08 January 2016

Party Line

No, it's not a political post. It's a post that shows my age! Yesterday's prompt was "The walls have ears." I was stumped for a while for what to do, and when I checked on the Facebook feed, others had already illustrated some of my initial ideas, but Kirsten came to my rescue today with this one, and then I expanded on the thought.

"Back in the day," as my teenagers would say (or during "yesteryear" or "yore," per Rachel), not only were the telephones mounted on (and permanently attached by a cord to) the wall, but because every line was a "party line" (which is what they called it when you shared a phone line with your neighbors and all they had to do is pick up their phone to listen in on your conversations), the walls definitely had ears!

I can remember my mother putting her hand over the mouthpiece of the phone (not one quite this ancient, it was the 1960s, but still a wall phone in the kitchen) and saying to my dad, "I know that nosy Mrs. Rosenberg is listening in!" Sometimes my dad would be talking to someone and then stop and say "I can hear you breathing! Hang up! I'm not done yet!" and there would be a gentle but audible "click."

It wasn't long before the party line became a thing of the past, but while it lasted you were sometimes more involved with your neighbors than you wanted to be. I guess calling it a "party line" made it seem more festive than "snoop heaven" or "no privacy for you."

I drew this with an 0.3 LePen, and then watercolored. This one's for you, Kirst.

07 January 2016

It's all about the weather

How fortuitous that the past two day's prompts have lent themselves perfectly to the climate in So Cal. For once the MegaDoppler 700 HD was right: El Niño has apparently arrived, right on schedule. Our Every Day in January prompts for these two days were:

Madder than a wet hen…


It's raining cats and dogs!

I wanted to try to capture this sense of falling so I looked online for photographs of pets that had been tossed in the air. I hope they landed well!

I don't often draw and leave it at that, but the pen alone seemed to be the right thing to capture the wetness and the anatomy of falling through the air. It's also obvious that my pen work could use some work, and that I need to expand my repertoire when it comes to pens--I did these with a Micron, but I'd love to try this again using a pen with ink that flows a little more freely. Time to go look at what the pen aficionados use and spend some salary at the art store!

03 January 2016

The sayings continue...

The next couple of days' posts are kind of a mess. Loved the concepts, didn't quite realize either of them. But…just because you fulfill the day's challenge doesn't mean you will always do it well, right?

January 3 was "hell bent for leather." I'm not sure I've heard that all together as one phrase before--I have heard "hell for leather" and "hell bent"--but when I heard it, I immediately thought of horses. So I went looking for a reference photo and found a beautiful one, which captured the blur of speed as a jockey and horse raced by on the track. My interpretation of it was distinctly inferior to the photo; I captured a bit of the feel of speed, but it's kind of a mess:

January 4's prompt is "a heart of gold," and since I am a child of the '60s, where else would I go when hearing that phrase but Neil Young? I combined some elements from various album covers and did a sketch. I painted the lettering first, and then did the background, so everything around the lettering got muddy and bled together; I guess it would have been better to do the background washes first and then paint over the top, but with the transparency of watercolor, I'm never sure what the order should be! I tackled this tonight because tomorrow it's back to work…we'll see how it goes for the remainder of January.