
  2. The Cornflake House, Deborah Gregory, January 15, 2014
  3. Life Class, Pat Barker, January 16, 2014
  4. Toby’s Room, Pat Barker, January 27, 2014
  5. Life of Pi, Yann Martel, Feb 7, 2014
  6. The Journey, Danielle Steel, Feb 26, 2014
  7. Persuasion, Jane Austen, April 18, 2014
  8. Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler, May 1, 2014
  9. Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell, May 9, 2014
  10. The Tenth Circle, Jodi Picoult, May 22, 2014
  11. The Far Side of the World, Patrick O’Brian, Aug 1, 2014
  12. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, August 6, 2014
  13. Emma, Jane Austen, August 16, 2014
  14. The Wine-Dark Sea, Patrick O’Brien, September 10, 2014
  15. The Story Sisters, Alice Hoffman, September 15. 2014
  16. Freaky Deaky, Elmore Leonard, September 20, 2014
  17. The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood, October 7, 2014
  18. The Invention of Wings, October 8, 2014
  19. Master and Commander, Patrick O'Brian, Oct 28, 2014
  20. Fly Away Home, Jennifer Weiner, October 29, 2014
  21. My Erotic Life, San Cassimally
  22. Blue at the Mizzen, Patrick O’Brian,
  23. Post Captain, Patrick O’Brian, November 26, 2014
  24. HMS Surprise, Patrick O’Brian, December 2, 2014
  25. The Letter of Marque, Patrick O’Brian, December 12, 2014
  26. Brand New Moon, Douglas W. Millikin

Adult nonfiction:
  1. Daddy Long Legs, John T. Price, Feb 28, 2014
  2. Brave Intuitive Painting, Flora Bowly, March 6, 2014
  3. The Lizard King, Bryan Christy, July 1, 2014
  4. The Lizard King, Bryan Christy, July 3, 2014
  5. The Lizard King, Bryan Christy, July 19, 2014
  6. A mountain of Crumbs, Elena Gorokhova. August 5, 2014
  7. Structuring your novel, KM Weiland, August 7, 2014
  8. Negotiating with the Dead, Margaret Atwood,

YA Fiction
  1. Edges, Lena Roy, 2-5-14
  2. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer, Feb 14, 2014
  3. Artemis Fowl; The arctic Incident, Eoin Colfer, Feb 14, 2014
  4. Artemis Fowl, The Eternity Code, Eoin Colfer, Feb 22, 2014
  5. Artemis Fowl, The Opal Deception, Eoin Colfer, March 14, 2014
  6. A Northern Light, by Jennifer Donnelly, March 15, 2014
  7. Eragon, by Christopher Paolini, March 25, 2014
  8. Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony, Eoin Colfer, March 27, 2014
  9. Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox, April 8, 2014 (book 6)
  10. A Northern Light, by Jennifer Donnelly, April 14, 2014 (2nd reading)
  11. Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex, April 28, 2014
  12. Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian, Eoin Colfer, May 21, 2014
  13. Path of Beasts, Lian Tanner, 8/11/14
  14. Revolution, by Jennifer Donnelly, 8/23/14
  15. Permanent Record, Leslie Stella

Children’s Fiction:
  1. mockingbird, Kathryn Eskine, May 4, 2014
  2. touch blue, by Cynthia Lord, May 5, 2014
  3. Mischief in Fez, Eleanor Hoffmann, September 37, 2014

Children’s Picture books
  1. Best Counting Book Ever, Richard Scarry, January 1, 2014
  2. What Do Snowman Do at Night? Caralyn Buehner, January 2, 2014
  3. Sky Color, Peter H Reynaolds. June 11, June 12 2014 (2X)

Books started but not finished:

  1. The Death of Grass, John Christopher.gratuitous violence perpetrated by protagonists (“the good guys”)  UGH!  (This is on the iPad, so I want to revisit it for my own novel--I plan to use the BADNESS of the main characters in this book for the BAD guys in my books.)  Two varieties of bad guys, really bad, and misguided (but therefor bad).

And here is what I have finished so far this year:

Books, Movies, etc 2015
Adult Fiction
  1. The Nutmeg of Consolation, Patrick O’Brian, 1-7-15
  2. CarSick, John Waters, 1-17-15
  3. The Yellow Admiral, Patrick O’Brian, 1-26-15

Monday, January 26, 2015

Stung (Nicknames)

The image of me at the Catskill Game Farm, not sure if I was 12 or 13, lacks quality because it is a scan from a print from a previous scan of an old image (I couldn't find the original or the digital file, many computer deaths since it was originally scanned). The word clouds are from I pasted in the poem and then repeatedly pasted in a few keywords (the nicknames) to make them larger.  Click image to view larger.

Trapped (Nicknames)

Horsehair, Gary called her, spitting the word
like phlegm, burning her cheeks with it.  Horsehair,
because, at thirteen, she wore her long hair in braids,
instead of short, curled and coiffed like the other girls. 
She liked horses, loved to ride, but the name stung
as if each hair were a bee angry and spiteful. 
In the classroom, while other kids screamed and flailed,
she lifted trapped bees gently from the window
in her hands and carried them outdoors.  They never stung,
but Gary did.  “Dale calls me Tiger,” she told Gary,
wishing, at his horselaugh, she'd never spoken. 
If Gary called her Tiger, it would be an insult,
but Dale smiled when he said it, his eyes full of soft heat. 
He found her feisty, strong.  Independent.  Fierce. 
In the glow of Dale's appreciation, she morphed to Tiger.
Stood tall.  Growled.  Stalked the forest
like a predator.  Kissed with hunger, with teeth.
Gary couldn't see a tiger in her; when he looked
the tiger morphed to mouse, scrambled to hide,
wanted to be invisible to Gary and his gang. 
But they always saw her, an all too visible target
for their venom.  To quiet Gary, she chopped off her hair,
curled and coiffed.  Though she tried to blend
like a chameleon with the other girls,
she’d already been marked for the kill.

Mary Stebbins Taitt
for Gary Sommers, Mike Sullivan, David McNalley and Dale Ripberger

150126-1207-3a(7), 090409-2341-1e

Friday, January 23, 2015

Early stages of Had Races and Won

Often, when I start a new painting, I get very discouraged and wonder why I pretend to be able to do this.  It seems obvious I can't.  I want to give up, because it seems hopeless.

"Had Races and Won"
Acrylic on thin Moleskine paper
1st coat
click this or any image to view larger

"Had Races and Won"
Acrylic on thin Moleskine paper
2nd coat
The images are photos with a point and shoot camera, sorry about the reflections.  I'll start scanning, if I can, I'm having difficulties with my scanner!  :-(

This is a slow process for me, but I am working on i!  It is as of yet quite unfinished.  It is for a book I am working on for my grandson.
"Had Races and Won"
Acrylic on thin Moleskine paper
3rd coat
I added another layer of paint.  Most of the paint I am using is fairly transparent (although some is thick and opaque.  I Have to put many layers on to get it to look the way I want it,  I scanned this one, but the scanner is messing up and I don't have time right now to fiddle with it, and since it isn;t done yet, I'll just post this--hope you can see the difference between the layers (versions) (drafts).

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Savory dairy-free, soy-free, gluten free carrot pancakes

I just made my own yummy variation on the savory veggie pancakes that is gluten-free and dairy free--and simple:

1 organic free-range egg
1/4 cup gluten free rolled oats (Bob's red mill)
1/4 cup cooked organic carrots (I grated them and they cooked very quickly)
salt, garlic, pepper, dill to taste

spread in pan
saute lightly in extra virgin olive oil until light browned on both sides yum.
healthy and delicious!

add raisins or nuts if desired.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Biker Buddy in Moleskine Exchange

Biker Buddy, by Mary Taitt
mixed media on Moleskine thin paper
Biker Buddy with the flu
mixed media on thin Moleskine paper
I started the first one in markers, but I didn't have enough colors for shading so I added oil pastels and then I added acrylics.  The second one is what I made from the bleed-through from the first.  I'm not counting it as a page, because the paper is very thin and I wanted to make the bleed-through into something.  I also thought it would be fun to make it into something somewhat different from the original.  In the first painting, I was experimenting with unusual light sources and also concerned with flat (dead) colors--and how to make them live (add light).

dead and living colors
I chose colors that I thought looked particularly "dead" on their own, olive green, Indian red, flat grey and burnt umber.  Some of the ways to add light included dry brush, adding other colors, glazing.  I am not a fan, generally speaking, in my own work, anyway, of large areas of single blank dull colors.

test prints
giraffes conversing
Mary Stebbins Taitt

We recently put my mother-in-law, ML (for Mary Louise), in assisted living.  She used to be a teacher.  One of the books I inherited when she left her home is called printing for fun, and I read through it and discovered from printing techniques I hadn't heard of.  One is printing with paper masters--not like mimeograph, but cutting and pasting masters with shapes and using them to print with.  I decided to try it with textured papers and did my first two test prints in Mike's book.  I then made a card and included the master, because as I discovered, paper masters do not last too long--they begin to wear out and disintegrate.  It is only for fun and very small "runs."

Pocket items: Sample card
paper master
sample prints
giraffes conversing (NOT in pocket)
I included a scan of a few of the sample prints I made and you can see the disintegration of the paper.  (although they are not in order).  It was still a fun and relatively easy project and would probably be good with kids who have a short attention span anyway.  Just cut out and glue the shapes, make a few prints and move on.