Thursday, March 31, 2011

Baby Talk

Good morning!  I have been busy already today.  I got up early to go to the lab and get blood drawn for my bi-annual draws, but the lab didn't open til 8:)  I'm sure it used to open earlier, but I was only 15 minutes early.  And I didn't have to wait in line once they opened.  Funny, there were about 10 men there, and only one other woman.  I guess it is true what they say about women being healthier....or men just get up earlier.  So then I came home and stewed a little more about my mixed media project.  And then I fixed breakfast to distract my mind and make my tummy feel better.   I am going to work on my art today until it is at least semi-done.  It shouldn't be this hard!  But the weather is sunny and warm today, so I will go "on location" and draw and paint and whatever.  I hope it is as nice as it sounds.
I really wish I was packing to go somewhere.  Kim is leaving for conference today.  That sounds nice, but I will have to be happy with home right now.  Sigh!  Last year I went to the redwoods!  That was so nice.  They are such magnificent trees, and I think it kind of filled up my soul for a while.  I could use a little of that.  So tomorrow I am planning a trip to the temple:)
Well, I guess I had better get working.  I hope your day is going well.  I am trying to stay cheerful.  For some reason it is harder this week...could have something to do with another war started, and earthquake and a tsunami.  Oh, and I am not as busy.  I think it helps to be so busy that you just can't worry about the condition of the world, or of the other little problems of life as we know it.  Kim found a funny baby video I am recommending as a smile starter today.  It is a funny conversation between twins who are probably about 14 months or so....hilarious!
http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150479304000650
So have a most wonderful and inspiring day out there in cyberspace.  I may post something later if I can make anything work for this project.  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Bit of Humor

Good afternoon!  It's almost evening here.  I am a little tired of this project I am working on.  I had to drive all the way into Boise to get special paper because the paper I was using wasn't thick enough.  I also had to redo the photo about 100 times....well, maybe 5.  I made the mistake of using matte medium to stick it on and it changed it from black and white to green and white.  Ummmm, what other mess have I made...oh yeah the scraps of paper from cutting all over the floor.  Then this evening or afternoon or whatever, I have decided I really need to walk down to the canal and draw from observation....but it is raining on and off.  Tomorrow is supposed to be warm and sunnier, so.....the natural conclusion would be to wait.  Sorry, Mel is off at the temple and I needed to vent a little I guess.
In the meantime I was sent a funny picture I thought I would share.  It made me laugh.  I hope you get a chuckle too.  HAGE!!!  Melody

Blooming

Guten Tag!  It is raining here this morning.  It is supposed to get really warm and sunny by tomorrow.  I hope the forecast is right.  I could use a little sunshine.
So....the sign downtown was especially funny yesterday.  It said, "Yawn - an honest opinion, openly expressed."  That made me laugh.  I yawn a lot lately, I hope no one thinks it is an opinion.  It is just because I am tired.  And I wonder now if I will just be tired.  There doesn't seem to be anyway to catch up on sleep.  Remember how nice it used to be to really sleep?  I don't sleep like that anymore.  Oh well.  One more thing to chalk up to old age I suppose.  The list is getting kind of long!
Today I am going to do a few loads of laundry, mop the floor (maybe:), and work on my mixed media project.  I did clean out the fridge yesterday.  Actually two...the old one is in the garage.  I also got some supplies at the art store and took my political painting in to my classroom at school.  It is better to be there.  It is kind of big and smells like oil paint.  I brought home a little painting I am working on for the next oil painting project.  It is my copy of Vija Celmins heater.  Have I mentioned how frustrating this is?  We are supposed to copy a portion of a few different artists work.  But the internet pictures are too small.  You can't see brush strokes, and color is probably not all that accurate either.  I think we should copy things we can actually see.  Of course that is very limited here in Boise.  Maybe it would be a wonderful excuse for a trip to a museum somewhere.  Oh well,  Bloom where you're planted and all that!
I am really not feeling negative today.  I think I will have a great wan.  I hope you do too!  Keep smiling.  It is a good thing!  I'm pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  TTTL  Melody

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gulping in another breath

So just in case you were worried {;0)....I think I have solved my dilemma.  I am even a little excited about this one.  But I will keep you in suspense.  That way if it doesn't work, I won't look so untalented:)  Back to the drawing board!  Just had to check my computer in case the world was blowing up or something.  You never know these days!  HAGA!  Melody

Grateful

Good morning!  Is there such a thing as painter's block?  I seem to be having a struggle right now with coming up with a good idea for my mixed media painting.  Well, maybe that isn't exactly it.  I have come up with lots of ideas, but none seem quite right.  I suppose it is because I am trying to please my teacher.  And that may not be possible.  So I just need to go with something and not worry so much about whether he likes it or not.  For someone who is such a people pleaser that is a tough situation.  I did accomplish a lot yesterday, despite not getting that started.  I did most of my other homework.  I admit I didn't do my spring cleaning assignment though.  The floor still needs mopping, and the fridges still need to be cleaned out.  But that is the marvelous thing I have discovered about housework....it waits.  And except for a few things like laundry and dishes, it doesn't multiply.  I like that.
So today I am going to start on something for my mixed media project.  There are new baby lambs across the street.  I think I could come up with something with lambs.  Or, maybe the old windmill and abandoned house down by the canal.  I am just not sure what message I am trying to come up with.  Our painting is supposed to mean something....which of course all good art does.  But I still am not sure what I want to say....spring is here?  Entropy is alive and active?  Sigh!  I will keep thinking.

On the lighter side...I don't think I have posted a picture of my soon to be new granddaughters.  So here they are...the older one is the one in the green and yellow dresses, and the younger one is in pink both times.  Julie says they are very sweet.  She and Randy got to spend a week with them in Ghana getting to know them, while they worked at getting paper work done.  I think they will be able to bring them home this June.  But the time is not fixed.  They have been working on this adoption for a couple of years now.  It is a slow process.  I like to think how much joy they will bring to our family.  I'm sure there will be challenges, but we will figure things out as we need to.
Well, I suppose I have to start my day.  I have been avoiding it this morning.  Lambs, windmills or ?????  I am so lucky to have such small dilemmas!  I am so very blessed!  I have food, and a wonderful home. I have a family I love and who loves me.   I am warm and protected.  I feel very blessed.  Maybe a picture of gratitude:)
Have a wonderful, inspired day out there in cyberspace!  Take care and keep smiling!  Melody

Monday, March 28, 2011

P.S. One more little tale

Hi again!  I thought I would add a little conversation we had riding up to the hot springs on Saturday.  We were singing and talking and Taylor said he had learned a new song from his mom.  He started singing, "Hush little baby don't say a word, Momma's gonna buy you a mockingbird."  But he couldn't remember the verses, so we started making some up.  My favorite was, "If that mocking bird won't blink, momma's gonna buy you an ice skating rink.  If that skating rink ain't slick, momma's gonna beat you with a hickory stick."  Taylor really thought that was hilarious!  I was glad there was no real hickory stick.
Then we stopped for some lunch and the service was very slow.  So Taylor started opening the sugar packets on the table....yeah, he's only 8.  Anyway, he decided to put some in his glass of water, but he used the saccharin instead of the real sugar.  Then he drank some...yuk!  He really didn't like it and he got a sour look and said, "How come they call that a sugar substitute?"  We all laughed at that, since we all agreed it was no substitute.  After a tasty lunch we got back in the car and Taylor asked Mel if he would tell him a fairy tale.  Mel's answer?  "Fairies don't have tails!"  Just thought I would share some of the funny stories from the day!  HAVVVGW!  Melody

Spring Cleaning

Good morning!  I have been up a while, just fixing breakfast and cleaning.  It really is a bigger job to clean when there are more people in the house.  But I like more people in the house:)  So I guess I will put up with the extra work.
Today I am feeling very lazy.  But of course I can't really be lazy.  There is too much to accomplish this week.  Today I am going to tackle the kitchen...clean the fridge and freezers and mop the floor.  I will feel good if I can get that done.  Then I also have to work on homework.  I still am stewing about what to draw for my mixed media project.  I was kind of counting on an excursion to the coast, but I think that is out.  Mel is so swamped with customers' demands at present.  The one glimmer of hope is that he has bought a machine...and it is in Hayward:)  The shipping costs are really high since it weighs about 5000 pounds, so he is toying with the idea of getting it himself.  I would like that, because that would be a trip to see Kenny too.  But there are lots of little glitchy things like what to haul it in, and whether we would really save money since he would miss work time.  I guess I like the prospect of traveling.  I have always enjoyed driving off to most anywhere.  But at this point it seems a little dim.
Well, I hope your day is going well.  Keep your stick on the ice...or whatever.  It should be a good day today!  I'm still pulling for you!  TTTL  Melody

Sunday, March 27, 2011

And Talk of All Thy Truths

View of the pool from the car
Shalom!  It has been a lovely Sabbath day so far.  I love the Sabbath.
So I thought I would share a little of our fun day yesterday.  We drove up to Crouch...yes, it is really called that.  The hot springs are all along the river up there, and this place is wonderful.  Can you see the snow?  It wasn't all that cold, 46 degrees.  But the water in the pool was 101 degrees!  It was so nice.  It felt good on my knee.  It is fun to swim around and look at the snow falling in the distance.  We were lucky.  The weather was nice at the pool. And Mel and I both felt very relaxed.  Taylor had a ball.  They had a few runner type mats for kids to run and jump into the pool without slipping.  He perfected his "cannonball".  The only trouble we had was when it was time to leave.  He did not want to leave.  But I promised him we would come back again soon.  And I think I may have to take him swimming at the rec center.  It is a lot closer, but the water is not as warm and soothing.
Today we have been to church.  It was our fast meeting, since church General Conference is next weekend.  If you have never watched it, you might enjoy it.  It is four meetings held this coming Saturday and Sunday and it is broadcast on some TV stations, or at LDS.org.  The meetings are at 10 and 2 and last a couple of hours.  The one on Sunday morning is really geared to people who might be wondering about our faith.  Anyway, just an invite if you are curious.
I think the rest of today I am going to put my feet up and some ice on my knee.  It is still bothering me.  But on the good news side of things....I have been losing weight!  My doctor switched my diabetes medication to one that helps you to drop weight instead of gain it.  I am very excited about this!  So far I notice that my appetite is way less, and that I don't have that desire for sweets and goodies all of the time.  So I am encouraged.
I hope your day is going well out there in cyberspace!  Take care and remember I'm pulling for you!  We are all in this together!  Keep smiling!!!  Melody

The pool

The restaurant across the lawn.  There is also a golf course.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday is a special day!

Good morning!  We are taking a Saturday today!  I am so excited.  Mel said he could take a day off, and I need one.  So we are picking up Taylor and heading for the hot springs up in the mountains.  It is one of my favorite places to go.  There is a really nice pool up in the trees...probably with snow today.  I will get a picture to post.  Anyway, it should be fun and relaxing.
I hope you have a lovely Saturday too!  Keep smiling!  We're all in this together!  Melody

Friday, March 25, 2011

Keeping Score


Finale, Fertig, Terminado, Kumaliza, Gotowy, Finito!  Yes, I am done, finished, and through!  Mel even said I could stop now:)  So one down!  Now I suppose I should read and critique.  Having fun in the briar patch!  Just coming up for air.  TTTL  Melody

Enjoying the Briar Patch

Good morning!  I have been busy already this morning.  The grandkids are home from school today too.  They leave tonight to go spend the spring break with their dad, so I only have them today.  They get to go on a cruise to Mexico!  I hope they have fun.  In the meantime we are just hanging out, doing the fun with grandma stuff.  I just hope they think it's fun to help out a little:)
So today....it's kind of like when you send your kids off to school and it feels so wonderful...you finally have a little time to yourself.  But there is so much to do and so little time.  That is how today feels.  Only it is school I am free from for a while.  I have so much calling to me....vacuuming, dusting, organizing, etc.  I really have just been a laundry/ dishes gal for the last few months.  There isn't much time for anything else.  And I am afraid now that I am so far behind that the rest is going to take months, not a week.  Sigh!  It is all good.  I can eat this elephant a bite at a time.  I also have a few projects for school to be completed by a week from Monday.  I am supposed to finish the political painting, draw and paint a mixed media piece, take a couple rolls of film, and read and evaluate a handout for foundational art.  They will all take time and some kind of original thinking.  I hope I can come up with some.  I am especially confused about the mixed media piece.  I drew up a few ideas and asked my teacher about them.  He didn't like my ideas:)  He said I am too obvious in my meanings....that things should be more subtle.  So I guess it is back to square one.  I am totally confused about this assignment.  It doesn't help that it is the first mixed media thing I have done. I have no past mistakes to draw from.  I keep thinking how wonderful experience is as a teacher.  It is not always kind, but you learn your lessons well!  I have looked on the internet for ideas of other students around the globe, but so far it hasn't given me the inspiration I need.  So I guess I will stew about this while I do the other things I have to do....and pray for inspiration!  That is the best way to proceed with most things.
Well, I hope your day goes well!  Take care out there.  Enjoy the happy moments!  I'm still pulling for you!  It is all going to work out...eventually.  I have to believe that!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, March 24, 2011

One or Two Flew Over Today

Good afternoon/evening!  It has been another long day, and I am blogging to put it into perspective.  In my foundations class we watched movies:)  All about crazy people who do art.  I am not kidding.  It seems to me like so many of the people who make it in the art world are just plain cuckoo.  We watched  a film today about a photographer who took pictures of her own children without their clothes on....lots of pictures in strange poses.  Then she was surprised that people thought it was odd.  Still she is a famous photographer.  Her grown children talked about how they didn't really have a mother because she was such an intense artist.  No kidding!  Then we watched another film about someone who likes to make films of violent things....dead horses and such.  I guess I don't consider either of these people artists.  And it makes me wonder if the whole world has gone cuckoo to value such junk.
Then in my painting class I was supposed to copy part of a modern artist's work to learn something of their technique.  I imitated a realistic painter,Vija Celmins.  I think it was OK.  Anyway, we are supposed to do this with a couple of artists, so I asked my teacher to approve Alexander Volkov as one.  I love his lush beautiful paintings!  But my teacher said no.  I had to find someone who did not have a similar style to my own.  Sigh!  I only wish I could paint that good.  I suppose I will have to pick the least awful on the list:)  It was definitely a downer of a day.  And of course I am tired.  I did come home from school and take a power nap....45 minutes!  I am feeling better, but now I have orchestra.  But that is a good thing.  I love the music we play.  And I like the positive good feelings generated there.  So stiff upper lip and all of that.  I am so glad for a week now of painting my own things at home...away from the madding crowd and the strange distorted view of what is beautiful in the art world.
Oh, something that was sort of cheery today.  The other side of the sign downtown....eyedropper - a clumsy opthamologist:)  See?  Even the sign downtown was a little weird today.  Oh well.  I hope your evening is going well.  Take care and have a lovely, artful, inspired evening of good feelings and no cuckoo birds flying over.  TTTL  Melody

Getting the Worm

Good morning!  It is still early here.  I have been rewriting my analysis for an ad for my foundational art class.  I woke up at 5 knowing that I needed to revise it a little:)  It probably would have been fine the way it was, but to satisfy my over active brain I rewrote it.  I am still not sure I am understanding semiotics, but oh well:)
So today is my last day of class before spring break.  I am looking forward to the break.  I have two assignments to complete during the break, but that is nothing in comparison to the normal overload.  I wish we were going to someplace sunny and warm.  A friend of mine is leaving for Orlando today with her family.  Sounds nice.  Instead I will just enjoy the fun of being at home.  I am sure it will feel very good.
Well, I haven't much to write.  I hope you have a terrific day.  Keep your stick on the ice!  And HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chillin' at the 'Brary

Good morning!  I am sitting at the student library's Starbucks, drinking my tall breve hot chocolate and eating a ham and egg sandwich.  It's pretty good.  We got dismissed early from Photography class.  So I have a little time.  I am blogging because....I wish I could say I had nothing else pressing, but that isn't really true.  I just like writing down everything on my mind and organizing my thoughts.  It really does help to clear the cobwebs!
I am kind of excited.  I finally came up with an idea for my mixed media project, and it sounds fun to me.  I think I will do it around my dad and his saxophone.  It would give me an opportunity to use all three things my teacher specifically asked for...a photo, a photocopy, and a drawing from observation.  And I think I can also probably add some color.  So that will be good.  I think the hardest part of any composition is coming up with a good idea.  So I think I will spend the next hour or so sketching it up.  My drawing class is next at 11:40.  And I think I have enough time to visit the art store and pick up a few supplies.
Tonight is a ward talent show.  I am not participating...just watching.  Mel has the temple on Wednesdays, so it is not as fun to go to these things as it might be.  I feel so sorry for the single people in our ward.  It takes a lot of courage to go to things on your own.
Well, I have no special insights today.  Yesterday I had plenty, but they were all a bit negative.  I am glad for sleep and a renewed perspective.  Here's wishing you well.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I'm still pulling for you.  We're all in this together!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Napping with Power

Good afternoon!  I am looking forward to this day being over:)  It has been long and a little discouraging.  I went to mount a photo I have worked so hard getting just right and as I was getting it just right on the mat board I noticed it had a scratch.  So I reprinted the negative a few times, but I couldn't get it to look as good as the scratched one.  I have been working on it for a couple of weeks now.  Anyway, I will just hand in the scratched one because I have run out of time.  So I am feeling like life isn't fair sometimes.  But actually I think I am just tired.  Life never seems fair, but when I am rested I can deal with it:)
So a joke to lift my spirits and yours too I hope....the sign downtown.  "Acute - opposite of an ugly"  It made me chuckle just a bit.  Oh, and here is a photo of my Conte crayon drawing from yesterday.  It was fun to do.  It is a little like charcoal, but easier to work with...especially on the mylar paper.  You can use an eraser to make highlights and to make it more detailed.  I think I will keep at it.  It actually looks better in real life.  The photo is kind of dark.
Painting class felt a little discouraging.  We critiqued our patriotic paintings today.  I got lots of nice comments, but my teacher extended the time to turn them in, saying that some of them did not look finished.  Then she chose a few examples and mine was one of them.  I knew it needed more work, but I am getting tired of it.  I was looking forward to being finished.  Oh well.  It was a nice gesture on her part....helping me to get it done well.
So I hope your day is going well out there in cyberspace.  Seems like a good time for a power nap on this side of things.  Take care!  Melody

Breakfast Greetings!

Good Day!  Looks like it should be on this side.  It may be busy though. But that's kind of my life right now.  I may have time for writing later on, but right now I just had a request from Ellen....bacon, eggs and pancakes!  I guess she is a growing girl.  And I think it is kind of fun to be the grandma when I am cooking a yummy breakfast for my grandkids.  So I am signing off, but first....remember I am pulling for you!  And keep smiling!!!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's Monday Night the World Around!

Good evening!  I am posting this painting and saying, "Sayonari, Calamari!" to it.  I think I could spend a couple more weeks on it and make it look like something.  But it will have to do.  So now the part you've been waiting for....my feelings and interpretation.  So this is how it evolved.  I had thought I wanted to say something about the terrible mess we are in with oil.  I believe we are in bondage in a very real sense to oil.  And the price we are paying is the blood of our young soldiers, and the lives of innocents in the battle zones.  It is very sad to me...so I guess if the picture is a little graphic it is because I feel so strongly about it all.  I will let your imagination fill in the rest.  Don't miss the money on the table:)
I drew some more seashells with the Conte crayon in drawing class today.  But I didn't take a picture.  I suppose I will tomorrow.  I really enjoyed working with it and I think the picture turned out well.  It is fun to be doing things and finally enjoying the process and the finished product too.  As I am looking at this painting I realize that you probably don't realize it is quite large...22" x30".  If I had time I would do the bugle in layers and it wouldn't look distorted.  My drawing teacher suggested what colors to use and he had good suggestions!  It's nice to have a teacher that is willing to teach.  I think all of my teachers are good that way this semester.  I feel very blessed.
Sooooo...have a great evening.  It's family night tonight.  Yay!  HAVVVGE!!!!  Melody

A Movable Painting

Good morning!  I am at the computer lab in the art building.  I didn't even know that I could use this lab.  It is amazing all of the computers available to students on campus.  I think there is some kind of access in every building...but not all are connected to the internet.  I had an early start this morning trying to get all of my ducks lined up.  But it is all good.  I got a good print in my photo class and finished there in time to go to a blueprint store downtown here that carries mylar by the foot.  So I was able to get a nice big sheet for pretty cheap.  Now I just have to figure out how big I need it to be.  Our teacher did not really say.  We are using Conte crayon on it today.  One more thing I have never tried.  I like that my drawing teacher is into different media.  I think it helps my drawing abilities trying it out in all kinds of different ways.  And it makes it not so boring...only using graphite and charcoal, which is what most teachers do.  I think the thing I disliked the most, but that has helped me the most is using ball point pen.  It has forced me to trust my first instincts and to learn to plan ahead a little more.
Today after my drawing class I am going to stay for a while and paint.  I brought in my political oil painting today while it is dry and movable so that I could do the final touches today and not have to move it tomorrow when it is due.  So clever of me:)  Anyway, I will try to finish the bugle, the window sill and put some texture into the wall.  I really could spend a lot more time on this one.  But oh well.  Mel thought it would be interesting to have the white house out the window, but that wasn't even an option.  It has been interesting to hear other people's opinions about it.  I will post mine after I get it finished.  I hope the meaning is clear, but I suppose even the best art is misinterpreted.
So the sign was soooo funny downtown this morning.  But I didn't have time to make a note of it and it is gone....completely.  I can see the sign in my mind and I know it was a short one, but I can't read the writing in the picture in my head.  I think I used to be able to do that....I don't remember:)  This memory thing comes and goes.  It was terrible in my photo class this morning.  I couldn't remember what the aperture was on the print machine for the life of me.  So I had to go through the whole process with a test strip....luckily I was early enough that I had plenty of time.  And I also have a very nice and very patient teacher who helped me get through it without too much embarrassment.  That is one nice thing about a dark room.  No one can see how red your face is turning!
Well, I do hope your day is going well out in cyberspace land.  Take care and HAVVVGW!  I had better head towards my next class.  Toodles!  Melody

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hola!

Good afternoon!  It is a blustery day here in our part of the hundred acre woods.  But it is a good day so far.  At church this morning the high councilors spoke.  The first speaker talked about the scriptures and a Bill of Rights he had written for scripture readers.  It was very clever and profound!  Let's see if I can remember a few.
1. I have the right to read the scriptures where ever and whenever I choose.
2. I have the right to be carried away by the spirit when reading the scriptures.
3. I have the right to feel inspired by the Lord when reading the scriptures.
I don't remember the rest, but they were all very good.  Then he talked about how he had a scripture list of his favorite and most meaningful for his life.  There were 13 of those.  They started with one in the New Testament ... Matthew 11:28-30 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. {29} Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. {30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."  He explained that it was the foundation of his testimony...that he has a Savior who cares about him.  It was a good talk, and made me think I should make a list of my favorite scriptures.
The second speaker was also good.  he talked about finding balance in your life.  It was mostly his experience as he was going through medical school.  I always enjoy hearing about other people's experiences.
My lesson went well also.  We talked about the priesthood, and I was able to share some of my experiences with priesthood blessings.   And the girls shared theirs.  Then we played a game with questions about how much they knew about priesthood organization.  It was fun, and we all enjoyed laughing and sharing experiences.  I love those girls!
So I think today I will rest.  I am kind of wishing I could paint, but I think it will help me to feel right with the Lord if I save my school work for other days.  And I am pretty worn out from a long week of the old nose to the grindstone...is that right?  It sounds funny.  But the shoulder goes to the wheel, so I am probably saying it right.  This confused and tired mind of mine is playing tricks on me.  Ha, ha!  I hope your day is going well out there in cyberspace land.  Take care.  Watch out for tumbling tumble weeds!  They are really traveling out here!  Keep smiling!  It is the first day of Spring....I think:)  And if you are somewhere that you can see it the moon is supposed to be the closest it's been in a while.  Remember I'm pulling for you!  We're all in the together!!!!    HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bowling and Painting...and still smiling!!!







Good evening!  I am posting my painting to see how it looks...perspective and value wise.  I am having some trouble with the bugle.  Mostly making it look like metal...shiny and all of that.  See what you think:)  I am also including a few photos from the bowling adventure.  They will probably precede this message and I can't fix it:(  Oh well, I am still a newbie on this computer I guess.  Hope your day was wonderful!  HAGE!!! Melody

The Golden Ratio

Good morning!  I am smiling this morning.  I got up early and I have painted a couple of hours on my political painting.  And I think I can finish by Tuesday.  It didn't help that my teacher didn't like that I had done what she said I should do.  (Whew!  That was a mouthful!)  When I was first setting it up I had a 2/3 ratio in the picture.  And she said I needed to divide it in half.  I questioned her on it and pointed out that artistically...blah, blah,blah!  Anyway I did what she said against my better judgement, and Thursday when she came by my painting she pointed out that it was divided "exactly in half".   And didn't I know that it would be more pleasing to the eye if I had a 2/3 ratio!  Sigh!  So yesterday and this morning I have been "fixing" it.  I have a ways to go before everything is matched up just right, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel anyway.  I still have to come up with a bugle.  I have it kind of sketched in, but it would help immensely with light and shadow if I had a real one.  My googled picture of one is not quite enough.  Oh well.  These are all small problems in the eternal scheme of things.  I am sure throwing the platitudes around this morning!
My visiting teachers are supposed to show up around 9 and then I am meeting Amy and Michelle in Boise today to go bowling with the grandkids... and visit of course.  Then I will hurry back to paint some more.  Yes, I like this painting.  I even wake up and think about it.  Although the doc did not like that I was losing so much sleep and has prescribed something to help.  So that is a good thing.  I only woke up once last night:)
Well, I hope your day is fun and productive and that life treats you well today.  I may post a picture of this painting if I make any progress!  Take care and keep smiling!  Melody

Friday, March 18, 2011

Puppy Dog Tales

Good morning!  I am up early on a day I might have slept in:(  I hate when that happens:)  Anyway, I have plenty to keep me busy today.  I brought home my oil painting so I will be painting a lot I hope.  I also have a hair appointment, a doctor's appointment and a counseling appointment.  I sort of have to cram in everything on Friday because it is my only day of the week without school.  But the appointments should all be over by 2:30.  I suppose I should have scheduled them all closer, but oh well.
I started a journal of sorts for my painting class yesterday.  We are supposed to write and sketch something that stuck out in our minds each day.  The idea is that we will have a wealth of material to paint when we run out of ideas.  I think it is a good habit to get into.  I sketched a picture of Ellen holding one of the new puppies at Jodell's house.  Ellen started taking piano lessons there and their dog has new puppies.  They still haven't opened their eyes and they are soooo tiny and cute.  And Ellen is so cute.  I showed her my sketch and she wanted to keep it!  So I guess I may work it up into a painting for her.  Or at least a better sketch.  She is one of my greatest fans.  She often will come into my studio when I am doing homework and want to see everything.  She is a pretty good little artist herself.  So I am thinking of setting up a little area for her in here to draw and paint.  It might be one more way to bond.  The trick will be to still get my work done.  I just have to remind myself how much more important it is to have a special relationship with my sweet granddaughter.
I have two homework assignments that are similar and interesting.  For drawing class we are supposed to make a mixed media piece with at least three elements....photo, observed drawing and photocopy.  I am still trying to come up with an idea.  I may make it autobiographical.  Still thinking on that one.  Then for my painting class we are supposed to pick an artist and use their particular skill or style to come up with a painting of our own.  I am not so thrilled with this.  But I suppose it will be a good experience.  The problem is that the artists I like are not on her list.  I did ask her about that and she said I could use someone else if I got her to approve it first.  So we shall see.
Well, I guess I had better get on with things.  But first....the sign from downtown.  I only saw one side yesterday.  Tail End - the conclusion of a story.  Not such a funny one this time.  Maybe the other side is better.  I will check today as I am running around to my appointments.  I hope your day is lovely and inspired.  Take care out there.  I'm pulling for you!  We're all in this together.  Keep smiling and HAVVVGW!!!   Melody

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Writing Briefly

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I love this day...not sure why.  Maybe it is the memories of wearing green and getting pinched anyway!  Wait - that should make me dislike this holiday.  I guess it is more the memories of pinching other people:)  Ha, ha, I don't know!  But I remember it was a big deal growing up.  And of course I loved that I could claim I was part Irish.  My great grandfather came here from Ireland.  I guess he was quite a character.  He was a chicken farmer in the Imperial Valley.  I went to visit his place with my dad about 7 years ago.  Wow, how time flies.   It does not seem that long since my mom died.  I sure miss her!!!
Well, I am off to school again.  I am sure loving my journey into the world of art.  I am learning I will have to be discerning and careful, but that it is possible and I think one day I may reach my goal of painting beautiful pictures worthy of the temple.  I probably won't be making political statements for that though:)
I hope you have a wonderful day today out there in cyberspace land.  Take care!  TTTL  Melody

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

One More Sharing Time

Good evening!  I am headed for bed, but thought I would share the finished painting from my drawing class.  I really like how it turned out, and I had fun doing it.  I have included a couple of closeups since so much is lost in the picture taking.  It still is better in real life, but you get the idea anyway.  I worked hard on the breathing holes:)  And really hard on trying to make it look iridescent:)  I don't think it is possible.  I may work on it some more and try a few things.


Well, nighty night!  Hello to Accra!!!   I saw your city on my map yesterday, Julie.  I hope all is going well there in Africa!  Take care and Sweet Dreams!   Melody

Local Color

Good morning!  It looks like a great one!  I finally finished my response paper last night, and I think it is pretty darn good:)  I love that Idaho way of inserting an expletive to describe something.  I don't use the word everyone else uses of course, but I wonder if this is going on all over the country.  Language is such a funny thing.  It changes as the culture changes.  I was listening to Fresh Air on npr the other day and they had a recording of an earlier interview with a recently deceased expert in linguistics.  I guess he helped people lose or gain an accent...and accent coach.  He said that before television there was a local change in pronunciation about every ninety miles.  I had a teacher in school who was also a linguistics guy that went around our classroom and by our accent could tell which part of the country we were from....except for me.  He thought I sounded like I was from Delta, Utah...a place I had never been.  But my own family teases me about how I pronounce different words.  I guess I say beg for bag, and such.  I do not have a good ear for language and accents.  Mel has an excellent ear for such things and can sound like whoever he is talking to!  I used to tease him about it.  He would be talking to someone with an accent and would start to sound like them.  It was kind of funny.  And every trip we would take from California to visit his family in Idaho, I noticed that the closer we got to his home he would start sounding like his relatives...a definite local accent.  One time he was driving and turned a little close around a corner and said, "Whoa there Heber, we're headed for the rhubarb patch!"  I cracked up over that one!  He does have a good sense of humor!
Well, today I have photography and drawing.  And I think I may stick around to paint after classes today.  I will see how I am feeling by then.  I figure if I spend a couple of hours today and tomorrow on it that I might have it finished by next Tuesday.
I hope you have an inspired and productive day out there in cyberspace.  I am still pulling for you!  Take care and remember we are all in this together!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Taking a Break Again:)

Good evening!  Tonight one of my daughters, Julie, is back in Africa.  She and her husband Randy have been preparing to adopt two little girls from Ghana.  And today they met them for the first time.  They are not the same two little girls they met last year.  Those two did not work out.  But these two little girls look like they are going to work out for their family.  I am excited for them...and a little nervous.  They are taking on a big challenge.  But I am proud of their courage and compassion.  They won't actually get them this trip.  There is a waiting time now...a couple of months I think.
I just got back from orchestra.  I was the only clarinetist there tonight.  It was kind of fun.  I like playing all of the solos when there is no audience and I don't make mistakes....which happened tonight.  Maybe using the right side of my brain for art is also helping my musical abilities;)  We played some pretty hymns and primary songs.  My favorite was, "He Sent His Son".  When I was a primary chorister a few years back we had a little boy in primary, Logan, who was severely handicapped.  It was one of his favorite songs and he would get very animated when we sang it.  So I think of him now when we play it.  Sweet Logan!
Today has been a good day.  I went to my first class and it was cancelled, so I spent my time in the photo lab and the library.  I got all of my homework done except for one paper that I am going to write as soon as I quit here.  But it helps so much to blog.  It is like an oral assessment of where my head is.  I will write a better paper with my thoughts organized.
I also painted in the teacup in my political painting in my painting class today.  It is quite challenging.  But my teacher was very encouraging.  She really likes the painting so far....so do I.  And she suggested I forget the crystal sugar bowl and creamer (I had been thinking the same thing).  I told her I thought I would put in a military cap or medal or bugle or something.  She liked those ideas, so now I just have to figure out which one.  I have to have it finished by next Tuesday!  Aack!!!!  I hope I can learn to speed paint!  The other nice thing is my attitude has changed.  I no longer feel like the silly old lady who has no talent.  Now I feel like the silly old lady who has some talent:)  And I think I am feeling like I know most of the people in my classes now and we are all pretty good friends.  It is a nice feeling....kind of like high school:)
Well, I guess I had better get back to writing this response paper.  I am not sure how to start because I am not sure what a response paper is.  Maybe I can find an example on the internet.  I sure am using it a lot anymore.
Have a wonderful night!  Sweet Dreams!  Melody

Super Powers

Howdy!  Just a short note today.  I have been doing homework:)  It is my neverending story right now.  But I must admit that I enjoy most of it.  I think back to former college days when my homework was science and math, and how much I really didn't enjoy the process of learning.  It changed when my major was English, although I can remember staying up all night to finish essays and longer research papers.  But I think that had more to do with my tendency to procrastinate back then.  I don't procrastinate anymore....well, unless you count laundry:)  Or organizing my closet:)  But homework...I do it right when I get it.  That's not true.  I do it as soon as I can get to it.  How did I get talking about this?
So today I am off to paint a teacup and to learn more about the fundamental principles of art.  It should be a good day.  Then tonight I have orchestra.  So it will be busy.  I also have a 2 page response to write for my drawing class on an article he had us read.  And another roll of film to develop.  And, and, and....
I hope you have a great day out there in cyberspace!   Take care and keep smiling!  If it gets too hard just think of Boris and Natasha talking about that crazy moose Bullwinkle.  Did you love Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his sidekick Bullwinkle?  ("Nothin' up my sleeve!")  I sure did!  HAGW!!!  Melody

Monday, March 14, 2011

More Shells

Good afternoon!  I thought I would share my watercolor from today.  Of course it still needs a little work.  It is very different from what I have done in the past.  I like the change, but I think I like traditional watercolor better.  This is not as bright.  I like leaving the paper to be the white highlights...at least most of the time.  It is easier to paint this "guache way", a little like oils.  But it loses so much of the magic of the translucent paint.  I guess we are all entitled to our opinion.  My drawing teacher really likes this method, so I guess I had better get good at it:)  I got a very nice evaluation of my sketchbook from that class...all about how much I have improved and that I just need to paint with my heart instead of worrying so much about the technique:)  I appreciate the positive feedback.  I think it is what is best about my classes this semester.  My teachers are all so positive!

So coming home tonight I listened to the classical music station because the news from Japan is so depressing and sad.  The piece that was playing was Rachmoninoff's Symphony based on a theme from Paginini.  I think it is number 2....but it could be #1.  It was fun to listen to because I have played in an orchestra in California and we played that particular piece.  It means so much more when you know how really hard the music is!
Well, just thought I would share a little more of the beach!  I wish one was close by.  I am missing the ocean again!  I wonder if I will ever adjust to being so far from the coast.  I miss the fog!  And the foghorn!  And the seagulls, and pelicans, and sandpipers!  I miss sitting in the sand and having the tide wash up around me.  I miss looking for shells, and digging for sand crabs!  It is such a sensory experience!  Oh well.  I will be sure to see the coast this summer....I hope!
Well, have a lovely family night!  If you can of course.  It is so nice to have family close and I am excited to go and watch them roller skate....and drink a slurpie or whatever they have to drink there.  And of course I will bring my homework for school.  I have lots of reading still.  It never ends....and I am happy for that!!!
Take care!!!  Melody

Shells and other Wishes

Good morning!  I kind of like this change in time.  When I wake up in the middle of the night it is closer to morning:)  I slept pretty well actually last night.  But I keep having such vivid dreams.  Last night I dreamt I was in a college class with a professor who looked like an actor....I don't remember his name but he was the old wise wizard in Lord of the Rings.  Anyway....I was trying to paint a picture and he liked it, but wanted me to go to some art gathering where everyone was drinking.  I explained to him I couldn't do that, but I think it was more a dream about why I wouldn't do that.  Weird.  I am defending my beliefs awake and asleep:)  Perhaps it is because our home teachers came by last night and I showed them my graphic political painting.  I think they were a little surprised.  Perhaps it is a more liberal painting than I realize.  I am not sure.
Well, today should be fun...and busy.  I have photography this morning to start the day.  I love that class.  We are doing portraits now.  I took a roll of grandkids and Mel in the shop.  I did a proof or contact sheet on Saturday.  I printed one picture, but I got things in the background that don't make for a good photo.   So today I am planning to print a couple of the others.  Hopefully I will get one I like.  If not...I have more film:)  After photo class I have drawing, which I am actually looking forward to today.  Our teacher promised a demo of watercolor.  He paints with gauche in a really interesting way...mixing other colors with it.  I want to try that, but this last weekend I had too much other homework.  So I am hoping I can try it in class today.  I love trying new things.  It makes the watercolors more translucent than transparent...almost opaque.  Maybe definitely opaque:)

 Here is the shell I was painting in class last time that he painted that way.  It isn't a finished painting, but you can get some idea of what I am talking about.  I really like the intensity of the colors.  It makes it almost as beautiful as the real thing.  And of course it makes me think of the seashore....the sunny, calm one...not the roiling, scary one.
Tonight we are going roller skating for Family home evening.  I think I will take some reading homework along.  I don't trust my knee yet.  It is still pretty sore and not healed.  I think I must have pulled a ligament or a muscle or whatever you do to knees.  It is slowly feeling better, so I don't want to push it.
 So...have I heard any good jokes lately?  Yes, but you can read them for yourself in the funny papers:)  I think my dad always called the comic strips the funny papers.  Do people still call them that?  I guess my dad does:)  And me!
Well, I hope your day is wonderful out there in cyberspace.  I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together.  Keep smiling, and I will do the same on this side of things.  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Welcome, Welcome Is Thy Dawning

Good Sabbath!  Today my lesson is on staying in touch with extended family.  It is a fun lesson and I am looking forward to it.  Of course I never feel totally prepared for these.  But I am as prepared as is possible I suppose.  I will enjoy talking about my extended family and how we stay in touch.  I suppose I will be inspired to stay more closely in touch now.  We have a church campground reserved already for a weekend in August that I have thought would be a good sight for an extended family reunion.  It is only camping though.  My own kids are fine with that....I will have to see about the cousins and aunts and uncles:)  I guess it is their choice.  It is beautiful though...right on Cascade Lake.  We went there for a ward campout and really had a fun time.
Well, I don't have much time this morning with the change in time.  I hope your day goes well out there in cyberspace.  Keep smiling!  I am still pulling for you.  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday is a special day!

Good morning!  It is sunny today.  I am glad for the sunshine.  And that I am safe and warm in my home.   I keep thinking of the Japanese people affected by the earthquake and tsunami.  I have been in one or two bigger earthquakes...but nothing like that one.  I just keep thinking how scary it must be to have the ground unstable.  And the videos of the wave coming in are astounding.  It makes my problems seem very small in comparison.  And I feel so sad for people having to experience such an awful and awesome thing.
Today I will be developing film at BSU, and other homework.  I have quite a few things to accomplish in that area today.  And I need to do some grocery shopping.  I am grateful for supermarkets!  I feel very blessed and spoiled this morning.  I guess it is the realization that I have so many privileges that many of the people in the world do not have this morning.  Sigh!  I always feel so helpless to change things to help other people.  It is that world angst I guess.
Well,  I hope your day goes well out there in cyberspace.  Take care and HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sharing Again

Good afternoon!  It's almost Friday night.  Mel just came in to say he has to work another hour and a half:( He promised a young boy in our ward he would cut some pipe for his Eagle project, so I guess it is a good cause.  We are going to a friend's art showing at BSU.  I get extra credit if I go and we used to be in the same ward in Boise with this young artist when he was in high school.  So it's a win-win situation.  I think I will bring along a roll of film to develop too.  I figure the more birds I can kill with one trip the better.  I have been working hard today on my painting.  I am liking it so far.  It is a little graphic, so hide the grandkids:)  I will explain it all when I have finished it, but I think the meaning may be obvious.  I need to let the paint dry on the cup and the gas can and flag before I can proceed any further.  I am very nervous about all of the detail yet to do, but I guess there is always.....?  Oh well.  I love it.  I just wish I was better at this.  But I am improving.  That is what counts.  So I hope you have a lovely Friday night out there in cyberspace.  Take care.  Melody

Wishing for Spring!

Good morning!  This morning I woke up with a very bad dream still in my head.  I dreamt that for some reason I had left the door open to my art room, and that it had moved to the church, next to the nursery.  Yeah, the kids had all gone in there and played in the paint of my painting.  There is a lot of red, and it was everywhere in the room and church, and none was left on my painting!  I think in my dream I was most concerned that I had to start over again:)  It was nice to wake up and realize it was not real.  What a mess with oil painted footprints everywhere!
This is my painting so far.  It really is going to be a very red painting.  I still have to paint in the tea cup and sugar bowl and spoon and money....and shadows and detail.  I just have local color so far.  I am not sure why we have the university building in the background.  I am probably supposed to tie it all together somehow.  I had planned to put a window with a curtain.  It is a lot to paint!  And it is still quite wet today.  I may do other homework today and paint some more tomorrow.  I will see.  I am wondering why I made it so hard:)
So today I have grandkids home from school.  That should also make it interesting.  I think my worry about painting with all three of them home prompted the dream.  So one more reason to paint tomorrow.
No, I am not preoccupied with this painting:)  I just woke up again at 3 and puzzled about how to do things for an hour or so.  I really need to stop doing that!
Well, I guess I had better referee.  The kids are already fighting:(  I will get breakfast going.  That should help immensely.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I'm still pulling for you!  Keep smiling!  And hope for Spring!  It is getting closer.  I could use a little trip to the coast about now.  HAGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Singing and Painting! (And Smiling)

Good morning!  I've got a song in my head this morning:)  It is a Harry Connick one..."I ...know you... so well,... I can tell by the sound of your voice..."   I guess I will have to listen to my iphone for a while.  First to Harry so I can remember the words and then maybe Chopin while I paint.  I am excited to have a whole day to oil paint.  I need the day to keep up with where we are supposed to be with this painting.  I am still working on the background, while most of the class is forging ahead with the middle and foreground.  Oh well, it is not a race.  I have until the 22nd.  I bet Carl Bloch didn't have such stringent deadlines!  Or maybe he did.  I think I figured out he was painting one huge masterpiece every six months.  That's quite a lot when you consider all the work that went into his paintings.  I wonder if it kept him awake at night.  I was thinking through the painting for a couple of hours this morning around 4.  I guess it is a good thing.  I don't worry about troubling things anymore....just painting:)
So aside from painting I should do laundry, clean the fridge, clean the kitchen, mop the floors, wash walls, pay bills, and bake bread (ha, ha).  I will work at laundry.  The rest can wait I think.  It is a program of selected neglect here.  I cannot ignore dishes and laundry... well, occasionally I do ignore dishes for a couple of meals.  I am grateful for paper plates:)  I am also grateful to be born in the permanent press era!  I remember my mom and especially my grandma spending hours doing ironing.  When I was going to school at the Y I used to do ironing for a lady for $1 an hour!  And in high school I used to iron for my mom for a nickel an article.  There was always a pile to iron.  Now I rarely iron things.  If they are too wrinkly I stick them in the dryer on a wrinkle release setting.  It has certainly freed up my time!
Well, I had better put a load in the washer and set up my easel.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!   And keep that smile going, it looks good on you!  TTTL  Melody

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Plug for Harry Connick, jr.

Good evening!  I am having a swell evening!  I am sitting in front of the TV, feet propped up with ice on my knee, and watching the pbs special with Harry Connick jr in concert.  If I didn't have the bad knee I would be at Mutual tonight, so I guess I am a bit grateful for a sore knee.  I didn't know Harry was going to be on though.  I wouldn't abandon my wonderful girls even for Harry, but my knee is very sore tonight.  Have I convinced you yet?
Today was wonderful.  More good compliments in my drawing class from my teacher.   I guess it helped to share my last drawing because he is much kinder and more helpful.  We are starting into watercolor and he came and sat down at my seat and painted for me on my painting....showing me a new technique in watercolor.  It was very different and I really like the approach.  I will have to work at it.  It is amazing to me how many ways there are to paint.  I love that there are so many ways to express yourself on paper.  I haven't even started sculpting yet!
Well, just thought I would share my good mood and mention that if you are lucky you might catch old Harry on pbs tonight.  Take care out there!  I'm still pulling for you!  Melody

Greetings Earthlings!

Good morning!  I am off and running...sort of.  I am really wishing I could just stay home and prop up my feet in front of the TV and watch an old movie:)  But even if I stayed home I couldn't do that.  There is too much else to do.  I guess that is a good thing.  When I do finally get to sit in front of a TV it will feel good.
Actually I have no school tomorrow because the art department is having an inservice day.  So maybe I can use the day to catch up on everything here, then my weekend might be more relaxed.
So I really don't have much to write this morning.  I suppose I could tell a few jokes and exit stage left.  But I have no jokes to tell, and there is only a small stage:)  Take care and have a wonderful day!  Melody

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Reading, and writing, and 'rithmetic!

Good evening!   I have been debating all afternoon with myself.  Do I share my latest grade from my painting class?  And my vanity has won...I got an A+!  It was for my last painting...the one of the wooden pineapple and the little pumpkin and the table corner.   I am thrilled of course.  I don't think I have gotten an A+ since elementary school...maybe not then.  I really didn't think they gave them in college.  But I am glad they do:)  I think it is helping my confidence in my art abilities.  So that is a good thing.  I don't think it has gone to my head though.  I am already doubting my abilities as I am starting this next painting.  It should be interesting.  I have decided to really make a political statement.  I hope it isn't too strong.  We shall see.
Oh, I forgot to mention the midterm...I think I did OK.  The only ones that I know I did wrong were extra credit.  He asked about an artist....somebody Walker that does art with lights.  I may have guessed close enough to get a few points.  Another extra credit one was did we know what cymk was.  I got the first three letters right (cyan, magenta, yellow) but I didn't know k was black.  And I didn't know what they were used for.  From looking on the internet it may be printmaking.  I suppose I will learn more on that one.  I am so glad that test is over.  I was very stressed about it.  So stressed in fact that I forgot my homework that was due today.  So after the test I drove all the way back home to get it so I could turn it in. It was nice to come home, but I only had an hour before I had to return.
I did notice the sign on the way in and out.  One way says, "Tailor - an occupation that suits anyone."  The other way said, "Swell - a wave that is just great!"  I really do get a chuckle from that sign.  Another competing sign was also good today..."Pedestrian - someone who thought his wife had filled up the car."  I hope you get at least a small smile from those.
So it has been a long day, but a gut wan!  I hope yours was grrreat!  Take care!  Melody

Remembering....Aack!!!

Good morning!  I have two words today...rebus and sslvct.  Yeah, they are really acronyms.  The first is for the principles of design and the second is for the elements of design.  Now if I can just remember what they stand for:)  This morning first thing I was running them through my mind and I couldn't remember any of the s's.  But after a review this morning I can recall them.  Scale, shape and .....oh no!  That is what I am afraid will happen on the test today.  Oh, space!  I hope this old brain can crank out the words.  It is supposed to be multiple choice, so that should help.
No, I am not at all obsessed with school.  And this midterm does not phase me in the least:)  I keep telling myself that I am just going to learn all that I can to become a better painter.  But then I argue with myself that to be a better painter I need to know all of this.  So it is my current debate.  The other debate going on in my head today is what three or four objects I should bring to my painting class today to make a political statement in my painting.  I am definitely bringing a tea cup.   Not just to represent my grandma and mom and me, but to represent the Boston Tea Party!  I think I can make a convincing case that it represents our freedoms.  But what else do I want to say?  I guess I am not sure yet.  Decisions, decisions!
Well, I guess I had better work on taming my Melody hair and eating something for breakfast.  I hope you have a lovely day out there in cyberspace!  I'm still pulling for you.  We're all in this together!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, March 7, 2011

Survived!

Reporting in to say I got through the worst of it.  Actually I didn't have to do a critique in photo class...just turned in our stuff and the class was dismissed.  So then I had a couple of hours to worry about drawing class.  But that too turned out to be OK.  We had to all post our drawings up in front of the class, and then the students picked a few to critique.  Mine was the third one picked.  The other members of the class told what they thought about it with our teacher interjecting a few things, and then the person who drew it got to add or explain anything.  It was actually kind of fun.  I don't think anyone said anything negative.  And after class I had quite a few people comment to me how they liked it and they were very touched by the circumstances.  So I guess that was good.   And the best part is that it is turned in and out of my sight.  I kind of get too wrapped up emotionally in these things I guess.
So now I am making brownies here at home to take to one of the families I visit.  Their son got in an auto accident yesterday and has a pretty bad concussion.  So we are taking in some dinner.  I think that is a nice tradition.  Unfortunately this family has had more than their share of bad things happening.  Their sweet daughter died from leukemia a couple of years ago.  So they have had lots of meals brought in over the years.  I think they are very grateful that their son is alive.  I have gotten kind of close to this sweet mother and I know she has had plenty of trauma already.
Well, I just wanted to say hi.  I hope your day is going well out there.  Mine is pretty good so far.  I probably will make another batch of brownies for our family night tonight.  Yum!  It is hard to cut back around here.  But oh well.  I  will keep trying and hope that all of the walking I do on campus is helping a little.  HAGW!!!  Melody

Not the Miserable!

Good morning!  I am up and dressed and ready for the day...maybe.  I must admit I am very nervous for today...two critiques today.  But I can do hard things.  At least that is what I am telling myself.  Tomorrow I have my midterm exam for foundational art.  I am thinking I will do OK, but I am not sure.  I have been studying terms, and I think I know them all.  We shall see how my brain functions tomorrow.  Last night on the phone, I was talking with my visiting teaching companion to try and set up a time to visit our ladies.  We have a new lady and I didn't know her first name, so I asked my companion and she told me.  Not two minutes later and I had forgotten it.  So she told me again.  It took one more time before I had it in my head.  I used to be much better with names, although I have never been terrific.  Hopefully I have really learned my art terms, and not just memorized them.
So.....I had a funny thought last night.  I thought that it would be funny to blog about.  This morning it is completely gone.  Oh well.  I did watch PBS's Les Miserables last night.  It was part of their fundraiser.  I love that wonderful book, and I love the musical!  When Kim was 16, she and I went on a trip to Salt Lake to see it.  She was really into theater, and I love it too.  We had a great time and both fell in love with the music.  Mel had too much work and couldn't get away to see it.  But since then he has also grown very fond of the music from the CD we bought.  So the three of us were watching it together last night....all of us singing away with the songs.  I am hoping someday to take Mel to see the production.  The one we saw had a unique stage that rotated around for the different scenes.  It was pretty fantastic.
Well, you have wasted another perfectly good minute reading this.  I hope the rest of your day is more productive.  Keep smiling!  I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together.  And HAVGMonday!  Melody

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sharing Again

Good evening!  I guess I am escaping from the work of dishes in the sink.  It isn't bad really...it was fast Sunday after all.  But there they sit just waiting for someone to clean them up.  I am hiding out in my art room getting organized for the week.  I have everything done I can do.  I finished the drawing and did a little painting for my art foundations class...non objective in complementary colors...shades and tints allowed.  I just hope I understood the assignment.  Was I supposed to represent three dimensions?  It wasn't really mentioned so I am assuming not.  Luckily that isn't due until Tuesday.  I can ask around.
So here is the drawing. I didn't do much to it today.  I really am trying not to do homework on Sunday.  I think I will make myself crazy if I work on it any more anyway.  It did start to make me sad.  I think I will have to do a sequel with the Savior standing in a doorway:)  I wish I had that kind of talent....or maybe it is skill.  And I am trying to learn all I can with what is available to me.  I think I will learn as I am ready to receive it.
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I was thinking this afternoon about the advantages of being old.  In a way, it is a little like wearing a costume.  People assume things about you..."sweet, kind, understanding, wise..."  So I think I am privy to more people's thoughts and feelings.  Like the other day in the art store.  The checker is a young man of about 24 who I see quite often in there.  He was very friendly and talkative.  I learned about his goal to do some new thing of art every day for 30 days.  That is quite a goal.  Then he told me how he had hiked 600 miles along the Pacific Coast Trail...he ran out of food and money and it was a grueling experience apparently, but he felt he had learned a lot.  I told him I thought I would love an adventure like that if I had done it when I was younger.  Then he told me no, that he had met a couple that were 89 years old.  They had hiked all the way to Oregon from Mexico.  That sounded very amazing to me.  And I don't think he would have told me about any of it if I was not in this older grandmother's body. I can remember treating older people with more respect and feeling like I could tell them things and they would understand.  I like that part of being older.  I just wish I was as wise and kind as I look:)  And of course not everyone treats you better.  But it is nice...and surprising when they do.
Well, I am rambling away again.  I like writing nonsense I guess.  And sharing my "art".  I hope it is someday.  Take care out there.  It is a wonderful life!  Melody

And You Will Be Singing as the Days Go By

Good morning!  I am glad for Sunday, and especially glad for fast Sunday.  When I was little I used to wonder what was fast about it and I can remember joking with my brother about how slow fast Sunday seemed.  For those readers who may not be familiar...it is a Sunday each month where we fast for two meals and then give the money we would have used for those meals to the Bishop, who then distributes it to needy families in the congregation.  And if it is not needed it goes on to the larger church organization to help people in need.  It is a marvelous way of taking care of the needs of those who are having difficulties of one kind or another.
The other thing that I love about fast Sunday is testimony meeting.  We take turns sharing our testimony of the Savior.  I love to hear of other people's experiences that have strengthened their testimony.  And in a way it binds a congregation to each other as we learn and share.  I often think of the stories people have shared and it helps me to understand and love them more.  Usually people share how a prayer was answered, or how someone helped them in a special way, or how the Lord helped them with a problem.  It is very inspiring.
If I was to bear my testimony today it would be to count my blessings.  I would probably talk of how blessed I feel living in a country where I can be free to express my beliefs.  It would be so hard to feel censored by a government.  I deeply sympathize with people throughout the world who want that kind of freedom.  I also feel blessed to be in school where I am learning and feeling challenged.  It really helps me to find meaning and a reason to go forward in life.  I am always amazed that I kind of fight the things that help me to grow.  I have been debating about going back to school for several years.  It must be my cautious nature.  I am a little timid about trying new things I guess.  It's that self doubting thing.  I really am trying to overcome that.
There are so many blessings to count that my list would go on for a while.  I would be sure to mention my good husband and family, and of course my wonderful friends.  What would life be like without them?  I hope I never have to experience that.  I do miss those who have already graduated to the spirit world.  But I feel them close occasionally.  It will be a happy reunion when it is my turn.
Well, I guess I had better get ready for the day.  I hope you have a lovely Sabbath day today, and that your blessings are many!  Take care!  TTTL  Melody

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Getting Close

Almost there
OK, so I know it isn't Whistler, or even Picasso, but I think I am done!  At least for an hour or so.  I just need to walk away!!!  I do need to do something to the snow monster, I just can't see it to know what yet.  Sometimes I get so close doing things that I can't see them objectively anymore.
I am going to take a breather.  Blogging is always relaxing and fun.  But I have little to say.  I am kind of tired.  So........bye!  Melody

It's Raining!

Buenos Dias!  I hope it is!  I am still working hard on this drawing for my drawing class.  I have changed a few of my ideas:)  No surprise really...I have a license for that!  Bob F., my watercolor teacher, liked to make jokes about having an artistic license.  But it is necessary when you get into the middle of a project and it is not working the way you thought it would.  So the emesis basin and the cards are out and I have added a lego storm trooper:)  Now I am debating about what platform they will be on.  I kind of like the idea of a tombstone....I am still debating about that.  It will be interesting to see how it all turns out.  I just hope I can get it all drawn today.  Monday is looming larger.
Luckily I don't teach in church tomorrow.  On fast Sunday the presidency teaches...they take turns.  So it is a nice break and a needed one today.  I just get kind of achey sitting in one spot for very long.  So I draw and then I walk around, and then I draw, and then I walk around some more.  I can see how walking might become necessary if this was something you did all of the time.  And a mini-trampoline wouldn't be a bad idea either:)
It is raining here today.  It is a gentle rain...no wind and the air smells wonderful!  I love rain like this.  It is full of nice Spring memories.  Mel and I used to walk in the rain when we were first dating.  It makes me think of how fun it was to be young and in love.  I am glad for memories like that.
Well, I had better keep drawing.  I just wanted to send a happy greeting out there into the great beyond.  I hope your day in cyberspace is a happy one, and that you can think of fond and happy memories too!  Take care and remember I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  HAVGW!!!  Melody

Friday, March 4, 2011

Problem Solved!

Preliminary sketch
Good morning!  I am feeling so encouraged this morning!  Last night I was trying to figure out what I could draw from observation that had meaning for me, and I came up with this little figurine I love.  It reminds me of motherhood, and on my saddest days it reminds me of Tommy.  So I decided to do a preliminary sketch to see how it might work in a drawing....and voila!  I really like the results.    But I woke up at 3 this morning puzzling over how I would make this a drawing about Tommy without making it a sad drawing...something with hope.  At first I thought I could put in a window with a temple as the view, but the temple is complicated to draw and also my teacher is an agnostic and might not get it.  So I rummaged around in a memory box I have of a few things I saved of Tommy's and found these things: a birthday card from the nurses at the hospital for his sixth and last birthday; an emesis basin which he used a lot (the chemo made him nauseous); a Star Wars snow monster that he loved; and a card another family sent my kids after he died. I think I can arrange these to make a meaningful and strong statement.  A couple of days ago a little group of young kids in my class were talking about how religion is just a myth.  I thought at the time that they are too young to know how important religion is in coping with real life....and death.  So I am hoping this will open up a little conversation in that area without being too pushy:)  We have to critique our own drawing in front of the class.
More ammunition
I felt so good about finally coming up with a solution that I went back to sleep from about 5:30 to 7.  So I am not as tired as I might be.
Sebastian doesn't have school today, so he will be my buddy today as I draw.  I think he should be fine.  He likes doing his own thing.
So I am planning on a good day.  I love to draw, and now I have subject matter.  I think I will do the sketches today and the composite tomorrow...unless I suddenly can draw really fast:)  I will try.  I need to have enough time to do the composite well.  I have decided to do it in charcoal, since it is so expressive. I love how easily it moves on the paper...and how dirty my hands get using it...and my clothes!  Yuk.  Oh well, there is a price to pay for drawing artful things...artifacts...one of my vocabulary words.
Well, I hope things go well for you out there in cyberspace.  I am still pulling for you!  Keep smiling...and it wouldn't hurt to sing a little song.  I put Ragtime Cowboy Joe on my playlist because it was Tommy's favorite song:)  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Yes! I am Busy!!!

Good afternoon...or is it evening already?  This day has gone speeding by!  I am still OK in the school work department...but just barely.  I still haven't done those three drawings and the composite drawing and it is due Monday!  But I did get my homework done for my photography class today, which is the other class I have Monday morning.  I had to do that at school, so I figured it was worth getting done today.  I think it turned out pretty good.  We had two assignments due Monday, the first is a study in light and shadow, the second is the study of an egg:)  I hope my teacher likes them.  At any rate that gives me the weekend to work on my drawing.  I have more stuff due on Tuesday, but I figure I will take it a day at a time or I will make myself crazy!
Light and Shadow (this has more gray scale in it, but my iphone didn't quite get it.)

Eggs in a black drawer divider
So I keep driving by the sign downtown and thinking I need to share.  So....going into town it says, "Sunburn- what you didn't bask for"....I really liked that one.  Going the other way the sign says, "Mug shot- a photo of a coffee cup".  That one was not as funny...unless you have been drawing lots of coffee cups lately!  And I have been!  Other signs in town are trying hard to compete with the funny sign.  There was one that came close on a chiropractor's sign.  It said, "Don't count temporary failure."  I liked that.  I sort of feel that way about my art.  I am really not where I want to be with it and it is sort of easy to tell myself I am failing.  But instead I will just do what the sign says!
So for my homework drawing, I have been thinking I may draw a pie, some grandma hands, a canning jar with flowers, and then put it all on a window sill with a tree out the window or something.  I think it would help to lead into my painting that I am doing for my painting class.  We are supposed to paint in a political stand of some kind.  I am thinking I would like to say that I love being a grandma, but that I want to be an example of striving for excellence to my grandkids.  I have already painted a building at BSU, and we are supposed to add stuff to the front of it.  I think if I put a window....like a window of opportunity, and then the more traditional grandma kind of things, that I can sort of show how I feel.  It's a long shot I know, and I am still playing with the idea.  I thought I could either draw Barb's hands or my own.  I wish I could work from a photo, it would make it sooooo much easier.  But I suppose this will help my drawing skills.  Why is it that I am so resistant to learn the very things I am going to school to learn?  I think it is funny how I would almost always rather take the easy way.  Maybe that is human nature.  I hope it isn't something that I battle all alone.
Well, I guess I'd better get dinner started.  I hope your day is going well and that you are having a marvelous day out there in cyberspace!  I'm still pulling for you!  We are all in this together!  Keep smiling!  I am smiling still.  HAGE!!!  Melody