O.K. So don't laugh at me, but I was watching a documentary on H. P. Lovecraft this week. He was a unique personality, and a 'Xenophobe'. That means that he was afraid of EVERYTHING! He was particularly grossed out by sea life, such as squid, and octopus. His Cthulu (now I KNOW I am spelling this wrong!) had a rather tentacly and oozy sound to it. Feeling in a particularly weird mood, I decided to try to invent my own oozy creature just for Halloween. I know that it is really naive in style, but I am especially pleased with it's watery, evil eyes! What do you think?
Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
|The lane up to the house|
|Back yard birdbath|
Fall is finally here! I wanted to share with you the beautiful "changing of the leaves" in our yard. What incredible things we can find under our own feet! Autumn makes me look closer at the details in my life and around me. We have lots of acorns and hickory nuts for the squirrels this year. They have been busy, busy, busy collecting for the winter. Hubby and I are also preparing for the winter. I am making lots of soup to put into the freezer this week. Chili, turkey dumpling, Zuppa Tuscana, and Lima Bean and Lime (my own creation, and So...ooooooo GOOD!) We are winterizing by unhooking the hoses, cleaning up the flower garden, putting away the lawn mower.
Posted by Rose Altom at 7:48 AM
Friday, October 28, 2011
|Mahogany Bay, Rhoatan|
Hubby surprised me with a few days in the Caribbean for my birthday (and Christmas, and Anniversary!) What a glorious time we had! It has been a long time since we just relaxed and didn't worry about ANYTHING AT ALL! I did bring my sketchbook, of course, and especially enjoyed drawing sealife from our trip in Cozumel, where we got a chance to go down in a submarine to see the reefs...109 feet below the sea!
In Beliz, we were lucky enough to go on one of the Mayan Ruin tours, and see some of the jungle life. The toucan is the national bird there. We also caught glimpses of green parrots, jewel-colored hummingbirds, and some long-tailed black birds with bright yellow stripes! The butterflies were incredible as well, and the guides warned us about going too far into the trees, as there were 3-step snakes....take 3 steps after being bitten, and you are dead!!!
We stayed for one day in Mohogany Bay, Rhoatan, definitely our favorite port. It was amazing to see the colorful wild parrots in brilliant scarlet feathers, and the white-faced monkeys. I learned never to lean on any tree in the jungle there. They had huge thorns! We saw army ants harvesting the leaves...how interesting to see lines of them each carrying a bit of a leaf back to their nest!
The experience definitely broadened our horizons a bit, and opened my eyes to all new artistic opportunities that is out there, just waiting to be savored!
Posted by Rose Altom at 8:38 AM
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Butterflies have such beautiful patterns on their wings and bodies. I know that it is for the practical reason of camoflage, but how inspiring is it that they drape themselves in color and stripes and polka dots, just like my great aunt 'Rene?!
Posted by Rose Altom at 5:02 PM
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
This is one of my more graphic attempts at illustration. Occassionally I remember that dream to illustrate an identification book to nature and various birds, eggs, leaves, and mushrooms. Audubon was such an inspiration to me!
Posted by Rose Altom at 9:40 AM
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
We always have a lot of Tufted Titmice (mouse, meece?) at our feeders throughout the year. The only sound I have ever heard from them is a loud one-note bell sound. I am sure there are a lot more songs, but the bird that fussed at me all summer would sneak up behind me and let loose with that one LOUD chirp. I have no doubt I was invading his territory!
Posted by Rose Altom at 4:53 PM
Sunday, October 23, 2011
It is squirrel nut-gathering season here in Tennessee. One of the ways I know that is because we went to change the oil in our truck, and the mechanic came in from the garage laughing. It seems that one of the squirrels thought that the engine of the truck would be a good place to hide it's nuts for the winter. We had to dig out over 100 acorns!
Posted by Rose Altom at 4:46 PM
Friday, October 21, 2011
This is a Red-bellied Woodpecker. We have a lot of them in our woods. They make a LOT of noise in the mornings, tapping on trees to find their breakfast. We have so many different kinds of woodpeckers here that I often get them mixed up....I was just SURE this was a Ladderback Woodpecker, but no....Why call it red-bellied when it is clearly a red-headed bird? Because there is already a Red-headed Woodpecker that is smaller with a completely red head, not just a cap!
Posted by Rose Altom at 4:34 PM
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
While at the Pink Palace Artisans Show, I was happy to get some sketching time at the Petting Zoo. This guy was definitely strutting his stuff! Last year, I was able to sketch a pregnant pink pig with a very bad sunburn. She was a very good little model!
Posted by Rose Altom at 4:40 PM
Monday, October 17, 2011
This lovely little toad is a delicate jade green. Hubby accused me of copying from some of the Jim Henson creations, but this toad really does have that stubby little nose and huge eyes. Cute! I LOVE drawing amphibians and reptiles. Such a challenge and wonderful textures to play with.
Posted by Rose Altom at 4:27 PM
Saturday, October 15, 2011
The Canadian Geese are flying in formation overhead this month, always a beautiful sight, and a wonderful sign of autumn's arrival. I have been watching a set of Canadian Geese raising 2 young ones at a nearby pond this summer. They were so small and fluffy yellow in the beginning, and now they are fully fledged and ready to head further south with the adults. This is one of the adults. (I am not sure how to tell the male from the female!)
Posted by Rose Altom at 4:20 PM
Thursday, October 13, 2011
|I find that the best way for me to learn about something is to draw it. I have found out that we have 8 different types of Oak trees on our tiny 2 acres of land! We also have Blackjack Oaks, Scarlet Oaks, Pin Oaks, and several others.|
Posted by Rose Altom at 4:10 PM
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
SIBERIAN TRIBAL DESIGNS
|MAMMOTH TRIBAL DESIGNS|
I don't know what it is about this particular painting that has been SO HARD! I have used all manner of creative solutions, just to be able to see it objectively.
I used a mirror to look at it from a different perspective.
I took a photo of it and printed out a copy, so that I could redraw it in different poses.
I used my Nintendo DSI Art program to try different ways to paint him.
I over-researched, over-thought, and over-painted this piece. My artistic license has been revoked....but I finished it, FINALLY! And now I am over-reacting as to WHY it was so difficult to paint. I was out of my comfort zone, certainly. And with no mentor to really go to and ask some key questions, I felt really on my own with this one. That does NOT mean that I am saying to stay in your comfort zone, and only do things that you know. How can we grow as artists if we aren't constantly trying new things, learning new things? What I am saying is that I took a rather large leap into the unknown with the expectations that it needed to be perfect. I had never painted on a canvas this large. I have never spent so MUCH on a canvas before. (What if I blow it and waste all that money?!!!) I have never painted something without reference photos to check key anatomy problems. I have never felt quite so out of my depth before! I learned an incredible amount of things with this piece. I will definitely be painting larger again. I will NOT be painting any more extinct creatures without a lot more knowledge of the creature. And boy! Am I glad it's finished!!!!!
Posted by Rose Altom at 4:02 PM
Monday, October 10, 2011
|Pink Palace Artisans|
We had perfect weather for the show. We met old friends, made new ones, and LOVE all of the people involved with putting on this event. The craftsmen and artists are all such a wonderful group, and we look forward each year to seeing them! Here are a few pictures from the event, and some photos of hubby's booth. Enjoy!
|Hubby sets up the booth|
|Hubby's carved jewelry|
|Hubby carved an Ostrich egg,too!|
Posted by Rose Altom at 10:20 AM
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I spent a few minutes drawing these two Barn Owl siblings this morning. I always have memory flashbacks of being divebombed by one of these several years ago...we were as a family out in the prairie BLM (Bureau of Land Management) of Wyoming, outside of Laramie. It is free to be enjoyed by the public, and we were seeking adventure and hunting dinosaur fossils. I got separated from the group, and discovered an old cottage, at least 100 years old and falling apart in the arid climate. No windows or doors. I approached it cautiously, keeping an eye out for rattlesnakes, even though it was late in the season. I must have startled it's latest resident, however, because a HUGE Barn Owl came flying out of the window straight at me. I hit the dirt, had a panic attack, and watched as the owl circled and flew off. It had an amazing wing span, and was much larger than most of the owls I have come across. It was also one of the prettiest owls, with it's white feathers and golden markings. We found a few fossils that day, but the experience was much more long-lasting!
Posted by Rose Altom at 7:43 AM
Monday, October 3, 2011
|'DRACON' CARVED INTO RED GRANITE|
|BEAR CLAW ON WOOLY MAMMOTH IVORY|
|DRAGON CARVED OSTRICH EGG|
|FOREST FLOOR ON CYPRESS|
|FOREST FLOOR IN BLACK WALNUT|
My talented hubby and artist extraordinaire will be one of the featured artists at the Pink Palace Show in Memphis, TN October 6-9 at the Audubon Park. This is a great show, and we have been doing it for 4 years now. The artists are high caliber, professional, and anxious to sell. Hubby makes the most wonderful jewelry, carving wooly mammoth ivory, turquoise, and wood. He loves working with granite and marble, and recreating nature with wood is a passion of his. Like most 'Alpha' males, he is easily bored and very active in his search for the 'next great piece of art'. He will be selling his latest book at the show as well...a humorous book about a northerner come to the south called "Breakfast at the Dixie Cafe". You can also find his book at the Barnes and Noble
e-book Nook site, and his Etsy site (EAGLE'S NEST STUDIO) listed to the right under MY FAVORITE ALL-TIME LINKS. Hope to see you at the Palace! (There will be no new posts for Oct.6-9)
Posted by Rose Altom at 10:30 AM
A lot of times I draw with a specific purpose for the piece in mind. This morning I wanted to get a few sketches in for a Halloween greeting card that I want to send out to friends and family. I wanted cheerful, not scary, and a celebration of the seasonal pumpkin. I plan on using watercolor pencils to wash in some color, after scanning the sketch in to my computer and printing it out on card stock. I will probably do another half dozen drawings before I come up with the right one for the occasion. This one looks a bit wobbly on it's base!
Posted by Rose Altom at 9:57 AM
Sunday, October 2, 2011
|Canadian Geese Medicin Bag|
My wonderfully talented friend, Seedybeader, has created this medicine bag for me. Incredibly intricate, detailed, and beautiful, don't you think? It is 2" x 3" approximately, and can hold lovely tiny treasures, from a memory stick to love notes and photos. She just amazes me with each new creation, and if you want to see her work in person, she will be at the Pink Palace Art Show October 6 through October 9, 9am-5pm. The Pink Palace Show is in Audubon Park in Memphis, TN, and is one of the largest gatherings of fine artists and craftsmen in the area. Hubby will be there with his sculptures. too.
Posted by Rose Altom at 10:02 AM
Saturday, October 1, 2011
October is finally here! While I don't observe Halloween anymore (kids grown and gone) that doesn't mean I don't love the excitement, the chills and thrills of a little scare, and the wonderful smells of fallen leaves and wood smoke. Owls, being a year-long passion, really become an obsession in October. This young Saw-whet owlet has such a sweet, innocent curiosity, and I couldn't resist drawing him. Just a quick sketch (it took about 5 minutes) but it is these drawings that make it fun to be an artist!