Sunday, June 17, 2012

A True Mixed Bag

This post is truly a mixed bag. I did purchase some paper that is recommended for pastel, as I decided not to wait until September. (Why did I think that I had to wait?) The piece is a 40 minute figure drawing that I did in Friday's class.

Onward to a quilt block. I have wanted to do a kaleidoscope piece for a long time and finally found the courage as I have a art quilt that I'm making. This idea comes from Paula Nadelstern's fantastic pieces which are highlighted in two books that I have by her: Kaleidoscope Quilts and Kaleidoscope Quilts The Workbook. While reading her text, she is generous about not perfect seams, they may come with practice. After I finished this piece, I realized that it's to big for the specific project that I'm working on. Yes, it will be used in another quilt.

Last is a real off the wall piece. One day when we were golfing with our friends, I picked up a broken tee and said that there must be an art piece waiting to happen. We have a larger piece in mind, but I had to see how it would work. I first painted the 6x6" canvas with acrylic paint (several layers, of course) and then glued the tees. When I was finished I coated the tees with a medium gloss as an extra coat of glue. This piece was finished inside my cool house, as it was 105 degrees yesterday.

Oh gee! there are so many more projects to try!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Figure drawing

There are only two more weeks of figure drawing before we break for the summer. I will miss the sessions on Friday mornings.
Again, I tend to use pastel pencils and next year I am treating myself to better paper.

After a weekend with winds up to 25 mph, all is quiet and temperatures will be in the 90's this week. Maybe I'll find something "cool" to draw.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Working at the polls

There are no pictures for this post. I'm just sharing my experience of working at the polls in California for the first time in my life. What an eye opener! In preparation, my husband and I, had to either take a 2 1/2 hour class or take instruction via the computer and then take a one hour class. The big day arrived and we got up around 4:30 a.m. in order to arrive at 6 a.m. for our shift that was to last until 10 p.m. There is a stipend for this 17 hour day which works out to $7.35 an hour. Not sure where I'll spend the money. There were 5 of us and we learned that the other three had done most of the set up. That was nice. There are special colored coded keys and an exact process to turning on the machines.

We each had an assigned position: find the registered voter on the list and have them sign, cross off their name from the street registry, hand out the ballots, trouble shoot and help people place the ballot in the scanner. Well, I chose the easy job of crossing off the street addresses and I was sure glad. First, even though it is posted on their sample ballots, people went to the wrong polling places and they weren't happy. A few were not registered. Some had Vote By Mail by their name and claimed to have never received their ballot. We somehow settled these problems. Oh, by the way, our California ballots are now published in three languages, English, Spanish and Chinese. After seeing my station, people went to my husband who was giving out the ballot that was printed on two pages. Since it's a primary, each party had their own ballot: Republican, Democrat, American Independent, Non Partisan, Green, Peace and Freedom, and Democrat non partisan. I hope that I have them all listed! The forms filled two long tables, plus a short table. Once the correct ballots were found, they were placed in a secrecy folder and handed to the voter.

Almost everyone handled the voting easily. But, some miss marked the ballot and had to have a replacement. All ballots, good or bad, had to be tracked. Once the voters selection was made, they proceeded to the electronic scanner and, with instruction, were told to place each of the two pages into the machine with the clipped corner on the right. Of course, many had the pages flipped or upside down. The machine would beep if things were not right. But, in the end, the count was accurate and all was well. Another aspect was that you can now vote by mail. I have no idea how many sent their ballots in, but 53% of the voters are registered to do that. IF you did not send it in, you could drop the sealed envelope in a ballot box. The polls closed at eight. All the voting booths which included a special electronic booth for the disabled, had to be broken down and placed in containers. All the ballots had to be sorted by "A" or "B" and counted. Oh glory, the number was right. There were plastic sleeves for the various small equipment and forms to be filled out.

We finished by 10 p.m. and were quite pleased by that time span. The chief Inspector and her husband carried the ballots to a central office. One person had to literally hold the ballots on their lap to guard them. We do care about your vote.

I only post this story so that you will thank all the workers who make the privilege of voting a reality. Many have done it for years, this was only once for us. So, the polling places are set up--let these efforts not be wasted, please vote in the next election!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pastel Pencil Portrait

After a busy schedule, I was able to relax and challenge myself to drawing portraits from photos found in a magazine. Golly, I was pleased with this pastel pencil piece. I finally feel that I'm beginning to grasp the study of the figure (a lifelong project!).