Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Art of Returning Defective Merchandise

My husband calls me the "Return Queen" because I have expectations of items I purchase and I do no hesitate when these expectations are not met to return them. If they don't wash well or break down after a few uses, I take them back to the store I bought them from. He says I have made it into an art. I helped people who were told they couldn't be reimbursed get their hard earned money back. I have helped my son return things by going straight to the owners and it all about being polite and respectful. In today's world, just being polite is a lost art!
Recently, our microwave started to get warm on the outside. When it started to spark underneath, I unplugged it immediately. By the way, I unplug all our appliance when we leave the house for more than a day just to be safe and I believe the pennies I save on the electricity does add up.
This practice was reinforced when I started to read the problems and recalls of certain appliances. In particular, our microwave!

I contacted Consumer Affairs and made a report and suggested with the amount of problems with this product, it should be recalled. I contacted the corporation that made it with the same recommendation. I, also, contacted the home improvement corporation's customer service, explained by problem and asked how what I needed to do to be reimbursed for this dangerous, faulty product.
I had the item less than a year and I did not have a receipt. The corporation contacted the store I bought it from. That store manager, then, called me and said no problem returning it. When I arrived, they were polite and gave me store credit. (I explained it was on sale at the time so I did not pay full price. I love a bargain so I know I bought it on sale).
There is an art to returning defective merchandise. Be polite and follow-up. Let everyone involved know who you have contacted and describe the problem. It works! I rubbed off on my husband. After returning a defective laptop, he stopped a restocking fee from being charged to us. I was impressed.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Study for the Day 12-29-2010

Here is my study for the day. I am back home so I have my paint supplies available. I pulled my palette out of freezer and the paint was still wet.
I setup a small, white pitcher that I picked up from a local thrift store for my still life studies.
In this picture, I am getting more confident painting white. I started to fuss with the lemon. It still needs work but I decided to walk away for a bit.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Crawdad Christmas

Here is picture of a crawdad my son, Devin, caught with his Christmas gift. It is a crawdad catcher I bought for him from Cabela's. He wanted a trap that would be portable for his backpack. This was perfect. It collapses flat and it easily stored and fit his requirement to be lightweight. You see, he likes to see the US on his motorcycle and this doesn't take up any room on his bike.
To test it out, Devin went to small creek at a friend's house and caught this one using chicken and ham. Sounds pretty yummy to me! Devin sent me a picture of his proud catch of the day. One juvenile crawdad. He released it back to the creek afterwards to grow up.
The cage can be used to catch minnows, also.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Incomplete Study from Class - I thougtht I should post it

Here is my incomplete study from class. I thought I should post it. There is so much more that needs to be done to it. It needs bands and color changes on the pottery highlight. The focal point flower is not detailed enough. Then I would still need to compare all the painted areas. More work.

Watched the Lunar Eclipse Last Night and My New Study - SOLD

My husband and I set the alarm for around 1 AM so we could see the lunar eclipse this morning. So worth it!
Also, here is my new study. I have worked on it for two days now. Still not complete but getting closer. I had to continually walk away from it to remember to think as I painted. I have a habit of just putting paint down without analyzing what I am doing. What a concept but experienced artist always make it look so easy. I am not at the stage where it is easy. I still have to remind myself to look at the values and compare easy stroke. Not easy - I will get it though.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Yarnbomber Strikes the Sacramento Crocker Art Museum

Here is a must read about yarnbombers. It is about those crafty knitters.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Classes have ended for year

My classes have ended for the year. I have an unfinished study. It still has a few more hours of work but I am afraid it will be too dry to work on in three weeks when I start classes, again.
I am glad to have a few days off but I am already missing my art classes. Next month I am taking another color intensive course, learning brush strokes, and an advanced perspective course to improve my building drawings.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Today was a value study

Here is my value study of a Portuguese pitcher I bought at my favorite thrift store on half off Saturday. I, also, bought a case of antique silverware from there this trip so I can smash more spoons and make fork and knife plant markers!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Continued Stage 3 Color Study - 12/13/10

Here is the continued color study. Very interesting discussion today in class. How your work often gets worse before better when you are learning a new method. I have definitely experienced this. Also, always return to still life painting to improve your more advanced paintings such as landscape or human figures.

Color Study from Last Thrusday - 12/09/2010

Here is my color study at the beginning of stage 3.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Spoiled Princess Cat Sleeping

I did a drawing of our spoiled princess cat while she was sleeping. She must have known I was trying to draw her because she kept moving. She, also, had one eye open.
What a brat! She wanted to make sure I wasn't leaving her without a human slave for the day. I sure love her.
I am improving my measuring and drawing skills. I like how this drawing evolved.
I wasn't able to add detail because she wanted to change poses.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Favorite Paper and Glass Art Pieces for 2010

Here are my favorite glass and paper art pieces this year.

Favorite Pottery Pieces for 2010

Here are some of my favorite pottery pieces for 2010.

My 2010 Favorite Oil Paintings

Here are my favorite oil paintings this year.

I can't see my shadow

It is overcast, again, today. Perfect day for drawing a Pyrex measuring cup since there isn't much of a cast shadow.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rainy days and stage 2

I just couldn't motivate myself to paint a bowl under the fluorescent light today. I like the full sun on my still life when I paint. I managed to get this the beginning of stage 3 and then scribbled my rambling thoughts about the bowl in the blue background. I felt better afterward.
I just wasn't enjoying the painting without the sun.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I spent the morning and afternoon mixing oil paint swatches and doing value studies. The cat was intrigued by most of it.
Here is an incomplete drawing of green peppers.

Monday, December 6, 2010

More painting

I started new study in class today. It is a more difficult study. Oh - I didn't finish the amber glass. I was gone too long from class and it was pretty dry. I started a new one today.
Here is the incomplete stage 2 painting - I finally took a picture of it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

30 Minute Studies

Here are two of my drawings from my 30 minute studies today in class. They were done with pencil, pen, charcoal and, lastly, ink.
I found working with ink awkward on drawing paper awkward but it was a good lesson.

Pounding Spoons

Monday, Jean Gordon and I made spoon pendant necklaces. It was easy. You take a very nice silver spoon and flatten it with a hammer. Hint - do it on the cement and cover it with a cloth. Watch your fingers. Then you bend the handle back and forth until it breaks off. Get out the dremmel tool with the sander and smooth where the handle broke off. Drill a small hole to hang it. Go to Harbor Freight and get metal stamping letters.
Stamp a saying into the spoon. Add India ink into the words and wipe off.
Hang it. Wear it. Too cute.

Yard Work and Faith

I love yard work and decorating my front yard. Recently, I purchased a metal sign created by an artist whose wife survived cancer. He made the sign with the word faith and a ribbon underneath. Oh - and he is an Oregon artist I met in California. I put his sign on a pedestal in our front yard. I did this in between rain storms and the snow.
In one of these pictures, there is skunk metal piece. It it pretty cute and has survived 8 years on the coast. Pretty good.
Also, here is a picture of my husband with our new Christmas wreath on the front door. He always takes a good picture.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Tree Topper from Scratch

My husband and I put up our little Christmas tree yesterday and decided to make our own tree topper.
I cut a paper towel cardboard roll to size. I stapled a copy of Silent Night around the roll to cover up the cardboard. I then stapled tissue wrap from a present to make the skirt. I use to save Victorian pictures from calendars and found a perfect angelic face from one of them. I then took a copy of a butterfly, cut it in half and glued the wings to the back of the angel. I stapled her to the front of the roll and added a sticky that says remember. The remember was my husband's idea.
I had two, small, felt shoes that I stapled to the bottom of the roll.
She is now on top of our tree. My husband enjoyed the process just as much as I did. It was fun.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Class Color Study 11/18/10

Here is the class study I am working on and you can begin to see that it is a glass bottle, a black bottle and an apple.
Note: remember that a highlight has a sharp edge and a diffused edge and clear glass is painted wavy.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sheeba Value Drawing - still in progress

Color Study 11/17/10 - SOLD

Here is my morning color study before touching it up. It is a gorgeous day here. The lemons and bowls seemed like a good study.
I am fascinated how the light effects the bowl.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Color Study 11/16/10

This is studying a cobalt vase. I like my shadows which were the focus. Not too sure about the vase.

Value Study and Measuring Sheeba - My Cat

Here is a value study of Sheeba. One of the world's most spoiled cat. After all, they are in charge. I will work more on it later to fix the front leg, add shading and detail.

Perspective Study from Last Week's Class

Here is a perspective study where you draw your eye level horizon line and find the vanishing point of the building. You can see all the windows, walls and panel converge to that vanishing point.
I was then chasing the shadows as I began to shade them. Took me about 2 hours.
Good study. Note: My son actually liked this drawing. First time ever!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Class Color Study 11/15/2010

Can you guess what this is? It needs more band to figure it out.
I learned while creating the composition to start at the interesting shadows and crop up rather than starting at the top or side of this setup.
I also learned that since I am working with glass, to remember to use warm colors in the shadows. I forgot that. Oops.

Color Study 11/15/2010

This is my incomplete morning color study. I need to add highlights and a few color changes.
As you can see, I did the bowl and lemon but on a warmer cloth. I wanted to see the effect of a pink pastel on the bowl and lemon than then the cool green form yesterday.
I also added the foot to the bowl. I didn't paint it in yesterday.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Few Changes

I walked away from the morning study and returned later to gray it down more. I still think the colors are too sweet once I changed the lemon. The whole painting colors are now effected. Good lesson.

Color Study 11/14/10

Here is my morning color study. It is gorgeous here today. I put out a simple white bowl and a lemon. I had the stage 3 pretty good and goofed this up on stage 4. My husband came home and wanted to practice guitar. So I rushed through it.
Learning how to put the last bands of light and color in are my main focus currently. I am having problem thinking it through only because of distractions.
I will get there.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

For the Shell of It

Here is my completed, class, color study. I was happy with my progress of showing values and improving my compositions.
I also like that I can see the color and light with each painting more and more.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Color Study 11/10/10

I think there is a thing as too much purple. I found this great purple bowl at a local thrift store and couldn't wait to paint it. I needed to put down more blue in the shadow but decided to call it a day.
The bowl is crooked. I need to learn how to fix that better. There is too much purple. A nice green block would have been a better choice than the white block.
Oh - well, good lesson.

Fixed Color Study from Yesterday

Here is the finished study from yesterday after corrections.I fixed my painting by correcting the bowl and block. The orange was also dulled down more.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Block and Color Study 11/09/10

It was too cold to walk this morning so I set up a color study. After working on this for a few hours, I then took my walk.
This bowl is difficult for me to paint because it is transparent and I get on the shape and color. I am pleased with the block and the orange. Not happy with the bowl values. I need to draw it a few more times. It has a flat lip it and the shadow side cast a warm light because it is a white transparent bowl.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Color study 11/08/10 Stage 3

Here is my color study at stage three. I have completed the stages for the lemon and now I am working on the vase and the shell. I have not finished the bands for the vase that are horizontal. I will need to continue the bands on the shell.
Afterward, I will need to compare my entire painting.
I am pleased with the values in the vase and the lemon. The shell is coming along but take longer. I am treating it like a white vase.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Streetscape color study

I had a difficult time making the street light enough. I was pleased with the trees.

Drawing Landscapes and Still Life Abstractly

Here are some drawings of abstract landscapes and still life. I am trying to crop them into a good composition. Interesting shapes in the landscapes. I enjoyed cropping them.