Dec 21

Have a little fun today!

HAVE SOME FUN TODAY!  There is no denying it, this time of year is wonderful but very stressful! So, the other day I decided that I would have some fun (and be a little silly) while getting a pedicure, and had my toes painted to look like candy canes!  I’m getting a kick out of the fun comments I am receiving.  It also has reminded me that artists are all around us.  The talented and wonderful women at my nail salon do the most fantastic art pieces on the toes and nails of their clients.  From snowmen to snow flakes, and Christmas trees to Menorahs, I am always dumbfounded at how they create such great art in such a small size!  It just goes to show that there are artists all around us, and today I want to celebrate them all!

I hope that you, too, will take the time to have a little fun today.  Life is too short not to!  :0)

Dec 18

Memories

What an amazing year it has been!  I have a lot of wonderful memories to reflect upon, and recently I had the chance to relive a few of them as I placed some ornaments on my Christmas tree that I purchased while on my summer trip to England and Ireland with my sister!

I LOVE our Christmas tree, with all the memories hanging from its branches.  This year I added the ornaments I purchased at the Tower of London, a hand carved wooden Claddagh from Ireland, and a little mini red double-decker bus and a mini taxi from London (definitely one of my most favorite cities in the world).  Sidebar ~ my next car is going to be one of those ultra fun London taxis!   Also new to my tree this year is a cute little “Mele Kalikimaka” ornament  (not pictured – sorry) that I bought while on our family trip to Hawaii.  This summer was definitely a great one for adventure and the ornaments that are now adorning my tree are terrific memories of them all.

To all of you who celebrate Christmas ~ I wish you a moment away from the busyness of this time of year to stand back and marvel at all the love and joy you have accumulated over the years on your own tree.

Merry Christmas!

Dec 01

12 Days of Christmas!

Happy December 1st everyone! It’s the first day you can legitimately start opening up those advent calendars.  For me it’s the chocolate filled one I’ve had staring at me from across my drawing table for the past week.  It’s also the first day when I typically start to feel the panic countdown set in of all the things I need to do over the next few weeks.  In general I just plain hate countdowns, BUT~ here is a countdown I plan to follow and I encourage you to do the same, if not just to have a little fun and a break from the other countdowns you have going on. Follow each day here: CNN’s “12 Days of Christmas” :0)

Nov 19

Oh, the colors of Fall!

Fall comes late in the year for us Southern Californians, but when it does it is a much welcome time.  This afternoon I took my dog, Shamus, for a walk (poor thing has been somewhat neglected lately).  The sun was just beginning to set and the colors reflecting around me were AMAZING!  It’s never hard to find inspiration in the Fall.  I brought along my camera and started snapping.  The colors and textures came alive and I even noticed that my dog fits in this time of year with his  brown and orange fur.  This past week I began a lesson with my 4th grade students on sketching leaves.  I talked a lot with my students on the intricacies and detail in every leaf.  For homework I assigned them the job of finding a tree that is changing color, to stand under it, and look up and marvel.  I hope they do it because I certainly enjoyed it today while on my walk.

So, there you have it – that is your homework too. Enjoy the color!  It’s going fast.

(The leaf field design above is  available for license KATE PITNER DESIGNS:/BD-ABL3)

Nov 09

For the love of Sweets and Wayne Thiebaud

I love food, art, and artists who paint pictures of food!  It’s a win-win for me to see such beauty, which is why I love Wayne Thiebaud (Tee-bow)!

I have been an art teacher for more than 15 years, and I have been asked many times by my art students “who is your favorite artist”.  I can never answer that question without a million sidebars stating “I love Gauguin’s color, Cezanne’s majesty, Monet’s peace, Arcimboldo’s humor, Rockwell’s story, Renoir’s grace, and so on…   I could go on for hours; but when I am asked who my favorite artist is I always think of Wayne Thiebaud first.  I have many reasons for this; Wayne paints beautiful images of food (which I’ve already established that I love), he lives in Northern California where I grew up.  He also was an associate Professor at UC Davis where I went to school.  His art is beautiful to look at and to be present with, and his balance of color and space is perfect.  I think I love Thiebaud’s work so much because he comes to his art from the same place as me.   Like him, I can walk by a bakery window and stand and stare at the beauty and balance of perfectly displayed donuts.  I marvel at the color in a jar of jelly beans or a bubble gum dispenser.  I can never get bored with a beautifully decorated cake.  And so on …  Like Thiebaud, I love to create “food art”, and even though I never want to be type-cast in any one category, I do gravitate  toward the food themes whenever I’m given the chance.  It’s my comfort, what can I say.

I am currently teaching an art lesson to my 3rd grade students on Wayne Thiebaud’s “Pies and Cakes”.  It is a favorite lesson of mine that I usually do in November and December because of the Seasonal theme of food and fun.  Thiebaud is fabulous because he not only has fun with shape and color but also uses his memory and imagination to create his perfect desserts.  This flexibility allows my students to create in that same fashion, which is not only liberating but enormously fun for them too.

A while back I decided to try and paint an inspired birthday cake in Thiebaud’s technique of using thick and heavy paint strokes to give the affect of frosting and texture.  It was much more challenging than I thought but I feel good about the outcome.  I thought I’d share a little of the “Sweetness” with you today!  :0)

Oct 25

Fall into Inspiration! Scarecrows, Sunflowers, Pumpkins, oh my!

My family and I went to a local pumpkin patch with some friends this past weekend.  It was wonderful and full of so much inspiration that I wanted to share it all with you!

In Southern California we typically don’t get a lot of rain this time of year, but on this particular day the rain gods smiled on us and the skies were dark with clouds and there was a cool crisp wind blowing.  The scarecrows in “Scarecrow Alley” were marvelous. Most were done by local groups ranging in age (children to adult).  A few were SO creepy my friend and I swore they were going to come to life and jump out at us.  It is always fun to see how creative people can be, especially when it comes to ephemeral art.  Enjoy!

I wish you a Happy Fall & a Spooky Halloween!