Monday, April 30, 2012

Open your heart to beauty

Sunday, May 16, 2010

In the Pink – oil painting

My most recent oil painting drying in the kitchen. I didn’t name the painting ‘in the pink’, although it does have pink tones in the sky and water. But sitting on my pink formica table with chrome pink chairs, ‘in the pink’ seems to fit for this photograph. The oversized Ball blue mason jars in the background were a find from antique shop a week earlier. The card is artwork note card my stepdaughter created and send me for Mother’s Day.


Monday, May 25, 2009

I created 5 new paintings in a day. I was really into it that day. Two oils and three acrylics. Trying acrylics was new for me, see the post below.

Here is one of the oil paintings, and you can see the paint is so much more vivid.

Trying Acrylics - 3 New Acrylic Paintings

Trying my hand at acrylics. Reason; well oil painting can be rather toxic from what I hear and read, and you know, I'm just getting along in years and not too anxious to gunk up my lungs and system. I also have read that Bob Ross designed his wet on wet paints and thinner not to be toxic, so maybe I'm safe to continue using those products. Adapting the wet on wet technique of oil painting to acrylic paints, which dry quickly and less the medium of the oil which permits the paint to blend and stick to paints already on the canvas. I'm at a disadvantage.

Three acrylics, and I really do not have the 'art' of photographing my paintings, so pardon my amateurish photography. Early efforts with acrylics;

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Two new oil paintings - just finished and still Wet! Unoriginal title of 'Cabin by the Lake'

After a too long time away from my paints, brushes, and the messy operation that is oil painting, yesterday I completed two paintings! The paintings I've accomplished grow fewer and fewer over the years since 2006. Lots of reasons why, but I hope this change in momentum means 'I'm Back'!

I sought out the old painting clothes and found I've outgrown them (that means I weigh more now than I did when last I wore them). Time to set aside another set of painting attire, in larger size.

Painted this scene in 16 x 20 size. And then painted the scene again in 11 x 14 size, although it has variables from the larger size, making both 'originals'.
I took photo of the larger size and the paint is still Wet!

The house just doesn't have much accommodation room for paintings to dry. There is the cat who can jump up anywhere, so the paintings need to be in a room with a door that closes. And as I looked around the house, I see we don't have many 'roooms' that have doors that close. Then there is the odor of oil painting that can permeate the air. If I'm going to paint frequently, I need to figure out the logistics for these challenges.

So we put the Wet Painting on top of a wardrobe (a place the cat has not yet figured out how to climb) and I snapped a few photos ... not very good photos due to the angle of looking up at the painting, and the paint is still ..... well Wet!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Beginnings - budding artist

During a particularly difficult healing period of my adult life, in 1993-1994 I decided I would 'take an oil painting class' just because it was time to add a specific and singularly creative outlet to my life.  Well that precious little first painting came out quite nicely - mountains, trees, pathway - and had all the appearance of a first effort.  Proud and untroubled, I threw myself into learning and painting, happily finding the new world of painting that so gratifies painters and artists.  

The method I was being taught though was to use transfer patterns and then paint the transferred pattern, creating a finished painting.  Somehow, that felt like cheating to me, and I didn't know how to draw so I was rather constrained to using the patterns in art workshop books.  But that was okay, because my new efforts produced paintings that didn't much look like the ones in the workbooks.  There was all the usual newbie kinds of mistakes, but there was also something in the paintings that said more than new kid making mistakes.

                             'Gazebo' painting by Lietta Ruger 1994 




















'A Serene Place' painting by Lietta Ruger in 1994. (Reserved to be given to granddaughter at her request when she graduates)

About the same time, I bumped into Bob Ross on PBS showing us how to paint without a template pattern.  Now that is what I wanted to be able to do!   And like so many others who were influenced by Bob Ross, a student of Bill Alexander, I came to believe that maybe I could paint less the transfer pattern.  

Ah, but being such a novice to the world of oil painting, I did not even realize that he was using a specific technique - the wet on wet.  Not recognizing that important element, I set about painting dry on dry........but using the wet on wet method.  Needless to say I turned out some interesting early paintings.  I was continually frustrated that I couldn't get my paintings to look much at all like the Bob Ross paintings in his workbooks.   Duh.........   wet on wet means wet on wet, and my only exposure thus far had been dry painting using transfer patterns.








'Deep Mountain Path' painting by Lietta Ruger in 1996

After a few years, and I had more $$ to invest in purchasing Bob Ross materials, it gradually dawned on me that he was teaching a technique and I was trying to paint without using the fundamental wet base on which to then overpaint. Once I realized and had the products, then I began to see my finished paintings taking on some resemblance of the Bob Ross paintings in the workbooks.  Even so, I was an undisciplined student, and once involved in the painting, had little patience for exactly repeating the steps being shown by the instructor.  I have not yet turned out a finished painting that replicates the workbook paintings.   I guess that gives my paintings some originality and since I really don't know what I'm doing, I have permission to not know what I'm doing.  

Mistakes abound, but I am starting to 'get it' that I don't know what I need to know, and yet have some finished paintings that people compliment - I mean complement with meaning and not just 'polite' compliments.  I'm the one who doesn't take their complements seriously, and maybe it's time I started listening, eh?.  






'Lonely Tree'oil painting, wet on wet by Lietta Ruger, painted 1997 (I painted this three times on 12 x 16 size canvas, and on smaller 8 x 11 size canvas. the 12 x 16 and one of the 8 x 11 were given as gifts)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Goodbye Google Notebook

Well, I used my Google Notebook pretty extensively.  Today I read that Google is not going to further develop Notebook, and suggests other products.   Too bad, because I liked Notebook.  Quick, easy, and a nifty way to organize loose ends until I could put into my own organizational system.   Interestingly, we just purchased Microsoft Office One Note 2007.   A trial use version had been installed on my laptop and I was messing around with it one day and decided I really liked it.  After so many uses though, since it was ‘trial’, it stopped functioning.  I liked it better than the Google Notebook I was using which is free and we really don’t like the concept of having to purchase products from Microsoft, but I was pretty sold on the Office One Note so we did buy it.   Guess that turns out to be fortuitous, because Google Notebook is choosing to stop development on their great product.  I’ll get to keep what I already have, but won’t be able to add to it or expand it’s use beyond what I already saved and organized.   Still, based on all the comments of disappointment shown at the Google announcement, perhaps they will change their minds and keep the Notebook feature.


Google Killing Dodgeball, Notebook and Other Underperforming Products   which I ran across this morning  at Truemors cued me in. 


Then I go to Google to read it for myself  Stopping development on Google Notebook

where I read through the comments which offered suggestions for alternatives;

Suggestions at the comments include;

Zotero - (a Firefox extension to download) 

Scrapbook - (a Firefox add-on to download)



And of course, while no one suggested it, we bought Office One Note from Microsoft, which we already like very well, so not sure we need another online note organizing thingamabob.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Craftivism, what is it? Where did it come from? Who thought that one up?

Well, whewww, someone put it together – activism + craft = craftivism.  That works for me! 


Because it is possible to go beyond banners, email petitions and chants as ways of fighting for a cause you believe in. You could have a knit-in, papier-mache puppets, teach a crafty class for kids- all ways of turning that energy into a more positive, more useful, force. Atrocities are happening in our front yards and on our televisions and we need to find ways to react against what is happening without either giving up or exploding.

This is less about mass action or more about realizing what you can do to makes things around you better.

Read more - link here   -, created by Betsy Greer, who advanced ‘craftivism’ as a Masters thesis.    Now she’s talking, no, excuse me, now she’s crafting --- with a message!   

Gives me that elusive concept that I have been struggling with for over a year now.  How can I go from 5 years of intense and passionate activism to end the Iraq war to dabbling in exploration of hobby crafts – how are those two things congruent at all?   Looks like maybe there is a common thread, after all.  

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday Gatherings are Gaily Wrapped Gifts

Lovely holiday luncheon yesterday.  Dear Lady put on a sit-down holiday luncheon for about 20 women in our community.  If  it had been 1950, the luncheon might have looked like women wearing shirt-dresses with petticoats to make them flounce, hats and gloves, and a fashionable purse.   But it isn’t 1950, and that is not what the women looked like at our luncheon yesterday.  Although, our dear hostess, bless her heart, had a gift for each of us at the close of the luncheon --- individual hand-sewn aprons that she had been making since the previous summer.  She made them specifically to gift to each of us at her holiday luncheon.


I would share photos, but I haven’t obtained permissions from the women, so in respect for their privacy, if I have photos that don’t reveal faces, I’ll post those later. 


I’m just tickled with the holiday festivities this year right here within our small little village.  Open house party, holiday luncheon, church potluck, Women’s Club potluck coming up next week, annual Christmas play put on by the children, Open house party on New Year’s Eve, chili dinner – bring breads later in January.  Perhaps these gatherings have been the norm here for several years, but I’m just entering into all the festive fun this year, so it’s all new to me.  And as such, it’s like opening a lot of gaily wrapped presents, different in form and shape.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates

Playing around with the templates to my blogger blogs and I ran across this gift from this blogger, some fresh new 3 column templates to use.  I liked what I saw and immediately began changing the templates on several of my blogs.   You can play around with your templates too --- visit her site .   Oh and a little bonus, she has added many holiday templates