Sunday, January 29, 2006

Emily's Turning Two

This Friday, February 3, Emily Paige turns TWO! For her birthday her Nonni and I bought her a Barbie Big Wheels ....

Right now it sits in the living room awaiting her wee legs to give it a whirl ... Can't wait to see her on it! (Good thing the REAL bike has better rounded wheels! LOL)

EDM #52

This week's challenge is a tribute to the Lunar "Year of the Dog." While I don't own a dog nor do my work-a-day friends, I've resorted to posting the sketch I did of a dog back in September. This sketch was from a magazine advertisement, but I really liked the cuddliness I was able to capture.

As I was searching my older journals for this image, I came across several of my sketches. Looking back at them, I liked them better now than I did at the time. So I'm wondering, were my sketches better then? Was I paying more attention, going slower, seeing more than some of my attempts lately? Or has 'time' softened my own critiques? Do we sometimes have setbacks in our renderings that take a while to get past? I know we don't always progress in as linear a fashion as we might like .... This review of earlier sketches surprised me.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

A Hike at West Point on the Eno

Today was absolutely GLORIOUS! The sky was bright blue, sunshining, and the balmy 62F degrees just INSISTED we do something outdoors. We decided to hike a bit at one of our favorite local parks.

We walked several trails along the river meeting other walkers out with their children and dogs. Beech trees still clung to their cinnamon leaves. Sweetgum balls littered the paths, and the recent rains this week left many of the steeper paths a bit slippery. A couple of brave souls even ventured across the spillway thru frigid water (there was still ice on the mill wheel!).

We visited the area of the park where we exchanged wedding vows almost 14 years ago, and wended our way to the part of the river where we first began our annual journal entries and woodland walks. I stood for about 15 minutes and sketched again this favorite spot.

When the temperatures began to fall and we finished our walk, we returned home.

I remembered I had sketched this part of the river back in 1992 and so looked up my journal entry from that day.

Back that January 1, it was a cold 39F, partly sunny, and we had just planted several trees. The sketch from that day shows the same large rock, though from a different angle. I had never attempted to sketch... so this was a first.

I've uploaded both the sketch from today and the one I tried in 1992.

I have a lot more practice to do! SIGH!

A few pots

While I was waiting for the day to warm and already at my art table, I sketched a few Crete terra cotta pots from a seed catalogue. I just love terra cotta and some day I'll be able to afford some of these pretties.

I again used a pre-painted page, Micron pen. I added a bit of watercolor only to the flowers in the large pot.

Regina Biscuits

My mom sent a wonderful package earlier this week - a huge box filled with the labors of her love: birthday gifts for the grands - a crocheted sweater for Nick in royal blue, white and red, and a fabulous poncho and matching hat for Emily's upcoming 2nd birthday. In the box was a poncho for me as well, and my surprise box of Regina bisquits! I LOVE THESE!

These not-so-sweet cookies are Sicilian in origin and covered with sesame seeds. They're crunchy and just perfect with coffee. The recipe I use when I make them calls for a bit of lemon and orange zest, though the bakery my mom frequents seems to do without these.

I thought I would give sketching a couple of the cookies a try ... MUCH more difficult than I thought. I attempted the biscuits using Prismacolor watercolor pencils .. but I just couldn't get all the wonderful ridges and shades of tan and brown I saw. I wound up blending the colors to my liking and adding some sepia ink highlights. (BTW, the background splash of color was done ala Roz's prepainted pages.)

I'll attempt these again ... if I can save any!

On Seeing

Ever have those running conversations in your mind while you're in the shower that you hope to capture on paper before the thoughts swirl down the drain with the water?

I got to thinking about Danny's recent article on drawing blended with pen versus pencil, and so got to wondering about SEEING. Bear with me here .. I"d love to have your thoughts ... It's a bit long ..

Before I began sketching, and many times even now, the question I always ask an artist is "What do YOU SEE that I don't?"It ALWAYS amazes me to watch an artist sketch or paint Â… I'll be looking at the scene before both of us and the artist I am watching will draw a line, add a color, that would make me drop my jaw in wonder. "Where did THAT come from," I'll think, "I don't SEE that and I'm looking at the same item. "Where did the blue come from that you added to the gray?" -- for again, I didn't see a lick of blue in front of my eyes. I am left marveling at this process and wishing that I could be a glint in the artist's eye so I too could SEE what they were seeing!

I remember a scientific debate a number of years ago about the sub-sub-atomic atoms that when viewed CHANGED as they were being viewed; in other words, the viewer was changing the scene before him/her as s/he were viewing it. (I wish I could remember the name of this phenomenon.) I remember wondering at the time, and now too, if there is really an objective reality before us that we each see the same or differently. And while I'm not prepared to argue this existential question, I think I've come to a few ideas.

I realize that since I began sketching, I am seeing things differently than I had before. Am I seeing things better? I'm not sure -- but I'm seeing manmanyany more details than previously. Were these details there before I saw them? Does the tree falling in the woods make a noise even though no one hears it? Am I now better able to DISCERN what I'm viewing?

I remember trying to teach my students how to identify various plants. I'd hold a sprig of leaves before them and ask them to articulate what they were seeing. They'd look at the clump of leaves and say, "Ummmmm, they're green." I'd sigh in frustration expecting them to SEE that the leaves were opposite or alternate, that the leaves had ridges along their margins, that the bud scales were overlapping... Were these things in front of the students' eyes? They were there before my own. Did it mean they weren't seeing the same clump of leaves I was seeing?

I do believe that no matter WHAT we each are viewing, we carry with us our own subjective lenses and filters. What I view is filtered through my own aged eyes, nearsightedness bifocaledaled contact lenses, through the experiences that temper how I might `know' a scene, the mood I'm in, my fatigue level, my excitement or my fatigue, the experiences I carry with me that inform what I `see'.

I know too that my own skill at rendering what I am viewing is also tempered by my experience or lack thereof, by the tool I'm using to capture the scene, the paper, the weather, the moment in time. Whatever the answers to these questions may be, I think what is important to me is my attempt to capture the `what is so' about my life at that particular moment, through THAT particular framework -- resplendent in all its subjective filters of experience, mood, age, talent.

The experience of `waking up' enough to attempt this articulation through words, sketching, collaging, music, or whatever medium might be my choice at THAT moment IS the ESSENCE of what I think this `arting' thing is all about. My next sketch or journal entry will be different but informed by those I've attempted prior to this `next' one -- and therefore a record of my own `waking' up (or in some cases, falling back asleep! LOL).

For me, it's the experience that is important -- for even that experience reflects where I've been, who I am, what I've become at THAT particular moment, the instrument I'm using, my own ato capturecapture the experience, and thus all these combined, all of these moments inform my choices, my understanding, and ultimately, my life. How I manage to keep this 'awake' state -- pencil, pen, gluestick,MUD, walks in the woods, COFFEE!! LOL, viewing others' works helps to keep me focused on the important thing - experiencing life as fully as I possibly can.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Black and White to Color

Terri, I tended to agree with you and thought that a bit of color on that large tree would really look neat.

Well, a little bit of watercolor is as dangerous to me as a little bit of candy, and I couldn't help myself and probably added too much color ...SIGH!

I think I'll to have another go at that red cedar very soon ... It seems to have a bit more character than I had noticed before.

Thanks so much, Terri!

Pre-Painted Pages

Under the inspiration of Roz's before and after journals, I used some of Golden's acryllic fluid ink and painted some swirls and edges on my sketchbook pages. After a nice dinner and settling in for the night, I thought I'd present myself to one of these pages and see what I could sketch. It was pretty dark outside and I wasn't excited about anything on my work table, so I randomly opened one of the many seed catalogues that have graced my mailbox lately and ended up sketching a composite of various daylillies.

It's a different sensation seeing something on the page before adding my sketch ... I like the way this turned out. I used a sepia Micron .05.

More Pen in the Great Outdoors

Following the clean up after birthing Gourdy Sue, the Carolina blue sky and birdsong pulled me outdoors. I had promised myself a bit of outdoor sketching today, and this was the perfect opportunity. Temperatures had warmed from a frigid 20F this morning to a warmer 50F and I donned my down jacket (I am so darn cold-natured!), my gloves, my sketchpad and PEN.

I sat on the bench that lines one of the trails in front of our property and sketched the scene before me. I lost track of time as the birds kept me company through their twitterings and the sun allowed me to sit for a while feeling warm and cozy.

I used a Micron .03 - and as I've said before, I have much to learn about controlling the pen's line and shading. I'm not sure if I'll add a watercolor wash or not to this sketch ... but for now, I enjoyed my time in the sun and being lost in the land I love.

Gourdy Sue

The Arboretum has an upcoming gourd painting workshop next month that calls for my assistance. Never having painted gourds before, I thought I'd give it a bit of a try PRIOR to the class. My landscape gardening students grew many of the gourds we'll be painting, and with the workshop growing in registration numbers, we bought additional gourds so each participant can paint several.

When it comes to gourds, I'm more of a crafter than a painter. My friend who plans to also help with the workshop sent me a Gourdian Angel for the holidays -- so I thought I'd use hers as a model and modify the gourd for the upcoming spring.

Thus, Gourdy Sue, was born. I'm not sure how well I like this lopsided flower lady, but she sure makes me laugh!

More Ink

The conversation on Everyday Matters continues a bit more about the benefit of sketching with ink versus sketching with pencil. So last night while my dh caught up on his email, I sketched a few more items in ink.


Though my errors seem to GLARE at me ... and I have so much to learn about rendering shadings, lightening line density and width, these quick sketches please me... they seem to have a charm (at least to me) of their own .. maybe it's a lossening of the line, maybe it's simply seeing my flaws right out there in front of everyone ... don't quite know. They frustrated me last night ... this morning ... I like them more...

Think I'll keep at the pen and see if I can figure it out.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


The conversation on the Everyday Matters group this week concerned the differences between sketching with pencil and sketching with ink.

I have to admit that my 'comfort zone' is DEFINITELY pencil. I say this not simply because sketching in pencil allows erasing (which I believe I REALLY NEED! LOL), but I also enjoy the various shadings I can create from graphite. As someone new to sketching, the flexibility afforded me with one simple tool is amazing, and though I have a long way to go to MASTER shadings in pencil and graphite, I've gotten comfortable with this simple tool.

That said, I have noticed of late that my sketching with pencil and having that handy eraser SO CLOSE has made me a bit sloppy ... I've begun sketching what's in my MIND and NOT was is in front of my eyes. SIGH.

So, to stop a bad habit from forming, I picked up my Vision Elite pen and sketched the vase of winter flowers that were on the table at the B&B. (The B&B owner has a fantastic garden and landscaping and there is ALWAYS something abloom. Pictured here are some Breath of Spring and Butchers Broom flower stalks. So cheerful! BTW, I think 'Butchers Broom' must be a locally known common name for this flower as I couldn't find its Latin name.)

I really liked the way the pen and ink turned out ... but was asked to add some color by the owner. Since she's the one who ALWAYS offers me a cup of tea no matter how late I come in, I decided to add the color. She loved it!

Monday, January 23, 2006

EDM #51 Sketch your TV

This was an especially challenging sketch for me since we watch very little TV and I don't have a TV in my room at the B&B when I'm out of town. I got home from my conference a bit early today so as I caught up on email and a bit of work, I sketched the TV in my workroom. The TV is fairly small, about 19" in diameter. The only programs we watch on it are the news - local and national. We've attached a DVD player to the TV for those rare times either my dh or I is on the computer and the other wants to be in the same room and catch a bit of television.

The news channel I sketched isn't our favorite - but it is the only one on at 10 pm ...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Antique Hutch

C and I found this fantastic wooden hutch at an auction in town ... It has a working flour sifter behind one of the doors, the tray pulls out for use and the bottom doors have wire holders.

Done with speedball dip pen, Adirondak rust dye ink, watercolor and Micron Sepia pen .05.

Another Interior

After my 3 hour travel and conference, my dh and I met midway home to have a quiet dinner at our old haunt, The Bamboo House. When we lived closer to the city, we used to eat at this restaurant almost weekly. With our move to the woods, we get there only several times a year.

It was a nice dinner; restorative after our hectic week! I sketched the interior of the restaurant I could see from our seat along the wall. I was testing the Speedball Crow Pen over pencil sketch. I LOVED the fine lines I could get from the pen, but since this was early testing on this paper, I was displeased with the blobs! Those eventually disappeared after more pen use.

Pen Testing

A while ago there was considerable discussion on the EDM group about varying pens and papers. This weekend I found a Michaels Craftstore coupon for 40% off, so I thought I would sample a few pens. I became enamored with quill dip pens when I used some dye ink and a waterbrush over that creating a lovely ink wash. So I thought I would look for a more professional dip pen.

I found only a few -- none of which I could test -- but with the coupon the pens were inexpensive enough to justify the cost. I wound up purchasing a Speedball Sketching pen and Speedball Crow Quill dip pen with ink.

I've been using "Raffine Art Sketch" paper (100 pound), a bit smoother than watercolor but heavier than regular sketch paper. I tested these pens on the Raffine paper.

I found the pens to be rather scratchy (as mentioned in the discussion) but flexible so I could get varying line widths. But I could only move the pen in one direction (I couldn't successfully scribble back and forth like I can with other pens and especially with pencil). The pen had a great deal of 'drag' on the paper I was using.

I tried the pens on smoother paper -- textweight -- but the drag and scratch were still there.

EVER determined (read - STUBBORN), I continued my sketching and resketching of this pot of herbs (modified from a photo). After an hour of using the pen, it smoothed out a bit and my own familiarity with the pens' quirkyness seemed to smooth out as well.

I sketched the sepia herb pot with a Micron .05 sepia pen and without waiting, used a waterbrush to get a light wash. It dried completely after a few minutes and I could no longer move the ink around.

The bottle colored herb pot was done with the Speedball crow quill and Adirondak dye ink overwashed with a waterbrush.

What I learned - PAY ATTENTION to those more experienced with pens and paper! And remember, that every type of pen and differing papers takes a bit of time to get used to their idiosyncrasies.

I've decided that the crow quill will work well enough OVER a pencil sketch or alone with a drawing I'm confident doing. Both of these pots were done sans pencil since I had sketched them several times previously during my stubborn pen testing.

Finally, I can DEFINITELY UNDERSTAND why everyone has more than one pen!!

Mirror Image

Though I haven't quite 'achieved' the mirror image for the art practice homework I was assigned, I still like the way this tiny glass, pressed flower lamp turned out. It holds a wee candle and I just love the gentle light it exudes. I sketched it with a Micron sepia pen .05 ... (I like the smoothness of the pen!) and added a touch of watercolor.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A bit of Outdoors

Today was a beautifully sunny, warm 60 degrees after a few nights of blustery winds and rain. After running errands I decided I really needed a bit of sun and so sat for half an hour by the driveway sketching a youngish Redbud (Cercis canadensis) that is growing along one of the trails my dh and I put in on the side of our property. I sketched in pencil, but wanted the inkiness of pen, so I covered the pencil with my Jimmy Gel Pen and waterbrushed the ink. I added a bit of blue for the gorgeous blue sky we had today. (The blue is light throughout the sky but didn't scan well.)

Kitty ReVisited

As part of Cathy Johnson's Sketching/Drawing Class, one of the exercises is to focus on negative spaces. In her wonderful sketch examples, Kate points out the alignment of cat's eyes to their jawline. Another exercise is to play with adjusting our sketches with computer software.

Having spent the morning at home with NO stresss at all, I decided to resketch the kitty I previously posted as well as to adjust the color of the lines with PhotoShop.

Two things -- I can DEFINITELY see the line difference (and the result) in the sketch I did today and the one from two days ago; and lastly, while I'm no expert at PhotoShop - changing the line colors was FUN!

A Gourd-ian-Angel

A dear friend of mine created this 'Gourd-ian-Angel' for me over the holidays. It sits on my desktop at work and will inspire the 'gourd-painting' workshop we'll do in February. I smile each time I glance at it!


I came home last night for a day between workshops and conferences. I sketched this peony from a magazine.

I think I'll add a few more to keep it company!

Sketching Under Stress

My workweek has been and will continue to be overly busy with a very late night, workshop, students, conferences, travel. I find sketching when I'm racing around like I've had to do to be a bit less relaxing than it is at home when there are fewer demands on my time and attention. Still, I do think, regardless of how well the sketches have been completed, that sketching and moving my mind from FRANTIC to AWARENESS to be very very helpful to both my stress level and my mood!

The kitty was sketched from a magazine as I quickly ate dinner between work and workshop.

The woman with head on arm was sketched AFTER the workshop (11:00 pm -- NOT my best time! LOL) as I tried to relax. A dear friend of mine sent me a gorgeous fabric postcard with this well-known painting. As I relaxed, I tried to capture the restful pose of the model. Though it doesn't come close in facial likeness to the painting, I do like the restful feel of the face.

Monday, January 16, 2006

EDM #50 - Draw your Entryway - Homecoming

While the grands took a nap this afternoon, I did a 'quick' of the view you'd see if you stepped through my frontdoor.

The first thing you'd see is, again, another bookcase - this one twice as large as the one in my workroom. The chair in the corner is my husband's recliner in a dusty rose color. Behind it and peeking from the top of the chair is my old guitar case (I haven't played in 20 years, and C was trying to teach himself.) What you can't see is his mandolin case next to the guitar (this he's learning very well!). The table against the right wall is an antique flour table. Note the curved wooden drawer -- I'm told they used to store flour in it and curved the bottom for storage. The round lamp is an antique glass in the same dusty pink and rose pattern as the one on my fireplace.

This challenge was indeed CHALLENGING with all the perspectives, lines, and curves, and I STOOD to sketch it so I could get the 'view' of someone walking through the door. FUN! I'd like to redo it at a slower pace and see if I could get more details and a bit better perspective.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Interior for Today's Sketch

Continuing with the Interior theme, I've sketched the bed in our guestroom.

This metal bed belonged to my dh and to be honest, was the most horrid shade of brown. The paint was peeling, the frame was rusting -- YUCK! When he and I married and moved to our present home in the woods, I spray painted the frame a textured 'stone' (light gray flecked with black and white textured pieces), and both of us liked the frame MUCH better!

The bedspread is a New England blue, hand-crocheted by my mom. I keep telling her that each piece of handwork she gives me is an automatic 'heirloom!" and she thinks I'm crazy...

I want to publicly thank my dh for the 'perspective' help he gave me. Though my sketch is not perfect in its rendering, C helped me realign the lines so the bed looked long enough for humans taller than my 2 year old granddaughter to sleep in, and I also listened to his STRONGLY suggested line placement so that the sketch looked like one wouldn't slide OUT of the bed should it be used! LOL


Art Supplies

Felicity was talking about art supplies we like to use, so I thought I'd add a photo of mine -- well, my SKETCHING art supplies. These are the supplies I travel with during the week and those I seem to use everyday. My COLLAGING art supplies, well, they'll need their own photo album!


On the Everyday Matters group this morning, there was a small chat about the things that we're attracted to sketch, and I added, perhaps those things we AVOID sketching.

Cully called me on my avoiding sketching my bookcase. GOT ME, thought I. Thus tagged, I deeply sighed and set to work on ONE of the EIGHT bookcases in my workroom. I KNOW now some of the reasons for my avoidance:

(1) The bookcase is a MESS and needs reorganizing
(2) Bookcases, especially non-perspective views, are all lines and angles -- all things I do with great kerwockedy-ness
(3) After sketching the books on the first shelf, I grew a 'tad' bored with all the lines! LOL
(4) Even with the wee bit of perspective in the bookcase, the perspective caused me fits!

It was FUN ... though I think I"ll hold off sketching the other seven bookcases for a while! LOL


I know compared to others who sell their art, this is minor potatoes. But for someone who has never drawn before 7 months ago, this small request made my YEAR!

The owner of the B&B I frequent celebrated her 73rd birthday last week. She has watched me work on my sketches since I began this journey and has been super-supportive. During her birthday celebration, she turned to me and told me that of all the birthday gifts she would enjoy, she would love something I sketched!

Well, talk about feeling HONORED! So this weekend, I sketched and lightly watercolored a half dozen cardstock notecards with flowers. I'll add envelopes and tie these up with a ribbon.

I hope she likes them!

Goose Quill and Stamper's Ink

In the sketch class I'm taking with Cathy Johnson, we got to chatting about various pens and inks. I'm still at the 'pencil' stage in my sketching and have just begun experimenting with a few pens. The discussion intrigued me and got my mind awhirlin'. Since I live in the middle of the woods and the art supply store is an hour away, I combed my hidey-holes and found some feathers I had collected from the college grounds where I teach. (We have a plethora of geese and ducks and when they molt, it's a goldmine of free feathers!) Following Kate's detailed instructions, I cut the quill (as best I could) to try as a dip pen. Now for the ink!

I've been collaging for several years and have collected a small amount of rubber stamps and a few reinkers. AHA, I thought! INK. So, on my Canson 140# CP watercolor paper I began my experimenting. I dipped my pen into a small drop of Adirondak 'Bottle' dye ink (very non-waterproof). I added a bit of waterbrush -- and was SMITTEN! Of all the playing I did (blotching, blotting, smearing, WEARING, drying with a HEATGUN), I liked this wee flower best. The ink wash just delighted me!

My next project was to attempt my 'homework' for Kate and something a bit more serious. Bowing again to Laura and continuing my interiorscapes, I sketched my washstand. I began in pencil and then used the goosequill and Adirondak 'Rust' ink to oversketch the pencil. I found that if if 'scraped' the pen against the side of the cut papercup, I didn't BLOTCH the ink as much. Instead of letting the ink dry (never one for patience!), I used the waterbrush to move the ink around before it settled into the wc paper. I left the pencil marks for texture ... and the result absolutely made me GLEEFUL! I think I'm getting hooked!

Re the washstand. I was with a friend in an antique store in Raleigh about eight years ago. She was looking for something; I was along for the ride. When I saw this particular piece, I FELL IN LOVE and just HAD TO HAVE IT! It cost me more than I've ever paid for a piece of furniture -- but I knew it was just something I'd regret not buying.

I depleted my savings account and brought it home. It has graced my bathroom for 13 years and delights me each visit to that part of the house!

Another Interior

Continuing my fascination with things interior (hats off to you, Laura), I've added a 'quick sketch' of my bentwood rocker. In the time my husband called me to leave my art table and prepare the table for dinner (don't you just LOVE a man that cooks! and cooks WELL!) and when dinner was actually done, I did a quick sketch of the bentwood rocker I've owned for over 30 years. I added ink and watercolor only to the wooden areas; the seat and back are still in pencil. I love the subtlety of the pencil and maybe I'm finally learning how to use it to its advantage. I have a larger learning curve with ink and watercolor! I've included both sketches to show a bit of the process.

The rocker has followed me all of my adult life. I rocked my children in it, and now, I rock my grands! I've had the seat and back recaned only once in all this time. It sits next to my fireplace with a cozy throw tossed over its arm. I happened to be UNDER the throw when I drew this!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

More Salt and Pepper Shakers

As a continual practice with various materials for my sketching class, I sketched these crystal salt and pepper shakers. I surprised myself to realize just how many DIFFERENT sets of salt and pepper shakers I own!

The Old Oak Desk

This wooden desk is over 40 years old. When my ex and I bought it, it was covered by six coats of paint and two to three layers of wallpaper -- what a mess! It was the first piece I ever refinished and it's still going strong.

Funny thing. After sketching this desk, which sits in the corner of my work room, it occurred to me -- my ex-husband and I redid the desk -- and our lives -- we both remarried. Talk about redoing.

Squirrely Gifts

These ceramic squirrels in their wee basket were a gift from my son over 15 years ago. He bought them at a yard sale knowing how much I love watching squirrels. He went out to play, and without me knowing where he was going, found these. He returned home, rang the doorbell and surprised me with his gift. Of course, I cried ...

Friday, January 13, 2006

Journal Page

I began learning to sketch so I could illuminate my journal pages, and so I've spent a good part of a year sketching and sketching (oh yes, and erasing and erasing!) LOL I've focused so much on this learning challenge that I haven't spent as much time collaging or doing daily 'glue pages', or writing as I did before I took up the pencil.

This morning, with the fog cloaking the woodlands and creating a feeling of restive coziness, I decided to try combining those things I love most on one page - sketching, writing, collaging, gluing in my journal.

I like the result and hope that with continual practice I'll get better at the combo!


Laura's challenge to draw interiors and her beautiful sketches inspired me to try an interior myself.

The gas log fireplace in my livingroom sits in the corner, but its heat warms the entire house. A good friend of mine carved the 'face' portion of the fireplace as a wedding gift for my husband and I. He used our wedding invitation and symbol we used of the morning glory. I just LOVE it!

The pink rose glass lamp is an antique my husband bought me one birthday and the blue vase was a wedding gift as well. I didn't realize until I was writing this how filled with symbolism that entire corner has become - warmth, wedding, flowers, remembrances!

Foggy Morning

After a wildly busy holiday season and an equally busy return to work, this morning I am able to sit before my computer, catch up with the many blogs that inspire me, type some notes to friends, chat with my sister, and RELAX into the morning. The fog at my window gives me that wonderful cocoon feeling, while my sweet/bitter morning coffee warms and delights me. I LOVE mornings like this, and I experience them less and less as the world, and my own life, seem to accelerate at an ever frightening pace.

But for today, for THIS morning, I am wallowing in the grey!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Published AGAIN!

In the January/February 2006 issue of "Altered Arts," I've had published a 'how to' article for creating an altered 'triptych clock.' Here are the clocks featured in the article. See this month's issue for directions.

EDM #1 Draw Your Refrigerator

Since I work out of town and my own refrigerator was 80 miles away, I sketched instead the exterior of the B&B owner's refrigator. It's a very 'homey' refrigerator filled with pretty magnets, notes, calendars, photos of her grandchildren, and the detritis of a large, loving family. The B&B owner thought I was a bit crazy to be sketching something in her kitchen, and she had a good laugh at the results (me, too) .. but then again, I'm always glad to help someone smile! LOL

Salt and Pepper / Lighting Fixture

I normally don't go out to eat at lunch, but I'm trying to walk a mile or two a day, and so decided to get away from the computer and find a quick meal. I ate a salad at Appleby's and sketched the salt and pepper shakers as I waited for my Oriental Salad (I LOVE THOSE!). Just as I was ready to leave, instead of looking at my plate and sketchbook, I looked up and noticed (DUH) some awesome Tiffany light fixtures! I could have hit myself in the head! Instead, I'll go back NEXT week for another salad and sketch those!

I wound up walking 2 miles around the indoor medical mall. Having thought to LOOK UP at the restaurant, I did again and noticed some wonderful lighting fixtures throughout the mall. I kept staring at these during my walk; then returned for a sandwich at the Cafe and a chance to sketch those.

(The adhesive tape and dispenser was done quickly as I waited for the rainstorm to ease up enough for me to leave my office and head to the medical mall for my walk.)

My Old Black Leather Boots -EDM #1

I don't know what it is about these low-top boots that I love - they're made of black faux-leather, comfortable as slippers, and even with their cracks and bruises, I can't give them up.

This week to continue my sketch (or two) a day, I decided to sketch the shoe/boot in two perspectives - from the side and front view. Though I haven't a clue how to render them 'leathery', I hope I managed to show their wear! LOL

More pencil testing

I'm finally home from out of town and I'm proud to say I've been sketching EVERY DAY since January 1!! HORRAY!

I scanned and reloaded my pencil sketches, removing the 'photo' I took of the page. I think the scan shows so many more details!

I'm also adding some quick tree sketches testing again the various pencils on cold press 140# watercolor paper.

Continuing with the examples and sketching homework, I'm including a potted tree done with charcoal (both medium and soft) with added water for some of the values. On the same page are two flower sketches doen first in pencil, then pen and watercolor washes in keeping with my resolution to sketch more nature.