Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Owl and the Pussy Cat

2.5 x 3.5 inches ATC
mixed media

The Owl and the Pussycat
by Edward Lear

 The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are, you are, you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are."

Pussy said to the Owl "You elegant fowl,
How charmingly sweet you sing.
O let us be married, too long we have tarried;
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows,
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose, his nose, his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling your ring?"
 Said the Piggy, "I will"
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon.
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand.
They danced by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Illustration Friday - Fast

oil pastel on black paper

I really don't have anything cryptic or unusual about this week's submission.  It is simply a fast sketch of a fast dog.  I raised, showed, and lure coursed greyhounds for a number of years.  They are exhilarating to watch doing what they do best.  I have had as many as 14 hounds at one time but I am now down to my last two retired greyhound girls and I don't anticipate getting back into competition with dogs any time in the near future.  I simply don't have the time or energy for all of the political maneuvering that goes along with it.  If it had been more about dogs than people, I might have stuck with it a bit longer.

Annabel Lee

Colored Pencil on Bristol
made for a poetry swap on Illustrated ATCs


Author: Edgar Allan Poe

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love -
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulcher
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me
Yes! that was the reason
(as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we
Of many far wiser than we
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In the sepulcher there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Illustration Friday - Frozen

Frozen Embryo
2.5 x 3.5 inches ATC
watercolor and colored pencil

I had nearly given up on participating in Illustration Friday this week.  I was feeling utterly uninspired and I didn't want to submit something that seemed  like simply another version of what a lot of other people had already done better.  But.... as luck would have it, inspiration hit me just as I was going to bed last night.  Frozen embryos are typically found in the form of an 8 celled blastosphere, similar to what's in the upper right hand corner, but I wondered what the little guy might look like if he were just a little more developed.  If frozen embryos all looked like this I wonder if science would handle them any differently?

I'm not making any political statements, nor taking a stance on one platform or another.  It's just an interesting thing to think about.  What does it mean to be human?  If you are frozen, and in an early developmental stage, have you become human yet, or are you still waiting?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Illustration Friday - Flying

“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.”  Freidrich Nietsche  


This was the quote that came with this week's word in the illoannounce e-mail.  It inspired me to consider a literal look at the struggle of learning to fly.  We have lots of  bluebird, cardinal, and swallow babies at our house each summer and it is always exhilarating when they finally leave their nests.  

Click the picture to make it bigger.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Illustration Friday - Germs

A Good Day
The surest way to keep your kids healthy and boost their immune system, is to let them eat a little dirt.
I was the female version of this kid when I was growing up, and aside from being accident prone, I am really a rather healthy adult.  Age is starting to catch up with me though.  I sure wish there was a cure for that.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Illustration Friday - Pattern or the PUT UP A CRANE Peace Project

hand decorated paper origami crane
This is the first week since I started the self-imposed Illustration Friday assignments that I almost missed participating.  I feel like I have a very good excuse for being so late this week.  Besides grades being due for the 1st six weeks of school, I have initiated a somewhat ambitious project that I am trying to get not only my students, but the community involved in. 

First a little background information.  Last week a teacher at a nearby high school was stabbed to death by a student in his classroom.  The exact motivation for this tragic event is still somewhat sketchy, but it impacted me deeply as I am sure it did many other students and teachers in this part of East Texas.  In response to this heartbreaking incident, I decided to have my students make a positive statement to our community concerning their personal accountability for promoting peace, tolerance and understanding in our community.  What I had initially intended to offer my own Art students, I have broadened to include the entire high school,  I hope to continue to extend it even further into the school district and the community.

So here is what we are doing:
 Participants are asked to take a 6x6 inch piece of copy paper, and write on one side of the paper, their thoughts, hopes, wishes and intent for promoting peace and tolerance in our community.  After writing, they are asked to draw on the other side of the paper an image that relates to what they have just written.  With my students, I talked about a lot of different traditional/cultural symbols for peace.  Students are allowed to use one or more of these symbols in their drawn images if they wish.  One well-known symbol that we talk about is folded origami cranes, and the story of how a wish is granted if you fold a thousand cranes.  I tell the students that if we are of one mind and have essentially the same wish, that we as a group can have our wish granted as well.  We then fold the written and drawn paper into origami cranes.  We will string our cranes on fishing line and hang them as an art installation in the school.  I encourage those who participate to imagine the power of a work of art in which so many people have the same goals and the same desires for our community.  No one will be able to read what is written or see the entire drawn image, because it is all folded up inside the crane, but everyone will know its collective meaning.  The strength of the message is in each individual crane.

I came up with a simple anagram for the title of the project. It helps us talk about connected themes that participants might write/draw about
P eace
U understanding
T olerance
U nity
P ersonal
A ccountability
C ommunity
R espect
A ltruism
N on-violence
E mpathy

I have it in my head that either the entire art installation, or maybe individual strands of cranes can be offered to other schools in the future to encourage them to participate along with us.  We'll see how successful I am at getting that first 1000 cranes.  We currently have a little over 200 finished cranes so we have a long way to go.  I'll keep our progress posted here as we approach our goal.

The pattern on the paper for the crane above is supposed to be an olive branch design - another common symbol for peace.

Wish me luck!