Friday, June 28, 2019

Draw What You Love: My New Neighbor

I have fallen in love with my new backyard neighbor:
A big hanging nasturtium. 
(En français, capucine. Po polsku, Nasturcya) 
Each day it grows new buds & blossoms. 
 There are at least 45 at this moment!
 This was not my usual very quick sketching. 
Slower, more left brain consciously accurate. 
I chose only one part of the abundant plant~ a vignette. 
You might call this a study-sketch.
I used pencil, even erasing & re-drawing. 
I was deepening my understanding of individual blossoms & leaves
and how they related to one another. 
My eyes were feasting on the colors.
By the time I finished the sketch, a gentle rain had fallen,
and configurations had changed.
I started with a preliminary contour sketch to help me focus.
I knew I couldn't draw the whole plant. 
The contour in ink was the introduction, a greeting. 
My gaze danced in & around blossoms & leaves, 
getting a feel for rhythms, lines & forms. 

While painting, I absent-mindedly tried out some colors
on this page as it was the nearest paper in sight.
And near the bottom, I seem to have been exploring 
some initial lines of nearby lupines.

The wonderful effect of drawing, 
beside the visual & tactile pleasure, 
is the concentration, the focus, the calm that occurs in me.
I always go back to my early guiding principle,
as presented by Frederick Frank, The Zen of Seeing:
Seeing/Drawing as Meditation, back in the early 70's.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Sketching at the Local Greenhouse

The staff, the airy greenhouse & the plants 
welcomed us Sketchers
to the Aubuchon Hardware Store & Nursery. 
I asked the worker above if we would be in the way.
"No problem," she said. 
"If you get in the way, we'll just water you.
It was an idyllic spot of light, color, and happy people. 
(Except for the flies, the little black flies.)
Local professional gardener Kate pulled up in her truck. 
I'm in awe of her, her artistic talents, her knowledge,
& her strength. In the old days of my childhood
only men had trucks & tools like this!
You could spend days sketching individual plants!
 After our greenhouse visit we went for lunch
at the local café & diner. There we discussed 
our sketching experience & other matters of interest.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Maine Country Road Trips

Road trips in the countryside from Midcoast Maine. 
An idyllic corner on earth.
This is the region of many small, organic farms, 
2nd or 3rd generation of back-to-the landers:
Blackbrook Farm, Many Hands Farm, 
Sunnyside, Aqua Terra, Royal View Farm...
Many of the farms supply the food coops 
in Belfast & Brooks &
 sell their produce at farm markets and
the beloved Common Ground Fair in Unity. 

The views from the hilly roller coaster roads 
leading from Belfast to Unity, Brooks, Jackson, Monro
take my breath away!

A frequent road trip out of Belfast: Route 1 South.
Last week, like a kid on summer vacation
I was so excited to drive down to Rockport with a friend.
While she went to the doctor, I sketched out the window
of a café. Then we went to the Guini Ridge Nursery
across the road road to buy plants. 
To do a little farming of our own! 

For other posts on Farmers Markets and The Common Ground Fair, click on these in Labels.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Quebec City and Sketching People

No matter where I go to sketch, 
if there are people nearby
they will most likely enter my sketch.
In Québec Ctiy we had our annual library date 
at Bibliothèque Claire Martin 
housed in the former St. Matthew Church.
I have mentioned this church in previous posts about Québec.
The Franco American Museum includes a restored chapel.
It has lots of ornamentation, but I went right for a figure,
an elevated sculpture against a wall.
Here is the figure of me, at one of the altars.
 It's officially no longer sacred 
so tourists can wander all over the place. 

When we had our other library date 
at the large Bibliothèque Gabrielle-Roy
(see previous post)
I found a book I've always wanted to own:
Un peu de Paris by illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé. 
He is a master of depicting human nature
through simple line drawings 
as well as nature-nature & architecture. 
He is my number one favorite illustrator
 dans le monde entier
I photographed a few pages.

 Oh the humor, the expressions, the brilliance!
 We used to watch a TV show when I was a kid,
"People Are Funny". I didn't really like the show,
but that title was a theme for my mom & me.
And People are Loveable too.
I've signed up for a figure drawing group
to hone my skills. Not a class,
just artists drawing from a model. 
I studied figure drawing in college classes 
a LONG time ago. I am anxious.
What if everyone else is a super talented,
experienced artist?? 

(I'm good about advising others
to not compare themselves,
but mon Dieu
I have to apply this attitude to myself!)

For my other Quebec City posts, put it in the search bar, 
or click on the labels, "Québec City" and "Québec" 
that are on the side.