Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Where The Fillos Pose With Jazz Hands

Family photos were taken last week. Very informal, and oh how hate that painting behind us. Must. Paint. Over. That.
** Edit- More Fillo photos here

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Week 11- 52 Week Project "Mourning Michael"

Here is this weeks print, click on the picture to buy the 5x7 print for $2 for a limited time.

I will be gone the next couple of weeks** on vacation, but I will still be posting the new prints and will take them to mail when orders come in.
**Actually not leaving until Sunday the 6th, but will be super busy this week, not much time for blogging.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Camping at Westport with Skylar + 8x10 winner!

We took our grandson, Sky, camping over the weekend. It was his first time camping with us and his first time crabbing. Dave thought he was a pirate (notice knife in his mouth). They ended up buying crabs at the seafood store as the Westport docks just produced undersized crabs. It was his elevendy seventh batch of s'mores. We had fun.
The winner of the 8x10 is Jess4002@gmail.com!
Also, thanks to everyone that commented, there will be another giveaway next month.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

week 10 52 week print project and giveaway winner

Here is my print for this week, it's a line drawing of a girl in a 'house dress'

You can buy the 5x7 print on etsy for $2 for a few days, just click on the pic to be taken to the etsy store listing.

We took our 11 year old grandson camping this weekend, so I am so tired! I did ask him to pick a number for the free five prints and he picked number 25, and through a complicated system, I figured out that would be Jeanne, Femminisimo! I'm to tired to figure out who won the 8x10 yet, I'll try to do that tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The 5 prints I will give away this week

These are the 5 prints I am giving away this month. Usually I only give away 4 per month, but this month there were 5. I am also giving away one free 8x10 of the prints in my etsy shop. Please leave a comment on this post or the one below to be entered in both drawings.
If you've had trouble getting to my blog, I think we have figured out why, I had changed my website to the blogger address, and it worked for awhile, but today it stopped working. So if you have used http://www.juliefillo.com/ to find me here, that will not work for now. My sweet SIL is fixing it, or figuring out a solution.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

100th post! week 9 print and a giveaway!

Wow, big doings in the art life blog, it's my hundreth post and I am posting week 8 print, which is a Hopeful Ballerina, again in honor of Renee. You can buy a print on etsy for 2 dollars if you click on the picture.

Also, if you leave a comment on my blog in the next week, you could win 4 of the 5x7's from my print project.

In honor of my 100th post, I am also giving away a free 8x10. You can pick from any of the prints in my etsy shop.

So leave a comment and win something!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Homemade in the Microwave Granola

I totally stole this recipe off the web somewhere, a year or two ago, but I have changed it a lot, so hopefully I won't get sued. I make it every week, for Dave. He eats it with vanilla yogurt. The other day he said, "we were out of yogurt, so I tried the granola with milk and it was really good!" I did not have the heart to tell him that he did not invent this idea.

I buy the nuts and things at the bulk foods section in the grocery store. I've never worked out if it saves any money, but it's gotta be healthy, with all those nuts and the flax seeds, right? I've tried lowering the oil amount, and the sugar, and it still works, but this is the combo that tastes the best to the grouch.
Microwave Granola
4 cups oatmeal
1 cup walnuts, broken or cut into small pieces
1 cup pecans, broken or cut
1 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup flax seed
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 cup olive oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
sea salt
You can change the amounts of the nuts and things, and it can be approximate, it's not critical.
Anyway, put it all in a glass bowl, give it a stir and pop it into the microwave for 3 minutes. Take out and stir. Do this 2 more times, for a total of 9 minutes, and then finish off with 2 minutes and 20 seconds. So 11 minutes and 20 seconds total. I have a new microwave, so your time my vary, but just make sure it's browned some, but not burnt. It browns in the middle, so stirring is important. I made it for months without really browning it, undercooked we liked it, but it's really better now that I am cooking it longer.
After it is golden brown, turn onto a pammed cookie sheet, sprinkle with sea salt and let cool. When it is cool, put it in a pretty glass canister so you can look all earth maidenish in your kitchen.
It tastes exactly like the kind you make in the oven, but I find it so much easier to do this way.
One of my most scathing comments I've made about people you see driving around in a flowered volkswagen bus is "they look like they make their own granola" And I make my own granola. But I drive an old lady car.

Teitur Lassen

This in one of my all time favorite songs. It reminds me of being in Georgia with Kelsi going to the factory stores.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Red Eye Guy

I found the artist that paints the eyes out in red. Click on the picture to be taken to his photostream. I am so in love with him... but in a platonic artsy way. :)
**just found his blog

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Work in Progress Photos

This is not finished, it's a painting, one of three that I did for my bedroom, heavily inspired by Ford Smith. The colors are more vibrant, I took this with flash and if I wasn't so lazy and taking care of a 9 week old baby, I'd take a new one.

This shows red underpainting and charcoal sketch. also upside down, but I'm too lazy to flip it, you get the idea though, right?

The beginning of leaves, literally hundreds of leaves. This is the painting I was working on Memorial Day weekend, I've meant to post the WIP photos before this, but you know how it is.

Ok, the process is, red underpainting, sketch with charcoal, then paint leaves, and then background, then wipe away charcoal and hope...

Did you all see that I have figured out how to post under my photos? !!! I have been trying to figure out how for months, all I did was look in blogger help. Go figure.
Also, I have removed the blocks on commenting, people keep telling me they try to comment and can't so I'm going to try this for awhile, before I got spam, but we'll see, I love hearing what you all think. Hopefully, posting these paintings will make me finish them.

I also added a playlist widget, but it's not all there for some reason, but you can still play the music and see my awesome musical genuis. I also disabled the thing where it turns on automatically because I hate being assaulted by other musical taste when I try to read their blog, in fact as generous at I am at flogging others blogs, I delete ones with annoying music. That's how I roll.
Asher fussing, must go. Love you all.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Caption Bubbles

I found this website where you can put a caption bubble on a picture.
**authors note: I hadn't, really, I just look like it, because I was trying to be cute.

The Best Blueberry Muffins Recipe

These are my favorite blueberry muffins. I am putting them here for posterity. They are cakey and sweet.

The Best Blueberry Muffins
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2-1/2 cups fresh blueberries or 12 oz. frozen
2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
top with raw sugar before baking

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Mix dry ingredients. Alternate dry ingredients with milk. Add berries and put in 12 muffin cups or tin. Top with sugar and bake about 25 minutes until tops spring back when touched.

Friday, June 5, 2009

My Morning Walk

My little grandson Asher smiling. He is 9 weeks old and he usually goes with me, but not this morning.
a house whose garden i love

bearded iris

a pink azalea next door

little blue bells

magnificent roses


a lime green tree

heart shaped leaves

I live in a really cool old neighborhood here in Tacoma and here are a few pictures I took this morning on my walk and one gratuitous picture of Asher.

Brother Bear

I don't know if I've told the blog world that I am pretty much full time babysitting my new grandson while his mom works. He's an absolute delight, but it means I have less time for my dilettante life of old, which means I have little time to paint. But I still NEED to paint. For my sanity. I'm not kidding.
This little work on paper was done yesterday on the hot, hot deck after my grandma-ing duties were over yesterday. (over 90 degrees in Tacoma yesterday, hot sticky baby, hot sticky me)
I was inspired by a guy I found on flickr that paints these awesome realistic portraits and then paints the eyes out in red. I'll try to find him later to show you.
Anyway, here's "Brother Bear" 8-1/2 X11 on paper.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Hoh Rain Forest

I have been married to the same man for 34 years, since I was 18 and he was 20. We are living proof that opposites attract and that they can co-exist. It was never more clear to me than today.
We set out on a day trip to La Push, Washington from our camping space at Pacific beach. We have been here since Wednesday and it has been glorious. The weather has been warm and sunny in a place that is usually incessantly dripping, windy and cold. We are here with the greyhound and the dachshund, just the four of us, with no expectations on my part, just to relax and enjoy a drama free few days.

Anyway, said husband had an agenda today. He wanted to see La Push. It’s about a 200+ mile trip. So after a delicious breakfast cooked by him and thoroughly enjoyed by me and with lattes in hand, we set out for points north, we traveled through many miles of sunshine. Husband is a serious photographer and one of his quirks is that he is never, never happy with the light coming from the sky. If it is a sunny day, he is disappointed because he can’t take the pictures he wants to because the shiny light interferes. If there is blue sky, he is sad because there are no puffy white clouds. If it is cloudy, he is wishing for sun. In other words, he is a glass half empty guy when it comes to light.

I failed to mention that I forgot my camera on this trip. Our usual way is for him to take his serious pictures while I flit around taking literally hundreds of pictures with my little dumb camera. I am ignorant about apertures and speeds and all that. In my world, I believe that what I see in the world will come out of the camera in a way that will make me happy. I think by the time I get home and look at the pictures, I’ve forgotten what I took pictures of, and I am just so happy that any of them came out, I don’t really care. I’m wanting to remember the day and maybe post some pictures to my blog, but it is all very serendipitous, with no real expectations.
So today…I HAD NO CAMERA. I was at the mercy of the serious photog.
It was a gorgeous 72 degree sunny day even two miles inland from the coast. Have I mentioned that? The kind of day rarely seen here. In fact locals at the hamburger joint were heard talking about the origin of the strange light in the sky and one of them referred to it as N-U-S. They don’t even know how to SPELL sun here, they spell it backwards.
As you can see by the pictures above, this rain forest is a magical, beautiful place, even on a dripping rainy day, but today glorious. G-l-o-r-i-o-u-s. The sun filters through the giant trees and enveloping moss in such a way, if I were a a songwriter, I would write a song about it. It is so pretty. Backlight makes even more shades of green than ever. From a perspective and even in the close up, the moss is so abundant. It looks like fairies and elves and leprechauns will come dancing down the path at any moment. There are pretty little white flowers blooming, mushrooms,ferns and lichens everywhere and every surface is green, green.
Because I had no camera, I was forced to ask the serious photographer to take pictures for you all. Oh, my heavenly days! You would have thought I was asking him to murder puppies.
I would find the perfect shot. I would excitedly point it out to him. He would patiently explain why this photo would never work. Too much sun. TOO MUCH SUN! In a RAIN forest! Or too much contrast. TOO much CONTRAST! How can that be a bad thing? I search for contrast in paintings. I strive valiantly to provide texture and interest. It matters little to me that my paintings look nothing like what I am painting. Until today, I believed that I could take a picture with a camera that would look like what my eyes see. I thought that was what cameras were for. Ignorant lass I am. Evidently this is laughably naïve.

As we ambled along the mossy path, I would just as patiently ask him to take a photo anyway. Please. Just for me. To tell the story. He mostly would, but much complaining and sighing ensued. Sometimes he outright refused to take my shots, sniggering quietly to himself about my idiocy.

I tell you, dear reader, ask anyone that knows us. I am incredibly good natured but married to a photography curmudgeon. The sole reason our marriage has survived is that I am such a sweet personage. I am a happy balloon dancing through life, barely tethered to the ground by his cranky scraggly rope. My glass is half full of good red wine. Light and contrast and texture are the staff of life to me. All my skies are blue with puffy clouds. But where would I be if he did not bring me back down to earth? After 34 years, I think I need him to survive.

Today, the photographer tried valiantly to document my world. I think he did a pretty good job. I promised we will come back on a wet and drippy day and I will not ask him to take my pictures and I will make him breakfast.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Camping at Pacific Beach

We had such a good four days at Pacific Beach. It was so beautiful! Peaceful, relaxing, and fun. Our normal routine when we are camping is to get up at 7-8, have a latte (this time we brought our Pasquini espresso machine, never again will we go without it) after Dave takes the dogs out, and then reading, breakfast (Dave usually makes breakfast, but I cut up the potatoes in a fine manner) about 9 or 10, then more reading and another latte. Maybe a trip to town, or in this case a day trip one of the days that I will tell you about later. Then lunch, a walk on the beach, more reading, a sit in the sun, a latte, dinner, more reading, more walking, then sleep.
I read a really good book by Joyce Maynard, The Usual Rules. It was about a 13 year old girl whose mother was in one of the towers on sept 11. I cried in it 3 times or maybe more. On the other hand, one of my go-to-sleep movies was PS I Love You, which I was disappointed by. I did not even cry in that one. I thought it rang false. Everyone I talked to had told me it was good, and I have had it from netflix for 2 months and did not want to watch it and cry, so I kept putting it off. Finally watched it on the laptop, to go to sleep with. It just left me cold.
I read some other books, but that Joyce Maynard one was the best. I'm also finishing up a Peter Mayle, Hotel Pastis which is good too, but not great.
Dave took the pictures, it's our lovely trailer with the million dollar view of the beach that we had for 4 days, and then one of the sunsets.