Sunday, February 20, 2011





surprise party

hair chop

finished eaves and etc.

Wesley's tulips

...better than it was and still so much to do...
We have been having very mild weather here and the jonquils and daffodils are sprouting up everywhere. FEBRUARY!!! That still amazes me even after three years. We are taking the chances when we can to work on painting the outside of the house. Yesterday I was able to finish the fascia board, soffit, and eaves of the front of the house. I felt like I had accomplished so much, and I guess I had, but then I looked at how much further I have yet to go. Do you ever feel that way about anything?
Niel and I threw Wesley a surprise early birthday party on Friday (since his birthday this year fell on the Sabbath). Niel came home early enough from work to be here when Nan and Wesley got off the bus and when the saw the HUGE note I left on the back of the van in the driveway that said "Come to the back yard" they were both met with helium balloons, bubbles, pizza and cake, and of course, presents. Wesley kept asking, "FOR ME?! FOR ME?!" I got him his very own trowel (because last spring he kept trying to plant seeds in the hard mud- to no avail) and I wanted him to have success this spring. So we planted-- sorry, HE planted tulips and hyacinths in the front of the house. He also got a haircut. We had a nice movie night later and THIS morning Nan gave him the present from her: a little hamster. How in love this that little creature he has already fallen! The woman who gave it to us was pretty sure it was a girl so this morning before church I said, "What will you name her?" and while holding it tenderly in his hands he immediately turnrd to Mallie and said, "YOU name her." And Mallie did. She speedily attached to it the same name she graces ALL her little toys and friends and dolls: Sally.

Definitely Six 
Unfortunately though, Sally didn't last very long. The name, not the hamster. For you see, by the time church was over he decided that his hamster should not be a girl, but a boy. "I don't want my hamster to be a girl." He pouts. At lunch I explain that the hamster is definately either a girl or a boy, and that since we cannot really be certain (it is extrememly difficuly and sometimes impossible, to sex a hamster) that he could name it whatever he wanted. He named "him" Roku (pronounced Roe-koo). And there you have it, Wesley is six.  

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I love a good sale

I love a good sale, but this was CrAzY!! Recently, Super Book Store BARNES and NOBLE bought university owned bookstore. All summer the art supplies that would no longer be carried by the new owners were sold at discounted prices. I enjoyed the array aof discounted items including pens, paper, pallets,  Grumbacher pre-tested oil paint, and spent a good deal of money on these great deals.
Today, however was an entirely different story. This is what I bought:
12~ 16 x 20 in. cold press Illustration boards
16~ 32 x 46 in. white mat boards
2~ 50 sheet packs of graphite transfer paper
13~ Beinfang 18 x 24 in. 30 sheet heavy weight drawing paper pads
16~ various prismacolor pincils
14~ size 10 filbert synthetic paint brushes
10~ boxes (12 count ea.) of various gray Primsacolor NUPASTELS And
1~ 50 count pack of 32 x 48 in. heavy vellum

I paid $0.01 for each item, paying a grand total of $0.91. Yes, you read that correctly: ninety-one cents.


Monday, February 14, 2011


For obvious reasons this self-portrait is better than the last. I started and finished this yesterday. And thank you all so much for your wonderful comments. You are all really encouraging to me.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

a starting point

In three weeks I will begin a figure painting class. Words really cannot express how excited I am to be able to take this class, and grateful. I am also extremely grateful for having the unique opportunity to straight from color theory to figure painting. All these new realizations about color relationships will be fresh in my mind as I forge ahead next quarter, and hopefully I will IMPROVE!!!!
So, a small head study of the only figure in my life right now that I can count on to hold still enough ... me.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I painted today for the first time (outside of school) in my new studio. I should like to make up a new word here:  studio-ette  ~n. a very small studio; an almost-too-small studio; the studio belonging to Julie Crews. When Nan turned eight, I just couldn't bear the idea of the boys and girls sharing their bedroom any longer, so I downsized my studio from the space I was taking up in third bedroom/ playroom to a corner in our master bedroom. And so, with a smaller space for the New Year comes a smaller format for my work. For the next while any painting done at home will be done on prepared birch boards approximately 5.5 in. x 3.5 in. I am not used to working quite this small, but I think I am going to like how it lends itself to working quickly. I expect I will get many studies done working like this. Here is the first: