Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Card, The (Happy) Distraction

I have a post going in my head about Cezanne. Very excited to share.
But, it will have to wait. There are Halloween cards to be made. 

THE PROCESS, going backwards:
Partway through adding color.
The Drawing.
 The initial sketch on scrap paper. It is free & loose, isn't it?
Walking photo tour 2 weeks ago for architectural reference.

I'd have to ask permission to sketch these houses...
Maybe, someday I will have the confidence.
In the meantime, I borrow a detail here & there...

 Happy Halloween Season!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Autumn Sketch in the Park

Two weeks ago I sketched from a picnic table in our local bayside park. 
I worked fast because my hands were cold. I have let this sketch hang out on the art table for these 2 weeks. After an initial period of disatisfaction with it I have grown to appreciate it & the memory of that afternoon. 

A local artist recently told a group of students to never throw away their art, no matter how much it didn't meet expectations...Because you never know what a change of perspective will reveal.

I'm getting ready to go to the same spot in the park...
it will be interesting to see what the change in the season will reveal.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Postman. Le facteur

I got my first penpal was when I was 12 years old. 
I got her name from a Penpal Machine at the World's Fair in New York.
I had wanted someone from France, but the machine 
randomly gave me a girl from New Zealand.
Nevertheless, it turned out to be great fun,
and having penpals continues to be great fun,
here on the blog, & by paper.   

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Journaling With Lists

After being indoors most of the day, I took a woods walk at Moose Point State Park.                                                    My indoor, stuffy temper left on the gentle winds & instead some magic blew my way.

~Late afternoon sun weaving through trees & balsam scented air. 
~White beams of light, through tree trunk silhouettes, glowing from a Westerly Heaven.                                                     (Is this what one sees just before dying?)    
~A mini balsam grove near the trail. (Christmas trees for small forest folk.)
~A few apples, gone by, resting on a gold drenched bed of oak leaves & pine needles.
~Quiet blues of rocks, ocean & sky letting the maples have their last shouts of the season.
~A single crimson clover blossom in a green field. (The last one until next year?)
~Daisy-like flowers with pale lavendar blossoms. (Note: Look them up.)
~The tiniest, lightest blossoms, smaller than bluets. (I wonder what they're called.)
~Pale yellow blossomed mustard plants (I think) growing inbetween pastel grey boulders at the water's edge. 
~A distant black cormorant perched on a round rock out in the water, drying his outspread wings.

(One journaling idea that I love: Making a list of observations ...Can be done anywhere, anytime...)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Autumn in the Sun

I'm obsessed by Autumn here in my new place...I can't stop looking & drawing.
I've become a child, seeing things for the first time:
"Look! Clouds & sky!" "Look! Leaves sparkle & wave in the sun!"
"Look, a blue lake!" "Look! The ocean, mountains!" 

Anne Lamotte in her book Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers writes:
"Gorgeous, amazing things come into our lives when we are paying attention..."
Such a simple idea but it can be easy for me to forget...

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Autumn Leaves

 I'm supposed to love them, as they are,
in this present moment. 
 And I do.
 But...I can't help it,
I miss them already.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Boats in the Harbor (of Bar)

If I'm going to keep gazing out to the harbors & to the Bay, I guess I will be drawing boats alot...This is a little snippet from a photo I took in the village park in Bar Harbor. I didn't sketch right there because I was eager to disappear into the woods by Eagle Lake (2 posts ago). 
Two versions, perhaps you could vote for your preference, Dear Visitor, telling why. 
I have no prizes, just a Thank You for looking!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Messy Art Room

Barbara of the gorgeous & interesting blog, Folkways Notebook, wrote she'd like to see a bit of
The Messy Art Room that I'd mentioned. As I looked around today (tomorrow I re-organize!), it didn't seem there was anything that would be of interest to blog visitors. I don't collect tons of cool stuff as one artist I know does because I get overwhelmed by things. However, it was fun to stop & see what IS here.
Little piles of stuff all over, a favorite French Text, Bravo, a little rag under a bookmark with the Armenian alphabet, which was a gift from a dear friend.

The gulls are from a series I did after my post on gulls. 
The city with newspaper boats is a clipping, perhaps from the New Yorker.
Maybe tomorrow it will be in a file.
But I like leaving images out on tables so that I can randomly glance at them. 
But then, enough becomes enough & some distractions have to be put away.
 Boxes of my sketches & of the art of others.
Not the most organized, but mostly, these days, I can find what I need.
If anyone has any organizational tips, I'd love to hear them!
 Box of scrap watercolor paper for working small.
Some books about watercolor in French & English,
books on calligraphy & files of related articles, lessons & images.
 Big plastic palette sitting on top of a jar that I transplanted from the kitchen.

I used to work in the kitchen & dining room in my old house. So, I'm super loving this workspace,
The Messy Art Room. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mount Desert Island: Photos

Trip to Mount Desert Island yesterday. 
The politics around the National Parks depressed me,
but I was glad to be there, near Eagle Lake, Autumn at its finest.
It's one of my favorite spots in the whole world.
I felt bad that visitors from away were missing
the closed Park Loop Road of Acadia National Park. 
Glorious, up close &...
 ...far away...
 ...Sweet slow pace at Eagle Lake. It has always been that the interior Carriage Paths & trails attract the quieter walkers, sitters, bike riders while the Park roads, accessible by motor car, draw a noisier sort of visitor, & a larger quantity. This year, they either didn't come, or perhaps many of them were in Bar Harbor, a noisy little tourist town if ever there was one.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sketching As Daily Habit

More Autumn color play & more mess in the art room.

Yesterday a friend wrote that she went on a cruise & had wanted to sketch, but it had been hard with all those people around. It can even be a challenge when you're alone, I wrote back. Finding a place to sit, having attention from onlookers, sun, rain, bugs, lugging materials...Perhaps making it a habit is the way to go so that you don't feel quite right when you don't get to observe & draw in a day.
 Yesterday eve at the Camden Library I was immediately stunned by beauty of the gardens outside the back door, so I stopped to sketch, sitting on a rock wall. The weather was great, no bright sun, not many people, but Surprise! There were tiny ants crawling all around my bag & my seat! So I did a super fast, scribbly, sketch, snapped a quick reference photo, shook my stuff out & ran! Above is a sketch from the sketch, done back in the messy art room.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What if? More on Art Process

Trying out a new extra fine pen. Then, "What if I...? I asked as I added lines from a bolder pen, & more layers of color.  "What's to lose?" I said, remembering that even Degas tossed many drawings in the trash for every drawing he kept...(something like that...) I used to be so afraid of ruining everything, & therefore I was afraid of trying...
 The 1st is a direct on-location sketch a-top Mount Battie, the 2nd is a finished 4 X 6 image based on the 1st & an (accidentally) out of focus reference photo that I'd taken. This out of focus thing is a nice way to use a reference photo without trying to copy it.
Recently, making paper mail for friends. A fun mini-way to play! These are 4 X 6" or less. 

Challenge: WHAT IF....???? I start trying larger paintings? Eeeeeek!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sketchbook Wandering, Saturday in Camden

 On Saturday I was free to wander out in the world again after a week of illness. Sitting on a park bench, overlooking Camden Harbor, a new creative friend & I played with watercolors & talked art & process...I learned new things as I watched her & listened to her enthusiastic thoughts about art. For me, art continually offers new discoveries, inspiration & re-inspiration. 
Our visit ended with a jaunt to the town Art Shop, Oh Joy, Joy, Joy! We both now have new 4 X 6 " hot press paper pads & ceramic palettes & I have a new sable brush which feels lush & fluid & soft as it gathers water in a way that my old brushes never did!! 
After the town visit I went to the top of Mount Battie, a place where my spirit always soars. While the many tourists clicked away to the East, over the Bay as the sun was setting, I settled into my red chair facing West to the Hills. The longer I sat still, looking, breathing, making marks on my paper, the more revealed itself, a graceful tree branch here, a brilliant carmine there, a new hue in the distance...This process, it has to do with soul, serenity, spirit, heart...Words fail me here, so best to say thank you to Saturday, to freedom, & thank you to those of you with whom I share some of my process.

Friday, October 4, 2013

More Autumn Country Drives

More autumn country drives...More 4 X 6's for sale...
I was so eager to photo this little drawing that one of the clouds is still wet.
And I didn't erase some pencil lines...
Still, this painting is a pleasant reminder of a recent drive I took with some old friends,
to see what we could see.

Watercolor teaches me patience...
but not always.