Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Month of Orange: Olivia, for JKPP

Olivia, for Julia Kay's Portrait Party
8x10 inches, colored pencil on tan sketchbook paper

Volunteer Halloween activities and activities outdoors have taken up much of October, and I have spent precious little time in the studio.  I did make a series of note cards, using a Gelli plate and fallen leaves, and I experimented with painting over photo copies of vintage found photos using shaving cream and acrylic paint, but I hadn't really worked on any portraits for Julia Kay's Portrait Party (an online group in which I find lots of inspiration) - until last night.  It has turned chilly and the rain is making all the fallen oak and maple leaves into a sodden mess, so the only sensible thing for me to do was sit down to play with colored pencils.

I took a photo that Olivia provided to the group, altered it in Photoshop, then worked from the cropped and altered image.  I simplified the large shapes as much as I could and still maintain a recognizable image, then worked in a very limited palette, with texture plate under much of the paper to add visual interest.  I rather like it, though I need to do more to decide if this style is one I really like.

Anyway, Happy Halloween to anyone who ventures here.  It's raining in southern Wisconsin, so I doubt we'll get many - if any - trick or treat children.  More Reese's peanut butter cups for me.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Month of Orange: Poe, Stoker and Shelley

The photo doesn't have anything to do with writers of horror, but it is the shelf in my kitchen. My orange for the day.

I agreed weeks ago to a couple of fund raising events at the local historical society.  There was an afternoon event where I used dice to tell fortunes for children and their parents.  I've done it before, but not for years.  I found directions for "divination by dice" online and used the regular fortunes for the adults and "softened" versions for the little ones.  Inevitably at least one person stops, and gets a funny look, and says, "How did you know...?"  But really, it's just a game.

The evening event involved three people who did fifteen minute readings from classic horror stories in the darkened and decorated Lincoln-Tallman restorations.  I prepared a reading from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and performed in costume, in the bedroom where Abraham Lincoln stayed in 1859.  I had a good time - and I hope my listeners did too. I wish I had a chance to hear the Poe and selection from Dracula, but you can't have everything.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Month of Orange: A Walk in the Woods

I've been busy trying to take more photos of old headstones at Oak Hill cemetery for Find A Grave, and also getting my reading from Frankenstein ready for the RCHS event on Saturday.  And I've slowly been clearing out flower beds, though I hate to pull out anything before the frost actually kills it.  Still, it is a delight to be outdoors.

This afternoon my husband and I drove to Carver-Roehl park to just take a leisurely walk, listen to the squirrels making a racket in the dry leaves, the woodpeckers in the trees.  Winter will come, soon enough.