cheeks · illustrations · sapling · snow · Spring · thaw

Thaw

I am outside on the deck, watching my husband grill veggies.  It is mid-February and this is the first snow-free week we’ve had for a bit.  The air is crisp, the sun is out.  There is just the right balance of cool and warmth.  There is also the constant sound of melting.

If I were back in Manila, without looking for the source, I’d conjure up an image of a Zen fountain.  I’m not quite sure it’s the proper name for them, but they have become ubiquitous, just as anything Zen has found its spot on magazine pages and design stores and all that.  The fountains come in all sizes too.  They can be as big as a whole wall or as little as an ashtray.  The whole point was to have the sound of water somewhere in the background.  Not for the bladder control challenged.
Back to the sound. 
I follow the sound and realize it is the snow on the roof.  The sun is doing its job and slowly but surely, the blankets of snow on the rooftops are thinning out.  Water is trickling into the gutters.  And then I see a patch of grass out on the back lawn, a pair of rain boots that were left outside forgotten as the snow piled layer upon layer every week, a tennis ball that was used as one of the eyes of a snow creature.  The other “eye” is still underneath.  The corner of an orange shovel peeks through, breaking another expanse of white.  Spring must be getting ready for a grand entrance.
So today’s illustration is all about that.  It’s the little plant that feels it’s waited too long and has taken advantage of the thaw to take a peek at a world renewed.  The very cheeky little girl was inspired by Baby Kara who at 3 months old, seems to have more cuteness than anyone can handle.
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Now It’s My Art, Interrupted

“Stuck”
This illustration made it to my FB post first.  That is unusual for me because everything I draw (unless it’s for someone else) should land here first.  But it must be just an indication of my slipping into a rut and being unable to climb out of it. 
I shared this same concern about my writing (the art and writing began to flub at the same time)  with my writing instructor.  Here I am, almost at the end of the course and suddenly the words don’t come.  Well they do because they’re all over the place.  It’s just the right ones that have become elusive.  She hasn’t responded yet so it’s either I did a horrible job with the assignment and she’s figuring out how to tell me nicely, or my quandary has her in a quandary as well.  Corrected assignments usually come a few days after submission.  That’s another story altogether, though, isn’t it?  Moving on . . . 
In my search for inspiration, I found Salley Mavor and her art.  What can I tell you?  I sat on the bed most of Sunday afternoon surrounded by pieces of felt, embroidery floss, yarn, chenille stems, and little doodads to embellish my little creation.  I had finished a test piece a few days prior to receiving her book in the mail and that test piece is now hanging from my bag, carrying a little rucksack that holds my anti-bac hand cleaner.  I should take a picture and post it but that will just have to wait.  Meanwhile, I’m picking up better techniques from Salley’s book (like putting on the head after the dress is already sewn on the body) and am almost finished with my second little creature.
Will it take the place of paint and paper or even tablet and stylus?  I hardly think so but I have been pulled back to exploring mixed media.  I’m not as crazy about embroidery as Salley Mavor is so definitely, paint, paper, cloth, and other interesting things will find their way into the art for sure.  Meanwhile, my anti-bac hand cleaner is in a unique holder and takes care of what I will be giving some friends when this year’s Holiday Season comes around!