Friday, May 1, 2015

Wrap Up for 2015 Fake Journal

Well, International Fake Journal Month is over, and I've completed my fake journal in time.    A little bit of info that I did not include anywhere in my journal.  My character is a woman (could even be myself in another lifetime) who won the lottery and bought a beach house in Hawaii.  I visited Hawaii about 13 years ago, and having a beach house there would be a dream come true.  (However, my real self would never just up and move so far away from my family, especially my grandkids). A few of the things that my character experienced were my experiences too,  but many were things that I didn't have the time, money, or the physical ability to do.

I used a Strathmore 6 x 9 inch watercolor spiral pad, mostly because it had exactly 15 sheets, which gave me 30 pages to work on.  Some of my previous fake journals were in larger books that have a lot of pages left, which I wanted to avoid.  I used watercolor pencils, something I've rarely worked with, and although I got a few really nice effects with them, mostly they strike me as either watercolor-but not as good as the real thing, or colored pencil-but not as good as the real thing.  I don't think this project changed my mind much on this.  I resorted to adding pen to a lot of my sketches because I couldn't get the definition that I wanted without it.  Shades of my real self overtaking my fake self???

As usual I started out with great enthusiasm, but sometimes I had to force myself to do that day's page, although once I forced myself to get started, I really got into it and had fun completing it.  

Did I achieve my goals?  Well, I kept my goals very simple.  To actually complete 30 pages (my 4 previous fake journals fell short), to use a medium that I wasn't used to working with, and to have fun.  So, yes, I think I achieved my goals.  As far as the fun, I really enjoyed my virtual visit to Hawaii.  I would love to go back some day  for real and sketch all of these places from real life.

My only regret was that I don't think that I made my character, and my art, different enough from my usual work - even with using a slightly different medium.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

April 30 and Last day of this journal

To surf, or not to surf?  Every time I pass one of these surf shops I am reminded that learning to surf was one of the items on my "Hawaii bucket list."  But it looks scary.  I'm not sure that it's really for me.  I think that boogie boarding is more my speed.  I really enjoyed that, but riding waves at breakneck speed (breakneck???) while standing up on a slippery narrow board - I think not.  I enjoy watching them though.  Maybe I will take my sketchbook to the North Shore and see if I can sketch the surfers.

I signed up for a watercolor workshop at the end of May. I wonder if I can talk Joan, or one of my friends into joining me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April 29 - Lomi Lomi Salmon

I just made some lomi lomi salmon.  It was easy, and it is delicious!  Here's the recipe:

1 lb. salt salmon, cubed
2 - 3 tomatoes diced
2 medium onions diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced

Put all ingredients in a glass bowl and gently combine with your fingers.  Refrigerate overnight.  Serve very cold.

April 28 - Plumeria cuttings

I volunteered again today at the botanical gardens.   This time they had me help one of the gardeners who was taking cuttings from the plumeria trees.  Some of them will be replanted, some will be sold in the gift shop, and they let me take a couple home with me.  They are just bare sticks right now, but I hope that they will look like this soon.

Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27 - Palm Tree Stamp

When I was at the "Art on the Zoo Fence" the other day, an artist was giving a demo on making stamps out of Fun Foam.  I decided to try making my own.  The result is this palm tree stamp.  I am so happy with it that I can see possibilities for many more stamps.

April 26 - Praise Hula

Many of the local Hawaiian churches have "Praise Hula" as part of their liturgical services.  This is a more gentle, spiritual hula, and colorful native costumes or hula skirts are worn instead of the typical grass skirt and coconut bras worn at the luaus and the ceremonial dances.  What a beautiful way to praise the Lord!

April 25 - The Zoo

I went back to the "Art on the Zoo Fence" today to browse some more, and to find out about how to enter the show.  It turns out that there is a waiting list to become a permanent exhibitor, and also a waiting list to be a one time stand-by which I applied for.   Then, since I was here, I decided to visit the zoo itself.  It is a somewhat small, but well kept zoo which houses 905 different animals in its 42 acres.  I haven't been to a zoo in ages, so I really enjoyed myself.  Will have to come back with a larger sketch kit.

Friday, April 24, 2015

April 24 - Farmers Market

I went to the farmers market this morning.  Wow!  What a variety of produce!  I picked up some pineapple, mangoes and papaya, as well as some macadamia nuts and some Kona coffee.  And I also bought a DRAGON FRUIT.  I'm not sure whether I liked it or not.  It sort of reminded me of a kiwi.
I also picked up some panko crusted ahi and rice for lunch, and a large order of kalua pork for dinner.

April 23 - Relaxing in Hammock

After working my butt off yesterday weeding at the Botanical Garden, I'm chilling out at home today.  I'm hanging out in my hammock relaxing while I read James Michener's "Hawaii".  It's a long book, so I may not have to move all day.  Well, except for meals.  A girl's gotta eat! 

April 22 - Shave Ice at Matsumotos

Matsumotos is the place to go for shave ice.  It is always packed but the line moves quickly.  It's hard to find a place to sit on the large bench outside though.   I counted at least 40 flavors, and it is served either plain or with ice cream, or with beans.  Beans???

I couldn't decide so I had a combo of pineapple, blueberry, grape, green apple and cherry.  Sweet, cool and refreshing!

April 21 - Weeding and the Hawaiian Hibiscus

Today was my first day as a volunteer at the Koko Crater Botanical Garden in Honolulu.   As I suspected, they put me to work weeding.  The area that I was working in had a lot of pure white hibiscus with red stamens.  These are one of the official native Hawaiian hibiscus.  Simple, but beautiful, especially in large groupings. I'm not used to physical labor, so I'm really tired now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April 20 - Red-Crested Cardinal

I saw an interesting bird the other day on my walk.  It looked like a cardinal, but it was red, white and blue.  Very patriotic.  I asked around and was told that it was a red-crested cardinal, and when I googled it I learned that it was native to South America, and was only introduced to Hawaii in about 1930.  It's a really pretty bird and certainly looks at home here.

April 19 - Pineapples

So that's how pineapples grow!!  No, really!  I always thought that pineapples grew on trees - like coconuts.  Well, they grow on the ground.  Hundreds of them, in neat rows, almost hidden sometimes by all the tall green foliage.  I stopped at the Dole Plantation store for some pineapple ice cream and some pineapple jam to take home.

April 18 - Art on the Zoo Fence

After dropping Joan off at the airport, I thought I would just go back to the house and chill, but then I saw a poster advertising "Art on the Zoo Fence" in Waikiki.  That sounded interesting, so off I went to the zoo.  I found out that it is a weekly event put on by local artists and wow!!  I saw some really good art.  Most of it had a Hawaiian theme, but there were some portraits, collages, and yes,  even a few abstracts.  I'm glad I saw that poster!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

April 17 - Sunset Beach

A quiet last day with Joan before she heads home tomorrow.  I'm sure she will be back for a visit again soon.  We had a nice dinner and topped it off with some pineapple shave ice at Matsumoto's before ending the evening at Sunset Beach.

April 16 - Snorkeling

Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay - what fun!  We saw hundreds of fish (it would take me a week to draw them).  My watercolor pencils just can't capture the bright yellows and oranges and silver.  I wish I had an underwater camera.  Words can't describe the awesome feeling of swimming above the reefs and looking down on these beautiful creatures. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

April 15 - Plumeria Grove

We just had to go back to the botanical gardens for another visit.  We both wanted to sketch and take photos in the plumeria grove.  So many different varieties.  I don't know which I liked best - white, pink, rainbow, yellow??

While we were there I also signed up to be a volunteer one day a week.  They need help with taking care of the plants, and keeping the park clean, as well as answering questions of the tourists at the visitor center.  I don't think I'm ready for that last one yet.

April 14 - Volcanoes

Joan wanted to visit a volcano, so today we took a trip to the big island and toured Volcano National Park.  We learned a lot about volcanoes and how they are formed.  We took the crater trail hike and stopped at a few overlooks.  We saw steam from several "hot spots" and before the hike was over, we got to see a few that were still glowing.  We walked out onto some dry lava.  It was sharp and hard to walk on.  There weren't really opportunities to sketch though.  I bought a patch at the gift shop to add to my patch collection.

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13 - Botanical Gardens

Text reads: "Spent an awesome day today sketching and painting at a botanical garden.  Need to go back soon."

Note:  I cut the photo too close and lost the writing on the last line.  Also, my character didn't mention that her sister was sketching with her. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April 12 - Luau

Joan and I went to a luau today at one of the hotels at Waikiki.  The food was wonderful, as was the entertainment.  And there were even some hula lessons included.

April 11 - Boogie Boarding

After picking out some pretty Hawaiian shirts to wear to the luau tomorrow, we headed out to the North Shore to check out some beaches.  We found a pretty one that had waves that weren't too scary.  They even had a shack that rented boogie boards.  We just watched how the kids did it, and then we gave it a try.  It was a blast, but I'm exhausted.  What a great day!

Friday, April 10, 2015

April 10 - House Guest

I picked Joan up at the airport this morning.  She is so happy to leave the cold New York weather behind.  We will take some time to unwind, unpack, have some lunch and a swim and then head out to do a little exploring.  I think we need to get some pretty Hawaiian shirts to wear to the luau this weekend.

April 9 - New Bedding

Today I bought new bedding for the guest room because I will be having a house guest. My sister will be arriving tomorrow to visit for a week.  I have some great plans.  Trips to several beaches, a luau or two, some sketching and some shopping.  And maybe a trip to one of the botanical gardens.  I can't wait!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Day 8 - April 8 - Things I want to learn to do

Things that  would like to learn:
1. How to surf
2. How to paddle a kayak
3. To snorkel
4. To identify Hawaiian wildlife
5. To grow hibiscus and orchids
6. To hula
7. To cook traditional Hawaiian food
8. To string flower and shell leis
9. To play ukulele
10. To boogie board

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Day 7 - April 7 - wildlife

As much as I was delighted to find those turtles on the beach yesterday, I was not quite so pleased to find this gecko on the wall above my bed this morning.  Don't get me wrong, I think geckos are cute, at least in the abstract.  I just don't want to think about them hanging out above my head as I sleep.  I managed to catch the little guy and to return him outside where he belongs.  I wonder what kind of wildlife I will encounter next. 

Days 5 and 6 - April 5 and 6 - Easter

I'm home from my Easter trip to Pennsylvania and can use my computer instead of my tablet to post these.

April 5 - Easter
"I went to the sunrise service at the Punchbowl National Cemetery - an ecumenical service with representatives from several churches on the island.  Very moving.  A little boy beside me gave me an origami bunny that he made himself.  He reminded me of my grandchildren who I am missing today."

April 6
"Wow!  What a wonderful surprise awaited me this morning.  On my walk I found three turtles - honu - sunning themselves on the beach.  Good thing that I had my sketch kit with me."

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Day 4 - April 4

I decided to be a tourist on this beautiful Saturday and take the hike up to the top of Diamond Head.  It was a long trail that hugged the mountain.  There were a couple of long steep staircases and a dark tunnel, but when we finally got to the top, we could see all of Waikiki, and there was a lighthouse right below us.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Day 3 - April 3

Today is Good Friday - a day of prayer and contemplation.  My little corner of the world is a good place to do this.  All is quiet this morning, perfect for a solo walk on the beach and a little quiet reading.  Later I will see about finding a church service.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

2nd Page - April 2

I'm so jetlagged! I did a small grocery run and came back with a couple of Maui Gold pineapples.  I'm told that they are the best.  So sweet!

I also picked up a pair of flip-flops.  I always forget to pack those.  Looking forward to a swim after lunch.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

First Page - 2015 Fake Journal - April 1

This is the first page in my 2015 Fake Journal. 
"I can't believe I'm here after a long flight, and looking at the view from the window of my own beach house!"
"Sounds wonderful, doesn't it - my OWN BEACH HOUSE!!

I'm using a Strathmore watercolor sketchbook, because it has 15 sheets, so both sides will be perfect for 30 days.  My "character" uses watercolor pencil and a water brush.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

It's Time for Fake Journal Month Again!!! And my 2014 Wrap Up

It's time to be thinking about my fake journal for 2015.  I have the sketchbook, I have chosen from several ideas one that I think will work, and I'm ready to go.  This year, Roz has started a Facebook page just for our fake journals, so it will be easy for us to keep up with what each other is doing.  I will be posting my progress both here and on the Facebook group page.

 "Life is so short.  Why live just one?" - Roz Stendahl

Just noticed that I did not post the wrap-up that I sent to Roz after the 2014 IFJM was over.  Here it is:

I had a lot of trouble coming up with a "character" for this year's fake journal, so I went with Roz's suggestion to think of a technique that I wanted to try and then figure out who would use that technique.  
I wanted to try a line and wash technique that Gerald Brommer calls "color independent of line" in one of his workshops. I like how the technique looks, and thought it would be quick and not too labor intensive.   
I decided to use gardens, since it was spring, and gardens lend themselves well to this technique. In hindsight, maybe should not have restricted myself to a single subject, especially that subject, since I do paint realistic, close focused flowers in my real life. 
My "character" was someone who plans and reads about gardens, and works hard to make her garden beautiful—in contrast to myself who never gets around to doing much garden work and must buy flowers at the grocery store if I want to paint them. It was hard to distance myself from my character though, because real flowers and real weather were occurring all around me. Perhaps it would have been better to have placed my character in a different climate—maybe tropical, so that she wouldn't be writing about what was actually growing here. Perhaps it would have been better to have used a different subject matter as well as a new technique, but I was trying to keep it simple. 
I liked and always wanted to try this technique, but honestly, coming up with an image and a quote that would work with it every day was a bit challenging, and I did get bored with it on occasion. I had also intended to put a bit of gardening advice on every spread, but since April is early for gardening in my area, I ran out of things that could realistically be done in the garden—thus the change of location/climate would have helped with this. 
I loved the idea of using quotes though, and plan to use them in my regular journal. And as usual, since I am not a disciplined, every day journaler, I fell behind and did not complete all 30 page spreads.  But I like what I've done with the 24 spreads that I did do, and I would really like to finish the rest at some point.
P.S.  I eventually finished 29 of the 30 pages.


April 27, 28 and 29

As I was getting ready to start my 2015 fake journal, I realized that I did not post my last three entries for last year.  I suppose that I was waiting until I did the 30th page, but for some reason I did not complete a 30th.  So, here are, belatedly, April 27, 28 and 29 for last year.