Here's what I couldn't cover up except by electronic means...see the gray streak in the shadow?
04 October 2011
Trying to work in a bunch of challenges in one pic. This is "what I see in the morning when I get up" (#14), which is my bedside table; "a lamp" (#2), "something metallic" (parts of the lamp and the top of the table, though I couldn't make the table top look like metal) (#32), and also #27 ("draw a book"), though I've already done that a bunch of times!
03 October 2011
Five years ago, I planted a five gallon can of asters, sort of like this one, in the flower bed along the side of my garage:
Five years later, with lots of natural reseeding, the picture below shows what the flower bed looks like!
Asters are long-legged, weedy plants when you let them go wild like this, and must be cordoned off so they don't completely cover the sidewalk. Until they bloom, they are not particularly attractive, since the leaves at the bottom turn brown and fall off while the top half is getting ready to blossom, but oh, when they do bloom!
My neighbors kindly put up with the sidewalk (which we share) being out of commission for the last two months of the asters' growth cycle, just to arrive at that all-important month, October, when the stalks are covered with the small, daisy-like purple flowers (and with many ecstatic bees, june-bugs and butterflies).
Since the asters always oblige me by coming out just in time for my birthday on October 4, I decided to cut a few this morning (they're barely started, not in full glory) and combine them with some Mexican sage, some orange double marigolds, and a crimpy little scented geranium in a white transfer-ware pitcher that was my mom's. I added in a couple of tubes of (appropriately colored) paint just for interest. Unfortunately, I didn't notice until I finished that not only had I placed the horizon line at an awkward height in relation to the pitcher, but that it was at exact dead center across the page--deadly! Oh, well...
This satisfies Challenge #245--draw something "October." Asters.
02 October 2011
The Midnight Twins is by Jacquelyn Mitchard, who wrote The Deep End of the Ocean (and a lot of other books, of course), and it's the first of a series about sisters named Meredith and Mallory, who come from a long line of psychic twins. Born two minutes before midnight and two minutes after on New Year's Eve, one sees the past and one the future. In this book, they discover their powers and have to solve a mystery and foil a bad guy.
The Replacement falls into a category with a lot of recent teen fiction about the world of faerie, but is quite superior to many of those. It's the first novel by Brenna Yovanoff, and after reading this, I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next. The protagonist is one of those changelings left behind when the faeries steal the human child from the cradle. This changeling, however, has parents and a loving sister who know what he is and raise him as if he was their real child anyway. The book opens when Malcolm is a teenager, struggling with his health in a world full of iron and blood. A little girl has just died in their town, but her older sister, a classmate of Malcolm's, insists that the child they buried wasn't her sister Natalie, and Malcolm, who has a good idea who (or what) the child was, struggles with his emotions as he tries to stay under the radar of the suspicious townsfolk while helping the girl he likes get her sister back before it's too late.
These were kind of a cheat, artistically, because I was in a hurry and because I was working against the light on my patio (I keep forgetting that it gets dark now at 6:15 instead of at 8:00!). I propped the book on the left up against my coffee mug, so they are not on the same plain, but the background doesn't reflect that, which it should. I also went in after with a pen and tweaked a bunch of stuff because I was so sloppy when I painted. So, not the greatest illustration, but enough to use to feature these two entertaining and slightly creepy books.