Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fabulous example of an artist's process (ZenPencils' Gavin Aung Than)

Today's email brought a missive from ZenPencils which is currently tied with xkcd as my favorite online comic.  As part of a promotion for Gav's upcoming book, he's having a drawing for some of his original ink art.  The catch?  You have to preorder the new book to be eligible.  Fortunately, my husband has already taken care of that petty detail so we're good.

While I was thrilled to have the chance to get some great free art, I was also so pleased that in the blog post about it, Gav showed the development of one piece from a conceptual sketch through refined pencil and ink drawings to the final color piece.  I find it validating to know that other artists start with the same rough idea and then do it again and again, refining as they go.  So thanks, Gav!

See the promotion and the art process here.  And let me just say, I love his work so if these images look interesting to you, you might check it out further.  And I find his story of developing his business inspirational as well.  Also, he's here in Seattle on Monday, October 19 at Third Place Books at 7pm.  RSVP at the FB page.

Here are his in  process pictures:

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Amazing art show ending soon at Seattle Asian Art Museum

If you have not yet seen the Chiho Aoshima show at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, go!  Must see!
Fabulous art and amazing large scale animation thru the end of the month.

And this lifted from the SAM newsletter (as is the photo above):

FRI SEP 25, 5:30–9 PM
Don’t miss the chance to see Chiho Aoshima: Rebirth of the World one last time before it closes with an evening of conversation, refreshments, and more. Getty curator Frances Terpak shares visions of the past in early Chinese photo albums, while Japanese pop culture expert Sharalyn Orbaugh talks about Aoshima's futuristic visions and gender in Superflat Japan.

I'll be out of town taking a Karuna Reiki class so I will miss the Friday evening event but really, this was an amazing exhibit and I will likely go see it again before it ends Oct 4.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

October Fiber Art show in Redmond

I'm pleased to be one of the featured artists with this show and regret that I will be unable to attend the opening reception but I hope you will if you are in the neighborhood.   I will be at the Oct 11 meet the artist event so if you have questions about how I do what I do,  come and chat.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Post Knee Replacement Physical Activity

This is going here so I can find it easily.  I had my knee replacement in February of 2011 and my memory about what the surgeon said about physical activity after recovery has grown a little dim.  Probably not helped by having 2 back surgeries in the meantime.  So I googled and found the following recommendations on  So, bicycling, swimming, hiking, ballroom dancing, bowling, go for it.  Okay but be careful: scuba diving, skating, skiing.  No way, no how: parachuting, rock climbing.  Darn, those last 2 were on my bucket list.  Oh well....

Recommended Activities

Cycling is an excellent aerobic workout.Calisthenics, swimming, low-resistance rowing, stationary skiing machines, walking, hiking, and low-resistance weight lifting all are excellent ways to maintain fitness without overstressing the implant.

Suitable activities include bowling, croquet, golf, doubles tennis, table tennis, ballroom dancing and square dancing.

Other activities that are suitable but slightly more risky include downhill skiing, scuba diving, in-line skating, ice skating, softball, volleyball, speed walking, horseback riding, hunting and low-impact aerobics.

Discouraged Activities

In general, patients who have undergone total knee replacement should avoid high-impact activities that cause high stress loads on the implant and therefore may increase the risk of early failure.

Activities to avoid include baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, high-impact aerobics, gymnastics, jogging, power lifting , rock climbing, hang gliding, and parachuting.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Audubon & the Pope agree - make a bird friendly garden!

This just in from the Audubon society, because that's something any of us can do to help with the climate issues.  And really, wouldn't it be better to have fewer chemicals and more birds in your yard?

 I particularly liked the stats at the end, quoted below:

532: Varieties of butterflies and moths supported by
 native oak trees. Vs. 5: Butterfly and moth species 
supported by non-native ginkgo trees.
96: Percentage of land birds that rely on insects 
to feed chicks.
1,200: Number of crops that depend on pollinators 
to grow.
40 million: Acres of lawn in U.S. currently.
80 million: Pounds of pesticides applied to lawns 
in the U.S. annually. Native plants, on the other hand, 
support a balance of predator and prey and thrive 
without pesticides.
800 million: Gallons of gas used annually by 
lawn mowers. This produces significant amounts of 
C02 and other greenhouse gases driving climate change.

So change out those lawns!  Bring back the birds and the bees and we'll all be happier.  The Pope said so...

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Gardening for the birds

A couple of things have crossed my path this week on Facebook.  One is this review of Jane Goodall's new book,  Seeds of Hope.  I really like her analogy of the yard as a gas station for migrating birds.  Read an excerpt here.

More specifically for us in the Pacific Northwest, there's Living with Wildlife and Landscaping for Wildlife which can be found at .  I used the Landscaping one to learn about which plants to use when I first started birding.  Very informative and not a bad gardening book, either.

The living page on the wdfw website is particularly useful in giving info about wildlife and what to do about it.  I used it to identify an unknown animal I saw in my backyard.  Turned out to be a Mountain Beaver, a totally new animal for me.  So now, it's my go-to page for learning about Washington wildlife.

Monday, April 27, 2015

More electric things to commute with - what fun!

Today's email brought a review from Slate about electric scooters, and by this they mean the ones you stand up on not the ones like a bike.   Actually, they cover various electric vehicles ways to make that last mile or two from the subway/train on your commute.  Including the Solowheel I mentioned last time.  There are spiffy pictures and the reviews give price, convenience, portability and doofus factor ratings so pretty comprehensive reviews, imho.  Read all about it here.  I am now seriously contemplating the EcoReco scooter.  It seems to hit my sweet spot of portability, ease of use and price.

This picture is from the EcoReco website showing their blazing red color combo.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Solowheel - a Seguelike unicycle

My email this morning had this link from Grist about a staffer trying out the Solowheel.  Go see the video here.  This seems fun and compared to an electric bike price, very reasonable in cost.  I'd just want to know how to stop it before I bought one since the staffer seemed to have trouble with that issue.  Jumping off does work but, like on a bike, that's not always the safest way to dismount.

The Solowheel is local to Seattle and there are other, less expensive alternatives.  Here's a second look at one of those, the Airwheel.

Guess it's time to sell the electric scooter that has the same range but weighs over 200 lbs...

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Lake Samm birdwalk - warblers, swallows, and much, much more!

In anticipation of a day spent working on the taxes, I went birding this morning at Lake Sammamish State Park because it's April and I haven't seen any warblers yet.  Fortunately, the birding luck was with me and there were plenty of warblers.  Along with a feisty golden-crowned kinglet, several mergansers, lots and lots of swallows dipping gracefully over the kayak students on the lake, and a lovely photogenic gull who was not sure about posing for me.  I got this shot when he decided he'd had enough of the crazy birder lady with the camera.

It's nice to be back out on the birding trail.   I'm looking forward to many more days enjoying the wonderful connection with nature that I get watching the birds.  After the taxes.... *sigh*

Friday, March 27, 2015

Bunnies!!! (delightful kidlit) by Kevan Atteberry (fab local artist)

I wanted to review this book the day after Kevan Atteberry spoke to my kidlit class last fall.  But, I was planning on buying a copy as a gift and didn't want to spoil the surprise.  And the book didn't come out until late January.  So, now it's mid-March, and I'm well on the way to recovery from my spine surgery, so here it is.

Fabulous! Evocative art!  Bunnies!!!!  

That's the executive summary.  In more detail, this is a wonderful picture book that shows a little monster exploring the woods.  With minimal language (I believe it's 47 words, most of them "Bunnies!") and expressive and colorful art, this lovely story captures that sense of wonder that toddlers have in abundance and can be so much fun to share.  Joyful and fun, a great way to end the day with your own little monster.

Here's the youtube trailer that captures some of the fun.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Renewable energy costs dropping fast

It's part of our long term plan to put solar panels on our house, eventually and likely within 5 years.  As winter weather gets stormier here, leading to more toppling trees and downed power lines, having some kind of alternative energy source seems like a good idea.  Interestingly, today's email brought this link from Grist about comparative energy costs and how oil is increasingly non-competitive, even on price.

Check it out here:  I particularly like their photoshopped illo...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

2014 in review - the year life hit me with a tsunami

I like to look back over the year at the end and see what I accomplished.  This helps me plan the next year and see where I am in meeting my goals and evaluating if I want to keep those goals.  Normally this looks a lot like a list of what I did and then some talk about how I feel about it.  But last year was especially challenging so some of the talk will come first, then the list of accomplishments (which will be numbered).  Health challenges dominated the year so that comes first.

Some background:  I had back surgery in August of 2013, followed by my daughter's wedding in September and a bout of pneumonia in October/November.  With bronchitis in December.  So, I started 2014 feeling totally depleted but hopeful that my health problems related to my back would improve significantly.

I did about 3-4 months of regular acupuncture/NAET treatments which significantly relieved my feeling of depletion and gave me back several foods that I had missed.  Scallops and chicken top the list.

I started using a fitbit to measure my steps per day.  I got it for Christmas, and in January I was at about 4000 steps.  I got up to 7-8000 fairly easily, had to work harder to make it  to the 10000 mark but did that by April.  Then health problems started interfering again.

Back pain/issues started again in May/June causing me to reduce my studio time, walk less, and basically slow down everything.  Things got worse in July with multiple bouts of flu and more pain.

I withdrew from my shared studio in August as pain levels got worse and the commute became very difficult.  The physical strain of lifting and moving my studio stuff back to my house led to severe back/leg pain which had me working less than half time from September on.  And that's about when I stopped inventorying my work regularly.

My leg/back pain got worse leading to doctor visits, PT and finally, in early December, a visit with my back surgeon again.  We discussed the options and I was scheduled for a spinal fusion in early January.  I am now 2 weeks past the surgery and very optimistic that the problem is as solved as possible.

In and around the pain and the treatments, I accomplished the following in 2014:

1.  Finished 6 new pieces.

2.  Sold at least 3 pieces from previous years' work.  Haven't done my taxes yet so not sure of the exact number.

3.  Experimented with rubbings made from a stump at Larsen Lake, my favorite local walking spot.  I liked the results so much that I got 2 small stump pieces from a neighbor to use in future rubbings.

4.  Did copyediting on a novel for a friend as part of my husband learning how to publish ebooks.

5.  Played with doing shibori dyeing in the wet studio at home.  Mostly doing scarves which I sell at 2 local shops.

6.  Sold over a dozen scarves.

7.  Starting experimenting with doing fabric origami and more sculptural techniques in my pieces.

8.  Started planning classes or workshops to do locally or online depending on what my health allows.

9.  Cleared out part of my son's stuff in the garage, doing the last bits of having the last kid leave the nest.

10.  Made 6 large pillow covers for my daughter.

11.  Started on instagram as lizcopeland-artist.

12.  Took a class at Kirkland Arts Center in writing/illustrating children's books as a possible creative path if health problems mandate.

13.  Discovered several wonderful children's book authors and that I really love Bad Kitty.

14.  Sorted out studio supplies and let go of several bags of supplies in my ongoing attempt to focus my energy and time.

15.  Had a monthly massage which helped keep me going through the pain.  Bless you, Marlene!  As part of making this list, I realized I've been seeing my massage therapist for over 10 years now.

16.  Went on the annual Seamsters Retreat at Seabeck without my sewing machine.  The first time I haven't sewn while there.  Instead, I did sketching for the kidlit class and fabric origami experiments.
17.  Read at least 6 books about cartooning and drawing for kidlit books.

18.  Watched multiple art DVDs.  From Jane Dunnewold, Design & Print your own fabric to Eric Carle's bio and studio practice, all were useful and informative and helped me think about what I really need to be doing and what accomodations are possible if needed.

19.  Read dozens and dozens of books as I sat on heating pads.  I've discovered several new urban fantasy authors.

20.  Learned anew how fabulous my husband is in his unflagging emotional and physical support.

21.  Took two reiki classes in advanced techniques.  Continued giving myself reiki while meditating.

22.  Meditated regularly even if not quite daily.  It really does help.

I'm sure there were more achievements but I also lost my worklog when my ipad decided to delete all my notes and I hadn't yet set up icloud backup.  *sigh*  That's been fixed.

Here's to 2015 seeing my explorations and fermentation of ideas come to fruition.  And may we all have a healthy and happy year!