Saturday, January 30, 2016

30th of 30 -- final piece in the current challenge!

I'm so excited -- I finished the last piece in this 30 day challenge today, and I completed every one of the 30 assignments this year! Last year I missed a couple and never got back to them (go figure).

It's been so much fun, and challenging, and I've really enjoyed learning and thinking about the different words we were assigned and how to draw them.

Our final word is once again from the Japanese language. The word is "soken" and is defined as "invention, creation, originality".

I think I am most creative and original when I have fun, so I decide to do just that for this final challenge. I once again used my jar of mixed discarded powder because it's hard to get   a more original medium than one comprised of an aggregation of the cast off media from  previous projects ;o)

Here is my interpretation of "soken". First a photo of the entire piece:

And a nice little close up of some of the detail:

As always, thank you for joining me on this ride! In a week, I will be beginning a new drawing challenge -- I would love to have you drop by to check it out!


Friday, January 29, 2016

Kotoba, kashimashii and chūshin

All of the last three words are from the Japanese language. One thing I love so much about Japanese is the kanji characters. It's really cool to be able to communicate so much with a single character! And different parts that go into the kanji character have stand alone meanings. For more information (very cool info) go take a peek at Kelly's blog: Modernancientglass.

The word kotoba means, well, "word". The basic unit of oral communication, I went kind of obvious with this although I do like to think about the different ways we communicate, many of which do not rely on the spoken word at all.


Kashimashii is such a fun word to say, though I am not sure if I am pronouncing it correctly. I wonder if the final two "i's" make the "shii" part of the word two syllables instead of one? And that sort of mindless meandering is often what keeps me up at night :o)

Kashimashii means noisy or mischievous. I got a little noisy and mischievous in creating this when I decided to look upon that ugly black powder with disdain and push it aside. I dug out some bright, pretty powders to play with -- it brought a bit of color to my day, I hope it does the same for you!


Chūshin is defined as "heart, core, mind, inside feeling". I guess you might say I was a bit mischievous with this one also, once again eschewing that black powder.

One consequence of any powder work that incorporates more than one color of glass powder is mixing/contamination of single colors. When I make a piece (like kashimashii, above) that requires more than one color, no matter how careful I am, I always end up with some mixing of cast off powder. Powder is pricey, so I collect those mixed colors in a jar to use for practice pieces, screen printing and such.

I dipped into that mixed powder jar to create my picture for chūshin, because our hearts, our cores are very complex and sometimes seem very mixed up. What goes into our heart can never be removed, it just gets incorporated into all of the other emotions and experiences that already reside at the core of our being. There is nothing simple about the heart or core of our being: it's complicated!

My chūshin is centered around a nucleus of energy that radiates out in varied and interesting ways.


As always, thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


The word for today is "chikara" --

Chikara: (Japanese)  Power, strength, force.

This is more traditional than abstract, but it's the direction that the powder took me this evening. I originally planned for the fist to be much more stylized and blocky, but wasn't sure it was clear enough what it was supposed to represent so I softened it.

I liked the idea of a fist breaking through a barrier. Hopefully the power comes through in this sketch.


Thank you for joining me on this journey!

Monday, January 25, 2016


Not feeling well today, and it shows in my lack of enthusiasm about these pieces. I just couldn't get into the assignments. Perhaps I'll revisit these words later. Probably not.

Day 24th word was Ya' aburnee, an Arabic term that literally means "you bury me". The context is a love so great that one can't imagine living without their partner. As in "I hope I die before you do so I don't have to live with out you".

I imagined two characters so intertwined that they can't be pulled apart. Here is my interpretation of  Ya' aburnee:

Our word for today is

Mamihlapinatapai -- A silent acknowledgement and understanding between two people, who are both wishing or thinking the same thing (and are both unwilling to initiate).

There are probably myriad different ways this interaction plays out between people. What came to mind for me was the idea of two people who are falling in love, but neither is able or willing to acknowledge it. I saw this as a barrier that feels impenetrable.


Sorry that today's offerings are so "meh". It's just one of those headache-y, sore throat-y, all around yucky days...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Just for fun-- girl on swing plus process pictures

I have been working on this one for a while. I initially drew the trees and fired them. I really liked the idea of making a pair of trees that were intertwined as a symbol of mature love. I then added the girl on the swing. I had planned to have a little boy pushing her on the swing (sort of young love juxtaposed against the trees) but she demanded to be the focus. So I fired her on and then she sat idle for a few weeks while I worked up the nerve to add some color. She's certainly not perfect, but she is

Girl on swing: first the trees

 Adding the little girl:

Adding powdered and crushed glass for color!:

And she's out of the kiln and done!

Days 22 and 23: Forelsket and Goya

It's funny how once I sift some powder on my base piece of glass and start to move it around, the powder often "tells me" where to go. I had this idea in my mind for the forelsket, but the powder took me in another direction entirely!

I do love this word, (although it does sound a bit like something that gets removed at a Bris). What a wonderful, frightening, euphoric, panicky time it describes!

Forelsket (Norwegian): The indescribable euphoria experienced as you begin to fall in love.

The powder took me on quite a ride with this  one, quite literally ;o)

Forelsket --

Our next word was from the Urdu language. The word is Goya and it means: A transporting suspension of disbelief- An "as-if" that feels like reality- such as in good storytelling.

I probably took this one too literally for this challenge of abstraction, but I have loved reading since I learned to put letters together to spell words. (My first was "toe", by the way. And I had some beautiful handmade Barbie clothes, toys, and any number of blooks that bear the mark of the unique blend of precociousness and immaturity that describes me at 4 to prove it!).

That other-worldly feeling you get when you are fully immersed in a story; that sadness when you reach the end of a book that became your world for a little while -- excruciating, I love them both. And all I could think of as I contemplated the word "goya" was the joy of opening a new book and becoming part of a new world.


Now I am off to find a new book!


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Jugaad, Hiraeth and Waldeinsamkeit

Jugaad, Hiraeth and Waldeinsamkeit, frankly I will feel somewhat successful today it I have managed to spell each of our last three abstract terms correctly! Last time we had Korean and Yiddish words. Today's concepts are Hindi, Welsh, and German in origin. It's really cool to realize that so many languages include words that are so very pregnant with meaning! We really tend to forget that many of our words have complex and/or multiple definitions.

In other words, many words can not be defined with a single word  ;o)

Our word for Weds. was Jugaad:


Noun. (Hindi)

Ensuring that things happen even with minimal resources, even if they happen 'by hook or by crook'

This is such a fabulous word, and fabulous concept -- although I really wish it wasn't necessary. We are so often faced with limited resources and unlimited need. This word resonated with me very strongly.

I wanted to portray the idea of nothing being made into something of value and that something being multiplied out into the world. Hopefully that is evident in this 10-minute rendition of "jugaad":

Our next term is from the Welsh language: Haraeth


Noun.  (Welsh)

A homesickness for somewhere you cannot return to, the nostalgia and the grief for the lost places of your past, places that never were. 

I found this word much easier to feel than to pronounce. I ended up drawing a figure of someone or something trying to surround or embrace a void -- attempting to capture something that isn't actually there. Hopefully this comes across here:

For our final word of this trio, we go to the German language.


 Noun.  (German-..... Any Germans out there who'd like explain pronunciation on this one? ha!)

The feeling of being alone in the woods, An easy solitude and a connectedness to nature.

Perhaps not as unpronounceable as the Welsh, but still a mouthful of a term. This one was the most difficult for me to get very abstract on. I really could not get my mind away from focusing on the feeling of meditating in a fairy circle in the woods. I couldn't make a powder drawing to do this justice in 10 minutes, but here is what I managed to throw together:

And, that's all for today, folks. Thank you for stopping by!  :o)

Monday, January 18, 2016

I never thought I would say this but: Resfeber and Trepverter

The words keep coming, and they get more challenging (I originally was going to say "weirder") every day. 

Yesterday's word was "resfeber"


Noun. (Swedish)

The restless beat of a traveler's heart before the journey begins. A mixture of anxiety and anticipation.

I must admit that my first thought upon reading this definition was of our fearless leader -- the woman who is "assigning" these words and encouraging our powder drawing attempts. She has been on vacation with her family, and between missed flights, missing rental cars, and tornadoes (TORNADOES!), their vacation has not been much of a holiday! Kelly and her entire family have been much on my mind.

Despite the way the "vacation" has turned out, I imagine they experienced resfeber as the day of departure grew closer!

Here is my powder interpretation of the word resfeber:

Hopefully I have conveyed the idea of jittery excitement and anticipation of the future!

Our word for today is a Yiddish word, but not one I have heard coming from a certain presidential hopeful in recent weeks. Today our concept is trepverter:


Noun.  (Yiddish)

A witty riposte or comeback you think of only when it's too late to use.  
Literally means 'staircase words'.

Although this is a concept I recognize and something I have experienced, the word was a new one to me. Here is my depiction of "trepverter":

What I was thinking when creating this was something along the lines of: "wait, wait, okay I've got it...HEY, where did she go?".  ;o)

Thank you for visiting -- and please, come back tomorrow for a vocabulary and spelling test.

Just kidding  ;o)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Contentment and nunchi

Hi there! Our sgraffito powder drawing challenge has, to use a much overused term favored by politicos, "turned the corner". Assignments through yesterday had us drawing our interpretations of abstract nouns. The first picture I have for you today is the last one in that series: contentment. I had to let this one rattle around in my brain for a couple of day, considering and discarding my way through a variety of ideas. The one I was unable to toss aside was this -- contentment represented as light, gentle waves of, well, contentment ;o)  Not very profound, I know, but here it is:


As I mentioned above, our assignment for today (and apparently those for days to come) is different. (as in head scratchingly, perplexingly abstract-er) The word for today was "nunchi":


Noun.  (Korean)

The subtle, often unnoticed art of listening and gauging another's mood.

Say what? Yes, this is a Korean word, and a rather complex idea. How the heck does one draw nunchi?  

I tossed this around for a couple of hours, but I kept coming back to the same thoughts on this term: this is something that occurs frequently in abusive relationships. In order to survive abuse, a victim learns to quietly, surreptitiously, gauge her/his abuser's mood. So, this one is somewhat dark for me, although I do recognize that this could also be used to describe "active listening" activities. 

So, if you want quiet, gentility -- send your eyes back up to the picture of contentment. 


Friday, January 15, 2016

Slavery and despair

I'm not sure what is says about me that I found it much easier to come up with pictures for the words slavery and despair (Jan. 13&14) but am still flummoxed as to how to portray our most recent word: contentment.

Maybe it's the migraines, making it easier to think dark thoughts than happy ones?

For slavery, I immediately went to the idea of having no voice or power, being totally disenfranchised. I can't help but think about the stories of trafficked girls, and this is what came to mind:

I believe I will revisit this concept and take a bit more time with it. After I took the photos of this I realized the shape of the face is way too round, but by then I had dumped the powder back in the jar. Oops!

Despair -- this brought to mind the feeling of being crushed under the weight of depression or difficulties. Obviously I need to work on figure drawing, but I think this at least communicates what I was going for. I will revisit this drawing/concept again also for my series of hard life pictures. As soon as I have the time to really focus, and after I get the little wooden artist's human figure model in the mail. I think that will help me with getting the parts of the woman more proportionate.


Thank you for dropping by!
...TRrrish ;o)

Infatuation and motivation

Been having a week of it -- fighting migraines :op

So, not much dialog, but here are my 10-minute powder sgraffito drawings for January 11 and 12: infatuation and motivation.

Infatuation: A bright flash of a firework, followed by ashes and smoke...

Motivation: Are you motivated by the carrot or the stick?

Friday, January 8, 2016

Greed, justice, and lack of attention

So last night I went to bed with the word of the day percolating through my thought process. How to depict "greed"? By the time I woke up, my mind had pictured greed as a large hungry mouth in a void. The mouth would have multiple rows of teeth (all the better to devour with) but being a disembodied mouth, everything the mouth consumes is lost to the void. Greed is never satisfied, always wanting MORE!

Too bad I mis-remembered the word for the day! The actual assignment is to draw envy, not greed. And it's really not the same concept at all, even though the two are somewhat related. Sorry folks, here is my D-/F submission for the 7th -- it doesn't follow the directions of the assignment at all. But here you have it --


I realized upon reflection that the perspective of the tongue on this is completely wrong, so I re-did the tongue:

Then I realized that this is not really right either (and I prefer the softer look of the tongue above) but my 10 minutes was up, so I moved on to the next drawing...

The word for today is "justice". You know, as in "liberty and justice for all". And my favorite verse from the Old Testament (mangled Trish recollection of the translations I've read it in): "He has shown you what is good and what the Lord requires: do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8). Goodness, I could write a whole book of blogs based on this one!
What comes to mind for me when I think about "doing justice" is this: making wrong things right. For everyone.


I chose a single finger as the acting force in this because I liked the message it sends -- it doesn't always take a lot of effort to correct a wrong, and anyone can do it!. 

Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Communication and waste

Can you guess our drawing challenge words of the day for yesterday and today? Hint; look up ;o)

Yes, "communication" was our word for the day yesterday, and "waste" was today's word. I always think the key to true communication is the ability to correctly receive and then respond to the message. I visualized this as a set of transmitters and receivers with the receivers much larger than the transmitters, symbolizing the importance of speaking gently but listening "hard". I think there may be shades of struggle from an old relationship directing this one  ;o)


For "waste" I immediately started considering things that waste my time, sucking away opportunities to be creative. The top of that list: television. I find it such an easy escape, very much the opiate of the masses, circa 20th-21st centuries. I suppose social networking/getting stuck on Facebook is a close second.


I actually only gave each of these 5 minutes, making them as a warm up for a couple of pieces I wanted to do some more work on.

I wanted to add a silhouette of a girl on a swing to the picture I started earlier with the old entwined trees. I like the play of youth (the young girl) against age (ancient trees) in the fading fall twilight. I will add more color to it in a subsequent firing, but here it is going in for a second firing today:

I have also had the picture of a Haitian woman in a desolate, dusty landscape (the reality for much of Haiti following massive deforestation and destructive typhoons) to add to. For now, I just added some shoes (the color I used earlier was too transparent) and a dust storm blowing up behind her. This may complete this piece (except for the framing of it), we'll see late tomorrow :o) BTW, the powder on the sandstorm fires much darker than it goes on. I used two colors that I mixed myself...

Thank you for dropping by!
... TRrrish

Monday, January 4, 2016

30 day challenge -- the abstract version! Days 1-4

January 2016 has brought with it snow, ice, migraines, and a new 30-day powder drawing challenge! Between traveling and recovering from all those "foreign" germs, I have been slow to start. But today I was determined to get caught up.

This year's challenge is actually quite different from last year's. We are only "allowed" 10-15 minutes for each powder drawing: they are intended to be a "warm up" of sorts to get our hands and heads loose and working. Yes, our heads! You see this year we will be given a new abstract noun each day and challenged to, well, draw what comes to mind. What comes to mind for me is that I am not sure I am much of an abstract thinker! 

Here are my quick powder drawings for January 1-4th. White sheet glass, black glass powder, using my fingers and a business card as my only "tools":

January 1st: "Comfort"

January 2nd: "Effulgence":

January 3rd: "Generosity":

January 4th:  "Chaos":