Thursday, September 29, 2011

Travel Blogs

I am still working on the sketch challenge and will soon be headed toward the Blue Ridge Mountains of VA. Until then here is a fall painting I did some years ago in WI.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

75 day Challenge day 41,42 and 44

Now I am experimenting with taking a photo, downloading it to the iPad and attaching to a blog post.

The numbers are not always consecutive in my sketch book as I bounce around looking for spaces that fit the size I want.

Day 41 was my last sketch (top left) at the cabin. Day 42 (top right) my first sketch at my daughter's home in Fontana, WI.

One downside is that so far I haven't figured out if I can crop or adjust photos on the iPad.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

75 day sketching Challenge Day 37 & 38

As our last two days at the summer cabin unfold...I find myself in the usual emotional sort of limbo. Anxious to get "home" to Florida and anticipating the interesting driving trip through the Blue Ridge Mountains and visiting friends and relatives. At the same time going through a sad farewell to a place we hoard up special memories with the grandkids and with nature.

This old chair came with the cabin and Greg has threatened to replace it a number of times but I just can't let it go. The Swan's Head arm rests are not that rare...I see them a garage sales all the time. But, as I is old and full of nostalgia and I am guessing it will last as long as I do at least. We have had to make room in our lives for many changes. But you need to hang on to a few old things for nostalgia!
We went for our last canoe ride on Tippecanoe Lake for a few hours yesterday. The sunshine called us down to the quiet shores. We were the only boat out on the lake. Most of the piers have been pulled up on shore now for the long cold winter ahead. Fish swam under the canoe in the clear, clear water and huge boulders reached up from under the water looking dark and secretive. Water skimmer bugs flitted away from the canoe as we parted through them and although we searched, we are sure the loons are gone now. We did see many eagles soaring over us. A balm for the soul. And a good farewell ride.

Part of our pier frame rolls up on shore on wheels. So while Greg tidied up the boat house, I sat in the warm sunshine (in sweatshirt and wind breaker) and sketched my daily sketch. The lilly pads have all changed colors to bright reds and yellows but not much color in the trees along the shore yet. Probably another two weeks for that. And we can't wait around.

We leave on Thursday. Weather forecast is rain and a high of 47 degrees that day. YIKES! It's 88 in Leesburg, FL. We'll spend 18 days on the road during which time I won't be posting.
I hope my faithful readers won't give up on me. I should have some nice sketches (and some from my travel sketchbook in color) after the trip.

I did purchase a blogging app for my iPad but have not had time to work with it yet. Another learning curve. Happy fall, everyone. And safe travels to all. See you in October.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Approaching Masa Paper & WC in a slightly different Way

I meant to put these in proper order from start to finish, but see that I reversed them. Sigh. One of those days.

So you will need to go down to the 4th picture which is the first picture and "read up". See what I mean?

Step 4: I added colors for the flowers using only mixtures of that same triad I started with.

Step three: I remembered that I wanted the watering can a dark color to emphasize the pattern in the paper and so I used turquoise pretty much straight for the can (note bleeding which takes place naturally with this rice paper). I tried to remember to use some value changes as I painted because it is almost impossible to lift once it is try.

Step Two: Using pencil, I transferred the ink drawing to the masa paper (using a light box). Using the triad of colors I chose: raw sienna, winsor newton red, and turquoise, I re-wet the masa paper with a wide brush (very gently). I might have used a misting bottle as well. Holding the paper upright and letting the colors blend. Yellow first, then red, then blue.

Dry throughly (see hair dryer in photo.)

Step One: Same photo as yesterday's post only this time I actually drew out the subject matter (in much smaller scale...about 1/8th of sheet of wc paper). It was drawn in ink on a sheet of drawing paper. (I guess I could have counted this as my sketch for the 75 day challenge, couldn't I?)

Then I also played with a few triads of color for the painting on a strip of wc paper below.

I prepared the masa paper as in yesterday's post, crinkling, wetting, glueing and then letting it dry overnight.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Watercolor on Masa Paper

One last little project for the studio before I pack up for Florida....

I am teaching a class in Florida on Oct 24 using masa paper and watercolor. I wanted to do a little demo first and be sure that I remembered what supplies are needed for this project.

I thought it might be neat to ask you bloggers out there if you have done a similar project and have any new hints for ways you have adapted this.

I put the photos in sequence on this one. Materials first...140# cold or hot press paper (not rough), masa paper in about the same size as the wc paper, old brush for glue, YES glue, and a small brayer or roller. Tape the wc paper down on all 4 sides. (note you can substitute Elmer's white glue watered down slightly to a creamy mixture.)

Then crumple the masa paper up (note the X on one corner.) You need to mark the rough side of the paper with an X first. After you wet it, you will no idea which side is which. I glue the slick side down, rough side up.

After crumbling you thoroughly WET the paper. Then squeeze out all the excess and glue the masa to the wc paper with YES glue. You will then use the brayer starting in the center to smooth the paper out over the wc paper.

I suggest picking a photo of something very simple with simple shapes. I use a hair dryer to dry MOST of the paper...leaving it slightly damp for the first application. You can leave it overnight and then just spray the papers again to dampen the surface. Getting it completely dry first allows you to do some drawing on the masa. It must be totally dry for any pencil marks to show up. I did not use any pencil on this sample.

I like colors to spread out in lovely bleeds for the first wash of color.

One thing I did forget since the last time I did one was that darker colors show up the masa textures best. Next time I'd do the watering can in a darker color. I am using a #12 Dreamcatcher brush (round) for first washes.

See how the wonderful texture shows up on the dark blue stripes in the background? This would have been so much more effective with a darker watering can. That is what you want to feature.

I'd suggest that you make up 5 or 6 small pieces of this textured ground and then experiment with lots of different subjects on it. Very fun.

The folks who signed up for my class will get a preview this way of what we are going to do!!!

75 day sketching Challenge Day 33 & 34

Sort of stuck inside for sketching now at least for a few days as temps in the north woods of WI drop down into the 20s at night. Snowflakes have been seen in the area! YIKES! We are setting records now for earliest frost and snow flakes! :-(

My sketches will definitely be inside or through the window for awhile! I love doing shoes. These are Greg's work boots sitting by the fireplace. And yes, we have a fire going now!

And my computer desk (soon to be packed up) looks a little messy right now, but that's the usual with me. We are 5 days and counting to leaving the cabin now.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Sassy Sketchers

Nothin' more fun that a group of artists out to lunch. Here we are at the Minocqua Brewery.

Let to right: Leslie Johnson, Susan Lansdown, me, Judy Tuhy, and Joan Stevens. The 5 Sassy Sketchers of the North woods 75 Day Sketching Challenge! It was a farewell luncheon for the snowbirds (the 3 of us to right are the snowbirds). Susan and Leslie plan to sketch snow scenes from their hot tub. The the other three will be sketching palm trees by the pool. We intend to keep in touch and so you'll be seeing those sketches down the road a piece.

Speaking of winter... we all woke up to 38 degrees this morning with a wind chill! Note that we are all wearing sweaters!!! Greg and I have our fireplace merrily burning tonight. Boy does that ever feel cozy!!! We'll be 32 tonight and 29 tomorrow for lows!!! I am totally thinking of Florida now!

One last photo of this silly PT cruiser. Not so much for the framing as for the matting. I wanted to put the painting out for show and tell at the meeting and so I just stuck it into an old frame and mat. Hint: the mat was pre-cut for another painting and it was brown and very faded. I just painted the mat with a coat of blue acrylic paint and dried it with a hair dryer. mat that looks like new.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Having a little fun with the Sketching

I mentioned in one post how much fun it would be to trace a sketch and then add the color. I traced my PT cruiser onto 140 # rough watercolor paper and just had a little fun playing with the image.

My hubby said more slant to the front window frame and larger back tire. I attempted to make those two corrections.

The changes in value in the paint may be distracting...I haven't decided. It was my attempt to "infer" some changes in lighting outside against the "marine" blue car. I always want to drop in colors into large wash areas...a little purple in this case.

One thing I learned, painting from a black and white sketch and with no photo ref is that you don't remember all the colors or shading. I did the tail light wrong. It is actually red with a white dot in the middle, for instance. In many cases it makes no difference but if you wanted it accurate it would matter. I am tempted to add in some background color now...a few trees in the drive way or maybe even the cabin in the background? No time for that right now what with 8 days left to pack up here.

But it is sometimes fun to have a little sketch of something you like that you won't have a car. I did a nice little sketch of our last RV and we framed it and we love looking at that! Memories!

I remember that J.Hicks has little notes all over her sketches making references to colors. She also takes a photo but sometimes her notes are more accurate. And I think she also makes "idea changes" as she writes her notes such as "why not change first building to crimson". Etc.

Welcome to my friend, Marlene, in Florida who just started the Sketch Challenge too! Now I'll have someone to go out to lunch with in Florida!

(J.Hicks is one of my followed blogs off to the right side of my posts.) She is so generous about putting her sketch and her photo on beside her painting. That is a tremendous help.

Monday, September 12, 2011

75 Day sketching Challenge: Day 30 30. How did THAT happen?
Turns out drawing takes practice! Blah.
Here I thought there was a magic pill if I could just find it!

Lots of things wrong with this sketch but when you start in ink...boy you are committed! You see all the mistakes as you go along. What I think might be fun would be to get some tracing paper and re-draw it making the corrections. Then I would add watercolor to that second drawing. That would be fun.

We are 9 days and counting now until we leave the north woods cabin and head for the hills. (literally). We'll spend about 10 days in southern WI visiting old friends and family and attending my 50th college reunion at Beloit College and then we'll head toward Peaks of Otter where we have reservations in Bedford, VA on Oct 5 in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We will visit a train museum (for my hubby) in Roanke, VA on the 6th and then spend two days with my sister and her hubby in York, SC. Home to FL on Oct 10.

This is our PT cruiser. They don't make these anymore! boo hoo. So when we start looking at cars again this next spring...we'll have to think of something else. With are thinking about a Chevy Equinox. Anyone have one of those?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

75 day sketching Challenge : Leslie Johnson

The 75 Day Sketching Club (Ginny, Joan, Leslie, and Susan) are having lunch on Wed. We are bringing our sketchbooks to share! I can hardly wait. What a fantastic bunch of painters/sketchers! So fun! Joan and I are soon headed off to Florida for the winter and so this is sort of a farewell lunch!

I am up to almost 30 sketches now out of 75. Still a ways to go!!!

But what has fascinated us all, is how 4 different people each with only a black pen, can do things so differently!!!

Here is Leslie's most current one...reflecting the autumn feel and full of tomato jelly. OH YUM! Making still lifes out of food or ingredients for a recipe is a favorite of mine. I did a "Making Apple Cake" in acrylic last fall about this time. Several of the Sketch Club have suggested she do this in color later! Imagine the rich tomato colors!!! And I would entitle it "We Eat the Blessed Earth"...see poem below.

I am reminded of something one of my favorite poets has written:

Last year, Mary Oliver published her 20th collection of poems, Swan(2010). It includes the poem "Beans Green and Yellow":
In fall it is mushrooms
gathered from dampness
under the pines:
in spring I have known
the taste of the lamb
full of milk and spring grass;
today it is beans green and yellow
and lettuce and basil from my friends' garden —
how calmly, as though it were an ordinary thing,
we eat the blessed earth.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Susan's beautiful sketches

My new friend Susan Lansdown has taken the 75 day sketching challenge along with Leslie Johnson and some others. Susan and Leslie don't have a blog, so now and then I like to post some of their work. Both of these sketches are Susan's. Wow.

Although obviously they put my work to SHAME!

Wow, Susan, these are so wonderful.

Thank you for sharing these with the blog world!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

75 day sketching Challenge Day 23 & 24

I noticed just as I finished this that I did not have the back wheel of the model train engine aligned with the other wheels. Blah. Well, I was concentrating on the other details at the time!

It was fun to do this, however, and so I'd like to try another car or engine and see if I can do it better. You never realize all the details on these little train cars until you try to sketch them!

Nice for a chilly day drawing. We never got above 50 all day here in the north woods of WI. Whew. May have frost tonight, they say.

I had to do two sketches today as I had a terrible case of flu yesterday and was in bed all day! Lost the entire day.

Am still a little worn out today but feeling much better and should be back to normal by tomorrow. It rained most of the day yesterday and so I didn't miss too much!

On Wednesday it is the reception for Howard Young hospital exhibit in Woodruff. Hope anyone in the area will come by. Take 51 north to 3rd Ave. Turn left and go one block to Maple Street. That is the entrance to come into the hospital for the exhibit. Near the gift shop.


Don't you just love it when something fun just clicks. I got the neatest email this morning from someone I did not know.

It had to do with a sketch I made of some folks on Siesta Key beach back in January of 2002.
A little sketch I'd completely forgotten about until now.

The man in the sketch (Steve Humes) and his wife saw me sketching them and asked to buy the sketch. (I did not know his name then.)
And now, because I remembered to sign the sketch, he must have googled my name and found my email address and he wants permission to use the sketch on the cover of his new CD. Is that not cool or what? So I get his email this morning about this! I will be sure to include info about the CD on a later's not ready for sale yet.
So be sure to sign your sketches! And ya just never know what might happen! :-)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

75 day sketching Challenge up to Day 22

I know, not many people can get a bear to hold still long enough to sketch him. This was a brown bear too...not a the black ones we see up here in the north woods.

So the fun thing was this "stuffed" bear (sitting in front of a wolf) on top of a plate glass slab on top of an old antique sled was sitting in a used book store in Woodruff, WI. Who would have thought? How lucky to have my sketch pad in the car!!! The tag on his ear says $1,500.

The store is full of bric-a-brac and old dusty moose heads and old broken stained glass lamps, and huge stacks of dusty books! WHAT a fun place to sketch!!!

bric-a-brac |ˈbrik ə ˌbrak|nounmiscellaneous objects and ornaments of little value

This man (actually my hubby Greg) came out looking like a young Freud. Hahahaha. He also looks like he has nodded off over lunch. (Which could be true.) But I am determined that I will try a figure or two every week. Some folks are SO good at them! We had a lovely day down at the pier last week and he held his position for me for 20 minutes or so.

Waiting for Greg to run some errands in Minocqua yesterday, I started a quick sketch of the Twisted Root Emporium and neighboring stores. Very unusual architecture! And, of course, I noticed things I never saw before like a plaque saying 1919 on the front.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Painting my Christmas Card

I always seems nutso but I do my Christmas card every year around Labor Day weekend. And the printer says that I am not the only one!

I have this really good printer up here in Minocqua, WI that I like a lot.
And I love having it all done when I get to Florida!!! I often "start off" my Christmas letter too and just save it on the hard drive because often I find I want to revise or add some things before I run that off and send...usually just after Thanksgiving.

This is watercolor and ink on 140# Arches.
The photo reference is a stained glass window in a little German church in Illinois.
I loved the little angel. You can't read it but I wrote "Peace" in the little rectangle at the bottom. The picture might be better if enlarged it by clicking on it.

I used salt in some place to get some of the bubbly textures.
It is not a big painting...the window is about 15" high.
It'll be a bit of challenge to get the linear shape onto a standard size greeting card but we'll figure it out.

Gorgeous warm day in the north woods of WI but we have a lot of rain and cold coming from somewhere and so we are sort of thinking that this might be the last day of summer for us. Out come the sweaters now!