Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Finding my Sunflower Voice

I have been continuing to sketch my sunflowers.
One artist suggests to draw something100 times in order 
to really get to know it. 

I've been re-finding my ease with sketching
after not doing it for awhile.
I probably won't make 100 versions of my sunflowers,
but I did make 3 more renderings this morning.
And I did notice new things each time.

I didn't enjoy the above rendering 
(2 posts ago) which was made
after a long period of not drawing.

Not because I thought of it as good or bad, 
but because the process & end result
didn't reflect my spirit. 
It was a labored study 
rather than a more dancing,
free-flowing, good-feeling process.
It was important to do, to start somewhere,
but I am happiest when I am sketching lightly. 

Why do I draw? 

It's the feeling I get. 
It's in my whole body,
rather than just in my eyes.
And it's the feeling of my calm mind.

I respond to gesture & movement
in a subject.
When drawing the sunflowers 
on the back patio this morning 
I loved the flickering, changing morning light, 
the delicate fluttering 
of the petals, the cool air.
The vivid yellows & greens 
against our still gray landscape.
And the flow of water on my brush,
 the luscious paint.
The freedom of not thinking about what my 
picture would look like. 

Sometimes I draw to bring pleasure to others,
with more focus on product,
as in a card or sketch for sale. 
But even then, I need to find pleasure 
in the act of drawing itself. 

Why do I draw?, I ask 
as I watch snippets of drawing lessons 
on YouTube.
(I've been writing answers in my journal.)

I'm happy to be drawing again,
& to come back around to my true
Sketchbook Wandering self. 

If you are a draw-er, 
what is it that you enjoy about drawing?

Monday, April 6, 2020

Yellow Therapy

 I finished the final paste up on my yellow folio book.
The text is in French (I hope not incorrect French...) 
Le jaune. 
La couleur du bonheur, du soleil. 
Une couleur animée. Le jaune, lumineux, joyeux, positif.

Yellow, the color of happiness, of the sun.
A lively color. Bright, joyful, positive.
(The first draft, above, is in my Jan. 22 blog post, 
titled "What I've Been Up To".)
The accordion folio folds up neatly into a booklet.

From time to time I crave YELLOW.
Like a visual form of Vitamin C.

The yellow Dixon Ticonderoga pencils from the 50's
still make my heart skip a beat!

"...I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils
if I knew your name and address."
 ~You've Got Mail.

Autumn yellows against blue sky in a nearby state park.
Talk about lively!!

Muted yellows and ochres in Arles...
Love! Thank you, YELLOW!

Do you have a color that is uplifting or healing?

Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Gift of Sunflowers

My neighbor dropped off a gift
of a big bunch of sunflowers.

They cheer me,
especially on these grey, rainy days
in a world that is struggling,
and while I am in most of the time.

It's been awhile since I've drawn on a larger scale,
(about 11 by 12 ").

I did this as an electronic thank you note 
for my neighbor. 

Thanks to YOU for visiting me here.
Please do leave a note.

Monday, March 30, 2020

My Grocery Store Map

Life has changed quickly. 
I am staying home with 2 exceptions:
Outdoor exercise and food shopping
For me, the grocery store poses a double hazard:
I am allergic to chemical sanitizers.  
I need to be out of there FAST.
Enter my aid: A Shopping MAP. It works well.
Do you have any new adaptations/aids during this time?
Be healthy and safe, friends...

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Home-Time in My Small Town

Since retirement, my home-time is very pleasurable. 
I have "stations" around the house for:
Painting • Drawing • Zumba & Exercise
Special Projects • Writing • Reading.
I am grateful for a working kitchen.

This is one time where being an Introvert comes in handy.

My life is less disrupted than are many others' lives.
In my small town the changes don't seem drastic to me,
 even though we do run out of toilet paper. 
We are lucky that we can afford to be calm & accepting.

We walk outdoors, & passersby are pleasant.
We are still a town of Hello's & waving to strangers. 
Yesterday as I was walking the Harbor Walk,
 a woman on a bench called out to me:

"We can still do this!" & she did a thumbs up,
& I replied "Yes, we are lucky!" 
and raised my thumbs to her.
 Kathy at the blog Catching Happiness 
(click Here
has a post about "Staying Positive..."
She mentions "Stress Cleaning."
I've been enjoying "Stress Organizing," like
taking inventory of my colored pencils. 
At some point I will do a phone order/roadside pick up 
at Fiddleheads,
my local art shop, which is closed...
 Oooh, order & labels for my fountain pen inks!
(the small ones are samples I get from Goulet Pens.)
 Writing in my journal remains a daily pleasure.
On this day I was listening to France Bleu radio
& decided to create a sort of dictation & to search words
in the dictionary (Reverso online).
I just started a new Rhodia daily journal.
A new Lamy "Turmaline" fountain pen arrived from Goulet 
just before things shut down. 
Goulet is a small business with heart, 
that is paying its employees during this time. 

Nice to reinforce good feelings via online networks 
in a time of physical isolation. 

How are you occupying your time 
in your "confinement" and "sheltering."?

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Sketching Small & Fast: Boston

Train trip to Boston. View from the window.
I've been longing to go for many months,
with my Midori Traveler's Notebook, 4 X 51/4 "
The Italian North End. 
Dense with cafe's, restaurants,
& pastry shops.
Bricco • Cafe Bella • Ristorante Fiore
Cafe Paradiso • Ristorante Quattro
Trattoria il Panino • Ristorante Saraceno
Lucca • Dolce Vita Ristorante

And 19th century churches. And Sunday church bells.

 A distant view as we walked 
from the North End to North Station.
 Museum of Science. The Butterfly Garden with 
a hall of terrariums outside their giant room
is alone worth the admisson.
I mean, have you ever seen insect eating plants,
or a Stick Insect (that looks just like a twig/branch!!)?
Science, nature, art, enchantment, magic
as colors sparkle and flutter through the air. 
Knowledgeable & eager student assistants
are like butterfly encyclopedias.
Better than Google~ the real thing!!

It's like we were in a giant tropical terrarium.
And you had to check yourself before exiting
to make sure a butterfly hadn't landed on you! 
Butterflies on a city view window
with the Charles River right out back. 

Exhilarating day, indoors & out!
Sketching made it more so!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Drawing Lesson: The Graphic Mark & Roses

I'm giving drawing lessons to a friend. 
In exchange, she is coaching me 
on my organizational issues & unfinished art projects.

We began by looking at drawings of Felix Topolski
in his book Paris Lost: A Sketchbook of the 30's.
We used viewfinders to isolate small sections
to observe the variety & sensitivity of his graphic marks.

I'm in awe of so-called scribbles that
are an integral part of many drawings.
We then made a sheet of our own marks using
a chopstick with simple fountain pen ink.
  My friend was interested in creating a card with a rose theme
for her friend Rosie's family. 
I happened to have a vase of roses nearby!
A simple, gestural interpretation emerged 
on my marks sheet.
I cut it out to separate it. 

And added Prismacolor color.
V.'s was beautifully alive, almost shimmering.
A lovely experience, relaxed & focused,
with Andrea Bocelli in the background,
because V. is an opera afficionado.
Thank You, Friend V.!  

Friday, February 14, 2020

Nothing like Homemade Valentines!

At our library art group we, adults,
reverted back to childhood pleasures, & made Valentines.  
 Valentines Pot Luck: Rather than 
food to share, we brought ideas, art papers, & frills.
I brought some leftovers home.
 My three Valentines made at the meeting.
Très simple. Often when in a group,
I work quickly, creating sort of rough draft ideas
for future, more finished products.

This pop up was bought at a bookstore,
so I could bring it to show to the group.

 I bought these little girl cards at a stationery store
that's been in Portland for about 40 years.
The Paper Patch.

We used to have anonymous Valentines 
planted all over downtown on this day, 
on store fronts, on tree limbs,on brick walls, 
all tagged saying,"If you love me...take me...free!"
The anonymous makers, we hear, 
have moved away now, 
but this year one of our group has left Valentines 
in various shops... for people to take....for free!

Happy Valentine's Day, to you my blog friends!

Monday, February 10, 2020

Lists and Collections

 I recently wanted to buy a new handbag. 
There were so many styles that
I made notes. It was helpful, if not obsessive.
(Here, only a snippet of several pages.)
 This wasn't the 1st time. Some years ago, I had drawn a 
bunch of bags, & eventually cut some of them out
to save in one of my "repository", catch-all journals.
In 2011, at a city Farmer's Market, 
I devoted a page in my small sketch journal 
to various shoppers' bags. Fascinating variety!
An interesting book : Blackstock's Collections. 
He draws collections at a very intense & obsessive level.

Also interesting:
Lists, To-Do's: Illustrated Inventories
Collected Thoughts & Other Artists' Enumerations
A page from Lists, To-Do's...

Collecting quantities verses buying one of something 
has an economic tie-in in our consumer culture. 
Folks on YouTube show & tell us that they have not one,
 but a multitude of 
bags, notebooks, pens, shoes, etc. 
& they encourage us to buy more, more more.
(They are often given these things at no charge 
or at a  discount. Or, it is their profession.)
What does the average person do who can't afford 
or doesn't need too many of an item?
Me: I admit, sometimes I buy more than one...
But drawing is more affordable.
For a related post please click HERE to my post called
26 Mugs, 100 Monkeys

What would YOU choose to draw (or buy)
 if you had to have a collection of 100?

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Art Journaling On the Go

A new 8 X 11" page in my art journal,
created at the weekly Library Art Journaling Group.
Sharing & working together, they call it "synergy."
I call it magic.
This was my first "To Go" page in my Daily Journal. 
After watching a ton of videos
about the Midori Travel Journal system,
& about approaches to Bullet Journaling,
I modified my Rhodia A5 size dot grid book
(the best for fountain pens!)
by adding colored elastic cords under which I slid 
loose, folded sheets of blank paper. 
On the go, I can pull a sheet out, draw, write,
& then stick it back in! It worked!!

Below, I'm loving seeing the accumulation of Jan. days 
on my Mini Memory Calendar!
The squares measure 1 1/4 square inch.
The calendars are on premium color copy paper.
Nine days ago...
One day at a time a month happens!
Happy End of January!