Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wanted to brag a bit about my little sister

Hillary Gramm brings needed resources to more than 90 at-risk students.
Site Coordinator Hillary Gramm brings needed resources to more than 90 at-risk students. 
Communities In Schools site coordinators are all about impact. And if we’re talking impact, then we need to include Hillary Gramm. At McWhirter Elementary School, a site supported by Communities In Schools of Bay Area in Houston, Texas, Gramm brings needed resources to support more than 90 at-risk students. And there is no better example of the impact she’s making than what she was able to provide last April for one of her students diagnosed with kidney failure.
After it was determined that nine-year old Katherine Beltran would receive a kidney transplant from her mother, Gramm set out to help the entire family have one less thing to worry about – household expenses. With the young student remaining in ICU, her mother would have to miss work while staying at home to heal, and her father would need to miss work caring for Katherine’s mom. Gramm rallied local church members and community donors to raise more than $2,000 to cover rent and utilities, and to donate Kroger gift cards and food while the family was taking time off from work.
In three years at McWhirter, Gramm has also started a mobile dentist program, a clothes closet and food pantry, and she has coordinated a book fair where she collected and gave away nearly 1,000 books.
In October of 2011, Gramm was one of four site coordinators to receive honorable mention for the Communities In Schools Unsung Heroes Award.
“Is she making a difference? Absolutely,” said Dr. Michael Marquez, the principal at McWhirter. He mentioned that outside of Gramm’s office window he can see four cartons of food, donations made thanks to relationships the site coordinator has built over the years. And that he went to her office this afternoon to bring a student who had no jacket but was too embarrassed to ask for a handout. Marquez knew Gramm was the one person who would be sure to provide the girl with what she needed from the school’s clothes closet.
“Hillary has a dignified way of helping our students and their families. It is a complete benefit to our community to have her.” 
Considering all that her background includes – mentoring, advocating on behalf of foster children and volunteering for a crisis hotline – Gramm’s role as a Communities In Schools site coordinator came as a natural fit. She’s the first to admit, though, that her initial plan to follow in the successful footsteps of the previous site coordinator did not get the results she’d hoped for.  After just one semester Gramm realized she needed to create her own campus plan, one that better reflected her passions.
For Gramm that meant journaling. Soon after introducing her fourth and fifth grade students to the process of self-expressive writing she began to see positive results.
“My seventh-grade teacher had us journal,” she said. “It increased and improved my confidence, and helped me with my writing skills. I see the same happening with my students.”
The students write weekly and the assignments are never graded. They are given a topic, but there is no right or wrong subject. The initiative has been so successful that the younger students are looking forward to their turn at journaling. Gramm has even given the journals to the Communities In School middle school site coordinator so the students can continue writing. “Each year I aim to do more,” said Gramm, who completed her Master’s degree in December. “I like spreading the word that Communities In Schools is effective, and that I’m here to help.”
And in being there to help Gramm, will continue to make an enormous impact in the lives of students in need.
Congratulations Hill!
Always great to spend time with you.
Love Sece

Monday, January 30, 2012

Winter Art Retreat Weekend 2012

Cindy's art project for the weekend, was to build a birthday book for her sisters birthday
Once we arrived at the retreat center (my in laws lake house)
We built a fire in the wood burning stove and started open bags of art inspiration.
Got some chips and dip and started in on our art
The main table in the house was filled with papers paints color sprays
We decided to get a little air...hey I like building fires...so it did get a bit warm in the house
As you can see, the outdoors were just beautiful
Photo taken from the end of the dock

So many branches 
Remains of the Cattails 
Part of the most beautiful stream in the whole wide world.

There is always room for a sewing machine, even if you didn't bring any fabric.
Arting girls

One of my file cabinet cards
I just love the plate of paint, the bowls of orange chittos, my daily art journal, stamps and just so much!

A found photo of Mike & I about 15 years ago with Daisy Mae
Arting into the night
Even on the floor
A bit of Cindy's book
A good time was had by all
The next retreat will be a four day instead of a two day.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Catalog cards, cookies & Cats

Once or twice a year I like to throw a small art retreat for some of my friends and fellow artists. 
Well that weekend starts at 11am today! and will run through mid~day Sunday.
 Here is a card catalog from 7 gypsies
I cut out 4 cards per month. My plan is to do a card a week. 
I'll show photos after I catch up on the last 3 weeks.
 Cant wait to see this drawer full!
 Hannah has been baking cookies and cup cakes 
Here is her first batch with very little assistance.
 Some animal photos 
So funny how Chunk will sleep on top of anything and anywhere!

 Mr. Cooper 
Everybody wants to be in the sun

Have a great weekend!
I'll be back Monday with some fun photos
Lisa D.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A few more art books

The first book is my magazine/catalog water color paper book 
The second book is what I call a tuck away/travel journal
The third book is more for someone who wants to add a lot of their own images 
The last book is a small Love book, made from left over water color paper. Big and puffy!


See above video

This video didn't seem to want to work

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I am tone deaf & depth blind

 Sometimes things don't dawn on me, for example...I thought a gappers delay was a spot in town where there was always delays. Duhhh I find this happens to me every so often. Well here I find myself in a similar situation...

For nine years I've been trying to paint portraits, portraits I feel good about and have always struggled with the shading part, tones and such. I've probably taken six on line classes and studied numerous books. January 9th I started a 5 day 5 week course with Misty Mawn, which I was way excited about. The idea of changing my color pallet a bit, seeing how she shaded and toned her portraits. Three weeks into the class I find myself frozen, my hand and wrist just can't  seem to find the shadings and tones! AAAAAAHHhh So I run across a class with Pam Carriker called shades of grey and even though I'm in the middle of Misty Mawns class, I decided to sign up for it! I'm thinking for sure I'll be able to see it, the shades and such. I can see her doing it, but when I do it, there always hard lines. I'm not sure if it has to do with following rules? I have a very hard time following rules outside of the law at least. the rules make me feel tight in my arm and wrist.

Some portraits done over the years

The top center painting is a selfportrait from 2005

 Sometimes I can get a burst in me to do a portrait at the last minute before an event.
This was done 3 hours before Ell's birthday party, probably over five years ago.
 The morning after my return home from France I sat down and did her.
lol...I remember the feeling of excitement I felt from being in Paris and all its art.
 This was a large painting, in hopes that I would be able to see the depth and tones if it was larger scale
 When I do my Omo People, I don't feel like I need to add much shading.
 I think this one says it all!
I'm stressed and can't follow the shading rules!
 On this guy you can see my stress in his nose...but I love him so. 
He hangs in the kitchen...made from one of our kitchen cabinet boxes and that makes him the right size
 A little art block of Hannah & me 
Am I destined to paint flat? Will it ever dawn on me?

btw...I'm loving all that Misty Mawn is teaching! She is a really encouraging teacher.
I only watched the first 2 videos of Pam Carriker, but am enjoying immensely so far.

Enjoy your day
Lisa D.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A short film of a few art books

 Here are a few I listed today on Etsy

Spending the day redecorating my Etsy art shop

Almost nine years now that I've been doing art :  )
Because life moves forward, I'm now at a stage of learning to promote myself and sell things more often.
I bought a white box thingamajig to help my photo turn out.
Worked ok, I think I need more practice with it.

 Here's the loot
I also made a short film on my art books
Look for that later today.

Lisa D.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Our trip to San Francisco

Here is the view from our hotel in San Francisco 
Michael Hopkins Intercontinental 
The sun was coming up
Our last day there Mike & I took a trolley ride to the Warf.

 Mr D.

Was a great time. Mike was a the Fancy Food Show while I explored SF, except the last day.
I went the the De Young with Mikes cousin Scott
I spent another day at The Moma
Visited China Town
Walked up & down Haight Ashbury Street
Ate dinner in The Castro 

I took few photos and did little art.
Time for catch up
Have a great day
Lisa D.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Someone once called these bouquets

I wanted to show off a few of my brush holders
 The red one is from my trip with Mike to Baltimore 
the blueish/brown one next to the red one
 is from a potter I met a few years ago at an art sale along with the blue and white one.

This orange one is from Italy, but my sister and I found it at a second hand store and she bought it for my birthday a few yrs back.
 Funny this orange one came from the thrift store and its from an eatable arrangement place.
My newest ones are from Paula
Because of traveling I had to wait a few weeks to see them in person. I think they fit in nicely.
May need one for the middle.

 Several yrs ago I bought this chicken bird thing...makes me think of Paula's art.

Have a great weekend
Hope you enjoyed my week of posts

Lisa D.