D is for drawing

I am blogging A to Z about artists, particularly women artists and mostly about my mother, Helen Burling Ottaway.

This is my sister Chris again, from a 1978 sketchbook that my mother mailed to me. My mother had a sketchbook with her most of the time. She kept everything. My father did not sort anything and I am just now beginning to catalog the art, the sketchbooks, and my mother’s diaries. My mother died in 2000 and my father in 2013. The silver lining of being off from work post pneumonia is that I am going through the boxes and beginning to organize things. It looks like it is not a small job.

#Blogging from A to Z #letter D #art #women artists #ATOZCHALLENGE

B is for Busy and Burling

My mother, Helen Burling Ottaway, was a very busy and prolific artist.

Every New Year’s, she would resolve to paint a water color a day. By March she would complain that she had only painted 25 or 30. However, she would also be doing birthday presents for me and my sister and our father, all in March, and crafts and etchings and pastels and a life drawing class and the sketchbook that she constantly carried.

B is also for baby. The etching is of my sister, Christine Robbins Ottaway, as a baby. The title is Chris I and she did this in 1968.

I have described the process for etchings here: Four Seasons.

My mother was a very busy artist.

#ATOZBLOGGINGCHALLENGE2022 # art # Women artists # Helen Burling Ottaway

A is for Artist: Helen Burling Ottaway

This month my topic for Blogging from A-Z is art and particularly my mother, the artist Helen Burling Ottaway, born May 31, 1938. She died May 15, 2000, of ovarian cancer. I am starting with her sketches, and the self portrait. My mother sent me a sketchbook for Christmas, 1978, that I still have. I was 17 and was an exchange student to Denmark. She drew pictures of lots of family and friends and mailed me the sketchbook. I really love it still.

I love her comments, too. They are often very funny. Here is my father and what was happening.

Sketch of Malcolm Kenyon Ottaway by Helen Burling Ottaway

#Blogging from A to Z Challenge

AtoZ Theme Reveal

My theme for the April AtoZ blog challenge this year is art. I think it will mostly be my mother’s art. She died in 2000 of ovarian cancer. My only sibling died in 2012 of breast cancer and my father in 2013 of emphysema. And I have the art: my parents were both packrats and trying to deal with the house and an out of date will took about three years. Moving stuff around, getting rid of stuff. The art initially went in to a storage unit and then into my house. My mother Helen Burling Ottaway was prolific! And she kept every single piece of art and her diaries back to high school! I found a suitcase with my grandfather’s poetry as well: that will be for another day.

This painting is of my sister. My mother started oils later in her career and Michael Platt, a DC artist, said something like, “Quit doing tiny things. Do something big.” My mother started doing life size and larger than life portraits in chalk pastel and in oils. This painting captures my sister when she was twenty: emotions. I like it but I also think that it is frightening.

Christine Robbins Ottaway age 20, by Helen Burling Ottaway, oil, 1984

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

lunar

Who is this diving? Can you tell?

Whew, at the end of Blogging from A to Z, happy things all month. I am tired. This weekend I went to see my daughter at college. We went for a walk and saw the above bird. More than one. Have you guessed?

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This is a Common Loon, in breeding plumage, here.

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I love the precise collar of black and white that stops at the back of the neck. They swim much lower in the water than our mallards, and the mallards don’t dive.

Ready to dive:

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Gone!

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Rest from the Blogging from A to Z Challenge! Right now we have 248 people who have completed it: here.

Zzzzzz

The letter Z: zzzz. Zzzzzs, blessed sleep.

My friend is not asleep here. But what a place to sleep!

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And sleep in the sun!

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Sleep on a couch!

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Sleep in a boat!

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And back to the daybed.

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Blogging from A to Zzzzzz, and the challenge is done.

Z

y for yes

Blogging from A to Z, happy things. Y for yellow, yearn and yes! w

I yearn to get more exercise. Sort of. I’m not making it enough of a priority. I did walk to work about a week ago and lots of trees were topped with birds. First a yellow shafted Northern Flicker. Am I sure it’s yellow shafted and not red shafted? Well, no. I would need a brighter day to see it’s tail that well.

Next:

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Corvus, the crow. Here. Next a robin:

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And who is this? Very upright and about the size of the crow:

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The branches made it a tricky focus shot and I zoomed all the way in. There! Yes!

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I think this is a juvenile Swainson’s hawk, here. It could be a Cooper’s hawk but doesn’t have a long tail. Correct me, birders, if I am wrong!

Yes, yearn and yellow…. yea for the letter Y.

Y

 

 

XOXO earth

Blogging from A to Z, happy things. XOXOXO love and kisses to our beautiful earth!

XO earth

These were taken in Hawaii, with my cell phone as my big camera ran out of battery power.

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And all creatures great and small as well: XOXO.

X

Blogging from A to Z: the letter X.

 

 

water to wash

Happy things from A to Z, the letter W. W for water, wet and wash!

We were very excited about the green turtles in Hawaii. But we photograph birds too:

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Down by the water, checking it out. Then the featured post, bathing in the sea. And a clean wet bird:

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We think this is a yellow billed cardinal, originally introduced from Brazil, here.

W

Blogging from A to Z, the letter W.

veil

Happy things from A to Z: the letter v. V for veil and vulnerable and vamp.

While we were in Hawaii, there was a rain squall that blew up. We went back to the car and as you can see, the other photographer crashed. Really really asleep, veiled by a towel.

We are vulnerable when we are asleep. Relaxed. Out. The rain was ferocious. I felt protective while he slept. I also felt protected by the car…

And then vamp! Our noon Rotary held a fundraiser to update the kitchen of the Boiler Room. We dressed up, went to dinner and contributed money. The Boiler Room is a drug and alcohol free welcoming space in Port Townsend that has given out tons of free meals and soup and employs people as well. We are from the Sunrise Rotary. All the groups help each other. The theme was something about the old west and they had teens from the Interact Club to take pictures with our cell phones:

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We were being serious for a moment. I could definitely make up a story about the picture!

And vamp it up! I was trying red lipstick for the concert on Saturday. I am in a small group called the Starlets and we sang Andrews Sisters songs. Red, red, red!

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V

Blogging from A to Z, the letter v.