Friday, July 29, 2016

Early Foggy Morning

 Early foggy morning...looking toward the the hills by the sea...
My friend has gone walking while I sit sketching.
Since the workshop 
I'm drawing more with my brush than with my pen.

Every once in awhile some tourists come by. 
They are respectful and do not come too close.
I hear and say, "Good Morning", and "Have a Good Day"... 
But I think we mean it more here, at this hour, 
than we do with cashiers at the grocery store.

There is a whole day ahead.
This is a lovely start.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Evening Sketches by the Bay

Late afternoons, early evenings on the nearby mountaintop. 
There are some tourists. They are happy to be here. 
I go for solitude, but I like meeting people from other places.
I name some of the islands & distant mountains for them.
Sharing what I know, it isn't much, but we all enjoy it.
Part of a memory drawing once home, with a finer pen point.

Another little known place, a small rock & shell beach.
My companion started packing up to leave 
just as I began drawing this one. 
It was an incomplete vignette, but after I added color from memory, 
I liked the resulting simplicity.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Coast of Maine Art Workshops

This coast of Maine attracts many painting workshops which attract many summer vacationers. They come from Massachusetts. Pennsyvania. Indiana. Alabama. Canada...How lucky I am to live here! I am so in love with "my" midcoast Maine!!
I attended a day of a class of Mel Stabin. I was thrilled that the location that day was "my" Camden. In the afternoon, after painting a harbor scene, I sought refuge from the heat in "my" library, the place where I often do my ink & color sketches, usually of people (see previous post). How fun to try a painted sketch this time, & larger, trying to apply some of what Stabin had demonstrated in the morning. And how uncertain too...
 After I got home I experimented more, on a small scale. No drawing, just seeing what the paint and the brush were up to. I am trying to work more with wet on wet which is what watercolor does best. Stabin says let it play...Let IT decide. A curious interplay between control & letting go of control.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Sketch Habit

 When does something go from an enjoyable activity to a (good) habit? Well, it has happened for me as most Sundays I find myself in the Camden Library's reading room. While others read, I sketch. (This drawing is not all scribbly, like many of mine because it is a remake from the first draft sketch.)
A portrait of a dear artist friend in my library's Belfast Free Sketchers group, which I facilitate once a month (we're going to twice a month beginning September!) This sketch IS scribbly! 

These may be sketches of other people, but they are self-portraits too. Folks doing the very things I love to do! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Umbrella Personalities

My town's Arts in the Park Fair, down by the Harbor, got a rainy Sunday morning. I donned my new yellow raincoat & blue umbrella & went down to take photos. Of people with umbrellas.  I have loved umbrellas since I was a wee little girl. My colorful umbrella gave me fancy dancing powers. Singin' in the Rain. 
I looked forward to rainy days ~ still do!
Diane Horton, (with her Monet Poppy Field umbrella) is a popular local artist.  
How cheerful people were even though the rain was washing things out.
 Ooooh, colorful umbrellas, reminding me of my first one. 

Umbrella Personalities!

Blog Post, October, 2012. Boston Rainy Day. 
I was sketching  through a café window that faced a busy intersection. 

Umbrella. Parapluie. ParAsol. (Polish with accent on the 2nd "a") 
Even its names are fun to say!

And you, do you like rainy days?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Sketch While U Wait

While waiting at a popular restaurant, 
Sunday summer morning, Belfast.

While waiting in a doctor's office...sketching in my tiny book.

I've been using MICRON 02  It's not too bold,
but looks nice on the actual paper & is waterproof.

A blog friend asks: Do I start with the ink lines or the paint? 
Definitely the ink lines. The drawing is the cake,
the color is the icing.
While waiting for a class to end...

I had no idea what was going on in this class, but, thank goodness, I was sitting in the back row & thank goodness I had brought my Rigger's bag with me (previous posts). I ended up having a great time, 
maybe not in the way I had expected, but maybe better!
Two students. Can you tell they are a couple? 

Here is the moral of the story: 
Do NOT EVER leave home without your sketch tools!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

My Slug Helps Me to Organize

It started because I couldn't find my slug from a 2012 post. To see that post, Click Here
I tore through a big box of drawings from the last 4 years, 'Where are you, Slug?!" 
Mon Dieu, quel désordre!

Now, I have piles arranged by subject:
Landscapes, journal pages, plants, Portland,
café people, buildings, small whimsical drawings...

Next, I will place them back in the box, 
with sticky note labels.

I long for the kind of order that the 
compartmentalized box above provides for color floss. 
(bought at the local Waterfall Arts Annual Yard Sale).
But it doesn't come naturally to me.
 I do manage to corral my supplies and creations into some sort of compartments. 
But disarray often finds its way back & 
I still manage to lose things. Just not as often as I used to...

I thank my lost slug (who was eventually found)
 for getting me started on this organization thing. 
I was at a point where I couldn't move forward 
with my art & my projects, 
a chaotic disorientation taking hold of me. 

Oh, please, do share YOUR tips for organization 
with me & my slug!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Doing "Nothing" on the Seaside Deck

I recently went back to the inn at Spruce Head for a night (after having been there on June 4 (backtrack to the post of June 8.)  I returned so I could sit again on the shaded deck & gaze, & smell the flowers & feel the sea breeze. And to sink into the quiet & peaceful rhythms of the tides & the seabirds & the light & the changing colors. The sketch above is actually a sketch drawn after I got back home. It was based on the rather scribbly & energetic sketch, below.
The difference is interesting to me. 
Below is the first sketch from the previous visit, also different.
Each one is my true impression, but none are attempts at accurate drawing. Sometime I would like to make some accurate  studies of landscapes using perspective among other techniques. But, these sketches are just my way of using my journal to observe & to connect with a place where I love lingering. They are almost an excuse to be able to sit & do "nothing"...

Monday, June 20, 2016

Acadia National Park: Love All Over Again

Acadia National Park is turning 100 years old. I started a new Moleskine accordion in her honor. I'm going back as soon as I can to fill a few more pages. 
I first fell in love with Acadia in 1968, when I hitchiked to Bar Harbor from Orono with a friend. My last visit was recent, & there have been many, many visits inbetween. There were different eras, different companions, different activities, different seasons, & different me's. Each time I grow more deeply in love, each time there is so much more to explore & so much to revisit. How can it be that two million tourists visit each year, & yet it feels so intimately like my own special place?
I'm not 100, but I am delighted to be growing older with Acadia. I am seeing changes, one of which is more of a focus on preservation with the involvement of newer, younger stewards. The Park needs continued loving care. They say that the current generation of young people is more connected to technology than to nature. However, we did see some delightful families, enjoying the magic. The Park also presents some wonderful Jr. Ranger & Explorer programs for kids.
A little about the sketching process: The new Rigger's Bag (from Hamilton Marine in Searsport) sat on my 3 legged folding stool while I stood to draw. Best arrangement I've found so far!! It also works in the car & has made a difference for me to be able to spontaneously stop & sketch with watercolor more often. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

It's Lupine Time in Maine

Every year in June, I gaze at lupines, lupines & more lupines out my back windows. I take many photos at different times of day because their hues & intensities change according to the light & weather, and because I know that these violet colors are only here briefly. But, it wasn't until I finally did the little painting that I felt I really saw them as I searched for lupine paint colors, as I danced my brush in lupine strokes.
The photos do capture a more accurate image, I suppose. What is striking about fields of lupines is their amazing violet color bands, set off by contrasting colors. The blossoms are beginning to turn to seed, but then the seeds will pop & fly & more lupines will appear next year! 
These lupines were at the Craignair Inn in Spruce Head, just at the edge of Penobscot Bay. It's a lovely & typical midcoast Maine wildflower scene. Yellow buttercups are more plentiful than ever this year, or is it that I'm just seeing them more?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Spruce Head, Maine

I had a lovely vantage point for watercolor sketching 
from the deck of the Craignair Inn. 
I was at a French Immersion workshop at Spruce Head.
(Those are purple lupines in the foreground: 
Do you know Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney?)
My "studio" ~ Note my new "Riggers Bag",
 bought at Hamilton Marine in Rockland. 
An artist at Camden's Rockport Blueprint had recommended it. 
Shop local! 
The fog rolled in at, sweet & soft...

The 4 sketches below are in the smaller Moleskine,
the 2 above are in the larger Moleskine watercolor book.
Some people used a free period to go
 for an after-lunch walk. I stayed on the deck. 
During a walking "treasure hunt" activity en français,
 on the nearby small island, (joined to Spruce Head by 
what I think is a natural walking bridge), 
stayed on the deck because of my aversion to ticks &
because of my sun sensitive skin. 
And, because, 
it was my lovely vantage point for watercolor sketching!
Lovely gardens surround the inn. It was
hard to tell if they are cultivated or wild. 

A little stone elf & stone flower greet you near the entrance.

Even though it was just for the day, it was a perfect vacation~ French, art, and the Maine Coast!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Cafe Figure Sketching

 Trips to Portland always include 
early morning cafe sketching
and writing notes in the Old Port.
Costumed characters.
Great theater for the price of
a non-fat vente latté.
The notes are as important to me
as the sketching.
It is also my Figure Drawing class.
While so many others are on their devices,
I am on my sketchbook. 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Willy Nilly Drop In Journal Book

The Drop In Journal Book, one friend calls it
The Repository. It's a place to toss in
various photos, clippings & cards.
Another blogger friend who inspired this post 
calls them "Odds & Ends". 
My own notes & sketches mixed in with 
images of others...
Patterns to what I collect emerge...
I seem to be fond of grids & squares & rectangles.
This has been going on for years.
 A beautiful card from a special someone...
It could be filed in my box of received cards.
But it needs to be here because of the image.
Some photos & sketches 
of my old Christmas card designs.
Some rough draft remains from 
The Language Exchange logo.
(Not all of the pages are grids and squares.)
 Images of postage stamps.
I had tossed a bunch that I'd kept in a box, 
&  preserved some in the book. 
More little squares, little charts. 
For my naturally nonlinear brain 
they are soothing. 
On the left, a copy of Sara Midda's work. 
On the right, someone's paintings from a magazine
(I should have recorded the artist's name.)
More of my notes & sketches,
 mixied in willy nilly to the Drop In Journal Book.  
This book is just about filled, & I have a new one,
also coptic stitched, standing by!