Happy New Year, Roosters!

2017 is the Chinese Year of the  Rooster.

When I lived in San Francisco-a very Asian city, Chinese  New Year was a festive and LOUD time of year: think firecrackers, bell ringing, lion dances and exotic parades.

This is a Fire Rooster year. Fire Roosters are traditionally trustworthy, with a strong sense of timekeeping and responsibility at work. The other types are Wood Roosters, Earth Roosters, Gold Roosters and Water Roosters.

On the whole, Roosters are active, amusing, popular, healthy, outspoken, honest, loyal, talkative and charming. Many of my dearest friends are Fire Roosters.

Happy New Year, Roosters-

Cockadoodle~Doo!

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a Fire Rooster, painted with gouache on paper

Since Roosters are also chickens, this post will celebrate these fascinating and delicious animals-among my very favorite to observe and draw.

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A hen and rooster painted with gouache on brown paper

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rooster painted with gouache on paper

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a variety of poultry breeds drawn in colored pencil on brown paper

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Buff Laced Bantam Rooster painted in gouache on paper

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“Bless each wren, each rooster and hen” painted in gouache on black gesso. From the book: Home Sweet Home by Jean Marzollo and Ashley Wolff

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Teaching…and trying to learn

I have seven, very talented writers in my class at Hollins this summer.

I am trying to teach them everything I know about conceiving, writing, revising, and revising, and tightening, and twisting, and revising yet again.

THEY are getting better every day.

As I have been teaching, I’ve also been taking an online course from Lilla Rogers: Making Art That Sells.

And, Oh, what a humbling and difficult road this has been. I realized immediately that my photoshop skills were dismal and needed a huge boost. My habit of trying out a new style for every new book really made decisions on which way to go on each assignment difficult.

And I realized I am not good at following directions at all!

Can the teacher learn?

I sure hope so.

The 1st assignment was to design bolt fabric using mushrooms and casserole dishes. Naturally, I did not follow directions very well and found the instructions for making a design that could repeat using Illustrator WAY too hard to learn.

So I painted mushrooms-which I have always been fascinated by…

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and casseroles, which are less appealing…

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and somehow  chickens demanded in.

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This part reminded me of the good old days making fabric icons for Joe Boxer. I worked for them back when Nick and Denise still ran the place in San Francisco. My nickname was “The Queen of Cute.”

When I finally succeeded in putting together a jpeg file of the correct size and scale I was wrung out!

But I  had LEARNED! I was getting the idea of layers and I think there is some humor.

Let’s see what next week brings…

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