Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Happy Easter Mini

 Holidays, such a lovely excuse 
to make cards & decorations!
I'm grateful that this holiday tradition 
started for me in childhood.
A Mini, I LOVE Mini's, with cutouts
glued on (with Yes paste) 
onto a small folded strip.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Home and Color Play

Playing with layers:
1. yellow tones of watercolor washes  
2. glazing, wet over dry  
3. pastel pencil marks
Close up.

It evolved from simple color play 
to a theme of "Home" (Title: "Home Schema Home") 
for a local group show at Waterfall Arts. 
I so loved the schema for home when I drew as a young child.  
And I still do as an adult sketcher. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Sketching Through Meetings

Sketching gets me through meetings, 
that agitate or bore me...
I re-did some images from a meeting 
I attended in February, 
to make them a bit more presentable... 
Subject of the meeting? Politics.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Simple Travel Sketching

Simply, one sketchbook & one or several pens
while traveling.
Grab & Go, a little scribbly image 
to remember the moment for always...
In Boston, everywhere, EVERYwhere, 
lots of people (the majority?) with "Devices", 
tuned into electronic worlds,
maybe oblivious to their physical surroundings? 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Abstracting with Negative Sapce

In the Sketchers group I presented a mini lesson on perceiving negative space, 
à la Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain
A fantastic approach for seeing & drawing!

I had observed some tree branches out of a café window
on one gray & dreary day. During the group, which took place
on another gray & dreary day, 
armed with the concept of "Point of Departure", 
I dropped & mixed colors into the spaces of a quick ink sketch. 

Here in the Northeast, in the last days of March, 
we have a limited time to observe 
the beautiful interweavings that tree branches up above make.
Oh the twisted, jagged lines & beautiful shapes of sky! 
Behold the layers of skeletal branches crissing & crossing! 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Mountaintop in February

 The mountaintop to which I return often...
"Where the mountains meet the sea..."

Two sketches from the same spot,
but on two different February mornings.
I went there to breathe....
Now I go back to celebrate.
Spring has more meaning this year.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Color Wandering Close to Home

A friend asks: What are your "prompts"?
Perhaps that is synonymous with" inspirations". "Points of departure". What launches me? 

Yesterday it was experimenting with a new "professional" brush
 that was on sale at Rockport Blueprint 

I also was inspired by some fused, wild, quilted pieces that my friend Beth gave me. 
They got me going on some color combinations that I would not normally use.
I did not copy her assembled colors, but they sparked some new explorations.
Making cards for friends, always a nice spark.

I continue to Sketchbook Wander, & it is still my favorite art practice, 
sketches prompted by what is in front of me.. 

But FINALLY being allowed back  into my home, makes me want to stay here for awhile.
I am reunited with some paints & brushes that I have missed.

What launches YOU into a zone of creating with art materials or with writing tools?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Works for the Language Exchange Show

I have been away but where I have NOT been during this time
 is at the pleasant Petits Déjeuners at Portland's Language Exchange. (1st image) 
And not out hiking like the randonneur in the 2nd sketch.
 Nor on vacation in Paris, as in the 3rd.
I have been in some high stress times in relation to home repairs. 
I did manage to frame up some work for a show at The Language Exchange.
What most of the little works in the show have in common is that they have
French language text integrated into the sketches,
or English language descriptions related to my travels in France.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Morning City Café Sketching

It's been a long while since I've been able to 
do my early morning city café sketching. 
Saturday I started as a sketcher,
but ended up as part of the group's happy energy,
as one of them caught me, 
and came over to see what I had drawn...Very fun!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Back From Where I Came

This was my very first old home grounds.

Destiny brings me back there often these days...

La vie est imprévisible....

I am sorry that lately I'm not able to leave notes on your blogs, 
Dear Correspondents.

For now, I leave you with this image which is very dear to me...

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

More Color Grids

I love measuring out the grid with a ruler.
I love methodically filling the boxes.
I love the linear, sequential process
as opposed to 
my more intuitive, fast, & loose sketching style.

I created a new chart because of  
two new Winsor Newton tube colors:

Quinacradone Gold 
New Gamboge 

I was curious to see how they mixed with my other colors, 
and how they differed from one another & from:

Cadmium Lemon
Winsor Yellow
Cadmium Yellow
Cadmium Orange
Burnt Sienna

Making these charts is a fine way
to get to know one's paints. 
It's not just about the colors,
but also about the granulation & irregularities
that different paints produce when mixed, wet in wet.

Doing my chart reminded me 
of doing a jigsaw puzzle.
It asked me to be patient until the end.
It asked me to work through the repetetive parts,
even if they became boring.
It asked me to pay slow, deliberate attention to the parts
and to the whole.

No doubt the effects of this study
will show up in my next watercolor sketches.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sending Pop-Ons

 Sometimes making a little picture 
with pop-on teacups,
to send to a friend, 
soothes the soul.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Making Foldable Books

 The workshop we attended (previous post)
was called "It's a Foldable World", (how cute is that)  
& was taught by artist Cynthia Ahlstrin. 
She taught us "Faux Japanese Wrap Books." 

Right at the start she emphasized 
"Handmade, not Perfect" 
 & we all relaxed.
"We're not stressing today," 
she would remind us from time to time. 
The model book I made in the class is the bottom photo. 
Above is my follow up book, made at home,
using little painted elements 
that have been hanging around,
just waiting for this!
 The interior is an accordion fold.
Don't use anything lighter than 70 pound paper.
(She gave lots of tips like this.)
These springy little gems come alive in your hands.
And they hold together without glue! 
And you can make them be cards with fewer pages
if you want!
Foldable Magic!
Say hello to my 3rd book. I'm going to be filling these
with French vocabulary, quotes & expressions
for my new series/project. 
More are already in the works.
 My very first book, done in class.
She brought such nice papers for us to work with.
Cynthia was prepared, methodical & yet spritied.
With her method, you couldn't fail! 
And she made me laugh with expressions like 
"It's about quicko-chango-form today, not about content.
Does everyone know what content means?" 
(Filling the pages was to be done on our own time.)

Thanks Cynthia & thanks to my friends for taking me there
and sharing the fun!

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Art Notes & Learning Journals

I've been filling my "Art Notes & Learning Journals"
with notes from books such as
Sketching People by illustrator, urban sketcher, 
Lynne Chapman.
The 4 X 6" Pentallic Traveler blank books
are perfect for this series.
And they have lovely colored covers... 
Pages of notes...
I always record the page numbers
from the books from which I'm noting.
And put the day's date on top of many of my journal pages...
I also use these journals for workshop & class
notes & sketches. We traveled 50 miles yesterday
for a super fun workshop 
on making "Faux Japanese Folded Books."
Inbetween the pages of directions & teacher quotes
(she was very funny!)
I sketched the scene before me.

During the ride over I noted some details
that I saw out the window.
Chapman and her book were a good influence:
Record essentials...quick is fine!
On the way back it was dark in the car.
The gigantic white full Moon accompanied us,
& I gazed without sketching...

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

An Old Autumn Tree

Time away from the blog has told me: 
I needed to get back to my true purpose:
To remember why I draw.
I had gotten distracted, 
starting to think that it was 
about showing others, forgetting
my internal need for 
observing, recording, reflecting,
When I'm in my personal process,
knowing that I'm not obligated to show everything,
then I can also choose to share.

I sketched the tree out the window during breakfast
at my favorite bed & breakfast in Bar Harbor.
After, I had a lovely sketch walk 
along one of the carriage roads, 
with a friend,
a friend who is more familiar 
with what's happening in nature
than I am. 
We would stop, she would point out
what she was seeing,
give explanations,
while I sketched & wrote down her quotes. 
I too was in the mode of stopping & noticing.
Very very wonderful, a gift,
at this time of year when there is so 
much variety & change.