Saturday, February 02, 2008

Artist Trading Cards

Making ATC's is a very individual undertaking. After being taught to make them, I began the slow process of trying to put together something appealing. Eventually, I was creating ATC's with the best of 'em! I traded and created sending envelope after envelope in the mail. It didn't take long before my mailbox was full - and then my ATC keeper was full- and then the shelves in my bookcase were getting very full. I knew I was being overrun by them. What to do?

I decided to gather all of my ATC's together and choose the ones I liked the very best. I came up with 72 cards. I bought a poster frame and make a blue background. Down the left side, I allowed myself a couple of inches and used that to display some blue buttons. I, then, tried to come up with a system to give some sort of continuity with all of the colors and subjects. At last, I finished the process. There was one glitch - isn't there always? The back would not fasten to the front of the frame. Each ATC was of varying thickness according to how many embellishments the artist used. My eldest son was visiting and I asked for a suggestion. He immediately knew what to do. He attached the front to the back using Super Glue! It worked like a charm.

One side of my living room wall had been bare for some time. Now I had just the thing to decorate that wall. Using some greenery and side mirrors, I was very pleased with my finished project. Each ATC is unique and created by all of those friends I have met along the way. Look carefully - you may see your own.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lonely Tree

Imagine living in this remote, desolate place. The solitude is deafening. No wind blows, no birds sing. How long has the tree stood here? The tree's leaves are gone and the branches look frail - unhealthy. Overcast skies add to the gloom. Not a bit of color touches the place. Imagine spending every day the same as the day before. Would this not make anyone unhealthy?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hmmm - - what to draw

There are millions of things in the world to draw. Me? I couldn't find a single one. I was determined to get one sketch finished. According to my 2008 goals, I needed to get started. Perhaps, it was anxiety that caused me not to be able to find anything to draw. Carrying my sketch book, I climbed into bed. I looked around the room and wasn't impressed with the options. There was a laundry basket of clean, folded clothes but I wasn't ready for that. My night stand looked like a commercial for "Geriatrics Today." That didn't appeal to me either.

As I felt Mr. Sandman hoovering above me, I knew that I had to make a choice. What to draw - - what to draw - - what to draw. Then, I had it!! Slowly, I moved one foot from under the cozy comforter. I'd draw a foot! Diligently, I looked and drew, looked and drew. Why didn't that darn foot look like the model I was using?! As carefully as I drew, the foot remained peculiar looking, at best. Nevertheless, I am blogging this sketch. It is a symbol of my intention not to be afraid to show my work.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Another Christmas

There used to be another time when Christmas was a joy
A time for family and friends, shopping, cookies baked galore
The house was warm and cozy and had lights of every hue
The scent of pine and peppermint added to the spirit, too

The kids checked their list to Santa for toys just so precise
Forgetting how the "naughties" may just outweigh the "nice"
Their faces crammed with cookies, yet still they chattered more
Of toiling elves, and tinkling bells and if Santa's butt gets sore

And when the morning finally dawned the children ran with haste
To see what gifts old Ho-Ho brought, such glee upon their face
The smell of roasted turkey and the pudding made of plum
Added more anticipation for the Christmas feast to come

Throughout the day "Best Wishes" were offered by the guests
And the Christmas feast, as promised, was one of the very best
Friends and relatives gathered round to sing "Oh, Holy Night"
The warmth of the blended voices created a heavenly light.

The years have come and gone from that time so long ago,
How much it hurts to think of it, no one will ever know
My little ones are all grown up, and have little ones all their own.
My husband passed away one day and left me to live alone.

No lights or trees, no goodies baked, no one who really minds
I order gifts by computer now - - and stack them until there's time
The kids don't get together, they have other things to do
It's a different kind of Christmas than any I ever knew

Friday, July 27, 2007

Lightning Bugs

The lightning bugs of summer
Lackadaisically floating in simple splendor,
Gently blinking flecks of light
To brighten a darkened world.

Jeanne Herrod

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

When We Were Young

When I was first married, money was scarce, so it became a Friday night ritual for my husband and me to go to the grocery store and stop for hamburgers. It wasn't too costly, but we enjoyed it and it was our only night out. On one particular Friday night as we were driving, I noticed my husband, Mason, sort of twitch. It was quick so I thought very little of it. We hadn't traveled very far when he, again, made the same twitch. It was like a jerking motion. I ignored that, too, until I noticed he was squirming in his seat. This time he had my attention. I kept quiet as I tried to figure out what was happening. He continued to squirm and then began to scratch - - just a little at first, but the scratching quickly escalated. The affected area seemed to be in the belly, groin, and backside. Finally, when I could stand it no longer, I asked what was wrong.

He didn't answer but continued to scratch and mumble under his breath. I so much wanted to laugh but reconsidered when I saw the look on his face. The squirming, twitching and itching reached a fever pitch when he seemed to lose all control. He finally yelled at me, "Jeanne, what the hell have you done to my underwear?" I was dumbstruck. What did he mean? He acted like a man possessed. The shopping center was fast approaching and he seemed to be on a mission to get to it. I believed that if he didn't stop the infernal scratching/twitching, we were going to have a wreck. He continued to yell at me - - "What did you do? What did you do?" I hadn't done anything and I became convinced that this man, this love of my life, had completely lost his mind.

It was at this point that he made a hard left turn into the shopping center. He drove through the lot with a vengeance where the road dead ended into a large bank of trees. He slammed on the brakes, throwing me forward. He jumped from the car and ran toward the trees. It was then that I was free to laugh openly. The laughter died suddenly when I saw him tearing at his clothes. He was no longer wearing his pants!! Just moments later I was stunned to see he was no longer wearing his underwear! He was as naked as the day he was born and he was scratching himself like a dog crazed with fleas. I dared not say anything, but I knew we were going to jail if any of the police who patrolled the lot caught sight of my naked husband. Suddenly, I lost sight of him as he ventured further into the bank of trees. I couldn't see him but I certainly could hear him. Oh my, could I hear him!

He was gone for no more than 15 minutes but it seemed like an eternity. At long last, he again came into view. He was wearing his slacks but I saw that the little bundle he had in his hand could only be his underwear! His face was set in an expression I'd never seen before or since. He got in the car, glared at me, and with one quick motion ripped open the front of his pants for me to see! There was an ugly, ugly rash covering every inch of flesh that the underwear had touched. There were also many blood-streaked marks where his nails had dug into his flesh. I dared not speak. I just looked.

He held his underwear in the air and asked if I noticed anything. Gee, I didn't see anything. I shook my head slowly back and forth. He just exploded - - "Do you know what is in these underwear? Do you have any idea what you have done?" I continued to move my head back and forth as if it was on a pivot. I thought and thought about that load of clothes and then, with a flash of insight, it hit me! "Oh, I know. I washed your underwear with some curtains." (Like I said, I was a relatively new wife and had never done laundry at home because my mother sent it out. I didn't know about sorting. I may have even washed the rugs with the sheets, for all I knew.)

Had his eyes been lasers, I would have been blinded. He was so angry. It was then that he said, "Do you know that those curtains are fiberglass?!!" I shrugged and said "So?" That one little word was the final straw, I supposed. With that, he started a tirade that lasted for hours. How was I supposed to know that fiberglass really meant glass! Geesh!!

We didn't get groceries that night. We didn't have a burger, either. Our only stop was to the dumpster where he threw his underwear. Upon our arrival home, I made myself scarce. I read a book and tried not to think of the evening's events. I believe things would have been fine if only, if only, he hadn't suddenly appeared before me naked and demanded that I find some kind of medication to put on "his area." Oh, how I tried to choke back the laughter as I looked at that raw, red welts. It was impossible and when my laughter started, I could not stop.

I don't recall how this story ended. I suppose in a way it continues even now. Mason gave reminders of the event repetitively over the 35 years of our marriage and now I've told you the story. So. . . the tale still continues.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

To Pick Up A Pencil

While having breakfast this morning, I sat with Danny's book in one hand and a sandwich in the other. I had bought a large purse several weeks ago that would easily carry my sketch book, a tin of 12 very nice colored pencils, 3 pencils for sketching, and Danny's book. I felt "ready" to draw and yet, I never did. I just read and reread and carried my supplies.

A lifelong opinion that an artist is born and not made is a difficult belief to dispell. It becomes the self-fulfilling prophecy. Having finished my breakfast, I pushed back the tray, closed the book and studied what was before me. Breakfast clutter? Why not? I opened my satchel and took out my spiral sketch pad and a pencil. Without further consideration, I began to sketch what I saw. My hand shook making my lines crooked, and all looked out of proportion, yet I continued. And then it was complete. While staring at my rendering, my 5-year-old granddaughter appeared at my table. "What'cha doin' Mamaw?" I turned the book around so that she could see. "Wow, Mamaw, you can draw food. I can't draw food, yet." My first critic - - a perky cutey - - who recognized what I had drawn and approved my sketch. What praise! I could have asked for no more.