Thursday, January 7, 2016

Little People of the Felt


 
Soon, soon, a new blog...I have the structure & name & notes for it in my paper journal. Soon, soon, a new blog, with a link from here. But for now, meet my new people. I was introduced to felting at a library workshop by artist Jessica Peil-Meininghaus. I adore her book, The Gnome Project, so much more than a craft book, & it is a pretty & nicely formatted book with colorful photos!

I've been fascinated by snow people & dolls since I was a little person myself, though 2-D drawing is my medium rather than sculpture. During one of my last winters in my old home I made these guys so that they could wave to the children on the school bus (& greet me as I returned home).

I'm sure there will be sketching, & wandering in the next blog, but not exclusively. It's time to explore in some different ways.

If you have recently discovered this blog, do go back through old entries. I've loved posting them. 

Soon, soon, a new blog...

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

(Blog) Home for the Holidays: Card-Making

A little forest of mini Evergreen Christmas cards.
Each card is unique, though a member of the same forest.
Process: One by one. Draw with PH Martin India ink & let dry. Paint with watercolor, let dry. 
Cut out with orange handled Fiskars...
 ...& glue onto small folded card stock with Yes! paste. 
My mini good luck charm Dopey thinks it's his little forest! 
It is until we send out the trees to their new homes. 

(Before the trees, I had tried to get cards printed from a drawing...It didn't translate, no matter how much the poor printer tweaked the colors. That same day, after the failed attempt,  while I was preparing for a children's card-making workshop, the trees just seemed to form themselves. Lesson learned: Failures are OK. They can lead to new directions...)

Cut Outs and Paper Dolls:
The trees reminded me how I love cut-outs. To see my old post, "Paris Paper Dolls", click HERE.
 
Or, click Here to see my old post 
"Paper Doll Story in Progress".

So, Happy Holidays to All, and to All Happy Creating,
no matter what your medium!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sketchbook Wandering: The Last Post

How I hate endings, but,
the time has come to end this blog. 
It's been such a wonderful experience
with some gifts that I never expected, 
including making some new friends & penpals, 
in this state, in this country, & in Europe!

I've loved following your blogs regularly 
& receiving comments. 
I've loved sharing my process & my little drawings.
Sketchbook Wandering taught me a lot.

I am Wandering less these days, 
but continue to carry my Sketchbook.
I'm enjoying my art & other involvements here, 
close to home.

There are pictures to be drawn,
pages to be written, & new surprises to come!
A friend says each morning as she arises, "Yippee!" 
I say, "Hura!" "Youpi!" & "Yippee!"

I'll leave the blog up & check in from time to time,
so if any of you wonderful correspondents wish 
to leave me notes, I will love that!

Do zobacznia, au revoir, & may we meet again!  

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Quebec City, Je t'aime


A sketch from Quebec City from my May 2015 trip with J. Why not a recent sketch? I don't seem to have time for my art or the blog right now. I do miss leaving notes to my blog correspondents. 

I just got back from Quebec City with members of my French book group. It was about language immersion, sharing "my" city, & the fun of being social. Sketching was only during my morning café time.   

Since my return, learning a new tech device is taking my time. It's like another foreign language to me! I held out for a long time before getting the thing, but I love it! Welcome to the 21st century, SW!   

For you local folks, I WILL be participating in a sale day of my little art works at Beth's (Sew Sew Art blog) studio in Searsport next Saturday. The Prolific Beth will have a lot of lovely, colorful creations on sale.  Details to come. (We are not far from Portland, you southern friends! And it's gorgeous up here!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lake Megunticook: Island in Autumn


I sat in my car by the side of Lake Megunticook, sketching. 
I then made this painting back home, 
from the sketch & from memory. No photo.
Sketching on location gave me
an excuse to be immersed in the colors, movement, 
changing light, & air for more than a passing moment.
Good for the soul.

A gorgeous bouquet from Autumn!

So grateful.
It's one of my favorite spots in the whole world.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Language Exchange of Portland Maine


Meet La Fofolle. The idea of her 
as well as her name came from 
Valérie Guillet, the founder of 
Portland Maine's Language Exchange. 
She is part of the new logo & website for the school 
& its wonderful Immersion Programs & Trips.

To see her in her context, 
& to check out the school's offerings Click HERE .

La Fofolle is full of joy because at the school 
she has learned to communicate in the native language 
of the foreign country in which she is travelling! 
And she gets to learn more of that language 
when she travels with
The Language Exchange's Immersion trips!

Click Here to visit the Photo Gallery of 
Valérie’s magificent photos of past Immersion Trips.
My favorite happened to be the Lavendar Trip en Provence.
  It was one of the most enchanting experiences of my life!
The day we went into the mountains to see, to experience 
& to smell the amazing fields of lavender 
I'd forgotten to bring my camera. 
So I had to sketch like never before!
But now I am delighted to see Valérie's photos in her gallery!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Homework: Still Life Versions


Homework for class: Ink Drawing

I started with simple, tiny, (2" X 4"), 
02 Micron pen drawings  (below)

But afterwards, I couldn't resist 
making a color version. (above)
 I love the feel of the ink line, 
but one should not keep scribbling 
on one's little drawing because one will be left with:
Only a black surface.

So, I continued scratching & hatching 
on new versions.
(Above): minimal line.
I love it, but it takes restraint 
to not keep going. And, so it is in life. 
Learning to know when & how to stop,
or to move on to the next.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Why a Drawing Class?



 "Why would you take a drawing class
when you already know how to draw?" someone asked.

Because:

• In drawing one never stops progressing & learning.
• One learns from other students as well as a teacher.
• New energy & motivation.
• New exercises & materials = good bye comfort zone!
• Homework!
• Community of folks with similiar passions

The above drawing may appear to be similiar 
to many I've posted.

But:

It was re-drawn with my familiar ink 
from a fast, on-location pencil sketch
which was new & different.
I haven't used graphite in a long time. 
And I used a "WOODLESS PENCIL", 
introduced to us in class. Very dark, smooth, & rich! 

An in-class exercise also affected the way I'm drawing now: 
Drawing with our non-dominant hand! 
A wonderful way to loosen one's approach!
I HAD to do it when I had a wrist injury,
but the comfort zone made me abandon the practice 
when the wrist healed. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Illustrations: Library Kids' Stuff

This little guy bear has been coming with me 
to library story times for a long time.
We don't do that many, now that we are retired, but 
we will be presenting a new Pajamarama series at our library. 
He's happy that he is the poster guy for it.

He loves reading to children & leading them in song & art!
Here is an illustration 
that I had created for the children's page 
of the Scarborough Public Library. 
My illustrations for print and/or Internet 
are a bit tighter than my sketches, 
but I enjoy creating them! More to come...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Sight of the Stars

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty.
But the sight of the stars makes me dream."
~Vincent Van Gogh

Last night I dreamed I was looking up at the stars 
 & remembering how I loved to do that in the past. 
These days I dream,
but I forget to go out to look at the sight of the stars.

From the Walking Bridge, these days, 
I watch loons, ducks, gulls, cormorants & seals. 
The Walking Bridge which goes over the Passy River 
where it runs into Belfast Harbor 
and then to Penobscot Bay 
 which opens out to the open sea.

From the Walking Bridge these early evenings, 
I am treated to the sight of curtains of rain 
falling from violet-gray dense clouds
10 miles out across the Bay, 
over the Castine Peninsula 
& beyond that Blue Hill.

Up close along the path to the Walking Bridge 
I am treated to sweet ferns dancing, 
inviting me to touch them
with their natural perfume.
These days wild flowers are shrivelling 
& displaying seeds with white feathery wings. 

These days, through the car windows 
on Maine road trips, 
I am treated to the sight of rolling hills 
& gold toned meadows,
distant hills, & apples sparkling on trees. 

I want last night's dream to come true,
to enjoy the these early autumn nights, 
as well as these amazing days.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Portland Cafés


So I moved from a city that I love to a small town that I love. I've been tuning into feelings of homesickness, lately, mal du pays, nostalgia, longing, in Polish its called tęsknota.There are concrete aspects of the city that I don't miss: pollution, traffic, low flying airplanes. But I miss some places terribly: the cafés for example. Some of them moved away as did I: Cambridge Café, Portland Coffee Roasting, and Mornings in Paris. Above is a scene from 2000 at the old Portland Coffee Roasting that was on Commercial Street. Cafés are for many people places for conversation, for me, they are most often a place where I love studying my French and, of course, sketching.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Maine Storyboard



Just thinking about favorite places in Maine.
At this moment in the background of my mind 
I am hearing the Beatles: 
"Love, Love, Love..."

Hmm...What to do with this? 
Is it a storyboard for some paintings? 
A storyboard for a little book?
Might I add text & turn it into a graphic novel of sorts? 
Hmmm....

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Portland Farmer's Market with Maine College of Art


 I spent a day in my beloved old home city of Portland, 
at the downtown Farmer's Market, 
sketching with a Maine College of Art Workshop. 
Above, not the original, as the raw sketch was 
too full of fast, scribbly lines. 
 Also a sketch from the sketch. 
Sketching with a class gave me the bravado to plunk myself 
& my little stool down in the midst of a sea of 
moving people, colors, & sounds. 
What a great way to slow down & to focus 
on one subject at a time.
If anyone was peeking over my shoulder, I didn't notice. 
This is the actual on-location, raw sketch.
Our Lady of Victories, is the monument in Monument Square,      
created to commemorate lives lost during the Civil War. 
Every Wednesday she looks down on the market below. 
I was looking up at her while eating at a sidewalk café table 
on the edge of the sidewalk.
Also on the edge of the sidewalk was Myron 
playing blues harmonica & singing lyrics, 
some traditional, some invented on the spot. 
He played well to the young children
& made them dance. He made me laugh. 
That's a foot operated tambourine!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My New FWB: Favorite Watercolor Book

I'm been making little gifts of dried lavender that I got 
from the local Glendarragh farm & the shop in Camden. 
Purple, violet, plum, lavender, 
periwinkle, mauve magenta & crimson hues 
are calling to me lately. 
Over the years so many of my young girl art students 
chose them as favorite palettes, 
& not just on Valentine's Day.
 Palettes are on my mind because of Mimi Robinson's book,
Local Color: Seeing Place Through Watercolor
Influenced by Josef Alber's work showing color relationships,
 & realizing how much she enjoyed painting color tests before painting subjects, 
she started using palettes in & of themselves 
as a form of visual journaling. 
 The  book is meant to be instructional, 
but it is beautiful in its own right between her photos, 
the palettes & her representational paintings.
So many watercolor books have overlapping information, 
so I rarely buy them anymore. 
But this book is unique & a pleasant addition to my collection.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The French Series


Based on a book shop in Arles

I will be visiting some old French study group friends 
who asked me to bring some of my pictures 
of France, the ones I used to sell. 
The trouble is: Most of them have sold.
I'm trying to create more, but it's not the same.
I haven't been to France in 3 years!
And perhaps my way of drawing is changing.

Here are a few of the old ones:

 Based on a street scene in Paris.
Artist's collection.
La maison aux volets bleus, Venasque

 Two hilltop villages in Provence

 
Arles

Paris
 
Paris

Paris
On the way back I'm going to drop off some
Maine landscapes to a shop in Damariscotta.
So, I figure, first, I'll show them to my friends.
Perhaps I can interest them in images of my current love: 
Rural Maine.

I guess, wherever my spirit is, 
that is where my drawing takes me.
For now, it's right here.