We Are All Book Lovers

I heard a radio commentary this morning. It was about searching for good news in a dark time. The commentator, a former journalist, looked in all the usual places, but finally found her cheering thought in a Pew Research Center story about reading.

73% of Americans read a book this year! And they actually seem to prefer reading on paper.

I found cheer in that too, and continued work on my Baby Bear Reads a Book ornament series.

20161212_135838

As with other multiple image projects like summer postcards, I grid my paper with painter’s tape. This time I measured out small 1 3/8″ x 2″ rectangles and drew Baby Bear reading a big, fat book in each opening.

20161212_233958

Then I paint them-layer by layer, one by one.

20161212_234925

Each one is kind-of the same and one of a kind.

20161213_001708

Then I cut the sheets up,

20161213_102645

Stick them in little silver frames

bear_19

And hang them from the evergreen tree.

bear_24

I’ve made a few extras and, if you’d like one, or a different Baby Bear 2016 ornament, I’m selling them in my Etsy shop

If you enjoyed this post, please  follow me here: Ashley Wolff Art on Facebook, my webpage , my Etsy shop, or Instagram. You can follow the blog by hitting the “follow blog” button at the top of the sidebar. 

Advertisements

Little Things?

When I moved back to Vermont I wanted to get involved with my community so I volunteered my time to a small group that aims to make Middlebury more Merry during the month of December.

Nothing fancy or noble-just little, fun things to create community and get people outside, downtown and into local businesses.

There are cut-outs around town for kids to pose in,

gingerbreadbrothers

Hot cocoa for 75 cents,

cocoahut_5

and Santa arrives on the firetruck.

santa_1

santaarrives

You can bring your presents to be wrapped at a local bar,

wrappers_3

Ride ride around town in a horse drawn cart,

horserides

and do an I Spy search for 10 little ornaments, hidden in the windows of downtown shops.

My job has been to make the ornaments and arrange for them to be hidden. The 1st year I painted little reindeer

vmmreindeer

The next year was little snow children,

snowmanlucia

And this year I decided to paint little Baby Bears in Christmas garb.

bears

I know-it’s too early to be thinking about Christmas–but I had to.

Then the election happened and it’s been hard to concentrate and harder to smile.

I found myself painting very pensive Baby Bears, with safety pins like the one on my sweater in their fur.

bears_3

I know wearing a safety pin is kind of lame-especially out in the sticks where I live,

and I know I live in a practically all white state, with loads of privilege and 1st world problems,

and I know it is just a little thing to offer as resistance, but I am offering it with all my heart.

I will put my money, my voice and my body to stand up for everyone’s rights and civil liberties.

You are safe with me.

If you enjoyed this post, please  follow me here: Ashley Wolff Art on Facebook, my webpage , my Etsy shop, or Instagram. You can follow the blog by hitting the “follow blog” button at the top of the sidebar. 

 

Goodbye Old Year, Hello New!

Father Time and Baby New Year

The old to the new,

The beard to the baby,

the wrinkled to the plump,

The tired to the fresh.

Father_time_7765

Father Time and Baby New Year from Frolic & Fun, 1897

What a weird, but wonderful image for the turn of the new year.

old-man-baby-new-year

5f6de0d8aa610fdde9edea990a09b4ea

The old is always to the left, the new to the right.

I wanted to make my own version, so I used my own Baby Bear as the New year’s baby and his older self as the old year.

20151229_115318

my quick thumbnail sketch

20151229_115527

pencil on watercolor paper, with 1st wash

20151229_161824

several washes-no line.

newyear15

painting with line and some photoshopping

And finally,  two older images of an infant Miss Bindergarten,

MissB2016

and her grown up self wishing All Y’all

a Happy, Healthy 2016!

confetti2016

Please share the joy, Y’all!

 

Pumpkins

Pumpkin was an affectionate nickname in my family, so I chose it as the name for my 1st Border Collie.

I love the word Pumpkin-how it fills my mouth and suggests the shape of the fruit.

A&Pumpkin?patchweb

Yes, a pumpkin is a fruit- actually a berry. It is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, along with melons and cucumbers. The rule of thumb to tell fruit from vegetables is that: if it has seeds, it is a fruit, no seeds, it’s a vegetable.

As with every experience, Pumpkin stands in for me and is able to do things I can never do.HalloweenMaskweb 

pumpkinstackweb  

Lately, I have found a new, black, love object named Baby Bear. He is enjoying every bit of autumn in Vermont, especially the pumpkins!

pumpkinpatch

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, PLEASE LIKE ASHLEY WOLFF ART ON FACEBOOK, VISIT MY WEBPAGE HERE, MY ETSY SHOP, OR FOLLOW THE BLOG BY HITTING THE “FOLLOW BLOG” BUTTON AT THE TOP OF THE SIDEBAR.

Snow!

As a Vermont Girl, I know my snow.

I’ve been figuring out ways to draw and paint snow, in all its shapes and forms, my entire life.

skaters:web

There are lots of kinds of snow.

The 1st snows of autumn, that slowly cover the still-green grass, frost bitten plants, and leaf strewn ground.

December snows, that slowly fill up the woods~until we trudge through it to find a perfect Christmas tree,

Or February snow, deep and light enough to race a sled through,

Or use as a smooth, white, picnic blanket for the birds.

December:web

A Year of Birds

I’ve painted snow as the natural habitat for Polar Bears,

And gray wolves.

And painted it in totally unexpected places, like a usually sunny day in Jamaica!

I’ve sat in my car and drawn a snowy scene from life.

And I ended my new book, Baby Bear Counts One, with 10, big snowflakes, falling slowly enough for a surprised bear cub to count them.

But turn the page and watch as the snow picks up, swirling in curtains across the mouth of the den,

And finally, the flakes are falling so fast that there are…

page40_web

Baby Bear Counts One

 

Too many to count!

If you enjoyed this post, please like Ashley Wolff Art on Facebook, visit my webpage here, my Etsy shop, or follow the blog by hitting the “follow blog” button at the top of the sidebar. 

We are Making Bear Dens!

I get a charge of energy from working on art projects with young children. Their lack of self-consciousness and freedom with materials is inspiring. I often say 1st graders are art geniuses.

1stgrade:web_7

They have a lot of small motor skills  and they are mostly free of the doubts and fears of not being good enough that seem to set in later, even by age 7!

I did the same Bear Cave project with three classes, a 1st, 2nd and 3rd, at a school in Pasadena.

I started by showing them my book Baby Bear Counts One and talking to them about what happens as autumn comes and how bears prepare to spend the winter in their dens.

titlepage:web

The materials were simple:

An 11 x 14 piece of pale blue paper, an 8.5 x 11 sheet of black paper and a half sheet of brown paper, a thin paper plate, glue stick, scissors, markers/crayons, and a pencil.

3rdgrade:web

The young artists created the forest first, drawing trees with autumn leaves and making a good, wild habitat for the bears.

2ndgrade:web_3

Then they cut the paper plate in half and cut a rough “den” out of the flat, cut side. Now it was time to camouflage the den so it didn’t stick out. A lot of effort went into this step.

2ndgrade:web_4

I love this one with two apple trees and apples all over the den.

1stgrade:web_4

And this ‘Welcome’ sign.1stgrade:web_5 1stgrade:web_62ndgrade:web_1

There was a lot of glue being used and sticky fingers were everywhere.

2ndgrade:web_2

They glued the brown paper behind the paper plate den so it looked dark.

3rdgrade:web_3

Finally, it was time to make the bears out of the black paper.  We had lots of sizes of googley eyes to make the bears look alert.2013-10-22 09.34.32
1stgrade:web_2 1stgrade:web_3

Full Circle with Baby Bear Counts One: Gobble, gobble, gobble

When I was young I used to find a thicket of these in my neighborhood, sit in the shadow of the vines, and eat grapes.

These are tiny and tart, but the intense grape taste makes them delectable.

grapes

We called them “Fox Grapes,” According to Wikipedia:  There is ample evidence that the labrusca was growing wild in North America centuries before the Europeans discovered the continent.

If a wild grape is growing, a turkey is going to find it.

wildturkey

turkeymaleAnd bears will follow…

BBCO18-19:small

Surprise!
BBCO20-21:small