Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sketchbooks. End of 2018: Bring in the New, Continue the Old

 I have a new, larger sketchbook!! Paper Blanks, 7 X 9"!!
I use these for journal writing, but I got an extra one on sale
so I turned it into a sketchbook.
LAMY AL STAR fountain pens. I have "a few."
In the Wyeth Center at the Farnsworth Art Museum. 
The annual model train village, "Share the Wonder."
Sketching the mini buildings & cars is a fun way 
to work with linear perspective.
On the left: I sketched a line drawing that Jamie Wyeth
did when he was very young. Part of a series featuring
a Christmas wreath as a "character" in a medieval Christmas.
NC Wyeth's large painting: "The Morris House: Port Clyde". 
Can't do it justice with a quick sketch 
as the colors are so beautiful!!!
But sketching gave me the opportunity 
to scrutinize it more closely, & to gaze longer.
The Wyeth Center is only open a couple of more days.
I went to say good bye to the NC Wyeth paintings upstairs.
When they are back on display sometime, you have to come to Maine to see them in person!
And to see the Maine coast on which they are based!

I've been sketching in my usual 4 X 6" 
Pentallic Traveler Sketchbook.
It also doubles as my Art Learning Journal. 
Both live sketches & notes from books, 
museums, etc. go in there.
 Earlier in the month I went to the Farnsworth 
with an artist friend who wore an adorable felted hat
that she'd found at a thrift store. She sketched 
the gold dragon in the Chinese Zodiac exhibition.
She made a lot of people happy with that hat!
 Waiting in the small town post office line before Christmas.
A relatively small line in a relatively small town.
We enjoyed good natured conversations while waiting.
And for me, sketching made it go very fast.

At the Belfast Saturday Indoor Farmer's Market.

It is my Saturday morning ritual to go there. 
The vendors are not just farmers.
They are artisans, artists & musicians too.
They are local.
 LL Bean, the flagship store is like a theme park. 
There are these real stuffed animals on display.
While waiting for J to try on clothes, I sketched 
"The Three Headless Men of LL Bean." (my title.)

 Trip to Boston in November. QUICK sketches! 
It was my very fist visit to
The Granary Burying Ground. Boston's 3rd oldest cemetary
where many notable men 
from the American Revolution are buried.

 I guess the live people interested me 
more than the dead ones, though it was impressive.

 A quick stop to the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University. "Animal-Shaped Vessels from the Ancient World."

Subway Sketching, 
The Red Line from Cambridge back to Boston.
 Thanks for browsing through my sketches.
I wish you the happy pursuit of your passions
& pastimes in 2019.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Tis the Season for Color

I love playing with bright colors at this time of year.
I made a chain of 70 Origami birds for 
a friend's 70th birthday which she hung in her window.
My new "Art Bin" box.
I bought it at a local art shop 
It has replaced my old broken paintbox.
I transferred my half pans & made a new color chart. 
See what it can do. More painted collages.
Some are for gifts, some for a new show.
And then, there is the contrast of the winter outdoors.
Cold, dark & muted colors.
It is soft & beautiful & restful.
An advent calendar with over-the-top glitter!!
I bought it at a local bookstore.

Merry & bright, somber & dark. 
They are opposed, but they complement each other nicely. 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Farnsworth. Bell Ringers And A Crankie

Festive Holiday doings during the Farnsworth Art Museum's
seasonal Share the Wonder events.
First, a concert by the Penobscot Ringers,a handbell ensemble. 
It was music of the angels & had
a number of us in the audience crying for the beauty of it all!
Such beauty in the midst of some real ugliness in the world.
 After the concert, a lecture by Annie Bailey,
creator of a rotating storytelling mural for the Museum's 
front window. It tells about Maine heroine,
Abbie Burgess, a 16 year old who tended 
The Matinicus Rock Light & took care of her family
during a raging storm in 1856.
Her father, the lighthouse keeper, had gone to the mainland
for supplies, but could not get back for 4 weeks!

Bailey said she chose Abbie as a symbol
of focus of in a time of chaos.  
Something that is needed in these times too.     

(This photo of 1 scene doesn't show the mural's true size
& the window picked up reflections. But...)
The scroll's height is 4 ft. & one full rotation is 60 ft. 
The scroll, called a "Crankie", moves between 2 spools 
by way of a bicycle chain mechanism created by Andrew White. 
Bailey collaborated with a number of people 
to make this project work, & she has studied the Crankies 
of the 19th century.
There was, as with all original projects, 
trial & failure before final successes.

(I'm hoping the mural will stay up beyond its Jan. close date.) 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Indiana's Love Sculpture at the Farnsworth

I naturally chose the Farnsworth Art Museum when
The Sketch Group asked me to organize an excursion.
Pencil only allowed. We sat on stools lent by the museum.
I've always loved Robert Indiana's Love Sculpture.
But sitting down to draw it made it so much more interesting!

When Indiana got tired of the frenzy of the NY art scene,
he retreated to Maine, to an island near Rockland.
So the museum has a strong connection 
to Indiana & his art. 
It's a dream subject for drawing with a focus on 
 proportion, value & negative space, 
the beauty of letters, words & type. 
The meaning seems simple, but for Indiana it
was an expression of more complex ideas.
Eventually the LOVE image became a burden to Indiana.
"A mix between graphic design & high art,"
 said graphic artist Milton Glaser. 
But it was criticized because of its commercial appeal. 
Indiana didn't obtain a copyright, 
hence, many people have plagerized & altered it. 
But, his authentic versions are all over the world,
including Rockland, Philadelphia, Washington DC, &, Indiana. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Tiny Bucket & My Obsession with Aqua

 A friend gave me one of her hand dyed & sewn 
Tiny Buckets. She's selling them & LOTS of other
Beautiful items. Click here to see them!
Beth's Tiny Buckets are adorable inside & out.
She knew just what colors I love.
Sea greens. 
Sometimes our Maine ocean shows them beautifully.
(Other times there are all kinds of 
turquoise blues, grays, even violets...)
I have a lot of teals/aquas/turquoises.
The first item in my collection was a gift from my parents.
 Clothes, accessories, bags, pouches, 
gloves, earrings, scarves, my painted designs~~ 
& even fountain pens...
...and fountain pen ink!!
The Goulet Pen Company has tons & tons of pens 
in all colors, & a good share of the blue-greens.
They have over 600 inks with swatches galore!
You don't even have to buy whole bottles,
they sell samples in Tiny Bottles! 

Do you have a favorite Color that you collect or 
perhaps are obsessed with?

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Good Bye to Autumn Colors

This little sketch isn't really about today.
Pumpkins are now covered in snow, 
& green appears on evergreen trees 
rather than in downtown window displays.
But it's one I reworked recently.

The oranges, warm browns & golds that you see on 
all those Thanksgiving cards have been replaced 
by blues, grays, cool browns: & lots of white! 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Meditative Color Play, Continued...

Still playing with watercolor with attention & focus...
(previous post). A form of prayer & meditation. 

"L'attention, à son plus haut degré, est la même chose que la prière."  ~Simon Weil 
 "But what are you going to DO with them?"
"Well, I could cut them out & make cards..."
 "...and handmade books..."
"And then I could let them go..."