Ladyrebecca's Musings and Ramblings

The Increasingly Political Thoughts of Rebecca (Becky) Walker

Art, art, art April 4, 2009

Filed under: Anecdotal,art — Addicted to Yarn @ 9:04 am
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This blog was not started as an art blog but due to my current interest, that’s what it seems to be becoming. Of course, since art is the main thing I’m doing right now, it remains an update of my life blog.

I’ve done a lot of little things since I last blogged (sorry, Lisa). I’ve done too many to show them all, though I am working on getting all the photos over to Flickr so that I can showcase the best here and link to the rest over there. But it’s not happened yet. But here’s some of the better things I’ve done of late.

Contrast Study of Vin Diesel as Xander Cage, sans tatoos

Contrast Study of Vin Diesel as Xander Cage, sans tatoos

I wanted to work on drawing tone. I have a hard time seeing the value of colors and hues. So I decided to start black and white with a high contrast photo. Oh, and I wanted to try out my new ebony black pencil. It’s neat but I’m not sure it’s that much better than plane graphite and charcoal. Oh well.

I’m also working on a couple of journals. One is just little stories about me, like the time my bra broke during gym class, during the jump rope portion of the physical fitness test. The other is for a swap. It’s a Journal with a Twist. Each entry has to have an “extra” with it. An ATC, a recipe, a photo, a painting, a candybar like the one you ate that day. Whatever. Here’s my favorite page so far. And the extra for this one is a print out of the original The New York Times article on Alia Muhammad Baker.

The Librarian of Basra, a true story from Iraq

The Librarian of Basra, a true story from Iraq

Here are two ATC’s I did for a swap titled “Good vs. Evil.” We had to make two ATC’s, one showing Good and one showing Evil.

Evil ATC from Good vs Evil

Evil ATC from Good vs Evil

Good ATC from Good vs Evil

Good ATC from Good vs Evil

Next is an ATC from the Butterfly ATC swap. I glued wrappers from Dove Dark Chocolate Eggs onto a piece of cardstock and then cut out the openings in the butterflies wings. I glued it down and then used water color crayons for the background. Then I drew around it with a Sharpie. Oh, and I used color pencils for the body of the butterfly. Pretty cool, eh?

Dove Dark Butterfly for Butterfly ATC swap

Dove Dark Butterfly for Butterfly ATC swap

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Frankfurt Fears…no more February 23, 2009

Filed under: Anecdotal,art,germany,marriage — Addicted to Yarn @ 9:18 am
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I love it when I leave cliff hanger blogs and then don’t post for a couple of days. “Did they make it to Frankfurt and back?” “Did Israel’s plane make it to the States?” “Were there pastries involved?”

Friday night, my friend Sheri called and offered to ride to Frankfurt with us so I wouldn’t have to drive back alone. Bless her heart. She agreed to come with us at 5am. She has endeared herself to us forever. We all piled into our little Panda and headed to Frankfurt. It was a pretty good drive though my stomach was in knots. For some reason, this TDY scares me more. After much reflection and much talking about it with Israel, the conclusion I’ve reached is this: Israel has never been so far before. He’s across a frickin’ ocean! Seven time zones away! There is much more work involved in him getting back to us if the world screaches to a halt. When he was in California and we were in Kansas City, he could have walked to us. It would have taken a while but it was a physical possibility. This isn’t Civilazation III, he can’t just go down (or up) to the poles and walk around the world to Europe. And that’s scary. Worst case senario has to involve many more things.

But we got him to the airport fine and left him standing in a long line 2 hours before his flight. I cried, which I don’t think I’ve ever done when he was leaving before. Of course, I was much more naive then and had no idea what two weeks with no husband or father for my daughter was like. But we said our good-bye’s, kissed our good-byes, while scandalizing onlookers — hey, the course is an elective — and Jael and I and Sheri walked away.

We only got onto one wrong road. It was the right road, just heading the wrong direction. After getting turned around, we drove straight home…with many potty breaks. It’s about a 3 hour drive for us in our little car. We drove Sheri home, had pancakes at her house for lunch and hung out for about three hours. Then, as my yawns increased in frequency I figured Jael and I should head home. We drove to Speicher and as we neared the center of town, we saw a police car, blocking the road. Uh oh, I thought. Yup. Big uh oh. There was some sort of carnival in the middle of the road. I’m sure it was fun. I’m sure it was worth blocking of the MAIN road through town but my sleep deprived and husband deprived brain freaked out. Which of course means so did my thinking brain. So instead of cutting back to the roundabout that goes to Trier, taking the road that goes by the fancy kitchen store and the meat market we’ve never been to (yes, that’s really how directions are in Germany. I am a classic, road names only please, no landmarks, kind of girl and yet…this is what I’ve got to work with) and coming out on the other side of the carnival, I completely forgot that part of town exsisted and instead went all the way to Bitburg to  come in the back way past the train station. But of course, I didn’t do this in a straight shot. I tried two shortcuts, both brought me back to the wrong side of town. Then I got turned the wrong way on B51 in Bitburg and had to drive for some kilometers before finally pulling a U-turn on an empty stretch of highway. But then we got home fine.

And even though I was exhausted and had been up since 4am that morning, I was unable to convince myself that I should be in bed and instead, stayed up late perusing the Internet, making ATC’s, and various other things which I can’t even remember now. I will post pictures soon. Due to not having a USB to camera cable anymore (it broke), uploading pictures is…intersting. I have to take the card out of the camera and put it into the Ubuntu computer (a desktop model) or the Linux laptop (a tiny, tiny Acer running Limpus Light for it’s OS) and then upload the pictures to that computer. Then I have to load them onto a photo sharing site, usually Shutterfly now that I’ve figured out the gliches between Ubuntu and their upload software. Then I got into the living room and using the Mac, either download the pictures from Shutterfly onto the harddrive or I simply use the Mac to post pictures onto WordPress or whatever else it is I want to do with them. And if the desktop computer wasn’t sitting on an endtable in the hallway, with the safe in front as a seat and I didn’t have to balance the keyboard and mouse on my knees, I would do the whole thing from Ubuntu.

I love Ubuntu. We have had Windows and we hated it. We switched to Ubuntu and loved it but there were some issues. Then we got a Mac, and while we don’t hate it, we don’t love it. We love the hardware. I love not having to have a tower and a monitor and speakers and a subwoofer. The lack of wires spilling everywhere is wonderful but the Mac OS is not that great. I prefer Ubuntu. MUCH prefer Ubuntu. I think everyone should switch to Ubuntu. It’s absolutely wonderful. Of course, I totally depend on Israel to figure all the details out. Maybe I wouldn’t love it so much if I had to do that. But Israel loves it too so maybe it’s just that great.

Anywho…I’ll post pictures later today or tomorrow as I have class tonight and should really spend some time studying, seeing as how I missed the last class.

 

Some art by…Me! February 12, 2009

Filed under: Anecdotal,educational — Addicted to Yarn @ 3:15 pm
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A couple of months ago I started drawing. Jael loves drawing and asked me to draw with her. So we sat down with a “How to Draw Cats” book and this is what I made:

HB #2 graphite pencil on printer paper

HB #2 graphite pencil on printer paper

This is another from the same book but I painted it with water color after drawing it.

Watercolors

Watercolors on printer paper

A while later Israel and I were looking at crappy fairy paintings for sale online and Israel said to me, “Becky, you could do this.” To which I responded, “I can’t paint.” At  the mention of painting, Jael asked if we could paint. We weren’t doing anything else and I figured I could try my hand at a fairy and see what I came up with. This is what I painted:

Watercolor

Sad Fairy in Watercolor on clean newsprint paper

Jael asked why she was sad and I said because her favorite oak tree was cut down. So that is why she’s the sad fairy.

A while later, while again drawing with Jael during her “Buggy” phase (Buggy is a small green plushy she got from an exterminator company when they did an exhibit at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport, Mississippi), I drew a bug:

Bug from my imagination in Colored Pencils

Bug from my imagination in Colored Pencils on printer paper

Realizing that I am not actually the worst artist in the world, I scavenged Israel’s sketch pads and went to work. I also snagged his charcoal pencils and his cool smooshy eraser. I got Glamour from the library since it has lots of pictures of people and that’s something I’d like to be able to draw well. I drew a number of pictures but these two are the two that really turned out nicely:

Woman in Charcoal pencil

Woman in Charcoal pencil on sketch paper

Woman in HB #2 graphite pencil

Woman in HB #2 graphite pencil on sketch paper

I wish I’d been a little braver with the second picture and darkened it up quite a bit. It’s far to light, especially when photographed. But still…not too bad.

A couple of days ago Israel, Jael, and I went to a friend’s house (the friend who inspired me to do “Bleh”) and I made some Artisit Trading Cards. I’m not completely sure what ATC’s are all about but I’m learning. Here are the four I’ve completed so far:

Green haired fairy

Water color crayons and marker on water color paper

Water color crayons and marker

Water color crayons and marker on water color paper

Mixed Media

Mixed Media

Talk mixed media

"Talk" mixed media

This morning, after getting up with Israel at 4:30 am, I headed back to bed. Before doing so, I wanted to draw just a little bit. The night before, during class, I’d sketched a really basic head and face. I wanted to expound on that a bit with charcoal (which may be my favorite of the medium’s I’ve tried so far, though the water color crayons are pretty freaking cool). This is what I ended up with:

Charcoal on sketching paper

Charcoal on sketching paper

I am actually really happy with this. There are a few flaws but all in all, it turned out pretty close to how I imagined it. I might actually finish this…you know, give her a neck, a body, maybe a physical place in the universe. Stuff like that.

So this is my artistic journey so far. Between studying German, raising my daughter, schooling my daughter, being a great wife, and keeping in touch with the many people I care about who are far away, I don’t have the time to “art” that I wish I did. But what little time I do have, I thouroughly enjoy.