Friday, February 20, 2015

A Black Apple and Good News

A Black Apple, Acrylic on Birch, 11x14
Last week was pretty marvelous. At the library, I was able to fulfill a roomful of lifelong dreams (short though those lives have been) by teaching my after school kids how to draw flashy sports cars. I finished this painting, A Black Apple, and rather like it as a sister to The White Heart. And, I gave my very first interview to a wonderful journalist from Denver's Westword.

My good luck was tempered by my Wordpress website getting hijacked yesterday for a couple of tense hours by a rather unscrupulous villain who wished to sell prescription drugs to visitors. In an effort to banish the bandits thoroughly and as quickly as possible, I emptied my Wordpress account completely last night (why use a scalpel when an ax is so much more lumberjacky and exciting?). As a result, my website now has a few messy bits and broken links. But, this bit of rotten luck makes me feel more balanced on the universe's fortune scales.

To celebrate my slightly-crippled-by-my-burly-ax-weilding-defenses website, I've created a new banner for my landing page and I'm having an elegant new gallery installed next month.

Now, I intend to enjoy being snowed in for the next several days while I wait with bated breath for the Westword article on Barnum's Winter to publish on Monday.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The White Heart

Sometimes paintings are such a toil -- reference sketches and underpaintings and draft after draft. This is not one of those times. I finished washing the dishes this morning, rolled out my painting cart, and four hours later, this was sitting on my table. Twas a good day!

In other news, I finally broke, succumbed to peer pressure, gave up and in. I created a Tumblr account. I'm not sure I'm ever going to remember to use it, but it's there. My name, as always, is Barnumswinter. Look me up, yo.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Horseshoe Holiday Market!

Howdy all,
I'm getting super excited for the Horseshoe Holiday Market this weekend! I'll be there with about 100 of my favorite local artists, craftsmen, fancy food makers. If you're in the area, be sure to stop in and say "hello!" Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

DIY: Homemade Playdough

This Thanksgiving, my library after school kids and I made a Great Fake Thanksgiving Feast. We needed tons of playdough to split between 20-30 kiddos. Since we work on a pretty tight budget, I figured it'd be more economical to just make 10lbs of the stuff, rather than try to buy enough for everyone.

There are a bazillion slightly different recipes floating about on the internet. This is always a good sign that a recipe is very flexible. And, very flexible recipes are perfect for letting little dudes try their hand at measuring for the first time.

I made this recipe 8 times over to split between 30 kids and I could have gotten away with about half of that. If you find yourself with fewer children, you can probably just make one or two batches for a super well-stocked playdough stash.
Tiny playdough pies! SO CUTE!

2 cups flour
2 cups water
1 cup salt
1 tbs cream of tartar
2 tbs cooking oil
Food coloring

1. Mix everything except the food coloring together in a pot. Stir together well over medium heat. It will get thicker as it cooks.

2. Keep stirring. Eventually, it'll get so thick that it's difficult to stir. Shortly after, it will start pulling off the sides of the pan. Then, it will lump together in the middle of the pot. Keep squishing and stirring for another minute or two after after it has all lumped together.

3. Turn it out onto a clean surface. If it has cooked long enough, it will all plop out together and you won't need to scrape the sides of the pot. Let cool for a few moments, until you can handle it without burning yourself.

4. Knead the playdough for a few minutes until it is not at all sticky anymore. Although, if you cooked it long enough it won't really be very sticky to start with.

5. Break it into as many pieces as you want and knead in food coloring to each piece. Don't be stingy with the food coloring. Everyone agrees that brightly colored playdough is the best!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Books: Mario and Horsies!

Two books that will devour your time in the happiest manner.
Super Mario Series for Piano?! Holy crap! My mister bought this for me at the music shop and it is amazing. I'm not what anyone would call "good" at piano, so it'll take me some time to play through it without butchering the timing, but I'm already having maniacal visions of impressing large and admiring audiences at house parties.

Quite coincidentally, I also stumbled across this online yesterday, pictured beside an equally promising-looking version for the Zelda games. So, that's out there as well. It exists. This makes me happy.

Lee J. Ames' Draw 50 Whatevers books have been my friend since I was a wee girl. I recently found this one, Draw 50 Horses, at a thrift shop. We've had some good times together this week, me and Mr. Ames.

If you're searching for fun things to draw, you might pop into your local library and order in a few of these books. Or, just look in the children's area of the library for drawing books. The adult drawing books I've seen are all pine trees, pears, and exposition. The children's books have few if any words and show you how to draw fun things like dragons and cats and castles and horses. Lee J Ames and Chris Hart are my favorites. <3 And, you'll avoid the Google Images trap where you accidentally search through Google Images so long looking for a picture to draw that by the time you decide upon something, you're fresh out of time to actually draw it.