Monday, January 30, 2012

And More Signs

Well, we didn't get quite the amount of snow I wanted but it was a start in the right direction. J. has a new way to shovel the driveway when the amounts are small, just keep driving the car over it and pack it down. Before he did that I got some more photos.
Tire track poem in 4 lines

Saturday, January 28, 2012

It's Snowing

Yea, this is what we saw when we opened the door last night to take Zoe for her walk. Quiet, snow covering everything, walking was easy again, good by shuffle, shuffle. The silence that only happens when it snows, the world holding her breath. I'm hoping for at least 10 cm / 4 inches. Yes, yes, yes I like this stuff, sure beats rain and freezing rain.
Well, that's more like it

Thursday, January 26, 2012

More Signs

Just after the New Year I took a series of photos I called 'Signs for the New Year". Things  looked encouraging, it was a new year after all. When I went out late yesterday afternoon I noticed our road is having a tough winter. There has been so much ice and rain that the town workers have had to use a huge amount of salt, rendering the road almost white. And the asphalt is cracking and heaving everywhere. Great patterns though, and looking very blue, although that is probably due to the twilight.
Cracks in the road

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Going Dotty

While last years final alphabet is not finished for A letter A Week; in fact it's still in it's various variations stage, this one is. Of course I haven't quite kept to the rules but I'm getting closer. With Damien Hirst in the news with his dot paintings, my mind went a bit wild and I thought of confetti, settled on waste dots from a punch press and started to play. All the dots live in the box and can be used to shape any letter or words you want. In the spring I hope to take them outside and have a trail of dotted letters or probably words through the woods, but for now here they are.
Dotty Alphabet with its' box of source material

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Light and Shadow

This year our very slanted and southern light is hiding more days that I wish. So that when it finally emerges one really pays attention to where it lands and the shapes it illuminates and hides. The exterior world of snow and the interior world of white walls make for a canvas waiting to be marked.

The sun's mark making

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tangled Letters

I had thought, an assumption I now realize, that cutting the letters [For the Helvetica Variations] with the laser [Charm City Laser] would result in the negative and positive spaces releasing easily. In fact I was a bit worried I wouldn't be able to document the process. As it turns out it is a time consuming job. Tweezers are vital, [thanks for the tip Will]  I get covered with soot and I may have to revise my estimated time of arrival. The positive shape works well but next time I would give more space in the negative, and use much heavier paper.
Tangled letters, positive shapes
Letters with the burn mark from the laser
Open magazine with bits and pieces of the negative shape floating about, The space between F and G is particularly problematic
Will sent me this link, love the work,
 by Ebon Heath

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Need For A Grid

I have been missing making grids and so when the electricity went out yesterday and the house got colder and the windows got frostier and I was taking a lot of photos while we waited to get back on grid, that metaphorical light bulb went off. Well here is the result. Power went off again last night, but as I was reading a seed catalogue in bed [if you had ever told me I would lie in bed reading seed catalogues with utter pleasure, I would have thought you were nuts] I just turned over and dreamed of grids.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mercury Falling

To say it's cold out these past few days seems a bit of an understatement. Well it is January and it is winter and it's minus 27 Celsius or minus 20 Fahrenheit and all I want is to be rolled up in a blanket in front of the fire place, reading, of all things a book of essays called  Winter, by Adam Gopnik. And looking at the frost on the windows, and so grateful to be able to enjoy winter from inside when it's this cold. Even Zoe has decided short walks are fine. Thank-you Zoe.

Frost on the windows asthe mercury falls

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Helvetica Variations #7

I belong to a group called A Letter A Week  [link here] where the challenge is to create 2 alphabets over the course of the year, according to certain criteria. And I confess I have been hiding. I am way behind; this latest variation doesn't quite fit the guidelines, for that matter most of the variation don't, but I have had great fun, lots of challenges, met some very generous people, and, am waiting for the final variation which should be finished at the end of the month. But I was thrilled to pick this up today from Will at Charm City Laser [link here]. I had found Will while doing some research into how I could get these letters cut from a book block. Nobody was too excited about the idea until I met Will, whose only concern was that the whole thing would catch fire. Thanks Will.

Some of the earlier variations are here, here, here, here and here

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I noticed a wonderful thing yesterday, well it thrilled me. I have been taking a lot of photos of tire tracks in the snow [great patterns], the yellow marks to indicate parking spaces and direction, and highway lines, [I have a thing for highways, see Spirit Highways, link here] all the while trying to get at least 2 Expressive Drawings done each day. Well the crossover or overlapping from one to another surprised me, gladdened me also. I love it when one part of my work informs another.

#11, drawing, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Moon Light

Sunday night was perhaps one of the most beautiful walks J. and I can ever remember and we have been walking the same road night after night with whichever canine companion is gracing our lives. Snow had fallen, big sofa sized flakes, and the skies had cleared. The moon was full and so bright that the snow was glinting and gleaming. If you watched the snow it was like being in a disco ball from the 60's. Mesmerizing. Not to be outdone the moon was surrounded by not one but two nimbus. Mmmn, plural, should that be nimbuses? A lovely omen to start our 35th year.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Expressive Drawing, Day 3

Trying to hard, thinking to much, need to get back to beginners mind. Where is the edge of the paper? Who cares, join the dance. Move back. Are you wearing your glasses? Mmmmn where are they? Who cares, just continue.

8, Jan 7.12

Sometimes what happens around the drawing pulls me the most, #7 with part of #8

Friday, January 6, 2012

Loosening Up

The Expressive Drawing book is terrific. It's always interesting and especially informative when the teacher is good. And Steven is good. Also it makes me laugh. At one point he suggests that you approach the paper as if you were fencing. Well I haven't fenced in years but it sure is a different way to do it. What I like is that you are conscious of your body moving toward the surface in such an alert way. En garde, you say to yourself, moving forward and take a swipe, or a poke. Then retreat and look. React to the marks, advance, make some more marks. And so the dance goes on. Great way to loosen the mind and the body. Next time I will use acrylic black as the china ink is fun to fling about but dries to a dull black. And it drips. All over the place.

Day one

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Not Resolutions But Wants

I gave up making New Years' resolutions a few years ago. I never kept them and was always trying to impose upon myself a better Liz. Totally depressing. Instead I make a mental list of the things I want to do more of, things I want to explore, and because; mostly, my time is mine, it more interesting to see where I actually put my energy, or maybe closer to the truth where the energy leads me. Just before Christmas I ordered a book a FB friend, Steven Aimone [see his work here], had written called Expressive Drawing [link here]. It looks great. Then came the X-mas chaos and it languished, only to resurface yesterday. Between that and the David Hockney book I am wanting to explore drawing, or mark making, or just pushing a pencil or pen or anything else that comes to mind, across the paper. Or in this case light in front of a camera.

Monday, January 2, 2012

More Drawing with Light

Between fighting a cold and trying to get a short video edited for my cousin, I finished one of my new books. A Bigger Message, Conversations with David Hockney. I love his work and especially enjoy how he moves between mediums. His enthusiasm is contagious and his love of drawing permeates everything he does. I am ready to go to London and see his exhibition opening in a few weeks. [Note to self, buy lottery tickets.] If you haven't read his book Secret Knowledge I urge you to. It's fascinating and you will never look at painting quite the same way again. Meanwhile I keep taking photos of lights, mostly Christmas tree lights, but have moved on to car lights. At least, that's what I think this was. Mind you I don't think we have green lights on our car so maybe I better check again. A bit later. Nope, no green lights on our car.

Under the wing