Monday, October 17, 2016

Look to the Horizon

We're in the midst of full-on fall here in Arizona and the leaves are indeed a-changing. Nothing quite so lovely as Vermont sugar maples here on the homestead (but I can get my fix by running up to the West Fork of Oak Creek in Sedona anytime I get myself moving...). The mulberry trees that provide deep shade in high summer are dropping a tremendous amount of yellow leaves that turn brown before they hit the ground.

So when the Diva asked all the tangly people to use leaves for inspiration, I steered clear of the front of the house (and the thoughts of having to do all that raking!) and slipped out the back door to the citrus trees, which are evergreen. I used some leaves to create a stencil for some Eric Carle tissue paper and drew the veins in with my trusted Sharpie. The circles are meant to mimic the concrete walkway between the trees...and perhaps I'll color in the pebbles sometime soon.

That was just plain fun!

Then I used the same papers for the EIM. The word is "horizon." From our house, we don't see where the land meets the sky quite as we're surrounded on the east and west by 7000 foot mountains (that's over 2100 meters and we're at only about 2000 ft/610 m). Our view looks similar to the inchie on the left I made with tissue and the magazine cut-out on the right. The little artwork in the middle is meant to look like the ocean when the fog rolls in and you can't discern sky from the water, a view I miss from back East.

The word at the TwobyTwo this week is "quill." Originally, the thought came from porcupines and their nasty barbs.

Along my way through art challenges and such, I have met three fine quillers in the blogosphere: Zoe, Kia and Annette (and you should check out their work! I'll wait! Their work does a much better job of describing their craft than my words ever will).

Perhaps, I thought, I'd try my hand at that paper art. Let's just say I'll keep trying!

While researching for the TwobyTwo, I learned about quillwork, where quills are used to create functional art. I came up with an idea to kind of combine the two art forms--using paper strips instead of those barbs, which are in short supply around here. I don't know what to quite call this. "How to take 250 square inches of paper and reduce it to 4" probably doesn't sound very appealing. But, that's pretty much what I did.

Sunset with Wrapped Paper
All the same, I'd do it again. At least, I gained some insight into paper economy.

Be sure to check out the various art blog challenges and if the mood suits you, try your hand at the myriad techniques and ideas. There's still time to submit to any of these, particularly the TwobyTwo!
Thanks for stopping by and have a brilliant day!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

In the Right Direction

Are you ready for this? (Probably not).
The EIM word for the week is "direction." When I was thinking what to do with this, I started with a compass and veered into moral compass territory for a fleeting moment. Can you hear the brakes squealing?

There were many ways to go with this, ya go!

This is One Direction:

This could be the right direction:

And that brings me home!

I love the squirrely S-turn! Don't you?

Fall is in the air, which means it's sunny and 90. Leaves are turning early and the citrus is ripening already, two months or more ahead of schedule. I'm not the biggest fan of Hallowe'en, but I'm trying to embrace the excitement for everyone else. Instead of working the seasonal Zentangle challenges, I tried my hand at digital illustrating. Caution: danger zone!
Well, Happy Fall!
Notice I left my broom by the door, just like you'd find it here. I parked some pumpkins, too, along with the obligatory bushel of mums. If you think I'm drawing those, you're crazy!

Monday, October 3, 2016

On the Edge

Dedicated to Suzanne.

Suzanne asked the blogosphere if we'd ever stood "on the edge," no matter how literal we took that to mean. What a great jumping off point, isn't it?

What first came to my mind is "The Abyss." No, not the movie, but that's a good point. There's an overlook by the name that affords a look deep into a portion of the Grand Canyon. Supposedly, you can see rocks 200 million years old or more. If what "they" say about the Canyon that the average person stays a whopping 20 minutes, we're throwing the curve.

Most people must miss the Abyss since you have to either hike or take the bus to get there. Pity.

Even better is the view from Toroweap, mostly because of the effort required to get there. It's 60 miles off-road, about three hours from the last bit of pavement; high-clearance vehicle required. The Park Service suggests that you pack an extra spare tire as most drivers pop at least one and to get a tow truck is $2000, if you have cell service at all.

Badge of Courage
My Lexus (2001 RX300 with over 225,000 miles) performed superbly (no flat tires!) thanks to one very able driver (thank you, Gil!). I wish I had a video to send to the company so they can see what that car can really do, but I wish I had better photographs from the viewpoint. Seems as "the" shot is at sunrise and because of the cliff height 3,000 feet above the Colorado, sunrise in summer is around 3 AM.

Eight PM
Missed that by a MILE!

Erica on the Edge
Can you find her?

TJ on the Edge
Our first glimpse of the Canyon was 20 years ago. I don't know how we did it, but we found a spot where we walked right up to the edge. No sidewalk, no plaques, no guardrails. Just that giant hole in the ground. Took my breath away. That and trying to catch my fearless three year-old daughter from being, well, fearless.

Everywhere we went in Arizona, she would pick up pebbles and drop them into my camera bag. She was particularly fond of Sedona red sandstone. (Shh! Don't tell anyone). I still fish one out every once in a while.

That trip put into action wheels that turned in such a manner that here I am, in the Grand Canyon state. If I wanted to, I could be staring into the Abyss by lunch.

I've been on the edge of my seat.
I've been on the "Edge of Seventeen" (and recently celebrated my fortieth anniversary of same).
I've been hanging on the edge of numerous cliffs in search of Indian artifacts.
I've been on the edge of each side of this continent, staring out onto the horizon in all directions.
I've been on the edge of four states all at once.

I'm on the edge of a new beginning, each and every day.

So, yes, where have YOU stood, "on the edge?" Be sure to let Suzanne know!

On your way to Toroweap (or the North Rim or Lake Powell or Monument Valley...), you can take a quick detour to see Dinosaur Tracks on the Navajo Reservation. Which is a great segue to the EIM, "dinosaur," this week:

Which is also a great segue to the Diva this week. While you are at Dinosaur Tracks, you can visit the little booths set up and purchase a "Dreamcatcher" from the Dine people. Mine is frayed and frazzled. Must've been doing a swell job catching those pesky spirits.

And "Dreamcatcher" by Daniel Lamothe is the tangle focus of the week!

The pattern snuck its way into my twinchie this week, too. This wasn't anything like what I wanted to do! Somewhere I have a sheet of copper I was going to emboss, but where, oh where could it be?

So I went with a collage of Tim Holtz stickers, copper gimp, gold nail polish pen, copper beads on a light turquoise envelope and paint chips. I think I have to revisit this idea. There's still time to make something else. Indeed, if you're interested, submissions to the TwobyTwo are always welcome!

Meanwhile, I'm going to see about finding the copper that I must've put in a great place that I'd remember where. Thank you for stopping by. Have a brilliant day!