Saturday, May 31, 2008

Birthday camera...

For the past two years I've been using an entry level Canon Power Shot camera, a good introductory digital camera, but with limitations. For my birthday this month, my husband gave me a Canon A630, the next step up, I think. It's so easy to use and takes much better photos than my first one.

My friend Patricia prepared a birthday dinner for me and sent me home with this tree peony from her table. Beautiful, isn't it? - and not a bad photo for a point and shoot.

May 3: Finito!

Finito! Finished! The end!

I’ve posted my last little painting for the Everyday in May challenge. I’m glad I participated in the project, but I’m also pleased that it’s over. On the plus side, daily painting has helped increase my skill and confidence a bit. I learned a lot and I’m feeling a little less intimidated by the medium of watercolor. I also met up with some new EDM members and have been enjoying their daily drawings and paintings. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and left tips and encouraging comments during this month. I really appreciate your visits and I am inspired by your work.

What I liked the least about this challenge was having to post a painting every day. I put a lot of artwork on the internet that I would have never considered posting if I hadn’t been participating in this project. I found that stressful.

Now I’m going to focus on other things, although I will continue to paint or draw every day. In June I’m going to begin experimenting with my new Schmincke watercolors. I purchased them in early May, but felt I should stick with the paints I was familiar with for the EDIM project. I’m going to spend time focusing on color studies with colors I have difficulty working with (reds & yellows). I’m going to paint outside. And finally, I’m going to focus on being loose and sloppy with my watercolors. That’s what seems to make me happiest.

Friday, May 30, 2008

May 30: Vino Rossi

Tomorrow is the last day in May, one more post to go. I couldn’t end the month without including this…

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May 28: Panna Cotta

As soon as the local cherries appear at the farmers' market, I will be preparing this recipe! The leftover cherry compote (made with Chianti, Rosemary and fresh cherries) is also very delicious on ice cream.

(From a photo taken last summer.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

May 27: Pentola

I generally keep my house pretty clean and tidy, but it's not a big priority in my life. When my mother used to visit, I would go into overdrive to make everything immaculate, because one's desire for maternal approval never seems to end. Inevitably, shortly after she arrived, she'd notice my toaster and pans were less than shiny. She'd get out the copper polish and clean the bottoms of my pans, and then clean my toaster until it glowed. I know she thought she was being helpful, but it annoyed the hell out of me at the time.

Now she's 85, lives in an assisted living community and is too frail to visit very often. When she does, she just seems happy to be around the family and no longer mentions my housekeeping failures.

(The plural of pot may be pentole, but I'm not sure and couldn't confirm it on the internet.)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

May 25: Pomodoro

I could really use some tips for painting red objects without turning them into mud...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

May 24: Scarpa

My daughter-in-law is rather petite and likes shoes which add a bit of height. I, however, would fall over if I tried to wear them.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

May 22: Acqua Minerale

I'm beginning to think I will actually complete the Every Day In May series! It's been hard posting paintings I don't particularly like, but the week has been very busy and I haven't had time to re-do paintings. Posting this weekend is going to be challenging, too, as we are having company for four days. So, it's been a little stressful at times, but overall, a very beneficial experience.

And I've really enjoyed seeing everyone's work!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May 21: Scodella

My favorite mixing bowl.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 20: Elezioni primarie

All Oregon elections are vote-by-mail, so although May 20 is the actual date of the primary election, my ballot was sent in a couple of weeks ago.

Monday, May 19, 2008

May 19: Albero

Just returned home from three days at the beautiful Oregon coast with our kids, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. After unpacking, watering plants and grabbing a bite to eat, this is all I could manage. It's really not much of a painting, but it fulfills my everyday in May commitment. Now for a hot bath...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

May 18: Buon Compleanno!

My blog and I both have birthdays this month. My blog, at one year, is still a baby. I, however, am not – having entered a whole new decade of my life (a decade I used to associate with my mother and her friends…)

But life progresses and every birthday deserves a birthday cake. It’s been more than 20 years since I last ate a piece of Black Forest cake, but the memory lingers on. For this birthday celebration, I’ve painted my memory of that cake – layers of chocolate cake with whipped cream frosting and cherries soaked in liquor. It looks good enough to eat, doesn’t it? Cherries the size of plums on the top? Wishful thinking on my part, I guess.

I’ve enjoyed interacting with the talented and generous EDM members so much during the past year. I’m thrilled and inspired by the varied and beautiful artwork the members produce.

Thank you so much for visiting, leaving encouraging comments and suggestions - but most of all for sharing YOUR work!

May 17: Espresso

To go with the cake, of course!

May 16: Tè con Limone

Appropriately enough, the name of this China pattern is Italian Countryside.
Oops, the accent mark is wrong in the painting...

May 15: Brocca

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

May 14: Annotazione di Diario

I'm not wild about the way the cream colored Moleskines scan, but I’m determined to fill it up...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

May 13: Sedia

When my granddaughter visits she likes to pull her little red chair up to the coffee table, which then becomes her desk, where all the important work of a toddler is undertaken.

Monday, May 12, 2008

May 12: Frutta Fresca

Now we know where the name for that sickly sweet soda came from.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

May 11: Madre e Bambina

This is my feeble attempt at painting my daughter-in-law Aimee and granddaughter Georgia (from a photo taken two years ago). My husband and I are very fond of Aimee. She parents with kindness, intelligence, humor, devotion and verve. She’s an exceptional mother and we think our granddaughter is very lucky. And we are, too, to have Aimee in our family. Happy Mother’s Day, Aimee!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

May 10: Buonanotte!

This is all I could manage on on this very busy day.
Pronounced: (Bwoh-nah) (noht-teh)

Friday, May 9, 2008

May 9: Foglia

This leaf is from a mystery perennial in my garden. I planted it last summer and it never bloomed. It grew quite vigorously this spring and is now a couple of feet tall and full of buds. I have no idea what it is. I'm intrigued, though, and looking forward to solving the mystery in the coming days.

I painted the leaf with watercolor, turned it over onto watercolor paper and then weighted it with books for an hour or so. That left a faint leaf design, which I then enhanced with ink and more watercolor.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

May 8: La Palla

This reminds me of croquet balls. Do kids still play that game?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

May 7: Acquerelli Nuovi

Squeezing fresh paint onto a new palette reminds me of the way I felt as a child when I opened a brand new box of Crayons - excited, expectant and convinced it was going to make a real difference in my art.

I finally decided to try some Schmincke watercolors and found a store in Oregon that actually carries them. No more $25 shipping charges to Jerry's! Well, at least not for Schmincke watercolors.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

May 6: Pacco

The packages I most like to receive arrive with either books or art supplies inside. This box arrived last week from Jerry's.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

May 4: Spazzolino da denti

Some words are just fun to roll around on the tongue and the Italian word for toothbrush is one of them...

May 3: Il Letto

Buon giorno! Continuing on my morning theme, here is a little sketch of il letto - my messy bed. What you do not see in this drawing is my pencil post bed frame. It's visible to me quite clearly in my mind’s eye, but in reality, it is still on my husband’s drawing board.

A talented woodworker, my husband has built most of the furniture in our home. It’s both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing to have custom furniture, well built, of solid hardwood. But because he builds the furniture in his spare time, it is sometimes a very long wait to get the piece I want.

Occasionally, I get impatient and decide to buy a piece of furniture ready-made. When I take my husband to see the furniture, he always spends time quietly looking at it, turning it over to check the construction. He then proceeds to point out the flaws and inevitably says, “The cost for materials to make this would only be $_____." (ALWAYS, many, many hundreds of dollars less.) And so, we walk out of the store without the furniture and I wait some more.

But I am hopeful. Last year he made two cherry nightstands for the bedroom and a lovely new dresser, so I feel certain it won’t long…

Friday, May 2, 2008

May 2: Il Vaso

I meant to include this in the painting I did of my breakfast table yesterday.

Vaso should be a very easy word to remember, since it is so similar to our own.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

An Italian Word/Everyday in May

The Italian word for breakfast is (la) colazione (koh-lah-tsee-oh-neh). (Although my husband doesn't consider this breakfast, I do.)

When I was in my twenties I spent the month of May one year traveling in Italy. I loved everything about it – the people, the language, food, art and the lovely scenery. When I was cleaning out a closet recently I came across Italian flashcards, a language DVD and a course book I had purchased years ago and then stuck away in a closet. It was the inspiration I needed to commit to the Everyday in May drawing challenge. I'll use my daily drawings to illustrate an Italian vocabulary word every day. By the end of the month, I will have added 31 random Italian words to my vocabulary.

The rules I’ve set for myself are to post everyday, even if I dislike what I’ve drawn or painted. And to give myself permission to do a very simple contour drawing, if that’s all I feel like doing. No daily masterpieces required.

Oh, and if there are any Italian speakers viewing this, please feel free to let me know if I make mistakes.

NOTE TO MYSELF: Most Italian nouns (i nome) end in a vowel. Nouns that end in a consonant are of foreign origin. All nouns in Italian have a gender (il genere); that is, they are either masculine or feminine, even those referring not to people but to things, qualities, or ideas. Generally, nouns ending in -o are masculine, nouns ending in -a are feminine.
 MASCULINE: amico, treno, dollaro, panino
. FEMININE: amica, bicicletta, lira, studentessa. Nouns ending in -e may be masculine or feminine. The gender of these nouns must be memorized:MASCULINE: studente, ristorante, caffè
. FEMININE: automobile, notte, arte. Nouns ending -ione are generally feminine, while nouns ending in -ore are almost always masculine. Nouns ending in a consonant are usually masculine: 
bar, autobus, film, sport. Abbreviated nouns retain the gender of the words from which they are derived: 
foto f. (from fotografia)
cinema m. (from cinematografo)
moto f. (from motocicletta)
auto f. (from automobile)
bici f. (from bicicletta)