25 Random Things

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

My friend Robayre tagged me in Facebook and I thought I'd share this with my Blogger friends:

1. My brothers and I dug up an Indian grave in the pasture next to our house on Hawthorne Lane.
2. My grandfather still calls me "Princess"
3. I read the bible almost every day and find that it has relevance in my life especially in times I need reassurance or comfort
4. I enjoy the writings of Thich Naht Han
5. When I was in 4th grade I punched a bully who was picking on my older brother and gave him a bloody nose
6. Door County is my favorite place in the world
7. Trying to be a good person is my driving life-philosophy
8. It frustrates me that I am so stubborn and quick-tempered
9. I wish that I could feel more comfortable in my own skin around people
10. I've moved 15 times in my 41 years
11. I dated 3 other people prior to meeting and marrying my husband of 18 years
12. I seriously considered becoming a Roman Catholic nun before deciding my vocation would be to raise a family
13. One of my first jobs was to count and package worms at a local bait shop
14. My favorite ice cream is Breyer's Natural Vanilla
15. One of my greatest fears is growing old and being alone
16. I've seen a full body apparition ghost
17. My deepest desire is to have security and harmony in my life
18. I voted for a presidential candidate for the first time in the 2008 election
19. My retirement goal is to be able to do art full-time and earn a living from it
20. I was named after a wealthy woman's daughter who my mother babysat as a teenager and my father's sister
21. In grade school I was in all the accelerated classes - until I moved to Shabbona and they tested me to see if I should be placed in special ed - they didn't
22. I reached my full height in 5th grade
23. I was in the 1985 Miss T.E.E.N. pageant- Illinois
24. I'm listed as a Who's Who of American College Students, graduated Cum Laud from Community College, was in the University Honor's Program, but never graduated with a 4 year degree
25. In my college dorm room, my roommates and I had a dwarf rabbit (Nike), two hermit crabs (George and Gracie), fantail goldfish, and a hamster (Pepperoni). No pets were allowed.


Artist: Ian Phillips

Groynes at Borth Beach
Image size: 535mm x 400mm
Printmaker: Ian Phillips

I just came across printmaker Ian Phillips and am in awe. Look at how he is using gradients in the block. The right half of the print is atmospheric while the stones are hard and heavy. The two stones on the beach are just enough to draw the eye back into the composition. He gives a terrific linocut tutitorial on his website where I learned quite a bit. If I had a millions dollars, I would purchase a print, but I don't. So, I will have to admire from afar.


What a great, productive weekend!

My last post made me sound just pathetic. "Ohhh, look at me... my name is Erin and I have just too much to do..." I just felt a bit overwhelmed. Now things are back in order.

On Saturday I finally go the hang of the Call for Entryaka "Cafe" submission process just in time to apply for the National Woman's Works Show. Today I went out and purchased my long-time dream of owning a soldering set up for jewelry. I'm planning on using it to bezel set all the fused glass I made a few weeks back. That is going to be fun! I completed a linocut called "Robin's Nest" and placed the first print in my Etsy Shop. I made a few prints using two different blocks. I have the official application and everything ready for the Art-o-Mat. That package will be mailed tomorrow. So, it has been a very productive weekend despite being sick. YAY!


New Look!

I finally took the time to coordinate my online presence. Now my Flickr, Etsy shop, blog and facebook all have the same look and feel. I also think the style shows my personality better. I've added links on the right hand side to showcase more of my favorite inspirational artists. Check them out if you have time. Their work is gorgeous!

Today I'm sending in my protype for the Art-O-Mat to see if it is accepted. I just filled out an interview for Printsy: The Printmakers of Etsy that is due to post sometime in February or March. Deadlines for the Women's Works 2009 show in Woodstock, Illinois and theVenus Envy show in the Quad Cities are fast approaching. There is also a KVAL Show at the Egyptian Theatre to prepare for and a KVAL group show at The Next Picture Show Gallery in Dixon, Illinois. Also, I have a new print I'm working on based on a photographic documentary that I did last Spring called A Bird's Life. There is fused glass to bezel set in copper...

There is so much to do and yet I haven't actually finished anything. It is all a work in progress. I have to be very careful not to overwhelm myself. Tomorrow and Monday I'll be working hard to complete at least one of these projects. It's time to stop taking on new ideas a focus on one thing at a time.


I'm a winner

I entered a contest at ResurrectionFern's blog. The blog was recommended to me by my friend Robyn Wells because she knows I use nature as references in my artwork as well. ResurrectionFern crochets something using nature as her inspiration and then challenges her readers to figure out what the inspirational item was. I didn't guess correctly, but she liked my answer. Now she will be sending me one of her pieces are artwork! How cool is that?!? If you haven't read ResurrectionFern, take the time to check it out. She is very down to earth and creative. (the photo is from her website)


My new glasses

My new glasses, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

They are on order at the optometrist's office. I went for my appointment thinking my vision was just fine. Apparently they did get worse, yet again. You know when you can't see the large E at the top of the chart without your glasses? Well, that was where I started. Now it's even worse than that! AND he suggested that I get bi-focals. SERIOUSLY?!? BI-FOCALS!?! I couldn't make myself get them. I'll just keep holding things farther away ultil my arms don't reach. It's always fun getting new glasses though.

Fused Glass II

Fused Glass II, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

Here is the glass before fusing. Now they are their own tiny gems. Pick your favorite out now! They will be made into pendants and will be completed by the end of the month for sale in my shop. The link is available in my profile. In this batch I used tiny dichroic bits along with sepia birds.

How can I feel so down because I believe I will never have the ability to create artwork again, then *poof* a conversation or something I see sparks just enough to ignite an explosion of activity! I love riding this natural high. I hope it will keep on going a good long time.


Art-O-Mat Box Concept

Art-O-Mat Box proof, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

Ta-Da! Here is the prototype for my Art-O-Mat box. I'm getting excited now!


Art-O-Mat Nameplate

Art-o-Mat Nameplate, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

This is the nameplate I'll be submitting to Clark with Art-o-Mat as part of my application. It's based on this vintage sci-fi poster starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. I just liked the retro look and colors... and maybe my prints are just that scary! Naw... just kidding. If you haven't heard of the Art-O-Mat, it's worth checking out! Basically it is a refurbished cigarette machine that has been cleaned up and cool-i-fied and made to vend minature works of original art. Cross your fingers and wish me luck that I'll be accepted. I'm planning on sending in 100 right away with more to follow!

Three Raccoons Dancing on My Roof

Three Raccoons Dancing on My Roof, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

The linocut print was inspired by my nightly encounter with these guys. and is in my Etsy shop .

Hand pulled linocut A/P, signed & dated.

Black waterbased ink on Japanese Kitakata paper, which is a natural off-white color and has a subtle stripe due to the paper making process. The edges are deckeled.

Print Size: 3" high s 8" wide
Paper size: 6" high x 9" wide

This print depicts the little rascals that dance on my roof at night - keeping me awake. These pranksters each has a personality all their own. This is an artist's proof showing my progress as I cut the linoleum block. It is hand barrened and hand pulled and is completely original work of art.


Fused Glass prior to the kiln

Fused Glass prior to the kiln, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

fused another batch of glass today! This is just too much fun. While Elle and I were making our pieces we rocked out to Billy Idol, Go-go girls, Devo, Boy George, and other 80's greats. I can't wait for these pieces to be finished. This time I'm using bits of dichroic glass for impact. All of these are going in my shop this week. Stay tuned!


Illustration Friday: Resolve

“True courage is not the brutal force of vulgar heroes, but the firm resolve of virtue and reason.” ~ Alfred North Whitehead

This week's Illustration Friday word is "Resolve." So, of course, I started thinking of new year's resolutions. If someone asked me if I was for or agin' those resolutions, I'd have to say agin'.

Having a starting line like a new year can be refreshing emotionally, but having a starting line means there is a finish line. If a person really wants to change bad habits or start good ones, it means changing one’s lifestyle, not just paying lip service. I guess the difference is between the noun, a thing, called resolution and the verb to resolve which requires action.

New Year's resolutions can be a form of procrastination. Don't wait until the new year, start today, now! Don't just pay lip service to wanting to change, dive right in wherever you’re at. A person who resolves to go on a diet might say to themselves, "This is my last bite of X, before I start dieting." This puts the focus on denying themselves instead of focusing on how much healthier they would be or how much better they would feel.

In researching the word “resolve,” I came across the quote at the top. I asked myself what is resolve. Is it a promise to one’s self? A promise to God? A belief that is lived out? A feeling? A guiding reason for a person’s existence? What is resolve? The quote uses the words “firm resolve.” Who in this age has that undeniable, unchanging, steadfast belief that they are right?

There are so many shades of grey. It is so easy to have personal beliefs swayed like grains of wheat blowing in the wind. I want to have security in my life. I want to have my foundation built rock. More importantly, I wish I could be that rock foundation for others in my life: my son, my husband, my friends. I wish I would be that person who people could count on to always do the right thing or to know what the right thing to do is.

That type of resolution isn’t so easily decided upon. It is a lifelong learning process. It isn’t the same type of resolution as, say, to exercise more. The Bible says, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” Romans 1:21-23. Meaning that as soon as you think yourself as wise, (ie finished learning) you become a fool.

So, I guess I resolve - my continuing resolve- is to be the type of person I know in my heart I should be: good, caring, responsible, loving, hard-working, positive, thoughtful, self-disciplined, prayerful, humble, child-like - basically to do good in the world through the small, seemingly insignificant, decisions I make everyday.

I don't mean perfection, it means trying my best. Some days "my best" is better than others.