A cart full of love

"Autumnscape", an oil pastel & ink drawing on paper

Day 316: Autumnscape

Today I finally hunted down my “local” Trader Joe’s (it’s about 25 minutes away) to see if it is, in fact, a terrific bargain of a place to shop. After coming out with eggs, pastrami, bread, gnocchi, tortillas, bananas, a lemon, a lime, lettuce, toilet paper and paper towels for only TWENTY-FIVE dollars, I was feeling the Trader Joe’s love. The same items at Whole Foods would have cost me at least $40-$45. Sometimes little things like that can really brighten your day.

I enjoyed the drive home, basking in the afterglow of my savings success, and mentally noting all the beautiful fall tree colors. Here in California, our “autumn” and “winter” are really quite brief and not as dramatically colored as other parts of the country because a lot of our trees stay green. But good old Sacramento has such a variety- it is the “city of trees”, after all, that right now there’s red, gold, green, orange, plum and everything in between. That inspired today’s piece, an oil pastel and ink drawing. See you tomorrow!

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To everything there is a season…

The wood grain radiates down from a knot in the sky in this piece.

Day 287: Pumpkin Patch

Ah, pumpkin. You can be a jolly jack-o-lantern, tasty pumpkin pie and toasted seed snack all in one. You jazz up the farmlands with little festive dots of my favorite color, and your squash cousins are so brave with their warts-and-all attitudes. I still remember my mom’s if-you-can-carry-it-yourself-you-can-carve-it-rule from our childhood trips to Ardenwood, our local pumpkin farm. And today, my brother-in-law sent me this photo of my sister with baby Emmett practicing for Halloween:

"I like toitles"

It made me remember all the things I loved about the coming holiday before it meant not purchasing the compulsory childhood-diabetes-fodder and posting a note on my door that I refuse to buy GMO “corn sugar” candy because I really do care about your brats-in-drag. 🙂 That’s right. I’m the Halloween Grinch. I might as well throw “We’re hippies, egg our house” in there while I’m at it with that sign, huh? Sigh. (Seriously though, 90% of Halloween candy this year will have genetically modified high fructose corn syrup. Make caramel apples and organic cider instead. 🙂 )

So although it’s still darn hot and not very autumnal out here, I painted this pumpkin patch scene on one of my few remaining woodblocks to get into the spirit of fall.

"Pumpkin Patch", acrylic painting on woodblock

Is it Autumn yet?

"Autumnal" illuminated sculpture, about 1' tall

Day 241: Autumnal, an upcycled illuminated sculpture 

This morning, I took a walk through the park and along the levy near our house. As I went, I picked up a few interesting leaves. Sacramento is the “city of trees” after all- or at least, so says the paint on the side of the big water tank/alien spaceship thing along highway 5. If you visit this blog regularly, you’ll know I’ve been working in mostly white lately. That’s because I’ve been exploring sculpture techniques, and I feel like I can’t handle both color and three dimensions at the same time. Then again, having that extra dimension is so vastly different than working on a flat surface. I don’t need the color the way I do on a canvas.

I spent a good hour or two trying to do this other falling leaves thing with some scrap drafting film, wood and these book pages, but it was rapidly becoming a hot (glue gun) mess, so I put that aside and began anew.

Today’s piece, “Autumnal” is an upcycled sculpture using an inner embroidery hoop, book pages (from 2 vintage dictionaries, a Nancy Drew book, and my old college literature reader), some copper wire salvaged from another failed sculpture attempt (hee hee), and part of an IKEA shelf I never used but kept hanging around for a couple of years, which became the base for this piece. I may not use my supplies immediately, but I sure as hell use them eventually!

View from above

What’s cool is that it’s very lightweight, so it can be a tabletop sculpture, but with a couple of brackets, would also make a neat sconce. Also, when you move it, the wire springs around and makes the leaf shapes scrape against each other and it totally sounds like actual leaves. 🙂

Most of the leaf pieces were traced from leaves I picked up this morning. Some visible words are “autumnal”, “nympha” (as in mythological nature beings, not sex addicts) and some lines from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. I think it’s nice both lit and unlit. You can see the different colors and thickness of the paper when it’s illuminated, and it makes some pretty cool shadows on the wall too.