Thursday, November 30, 2006

EDM 95 Holiday


The challenge this week for EDM is to sketch something 'holiday.' Here's my 'loose' poinsettia -- certainly for me, the holiday isn't a holiday without poinsettias!

I couldn't achieve the 'loose' I wanted -- so I'll probably give this another go. I added the 'Happy Holiday' in PhotoShop.

Bowl of Fruit

Bowl of Fruit
Originally uploaded by linfrye.
Thanks to all of your for your well-wishes. I'm feeling much better! Still fatigued -- but less fuzzy-headed.

I sketched this bowl of fruit from a photo reference and used a blend of techniques -- the fruit -- Charles Reid's wet-in-wet, and the bowl -- Reid's wet-in-wet, followed by three washes to darken the bowl. Not as loose as Reid -- not as tight as my normal! LOL

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Originally uploaded by linfrye.
It's amazing what modern medicine can do given enough time. I'm on my fourth tablet and feel MUCH better -- of course a solid eight hours sleep helped too!

I like this new 'easy to open' pill bottle. So many times, the struggle to get into the 'child proof' bottles is more daunting than the illness. The wee tab on the left pushes down, and the tall cap easily turns to open. NICE for older hands! LOL

I could have sketched some flowers to cheer me up, but to be honest, I was too tired! So I thought I'd sketch something from my day ...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

More Loose Flowers

More Loose Flowers
Originally uploaded by linfrye.
Work was overwhelming yesterday with too much to do and too little time. On top of that, I came down with an infection and spent three hours between the Quick Med and pharmacy.

I sketched this after I took my antibiotics and deliberately kept it fast and loose.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Another Deco

lin for nina

I am still involved with a Deco round-robin. Here's my page for N's book -- her theme is Mystic. These are fun, small friendship books -- and it's been such a joy to dip my hand in collage material again!

Two approaches to Petunias

petunia loose 2 washes Looser Approach

petunias More structured approach

Busy catching up yesterday -- saw the grands, went to the gym, got myself ready to return to a very busy week at work.

I used a photo reference for these petunias and tried two approaches -- one, more structured with wet-in-wet washes, followed by more careful wet-in-dry detailing.

The second I couldn't get as loose as I was attempting. I used a wet-in-wet approach and had hoped for that loose flow I achieved earlier, but the color was not bright enough (too much water in the washes), and so I added a second wet-in-wet and then a bit of wet-in-dry detailing (but not as much).

I like them both, I think -- do YOU have a preference?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Tea and More Flowers

While at my daughter's, she gave me several 'tea' boxes filled with tea. These tiny, triangle boxes contain a stiff netting filled with herbs and tea leaves -- and are just beautiful! Each tea 'triangle' is topped with a wire and flower. She purchased these when visiting San Francisco --

I've also been studying the watercolor methods of Charles Reid -- probably one of the most 'loose' watercolorists I know of. Here is a bowl of clover and sweet peas (photo reference) done in his style. It's about as loose as I'd like to get without moving into abstract! LOL

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Roses and Camellia

I worked a bit yesterday on the roses sketch. I really liked how those came out, so I used PhotoShop to isolate them, delete the flowers I wasn't happy with, and made the finished image into a greeting card.

I also finished another camellia. It amazes me that through the rain, cold, and terrible winds we've had, they are still lingering on the shrub!

I like the softness of these two sketches ...!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Trying again - more flowers

Still trying for a looser look. I used the bouquet of flowers sitting on my dd's table ... I got a few lost and found edges .. but I can see I have a lot of practice before me!

Thanksgiving Flowers

We're back home -- a safe drive to and from SC to visit with my daugher, her daughter, my son-in-law and his family and a slew of Thanksgiving guests.

The visit was incredibly wonderful! Seeing my dd again and playing with T was just everything a nonna could ask for. Food was out of this world, and tonight, C and I have a date with the gym! LOL

While in SC, I sketched the beautiful bouquet of flowers my daughter's grandfather sent her. The colors were so fall-ish and made such a lovely accent to her beautiful home and overflowing table.

Another Bowl of Grapes

another bowl of grapes

I continue to try to loosen up my sketches ... and read like mad everything about wet-in-wet ...

Here I've used a more 'wet' approach -- but missed on the shadows ...


I was going through some of my saved images from our anniversary weekend. I came across a photo of the B&B pond and loved the complexity of rocks, foliage and water. I thought I'd sketch it ...

It also holds some really find memories too ...

Thursday, November 23, 2006



Tuesday, November 21, 2006

EDM 94 Draw A Spoon

Spoons can be challenging -- and these certainly were! But I find spoons to be heavy with meaning. To me, they're the entry -- the vehicle -- of food -- and we all know how meaningful FOOD can be -- especially if you're Italian!! LOL

So I just HAD to sketch THREE spoons:

(1) Our dinner spoon -- the spoons we use daily for all our meals -- the dailyness of nourishment and nurturing ....

(2) Our wooden spoon -- with all its stains and cracks and age -- but a spoon that has stirred all those meals served in love

(3) The plastic spoon used by my grandchildren -- light, curved, soft -- for feeding toothless grins and for being clenched by wee hands as these babies are nurtured, nourished and move, by feeding themselves, toward independence.

Spoons -- but any other name .....LOVE.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Fall Flowers

fall flowers

The leaves are already off the trees, and I am longing for the bright and cheeful colors of flowers.

I sketched this vase and flowers rather quickly -- and though it's a bit loose, still not as 'painterly' as I'm trying to practice and incorporate into my work. I had to add that touch of ink -- as a Libra, I'm always trying to balance between my typical 'detailed' and my longed for 'painterly loose' ... !!! LOL

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Pots with Baby Herbs

pots with baby herbs Done with wet-in-wet, pencil watercolor, pen in Raffine sketchbook

Several of my friends suggested I sketch the containers with the herbs I added as one of my sketches.

Here's my attempt at doing this loosely. The scan is a bit darker than the original. It seems difficult for me to do a watery wet-in-wet and get the darker hues by the 2nd wash. (More practice here! LOL) I added a smidge of pen and a smidge of pencil to try to texturize the pots closer to the mottled, vertical lines I see in them.

The herbs I planted are very small right now -- but include: purple basil, spice bush basil, thyme, sage, chives and rose geraniums. I'm looking forward to having these through the winter!

More Play

Wet on Dry

Pears Wet on Wet

Wet on Dry

Onion Wet on Wet

I sketched both of these before and thought I'd try them again with the aim to 'loosen' the results.

I've included both images -- the first was done wet on dry; the second, wet in wet and with a large brush. I can see a bit more looseness, but not quite as much as I had hoped.

In the flowers posted below, I used a watercolor pencil on wet paper to outline the flowers. That very wetness caused a 'bleed' that I liked. In the onion and the pears (wet on wet), I used watercolor over pencil since I didn't want to actually 'outline' the object, but I do miss that blurring.

I also noticed that there is a 'crispness' about wet on dry that I also like and that is definitely blurred when using more wet on wet. I also want to be careful that being 'loose' does not result in being sloppy ... but I'm not quite sure where THAT line is ...

More practice ....

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Loose Lilies

Loose Lilies
Originally uploaded by linfrye.
Another practice on hotpress paper. I like this a lot ... though I'm finding doing such loose, washy subjects, I need to be more aware of leaving white space.

Friday, November 17, 2006

EDM 93 Egg Carton

EDM 93 egg carton EDM 93

I sketched and watercolored this in my Raffine all media sketchbook. I missed working on this paper since I've been practicing loose washes on clayboard and hotpress at the Art Festival last weekend.

I wanted to achieve a looser look and my attempt was to try this in a sketchbook with a minimum of water. The sketch on the left is on the original sketchbook paper; he one on the right was a copy I did of the original sketch with ink added. I like both -- and wanted to see how the looser look appeared with a touch of ink ... I'm pretty happy with the looseness, as the washes seemed to work pretty well and the paper held up even better than I imagined.

It's funny .. I love the looser look .. but my hand tingles to add details ..!! And to fix shapes, shadows where the washes didn't go exactly where I wanted, etc. ... so this experiment has taught me something too ... another of my life's lessons -- letting it go! LOL

Thursday, November 16, 2006


statue 2 color 2006

statue 1 pencil 2006

10%2030%2005%20darker_0 2005

EDM%20toothbrush 2005

Today, November 17, I have been blogging for one year. I've also been sketching a drawing/painting-a-day for one year .. (and sometimes a few more)! Wow!

I'm posting a few sketches posted a year ago .. and one that I sketched for this blog's birthday ... something a bit more difficult and challenging -- a statue -- from the Ceramics Museum in Castalgirone, Italy-- and it has a FACE! I've included, especially another 'face' I attempted a year ago ...

I'd like to take a moment to thank YOU, my kindest and most generous of friends, whose remarks, encouragement, atta-a-gals, support and suggestions have kept me picking up that pencil and watercolor brush day after day -- even when work fatigued and busied me and sleep beckoned. If I have made any improvement in my sketching and painting, it has been ONLY because you encouraged and supported me; and for that, I humbly thank YOU.

Loosening Up - continued

persimmons cold press

Here's the same attempt as below, done similarly, only on 140# coldpress paper.

What I'm discovering is how important the WATER is in wet in wet ... and since I've been working most often in my sketchbook -- wet on dry -- this technique is going to take a while to fully understand and learn. Since I'm also pretty detail oriented, it's also going to take a while to learn to 'let go' some of the details! LOL

Loosening up - with Persimmons

persimmon hot press

One of my students brought me several persimmons that his family is growing on their fruit farm. Mercy, he knows how to butter up his advisor!! LOL

Anyway, when I got home last night, I tried to repeat my 'loosening up' paintings that Karlyn Holman demonstrated this weekend.

Here's my attempt on hotpress paper, 140#. I wet the paper (too much) -- sketched in the persimmons with watercolor pencils, then added watercolor. Let that dampen, then added more watercolor. Let it dry, then added details and more watercolor - wet on dry.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Herb Container Workshop

Herb Containers

Last night I taught a group of folks about herbs and growing them indoors in containers. During lunch, I sketched the containers we would use as they appeared lined up on one of the tables. They're glazed ceramic, 8" across and about 14" deep -- really nice ... in muted shades of gold, blue and pink.

We had a ball -- though another late evening. We filled these pretties with basil, chives, rosemary, scented geraniums, thyme, sage, cilantro, and more -- all grown by my students.

We tasted some things I cooked using the herbs they'd be growing -- rosemary teabread, rosemaray spiced nuts, chocolate chip mint cookies, chocolate mint and fruit clusters, herbal teas, a nice cheese and herb mix, etc.

FUN ...!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Rooftop View

Rooftop View
Originally uploaded by linfrye.
Another view of the Italian countryside from Bonny.

Returning to work after a weekend of art and another busy schedule makes practicing new techniques a tad difficult. It looks like it'll be this weekend before I can return to some painting 'play.'

Meanwhile, my sketchbook and daily sketching following me into the wee hours. I used another image from Bonny's Italy travels for this view from a rooftop.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Best Was Last!

tulips with Karlyn Holman

Lorraine and I left early yesterday morning in the pouring rain and cooler temperatures. She spent the entire day with Bob Rankin (, while I had two classes to attend.

I spent the morning again with Karen Vernon. This time we worked smaller -- still on clayboard and with brushes that held more water than I have EVER used -- on pears and a melon. Her workshop was on color theory -- so much of the time was spent on instructions for mixing colors, color theory and how to not make mud. Her teaching style and information were incredibly excellent! With questions asked and answered and creating colors strips, we didn't have much time to paint ... so again, I have my pallet of Holbein paints and will try to get to at least work on ONE fruit this week!

We raced through lunch -- still raining, little open -- and returned for our last classes. Lorraine continued with Bob Rankin and I joined Karlyn Holman ( and I had the BEST class of the four days!! I met Karlyn last year AFTER the classes were done. I walked into her room and drooled over her paintings; got her book and promised myself that I would take a class from her. THIS year was the year I DID IT!

She's informal, fun, relaxed, superbly instructive, supportive, encouraging and great ideas and a sense of play. Her workshop "Lines and Watercolor" was more what I had wanted to persue, and I loved it! We used 10" square 140 lb. hotpress paper ... wet both sides, and drew in watercolor pencil. Then, keeping the paper moist with a fine spritzer, added color, keeping everything loose and fun! We let that dry, then came back in with a refining watercolor (or line), added some fun with sanded pieces of watercolor pencil which make wonderful splatterlike dots .. and just had FUN!. She was exceedingly generous with supplies -- pencils, paper, her prints, ideas ....what a wonderful way to end the four-day immersion into art.

The tulips I painted were not as loose as others' had achieved -- but this was only my second time working on hotpress paper ... so I think I'll be able to do a loose sketch with materials I'm used to -- coldpress 140#. Anyway .. here's my 'looser' tulips with a touch of line ... and for me, my homework for the week -- do this again!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Workshops Continue

hollyhock poppy

Mercy -- I'm tired!! Lorraine and I left the house after a leisurely breakfast and several cups of coffee. Stopped at Michael's for a few supplies, then stopped at A.C. Moore's for what Michael's didn't have. By then it was lunchtime and we had a great lunch at Sweet Tomatoes .... YUM!! And FINALLY made it to Art Space in downtown Raleigh. This spacious converted building hosts quite a number of artists' studios -- and we were able to visit and chat with many of the working artists. From quilts to felting, watercolor to collage, abstract to mixed media -- what eye candy!!!

After we glutted ourselves with ideas and inspiration, we headed back to the host hotel for Art in the Carolinas. Lorraine had the same instructor for her class tonight as I did yesterday -- with much of the same lack of instruction and too much of the artist doing her own painting. Disappointing.

I had a class with Karen Vernon ( -- a FABULOUS instructor -- on watercolor and how to the color glow. We began a large (18" x 12" -- approx) flower painting on clayboard -- new to me -- we traced our flowers -- and then the lessons began ..everything from how to make good values, how to darken colors without getting mud (my workshop with her tomorrow is all about color and achieving DARK values!), glazing, etc., etc. She TAUGHT, gave us notes, individual attention and guidance, encouragement .. and it was wonderful! Of course, I didn't get far with my painting .. rarely do in a workshop ... but here is a part of it. The flowers are supposed to be hollyhocks -- but for mine thusfar look like poppies ...!! More work here.

I also began redoing yesterday's sketch ... did the sketch and first several washes ... but that too is unfinished. I'll have to post these later in the week. So for today, I'm posting the vase I sketched earlier this week of Rebecca's pitcher.

I have two classes tomorrow -- from early morning until dinner ... so I'll be back to answering mail and checking blogs late Monday ...

Another Dash

Villa Tasca

Art in the Carolinas is one of those conferences, workshops, vendor sales events that is, though small, a TON of fun.

I arrived early at the conference and spent an hour or so in the vendor room -- TONS of great prices, demonstrations -- but I was good and kept my credit card in my pocket (for the most part!). Then I met my dear friend Lorraine after her morning class. Such a joy to see her after three years! We had a quick lunch and catch-up and then I dashed off to my own class with Betsy Stroud, and Lorraine did the vendor tour.

The class with Betsy was not what I had expected. The title "Mixed Media: Line and Watercolor" and even the description, implied, at least to my reading (oh be careful how you read into things, Lin!!) that I'd have a chance to see watercolor and ink used in some way .... well, not exactly. After demonstrating over an hour -- actually Betsy doing a painting with oil pastels, pencil, watercolor, stamps, etc. (at which time restless me decided to sketch as I watched -- a bit distractedly) I did my own sketch. I was very disappointed to spend more than 1/3 of the time allotted to the workshop simply WATCHING!

After the demo, we were set to 'play' with the materials -- most provided. I tried some Sennelier paints, which were rich and thick on hot press paper -- experimented with some Cretacolor Aquarellith grey pencil (yummy when used on wet) and some very hard, difficult to dissolve Aquamonolith pencils. Betsy's painting was very experimental -- playful -- abstract. I tried to do my 'usual' using these different materials. It didn't work out very well .. and so I finished my distractedly sketch image with my WN watercolors when I got home.

So workshop #1 was a bit disappointing for me. I hope today's will be more what I "THINK" it will be ... Meantime, I'll be working to set aside my expectations to simply enjoy the opportunities.

Lorraine and I have class tonight from 5:00-8:00pm so it'll be a late night. Today, we visit the Art Museum and Art Space -- two wonderful places to see more art -- and we have HOURS to chat and catch up -- and get in a sketch or two.

The image I sketched from is the hotel C and I stayed -- Villa Tasca -- in Caltagirone. I don't like how it came out -- so I'll probably attempt this one again.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

EDM 92 Brown Paper Bag

The conference went very well!! HORRAY! Now it's time to relax and spend the weekend at Art in the Carolina's workshop hosted by Jerry's Art-a-Rama! I'm scheduled for four classes, my good friend, Lorraine is here from Kentucky for a visit, and I'm as excited as a kid in a candy shop!

I sketched the EDM challenge when I got home tonight. I found a wee brown sandwich bag and surprised myself to see all the bits of red and blue in the bag. A neat challenge to focus on the simple!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Squash Trio

Today's the conference and I'm dashing .... Here's a trio of squash ....they reflect the colors of the remaining leaves on the trees!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Red Grapes

With the conference looming ahead of me (tomorrow) and preparations in the works, time is really minimal. I sketched these red grapes early in the day and added watercolor during lunch WHILE one of my students sat and chatted ... Sometimes, a few minutes alone is really difficult! LOL If I hadn't already done the 'sketch in public' challenge, THIS would have met that for certain!

Red Geraniums

Work has been intense this week -- registration, conference, trailers in and out, construction, etc. So my sketches have been a bit simplified so I can continue my sketch-a-day despite truly difficult time constraints.

I chose these red geraniums not only because I LOVE them -- but because they also reminded me of Sicily -- and memories of our trip -- and thus provided a much needed "mini-vacation" in the throes of all the busyness.

The conference is today!!! Fingers crossed!

Monday, November 06, 2006


Our grocers have FINALLY gotten these in!! HORRAY!! I picked up two -- to sketch and to eat! I had sketched the full fruits and had taken them down to the kitchen to slice open so I could add that to the sketch -- and thought I'd snap a photo in case I ran out of time (so common lately!) . Unfortunately, I dropped my camera on its lens -- jamming it so it couldn't be fixed. So off we went to purchase a new one -- SIGH!

The poms -- DELICIOUS -- were certainly an expensive investment I wasn't expecting!

(WN watercolors and pencil)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Villa Tasca

After painting so many of Bonny's images, I've decided to take another go at my own photos of Sicily.

I LOVE this image -- well the photo ..... it's a fountain in the rock -- the name on the gates of the farmstead we so enjoyed in Caltagirone -- Villa Tasca.

I think this painting came out okay -- but I missed my goal of 'looser' -- so I'll continue giving it a try ...

I do have to admit though, I've thorough enjoying my armchair visits to Italy!


As I got home the other night, the weather forecasts for the weekend were that temperatures would fall into the 'hard frost' category -- the coldest nights since March! Yet, in the corner of my 'hidden garden' my pink camellia was blooming to beat the band.

After I unpacked, I went back outdoors and clipped a few branches to bring indoors to sketch. Good thing I did -- the ones in the vase dropped all their petals the following morning, and the blooms on the shrub were 'heads down' from the cold and dropping petals even faster!

Glad I was able to sketch this while I could!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Venice Patio

venice patio
Originally uploaded by linfrye.
Another armchair return trip to Italy through Bonny's wonderful photos.

This architectural element seems to be all around Italy -- the arched doorway, the view over the street, alley or garden, the pots and pots of geraniums! I LOVE THIS!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

EDM 92 Draw an Apple

With the theme of harvest for Kate's Alumni group, I've drawn several apples, and I really enjoy the challenge of getting the reds just right and the roundness as full as I think the apples should be. So I found a good photo reference (it's really difficult finding time these days to sketch in daylight!! SIGH!) -- and went to work.

It took two evenings to let the watercolor dry between all the glazes I've added .. but I'm pleased with MOST of the apples. In the first sketch, I'm including all the apples as I've sketched them -- but that apple on the far left just didn't come out right and doesn't even look like an apple .. so, as suggested by others in this circumstance, I simply cropped that one from my last scan ... so only the better apples show...

Oh yes -- I really do love apples to eat, too. Our larder is in need of a grocery store visit -- apples on the menu to be sure!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Flowers and Olive Oil

Work is exceedingly intense and busy -- and I'm so glad the week is almost over!!

But, when I saw this photo, it SO transported back to Italy!!! There is something so ITALIAN about flowers and olive oil .. I just love that!