Sunday, December 21, 2014

Peace Squadron of Angels

Off they go, those aforementioned Angels, no two exactly alike, no two to the same mailbox. 
(Though they are from the same clan!) 
For now, they are a Squadron except their mission is Peace, not war.
The Angel Precision Flying Team, Whooooshhhh, 
flying to wish you a Happy Solstice on this day & this night!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Late Holiday Angels

The Late Holiday Angels 
will be delivering Greetings, each in her own envelope.

Sometimes they wander, they dawdle, they play.
They have so much work to do before their trip!
But they promise, they will arrive in mailboxes, 
as soon as they can.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Books & Librairies

Books & Librairies: If one is lucky, the love begins early.
Books & Librairies: If one is lucky, the love lasts forever.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Accordion Pocket Cards for Children (& adults)

Next week we're offering a Holiday Story Time & Craft Party
for our library families. One of the crafts will be, what I call, "Accordion Pocket Cards." Lots of possibilities: 
Pop on little cut-out pictures with 3-D sticky tabs, or slide them into the pockets so that they  can be taken out & played with & re-arranged. Other treasures & gifts can be put in the pockets too. 
Here I used pen & beeswax crayons on bristol board.

When I taught art I loved trying out ideas for lessons. If I had models to show, I kept them simple, thinking about what would be possible for various ages to create in a limited amount of time. 
Children so often changed my ideas & added their own. 

I can't wait to create my own Accordion Pocket Cards to send this year, but they will probably be a bit more refined. Something tells me watercolors will be involved.

I got the idea from More Making Books By Hand by Peter & Donna Thomas,
 a great inspiration for creating miniature books & structures. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Accordion Landscapes

What to do with all those bits & pieces of drawings that one doesn't want to keep, but doesn't want to toss?
Cut or tear them up, create a collage! In this case, glue them into an accordion card structure...
I learned this from Mary, a gifted teacher, watercolor artist, & very kind woman, whom I miss. She was the one who started our Art Group in Portland. They still meet (I moved away), & call themselves "Mary's Artists. Mary herself lost her eyesight as she aged & had to stop going. 
She continued to paint, though, as her sight waned,mostly in monochrome or with 2 colors. 
We are given gifts for a limited time in this life. I'm grateful for that time, and for the gift of having known Mary. 

Happy Day of Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Musical Sketching

Not much time for drawing lately. 
But once a week I do some of my favorite type of sketching.
Our local Fiddlers rehearse weekly, at least 20 fiddlers, guitarists, penny whistlers, pianists, 
Bodrahn drummers...playing mostly Celtic dance music...
They invite listeners.
I happily accept. 
My eyes, ears, hand, body & soul are happy dance partners. 

Music flows through me together with the enjoyment 
of the movement & composition of the musicians.
Multi-sensory JOY!
I warm up drawing solo musicians & then it's on to composites, 
just as a single melody is enriched by group harmonies & variations. 
For a previous post about sketching at the Fiddlers,
click HERE.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Memory Sketches: Morning October Walk

Several weeks ago,I had the brillant idea of going for a walk rather than staying stuck in a stressed mood, indoors.  As soon as I stepped out the front door the change, in the morning scenery as well as in my soul, was as intense as if I'd traveled to another country! I took no sketchbook, no camera, & I walked & gazed slowly, taking comfort in sunlit October trees.

I made memory sketches when I returned.  Even though I resisted (drawing from memory feels so insecure), it was pleasant. I felt as if I were still out there. And my memory of that morning is still vivid as I contemplate the sketches today. We had a Northeaster storm (big, heavy, windy snow) on Sunday, & a lot of the leaves I saw are gone, & a lot of limbs & even some trunks are broken. Images pass quickly in autumn, though not usually as fast as they are doing this year.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Maine Tiny Autumn Series

3 3/4" X 4 1/2 ", watercolor on hot press paper with Prismacolor

Tiny landscape on paper scrap, 
part of the ongoing Maine landscape series...
A little reality, a little improvisation, 
done just for the fun of drawing & painting & Feeling
places that I love, in seasons that I love.

When does a series become plain repetition? 
I think it has a life of its own.
By continuing to draw my little autumn vignettes, 
I get to extend my immerson into places that make me happy.
When it starts becoming rote repetition & a process
in which my soul is not present, then a voice says,
 "It's time to explore something else, my friend."
But for now, it's time for autumn on the coast of Maine.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The #2 Pencil

About 4 X 3"
My old camera broke recently, new one not yet set up, so I haven't been able to photo recent work.
 This is a photo of a little back-to-school gift that I made for a friend a few months ago.
I benefit so much from technology, cameras & computers, all silver & electronic & metal, 
BUT~ the direct tools of the pencil, ink pen & paint brush are still my technology of choice. 

The #2 pencil was my first drawing friend when I was a child. 
I posted a similar pencil drawing last year, but the thing is,
I never get tired of those golden, pink-tipped, wooden, sharpened #2's.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Accordion Card Gardens

Recently I had some fun with accordion folds on watercolor paper. These were cards for friends. 
Embroidery floss tied into each end wraps &  ties them into a gift waiting to be opened. You can fold them up into compact cards to fit in an envelope for mailing, and then, the receiver can arrange them to stand up prettily on a table top. 

I'm looking forward to a handmade book art time with a friend. Folded structures & pop-ups!
In the meantime, things have gotten busier in my life 
with some fun new work each week!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Landscape Season in Maine

It's Landscape Season in Maine!
Vibrant colors outdoors 
create vibrant energy within.

 I've had inquiries about selling my work online & about selling rights. At this time I don't sell online. All of my work is copyrighted & may not be used without my written permission. I appreciate the requests & if in the future I decide to sell, I will post notification here on Sketchbook Wandering. Thank you for your interest!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Seawall, Mount Desert Island

Seawall, composed of granite & loose boulders,
 is on the southwestern side of Mount Desert Island. 

After hiking up Flying Mountain,
 where we had sat on a rock looking down 
toward Cranberry Island, 
we now sat on a boulder at ground level, 
looking in the same direction.

It was a glorious September day.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Common Ground Fair 2: Photos

The Common Ground Fair  
(see the previous post for a description of the fair.)

Tents everywhere...
Sweet Annie is the signature scent at the Fair.
It wafts through the air, everywhere, as people buy bundles.

Plain bundles or mixed bouquets. 
A young farmer & a brand new fairgoer with her grandmother.
The fair is for all generations.

Displays are visual masterpieces.
 A Communal Weaving expresses the 
spirit of community & creativity.

A scarecrow for your organic garden.
Crops from a horse powered farm.
Horse powered rides.
A parade of human powered vehicles.
 Lots of handmade natural products 
at the marketplace.
And lots of colors at the special fiber marketplace.
If Sweet Annie is the signature scent,
 then perhaps the fiddle is the signature instrument.

I've heard that some people go to the Fair for the food. 
Locally grown, organic, fresh, healthy & delicious.

That was a tiny glimpse of a portion of the fair. Parts not shown include animals,
medicinal herb tents, folk tradtions & crafts, contemporary crafts, 
children's activities & forestry demonstrations. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Maine's Common Ground Country Fair

8 X 10 " Scene from the Fair

Every September The Common Ground Fair, in Unity Maine celebrates rural life, organic & local food production, traditional farm & forest practices, most if not all of them hand, bicycle & horse powered, alternative energy developments, social & politcal action forums, folk arts, folk music, children's crafts, & more... It's a celebration of health, happiness, & living in harmony on this earth. The Fair is a magnificent, collaborative masterpiece organized by The Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association. 

I wanted to take you along with me by posting my many photos, but I am truly overwhelmed with the amount of wonderful things that I saw & smelled & heard & tasted & learned. When I lived in Maine's biggest city I started to forget about this state's alternative rural culture. During these last 3 days I saw that new generations are carrying it on!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Accordion Book with Watercolor Circles

Several years ago I cut up a painting that I didn't like into circles & 
attached them to an accordion folded paper strip
with adhesive & embroidery floss. 
 Flip the pages &  the arrangements change.
Is it a book or a toy?
When I taught, I often used the brainstorming game with young children, 
holding up a simple shape, asking: "What is it?" 
The diverse number of responses always amazed me!

So: "What is it?" 
A balloon train? 
A fruit parade?
A broken beaded necklace? 
Planets at a party?
Other ideas?  

The end. 
Or maybe not the end...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Morning Sketch Meditations: Changes

 Morning Meditation means loading my backpack 
with my drawing tools & wandering with my sketchbook.
(This one is new, a tiny, 51/2 X 31/2" Paperblanks.)
Oh! The gifts of stopping to see! A sailboat, 
so slightly turning to & fro in the morning breeze...
Slight movement, but with the early morning light, 
shadows & reflections, & my tranquil frame of mind, 
I  experience them as great, miraculous changes.
My little boat is now big 
in relation to a shore bird neighbor!
 Early morning by the harbor means greeting others who are also welcoming the new day. 
They are mostly walkers & I love sharing their fresh energy. 
Morning seems to open us to health & happiness.
 Drawing/meditation can happen any time during the day.
Here,  Moose Point State Park, a pause after walking the
sweet shore & woods trail loop on a late afternoon. 
No fantastic mountain summits, just quiet serenity at ground level.
Drawing/meditation frees me up from preconceived ideas.
I returned another morning to the harbor thinking I'd be looking at more boats. 
But what immediately caught my eye was a lily plant full of seed pods. 
They are little sculptures that I often overlook in relation to their springtime blossom counterparts. 
Stalks were in different stages of aging & dying, from full green pods to withered, shriveled, brown ones. 
One lily even had all this as well as her vivid yellow blossoms! 
The change of seasons & life were displayed by
a single lily plant!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Zen of Mother & Child at the Lake

Oh, the pleasure, & perhaps luxury, of the young mom & her child, together in a sort of Zen reverie at the lake. They sat on their towel, they explored holes in the sand. They met a dog & some older children. They picked up stones & twigs & a few toys. They chatted now & again in a mother-child language.  They dipped their feet in the water. They did all this slowly & sometimes they were just still, seemingly doing nothing. They appeared to be in an unhurried trance, the mom following the pace of her child. 

There are many families in which the parents work all hours, where the children rush all day from activity to scheduled activity. There are others where the adults have little time or interest in their kids. Honestly, it warmed my heart to watch these two, so slow, so engaged with one another & with their surroundings. It was a little bit of Zen Magic which seemed to be filled with a lot of Love.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Shakespeare & Company Revisited

 A new version (9 X 12") of a drawing that I'd made several years ago. It was a pleasure to "re-visit" this book store in Paris where I had had an enchanted experience. To see the original drawing, story & photos, click Here. Most of my France & Paris drawings have now sold. To see ones I've posted on this blog, click on "France" in Labels. When you reach the bottom of the posts, click on "older posts" for more.

I told a friend that most of my French images are gone.
"I guess it means you have to go back to create more," she said.
For now, it's not possible, but I will continue to dream & draw...

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Morning Meditation Sketch: Cormorant

Yesterday I attended a lecture at a Rockland gallery by painter & teacher, Bjorn Runquist. He reminded me why it is that I sketch. I stop, I observe, I get to know something, I stay with it, I am present, I am engaged in a moment of life...

Runquist showed a series of small sunrise paintings that were for him morning meditations, his way of greeting the world each morning for a year. 

So this morning, first thing, I found myself on a bench by the harbor of my little town, enjoying once again the pleasure, the process, the meditation of drawing, of sketching, for no one or no reason except to pass a little time in a little piece of the world. Un petit coin de paradis...

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Dock in the Lake

So much depends upon 
a wooden dock
floating in the lake...
(especially if you haven't been swimming in years!)

(ode to Love That Dog by Sharon Creech &
"The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Friend's Farm Garden

Here, one of those first drafts that didn't need a 2nd. I worked out a few details on scratch paper & then, with ink & chopstick, spontaneously sketched images on a 9 X 12" watercolor sheet, from photos I had taken on a friend's farm back in mid-July. I'm sure her garden is very different today, & I hope to make another pilgrimage to her & to her garden soon. It's always filling to my soul, even without actually eating some of her organic, delicious produce!

It's September 1st & changes are accelerating in the rural landscape. Each day there is something new to observe. I must remember this. 

More on that "Draft Process" (previous post): The "Evil Twin Critic" verses "The Wise Editor." The country landscape was a response to "The Wise Editor". I liked reflecting & putting into practice what I've been learning. Perhaps one of the drawings was not "better" than the other, but one felt more expressive of my response to what I had seen & felt.

Happy September First & all that that means to you!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Maine Lake

 Being by a Maine lake 
on a breezy August day is beautiful, yes.
But the movement of rippling water,
dancing leaves & clouds shifting
also fills the body & soul with great energy.

Being by a Maine lake
on a cloudy August day 
makes you want to run & shout & swim & twirl,
the way you did when you were a child.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dancing Sunflowers

 I can't seem to get enough of them...
They call down to
 me, a humble, tiny human...
They dance in festive costume. 
They sing, "Look at us!" 
I am in love with them.