Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dream Beach

One recent morning I had been transported by a vivid, happy dream to a beach with azure-teal-aqua waves. 
I didn't have my bathing suit with me, so couldn't go in, but from the beach, just by watching (!) I  was ecstatically diving, floating & jumping those waves, just as I used to do on summer vacations at the Jersey shore. 
Maine's coast has few public sandy beaches, & it was still all gray & wintry here, so I was aware that this dream beach was a vacation spot in the south. While I'm glad to be here to welcome the spring, how fun it was to take a virtual vacation! 

That VERY EVENING, coincidentally?, I received a photo of a sandy beach from a friend who actually is down south! These sketches are a mix of her photo & my dream. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Using Paper Doodles: More Blank Books

Making more little blank books.
Using up more:  
Paper & watercolor bric à brac.
Trinkets, whatnots, & doodles. 
Geegaws, tchatchkes, & doodads.
Little bits of ephemera that have been hanging around.
Je les mets en valeur
They are my rescue designs.

The beautiful teal paste paper was given to me,
and was handmade by my friend, M. 
It now will go back to her 
in a new form.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Winter Scene

On the first day of spring 
I'm remembering back 
to a rural winter scene in Rockport...
It was the day I bought my new snowshoes.

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Hallowell Gargyole: Sketch

Hallowell, Maine was still in hibernation last week, 
except for a few shops & restaurants. 
J pointed out this gargoyle above an antique shop. 
They're supposed to be frightening, 
but this one was sweet & almost cuddly.
This is the time of year I associate with being in Paris 
& the gargoyles of Notre Dame. 
I can't be there, but our licence plates here say, 
"Maine ~ Vacationland" & day trips in my state 
are good fun, even in March!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

View From the Window: March

 It was romantic in December.
Fresh in January. 
Energizing in February.
None of the above in March.

One has to look a little harder
to see the beauty 
of a snow storm in March.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sketch #5: Vegetables

Sketch #5 
More about feeling the forms than seeing them...
Definitely not copying (previous post).
Just doing a little dance with line & color...

Monday, March 9, 2015

Sketch #4: Cross Country Skiing in Maine

There is a great cross country ski course at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester.
At the beginning of their trek through a network of woods trails, 
skiers strike all kinds of interesting poses as they get ready. One can observe & sketch them 
& take reference photos from a dining room picture window. 
And I did!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Acadia Sketch #2: Dressed up Trees

 So, I'm thinking, maybe I'll do that Daily Sketch thing
 that people around these parts like to do. 
I probably won't follow a set theme as the 
Danny Gregory/Drawing Matters daily drawers do, 
but, it's nice to think of sketches as part of a series. 

To see the sketch better, do click on it.

(I am loving the "Bleed Proof White Luma" paint.
Must experiment more with it... )

I've been making friends with the new little Canon.
This is a random image, I literally pointed & shot 
what was in front of me just to try out the camera. 
A fun new toy, now that I'm over my resistance to it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Quick Winter Sketch

A quick sketch from my photo.
It makes me happy to have this medium that is so simple,
so direct, so low technology.

I had to get a new camera & am frustrated by all the
new menus & choices & procedures that have been added since my old one.
It's this complicated stuff that I don't need & it just
draws more battery power & memory.

My cold little hands would have found it hard to sketch while skiing, 
but I'm looking forward to being able to sketch outdoors again.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Skiing in Acadia: Photos

Do you have favorite spots to which you return
over and over, in all seasons? 
I'm back at Acadia & Eagle Lake. 
Such happiness, moving through an enchanted winter forest 
with a rhythmic kick and glide, body & soul in harmony.
While the terrain varies 
as you glide along,
...there's a stretch where softwood boughs 
create cathedral ceilings...

Art. Beauty. Air. Joy. Health. Strength. Energy. Celebration.
Renewal. Inspiration. Wonder. 
Words fail me here...
And photos can only capture one aspect of the experience.

Please, do tell, what is a place that brings you back repeatedly? 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Making More Books

 Still making books. This one is for Beth of Sew Sew Art.
She was my inspiration for learning to make stitched books (post of Jan 26). 
Since she gifted me with her handmade sketchbook, 
I made this blank book for her. 

 She had made fabric beads & generously gave me a handful.
I told her they're color therapy. (A fine thing
during blizzards when one is confined to the indoors.) 
Now I will send 3 beads back to her via this book. 

Practice makes progress! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cross Country Skiing in Acadia ~ Photos

Cross Country Skiing on the Eagle Lake Carriage Path in Acadia National Park. 
It's been years since I was there in winter...
It is my Heaven on Earth, skiing there.
Across the Lake is Cadillac Mountain & one of the Bubbles. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Frozen Art • Photos

 Frozen, so much is frozen up here, including my urge to sketch. 
Inside that frozen globe I imagine there to be energy & life, waiting to be tapped. 
Maybe when the shell melts a little, colorful images will fly out & show themselves.
Frozen does not mean that artistic expression has to stop.
Look at the image that was released from the ice 
in this sculpture near the Camden Library.
Note the tall masts of the windjammers in the background.
They sit still in the harbor for the winter, 
still like the energy that fuels my impulse to draw.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Still Stitching Little Books

Still stitching little books...
Still incorporating my snippets of unframable art...
Still practicing patience & perseverence...

A quote from Small Victories by Anne Lamott:

"...I'm not saying that it became easy.
      Like learning the piano or Spanish or meditation, 
I had to practice & do poorly.
I had to read difficult material & then stay with it..."

"Then I had to try something else hard & worthy. 
I had to seek wisdom & teachers."

I'm not trying anything else hard & worthy at the moment.
But I am doing less poorly at this!

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Coptic Stitched Handmade Book

My new beginnings got a little waylaid by an awful cold. But inbetween down times,  I've been learning how to coptic stitch little blank books.

There are a million chances for imperfections: gluing paper onto cardboard for covers, lining up little holes for signatures & binding, the stitching itself, zut alors! I am needing faith & patience with this craft that isn't naturally easy for me. I'm learning that sometimes what I perceive as imperfections along the way are inconsequential in the end. Other times, they are, but I'm learning to accept them as part of the practice.
Part of January has been about sifting through lots of old tidbits of paintings & drawings. Tossing, filing, & re-purposing some for covers & content.
How did it begin? A generous art friend, a prolific & diverse artist who enjoys sharing her joy, gave me a handmade blank book. Click here to see her blog, "sew sew art". At the top, are categories of tutorials. One is "Making Your Own Sketchbook". She refers you to a great Youtube by a bookmaker named Sea Lemon.
Beth's concept of the handmade sketchbook is that it be a "repository", a place in which to put one's ideas, scribbles, plans, notes, inspirations...The book itself is beautiful & precious, & also a wonderful organizing tool. Hallelujah! 
Little scraps of miscellanous doodles get honored here & get the attention they deserve.
The 6 X 9 inch pages take a variety of media & they, as well as the SPIRIT of the handmade book, inspire new doodles & new play. (To the left of this page I've pasted in a greeting card whose design I found appealing & that is related to my own graphic marks.)

After my practice books, I'm ready to make a few books to give away, & to share the craft of the coptic stitched blank book with a few friends. The gift that keeps on giving! Thank you!