Friday, February 27, 2009

Bowing To My Habit

Yes, I'm hooked. It is 10 p.m. and I must get up around 5 or so to get ready and go to the volleyball tournament and what am I doing? Talking to my imaginary friends....oh, I know you are not but that just popped in my head. Did I mention that by 2 a.m. I still could not fall asleep last night? So, crazy talk now. Anyhow, I wanted to post a little ink ditty composed the other night, I'm not sure if this qualifies as a zentangle or not. I texted it to my son yesterday and he replied, "What the h___ is that?" Now, first, is that anyway to text yo' mama? Uh-uh. But the point is it's just not his thing, even though he is majoring in art and doing his share of it right now. Hey, I have a very point-blank crew around here that is mostly interested in art that is realism. It makes me laugh. Upon showing some work to Mr. Unplugged I get, "What's that for?" I say it's for fun. So y'all have fun today!

Award, Image and Volleyball

I was blessed and thrilled to receive this 'Friends' award from A Woman Of No Importance a couple of days ago. Thank you soooo much, I return the award back to you tenfold. I have recently made many new friends so it will be difficult to choose.
"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these kind writers. When you pass the award along please include these guidelines. I am to choose eight friends to share this with." 8 friends, out of many, that have been supportive, friendly and just good fun include:

Thank you to all my 'old' and new blog friends!

The colored pencil quick sketch above is the softer image created with Mim in mind.....
Finally, two day volleyball tournament in our town this weekend but work starts tonight. Will be having a tougher time checking my site and visiting yours. Tomorrow morning we arrive at 7:30 for some hours of vball.....go VolleyGirl!!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dogs On Thursday: A Week In Retrospect

This is pretty much what I live best buddy tickles me before leaving again.

Omg......looking around with my smushed sniffer is to die for! It's my next favorite thing!

I like to lay here in dad's study when he is working and also come to find solitude when he is not comforts me.

I admit to watching a little of the junk box sometimes. I find it bores me to sleep.

Sometimes mom gives me bites of dry food for snacks....I know she has some so I'm just going to smoosh my head right here between her leg and the chair arm just to be sure she knows I'm interested!

This chair is super comfy but even I have to stretch out between my naps.

It is just more comfortable when I sit on the side of my hind end instead of straight down.
Very often I just have to stretch out in the floor, sort of loosens up my spine I think. It never fails mom is trying to get a picture of me. I'm trying to relax and just go with the flow. Dad has been gone overnight a couple of times lately and that bothers me. I keep a close eye on the door and like going outside alot more. Mom seems slightly irritated with that, I don't know why, what can lift spirits more than turbo-sniffing the ground when you feel a bit blue? Women, they confuse me............

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Eyes Have It

Raymonty requested that I draw some eyes. It has been difficult to find art time the last few days but I did manage to do these in colored pencil. Working on something else right now, hopefully I can get back to more eyes, not satisfied with these. The Canine Messiah had me getting up repeatedly to get him out of mischief, that frustrated me My doodles are usually eyes....okay, that does not sound right, but you know what I mean. Usually I only do the right eye, well, that would actually be someone's left eye! Something else to work on......................the more I see, learn and do..........the more I recognize how little I know!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Award Winning Weekend.........

He seemed to look at me as if I was a foreign object.
He was beginning to relax and accept my prescence.
It was a fairly busy weekend around the house for me this past weekend. I kept thinking that I would get a little art accomplished, if I did, it was in the form of cooking and baking. I baked cookies, banana bread, made pizzas, homemade buttermilk biscuits and a wonderful pasta. Yeah, must have used up all the 'conversational veggies' last week! BigBoy was home from school and that usually keeps me hopping in the food department! I had wash to do and also took VolleyGirl to practice.

Last night I watched the Academy Awards, I like to see the fashion, the hair, the characters......I've only seen one of the nominated movies but have heard much about most of them. Being a bit of a newshound, whether it be politics, entertainment, music, world news.....or just call it nosey, I like to be up on it somewhat. I went to the recreation room where VolleyGirl was doing homework. She had the big screen tv on the awards. Dudley was a bit relunctant to share 'his' couch with me. Obviously, he managed to let go and relax a bit!

I do have an image in my head that hopefully will appear on paper before the day is over today. My thoughts drifted to Mim a couple of times yesterday and a softer, more peaceful image has come to mind.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It Takes a "Beating"

My son described this drawing as disgusting and gross. Started not to show it to him because I knew he wouldn't get it and not like it much. I was right. I did this a few weeks ago. It was an illustration of my heart I suppose and frankly I don't remember what was eating away at me during that time. Stress, sadness, disappointment, whatever. I was thinking of a heart shape but sort of like the real heart at the same is suspended by a string faintly and I considered holding the string with fingers or a bow. Obviously, never did that. So it hangs by a thread. It is what it is, cracked, bleeding, melting, worn, whatever. I remembered of this drawing when thinking of Mim this morning as she mourns the loss of her father. I will try to draw something a bit more appealing later. My thoughts and prayers are with you Mim.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Almost A Typical Day For Dogs On Thursday

My day began much as usual. Mom gets up and takes me outside about 6:10, it was cold this morning! I usually sleep really late, like 11:00 or later, why not? The couch is all for me and that down comforter is pretty cozy. Today dad fed me and mom stuck that silly thing in my face again....when I'm trying to eat!!! Dad had to be out of the house today and it just isn't the same sitting in my favorite chair without him here. I hope he gets home soon.........where's Soulbrush when you need her?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In Celebration of the 100th Post

Wow, I don't know what to say to myself for giving me this trophy! Hey you like me, you really like me! The engraving reads:

Artist Unplugged!



February 18, 2009

This silly trophy was created with ink and colored pencil.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

100th Post and First Gift

I just noticed that this is my 100th post! I will have to do some art tonight to celebrate it! Thanks to everyone that bothers to drop by to look and "listen". Each one that visits, leaves comments, makes suggestions are very appreciated. I can't tell you how much you are influencing my desire to work, learn and discover my abilities. My brain needs all the exercise it can get! Thanks!

Wouldn't you know that I receive my very first gift from a blog buddy while I am away this past weekend doing wheelies on the interstate!!!! I had been expecting it for many days. Leet did this portrait of my great nephews in December and had it posted for awhile. She is a very sweet and talented lady. Periodically she chooses someone that regularly leaves comments on her site and creates a portrait for them. She framed it and sent it all the way from Indonesia! Make an opportunity to visit her site. Thanks again Leet!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Look Inside My Head.......

This is a mere thumbnail sketch of this past weekend's events.
Let it be said that I strongly dislike driving somewhere using directions and looking for exits while cars are speeding by on five lanes of traffic. Confidant at having accurate directions that any trained circus animal could follow...........but it never fails that the roadsign I see ahead has a choice of east or west, or north or south, uh, excuse me, why was that teeny-tiny little tidbit of pertinent information not noted in my directions? Trust me, I ALWAYS make the wrong choice in those situations! I honed my skills at getting off an interstate at the next exit, turning left and getting back on the interstate going the opposite direction. Once again proving that repetition is the key to perfection, I performed that aggravating task no less that four times during our weekend escapade out of town for a volleyball tournament. I was never lost.....thank goodness. Safe to say, 93.8% of my time driving was spent with my body feeling extreme anxiousness or stress. The "Lord, Please Lead Me To The Correct Turn Prayer" was repeated a couple of times. While this type of driving is unpleasant, at least I was not fearful of an accident........that is.......until I went to the outdoor shopping and dining extravaganza that EVERYONE was going to on Valentine's Day weekend!!!!! That is where I used the "Heavenly Father, Please Don't Let Someone Hit My Van Prayer" alternately with the "Please Guide My Wheels To A Parking Space Prayer". My intention is not to offend...I really prayed. These may not be printed in your prayer book but they are chiseled in my handy "Stupid-But-Really-Important-Real-Time Prayers That I Say In My Head Book Of Prayers". It is a paperless book stored only in the zig-zag crevices of my brain where dust would gather but it doesn't only because it is an enclosed space.
Don't think I don't know what you are thinking. Why didn't she mapquest her directions? I did. However, Mr. Unplugged, (also known as SuperSpouse but this name seems more fitting for this mundane, run-on story) informed me that I did not need to take those directions, they would take me through unsavory parts of town that we may possibly not return. This was stressed numerous times, "do not turn right, you will be shot if you turn right!" I remembered that. (Footnote: Upon arrival home I was informed that I would be given a taser and attending a class would be required, that they come in pink too) He goes to this town very often for work and this is how I should go, hence, the interstate directions, minus the east, west, north, south trivial notations. HE knows it so well, I do not, I NEED to know these things! Refer back to statement above: I ALWAYS make the wrong choice, we're going south, need to be going north, etc., etc., etc. Note: Conversations that occurred by cellphone in this story have been omitted for lack of space......ha.
VolleyGirl was a bit under the weather when we left and only worsened over the weekend. Our two excursions from the hotel, excluding the drive to the college for the tournament, was to go to a restaurant to pick up food to bring to the room on Friday night and then Saturday night back to the same "shopping sardine-can traffic" location to eat with some of the team. Both nights, it was back to the room and for VG, to bed. The team did better than I expected but sadly were a few points short in a couple of games.
The photos above are of VG passing and a jump serving. This is my first attempt at a zen. The middle circle is a volleyball, this is the vision I had in my head last night when I sat down. Yes, I took my sketchbook, colored pencils and pen with me over the weekend but I did not feel like doing any art, probably would have been hostile art. I was in the room nurturing and trying to relax.
Finally, it must be reported that I was a victim of assualt this past weekend by a few hoodlum brownies AND a bottle of coke (not diet, industrial strength). Sigh. I was weak, and lacked the fortitude to fight back. I am in recovery today. It will take me another day maybe to visiting your sites since both VG and Mr. are off for President's Day. Hmmmm, what town is next.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dogs On Thursday Just Want To Sleep!!!

Here I am trying to get some shut-eye and she has that blame thing pointed at me, flashing it in my eyes. I wish she would just leave me alone! No, I can't lay in the shape of a heart.......I don't even know what that is! Fine, I don't really care, here- take that!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Healthy Conversation Hearts Harvest Is Finished!

These are the last of the healthy conversational fruits and vegetables this week that have been a play on conversation heart candy. They all have been created using graphite and colored pencil, the camera does not flatter them very much. It has been fun! The candies have not been screaming as loudly (thank goodness) but a pastry tried to pick me up at the grocery store today but I ran quickly away!

Apollo will post late for Dogs On Thursday and hopefully Friday I will have another heart post if time permits. Preparing this week for a two-day volleyball tournament and we will be leaving Friday since VolleyGirl must be at the gym by 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Later.....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Healthy Hearts and........... "Poem"

Continuing the theme on conversation heart candy. Here are two more "healthy" versions of the hearts, "Let Us Be Together" and "Love You Bunches". My attempt of a poem based on my dysfunctional relationship with the little devils.
Screaming fructose laden hearts galore,
stop calling out my name!
Though hands clasp tightly over ears,
you're louder all the more!
The buds you tempt snap to attention,
a flash of weakness I do fear.
The price of failure certain pounds to gain,
foolish brain - it's not water retention!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Opening My Heart To You.....

I want to have some fun with quick draws of various heart shapes this week leading up to Cupid's Holiday this coming weekend. Allow me to share as to how these pop into my mind. Shocker! I struggle to stick to healthy eating and am cursed by an addiction to sugar! For better health and enhanced beauty (rolling on floor with laughter at that one!) I still want to lose pounds. SuperSpouse (Mr. Artist Unplugged) enjoys those conversational hearts candy during this time of year and buys them frequently. Naturally, all my mind can go to is that sweet, heart-shaped drug lying in the bright pink and red bags screaming my name! Ok, THAT sounded a bit extreme but uh, they do. Last time I ate them without even reading the cute quips printed on them! Oh, doom- what have I come to? I have resisted their little whimsical talking heart- shaped bodies so far for several days. However, in my head there is a big screen running pictures of "forbidden foods" with a big, red slash through them and then pictures of what I should eat instead. So...............just what would some of those "friendly" foods look like if you were to mold them into those tasty, sweet conversation hearts???? I hope to post one or two each day until Friday..........then it's off to a 2-day volleyball tournament this weekend!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Muddling through "Maytagaramas"

This is the present state of one of the "maytagaramas" I have been forcing myself to work on. There, I said it. May I add, there is a lack of joy in creating these large acrylic paintings of old washing machines- but they must be done. They are for a friend of mine that owns two laundramats (I don't think I spelled that correctly, referring to the place where you take clothes and wash them). It's the straight lines I mostly detest and sometimes tire of the lack of color. Hopefully it will help me to pick up my pace and not be so picky, my gosh, it's not like someone will be seeing these old machines very often to compare them to...but, I need to do a good job. It doesn't help that I want to be painting and drawing other things and try to when there is not enough time to work on these. It has been more difficult finding adequate time than I thought, how could I forget how slow I am? Probably the same manner I forget most everything else. For the record, the background looks sky blue here but it is actually a green, I have tried to mix up the background colors as much as possible. There will be a total of 14 when I am finished, then I will be framing them. Today so far has been filled with using a modern washing machine, cooking, cleaning some, you know, those tasks I live for (ahem!). VolleyGirl would love for me to get them finished as part of the money is going to pay for her braces..........I'm trying! Bless her heart, her makeover depends on her mother's painting ability.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dogs On Thursday Special: R.I.P. Winnie Girl

I received an email from my brother yesterday morning letting me know that one of their dogs, Winnie Girl, passed away on Sunday of natural causes. She was a beloved mix-breed that had been a part of the family for close to ten years. She found them, my brother thinks someone just dropped her off, she was already spayed. Winnie Girl and his other dog, Pee Wee, became good buddies. They were typical dogs that spent most of their time outside but were brought in when it was cold or bad weather. My brother and his family live in Louisiana and they would often come home with him and his familywhen they came to visit-and to evacuate hurricanes. They were never any trouble at all and loved to go with him as he and friends rode up the mountain on four-wheelers and often camped out. There were occasions when they hitched a ride on the vehicle with him. Pee Wee, being an old dog himself, hasn't changed his behavior much due to the loss. She was a good companion to my brother when he works outside and on all those trips through the years. My brother noticed she had slowed down in the past few days. and up until the last twelve hours she was still eating, but with less enhusiasm. Winnie's most favorite treat was hotdogs which was the very last food she ate. My brother was with her when she passed. Good dog, Winnie Girl, we will all miss you when they all come home to visit.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Yesterday's Gone........Thankfully!

Tuesday started off fine, at least it was at 6:15 in the morning when the four-legged boss was taken out first thing. Shortly after though, the blur that I was seeing from my right eye meant I could expect a headache. I very, very rarely have a migraine and only once or twice has it ever been bad. Drove VolleyGirl to school then came home and laid on the couch with the Canine Messiah. It worsened, nausea, throw up, lovely picture, huh? Finally dozed off, woke up, some better, then VolleyGirl calls from school wanting me to pick her up cause she's not feeling well. Thankfully, I was better, but it leaves what I call a headache hangover where you still feel a bit bad and drained. She had experienced dizziness and nausea....I think it is sinus trouble. She's ok. Went to grocery store, had to, had put it off yesterday. Took it easy for the most part. Later, BigBoy calls, and I answered the phone with "did you win?" He told me over the weekend he was playing a rec basketball game at 4:00. My reply was did he think that was a good idea....I knew he would go full speed, jump big, go all out. He's a really big boy now, not built like a basketball player, more like a big lineacker and whether I like it or not, he lifts alot of weight and eats a lot of food and is pushing 6'4" (he's grown in college). I feared him messing up an ankle or knee. First words from his mouth was "you jinxed me." Great. I could tell he was upset. Sure enough, turned his right ankle and he suspected it was broken. I told him I did not jinx him, just never felt good about it and had spent some time telling myself that I shouldn't worry about a 20 year old playing basketball. How would he get to class, to eat, to the doctor. Long story shortened (a bit), it is not broken and it is very black and blue this morning, but swelling is better and he can put weight on it and is able to drive. Whew! My parents must have felt terrible when I hurt my knee away at college and was put in a huge cast, couldn't drive my Volkswagen beetle. My mother wanted me to come home but I wanted to stick it out.......know how it feels now. We dodged a bullet this time!

Here is a pencil drawing from years ago, today is another day!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tiring But Enjoyable

It's Monday but I am not fully recovered from the weekend. The first volleyball tournament of the club season. First let me state that this sketching my real life settings is squeaky new for me and it's super rough, but I am pushing on through it, continuing my effort to do some type of "art". I'm not even sure if I like doing it, but alot of that is because I am a perfectionist and yeah, it irks me for it to be so bad.....but I'm doing it. I also still haven't figured out how to get my posts layed out like I like. For example, I haven't been able to load my photos and place text in between them to comment on that particular photo. This irritates me to no end...........ok, I vented a bit, feels better.
For those of you unfamiliar with club sports, which is played during the school's sport off season, let me set the scene just a bit. Pack food, chairs, uniform, overnight clothes (this time), and me being team mom...utensils, napkins, plates, hand sanitizer, extension cords, etc. Since I made macaroni and cheese, I had it packed in a cooler and then brought the crock pot. We lived over two hours away from this one and they were one hour ahead of us so we went the night before and stayed over. The next morning (after sleeping poorly) we arrive at the location, secure a spot in the hallway, set up a table and camp out.
Arrive at gym at 8:30 and watch and play volleyball for the next 10 hours! The team doesn't play the whole time, they were referees, scorekeepers, line judges for some matches, sit out some (that's when they eat). There is alot of walking back and forth to the gym, stepping up bleachers, (I feel like an old woman between bad knee and back) cheering, standing around, sitting around and good visits with the parents. The girls have a great time, they all get along really well. They come from different schools in the area and I think it is good for them socially, not just athletically. This is her third year and I have made some wonderful friends. The team did ok, room for improvement, but no trophy. Proud of VolleyGirl, she never came out for any of the games, played the whole time!
The top photo is some of the girls, VolleyGirl is second from left, she will give me enormous grief if she sees I posted this, she wasn't prepared in it like a couple of the others! Then, I sketched the back of VG, the food table and my poor behind on the bleachers!