Monday, December 21, 2020

Retrospective of Blog Posts: 2020

Looking back through my blog posts in 2020. 
The year was defined by the pandemic.
I am guessing 2021 will not be drastically different with 
attention & activities close to home. 
I like the way my art practice has been evolving 
with fewer distractions.
At the same time, I miss exploring the world out there...
And I am saddened by the illness & death
& do not take my own health for granted.

Jan. 2020. The last time I sketched in a café, before shutdown. 

In Jan. I kept a thumbnail visual journal.

Valentine's Day, 2020. 
A friend & I sketched flowers that I'd received. 
Before the quarantining began.

March 4. Last trip to Boston. 
I unconsciously knew that this would be the last time for awhile.
I didn't know just how long it would be though.

March 15. Life changed.  
The arrival of Covid, restrictions & fear.
 I drew grocery store maps for practical reasons: 
to get in & out fast.

The colors & cloth inspired me...

So I got out my sewing machine, organized a sewing center
 & learned more about stitching & working with cloth.

April. I enjoyed working on Pocket/Envelope folios & books,
inspired by Robinsunne & Amy from the 
Library Art Journal Group. 
I'm still enjoying making them.

The group started meeting on Zoom. 
I'm grateful that we've been able to continue. 
A creative spark during what can sometimes be a bleak time.

In May I started going again 
on outdoor excursions with the Sketchers.
 Camden Library park.
We don't meet now that cold weather has set in.

May:  I started watching online Metropolitan Opera broadcasts. 
I enjoyed learning more about this art form.
The sets, costumes & pageantry are stunning!
They have the same appeal as fairy tales did in my childhood.
Above: Cinderella.

July: Weeklong Experimental Sketchbook 
University class via Zoom. 
I enjoyed pushing my drawing to to some new places 
The Zoom grid became a prevalent motif.

August: Short, local car rides became 
as exciting as former longer trips had been.

September. Sketching with Sketchers 
& on my own in local gardens. 
Pockets of bliss.

September: With Sketchers at the local historic cemetary. Sunlight, autumn colors
& shadows were stunning that day. 

Sketchers went to the Rail Trail, just a few miles out of town.
There is a "sancutary" with a picnic table off the trail
overlooking the river. Safely away from other walkers. 

October. I learned a lot more about journaling including 
organizational aspects in the Dot or Bullet Journaling mode. 
Above: Food & Fitness Journal, Daily Journal, 
Music & Dance Journals. 

Today: I focus on my private journals,
experimenting & exploring, 

Looking back, what do I miss the most? 
Wandering out in the world with my sketchbook.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Energy Confined: Two Stages

Energy Confined: 
Gallery View
Stage 1
Energy Designed & Confined: 
Stage 2

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Sheltering In and A Note to "Desired Grace"

Sheltering in...Some days I go inward more than others...
It's OK from time to time to be a hermit, 
it revitalizes me. 
But one also needs a balance, of getting out, being with people. 
But those things are out of reach at the moment.
Between wearing a mask that makes breathing hard,
& worrying that people are coming too close,
it's easier to just stay in. Or to walk close to home where there are few passersby.

Small things, like making coffee in the morning,
take on greater importance these days.

In my daily journal I note small occurences,
(of which there are many) 
as well as broader reflections. 
Big events? There are few, if any.

I doodle & dabble here at home.

I spend time organizing papers, notes & drawings.
I've made great progress, 
but some times it doesn't feel as if I have. 

Penmanship practice soothes me. Pen & watercolor...

I'm often content & grateful. But lately I am missing the freedom to move about & to explore the world in the way that I did before....

A note to a nice young lady whose blog is Desired Grace:Thank you for asking my permission to use some of my sketches. I must say no, please don't use them in any way, but it was gracious of you to ask. They are my own personal responses to my world, & I encourage you to experiment & to find your own responses & images. 

PS The spacing wouldn't work the way it used to. Has anyone had this problem on the new platform?

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Journaling Practice: Organizing

I've been absorbed in my journaling practice...
I taught a little Zoom workshop with a focus on 
organizational forms of journaling:
Planner/calendar meets Sketchbook Diary
The prep work got me to develop my own practice far deeper
than ever before.
Some of my current active notebooks:
• Daily Journal (Master Journal)
• French & Polish Study 
• Music & Dance 
• Food & Fitness
• Weekly Creative Journaling Group
• Art Learning/Noting
• Journal About Making Journals 
• Creative Projects Journal

My three most actively used notebook journals.

Perhaps journaling wouldn't be such an active part of my life
if I weren't sheltering in most of the time. 

With the influence of many online journalers my layouts
are more conscious now. There is consistency with variety
from day to day.
The colors & color codes are not only fun, 
but they help me to be able to easily refer back.

A before picture. 
This started out to be a Books, Music & Films
notebook. Eeek! what chaos.
Soon I'll begin the work 
of organizing this into a neat little notebook.

In the meantime I've been organizing my old art work.
I found some plastic sheet protectors with 2" X 2" slots 
for old fashioned slides at a yard sale. 
I've been filling the little pockets
with all these snippet cutouts 
that I'd thrown willy nilly into a box.

What's cool is that now that I know where to find them,
I'm actually using them in some of my current creating!!

All this journal writing & organizing 
would not be as much of a pleasure
if I didn't love to handwrite with fountain pens
on beautifully smooth paper...
And if I didn't love using my art materials, 
especially the watercors & colored pencils.
So, my Sketchbook Wandering takes place more within
the confines of my home these days
than out of doors.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Sketching Downtown on a Rainy Day


Went rainy day sketching with just 2 of the Sketchers. 

When my paper started getting wet, I stopped with a quick
black & white sketch and the 3 of us retreated to the porch of 
 our favorite plant/home/gift boutique. 

Later, at home, when I added color I didn't use reference photos. For me that was daring, 
to add paint from memory & intuition. 
There is always something new to try when sketching!

The cold rain meant very few people were out. 
And it felt good to be with fellow sketchers. 
With distance.

Our outdoor days are limited. 
What will we do in winter when, on some days,
 the weather will prevent outdoor sketching & visits?

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Going Outdoors with The Sketchers

The Sketchers meet once a week, always
in beautiful places that are not far from our homes.
When I resumed going, over a month ago, 
drawing felt new all over again.
I had the tendency to try to record too much. 
After all, so I was seeing so many wonderful details!
This on location sketch got re-worked as I realized my eye 
had not seen certain things correctly. 
It would have been an ideal oil painting.
Sometimes, with watercolor, I miss being able 
to make lots of revisions.
The top sketch was a 2nd version,
using the original sketch, plus a photo.
I like both for different reasons. 
I'm finally coming around to making quick value studies
before jumping into color. How seductive color is though!
Lucy Willis' book, Light: How to See It, How to Paint It
has had a big influence on me recently. 
I used to own it, but gave it away.
Apparently I wasn't ready at the time.
We had an excursion to our local,
rather historic cemetery. Some challenges in perspective here.

On another excursion I stood on the end of a long wharf
at a harbor of a neighboring town.
As I sketched, the tide moved in.
Light, shadows & reflections grew more pronounced.
A lobster boat or 2 came in to shore. The slow rhythm 
& unhurried atmosphere calmed me.

No matter what the art lessons or technical challenges,
I Iove the peace I experience while sketching outdoors.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Going to the Fair...But Not This Year

 This post is an excerpt of an essay I wrote for a local newsletter.

La Table de Nana, 

who can’t make her annual pilgrimage to her

beloved Provence this fall, 

is sharing photos & memories of her past trips.

Do visit her blog!

The Common Ground Country Fair is my annual fall pilgrimage. 

I write about it here each September.

The Fair was cancelled due to Covid.

Each year I go to join in the 

celebration of harvest season, 

of community & cooperative sharing, 

of living in harmony with nature, 

of caring for the the earth & for one another.  

All with joy, artistry, respect, &, well... Love. 

Good things to have in these times. 

I go to rejoice in the midst of 

September’s vivid color, light & energy, 

before the gray of winter sets in. 


So many of us fairgoers, farmers, gardeners &

 participants of all ages felt the loss. 

I enjoyed going through old photos & journal entries. 

A reminder of one of the reasons I keep journals.

Over the years my small sketchbook journal 

has been my steady companion at the Fair.

One time the Popcorn Lady popped over

to watch me sketching her Popcorn House!

That gave me the chance to tell her how much I loved it

& to learn more about its creation!

Sketching to live, homegrown music, 

one of my favorite, favorite ways to sketch!!

This year I am adapting. Though sad, I've still been able to find

 September Joy in some beautiful local gardens.

I hope that by next year at this time 
our pilgrimages, 
our active community lives & celebrations,
and our good health will be back.