The Musings of Molly

A blog primarily chronicling the artistic and writerly endeavors of a girl who moves with the change in wind patterns, and is always trying to puzzle out, and explore the life given.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Huff and Puff and ...

While much delayed, I wanted to post this image of my fire that I started with such limited paper but all the natural resources of the woods on my moonlight camping trip with my friend. I was especially impressed with myself because all winter I would puff and blow, and crinkle paper, and crack kindling, but never, and I mean NEVER could I get a fire to start in the fireplace in my parents home. I blew so long I nearly passed out on the tiles. It was pathetic. I even had a true card-carrying Native American on the phone prompting me with the process, and I still couldn't start the fire. So, this, small, tender, little kindling fire at a campground in Vermont, was a huge feat for my pride and therefore, I felt I ought to share it with my online world.

For the Record

For the Record:
My sister who is brilant, and has a B.F.A. so therefore also is qualified to make the following statement, has said that the quality of my digital pictures suck. "They do not give any sense of the breakthrough you have made from this to that," she said in reference to my ice cream photos. Ah well. So, just figure, all my pictures in real life are just that much cooler because my genius sister said so.

Rock a Bye Baby

I altered this piece from a piece I did last summer. I know often illustrators are told to pick a time and location when thinking of where a story takes place, and I was excited doing this piece in a completely different scenery than my initial thumbs suggested. I've been focusing on the southwest lately and it was a nice challenge to limit my color palette to the tones most likely found in such an environment. I also found it challenging after having worked in oil since December pretty regularly trying to go back to a translucent medium such as watercolor and acrylic. I really enjoyed mixing in multiple mediums though (ie. pencil and charcoal and watercolor pencils). I felt that assisted in making the piece move more successfully towards where I wanted it to go. I still think it has some issues, but it was a great experience for me.

Update on Ice Cream

Here is the latest update on the ice cream series. I am enjoying the process of having two simultaneous paintings of oil on paper. I must say I do learn quite a bit even without being in the classroom, but just by full immersion and continuing my own painting.

Father's Day

I happen to have grown up on the east coast. Both my parents are New England natives as well, one being born in Lynn and one in New Haven. Having spent time in the midwest, I had forgotten two very important characteristics of living back in New Hampshire: 1.) The Boston Red Sox are not just a seasonal baseball team, rather they are the life force of every walk of life New Englander from the gas station attendant to the college professor. and 2.) Getting rid of certain language characteristics, such as adding an "r" to the end of idea or saying wicked a lot, has slowly begun to worm its way back into my own language, yet, more so, I had forgotten that my mother, the native outside-of-Boston born, has completely converted back to her native tongue, one that removes all letter "r's" from speech only to replace the fine letter with the "ah" sound.
How this comes into play on a largely art-based blog you might wonder?
Because it was the day before "Fathah's Day" I decided to pass my Boston Red Sox ticket on to my friend Kim so that I could spend the day painting my head off with the following painting--a request from my dad who constantly pokes his head into my room to say, "Hey, when are you going to paint a picture of your mother?" when I am happily painting whatever project I am on for the moment. And so, while sporting my Red Sox hat, I painted my "fathah" and "mothah" from a scene in Florence when they visited my sister who was studying abroad. This painting proved extra challenging because I am not often interested in landscapes, or establishing the fine details that grant depth to a scene. Also for all the self portraits that I have composed this was the first time I have studied my parent's faces and attempted to transfer their images through paint. The way I figure, I have captured my "mothah's" family features well enough that one could peg her as a member, and my dad? Well, happy Fathah's day to him :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Carpe Diem

Today was one of those grand Carpe Diem sorts of days, waking at six to prep a friend of mine for a trip, catching zzz's with my sister over at a different friend's house (rather than doing a stretching workout) and then masterfully maneuvering a large old canoe atop my Jeep with my sister, prepping for our impromptu canoe adventure. Of course with pale Irish skin it was a must to pick up some sunscreen, striping down to our new flashy swim suits in the CVS parking lot to coat ourselves so it could "soak in" before venturing out for too long in the sun.
What a lovely little pond Maggie and I discovered today.
"Do you know where it is?" she asks, cocking her head around the triangular shape of the top of the canoe in the center of our windshield.
"Oh sure, you just sort of drive along this road and it will pop up. We can't miss it. It's just near the airport," I say, the directionally challenged one in the family and sure enough, we pass the airport and along the landing strip pops up a nice little parking area with Wilson Pond.
Somehow, Mags and I forgot the step stools that were so helpful propping the canoe up on top of the car, but we managed well enough that the canoe sprung no leaks, and successfully served as our raft through beautiful water-lilies, tall grasses and for a stop on a mini island smack in the center of the pond. Without the threat of high stakes mosquitos we even adventured in some narrow pathways Maggie deemed worth venturing into--one of which was a dead end with pissed off birds, and the other that proved to be a lovely little creek bed that dead ended in a near by town. After that, we joined many on Main Street celebrating a day without rain, and enjoyed our books and lemonade outside at sunny tables downtown. Carpe Diem I say, as I sit down at 9:30 to clean up a sketch of an illustration I'm due to show tomorrow.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bead a round or two

This has been my couch activity. I decided it was time for some new summer jewelry. I'd love to market some of these as they're just fun to do and I get the excuse to go into bead shops which are just color parties for my eyes, but so far I'm just making them to entertain myself and my color eclectic sister.

Evenings of fun

Oh I had such fun last night piling into my art outfit and finally attending to the sheet of yellow gessoed paper taped to a drawing board that has been looking at me for a week. It was glorious. I just absolutely L-O-V-E to paint. So, overall equipped, and crammed into my little corner (my sister moved back in my room so my already tiny abode leaves me feeling reminiscent of dorm days) I started my second painting in my ice cream series... pausing only to join the family for a round of Jeapordy and hot tubing. Here it is in progress.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Going Green

Yesterday I had the most glorious day biking around my town. Borrowing a helmet from a friend of mine (complete with a safety-pin to hold it together) I set out down the hill on which I live, a hill that reminds me of San Francisco with the exception that there is no way around it. Flying down the hill with my wobbly biker legs, I scooted by an old childhood friends house, calling through the open window, "Ben! Ben are you in there?" Only to leave a note tucked into his door. It was strange in some ways breezing past my first house, and then tucking in a driveway next door that once seemed so much bigger than it is now, but enjoyable at the same time that I could find this routine, that this house had not changed, that my friend still lived in its walls. Then it was off through some construction, saying hi to an old fellow who, bored with sitting by his "This Road Closed" sign, likes to joke with me, or chat, or just give me a crooked toothed smile that lifts his wrinkles around the edges, and off I go down the bike path. As I was scooting along feeling all proud of my green self, I paused to help a turtle cross the road, reminiscing of the first turtle my old pal Kevin Putnam helped me catch. With a quick introduction and a scratch on the finger, the turtle was down safely in the reeds and I was off again, feeling the soft crunch of pine needles under my tires. Oh to go green.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Up to the Eithers

My boss likes to say, as we ponder over the choices in life, "Let's through that one up to the Eithers." When we throw things up to the Eithers it means we no longer have control over making the choice, but rather are asking the "Either Ors" to help us determine the best path for us to follow. So here I am after months of struggling with this piece of artwork, throwing it up to the Eithers, or in this case my two primary blog readers, Toast & JP, to assist in informing me of what it is that this piece is lacking to prevent it from jiving. Typically I find I innately know what to do with a piece of artwork, having a sense what needs to be where to make it click, but on those occasions where this innate sensibility is absent from my world I rely on those artists and peers around me, hoping that they may see what key component I should add--and hopefully, these "Eithers" can help reveal the mysteries of this piece so I may finally put it away (or hang it up).

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pine Needles and No Mosquitos

My friend Kim and I have made it a ritual to pick a spot in New England in which to hike each Sunday. Last week we attempted Pisgah State Park, only to discover on a hot sunny day why the parking lot was empty and there were warning signs about using Deet bug spray--the mosquitos were horrendous. They were so bad that while wearing my raincoat as protection, and Kim in a long sleeve tee on a 80 degree day, we had to keep moving constantly or our little parade of followers would over take us.
Yesterday we decided to try a very local park. This local park once served as something of a dumping ground. People might squat in the area, dump old tires, beer cans, hunks of metal, you name it. When I was little and living in this area, I remember my mom being a part of the Garden Club--a club that took it upon itself to make this park it's personal makeover project. And so, little by little, foot by foot, the Ashuelot Park began to emerge, first with a flower bed, then with a path, lined with stones, names of financial supporters etched in their surface, and suddenly the garbage disappeared and people with their dogs or children started showing up, lying out in the sun, sneaking their kayaks in the river. Today the park extends well across town and has a whole slew of visitors, complete with a fellow who offers to give people a tour from the cart attached to the back of his bike--for a small donation of course. Just the other day I saw a fellow sitting along the river composing songs on his guitar, playing for the fish, or the birds or the delight of passerbyers such as myself.
With spots of rain showers, Kim and I enjoyed a more private walk, bonding more with the soft crunch of pine needles under our feet or the echos that vibrated around us in the various tunnels for which we crossed under, and then the distinctive clap of metal to ball as we popped out at our old ball field. With snakes, chipmunks, and the river to our left it was a glorious way to enjoy New England without the threat of being eaten alive in the deep woods.


This weekend was a glorious break from my "To Do List". I find sometimes when my mind is constantly busy with "You should be doings," I have little time to genuinely relax and enjoy my present space. Now that meditation has taken a back seat, I have to find other ways to pause and take time away from the "To Do List". So this weekend I retired the list, and took a weekend as I likely had as a kid, and just chilled. In this relaxed state, I decided to start work on this ice cream shop series, a fun set of photographs a friend took of me in the infamous Cincinnati Grater's shop. It is my first time painting oils on paper and while at first I didn't like the sensation of not really being able to mush the paint around, now I am enjoying it. I'm also striving to be more general in my painting and not over specifying any one particular area. This was helpful while working on the fingers because it made me stop and think more about distinctive colors. So here it is in progress--straight off the drawing board.