Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Seeing Spots

This is one of my favorite times of year. The skies are (mostly) clear, the trees have leafed out creating dense shade and/or are working hard on creating next year's harvest of fruit. The pool is almost ready for the first swim of the season.
Pollen is flying everywhere. Everything is some shade of yellow.
And just when I started working on my most creative project of the whole calendar, I caught the flu bug. I thought I was in the clear, but noooooo! So, I sent off the appropriate forms to get extensions on filing all those tax papers. Yes, I waited until the last possible moment, as always.
[Dear Mr. IRS, Please note: I take it as my responsibility to pay my fair share of the tax burden and as such, do not get "creative," if that's what you're thinking. But do tell, what, exactly, does the Paperwork Reduction Act actually "do?" because I'm not seeing it!].
Thus, I'm glad I started working on some of these challenges--am I alone in disliking the word "challenges" to describe the art prompts? There must be a better word--last week or maybe two ago.
Over at EIM, the word is ladybug. I like seeing ladybugs as they are known to consume aphids, which attack my roses and some other plants. I can count how many I see each year; I'm up to "one."
My take on the theme:

I didn't follow the Diva to the letter of the law, but rather loosely painted watercolours with some splatter and splotches. Done with Sakura Koi paints and after that dried, my trusty Sharpie:

Then we get to the TwobyTwo. The keyword is..."key." I didn't take it too literally. If you've stopped by over the past couple months, you may have read about my son and his autism. He is a very fortunate and high functioning young man. What we're trying to do is help him negotiate this new part of his identity (his reaction to the official diagnosis was, "But I don't FEEL different!") as well as put together the pieces of his puzzle that will help him achieve his definition of success in this world.
It's also happens to be Autism Awareness Month and the logo for the biggest organization working on autism is a blue puzzle piece.
What that means to me is that I'm doing a LOT of reading, everything from biographies of autistics, scientific and medical treatises (is that the plural of the word?) and cookbooks.
And playing with puzzle pieces.

So there you have my contributions this week. Only fair, the IRS has theirs.
Thanks for visiting, have a brilliant day! Be sure to check out the creativity to be found at the other artist blogs and how they interpret these "challenges."

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Proud as a Peacock

Continuing through the phyla of avian creatures, the EIM word last week was "peacock." I found a box of Derwent Inktense I bought and stored away a few years ago. I knew I had them and I was amused to find the metal box is decorated with a peacock illustration. (I was also amused that Freebird took a similar approach, but with beads! Coincidence? I think not.)

It was fun to finally crack open and use those pencils! I'll be trying them out again, soon.

Mostly, I've been getting up to speed on Autism Spectrum Disorder. My son officially received a diagnosis of HFA, or high-functioning, at 26. It also happens to be World Autism Awareness month and April second was the official day to Light it up Blue to promote awareness. (Depending on who is looking at the numbers, one person in 68 is autistic. We ALL know someone.).

White House lit up for April 2nd, 2017
Photo copyright: Lincoln Photography
From autismspeaks.org
I am grateful for the people at SARRC in Phoenix who helped us find out what's going on with TJ and have offered a variety of resources to help us help him. He's highly intelligent, especially in matters of mechanical objects (planes, trains and automobiles!) He's working full-time for Walmart and has a temporary assignment at a new location, so meeting new people. I couldn't be happier for him, or more proud.

One of TJ's favorite games is SIMON. And I chose this for this EIM, parrot, as the game requires you to repeat back, or parrot, a sequence of colored lights. Made with my trusty Photoshop program:

The TwobyTwo this week is "coin." I went by way of "coin a phrase", one attributed to Horace (Odes 1.11, 23BC) and the other to Clint Eastwood (Sudden Impact, 1983AD). These are photos I took of brittlebush, a terribly toxic plant that just looks so pretty in bloom.

I've been following the Diva for the last few weeks and put them all together this week. The challenge this week was to use circles and squares for strings. Well, they're in there, really they are. The other things going on are "Frunky," and "Noom." At first I couldn't find the step-outs for that thing and found a weight management app, instead (huh?). So, I call this, "What's in a Name?"

That's what I have to offer this week. Thanks for stopping by, have a brilliant (and BLUE!) day!