Wednesday, April 30, 2008

We need to make up a word to rhyme with orange.

A post even later than yesterday. Sorry friends.

We took a little trip while out and about with my aunts. An old rail car.

What? Another art flier?! Yes please.

Construction everywhere. Our little town isn't so little anymore

Frozen yogurt with a bit of topping on the side.

This color week thing is starting to take over my life. I can't go anywhere without looking frantically for colors. It's at once a curse and a blessing. A curse because I can't get a moment's peace. A blessing because it's making me ridiculously observant. If I'm ever a witness to a crime, I will be able to tell you exactly what colors were involved.

Tomorrow, pink and red. I'm already scheming.

*Stomp Foot*

Gosh, Ravelry. You always make me do this. I find a project, I love it, I have the needles, some yarn, the stars have aligned and I'm set. Then, I give in to my old ways and start perusing the "Recently Added Patterns" which gives me ideas for other projects I want to do right now which leads me to other designers which lead me to more projects which leads me to covet some serious yarn at 12:32 am. Right now. Sigh. I need a cookie. Maybe some milk.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


A bit of a late post for day 2 of Color Week:

A baby blanket in its beginning stages

Oh, art. How I love thee

These cupcakes didn't last long

Oh, local library. How I love thee...and thy cliff notes

California is mighty dry

Tomorrow: Orange!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday is Green!

Here are my humble contributions to Curious Bird's week of color. Monday is green:

An Irish whistle that sounds beautifully haunting when an Irishman plays it and a bit like a dying bird when I play it.

One of the only mildly successful wheel thrown objects from last semester (it's lopsided, but you didn't hear that from me). My mom claimed and painted it.

Our church had a Swap Shop on Saturday: bring your old "treasures" and swap them for someone else's old "treasures". My mom got this great hat box.

In other news, Winston Randall IV came out of the kiln this morning and he's doing great. Sniff. He's all grown up and moving on to glazing.

Post Script: Something in my house smells like a hot eraser. You know the kind that has just erased something violently? I think it's my dinner. I love that smell. Erasers, newly sharpened pencils, crayons, glue...sigh. Childhood.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

It is hot in here, or is it just me?

It was hot enough today to turn on the air conditioner. The whoosh of the fan as it started mingled with the sound of my soul leaving my body.

Perhaps that was a bit dramatic. Let me rephrase.

It was really hot today, I had to turn on the air conditioner, this officially means the end of cold days and the beginning of a long summer of heat where California will most certainly burn. No more hot coffee, no more knitting in the afternoon, no more blankets and good movies. Sigh.

Actually the rephrase was more dramatic. Luckily I have some of this mint chocolate ice cream to calm me down. My mood may be affected by the fact that I'm watching the episode of Stargate: Atlantis (oh stop. you know you watch it.) where Carson Beckett my favorite character dies a horrible, pointless, morbid death by exploding tumor. That's right. Exploding tumor. Wouldn't that make your life more complicated. Carson!! CARSON!! Come back!! Oh, he does? Okay.

And now that I've let my geek out for some fresh air, it's time to put it back in it's dark little room.

I would post some church notes today, but I'm pretty sure my mom threw them away. Meh. They weren't that post-worthy.

I have this sketch journal that's made out of what looks like paper bags. I believe it's called Green House. It has a great texture to it. I take it around with me and draw little things I see throughout the day. Look at it?! Doesn't it just SCREAM nature?!

Also, I finished a hat! Cap Karma Hat. I kind of piddled around with the pattern before, if you remember, but never actually finished anything. It's huge. I made it that way intentionally because I wanted a hat that's a little more slouchy. It worked! It was super easy.

Hm. I guess I should start something for dinner. Oh! I almost forgot. I have become a flexitarian. "What?!" you say? It means that I'm a vegetarian unless the situation requires such as social reasons. Actually, it's just a really lame and complicated way of saying I don't eat pork or red meat and only other meats like chicken or turkey if I have to. Fish is a freebie.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Go Outside!

#4 Go to a movie by myself - mission accomplished.

Today has been a wonderful day. The sun is shining once again, the mud swallows are out in full force, the wind is whipping and I'm drinking it all in. I walked, that's right, walked to the movie theater to watch "Baby Mama" by myself. I do my part to save the environment. I had always wondered what it was like to go to see a movie by myself. Some tried to stop me, but no, I was determined. Now, I am never going to the movie theater with anyone ever again. It was so much fun! I didn't have to worry about anyone having a good time, I didn't have to sacrifice my opinions of the movie because my companion loved or hated it. I laughed when I wanted to, didn't when I didn't. No one bothered me, I had the popcorn all to myself. Sigh. It was extraordinary.

Oh the movie? It was good. Actually, it may be one of my new favorites. It wasn't over the top spectacular, but it was cute and funny and not overly sappy and when I grow up I want to be Tina Fey.

This is a portrait from Monday night. I like it. It's rare that I ever truly like something I draw. It's a little messy around the edges but I think I'm going to fix it up and do something with it. Maybe...county fair? Hm.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pop Couture

The sun is shining, the birds are flying, the temperature is rising and the pants are shortening. Do you know what that means, pasty white community? That's right! Sunless tanner. Orange citizens unite!

Does it make me a bad art student if I listen to and enjoy the top 10 songs on Billboard? I own half of them. Pfft. I don't care. I like some catchy, mindless music to dance to when I brush my teeth.

Current television obsession: 30 Rock. I watched the first and second season in 3 days. It is creepy that I have a crush on Kenneth?

Artists block has once again reared it's ugly head. It's okay. I'm rolling with it. In class on Wednesday, I forced myself to go back to the beginning; to take individual parts of the face and focus on it rather than worrying about the whole. It helped a bit. I'm just pushing through. I haven't stopped drawing, but I haven't allowed myself to stress too much about it. That just makes it worse, anyway.

Also, to help with my block, I've been knitting more. It keeps the hands limber. I've finally freed up my size 9 circular needle so I can work on this cute jacket I've been wanting to knit. I'll post a picture or two of what I've finished recently in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I want to be an illustrator. 2 hours ago, I wanted to be an animator. By tonight, I'll want to do visual effects. I'm doing some intense research on art schools, which ones are plausible, affordable, etc.

So as I was (mostly) taking a break from technology this weekend I started doing a bit of introspection and discovered I have a lot of odd quirks and neurosis (mostly neurosis):

  • I carry packets of creamer in my purse just in case there's a coffee emergency and there isn't any readily available
  • I play Jeopardy online and I like it
  • When people touch my shoulders it sends a shock wave down my spine
  • My oranges have to be completely white-free. If there's even the slightest hint of whiteness I gag. It takes me about an hour to eat one
  • I mouth hypothetical conversations to myself as I walk around in public. I never thought of it as being strange until I saw someone else do it and then I realized I look like the bag lady who roams the residential areas
  • I can't just watch one episode of a season. I have to watch and watch until I've conquered the whole series. More often than not it's within a day
  • I cannot stand the smell of fake lemon scent. When I was younger, I spent a day blorching into a lemon scented trash bag. I've never been the same
Other than that I'm pretty normal.

Monday, April 21, 2008


These are my grandparents. My grandpa died when I was about 4. I get most of my love for art from him. He played three or 4 instruments and had some amazing drawing and carpentry skills. My mom took his love for wood, I took his love for music and sketching.

My grandma is from Spain. She doesn't speak Spanish anymore but a phrase or saying will come back to her every once in a while. I think she remembers more when she visits her siblings. She raised 9 kids on a strict budget. She loves babies and can't pass one up without squealing with delight and rubbing its head. I get my independence and my hair color from her.

I didn't spend all of this weekend in thoughtful contemplation as I said I would but I did spend most of Saturday afternoon thinking about my family as I drew these little portraits. My mom is really interested in genealogies and heritage. She has lists and photographs that go back hundreds of years. Most of them look a bit grumpy and a bit seedy but they all have interesting stories. I've never been much of a history buff. I find myself so frustrated that I can't know exactly what the time period was like or that some huge events in history are entirely based on hearsay or tiny bits of pottery. I get so overwhelmed with unanswered questions that I just give up and focus my attention on something more tangible. Maybe it's laziness, maybe it's too much curiosity, who knows.

Oh, Blog. I missed you this weekend.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Alright. This is me, signing out for the weekend. I fully intend to be contemplative and productive. I will see you, dear readers, on Monday.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spring? Is That You?

I've talked in here about how much I despise the sun and absolutely love the winter but because the weather has been warming up here in sunny California I've been forced to notice some good things about Spring/Summer:
  1. Great hair days: dry, warm and windy = prime hair conditions.
  2. The inexplicable desire to eat fruit and move more.
  3. Deep breathing of fresh air.
  4. Cleaning out the cobwebs and junk collected during the winter months.
  5. Unclogage of artist's block.
So, as far as the new things month goes...I tried it all...but uh...the only thing I really accomplished was #3, Dress more springy. I just need a little longer. I'm giving myself an extension. An indefinite extension.


I discovered some batteries (because I did #4 to my room) for my dead camera. This is an ink drawing I did for a minor portrait assignment in portrait drawing. It's a slightly modified copy of a Charles Dana Gibson illustration. The floating heads will be fixed, haha.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hodge Podge

Artist's block continues. Only now, it's spreading to my walking, talking and thinking skills. I treated myself to some comfort food when I got home. I liked it. Also, two bananas.

Today was another day, despite my chronic block, that was entirely dedicated to art. Class, homework, getting my art show piece ready (Dave again). It feels good.

I said I was going to try and add some more color in here, so with that in mind I used a sanguine pastel tonight. It may have been an experiment gone horribly awry but it's kind of growing on me. (He was wearing overalls by the way). I think I'm going to stick with it for a couple more class sessions. Just to see.

I half-heartedly drew the next pose (with Amanda) and I'd post it in all it's horror to show you that even mega-artists like myself make mistakes sometimes, haughty laugh, but my camera is dead. (Sarcastic).

I'm a little excited about this torso I made in sculpture. It's totally a copy of Rodin's Torso of a Man only shorter, pudgier and smoother...with a bellybutton. Let's just say it was inspired by Rodin. That sounds better.

I need to read more. I'm getting back into my Jane Austen mood. I'm going to take the whole weekend off to read. No blog. No TV. No people. Nothing. (Except early morning hangout with neighbour and church on Sunday.) P.S. neighbour, bring The Scarlet Pimpernel! I'm reclaiming it as our movie. Jealous? Who's jealous?

Oh, and the Month of New Things is up, I'll post a recap tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I'm Back! (almost)

I'm feeling a bit more artistically inclined today. I'm still not back to my old self, but maybe I just needed to admit to myself that it's okay to have some off-days. Last night wasn't the bloodbath I thought it would be here are a couple that I liked (both charcoal):

5 minute pose with Amanda

and a longer (maybe 30 minutes?) also with Amanda (she was holding flowers)

My professor says I'm getting better at getting the idea of hair (yay!). Amanda has the most incredible hair I've ever seen.

Well, I'm going to see about injecting some color into my drawings. It's just too blah in here.

Ah! Gotta go! Photoshop awaits!

Kilts, Boys: A Mystery

I am under the impression that Irish people have more fun than Americans. Correct me if I'm wrong. Watch just about any Irish person sing with a pint in their hand and I guarantee you they're enjoying themselves more than you.

Speaking about that general part of the world, what's with the kilt wearers? That old, cliché question, "do they wear anything under those things?" still, for me, goes unanswered. It's like the only people who really know are the actual kilt-wearers and they're not tellin'. It's part of their kiltish code to keep people guessing. My theory is that whatever they're not wearing underneath, they put in that little bag they carry around their waist. Just my theory.

Wait! Hold the presses! I have something very important to say and it has to do with yarn! So, on Saturday, my mom and I went to a surprise birthday party for Kayla, a girl we used to babysit. She turned 16. She was a far better birthday girl than I ever was or ever will be. I've always had a hard time with all the attention. It invariably goes to my head and I become an obnoxious, smart-mouthed, only child...but I digress. Her brother (in jr. high, I might add) crochets. Yes. That's right. Crocheting has become the cool thing for jr. high boys to do in their free time. Beanies, sweat bands, all very cool to a 13 year old boy. Apparently next on their to-do list is to sew a pair of fuzzy boxer shorts. Ah--...I-...It must be a boy thing.

Monday, April 14, 2008

100 Mostly Mediocre Posts!

It's my 100th post! [fanfare! streamers! people yelling happy things!] I wish I could say I had something special in store for this post but, unfortunately, I don't.

I didn't post a church bulletin yesterday because my drawing skills were so atrocious I couldn't even bring myself to let my mom see it. I donno. I think I'm a little artistically...stopped up [do you see what I did there? I was going to say constipated.]. I'm just burnt out on drawing, specifically, drawing people. It'll only last a couple days at most, but we have models in class tonight. It's going to be a bloodbath of smudged charcoal and failed sketches.

Since I'm in a rut, here's some amazing work from some actual artists, not just lame-oes like me:

First, Dave Rau and Josh Bertrand created a digital collage, "The Horseman Meets the Oarsman" and are releasing the files they used for other artists to create their own collages.

So cool! I started mine yesterday. It's still in the "I suck" stage.

Secondly, Larry Roibal takes prominent figures and sketches them with a ballpoint pen on newspaper! Kind of reminds me of the church bulletin...

(I would post some of his work but I'm sure it's horribly illegal. Actually. The "Horseman" thing is probably illegal too but...meh.)

Hhhh...If you ever want to kill your self esteem, shop for summer clothes after a long winter hibernation. I have a blogger butt. Ugh. I had a blogger butt even before I was a blogger! I guess it's time to suck it up and get a gym membership.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Macaroons! Why Dost Thou Hateth Me?!

I'm in! Blogger has been sending me in circles for the past day and this is the first time I've been able to actually log in. Yay!

Last night I felt a little ambitious and decided to bake something. After discovering we had next to no ingredients in the cupboards, I finally settled on macaroons. I mean, after all, they only require 4 things: vanilla, sugar, coconut, and egg whites. Fool proof, right? You'd think so, but no. After literally dripping the goo-batter on the pan (which should have been my first warning) I stuck them in the oven only to have them turn into something I can only describe as a "mutant alien." They first melted, then fused to the (pre-greased) pan. I had to use a fork to pry up their sad lifeless bodies. Determined to try again, I mixed another batch only to have my mom complain about the noise I was making and kill what little willpower I had left. They're uncooked and sitting in the fridge.

I'm trying to get together some art pieces for a student art show coming up next week. I'm very last minute in everything I do. I actually think I work better under pressure, however stressful and ulcer-inducing.

Well, I'd better go. We have a (surprise) birthday party to go to tonight. She's a budding artist, sigh, it makes my heart proud. (Just as long as she's not my competition, it which case I will be a ruthless killing machine...kidding! I'm just kidding...or am I?)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Office is Back!

Well, it's here. The Office is back and I may piddle like a little dog for the excitement of it all.

My ringtone is still The Office theme song. Has been for a long time. The background on my phone is still Michael. Has been for a long time. I am a loyal fan.

Small rant: I am UNhappy with the direction Jan's life is taking. She used to have dignity! She was smart! Successful! Now what is she? A dried up shell of a human being with designer boobs. Come back! Come back, Jan!!

So I'm snacking on sunflower seeds and I tend to put a chunk in my cheek and go from there. Every once in a while I get a sneaky suspicion there's something other than a sunflower seed in my mouth [a bug]. Like right now. It's followed by body convulsion and instant gag reflex. Like right now.

Watch The Office tonight at 9pm on NBC!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Winston Randall IV (Why Four? Why Not?)

I'm putting the very last finishing touches on Winston Randall IV, previously known as Old Man, Old Guy and Oldie. Did some hollowing out on the inside, a harrowing process. Basically what happens is you slice the sculpture in half, in WR's case, we hacked off the back of his head and shoulders. Then, you carve out what you can inside each piece, making it pretty even. I never realize how much of an idiot I am until I hollow out a sculpture. Today I found that WR had absolutely no support in his neck. Basically, I sculpted him with a ready-made slit throat. So I fixed that, put some clay here, scraped there and bada-bing! I reattached him only to find out his edges had drifted about an inch. Hhhh...I hate hollowing. The chances of him blowing in the kiln are in the mid to high maybes. "Yellow alert," if you will. (Star Trek foreva! Blaaaaa!)

Our dishwasher is running right now and it sounds like it's about to take off.

Speaking of cleaning, apparently one must vacuum more than once. It's a continual thing. That's ridiculous. Kind of like "embiggen" and "methinks" are ridiculous as words (real or otherwise). If I take the time to vacuum, the floor should at least have the consideration to stay clean and linty free.

We got one of those digital receiver box thingy mabobber doodledeedoos. The TV stations were pushing them on us and we caved (not like we really have a choice, apparently). It's a mild form of amazing. It's like free cable! With only 15 channels! Oh the wonder of modern technology.

Monday, April 7, 2008

He's Finished! (Practically)

The Old Man made an appearance today. I really love clay, it relieves stress of all sorts.


Old man_6


Old man_5

Close shots:

Old man_4

Old man_3

I finished Old Dude much faster than the "Working Woman" sculpture and to be honest, I like him better. He's my first bust! I still have to make sure he's completely hollowed out inside (so he doesn't blow in the kiln) and smooth him out a bit.

Any ideas for Oldie's name?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunday Bulletin!

I'm trying to acquire a taste for Bob Dylan. It's not really working yet. I have, however acquired a taste, nay, an obsession for "Make You Feel My Love" as sung by ADELE. After weeks of desperation, iTunes has put her CD "19" up for download. OMG! Tweenage girly scream! I downloaded immediately. Something about her speaks to me. I will be seeing her live when she comes to the US (sometime in May). I may have to beg for pennies on the street and hitchhike to wherever she's playing, but I will make it.

In other news, I like decaf just about as much as gum on the bottom of my shoe on a hot day.

And because it's Sunday, it's bulletin time!

None last week because, well, I didn't go to church. I had a good reason(s)!

Yesterday, I went with a couple of friends from my sculpture class to Alpha Ceramics to pick up some glazes. Now that I think about it, I should have taken some pictures of the actual store (it was heavenly) but I probably would have been too chicken. After much finicky indecision, whining and running back and forth, here are the ones I settled on (the last one is some sort of a greenish matte):

I can't wait to see how they turn out!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

That Was Fierce.

I just finished Project Runway season 4 [day late and a dollar short, I know] and I cried like a little baby when Christian won. I loved almost everything he designed. He wasn't arrogant, he was good and he knew it, it's all a part of the competition.

P.S. Am I the only one who wants a Tim Gunn replica? I want to convert him into my own personal art mentor and carry him around in my bag. He could tell me when my art really sucks, "Ew. My gag reflex just started. Just make it work, carry on."

A Foray to the Dentist

Today I engaged in an epic battle...and won. I confronted my dentist phobia head on and was met with such a puny excuse for an adversary that I laughed in its face [after I stomped on its foot]. My best-case scenario was worse than what actually happened. I do, however, have to get my wisdom teeth taken out but I'm okay with this.

Apparently, it's uncommon for me to think coffee tastes a bit like chicken. I caused a bit of a ruckus when I told the x-ray technician who told a dental assistant who yelled, "What?! Chicken?!" at which point the rest of the office heard. It's okay. I stand by my convictions.

Also, I gained a bit more of an understanding of why I get anxious around the color teal. I was sitting in the dentist's chair, minding my own business, trying to force deep breaths through my panic-stricken trachea, when I looked down and saw...teal! my spit bib! teal!

Today was a glorious realization of potential.

I'm trying my hand at watercolor. It's failing miserably so I got a couple books at the library. I'm so intimidated by non-dry media!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bunker a la Ashely

I live in a nest I choose to recognize as the living room couch. Actually, I'd rather not call it a nest, it's more like a bunker. A storm cellar, if you will, protection against disaster. It's got everything I could possibly need: remotes, knitting needles, yarn, iPod, cell phone, sketch pad, some loose change, some crackers, chapstick, camera, a button, assorted miscellaneous items.
"Ashely, do you know where I can find a flashlight?
"Why yes Mother, I happen to have one right here," or,
"Ashely, I just really need a pink Sharpie."
"What a coincidence. I'm sitting on one." You see? It's all very convenient. But, when the occasion arises that my nest is not as accommodating as I would like it to be, a battle of will ensues.
"Mother, Dearest, could you do me a favor?"
"Just as long as I don't have to get up."
"But don't you love me?"
"Not that much."
And it begins. It's a game of reasoning to see who can be the first to create a convincing argument for the other to move. Shameless bribing [this is where the loose change comes in handy] and general, underhanded sneakiness will follow. We leave no survivors. But don't be fooled. I am not the only one. My mother has a nest also, maybe not as extensive a collection as mine and maybe she cleans and resets more than I but still, it's there.

Sigh of Relief

[Trumpet sounds and Hallelujah Chorus playing] I'm done. The scholarship application is in the PO Box and my Photoshop project is printed and I have half an hour to spare. I was praying all day long. I went to bed last night at 4:30 ish and woke up this morning at 8:30 ish and immediately kept working. Putting together my packet and running around, burning CDs making copies, driving to and fro. God made this day, although hectic, completely smooth. Everything worked almost the first time, I didn't kill anyone with my bad driving, I even got a coffee and a scone out of it [score.]. The only problem now is I haven't showered today and I'm pretty sure everyone around me knows it. You know what, I just don't care. I'm done. Haaaaaaa...

I put the self portrait in my portfolio for submission but I didn't like the first one, so I changed it. I'm not sure I'm totally happy with the second one either. I like parts of both.
Self Portrait Self Portrait Series #1 - 9x12in, Graphite
I look a little bug-eyed and emaciated in the second one.

It's a Good Thing I Like This Stuff...

This day has been packed with art. By packed I mean there was not a moment I wasn't creating/thinking about art. It's a bit exhausting. I woke up, went to class where I presented my art for a midterm review, then spent the next 3 hours sculpting/scheming about my new project. I then ran to get a transcript so I could apply to an art scholarship (due tomorrow, $2500). Then ran home, worked on Portrait Drawing homework, ran to class and drew (drew? that doesn't feel right. 'practiced the art of drawing') for the next 2.5 hours and then ran home and immediately put media to hand to refine the 'ol portfolio for aforementioned scholarship, due tomorrow. When my scholarship packet is done I have to do a quick texture/drawing for Photoshop, scan, arrange (project due tomorrow). I still have hours before I sleep.

[Inhale, exhale]

So I took some pictures of my Sculpture projects today:

'Working Woman':

and a bust of an old man, still in the concept/beginning stages:
This is just the idea sketch, a-symmetrical arms, beard, poofy hair.

Here's about an hour's worth of work:

I kind of like this stage, the 'What the heck is that?!' stage. It looks horrible then horrible then more horrible and then all of the sudden, I start to like it.

P.S. The lighting in the clay room is fantastic. From now on all of my pictures will be taken from this room.
P.P.S. Wish me luck on the scholarship!