Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Starbursts - Rachel

Dandelions - weed or flower? The bane of the gardener's existance, I still find dandelions nearly irresistible. I know I shouldn't pluck its lolly shaped bloom and close my eyes and make a wish and blow... but how can I not?? Their delicate repeating patterns, the floating seeds like parachutes on the wind. Catching the slightest breeze, glinting in the sunlight, childhood memories calling me to blow and wish and enjoy their simple gift. I'll deal with the damnable weeds once the seeds have flown.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pop Poppies - Rachel

Today I was having a conversation with my daughter about words, specifically about how words seem to warp and sound strange if you say them enough. Any word can move from the realm of "That's a word I use it all the time" to "Wow, what a strange set of syllables" with enough spoken repetitions. Go ahead, try it.
The word which began this conversation was poppy. We were passing fields and hills abloom in California golden poppies and she kept repeating the word until it began to sound strange to her ear; eventually it began to deteriorate for me as well and I got stuck on the word pop, which made me think of pop art, which made me think I should see what kind of pop art homage I could create with Photoshop and one of my recent poppy pictures. Here's the result.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Peregrine - Rachel

Today while walking in SF with a friend I spotted a raptor, I believe (s)he is a peregrine and (s)he was quite a willing subject. I was within about 5 feet taking photos and merited but a few curious glances. Raptors are exquisite, graceful and noble birds - fiercely determined, shrewd and keen. When I see raptors I think of my grandmother Eleanor who cared for wounded birds of all ilk, but especially these masters of the hunt. My grandmother, like the birds she tended, could appear frail and delicate, but she was fierce and capable; a woman who could climb mountains, handle snakes and handle pretty much anything thrown at her. I aspire to have have some of her daring and indomitable will.

Spring Break! - Robin

We're off early tomorrow to San Diego until Friday. Of course the weather is going downhill fast but we'll still have fun with my baby boy (turning 30 on May 1st!) and my sweet Lily. I'll see you on my return!

This is another classic spring scene for me. I hope you like it!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Camelia - Rachel

I've long been fascinated by camelias. As a child I used to take the dried out pods and peel the layers, endlessly engaged by the process. Today I have four huge camelia trees (they've outgrown the title of bushes or plants) and they still draw my eye. Here's one of my pink blooms, heavy with pollen; awaiting fertilization.

Ink and water

This is a back corner of the school's gallery that faced into the art courtyard that I chose to sketch out with pigment liners. After we had finished the sketch we took Japanese water color brushes and went over various areas with a lightly wet brush to get the effect you see here. I really enjoyed doing and tried it with a picture I had taken at Mission Carmel also. Easy and fun project for children to play around with as well when you are teaching them how to use their eye to see what is full and what needs more space.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Camelia Anthers - Rachel

Getting up close and personal with my camelia's reproductive system.

hand in hand - Amy

I really liked this shot, but that damn silver watch kept screaming for some attention. I tried stamping it out in PS, bit it made the arm all distorted looking. Then I settled on darkening it up. Perhaps it is a tattoo? Or a funky bracelet? (both of witch Derek would never adorn himself with)

Friday, March 26, 2010

You say tomato - Amy

These were some yummy tomatoes!  

But oh! If we call the whole thing off,
Then we must part.
And oh! If we ever part,
Then that might break my heart!

My thoughts when the cold weather ends my tomato season.

Watercolor Heather - Rachel

Ok, so it's a photo and not a watercolor, but I'm drawn to the feel of this sprig of heather. I took many versions, but this soft focus and exposure really appealed to me.

The Flower Thief (Robin) Strikes Again!

This time it was wildflowers found on a hike. Again I know it's wrong but I only took one of each type. To pay me back, most died before I even got home. :-(
I am continuing to play against colored glass and I really like it. It's kinda like painting.
Let me know what you think. And Lori, tell me what the flower is. Thanks!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Green and Yellow - Rachel

Busy day, took a few quick photos today and really found these to be the most interesting, what with their spiky, gooey, out of this world attitude.

white on white

This was another still life of white on white and we were only allowed to use blue as a second color for shadows. Lots of fun =)

Voodoo Lily

This is a Drancunculus vulgaris, also know as Voodoo lily, viagra flower(you can probably derive When I first saw this blooming in my old yard I was facinated by the dark velvety black maroon color. It is a strange and beautiful flower with a very short appearance. The moment it bloom it has its days numbered. It also gives off a foul smell for a day and then that goes away so you wouldn't want it planted near a window. The flower is gorgeous and exotic. It has a very goth look.

I really wish I had a macro lends to capture the inside and check out all the bugs. If you look closely you can see insects attached to it.
It attracts carrion insects which are fun to check out. The smell only lasts two days and then the flower starts to sad. It shows it's beauty and then is gone. Pretty cool huh!

Arum Cornutum - Voodoo Lily

I'm back! - Robin

I love succulents and how a bit get's broken off and you just stick it in water or dirt and away it goes!
This is the shoot coming off of just such a succulent. It feels very Dr. Suess-y to me. I bet a whole little world is existing there right now.
I did a selective color in Photoshop as the background was neutral anyway. I helped it along to make the plant stand out.

There you are - Amy

Another shot from my stroll in Sunol.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Poppies and Pollen - Rachel

White chalk on black paper

Here is yet another still life. This time done on black paper using a white cont'e crayon to bring out only the highlights of each piece. We were learning about shadows and the varying degrees of light and how they create their own shapes to form a whole

Morning Sketch~ Woman

Morning sketch of a model from a magazine. I tried to distort the features and head shape and still make it work, which Dickson tried to teach us and I never quite got. I think it's appropriate to alter models features, because high fashion models often do look distorted. We just don't see that many perfectly shaped features and towering tall thin women, so when we see them it seems like an oddity and for me makes me look even more. I made her very curvy and voluptuous. By distorting this sketch it forces you the viewer to keep looking because our brains tell us something is wrong. Some how I posted by accident a floral bouquet I made for a bride, but thought it went well with this very flowery female, so I left it in for you to view.
Lori Singer

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring has Sprung - Rachel

It's all I can do to post something right now. Suffice it to say that spring is in full swing in my front yard and I'm enjoying it's colorful bounty.

The White Rabbit

This is another of my school projects. It is a copy of a Wayne Thiebaud titled White Rabbit. This was interesting in that we had to use a graduation of half tones and the background is also white. But as you can see there are yellow, orange, red, and blue hues all through it. It was a lot of fun to do and we only had two sessions to do the entire painting. It is on an 18x24 inch canvas panel

polka dot girl~

Morning sketch book. A mix media illustration portrait of polka dot girl in the rain. The source of inspiration are photos and outfits that my darling daughter has worn throughout her life. While they are in no way intended to be realistic portraits of her and I am just playing with portrait illustration that is made up, the inspiration comes from her and photos taken of her and the crazy sense of fashion she has. She had always had an eye for color, detail and fashion from a very, very early age, it's very cool. Her desire to make outfits is just one thing I had to surrender to having a very independent little girl who has had her own mind almost since birth. I love how children express themselves in their dress, it just makes me smile. I always bought these cute outfits and never knew how they'd manifest as an outfit on her, early on I would fight it and then just realized it was her and really important to her . My dream is to illustrate a few children's books...hmmm? Dream..., but it doesn't hurt to dream!
Lori Singer

Bok Choy - Amy

This was taken at the Farmer's Market. I really love stacked items. When I see pallets, pipes or lumber on the back of a big rig truck, I just go crazy with delight! To me, it is a transient art show. 

The bok choy was set up perfectly to satisfy my stacking tendencies. I noticed on my stroll down the farmer's market, I was one with my camera. When I am out of contact with my Nikon for a period of time, I get all self conscious when I go out for a shoot. I don't want to bother, or offend anyone; I get all indecisive about what to shoot (guess I still think that I have a roll of 24 exposure film in there). Ultimately I get too into myself to see what is out there. Today, I felt free of that crap in my head. Let's see what tomorrow brings!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Electric Blue - Rachel

Over the years I have been frustrated by the number of power and phone lines interfering with my photos: I'll have a stunning sunset before me, but then there are the damnable power lines. This year I have decided to embrace them, bring them into the fold; give them their moment to shine. I will not be stymied by those intrusive poles and lines, rather I will find their inner beauty (or at the very least inner visual and graphic interest). So, here is another of my power pole and line series (also another of my drive by pics because it's only when I am driving that the clouds put on their shows).

Charcoal and eraser

This is a piece that I had a lot of fun doing. It was done by covering the entire paper with charcoal, then using one of those stretchy artist erasers to erase just the highlights. These are two mannequins that have been wrapped in white sheets with some rope.

Ranuncula Girl~

Playing in my notebook. mixed media sketch
Ranuncula Girl

Shadow of a tree - Amy

Took a nice hike in Sunol Regional Wilderness Park. It is super green and the creek was flowing. The views are beautiful and every now and then, tiny burst of color caught my eye. Emma spotted a small snake curled between two rocks. I really love the things that shadows do.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Changing View to my world~

Horse Eye View - Rachel

Yesterday I had the opportunity to accompany my daughter's Girl Scout troop to a horsebarn. There they learned all about the parts of the horse, their care and keeping, etc. This horse, Chelsea, was the picture of patience - being curry combed, brushed, and fawned on by 10 enthusiastic girls. She was so gentle with the girls, but what was she thinking about them? What did she see? Here's a small glimpse.
Click on the image to view larger and see the reflection. How many girls do you see? Like my tie dye?

Farmer's Market - Amy

I just love going to the Farmer's Market on Saturdays in Pleasanton. We usually run into some we know, or more specifically, someone Emma knows. Today we bought beets, chard, carrots, strawberries and some tomatoes. I love buying local and seasonal items (not sure about the tomatoes).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Used Luck - Rachel

Another Magnolia??? Jeez Robin!

Just how long can I put off doing my Flash final? Well that depends on how many magnolia pictures came out. Yet another....

Lilly Speaks - Amy

Lilly is a lovely conversationalist. Throughout the day, we have intense conversations, filled with give and take, emotion, and intrigue. It almost always ends on a good note - a purr, a rub against my leg and more food added to the bowl are some examples. If I am really lucky, I might get a love bite or a good view of her derriere. Both are signs of great honor in the feline world.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Magnolia - Rachel

Here's another magnolia for the collection. I loved the little pops of pink in among the trees and decided to emphasize it through some selective color. I've posted the original as well.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Too Shy and the Babies

This is Too Shy. When I made him, he kept turning his head away from me and by the time I was done he just looked like he was too shy. So that is how he got his name. The babies are made from all types of fur and felt.

Space Bloom - Rachel

This flower looks somewhat Sci-Fi to me, what with its satelites in orbit.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010