Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holiday is over

All holiday plans got changed here at the last minute but it ended up to be a very nice Christmas. My old dog Buddy got to wear the Santa Suit, and he sported around in it very happily all day. I think it helped keep the chill off his old bones. I baked for a couple days, and kept the house smelling wonderful. Now, I'm back to painting again. I hadn't wanted to start anything new for awhile, knowing how obsessed I get with it. Here is a work in progress and a pic of Buddy and Lulu.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Recent artwork

You can see recent artwork on my other blog:

Tis the season

I've got decorations up, nothing extensive as my living quarters are small. But I sneak in bits of Christmas wherever I can. Mostly I group things on surfaces that the dogs can't reach. I'm not sure what Lulu or Nikki might think is a chewable toy. The poinsettias are at Susanne's house where we had the annual holiday tea for the Mixed Media Artists of Northern California. The steampunk image was taken in the Dicken's Faire Oddities and Curiosities booth.

Dicken's Faire

After more than three decades missing this wonderful event, the family and I made it a point to get there on Saturday. It was my gift for them, instead of buying presents. And what a good time was had by all. They loved the costumes, and the whole atmosphere. It was magical. Here are a few pics from the faire. It was held at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Goodness knows San Franciscans will dress up at the drop of a hat, and they went all out on this. Men, women, children all in such interesting costumes. Maybe we'll dress up for it next time we go. There were long lines waiting to buy tickets to get in, and once inside it was crowded - but it was such a special treat to be there, I could overlook that. I always found a seat to watch the performances. To keep track of each other we used cell phones. I used the phone more there than I have all year. If you have a chance to go to this sometime - I'd recommend it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sheepish apology

For those of you who pop in to check the blog periodically, I apologize for neglecting you. I've had a really busy time lately, as probably most of you are too, with the approaching holidays looming ahead. Baking, shopping, decorating, partying, and trying to use up dental insurance before end of year. Those are my excuses, not in any particular order.

The Mixed media group had the annual Tea yesterday in Sacramento. Tomorrow is Candis' holiday concert, but first I'll be painting at the Senior Center in a.m. and dental appt in afternoon. The whole week looks like that.

The best thing that happened all week is that Amazon delivered the new piece I needed for my computer and my son Matt got it installed this a.m. Now, I should be able to stay online for indefinite periods without the network connection overheating and turning itself off. This makes blogging a lot more fun. I'll be posting more pics of recent work soon. Hope you are enjoying the blessings of the season.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Skydivers - nature art meets digital

Those lovely leaves I picked up the other day started to dry and get crisp. I had been trying to think of a way to make a good image to illustrate the poem "Skydivers" that you can find on an earlier post. I painted little figures on the leaves and glued on little helmeted heads. This one I layered over a picture I took in my back yard.

Yesterday was such a windy day, my whole back garden is covered in these bright yellow birch leaves. It's leaf blowing day! I'll be picking some up to press though, they won't all make it to the dumpster. I remember back in time in Illinois how much fun it was to tend a fire on the street and raking leaves into it. And the neighbors doing the same thing on a crisp day, sometimes in a light drizzle. And drinking cups of hot chocolate with our gloved hands. Our children and their children will never know what a fun time that was. Just the sound of a rake or the smell of leaves burning brings it all back.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bad dog, Lulu.

Lulu has has two episodes of being territorial. One was yesterday at the dog park in the morning where she was repeatedly approached by a very large fluffy black puppy and she did everything she could think of to try to scare him away. He was indifferent to her antics. Today she was on my lap with Nikki and Buddy tried to jump up too, wagging his tail and trying to get me to feed him - and Lulu launched into him. Mostly snarling, growling, and showing teeth and wriggling around frantically. While trying to set her down on the floor she tore up my wrist a bit. Here it is once the blood was washed away. Now, for the Neosporin. This dog needs Prozac!

Birch Tree

The leaves caught the sun on my birch tree today. Here are some pics.

Self Portraits - more of them

The Ovation channel is running a series on photography. They ran several segments last evening and again today during the day. Tonite will be a series of competitions among photographers. I'll be glued to the set. After watching the portrait one last night, I want to grab my camera, but it was bedtime and no one in the house except me - so I shot some quick pics and today I played around with them with PSElements. A little graphic, a little painterly, just for fun.

Thanksgiving is over

I hope you all ate well and had a happy day. I did. I only took a few pics, as I was mostly in the kitchen with hands full, or out wandering in Ray's garden. This is a series of pics of three men, two grandfathers and the grandson trying to figure out how to carve a turkey. I ended up carving the first half, with Zach watching on and doing the rest himself. He was a fast, eager learner. By the way, he is the one that cooked the turkey!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Self Portraits

I came up from the garden and the studio yesterday having bundled up in all kind of things meant to keep me warm, with no thought about how I looked. Thank goodness I didn't have to leave the yard, someone might mistake me for a homeless person. When I caught of glimpse of my self in the closet mirror I had to stop and laugh and then grab the camera. Tim Gunn, don't you say a word!!!! I know better.

Starting an Art Journal

Roberta keeps an art journal, Jackie does too, Sally, Krissi, and now Pat all do - why don't I? I love theirs, they seem so fresh and imaginative. So, I am using a composition notebook that I covered with fabric and am starting from zilch. I found a stack of images I had set aside at one time for the mushroom book that I made, and they had not found their own way into the files, so I thought I'd start by using them up in the journal. My goodness this is fun. No theme, no expectations, no pressure. Just playing around like with a practice altered book, only in this cheapo notebook. While my bread is baking and the soup is stewing away on the stove, it's a nice way to spend some time on a cold day. Here are a couple of pages. They could have been in an altered book just as well. The other photos can be seen here. One of these pictures is a closeup of one section of a page, with a poem I wrote prior to making the Mushroom book. The text of the new poem reads: Let me a silent mushroom be. No words profound will come from me. No songs, no trills, no whistles in the night. Just a silent soul with a cap of white. copyright Janene Ford 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sky Divers - a new poem

Who dressed you in your bright colors?

Who taught you to float on the air?

Who chose this crisp autumn morn,

tapped you on the shoulder and said "Jump!"

to launch you out into space?

Who showed you the way to drift

and pointed you to my back yard?
So I can enjoy your beauty

before I blow you into piles
and bundle you off to the dumpster?

Copyright 2009 Janene Ford

Chicken soup

It's cold outside and starting to rain. I just baked cookies this morning and friends stopped by for a quick visit. Now, it seems like a good pot of chicken noodle soup would make a perfect dinner. This is a pic I took of Cat's soup the other day. Tweaked a bit. Yummmmmm....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Warm sun on a cold day

What are little dogs to do when there's only one sunny spot on the couch? They share. Sort of.

Lodi Small Works Art Show

I took this self portrait on one of my works that is hanging in this show. My friend Roberta manages to take the most interesting self portraits, I thought I'd try one. Can you find me???

Birthday celebration for the Wackos

Pat and Sally both had birthdays this week, so we celebrated them together in San Andreas at Cat's place. We all brought munchables that we ate with Cat's chicken noodle soup. Perfect for a crisp clear Fall day. As always the gifts were much fun, some collaborative works as well as personal gifts. Here's the birthday gals. And here is a little digital manipulation of a photo of the sink after the party.


This is my cozy new Living room, which is in the room that used to be my bedroom. I love how warm and inviting it feels and how it catches the early morning light and also the sunsets.

New painting finished.

I've been finishing up my newest painting/collage and this is the new pic. This is one I started at the Senior Center and finished it there the following week.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I needed a little sketch to work on for my next painting, and today was a good day to start one. Here it is with the color tweaked in PSE.

Saturday - a quiet day

I have a bit of a cold or some kind of bug today so brought all my things home from the Elk's Club Holdiay Faire in Woodbridge, after setting up my space last night. Candis went with me and we whisked everything off the table half an hour before the show was to open, and headed for home. I've been in bed under warm blankets most of the day, but finally warmed up and decided to make some digital art. Here's my piece for the day. I used a photo I took in Hope Valley and added a couple Dover copyright free clip art pieces, and a scan of an egg from a vintage print. It was done for a challenge called "the last harvest" for a mixed media online group.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

DaVinci Revisited takes first in Lodi show

My friend Francis loved this piece when she first saw it and said I should enter it into a show somewhere. It was actually her pushing me that got me started showing my work locally. I didn't go to the awards event last night because I wasn't feeling good yesterday - too much stress from moving the house around, most likely - and the Elks Club boutique looming ahead this weekend. So, I stayed in, but Jean and Francis went. Jean called this a.m. to let me know that it took first place in Mixed Media. One of the things that doesn't really show on the screen is the texture of the piece. I painted and collaged over another painting I didn't like. It was one with a DaVinci image on it originally, so that's why I gave it the title I chose. I'm posting another pic of it here. I'm celebrating another win in another gallery. My advice for you younger artists is - don't wait until you are in your 70's to start showing your work. Get it out there! Who knows? You might just have a masterpiece or two sitting there in your studios.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Senior Center art day

Here's a new piece I started at the Senior Center today. This is the first few layers, later I will sand down through some of them to bring up some of the bottom layers of color which are collaged magazine pics. This has a long way to go.
Someone brought in bags of persimmons to share. Jean found this one with a nose - or is it a little teapot? On the way out I found these beautiful fall leaves, and put them together with my persimmon. Aren't fall colors lovely?
In the afternoon I finished off a batch of the hankie dolls for the Elks Club boutique.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Making art without the mess

Since I've been working so hard cleaning and moving things around - I didn't want to get out any supplies, but felt the need to create something. Photoshop is my friend when this happens. Here's a collage done digitally.

Topsy Turvy

My whole house is topsy turvy today. I'm switching things around room to room. The living room is now on the South, and I'm sleeping there too. It's very cosy and gets all the South facing sun, plus the sunsets from the West. At this time of year when it gets dark so early - the additional hour or so of sun makes a huge difference in my life. At my annual physical last week, the doctor remarked on my suntan. I'm in the sun a lot. Gardening, dog park, walking. All good healthy things. My grandsons did my heavy moving for me yesterday and we have a couple more things to move today. My son took a load of things to the dump from his back yard and things I needed to have go. That was such a help. We moved the BIG table into the old LR, and took apart the pedestal bed to make a banquet for the dogs to sleep in the sun, and for seating at the table. Now I can do huge jigsaw puzzles, large artworks, or feed 8-10 people, or make art with them. How fun this will be. This table pulls out to twice it's size. It's very ingenius. And yet, it is not so heavy that I can't move it a bit for cleaning.

While all this moving was going on, it gave me a chance to do a really good vacuuming of undersides and even inside furniture. I didn't know how much dust had collected there until things moved away from the walls!!! It was awful. No dust bunnies here. Dust elephants and dust dinosaurs, sleeping under dust blankets.

Several Motrin later, and a good night's sleep in the new room, on the new bed - well the day looks bright and I can see the end in sight. Now, to go do it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I just put up some freebies on the altered book blog. Why don't you click over there and see if you can use them in your art.

I also found a link this morning in a clipping from a magazine. It's free image of pattern and directions to make Victorian Paper Doll ornaments. They are really cute. I'm working today on hankie dolls for the Lodi Elks Club holiday boutique, and these are very close to what I'm doing. These are some I did last year.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Art at the Senior Center

Some of my art friends paint at the Senior Center on Monday mornings. for the first time in months, I had time to join them. They have 15 or so people who drop in and work on their own things. Gloria is there to help anyone who needs her expertise. Jean is there working on watercolors, and Francis is working in oils. John and David work in acrylics. I had my collage and acrylics. Most of the others work in acrylics - traditional styles. It's a friendly group, parking is close and more than adequate. The room is a bit small for that size group - but overall I was very favorably impressed. I'll go again whenever I can. I'm not going to the Delta college art classes this semester. Parking adds up to half and hour of driving around hoping to find a spot in walking distance. By the time I find one I am so frustrated and antsy - and then have the long walk carrying art gear. It's just too much trouble. I'm glad this other option is open. Another week I'll go to the other Senior Center and check out their space and facilities. In the meantime I have a new local place to hang out and make art. This piece is done now - please pardon the lighting, it's in the frame behind glass now.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

New painting in the works

Cat brought some old Mechanics Illustrated magazines from the 1950's to Nancy's and some of us took some to work with. This is my first piece, in which I used the hand from another painting I disassembled. It's not done yet, but I want to see how it looks on screen.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Candis had here party here last night, with karioke and cake and kids. Today I partied at Nancy's with the Wackos. Tonite was party time downstairs with kids old friends and all the trick or treaters. I babysat their dogs during the festivities, which included people sitting in the "electric chair" for a shockingly good time! And costumes and trick or treat, etc. a fun time of year. Here are a few pics.