Monday, February 29, 2016

You have received a YouTube video!

Sending this from my phone and hoping this video trailer opens! Wednesday night, March 2nd, 7:00 PM, on WOSU's #BroadandHigh will highlight the exhibition of Art 360, 48 Ohio artists art on ostrich eggs.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I painted in all the darks of the mannequins first, mixing cool or warm blacks from ultramarine blue, pthalo blue, cad red light and quinacridone red.

Acrylics can be very transparent, so I would have to go over sections more than once.

These photos show the development of the most elaborately decorated dress on the egg. You see how the graphite was very sloppy, so I quickly blocked in some color to set the design.

I don't like acrylic because it dries a different color than I mix, but I fell in love with the quick drying time making it quick and easy to work all around the entire egg. Oils would have been a nightmare of time and logistics for me.

Egg-acting work!

I'm sitting in the airport in Baltimore, MD, heading for one of the greatest art capitals of the world, Italy. That means that once again, I am blogging from my phone.

It also means that I can only share a couple photos at a time with each post. Here are two photos from October 25, pencil drawings on top of the two coats of clear gesso that I applied to the ostrich eggshell. I was sorry to loose the semi-gloss appearance and lovely color, but I thought I'd paint in oils and wanted the paint to have something to adhere to.

The graphite was greasy and smeared easily. I decided to go over the lines in archival brown marker. But, getting bored quickly with that, I just started painting, only not in oils. I used acrylics, knowing that I could go over those in oils later. You know, the best laid plans of mice and men.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

An Egg-citing Traveling Exhibition!

"Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends . . . . come inside, come inside" - my world.

My work of art wrapped up for yesterday's delivery.
Enter the door to Art 360: Contemporary Egg Hatching Across Ohio, an exhibition that will be traveling to three Ohio museums in 2016! The concept is the brainchild of Mr. Charles Bluestone, a Columbus lawyer and art enthusiast, and the exhibition will be comprised of 48 ostrich eggs, each decorated by a different Ohio artist who was invited to participate.

You can read the history of the exhibition and view all the eggs that have been photographed so far. My egg won't actually be on the website until sometime in December, and honestly, I don't know how they will photograph it. It just must be seen in person to fully appreciate it. But, you will be seeing it here, first, before anyone outside my family has seen it.

In my next few blog posts, I'll give you the title of the work, show progress photos, and talk about the materials and process.

Now, I want to ask you a question? Have you ever worked on a project using unconventional materials? If so you might answer yes or no, or share a photo and/or the story about your creation in the comments.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Paris, August 1st

Wow! I needed to be on the 6am shuttle to the airport. My 4:30 alarm didn't go off and I woke up at 5:26. You never saw anyone get dressed and finalize packing so fast. I made it with time to spare.

My suitcase weighed 18.2 kilos. My backpack??? Heavy. And they searched every item in it, every pocket. The last pocket had a glass scraper in it! I didn't even know that I had it.

And you know, they gave it back to me! I've since thrown it away.

Photo from the airport.

Friday, July 31, 2015

July 31st, Friday: Je suis aller á Paris!

I have changed trains twice this morning and am now sitting in the station in Rennes. I need to use the toilet, so, having a second breakfast just to get some change.

I knew there was a reason to keep a little change. But it's so heavy with one and two Euro coins. Martin always spends the change. Today, I feel I am becoming Martin.

I don't really care about much today since making my 5 minute connection between trains at Dol-de-Bretagna, down and up the stairs with my suitcase and backpack. Now, all my worries have disappeared.

The train arrived at 8:45 and the TGV to Paris leaves at 10:05. Expected arrival time 13h11. If I get bored, I may venture into Paris, but I need the repack my luggage, putting the tubes of paint from my backpack into the suitcase. I sound like someone who thinks they will be in Paris again. I think that I am just plain tired and don't feel like fighting the transpiration any longer today.

I have un upgraded room, with a king sized bed, a tub and a shower, and plenty of room here at the Hilton Paris Charles de Gaulle. All thanks to Martin.

It's just coming to 4pm here. The day is still young, but I will relax here. I'm sure that you're all shaking your heads saying, "Is she crazy?"

July 30, Thursday: street musicians

They were everywhere!

In addition to the zither man, and Dame Béatrice, all dressed in white with an elbow length orange cape, there was an Irish fiddler.

But, the big jazz band of 12 musicians was the prize of the day. I try to attach a video, but it didn't post.

Thursday, July 30: A potter!

After I painted, I went back to La Belle Assise. Not sense carrying a backpack when all the panels held paintings.

I decided to revisit my favorite spots and do some drawing, or painting if it was possible in the crowds.

I came across a potter working with a clay called rose-gris??? Not sure. She said it kept a lovely color of red after firing. I really liked the bowl of water with holding her tools.

July 30, Thursday: a fun time painting!

The latest edition to my "27 Dresses Series".

Thursday, July 30: painting and pastis

Here's Billy with his first oil painting. I told his Dad that I'd done my first when I was 11 years old.

Dad offered me a coffee, or a Pastis. I chose the latter. Et, voila! It arrived at my easel.

Thursday, July 30: two artists

I met two artists on the street as I set up to paint in front of a dress shop that I'd admired for a long time. Yesterday, the light was perfect when I arrived, but visiting with these folks was important as well.

The first artist was Sean, from Wicklow, Ireland. He was from Wicklow. Not sure I spelled that correctly.

The second was Billy, from Sheffield, the 10 year old with the sketcbook who I'd met a few days ago. He walked up to me and said, "Hi, Debra." I told Sean about Billy's sketchbook. Then suddenly, I said to Billy, "Would you like to paint?" With a big smile and no hesitation, he said, "Yes!"

His younger brother wanted to paint, too. But sadly, that didn't happen. As as they walked off, he was crying his eyes out. I yelled down the street to his Mum, "He hates me now." "No he doesn't," was her kind reply.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday, July 30: a fun morning!

Madame at La Belle Assise made crème this morning in addition to quite an assortment du pain.

I dug out my easel, put out fresh paint. I have very little paper towels, but they are Viva. Thank you, Peg Vasil!

The best thing I saw at the marché this morning, and believe me, everything looks superb, was this baby. At first I took a photo because of the light. So I took three, because of people walking by. This last one saws what is about to happen. By the time I walked the 10 steps and was opposite the baby, he had grabbed a leaf from a lettuce plant and stuffed it in his mouth. He was just going for a second leaf when his mother turned and noticed! So funny, and I hope a studio painting when I return home.

I also had fun drawing the crabs and fish, and asking le vendeur about the araignèe crab. There were also small brown crabs that I'd never seen before. They color reminded me of mud crabs that we'd catch when I was a kid. These were 4 times the size of the mud carbs, but only about a 3" shell. What you do with them. The sign said they were called élutte  at 10,80€ kg. The araignèe were 7,80€ kg. And the large fish, St. Pierre, 22,80€ kg. I hope you enjoy my little drawing of the seafood.

Thursday, July 30: a beautiful day

I just broke out the painting gear, which means I'll be repacking later. I want just one or two more small paintings here.

Not sure what they will be.

Here's a photo of my brochette St. Jacques from last night's dinner. Spectacular presentation and food full of flavor at Atypic!!!!

Wednesday, July 29: La Belle Assise

At 6pm, I made the big climb up to the museum above to speak with the ladies about my taxi. They were very helpful. Long story short,the taxi had been ordered for the following day, the 30th.

The young woman took me to my chambre d'hôte. She helped me to figure out how to get inside the house with lots of security. I gave her the 10€ that I would have paid the taxi. She had been so very kind.

Once inside, the young man began showing me the security codes, keys, etc., explaining everything I needed to know. He was just showing me my room, huge, luxurious, when his Mum arrived and said I was booked for tomorrow.

She showed me the reservation book in her hand, and we discussed the date, and it was then that I realized my mistake. All I could do was shake my head and laugh. Over and over again.

Luckily, I could have my room for two nights. I love this place. So comfortable, and I have to use my French with Madame. People here ask me where I learned my French, that it's very good. Again, I shake my head and laugh, because my French is so very bad.

But I must thank my wonderful teacher, Françoise. Spending time with her has been one of the greatest pleasures in my life. Merci, Madame.

July 29, Wednesday: the big mistake!!!

Yep, I screwed up.

Not the first time in my life, but I felt very foolish. Just couldn't stop laughing at myself. Literally!

I got my dates wrong, even Martin didn't catch the mistake when we talked about my leaving the little house of the residency.

I painted in the morning at my favorite garden in the port area of Dinan. In the back of my mind was leaving enough time to pack. So, I did an 8x6". I loved my subject, the subject. I could own that garden with the moss covered stone planters!

I was able to sit on the stone wall, with my back against a stone pillar in the sun, with easel sitting on the wall in front of me, and the backpack beside me. Everything was perfect.

The weather did go cloudy, few drops of rain, but it was just perfect. I felt content,  happy.

Just look at my backpack! I had sunflowers in there once, but never a baguette!

Later, I packed my backpack and suitcase, did my little writing assignment for the residency, drew a pen and ink of the house that I'd stayed in for the Livre d'Or, took my bags onto the street to wait for my 17h30 taxi.

It never showed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28, Tuesday: Rain

I cooked potatoes and onions in olive oil and butter with Herbs de Provence for breakfast. I added three pieces of Camenbert cheese at the end to heat it up. Wow! It was fantastic.

Then, I packed up my sac-a-dos and walked across the street to paint the little house that's been my humble home since July 2nd. Why I never noticed it before I'm not sure. It is very cute, and I saw it for the first time at a distance last night coming home from the gite.

Halfway into my painting, it started to rain. It became a steady rain. I had the umbrella, but not my coat. I held it up with my left hand and carried on with my right. It was cold and damp, but I wanted to finish that painting.

Packing up was difficult, trying to hold a windy umbrella and take the painting off the easel and get it into a PanelPak. I managed to get white paint on the hand holding the umbrella, then all over the umbrella. Later, I noticed yellow all down the left thigh of my trousers! Hum?

The rain poured down, and then stopped by the end of lunch. I started up the hill with drawing materials and half way into a drawing, with no cover, I packed that in.

It turned into a lovely evening, but I had a small amount of online work to do. Still, I overheard an Englishman say that tomorrow it's to be sunny.

Here's a photo of me drawing, taken by a young man - about age 10 - who'd been snapping away at me for about 20 minutes. I think I know where his future lies.

July 27, Monday: In and out rain, castle and the best part of my day!

I started out early. Why not? I hardly slept a wink. Was it caffeine or a mind that just wouldn't turn off?

Whatever it was, at 6:30am, I decided to get up. I spent two hours having breakfast, doing a little packing, and working on my journal.

At 9:00, I walked up cardiac hill. Hardly anyone was up and about except for a few early tourists with cameras. By 9:30, I was installed at Cafe???? Where they serve the hottest, the biggest and the best café crème in Dinan. I also had a pain au chocolat.

It was amazing what a difference just 10 minutes made in terms of foot traffic. I was writing, only partly aware, but at some point, all of a sudden, the noise level increased in decibels and by 10am, everything was animated, and it stayed that way all day. Haute saison.

I headed for the tourist board to ask if they would book me a taxi for the 30th at 5:30pm. I will be leaving my little house, the maid - who stopped by this evening - will come in and clean, and I expect the next artist comes in the day after.

I had already made up my mind that today was the day that I would tour the castle. Dinan has a very long history, founded in the year 1000! The castle started 200 - 300 years later.

I took the tour in French as it was starting in 15 minutes. Only about 8 or 10 of us. The young woman spoke very fast French, very fast, and her voice didn't carry in the wind and showers, but she was very nice. I missed a lot, but saw things that I wouldn't have had access to without the tour, like the dungeon and the crypt.

Then, I walked to find my B&B for the night of the 30th. I think I'll only get one B. My train leaves for Dol-de-Bretagne at 7:30am. I am 380 meters from the Gare SNCF and closer to the old city than where I am now.

To go by car, 3km; to go on foot, 2km; but, it would be up cardiac hill's cobbles with wheels. Shades of St. Jean Pied-de-Port. No thanks!

Yesterday, I had a very bad food day: cream tea, and a crépe au chocolat! When I realized that, I said to myself, "You need to get some real food." So I splurged on lunch and had Risotto with Saint Jacques, salad and a little white wine. Ooh la la!!!

I never found a drawing spot today. It was so crowded. So I walked down to the old port and straight to the Mercure to contact Martin. It was only 9:30am in Columbus.

I was falling asleep. It was very hot in the bar. Once we texted and I sent my blogs, I took a walk down that side of the Rance, in the direction of St. Malo. When I decided to walk back to my little house, I discovered that I had walked over 8 miles total today!!!

Of course, now there was sun, and a new crop of boats in the harbor including a big one from Jersey, C.I. I wondered how long that trip would take by motorized yacht.

I worked out some packing stuff, put out fresh paint on my easel for tomorrow, and went out to draw. Of course it was spitting rain. I went back for my rain coat and said, "Hey just go across the street to the gite." I ordered a pint of cider, a small glass of water and a serviette. I got out my paper, pen, brush and Bistre ink from Sennelier and started drawing. On the second drawing, a man brought his son over to see what I was doing. The 10 year old had a sketchbook, too! I asked to see it. We had a great time talking. They live in Sheffield, and the father said they had a place in Cornwall that he thought I'd enjoy painting. I gave them my website address, and he said he'd email me. Me and the kid could go out painting. Sounds great to me. That was a lovely ending to my day.

I thought I'd share this large fireplace from the castle because I think the stones interestingly interlocked in a  beautiful design and color. I also loved the pillars and carvings on both sides. And then, of course, my lunch!