Sunday, October 11, 2009

Graphite Drawing

Old Wheelbarrow
By: Lori Talbert

For some reason I have a fascination with old farm tools and machinery. Whenever I have a chance I take a photo or if I see a good reference photo I save it for future use. I found this photo on Morguefile where you can get royalty free photos. I pulled it out the other day and created this graphite drawing of it. It is 5x7 (the subject didn't seem to warrant a larger size to me) on smooth bristol board and I matted it. It took around 5 1/2 hours total to complete. It was fun to do and good practice for some future projects I have in mind. Just trying to get back to drawing and creating again after a summer spent not doing much art.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Monthly Sketch Project

By: Lori Talbert
There is a blog called Monthly Sketch Project and reference pictures are posted each month for artists to use. The idea is to see how each artist represents the reference picture. The different ideas and mediums that are used.

One of the reference pics for October was this photo Apples by Leslie and above is my work from that picture. It is soft pastel pencils, 5x7 inches on Vellum Bristol Board.
I haven't worked that much with pastel pencils and usually work in graphite or colored pencils. One of the things I liked about the pastel pencils was the ease of application. This work took about 2.5 hours and if I had used colored pencils would have taken several hours. The things I didn't like about the pastel pencils was that the colors are not quite as rich and it is very easy to lose detail because of the ease of blending. I may not have used the best surface though.
I haven't done any art in months so a big thanks to the Monthly Sketch Project for getting me going again!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Just A Pet Peeve

Do any of you have children or other family members that get into your art supplies?

The other day I came home from work and found my color pencils all over the place. I asked my son why this was so and he said he had a homework project that he was supposed to color with colored pencils and he had used mine. I asked him what happened to the color pencils we had purchased for him before school started and he said they were at school.

Now I am not a stingy person and I don't mind if others use my things as long as they don't damage them, but I really expect them to be put back where I had them and not left out where they finished using them. That really bothered me.

Does this happen to any of you and does it bother you?

Monday, September 14, 2009

And The Results Are In!

Well first of all my computer is on the blink and is in the shop so I am posting this at work which I am not supposed to do, but I did come in early.

I posted earlier about the two shows/contests I was going to enter this summer. I entered two works in the Central Carolina Fair. They were the same two works that were entered in the spring at the Randolph Arts Guild show. They did not place there, nor did they even take an honorable mention, but this time I received a second place prize for the drawing "Ready to Work" in the category of Pencil and I received a third place prize for the double portrait of my husband and son in the category of Portraits, Other medium. The money prizes were not that much but I do get to keep the ribbons which will be my first but hopefully not my last!

I was extremely pleased! I am so glad I did not let myself get discouraged by not placing at the other show. I had researched the judge of that show and she was an abstract artist. I noticed all of the ones that won, placed or received honorable mentions, with the exception of three works were all abstract. Just goes to show that art is in the eye of the beholder. I have learned not to be discouraged because the judge may just not like my type of art and to try again if I believe in myself. So..... if you are thinking about entering shows and contests please do and don't become discouraged!

The other contest was for a postmark cancellation. We have a town not too far from where I live called Star. This is a designated Christmas Town by the Post Office and they have a contest for local artists to enter a design. There is no money prize, just recognition and this will be the 23rd year they have had the contest. The requirements were: simple line drawing, black and white only, and certain words required in the design which were the address of the Post Office there.

I came up with a design and rendered it in pen and ink and got it ready to send off. I had not read the rules close enough because I remembered it saying must be postmarked Sept. 10. When I re-read the rules prior to mailing it actually said must be received by Sept. 10. I mailed mine on Sept. 10 anyway but I don't know if it will be considered.

I have been reading everyone's blog and I hope to get back into my art soon. I noticed I am not the only one that has slowed down in posting. I guess it is just the summer and having lots of other things to do.

Sorry no pictures! I had some but my computer is on the blink!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Art Appreciation IQ Test

I just found an Art Appreciation IQ Test on the internet. It was fairly short and fun to do. The test would show two works of art (Most of them well-known) and ask you to choose by selecting on the painting which was bolder, more realistic, etc.

At the end of the quiz it would place you in a category. I was placed in the Master of Arts category and the quiz told me I was the first to be placed in this category out of thousands that have taken it. Don't know if this is true or not but it was kind of fun:

If you want to try your luck here is the link:

Let me know where you placed!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Weekend Trip / Update

My son in the Tweetsie "Jail"

My husband and son in the "crooked house" at Mystery Hill

Practice sketch with pastel pencils

Well I know I haven't posted in quite a while and I haven't been doing any art in quite some time but I thought I would just do an update in case someone is wondering where I've been.
My husband decided that we needed to take our son to the mountains of North Carolina to visit Tweetsie Railroad before he got much older. Tweetsie is located in Boone, NC and in case anyone is not familiar with it, it is a Western type theme park. There is a train ride that lasts around 20 minutes and cowboys and indians have a mock fight. All the kids on the train that have cap pistols they have purchased in the gift shops are invited to fire them at the indians as quickly as possible and make as much noise as they can. There are rides, shows, restaurants, gift stores with different themes, gem mining, gold panning and an arcade. In other words an exhausting day of fun!
Now, I have been to Tweetsie when I was a kid (and no, I won't say how many years ago that was). However, then it was only a train ride and some shops so it has really grown. My mother's ancestors came down from the mountains ages ago, I believe from around Banner Elk and my parents were always dragging the family to the mountains for weekend trips, etc. There are not a whole lot of tourist attractions in the mountains of NC or Tennessee that I haven't visited at least once. They also used to love to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway which is a very twisty, narrow road with lots of scenery. I personally just do not like traveling in the mountains. I would get car sick on the Parkway and my ears would constantly pop. I was reminded of this when my ears began to pop as we ascended into Boone. I told my husband, "This is not my country."
I don't mean to run the mountains down, if you like them that is great. They are just not for me. I would much rather travel to the ocean any day even though it is a longer drive.
Anyway I am glad we took my son to see Tweetsie. We should have taken him two years ago when he would have enjoyed it more and if we had waited two more years I don't think he would have enjoyed it at all. And you know what? I was downloading the photos I took at Tweetsie and I didn't even take one of the train! Well, I'm not going back just to get a picture of the train, I'll tell you that!
On the art scene I have done one small thing with my pastel pencils for practice. I saw a photo on the blog Nikon Sniper and I though it was great so I tried it in pastel. It only took around 10 minutes. Steven I hope you don't mind, it was just for practice. Steven has lots of wonderful photos on his blog.
I am also looking at submitting an entry for an art contest. No prize, just recognition if your drawing is selected. So I am trying to get ideas for that. I am looking at entering another art show with the pieces I had entered for the last one. I've read the rules and it doesn't say the work cannot ever have been in a show before just not in this show before.
Anyway, I hope to be back in full soon, and hopefully will be back checking in and reading your blogs soon as well as posting!

Until next time!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

An Award From a Fellow Blogger!

My good friend and wonderful artist Jan at Pets to Posies has given me this blog award. Thanks Jan, especially since I haven't been as active here the past couple of months. I appreciate it and love to get the blog awards and pass them on. If you haven't viewed Jan's blog please check it out.

I am supposed to tell seven things about myself and pass the award on to seven other bloggers so here goes.

First seven things about myself that I haven't told before:

1. I've gotten hooked on the cable show Clean House. I just love seeing houses that are more cluttered than mine. It makes me feel so much better!

2. I've told on here several times that I love the beach but I don't think I've told that I love to walk the beach and hunt for fossilized shark teeth. I try to beat the ones I have found before and am accumulating quite a collection!

3. I am terrified of mice and snakes. Apparently while we were at the beach for 8 days a mouse moved into our house. I spent most of Sunday night screaming and scaring it as bad as it scared me. I practically moved out of my house. Thankfully we caught it last night and none too soon. I think I was driving my husband crazy!

4. Spiders don't bother me at all.

5. I wish I had more time / motivation to do my artwork.

6. I really want to start painting again (I haven't painted in many years) but keep putting it off due to not wanting to deal with the mess. Drawing and colored pencils are so much cleaner.

7. I love to take Sunday afternoon naps.

Well, now that you know more about me than you probably ever wanted to know I will pass this on to other bloggers:

Jenna at Color Conscious
Michelle at Following My Muse
Jill at Pencil Portraitworks
Robin at The Midlife Artist
Teresa at Tresses Art Blog
Dave at Wildlife Art
Laure at Painted Thoughts Blog

These are wonderful blogs and artists that I enjoy very much. If you haven't seen their blogs please check them out!

Hopefully I will get back to my art soon!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Back from Vacation! I need another!

Sunset view from my balcony.
View of resort from beach walk-over.

View of resort pier entrance.

My son in the pool! He was throwing a water bomb toy, and I was playing with the sports setting on my digital camera. It is supposed to make you able to take action shots without blurring.

My son walking on the beach. I love to take shots like this showing the subject having their back to the camera.

We returned from our vacation on July 3rd, and I already need another vacation! I have been slammed at work and playing catch-up to get all of my work done. We moved our offices around so I couldn't schedule any appointments for that day. I schedule at least 5 appointments per day for an hour each but I have so many drop-ins that I was not expecting that it is almost impossible to keep up.

On the artistic front I have not been doing anything as I am exhausted when I get home from work but I did take some reference photos at the beach and have many ideas.

I am also trying to get caught up on all of my blog reading, so if I haven't got to you yet I am heading there!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Sorry for not posting in so long! Ijust haven't been in an artistic mood lately. I have a couple of projects in mind to start and everyday I think I will begin but after working and doing what I need to do at home (you know those house-wifely duties), I just never seem to get to it. I have been reading everyone's blog however and keeping up with what you all are doing.

My family is leaving for vacation tomorrow! 8 days of fun and sun at the beach so I have been doing a lot of preparing for that and getting things at work caught up so I won't be swamped when I get back. I haven't decided yet if I will take any art supplies with me or not. Past history has shown me that I usually do not do any art on vacation but I may bring them along. You know the old saying "Better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them." I am trying to keep our luggage (read junk here) as light as possible because I hate to pack and unpack.

I will check in after we return and maybe I will have some photographs to show of our vacation.

I sincerely hope everyone has a fun, safe, and happy July holiday!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Juried Art Show

Thought I would give you an update on the Juried Art Show that I entered. Each artist could enter up to three works for an entry fee and at least one work would be in the show. I selected three of my works and talked my husband into entering three of his paintings. The artist's reception and awards ceremony was last night. We knew we had not won anything but wanted to see how many of our works were in the show and who won so we went to the reception.

It was open to media of all kinds and all kinds were represented. There were oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, etchings, photographs, graphite (mine were the only graphite works), sculpture of all materials, mixed media, cloth (textile), and digital. There were wonderful landscapes, seascapes, lots of animal work, florals, still lifes, etc.

Some of the work just blew me away with the talent it represented, much of the work I just couldn't relate to as it was abstract. There was a wonderful landscape that looked like you could just walk into it and a still life of fruit that had grapes with moisture on them that looked like you could pluck the fruit from the canvas.

Anyway two of my works were hung; the double portrait of my husband and son entitled "A Good Time" that I marked NFS, and the work of the wheelbarrow and pitchfork entitled "Ready To Work" that I did place a price on. My husband had one of his paintings hung that was entitled "Nightfall."

It was time for the announcements and all artists gathered around. The gentleman making the announcement spoke of the juror and her work as a local artist. Her name was Tracy Marshall and I had previously checked out her website. He said she had two criterion for judging. 1. New, fresh ideas and an original way of creating art. and 2. Technique. There was 4 money prizes and 8 honorable mentions. All honorable mentions except for two were abstract works of art. The third place winner was an abstract wooden sculpture with nails sticking out everywhere. There was a cane bottom chair in the center with a broken jagged piece of wood pushed through the seat. The second place winner was a piece of pottery and that was a nice piece of pottery. The first place winner was an abstract painting and the Best in Show was a gourd sculpture painted with gauche. I have to admit that I just do not understand abstract, modern art even though I have taken a college course in it. The works that blew me away with their talent did not even receive honorable mentions.

After hearing the criteria and having previously checked out her website it went pretty much the way I thought it would go. If anyone cares to look this is her website: I believe my husband was initially disappointed but I pointed out to him the work that was selling was not the work selected for the awards but the other, more representational, realistic work.

Anyway they said they had the most entries this year that they had ever had with over 100 works entered and approximately 70 works were hung in the show. (Iwas pleased with where my two works were hung, right above the visitors sign-in book). Also, the announcer said that in his eyes everyone entered was a winner because it takes a certain amount of courage to put your work on the line and have it judged.

I learned a couple of things from this experience. A lot depends on the juror and the type of art that appeals to them so I did not take it personally that I did not receive anything. A different juror would probably have different award winners. Also now that I have entered one I will enter more. All exposure is good exposure. Later last night I asked my husband if he would enter more shows and he said probably.

It was a fun, learning experience and our work will be on view for the entire month. Who knows what may come of that!

Monday, May 25, 2009

New Work Completed

Red Wagon Wheel
By: Lori Talbert
8x10 Colored Pencil and Graphite on Bristol Board

Just completed the most recent piece I have been working on for the past couple of weeks. I found the reference pic on morgue file when I was browsing and saved it for future use. Something about this pic fascinated me and I thought it would make an interesting subject.

I started in in graphite and realized it would not be as interesting as I once thought completed all in pencil. So I decided to take a chance and add some color with the colored pencils. I chose the wagon wheel and then that stood out too much so I also colored the ground.

Its works pretty good for me. Not nearly as difficult as the last piece I completed but good to get me going on my artwork again.

Now I don't know which one to use as my third entry for the art show. This piece or the last one entitled Millboro Post Office / General Store. What do you think?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Right Brain or Left Brain?

I found a link to this quiz for artists on another site to determine if you were right brained or left brained. It is about 20 questions and doesn't take long. It was kind of fun.

I scored 14 out of 20, with a score of 70%. My right brain is quite dominant.

Maybe that is why I am left handed.

Anyway here is the link if you want to try:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just Checking In

Hi. It has been awhile now since I posted so I thought I would just check in. After I completed the Old Millboro Post Office / General Store I was kind of drained. It was one of the most difficult works I have completed to date and I guess I have been recharging my batteries.

I did begin a new work on Sunday. Work is progressing slowly and I believe it will be difficult as well. Not sure if it will be something I will want to post or not. We will have to see how it comes along.

I have had some minor health issues and have not felt myself lately but I am working on those things. Stress from work is pretty bad so that is not helping either. However, this is Memorial Day weekend and I plan to do something fun with my family. Hope all of you can do something for the holiday weekend as well.

The juried art show is coming up and I have the works I want to enter framed but have to wire them for hanging. My husband paints from time to time and I am trying to get him to enter with me. Not sure if he will or not.

I caught up on my blog reading this morning. Everyone has some wonderful work to show so please check out the blogs I follow.

Well, that is the update. Hope to post some art soon! Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Drawing Completed (For better or worse!)

Millboro Post Office / General Store
By: Lori Talbert
I have completed the drawing I have been working on for so long now. I must say it was the most difficult project I have ever tackled. I thought the portrait of my husband and son was hard but this one really took the cake!

I was definitely out of my comfort zone! The foliage was extremely difficult for me and I spent a lot of time practicing it and finally decided just to go ahead and do it. The perspective did not bother me that much as I have taken a class on this in the past that was pretty involved. I don't remember all of the class but I do remember how to find the vanishing point to get the building angles correct. Even so I realized at one point my perspective was off and had to go back and correct it. This drawing is on the verge of being overworked and may possibly be considered overworked but I was determined to finish what I started.
It definitely tested my abilities and was a learning experience and I know the next project of this type will be easier and better for the effort.
The reference pic can be found in an older post from April if you want to look at it. This is 8x10 graphite on bristol board.
There is another juried art show sponsored by the Randolph Arts Guild coming up in June. The deadline for submissions is May 29th. For an entry fee of $25.00 each artist can submit up to three works for consideration. My plans are to enter this show. All three works can be selected, two works, 1 work or no work and you just lose your entry fee. I figure nothing ventured, nothing gained. The works must have been completed in the last two years. I hope to enter the double portrait of my husband and son entitled "A Good Time" and the drawing entitled "Ready To Work." Both can be found in older posts if you care to look or in the slideshow in the upper right corner of my blog. All work will be matted and framed.
Do you think I should also enter this work as my third submission? Would it be worth my while to do so? Please comment and let me know what you think. (Your family always tell you everything looks terrific).
Thanks guys!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Well I am still working on the drawing of the Millboro Post Office/General Store. The foliage is really proving difficult. I have practiced and practiced on other pieces of paper/bristol board and just was not satisfied. I finally just went with the best I could do and will hope for the best. I will post an updated WIP soon.

My idea on the blog award did not pan out. No one commented and collected the award. Everyone is just too modest. So..... I will list some blogs to collect this award:
Stephen Baird at Nikon Sniper has the most wonderful photos:
Doreen at Dors Art:
Martina at Pencil Love:
Jan at Pets to Posies:
Teresa at Tresses Art Blog:
Karie at Pet Portraits and Wildlife:

Please collect your awards and play along!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Blog Award!

I was catching up on my blog reading with all of the blogs I follow and discovered that I had received a blog award from Who is Arthur Simo the Ousider Artist? This is a wonderful blog and Arthur has a great sense of color in his artwork. If you haven't seen it please check it out at:

Thank you so much! I am supposed to pass it on to seven more blogs but there are so many wonderful blogs out there it is hard to choose. So...... the first seven people that comment here I pass the award on to you. Please leave your blog address in your comments so others can see your wonderful blogs and collect your award!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Work in Progress

Reference Photo

Old Millboro Post Office / General Store

Well I was not able to complete my entry for the juried art show of a Randolph County subject in time for submision deadline. I do appreciate all of the encouragement I received from everyone to try. The reference picture is above. I have thought about this building for many years and when I heard about the show I drove out to Millboro to take some photos. I should have taken some when I was thinking about doing a drawing years ago as it is much more overgrown now.

I am going to continue to work on this and hopefully complete it. Buildings are not that hard as they are mostly straight lines, getting your perspective correct and shading. I believe the surrounding foliage will make or break this drawing. I want to include the broom sage growing in the foreground as I believe the successful rendition of this will give the drawing depth. I am not that great on foliage and have been studying some books. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

There is another juried art show coming up in a little over a month where three works can be entered by each artist and can be any medium or subject as long as they have been completed within the last two years. Hopefully I will be able to enter some work in that show.

Monday, April 13, 2009

More On Pastel Pencils

I hope everyone had a great Easter holiday! The weather is still a little cool here for this time of year. I hope soon it will be warm enough where the heat doesn't run at night.

In my last post I had a piece where I had tried pastel pencils. My set was only 12 so I was lacking many colors that I usually use. I have purchased a set of 48 pastel pencils from Ebay and received them Friday. Hope to put them to use soon and have something to post.

I heard yesterday about a juried art show for Randolph County artists at an Asheboro Gallery. The work can be any medium but must reflect a Randolph County subject. Unfortunately, works have to be submitted beginning April 16th and I don't have anything ready with a Randolph County subject that I can submit. I am debating on whether to give it a try to have something worthwhile ready. I am trying to come up with a good subject. There is a very well-known covered bridge here in Randolph County but many artists have used that in their work and there will probably be a few in this show. Oh well, wish I had heard about the show earlier!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pastel Pencils

By: Lori Talbert

I have heard a lot about pastel pencils from others and decided I would give them a try. I have several pastel sticks or chalks and while I like the way they blend and the ease of application, I didn't feel I had the control for finer details as I did in graphite or colored pencils.

So, I purchased a small set of pastel pencils at Hobby Lobby and looked through my reference pictures to see what I had. This picture is from a drawing challenge on a forum I belong to. The challenge is long over and I cannot remember at this time who posted the pic. But I pulled it out and sketched it on a piece of 4x6 bristol board and gave the pastel pencils a try.

As with the chalks I liked the ease of application and blending, (colored pencils take a lot of work) but I was frustrated by the lack of colors in my set of 12. In colored pencil work I use the white pencil frequently to blend and to change the colors to what I want. I had no white in my set of 12 so I resorted to pulling out the chalks to finish the piece.

I enjoyed the experiment and was surprised by the ease and quickness of completion in comparison to my colored pencils. Colored pencil work for me takes a lot of blending. I generally use a colorless pencil for this frequently going over the entire piece with it and once I'm through my hand and arm are tired as it takes some effort.

I would like to try more with the pastel pencils but I think I need to purchase a larger set with more colors. So I will shop around for the best price. Do they make a white pastel pencil I wonder? Also any pastel pencil tips would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blog Award!

I just received a blog award from Who is Arthur Simo the Outsider Artist! This is a wonderful blog, please check it out.

I am supposed to name seven things I love and pass it on to seven other bloggers. I named 7 things for another award I received so I'll try to name some different ones. In no particular order:

1. My family, 2. Spring, 3. Fall, 4.The Ocean, 5. My pets, 6. Sunrise or Sunset, 7. Creating my art

Now to the blogs I would like to pass this on to:
Teresa at Tresses Art Blog
Robin at Art and Animals
Jenna at Color Conscious
Rose at ACEOS by Rose
Teri at Teri's Painted Daisies
Laure at Painted Thoughts Blog
Teresa at Blueberries, Art and Life

Please check these blogs out if you are not familiar with them. They are worth a look. Congrats everyone!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


By: Lori Talbert

I've had some other things going on lately that maybe I'll talk about later if it works out, so I haven't had a lot of time for artwork.

However, I did manage to produce this. It is from a drawing challenge on a forum I belong to from a couple of months ago. I just had not gotten around to working on it. Flowers are not my strong suit but that is what a drawing challenge is about, getting out of your comfort zone and stretching your abilities.

I think it came out pretty good considering I don't usually do flowers. I wanted to do something colorful as I am longing for warmer weather and spring. Even though yesterday was officially the first day of spring it does not feel like it here.

It is an OSWOA, 4x6 colored pencil on bristol board.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Baby Orang in Color

Baby Orang 2

By: Lori Talbert


I did an earlier version of this in graphite and posted it on my blog last month. At that time I said I would do a color pencil version and post it for comparison. I had a couple of things come up and had not done any art for awhile but I finally got back to the drawing

This is from the same reference pic in color pencil, 4x6 on smooth bristol board. Although I love graphite, for this drawing I would have to say the color pencil version is better. The nose was very difficult and it doesn't look as good on the scan as it does in real life, but for the most part I am well pleased with the results.

My son asked me why I made the background yellow. I didn't have a reason I could put into words so I just told him I wanted to. For some reason the drawing just seemed to call for a bright yellow background. I like the way it plays with the browns and it seems to make the subject "pop" for me. I think it works well anyway.

So this is the color pencil version of the Baby Orang. On to the next project and hopefully I will be able to do some art soon.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Today is my son's birthday and he is 11 years old. We stopped doing the birthday parties with children invited after his 9th birthday. Now he gets cake and presents and he gets to choose which restaurant we go to for his birthday dinner. It is more of an immediate family celebration.

He said he hated that his birthday was on a Monday this year since he had to go to school and I told him he was born on a Monday. He was kind of surprised by this and said he hated Mondays so he wished it was a different day. I told him that at 1:15 this afternoon he will be 11 years old, as that was the time he was born.

I haven't figured out why but every year whatever day his birthday is on my birthday winds up being on the same day of the week. So my birthday will be on a Monday this year as well. However I have no prejudices against Mondays.

Haven't done any art lately. I am feeling the urge but just haven't had the time. Hopefully, this week I will be able to get something started. We co-sponsored a Career and Education Fair last Thursday and had over 600 visitors. (I saw myself on TV!) We worked really hard on it last week and was exhausted when it was over. We were all dragging around at work on Friday and had a customer tell us it was great, when were we going to do another one? I think I heard a couple of staff members groan. It is great to do something for the community that is really needed like this but visitors don't realize the amount of work involved. We host a job fair once per year and start on it several months ahead of time. Anyway I am glad it was a huge success and hopefully some visitors will find jobs. I know already that one person did.

We have a plant closing down and we have to go out and conduct what we call employee sessions. This is where employees are given a packet and told of transitional services and assistance that are available to them as a dislocated worker. We have two tomorrow and three on Wednesday. Wednesday we have to be there at 6 am. I don't usually get up until 6:45 am so I will probably have to get up at 4:30 as it is a 1/2 hour drive. Our last session there will be at 5 pm so I will probably not get home until 6:30 pm or after. I am dreading that day but I am really sorry for the 200+ people that are losing their jobs.

Hopefully I will find some time for art and my next post will contain some. Got to get through these tough work days first!

Happy Birthday, son!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Winter's Last Gasp?

View from my front porch

Snowman my son and I made

Winter's Last Gasp? I certainly hope so! Anyone that has watched the news has probably heard about the winter storm that started in the southeast and headed up the eastern seaboard.

We had rain starting Friday around noon, all day and night Saturday, all day Sunday and then it changed over to a mix and finally to snowfall. We wound up with around 4.5 inches. The largest snowfall we have had in 5 years! I know I had an earlier post where I was talking about the 3 inch snowfall and how that was the largest in several years up to that point. Well now we have this snowfall and it was beautiful waking up to a winter wonderland. We went out and had fun in it but it is super cold here and I have been longing for spring for several weeks.

We actually had some buttercups blooming but today they are covered with snow and I don't know how they will look once it melts. That will probably be around Wednesday. By Friday the temperatures will be around 70 degrees so I sincerely hope this is winter's last gasp.

I went out with my son and we built a small snowman and had a snowball fight. Later, we made snow cream which was nice and I told my son to enjoy it because hopefully that is the last snow cream this year.

Oh well, you know what they say about March, "in like a lion, out like a lamb." Let's hope they are right!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I have uploaded some of my artwork to Imagekind and added a link on my blog. (See Link). I don't know if I will get any type of response or not but I did obtain a fan before completion of the upload of the second image. It may also be a good way to obtain prints of my work for myself if I need to. Anyway, I figured nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Back To Graphite!

Baby Orang
By: Lori Talbert
I have not done any projects in graphite lately and came across this reference pic in the image library of an artist's forum I belong to. I decided to do the drawing in graphite in the OSWOA format of 4x6. An OSWOA can be any medium just the size is required.
I learned that for me graphite (my preferred medium) needs to be practised frequently. With colored pencil I can sometimes rely on just the colors to show what I want but graphite needs to be more subtle using just different shades of the medium. This little guy took a somewhat longer than the other OSWOAs I have been completing but I was glad I tried it in graphite. I will definitely begin using graphite as much as color pencil in my work in the future. I want to keep all of my skills and continue to improve in them.
However I think I may also try this little guy in color pencil as well!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Better Than I Expected!

This Little Piggy
By: Lori Talbert

I usually draw something, anything a few days per week to satisfy my creative urge. I don't have a lot of free time so the majority of my projects are small and something I can complete in one or two sittings. A lot of times they are simple and quick as the last OSWOA I created but sometimes you get pleasantly surprised when something turns out better than you expect.

When I get time I use the internet as one of my sources for ideas and reference photos. I use Morguefile a lot and look through the copyright free pics. When I see something I may want to use or is interesting, I save it to look at when I have more time. When I am ready to create I look through my references to see if anything appeals at that time.

When I saw a photo of a pig I knew it would be easy to sketch and possibly something to do for a quick, fun project. The pig in the reference pic was black and white and there was the edge of a wooden structure under it's head. I suppose it was a feed box, due to the pig's eager posture and food was coming at the time the photo was taken.

I pulled this photo out the other night for a quick, fun sketch, figuring I could complete it in less than two hours and satisfy my urge to draw. I quickly sketched the outline and then pulled out my colored pencils. I always start with the eye because if that doesn't work for me, nothing else will. Eye completed, nothing complicated there and then I started on the pig's ear. I felt large areas of black would not work so I changed to a deep brown color and I wanted to keep the underlying hint of pink skin showing through. Using the brown, pink and white I began to work. Something happened and I took as much time on the ear as I usually would on the entire drawing. I lay in my areas of color and use a colorless pencil as well as white for blending. I completed blending the ear and was surprised to see that it came out pretty nice. I put the drawing aside and completed it the day. I am very pleased with the results, it's always nice when something works better than you expect. It is an OSWOA 4x6, colored pencil on bristol board.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Art Blog Award!

When I checked in this morning I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had received not one, not two but three! "I Love Your Art Blog" awards from fellow artists/bloggers. Laure Ferlita of Painted Thoughts Blog, Jan from Pets to Posies, and Teresa from Tresses Art Blog had all awarded this to me. Thanks to all of you and may I say if I had received it first I would have sent this award to each of you!

I am supposed to name 7 things I love and pass the award on to 7 other artists. So, first things first!

The 7 things I love:

1. Nature: I see beauty in all of nature. God is the ultimate artist; a sunrise, a sunset, an autumn day, he has placed so much inspiration all around us.

2. My family: My immediate family is most important in my life. I support them and they me; I rejoice in their accomplishments and sorrow with them when things are bad. There is no encouragement like that you can receive from your family.

3. America: Like the country song says; "This lady may have stumbled, but she ain't never fell." Our lady is definitely stumbling now and I hope and pray she doesn't fall. We still stand for freedom and in spite of our present difficulties many people would give anything to live here.

4. My Art: It is always nice to receive recognition and have others appreciate what you do but I create primarily for me. It gives me pleasure, relaxes me and a sense of accomplishment when I complete a project.

5. The Ocean: It seems to have the rhythm of life for me and I pilgrimage there at least once per year. I would live at the ocean if I could.

6. My Job: It can be frustrating at times and near impossible at others and I have had people tell me they wouldn't have my job if it paid a million dollars. But for the most part I enjoy it and I am very good at it. I am thankful to have a job at a time when so many do not.

7. A Good Book. The only way I know to take an adventure, live during another time or live someone's else's life without leaving your home.

There are many other things I love, a genuine smile, spontaneous laughter, the sight of a happy or sleeping child, but I guess the ones I named are my top seven.

Now to pass the award along: I am fairly new to blogging and am still discovering other artist's blogs. Upon checking this morning I see that many of them have already been awarded so I hope to offer a few new ones:

1. Jenna Whie at Color Conscious: a wonderful color pencil artist.

2. Who is Arthur Simo - The Outsider Artist? Arthur has autism and his mother creates the blog and promotes his art. He does wonderful work and has had many sales and some shows.

3. Blair at Blair Goold Art - a blog I just discovered. Blair does wonderful paintings.

Many of the blogs that I follow have already received this award but I would have awarded them as well. I will reserve my other four if I can to award as I discover more blogs.

Thanks again for the award!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Two Days In A Row!

We had snow again last night. Shortly before 8 pm it looked like blizzard conditions it was snowing so hard. We thought we would really have a big snowfall and the forecasters were calling for 1-3 inches. Well, the snow didn't last very long and we awoke this morning to only a dusting. It is all almost melted now. It is only 27 degrees farenheit but the sun is shining brightly. The road crews were on the ball this time and the roads in my area looked clear but once again the schools were closed.The weather forecasters described it as "snow showers" and said some areas really had a lot so maybe that is why the schools are closed. So, here I am stuck at home, using up another vacation day. I didn't have enough work to do at the other location to last all day. Hopefully this will be the last snow/ice situation we will have. But we have quite a few weeks of winter left yet!

My son wanted to go out a play in it so I let him. There wasn't enough to make a decent snowball let alone a snowman. This snowfall wasn't worth taking a picture of but I finally downloaded the pictures I took of the January snowfall.
This is a picture of my son with all of the snow he can gather. He called it his snow mound.

Picture of my house covered with the snow:

Also last night I created another OSWOA (original small work of art). I called it Spring Bird. I found the picture on Morguefile and I don't know if it is supposed to be a baby robin or what. It only took an hour or so and is not my best work but I enjoyed creating it. I think it has a "painterly" look.

Spring Bird

By: Lori Talbert


Thank you to the individuals who are following my blog! I appreciate it and enjoy reading your blogs as well! Until next time!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Little More Snow For Us

We had rain last night that changed over to snow and made a mess. There was a dusting of snow on the ground (less than 1/2 inch) and what we call "black ice" on the roads. Schools were first delayed and then closed.

My work place was delayed 2 hours but we have a back-up location that we can go to on time and I decided to go there today so I would not have to use any more vacation hours. The weather forecasters were not calling for travel problems with this system so the road crews had not treated any of the highways. There was a wreck below my house with red and blue lights flashing so I decided to drive with extreme caution.

I took an exit ramp off of the freeway and felt one of my tires lose traction with the road surface. As I stopped at the top of the ramp and looked in the direction I was going to turn, all I saw was icy road! There was a bridge over one side of the freeway, a short distance and then another bridge over the other side of the freeway, and then a steep hill that looked straight up . I wasn't sure I wanted to try it but I took a deep breath and started out. I was driving very slowly and of course someone had to tailgate me and try to push me faster. I hate it when people do that! I didn't let it rattle me though and made it to work OK, only three minutes late.

As I said in an earlier post we get bad weather so rarely that southerners do not drive well in it. We just don't get enough practice. The children were all excited to be out of school today (I know my son was) but they will have to make the day up from their spring break. The weather forecasters say another system will be moving through tonight and may bring us another dusting of snow. Personally, I have seen enough ice/snow for this winter! I am ready for spring!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Difficult Week

This past week it just seemed more bad news followed bad news. I work with individuals who are unemployed and looking for work and this past week around 200 people in our county lost their jobs. We also learned of over 50 more that had lost their jobs in the previous week that we had not heard about. January has been a bad month in our county.

Our unemployment rate for December was 8.9 percent and I wouldn't be surprised if it topped double digits for January. It is hard to hear all of the stories these people tell and very sad. We offer all of the assistance and referrals we can but what they need most is employment and unfortunately there is just not much available.

I know the entire country is being affected, not just our county but these are the people I interact with and am working with on a daily basis. I can only hope that things begin to improve soon but I fear that will be a long time coming.

With all of this going on it was hard to get into the mood to produce any art work but on the other hand I knew I needed to do something because creating art is good therapy for me. It relaxes me and improves my mood and I always feel better after I create.

One of the artist's forums I belong to had a drawing challenge for January. I selected a photo and used that. It is an OSWOA (original small work of art) 4x6, colored pencil on bristol board. It did not come out quite as well as I had hoped but it is OK.

I have become addicted to this form of art as with my busy schedule of working and raising a family I can complete one of these pieces in an evening with very little mess. I believe this type of art work is becoming more popular as more and more works show up on the internet for sale. When I first began researching this type of artwork, there would be around 90 works for sale on Ebay. Now there is continuously over 130 offered on Ebay at any time for sale and many more on other places on the web such as Etsy.

Anyway here is the latest:


By: Lori Talbert


I have also been searching for other artist's blogs on the internet, especially artists from North Carolina. I have made some new friends this way and have viewed some really great works of art. I hope to add links to these blogs on my site soon so stay tuned!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Recent Works / Snow Tonight!

It has been extremely busy at work and when you work full time and have a family it is sometimes hard to work on your art like you want to. I haven't taken the time to post recently but I have completed a few things.

The first is an ATC (Artist Trading Card) for an exchange on a forum I belong to. The theme was the new year and after turning over many ideas I thought of the Chinese calendar. A little internet research revealed that 2009 was the year of the Ox so I decided to work with that. The first Ox I tried was a realistic representation but it didn't seem to work out that well so I went with a cartoon version. It didn't take very long to complete and although not a work of art I thought it was cute and decided to send it to my trading partner. I received my card from my partner and I felt kind of bad because theirs was very detailed and intricate and obviously took a lot of time. Mine took less than an hour to complete. Well, that is the fun of a trade, you never know what you will get and you are always surprised. My partner liked their card so that is what is important.

Year of the Ox (ATC)

By: Lori Talbert


I also completed a couple of OSWOAs (Original Small Work of Art) that I haven't posted yet. The first was a still life that I had originally done as a digital work. It came out very well in digital but not quite as well in this version. Some parts of it I am pleased with such as the glass vase the flowers are in.

Still Life with Flowers

By: Lori Talbert


I also revisited the cardinal sitting on the fence and completed another version of it as an OSWOA.

Cardinal 2
By: Lori Talbert

All works are in colored pencil on bristol board. The ATC is 2.5 x 3.5 inches and the OSWOAs are 4 x 6 inches. I am thinking about another larger work in graphite probably 8 x 10 and am turning over a couple of ideas in my mind.

On another note the weather forecast is calling for 1-3 inches of snow tonight and early tomorrow morning. That probably doesn't sound like a lot to many of you but here in our part of North Carolina we sometimes go all winter without any snow at all. If we get bad weather during the winter it is usually freezing rain or sleet which is no fun at all. When we do have snow virtually everything closes down as we see it so rarely southerners do not know how to drive in it and slip and slide all over the roads. I have a 4-wheel drive but I usually stay home as well because the 4-wheel drive does not guarantee that someone will not slide into me! My son is extremely excited! When he was almost 2 years old we had a whopping 13 inches in one night! We were without power or telephone for practically a week but he doesn't remember that. He will soon be 11 and has only had enough snow in his life (since the 13 inches) that he remembers to build two snowmen. He is hoping for the 3 inches so maybe he can build one.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Back To Work

I had written that I had a long Christmas vacation returning to work January 5th. Well, I really paid for my vacation. I work in a non-profit assisting individuals that are unemployed or underemployed find employment, update skills, or retrain (through a grant) for a new career. Due to the state of the economy overall and especially in our area we have been swamped with customers coming in and the phones ringing off of the hook. The result is that I was exhausted last week. Friday night I could hardly wait for bedtime. It was a long busy week. I have not done any artwork since I returned to work as I have simply been too tired. I did complete another OSWOA before returning to work and have completed an ATC for a trade but have not had time to post them. I believe this week will be just as busy at work but maybe I will be more used to it now and not be so tired! I have many ideas for artwork but must find the time and hopefully some will be posted here. Until next time!