Friday, November 30, 2007
In any event, as I mentioned yesterday, I sketched these mushrooms in pencil, followed by some pen work -- and then when I got home last night, I finished with the watercolor. I felt much freer to splash on the paint ....and to me, this is more of a 'sketch' for some reason ... perhaps even more 'illustrative' than 'painted?' ...
I'm still not sure ... and for now I think I'll just keep painting/sketching and as also suggested yesterday "just let it happen!" LOL
Again, my humblest gratitude to your kind comments and suggestions!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
These limes, done in my sketchbook last night, is an example. My INTENTION was to do a quick sketch, try to do a 'painterly' wash .. and STOP! HA!
The more I looked at my photo reference (it was after 7:30 PM when I started this and dark outdoors), the more I SAW -- and afterall, I thought, wasn't that one of my intentions -- to SEE better! YES! BUT.......I couldn't help but try to PAINT all those nuances I was seeing-- and doing THAT, moved me from my quick 'sketch' to more involved 'paint' --
So I"m still trying to figure out this sketch versus painting ... for my own way of doing things.
While I was waiting for some of these layers to dry, I did another quick sketch of some leaves and mushrooms ... but this time, I outlined the pencil marks in ink. I then very quickly, added a bit of paint in a more 'relaxed', FUN way. I haven't finished that sketch as I grew tired and turned it ... BUT, I'm wondering about the different attutyde I took with ink on the paper.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I'm not sure if I'm done with it -- seeing it on the screen makes me think that the foliage needs some darkening, and yet when I look at the original, there is a greater variation (including darks) in the foliage -- so I've put the painting away a while to see what I think when I return to it.
For now, it's back to work after almost 2 weeks -- mercy, I did enjoy being away from all the 'have-to's!' LOL
Monday, November 26, 2007
Throughout our shop and gallery visits in Savannah, this park and statue was featured over and over again ... so I thought I'd give it my 'novice' touch! LOL
Sunday, November 25, 2007
One of our walks took us past the evocative scents of the River Street Sweets Shop --- where they were making fresh pralines, fudge, salt water taffy ... oh my gracious! We couldn't resist!
Inside the store were racks of various sweets, taffy ropes being cut and papered, and that ultra-sweet praline -- made with pecans, chocolate, caramel, or plain -- YUM!!! About the size of the palm of my hand -- these teeth-tingling sweets, made of sugar, pecans, butter and cream -- melt in your mouth ... and we had to have a few --'just to say we did!' LOL We truly ate only a bite or two ... s-l-o-w-l-y .... and then tried to walk them off! Gracious -- delicious!
Anyway -- I had to sketch the shop, so enticing in itself ....
Saturday, November 24, 2007
I"m working on a few sketches from Savannah (photographs) ... This is This is Monterey Square and Pulaski Monument,... one of the squares noted for its huge live oaks -- all just dripping with Spanish Moss ... I loved the dappled sunshine in these squares ... and we tried to capture that in the early mornings and late evenings so I'd have some good 'sketch' material! LOL
Friday, November 23, 2007
We had a great time -- and like most others celebrating the holiday, overate! Sigh!
Mom fixed turkey, dressing, gravy, candied yams, stuffed mushrooms, artichokes, corn, asparagas, shrimp cocktail ... all of our favorites. We invited one of her neighbors who was going to be home alone to eat with us -- and she added pumpkin pie and ice cream to the bulging table. I ended the feast with a cannoli -- one of my favorite desserts -- and then did the dishes, cleaned the stove -- all in vain hope of working off a calorie or two! (didn't happen! LOL)
As we used to do aftter such a large meal, we sat around the table playing cards and cutting up ... and it felt like 'old times' -- even with a bit of rain outside. Mom, who'll be 85 in January and widowed for 15 years, said she really enjoyed having family to cook for again -- that THAT above all, was what she enjoyed most. Her comment, and the light in her eyes and broad smile on her face, made the holiday for us.
We head back to NC today ... rain is in the forecast and the trip promises to be long and heavy with traffic. I've got my sketchbook for those times I'm not driving ... and a few art books I haven't had a moment to read ...
I've been working on a few sketches from Savannah and will post those from home. Meantime, this burr oak was sketched from a photo as we drove here. I've seen so many beautifully painted leaves this month (Teri, Marie-Dom) and others, that I thought I would give one of my best-loved trees a try. The folding of the leaves, angles and shadows are a bit more difficult than they appear -- but fun! I haven't seen many acorns in my neck of the woods -- but Savannah was a squirrel's idea of heaven -- so much acorn for fodder! And here in Florida -- we saw more lemon, grapefruit and orange trees heavy with beautiful yellow and orange fruit.
According to the newspapers and TV commercials, today is the official 'start' of the holiday season when malls open early for bargains and sales. If you're a shopper, I hope you get that 'bargain' you're looking for ... and for those of us heading home ... safe journeys ....
Thursday, November 22, 2007
One of our traditions of the season is to roast chestnuts in the oven (no fireplace!) and eat them as dessert after our turkey dinner. One of mom's neighbors generously shared some she had purchaed .... I roasted them last night and we'll enjoy them as a dessert and as a tribute to family traditions!
For those near and far from family and friends, my son-in-law overseas, my daughter and her family, my son and his -- may we give thanks for the many, many gifts we've been given, the precious lives that are ours and for those who share theirs with us, friends that so generously support and uplift us, the things that give meaning to our existence, work, pleasure, art, the glorious natural world we share, the gift of freedom, abundance, our senses, and mostly for the gift of love that graces all our lives ....
We are blessed in so many ways -- may we give abundant thanks in return ...
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
We're in Florida now with Mom -- more about that tomorrow. Sketches done in the car while Charles drove and painted after arrival in Florida.
Today we prepare for another feast tomorrow -- we'd better find somewhere to WALK again soon! LOL
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
View from the Live Oak Room, Azalea Inn, Savannah, GA
Originally uploaded by linfrye
I also have the problem of keeping something a 'sketch' without trying to make it a finished painting ... another lesson for my growing resolution list ... sigh!
Anyway, yesterday morning, early as the sun was just rising, I decided to sketch SoMEThinG HERE and NOW! LOL So I opened the blinds on the window/door and sketched the view to the private porch that sits in the embrace of a huge live oak tree. I managed to get the sketch about done before it was time to shower, dress and eat a fabulous breakfast ....then when we came home from walking through the historic district of Savannah and the riverfront and after eating at Lady and Sons (Paula Dean's famous restaurant) for a nap --- I managed to paint a bit -- shadows and lghting from an overfed memory! LOL
There is another chair, small sofa and table on the porch where C later practiced his guitar ... but again, not having all things I tend to rely on at my disposal (lightiing, table, etc.) and that live in my studio -- this was the best I could do !! LOL
The door/window --- if you look to the bottom right of the sketch, you'll see a small drawing of the door/window that leads out to the porch. It was explained to us that back in the 1800s when the house was built, the owner paid taxes on each entry or door --- so this simple device was created ... the bottom 1/2 or 1/3 of the door/window, is split and opens side to side, while the TOP 1/2 of the door/window rises ... to give way to ample room to enter or exit the room. It's covered by a long blind and curtain ... and so looks for all purposes like a large window over wood molding ... very clever.
We have another morning here and then head to Florida and to my excited mom .... the weather has been incredibly gorgeous --- 60s and low 70s ... sunshine -- though GA needs the rain as much as we do in NC ...
Monday, November 19, 2007
The painting I'm posting was done from a photograph prior to our leaving ... I sketched a few things for posting later this week should my camera not be able to capture my sketches from here ...
Meantime ...coffee is waiting! and it's supposed to be another beautiful day...
Sunday, November 18, 2007
We arrived at the farm around 9:30 -- yep, it was cold -- but somehow with the sun shining, the eager enthusiasm of the gathered group, it didn't FEEL so cold! Having been to the farm several times (see www.flickr.com/search/?q=elodie%20farm&w=46959178%40N00) , I took a few folks around the property and pond (with a bit of water in it but sure could use some rain!) -- and to another old barn I've begun working on.
Folks tended to settle around the house and I returned to the large barn that's scheduled to be redone for a larger meeting space/conference center/reception area. I know that Dave, the owner, was hoping the artists would capture the barn before it was remodeled. How I wish my abilities for barns (and plein air) matched my grand hopes! SIGH
At any rate -- about 15 of us braved the weather and by 10 am with the wind down and sun shining, it was really quite pleasant. Nancy and Harley had made the arrangements for us, and so provided cookies, salty things, fruit, water, drinks, and Dave provided some much appreciated HOT (and DELICIOUS) coffee!. Easels were set up, and work began in earnest.
As I said, I settled in front of the old, large barn, on the side of the farm and gate containing the herd of goats. They were feeding down pasture so I didn't give it much thought. (grin!)
Architectual subjects ALWAYS give me a fit, and for some reason, this time, THIS particular barn didn't drive me to give up sketching -- though I know there are portions where my perspective is off -- still I managed to sketch it without too much angst. I pulled out my watercolors, brushes, even managed to take my gloves off ... when company arrived.
Stewart, one of the many gentle and friendly cats, arrived for a pet. My own cats have been gone for so long, I was thrilled to have another cat by my side -- ah .... even in my lap! LOL I nuzzled Steward and resettled him around my feet, sat down again, and after a few moments of concentration, felt another nudge -- behind my neck -- on my arm, at my feet -- and here was the curious goats! The herd!! Oh my gracious -- they made me laugh so hard! I don't think they liked what I was painting, though, as they were eager to taste the paper, paints and water! LOL The hilarity of the situation made me giddy and I couldn't help but pet each of their sweet heads -- I had to shoo them off to even 'think' about getting anything on paper. Ever try to 'shoo' a goat???!!! LOL
Anyway -- I was truly enjoying myself -- my sketch was done, I put in the cast shadows, and figured I could finish the rest at home if need be -- the company was just too much fun.
Before I knew it, though, Harley rang the lunch bell -- and we all trooped into the large farm house --for the biggest surprise yet --- a SIT DOWN LUNCH of the most awesome soups and ---and this is my husband's favorite -- home-made apple pie!!! OH MY GOSH!
Dave and Anne (owners of the business) made large pots of butternut squash soup topped with their goat milk Chevre, French Onion Soup topped with their own cheese, and Moire (Dave's wife --I think she was responsible for the home-made bread ) -- OUT OF THIS WORLD!!
The laughter around the table was infectious as was the feeling of good will and friendship, art, discussion of Dave's plans for the conference center, reservations for their famous dinners on the porch ...
And then to top off all of this -- Moira's incredible apple pie -- topped with goat milk cheese ...!!!!!! I'm salivating as I remember!!! Oh yes, we did get to Harley's sandwiches, too -- so each of us, sated, satisfied, supremely overjoyed and grateful, waddled out of the farmhouse to 'finish' our work! LOL
I returned to my chair (moved safely BEHIND the fence during lunch! LOL) -- and worked for a bit of time. Charles and Moira and my friend Don entertained us all with some incredible music ...
WHAT A GRAND, GRAND day!!
By 2:30, the sun had retreated behind the clouds and the wind came up, folks, me too, were getting a bit chilled -- so by 3:00 we all regathered around the house to share our work with Dave, Anne and Moira ... and plan for the next get-together -- a party for the artists before Christmas! YAHOO!
This group, yesterday, the incredible feelings of friendship -- make me tear up as I write this --- We were all so overwhelmingly grateful for such a gift ... and such a day of splend, and deeply appreciated -- joy!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I do want to take a moment to thank all of you for your constant support and encouragement. I know, as much as I am enjoying this journey, that without your kind and generous words, especially when things went awry, that pencil, new in my hand, would have been put aside and the journey ended. So I am endebted to you, sweet sweet friends --- and thank you from the bottom of my heart!
For my Blog Birthday, I am joining our plein air group at a goat farm close by -- the farm we've visited earlier this year for dinner on the porch. Since I"m so cold natured, I may have to paint in my car with the heater on -- it's 29F! LOL My dh is bringing his instruments for some singing, and the kind hosts of Elodie Farms (http://www.elodiefarms.com) will provide some hot soup! Should be a wonderful way to celebrate!
Friday, November 16, 2007
I've a few days at home to catch up with things there -- then on the road again. As much as I love to travel --- there are days I SO look forward to pulling out a sweater from my closet instead of a suitcase! LOL But seeing family and the change of pace is really wonderful!
I came home last night CRAVING some pasta .... This sketch is from a photograph as I was more in the mood for a lemon, garlic, basil sauce than tomato, and far too hungry to sketch it first! LOL
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Last night Rebecca's son suggested I sketch this bottle of peppers while I was hunting for 'sketch inspiration' ... and as it fit one of the Everyday Matters challenges, I decided to give it a go. Overhead kitchen lighting makes large, dramatic shadows impossible ... so I satisfied myself with highlights in the glass ....
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I drew this old wooden door from a photo reference and applied some of the shadow and 'throw' methods I learned from Karlyn. I liked the 'lighter version" (not shown) but decided to try to add a bit of the 'drama' using darks taught by Tom Jones. I thought I could go even darker on this one to pop out that spot of sunlight -- but chose not too -- choosing instead a softer approach than Tom's. This is my result.
I am fairly happy with it, though I wish I had made the spaces between the stones a little narrower .... next time, perhaps ...
Isn't it funny how APPLYING all that wonderful learning will take a while to truly incorporate??!! LOL
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Margaret is an excellent instructor who began our fast-moving three hours with theory explaining how light worked, how it moved through value changes around variously shaped objects.
We then each drew from references we brought or she had -- while she helped each of us correct our drawings.
Margaret then demonstrated how she added various richly pigmented paints to her painting, increasing value changes as she painted -- and then it was our turn to give it a try.
We were using dabs of Holbein Paint -- our palettes didn't arrive on time and so we were using palette paper -- a bit difficult to maneuver. I have to say that by this time in the weekend's activities, I was sorely tired! and so I had a bit of trouble getting on paper what I wanted to do -- OR a complete reflection of what Margaret was teaching. I wound up getting her lessons applied to the POT -- but completely missed the free, more abstract approach to the flowers.
Instead, I put on paint, took off paint, lifted, molded, and finally decided that it was the best I could do for now.
Still, her approach, richly applied paints, less fussing, a bit of abstract, large shapes first, values following the light, were all excellent, and ones I need to incorporate.
I have one more for tomorrow..
Monday, November 12, 2007
Again, Karlyn (http://www.karlynholman.com) provided us with sketches on watercolor paper. We were told that she reproduced these drawings from a laser printer on Strathmore Aquarius 2 80# paper -- the only paper she found that would hold the toner and set it so that she could easily reproduce enough drawings for her students without fear of toner smears. I do believe she also mentioned that it was archival. I have to admit that with all the water used on this paper, it never buckled and took the paint well. The only drawback I found was that it was difficult to remove the paint once it set -- but other than that -- it worked beautifully!
We again used Karlyn's favorite colors for shadows - cobalt blue for those shadows later to be glazed in orange or remaining white, and Permanent Magenta for those shadows to be glazed in yellow -- again emphasizing the complimentary colors for shadows and glazing to emphasize the transparency of the colors.
Karlyn's generosity is notable, too ... her workshop was sponsored by Winsor Newton and we each received a portable palette (I can't recall who sponsored those but they're wonderful) filled with the colors she used for the paintings, a photo reference, paper and print to work on, a print of her painting AND a matboard and mat and sleeve for our work! AND the inexpensive Oriental brush that she uses to throw the paint! Her enthusiasm and ENJOYMENT of what we does was absolutely INFECTIOUS!
I honestly do not get a commission or anything else from these comments other than sharing the joy and excitement she brought to our workshop! LOL I can't recommend a class by her highly enough!
More to come ...
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I took a 3 hour class Friday night from Tom Jones (http://tomjonesartist.com/), who wore his signature Panama Hat and was absolutely delightful! I chose his workshop to learn more about darks and lights and to find more ways to loosen up my tight paintings.
Like Karlyn, Tom had the sketch on paper for us so that we could spend our time focusing on methods.
Tom said the same thing most folks do about 'loosening up' - larger brushes, larger palette, fewer brush strokes, less detailed drawing to begin with. But more than anything else, he emphasized the need for DARK DARKS so that the LIGHT really popped. He rarely glazed, but went in with good strong paint and values right away (we were using 300# cp paper), so that we wouldn't overdo the brush strokes. I didn't save as much of the lights as I wish I had! We did 'spatter' a bit and use a lift-out method with water and rubbing.
My painting (rarely decent when I'm at a workshop) has more yellow in it than my scanner can show. It, like Karlyn's, is a half sheet of wc paper -- but my scanner is far smaller and it's too dark to photograph in the hours I'm returning home -- but this is the focal area.
His methods are loose and playful with a 'don't futz' attitude I so wish I could adopt! And while my 'style' is very different, but what I hope to retain from this workshop is that my 'dark' is rarely DARK enough .... and a bit darker probably is what I need to add! LOL
Funny thing, too -- painting from a drawing that someone else did is harder than it might seem -- somehow when we are the ones doing the drawing, we use that time to evaluate the scene, getting familiar with nooks and crannies, light direction, much better (naturally enough) -- so there's a leap, I think, or a period of time, of getting 'into the scene someone else has drawn,' SEEING all those particulars that one seems to become familiar with when one draws the scene him or herself. Still, it's a great way to 'dive right in' to the paint!
More coming ...
Saturday, November 10, 2007
My first class yesterday was with Karlyn Holman (http://www.karlynholman.com) -- whose work I've admired and whose books and DVDs have a permanent place on my bookshelf and in my travel materials. I took a class with Karlyn last year where we used mixed media (watercolor pencils and watercolor) to produce loose flowers (http://viewfromtheoak.blogspot.com/search?q=Karen+Vernon).
This workshop, however, used more traditional methods of glazing-- with a twist -- painting the shadows FIRST. Karlyn provided the drawing so we could spend three hours focusing on how to approach the painting, how our paints (Winsor-Newton) worked in water, compliments, glazing, and how she used an Oriental brush to 'throw' paint for an 'alla prima' loose look to the foliage. FABULOUS!
I was thrilled to be allowed to join her 'full' class today where we'll continue focusing on this method as we paint an Italian-looking doorway ---!!
It's been a BLAST!
More to come ....
Friday, November 09, 2007
We drove the less than 10 miles to find a small store stocked with locally-produced wines and jellies, a large, warm room for meetings and receptions, and fields and fields of grapes. The grapes had already been harvested, but the leaves were turning gold and brown and were neatly cared for and interesting to see.
The entry porch to the store was decorated with tables, chairs, a few antiques and these wonderful pots of gourds and pumpkins. This sketch is from a photo I took of their wonderful fall colors.
I'll be enjoying two classes at Jerry's today! I've looked forward to these all year and though I'm tired from a week of work-related writing and meetings, I am so excited to have this opportunity!
Thursday, November 08, 2007
So I thought I would combine two challenges as I reflected on these rising costs.
I'm enjoying my Speedpass -- I keep it on my key ring so it's easy in and easy out -- and just as easy -- the bill comes each month! But it's a convenient way to turn the gas pump on and off!
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I took two nights to work on this ... one to sketch and add first layers; the second night to lift off a lot and redo! LOL
My intent is to keep practicing this blending on watercolor paper, hopefully, if time permits this weekend .... but that's busy too -- but a busy I'm looking forward to. It's Jerry's Art of the Carolina's weekend, and I"m signed up for classes for 2 days -- yahoo!!!!
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
My hairbrush ....also meets a recent EDM challenge for bristles ...
In the meantime, I'll have a smaller amount of time to sketch .. but sketch I will! LOL
Monday, November 05, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
I had less time than normal to sketch, so I settled on a small, seemingly easy, quick thing to paint ... HA! I was challenged firstly by overhead lighting, and then Rebecca's white basket itself -- by its small size (less than 4" high), odd shadows and folds .... I don't think easy and quick EVER relate to painting something white!