Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Lady in Waiting


From the window of Atlantic Bakery: Elderly woman, waiting, on a Rockland sidewalk. 
She had navy blue painted fingernails, a huge cameo sort of ring, & silver dangle earrings. 
As she waited she talked & gestured to no one in particular, & kept glancing down the street. 
Eventually, her son (with whom I chatted in the Bakery) came & helped her into a large van. 
She was gone, her image remained.

I was reading that materials often dictate our results. I recently started a new 3.5 X 5.5 Moleskine, 
the one with the smooth cream colored pages, for my carry-everywhere sketchbook. 
With it I use both a super fine Slicci & a heavier point Staples.
And colored pencils. 
Coincidentally, I found this pouch in Rockland.
It is by "Patz, Made in Maine". Perfect! 

In some ways colored pencils are easier for me than watercolors. 
I can use more force than the delicacy that watercolors ask of me, and layer and lift more. 

Crayolas & Prismacolors, they are like a first language to me. 
While some children today have their own studios where they freely make art with lots of materials, 
I grew up on coloring books & Crayolas, on the bedroom floor. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Blue Skies, Gray Skies, Rainbow Skies

There's a song (my favorite version is by Willie Nelson) : 
"Blue Skies, smiling at me. Nothing but Blue Skies, do I see...

 ...Nothing but Blue Skies from Now on."

A fast sketch of a Blue Sky Day at our City Park.
But one of my most memorable experiences this summer was not of blue skies at all! 
I watched, from the top Mount Battie, a storm as it moved in over the Bay. 
Then it moved in over me, punctuated by one big thunder clap!
I ran to the car for shelter & started sketching!
To the northwest, from the same spot, 
I saw Blue Skies & puffy clouds at the very same time that 
the storm was gray & wet to the east!!
At the end of the storm, still no Blue Skies. 
But, that was fine by me!

Going north, I drove up my other favorite mountaintop.
Rain again, this time raining right on my car. 
But a few feet from me the trees were sunlit & casting shadows!
I have heard that this is called a "sun shower".
I waited for the miracle that I knew was to appear.
Driving down the mountain, another stunning view.
I stopped to sketch from the car, right in the road. 
A park official stopped to ask me if everything was all right. 
I knew he meant that I should move out of the road. 
I told him that I just wanted to finish my quick sketch...
"Can I have just a few minutes more, sir?"  

Blues skies, gray skies, rainbow skies...from now on...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Sketchers Go to a Local Garden


 I joined Sheryl's Urban Sketch Group at a private country residence on one of 
Belfast's Open Garden Days. 
A dense field of daisies lined a gravel path 
that wound its way down to a lily pond, flowers on each side. 
Stopping to look closely, for an extended time while sketching,
varieties in the shapes & arrangements of petals!
In the whispering breeze, they nodded and danced.
These were not your clichéd stereotypical daisies!

A sea of daisies, going back & down, quite far off the path,
yellow orange caps & sparkles of white 
peeking through the daisy foliage in the foreground.

My mother loved daisies.... 
I sketched with ink while standing, added color later.

 A fashion show by ladies, clad in crisp summer
outfits. Hats, hats, hats! 
Like the NYC Easter Parade!
 Eavesdropping from a distance: At the Information Table: 

Hudhammmmaadeho...Garden....
Umnndhonsdwwosh...Garden...Idinwhetouiomumble?...
Ohsoprentyyshopyummair....Garden...Realbeautgrodtooshshe...Garden...
One of my original sketches didn't quite work out.
So, I made a memory illustration later.