Saturday, November 13, 2010

Boy, has it been awhile!

The summer flew by me... and then it was back-to-school time for the kids. But things have been happening and I know I should update and post and I will over the next few weeks.. I promise. (Summer involved a trip to Costa Rica and then a trip out to the Seattle area. I will post some pics about those later.) But I will work backwards.

First off... current issues: my eyes. I have been having eye issues for the last few years (feels like forever - a sudden retina problem, double vision, decreasing vision and frustration) and recently it was decided that I have cataracts! Well, that news made me feel old.. which I am not.. just unlucky, I guess. But it was also a relief. For many months, before the diagnosis, I would wander around my studio getting nothing done, misplacing things, finding I couldn't focus. I realized how much my eyes connect me to the world. I know that is true of everyone... but, for me, not seeing well makes me feel stupid.. out of touch.. incapable.  But now I understood why I have been feeling only half-here. Finally an answer.

So, I have had one cataract removed and the difference in the one eye they have done so far is AMAZING. The next one is scheduled for next week... meanwhile, I CAN'T WAIT!! But I am trying to be patient.. I can't drive.. can't wear my glasses so now I have one good eye and one very, very bad one and am wandering around the house, trying not to trip over things or trim my finger tips as I chop. It is very disconcerting, this sort of half seeing.

Above I said I guess I am unlucky.. but that isn't really how I feel. I feel amazingly lucky. Lucky that medicine today can solve this problem. Lucky that I have health insurance to cover the cost and that what it doesn't cover I can easily pay for. Lucky that I have a helpful and supportive husband who has reassured me that things would get better. And now I can see, and believe, that they will.

So, when the second operation is done I hope to be spending more time upstairs in my studio. Feeling connected - inspired - productive.
And I might even be glasses free! I've been wearing these forever... so we'll see how close the Docs can get me to 20/20. They are hopeful. I will just be glad to see.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Back to Work

I have not been producing much art lately but feel like the last several weeks have been creative none-the-less.  First, went to the NESCBWI conference in May. Amazing! Fantastic! Educational! Lots of people have blogged about their inspiring, fun filled weekend and I don't really have anything to add - except to echo a "well done" to all the organizers, volunteers and workshop leaders. Thanks! Then when I got home it was time to prepare for a trip to Michigan (driving!) for the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. For any who don't know, it is an international, educational, problem-solving competition for kids where they get to spread their creative wings. (My son was part of a team that was competing, which explained the giant Easter Island head in the back of the van.) I saw some fantastic, surprising performances by kids - just as inspiring as some of what I saw at the NESCBWI conference. Saw a hat made out of vinyl records, a skirt made out of balloons, a boy dressed as a nun, and a talking carton of eggs. Kids sure can create! Then after driving home to CT we hosted a Polish team that had competed in Michigan also. Spent a week seeing the US through their eyes. So now that they have headed home, I am tired and a bit overwhelmed by how behind I am in all the things I need to do... but inspired anew to create, participate, observe, record. Wishing all a surprising, inspiring day.

(Opening ceremonies at Odyssey - 16,000 screaming kids!)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Illustration Friday: "Detective"

Here is my tribute to the ultimate detective - Mothers. I was always amazed at what my Mom knew and the mysteries she could solve (who took the..? who broke the..? etc). Sometimes the clues aren't hard to catch - like The Case of The Muddy Footprints pictured here. Other times they are real puzzlers. But moms are rarely stumped. There are many joys to being a parent but, for me, one of them is certainly hearing that plaintive cry from your child "Mom - how did you KNOW that?!" Don't they realize? We know all.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Illustration Friday: "Expired"

Here's another entry for IF. Sort of last minute but the idea was too fun to let pass. (Wow... tomorrow is Friday already! I better get ready)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Illustration Friday: "Subterranean"

How exciting - it finally feels like spring! And how exciting that I have gotten the IF challenge done three weeks in a row. (It's good practice - I definitely intend to keep it up.) "Subterranean" this week. Ant farms are a fun and exciting way to show kids the subterranean world. Hope this picture conveys that sense of wonder. I am trying to not overwork my pictures. (A bad habit I have that just sucks the life out of them.) I often prefer my beginning sketches. In this illustration I am trying to capture that whimsical sketchy feeling.

Monday, March 8, 2010

IF "Brave"

I've been meaning to participate in Illustration Friday regularly but have never pulled it off.  Now I've posted a picture two weeks in a row.  Feels great! I'll try to keep it up. It is great practice and is getting me to try out different techniques. Looking forward to this Friday!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

IF "Perspective"

Another Illustration Friday picture done! Last minute... but it's done. Yay! And tomorrow is Friday again. This time I have to start sooner.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Before... and After

For ages (years actually) I have felt that I couldn't get anywhere on my artwork because my studio was a disaster area. The desire was there but... whew, what a mess. Scraps of paper with art ideas were mixed in with my kid's school papers, mixed in with cards from last Mother's Day, mixed in with unread articles about illustrators, mixed in with... well, you get the idea. When I would want to start a project I just felt like I was adding more mess to the pile.  No clean surface to work on and often I couldn't locate the half-finished project I intended to continue. I would get occasional projects done but there was no peace and flow to the work space. When I would try to attack the piles it just felt overwhelming. Just too huge to attack. Moving my studio upstairs, I felt I had, at last, a wonderful space to work in. But it was only potential space. I needed to get the mess under control. This is a picture of Before.. just a couple of weeks ago.

But then several file drawers became available and I suddenly felt the possibility of peace and sanity.  I was inspired and I have been throwing, filing, moving, organizing... and I see the light. I have cleaned off most of the flat surfaces, filed away lots and lots of papers... and am ready to get to work! Here's my After photo.

Not sure if these Before and After pics capture the difference but it sure feels better up here to me! Time to get to work! I'll show you what I come up with.