Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sketch Group at the Home Garden Boutique

A cold winter's day at a local home garden shop. 
The proprietor of Brambles welcomed 7 of us sketchers,
& even lent us stools. (I ended up buying mine!)
Brambles is one of 
the most artistic and nourishing to the senses shops 
I've ever been in! 
The owner, so friendly, so happy, and no wonder! 
She is surrounded, 
all day long, by gorgeous colors, scents, 
handmade objects that she herself has selected, 
plants that she has grown, 
and by cheerful customers and visiting friends!
Aaah, can you smell the flowers?
This in mid January! Note the contrast!
Outdoors, let it snow (and be monochromatic!)
Brambles will infuse you with happiness 
during any season!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sketching in Line

 Sketching while waiting in line at the grocery store.
You whip out your small (inconspicuous) 4 X 6 book,
your pen, & in seconds you go from being bored
to being interested, sometimes even disappointed
that the line has moved along!
 You have your book handy. You reach for it fast.
A friend says,
"Rita, you have the fastest sketchbook in the West!"
Quick unfinished sketches are fine. Spontaneous!
(I added a bit of color at home, 
from color notes I'd made.)
My small Art Learning Book now doubles for a 
On-the-Scene sketch book, 
because I carry it with me at all times.
(on the right: notes about Richard Diebenkorn's drawings.)
We are a One-Car-Wash Town. My car stayed dirty
because I avoided the long lines.
Now, my car is clean because: I Sketch!

PS New feature: I have added responses to the notes
on the previous post. A new part of blogging for me.
Will continue to do so...

Monday, January 22, 2018

Elephant Wandering

I was immediately attracted to a golden elephant statue, 
in the midst of many lovely tea cups, pots, & decorative objects at our local Tea Room 
when I went sketching with the Group. 

The above sketch no longer exists because I was overly critical of it. 
I went home, painted it over with gold acrylic paint, & then ~ tore it up. 
Note to self: Don't be so quick to reject the results of my sketching.

(A friend had taken the photo before I destroyed the picture.)
2nd version, sketch from the sketch,
it doesn't have the spontaneity of the first. IMHO. 
In one of the many books these days about sketching, 
I am reminded that I do this for the love of the process, 
more than for the result. 
However, the results are part of the process.
More Elephant explorations in my 7 1/2 by 11" book 
(that does not have watercolor pages.) 
Ganesh, the Hindu Remover of Obstacles. I need this.  
The Smithsonian Elephant, my friend from chilhood. 
Elephants at the Washington Zoo, we also go way back.

I don't think I'll ever go to Africa or Asia,
but I would like to visit some elephants.
Did you know there are some amazing online videos?

Have you seen real elephants? Do you believe in Ganesh?

PS. Have you read the beautiful & sensitive story,
 The One and Only Ivan?
It is for young readers, but it is for everyone.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Nourishing the Body and Soul in Winter

 Montessori education tells us to surround ourselves with all things beautiful, 
taking care with selecting our environment.
Since my move to the new studio (dining room), 
and since my increased museum attendance, 
I "curate" my shelves, making order, selecting, arranging, re-arranging.
(The book, top right, The Secret Lives of Color
Box of cards by a company called Retrospect.)

 Top, from the local Bright Bird Studio. Below, a shrine box by 
local artist Micaela Grasse. (I placed the little sign inside the window that says, "Good Health".) 
 Watercolor painting on my wall by local artist Ben Hall.
I love that it's a local scene, & love its abstract quality!
 Twinkle lights were up in November. 
They and Bright Birds, shiny baubles, cheer me. 
Colorful woven bowl by a local artist, 
& original illustrations by artist Melissa Sweet 
(also local though nationally known.)
   On a recent cold, gloomy, gray day I bought a sampler of glitter, 
to spark my spirit,
at the art shop on Main St. 
It worked, & I've used it on my latest coptic book 
which I stitched while sharing tea with a visiting friend.
She knit & I stitched in my sunny warm dining room.
And we chatted while the cold winds blew.

 Feeding my body (organic wild blueberries & organic rice cereal
feeding my soul, with color & art tools.

Since January 1, I read & copy passages from the book, Simple Abundance, into my morning diary, 
using the French translation. The author is all about
gratitude, appreciating life, inner happiness...
 The Library Sketchers group, which I have turned over to the group to lead now, 
still nourishes my love of drawing, 
& feeds me with inspiration & comaraderie. 
Artist Leslie gave us a presentation on paint brushes. 
She generously brought gazillions, & let us experiment with them!  
(the other page: sketching without my glasses 
at my local hair salon, looking into a big mirror.) 
 Leslie's brushes! Talk about abundance!
 Saturday morning, my body & soul get nourished at our indoor Farmer's Market. All local vendors & it has a European feel! This time of year, New Beat Farm had carrots, beets, rutabegas, and cabbage. I sketched, 
then bought a bunch of organic carrots, later made a vegetable soup.

My friend has a lemonade stand, adding hot chocolate & cider at this time of year! 
More to show in another post, but, in short, 
to be at her stand for me is like being in the film, Pollyanna, so much good feeling, color & prettiness!

Many older folks go to Florida in winter, but I love finding
sparkle, light, & color right here. All the more intense, perhaps, against the backdrop of neutral winter grays, umbers, siennas, and muted dark greens of the out of doors. 

Question: What do you surround yourself with?