Friday, February 24, 2012

Do You Remember Dr. Love?

I must apologize for my absence in the last week. I've been dabbling in many projects lately and posting seems to always end up off the bottom of the list. I really hate that an am going to make a concerted effort to post more regularly. Wanna know why? Of course my first reason to be more consistent is that it'll make you who actually read me (waives to my loyal little group) happy but I have a new reason! I've been syndicated on The Blog Farm. Cool, huh? I've always wanted to try this, see if I could increase my readership, but just never "pulled the trigger". Well, consider the trigger officially pulled, people. We'll see how it goes, I'm crossing my fingers!

I have this lovely friend who lives across the border. Her name is Ellen and although I've known her only a short time I'm becoming very fond of her. She commissioned a bookmark from me (I would have just made it for her, but she was sneaky and used my Etsy Shop against me, lol. She went and paid for a commissioned piece, THEN told me that she did! You gotta watch those wily ones, they're tricky! Well, I couldn't let that go unpunished so I also did her a painting. That'll teach her!

(1924 - 1998)
She had requested that the bookmark include her favorite quote by The Love Doctor, does anyone still remember Dr. Leo Buscaglia? I do, I wrote a thesis on him for my philosophy seminar class in University. I read every one of his books on loving thy neighbor and giving out hugs to strangers. He was a gem of a man and so enjoyable to read and watch on tv. It was so pleasantly surprising to find that Ellen admired him too! (We have so much in common, it's spooky.) So the quote she wanted was this:

"Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God"

I decided to do her a fun, colorful bookmark with one side and abstract watercolor and the other the quote she requested. I am really loving how the backs of my bookmarks are coming out! What I do is get a large piece of paper that's like 6x the dimensions of a bookmark (therefore I'll get 6 bookmarks, ya, duh Jenn). I then get out my Holbein watercolors (I LOVE them for their amazingly bright, clean colors) and freely ad paint to the paper, trying to be artistic about it, lol. Then I cut the paper up to the requisite sizes and add ink to highlight the changes in color and the amazing undulation of the paint through water. I love how watercolors do that! So, without further ado...

The font was REALLY hard to do, but then I'm not a font aficionado. Geez, is that spelled right? (it's a well known fact that I cannot spell my way out of a paper bag, carry on.) Speaking of spelling, my last name is spelled McLean. Now, you're asking, why the hell do I need to know this freaking little tidbit of information? Well, let me tell you a story.

I watched my Grandmother parade around in short tartan outfits, her whole body covered, from hat to socks, in our McLean tartan pattern. It was quite embarrassing in restaurants, let me tell you! This is not a good look for anyone, let alone an 80 year old woman (but remember, this is the same woman who, in the early 90's, became the oldest living female to bungie jump... well duh, Jen, she couldn't jump if she were dead, you'd have to push her.) Anyway, I digress. Obviously all my life I've been a card carrying Scottish heritaged lass. I know heritaged isn't a word, move on. Then came 

A few weeks ago my uncle started researching our family tree, taking over from where my mom left off years ago. He phoned my mom howling with laughter. It seems that we shouldn't be embracing the Scottish kilt as our family talisman, we should actually be thinking more green. It seems that a few generations ago my ancestors immigrated for one short generation to Scotland from our homeland of Ireland. Well blyme, I guess I better learn how to drink green beer & look up the deeds of St. Patrick! I'm thrilled though, I get to celebrate a new holiday, I already fit right in because my favorite color is green and I could seriously use some more luck. Do I have to catch one of those little leprechauns and rub him on something to be lucky? What? I'm new here. Some instruction & guidance would be good. I hear we're a friendly bunch, do I have any volunteers to teach a former Scott how to be thoroughly Irish? I'll buy the green beer!

Oh, did you want to see Ellen's painting? Yes? You do, you say? You've been slogging through my family troubles just so you could see it? Ahh, loyalty is such a beautiful thing. Thanks for sticking it out. Without further ado... (oh, I said that above, well no one ever said I was bright, lol)

Hey, I should call this "Luck of the Iris". Hehehe. Oh I kill myself! You should laugh with me, not at me. How rude. ;o) Kinda purty isn't it? I drew and inked it out, then watercolored the background, then added the grasses using watercolor pencils but I didn't add water. I wanted the texture of the pencils against the cold pressed paper. Then I added watercolor to the iris itself. I was lucky to discover that I owned a purple Sakura Pigma finliner (gotta love that archival ink!). It was the only way I could think of to add the incredible detail on a real iris. I love how it came out. Ellen did too. 

I have another piece of art done and I'll post it soon, I had to wait until my package arrived safely in Pennsylvania before I could post about it (I think it's a possibility that Ellen lurks around here, just the way I lurk on her blog. Yup, I'm a lurker, an Irish lurker.) Thank God for spell check because I just spelled Ellen's state Pensilvania. I hear you laughing over there! No merit badges in spelling for this babe, only hom-ec awards, lol. (I think I fried the best egg and fluffed pillows expertly.) 

I'll be back soon, will you miss me? I'll leave a trail of gluten free cookies back to my blog so all you one readers can find your way back to me. Thank you and goodnight, you've been a wonderful audience.


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  1. I wish Google wasn't getting rid of GFC. Still, I've joined your linky widget instead, and am looking forward to continuing to read your updates.

  2. I enjoy your writing and you have a nice touch with watercolor, which is a very unforgiving medium if I remember correctly.


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