Sunday, February 28, 2010


I like them:)  And I like these things too:

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Little Less Conversation

Typically, I LOVE to talk.  I call it "sharing," because when you do something incessantly, it seems like a good idea to give it a really positive spin.  But today I feel like being quiet.  So quietly, briefly, this is what I did today:
I made this little painting.
It's the third installment in this series:
I started the next image before I left the studio:
I think it will be my favorite.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Illustration Friday: Propagate

Here's my submission to this week's IF theme.  I like the word "propagate."  It sounds clinical, but the meaning is ripe (no pun intended) with narrative possibilities.  Those pale purple smudges were not originally intended to look like bird poop, but the resemblance turns out to be quite fitting;)  This piece is acrylic on a cut and collaged map.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Just getting started on a new piece.  Here it is after the first few layers:
I came up with the general idea for this image a few days ago while I was lying around being sick.  If it turns out badly, I'll blame it on the mucus.  As usual, I'm working out the particulars as I go:
I found the right seed shape last night while I was making soup.

And I borrowed the deep green-blue from my x-acto cutting board.  Those grid lines are going to make an appearance as well.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cats with Flaming Ears and Invisible Flaming Tails

My favorite conversation from yesterday went like this:

Six-year-old: "Look!  I'm making four cats and their ears and tails are on fire!"  Looking down, he realizes that he hasn't drawn tails on the cats and quickly adds,  "But their tails are invisible."     

It took me seven years of higher education and a life-changing lecture by conceptual artist, Nayland Blake to (re)discover the process that this first-grader embraces so naturally: make the work that you are compelled to make, and then look at it and figure out what it's about.  This (admittedly overused) quote by Picasso is just so, so true.  

And here's something lovely from the backyard:

Monday, February 15, 2010

[T]iny Happy People

I stress "there's no such thing as perfect" in all of my art classes.  But secretly I think that everything they make is truly, purely, absolutely perfect.  I'm such a hypocrite;)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Painting Withdrawal

Last week was filled with a lot (a LOT!) of learning about computer-related things and very little art-making.  My rather hasty Illustration Friday drawing and this little sketch of our dvi cable were the only pictures I made all week.  Although the dvi cable drawing was purely functional, I'm still counting it since the guys at the Apple Store appreciated it so much.  
Next week will be completely devoted to teaching kids at the Arlington Center for the Arts School Vacation Program and waiting breathlessly for my monitor calibrator to arrive in the mail.  So I'm gearing up for another light studio week.  But I know that the wildly creative kid energy and the spirit of collegiality at the ACA will help fill the void.  

Baking helps too.  I liken it to a sort of methadone for painting withdrawal.  I made orange cupcakes to bring to a dinner party: 
And I'm making bread today:
So that should take the edge off a bit;).  Also, Masterpiece Classics is on tonight.  And that is an antidote for any ailment.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Do you like mysteries, particularly those involving murder and a wealth of intriguing and poetic physical evidence (ie. a dead body in the cucumber patch and  a missing piece of pie on the window sill)?

Do you like English manor houses (even if you've never actually been in one, on the grounds of one, or in the same country as one (unless you count the airport))?

Would you like to view the world from the point of view of an eleven-year-old pigtail-wearing, bespectacled, bicycle-riding, murder-solving, impossibly erudite, fabulously cheeky chemist?  

Yes to all three, you say?  Hey!  Me too.  What a coincidence.  Alan Bradley's debut crime novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, has all of three of these excellent features.  It is also extremely well written.  In fact, the voice of the first person narrator, Flavia de Luce, the eleven-year-old crime solver mentioned above, is so well written and hilarious that I wasn't even disappointed when I solved the mystery before she did.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Illustration Friday: Muddy

Synchronized wallowing was the highlight of everyone's week.  

This week's theme put me in the mood for something silly.  Scratching black lines recklessly onto the paper made for a very satisfying morning.  

Friday, February 5, 2010

Back Up and Running

Welcome to the inaugural blog post created on "Kaetlyn's Computer II," my shiny new hard drive!  We had a "teach a man to fish moment" over here at the Wilcox-Able house last night, during which I installed my own hard drive.  I was shocked at how easy it was.  I didn't have to learn a single spell or incantation.  I just had to screw and unscrew some teeny, tiny screws.   

I started a new series of little paintings this week.  I'm thinking of them as short stories.  If you've been reading my blog for a while, you might remember the original, black and white version of the first piece below.

The stylized vines and leaves swirling around behind the animals come from this book on early American decorative patterns that I found in the library: 
Do you like my hat?  I like it so much that I wore it all day in my studio.  Charley's Aunt Pat made the hat and my student, Susan, made the flower pin. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Uh Oh.

My husband gave me Adobe Creative Design Suite for Christmas. Best gift EVER. Especially since, even though I'm only part time college faculty, I still qualify for the educational discount. Huzzah! I've been scraping by without Photoshop for years. And now that I have it, along with InDesign and Illustrator, the world is my oyster. With just a couple of clickety-clicks my digital images match my paintings exactly. When I realized that I could easily adjust the hues and vibrancy of individual colors without affecting the whole image I almost fainted. And don't even get me started about how much fun it is to create page layouts.

That's the good news. The bad news is that this morning, as I was rocking out with InDesign, CRASH! Like, a really big crash. The kind of crash where, when you try to reboot you get a flashing folder with a question mark icon instead of a happy little apple (I didn't get a picture of that because I was too busy panicking). The kind of crash where, after you follow all of the trouble shooting steps that should fix the problem in "most cases," you learn that your particular problem falls under the category of "rare and possibly dire cases."

But the other piece of good news is that I'm married to one computer-saavy guy who plans to spend his evening trying to locate my startup disk. Is it just me, or was that last sentence the best unintentional, nerdiest euphemism ever?