Monday, December 31, 2018

Sketching What Santa Brought

large Moleskin Sketchbook
Homemade Washi Tape, Lamy pen and watercolor

A treat to be out in my lovely swing (that Santa brought me).  With the help of family we finally got it assembled!  Just in time to bring in the New Year.  And we are having 80 degree weather so that is a treat as well.  

I am beginning to think a bit now about the classes I'll be teaching in January.  Zentangle first and then two sessions of sketching workshops.  

We'll ring in the year tonight have Chinese dinner with some old friends and then a little bubbly while we watch folks in NY freeze their tails off in Times Square.  As we always say now...where did the time go?  We wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Sketching Class Bulletin Board

Today I spent some time preparing a bulletin board for the Fine Arts room that showcases some of the highlights that I plan to share with my Sketching Class on January 25.

I gave credit to my sketching friend Susan Bronsak as it was her idea to select a variety of different layout designs that sketchers might use for inspiration.  She is going to use this for her presentation at the Leesburg Library later this month.

My class is actually full now, but I am thinking if I have enough on the wait list I might do the class again in late March.  Once I've prepared the handouts and planned the syllabus I may as well use it more than once.  

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

My first posted video...

A Sketch of our amazing chocolate mint cake topped
with Mint chocolate Candies

I have tried here to give you a link to my tiny video showing my purse accordion sketchbook.  Hope it works.  

The last few entries in the book have finished off one side of the accordion book...and now I start on the second side of the pages.

Christmas has come and gone but will linger I think throughout the week (or as Greg says through the 12 days of Christmas here).  
We will have 80s this week although may get some rain toward the weekend.  Hoping I may get to the pool tomorrow.  It's been quite awhile since it's been warm enough for that.  

We still have some company to come on Friday and a nice evening planned for New Year's Eve.  Today was Greg's birthday.  He postponed his traditional pecan pie to Friday when his daughter arrives so he can share it.

Hope all my blog friends had a good Christmas.  

Monday, December 24, 2018

Little Beads on the Necklace of Time

These are 4 tiny tiny sketches in my accordion book that I keep in my purse.  Just following the time line of the pre-holiday in focus.
Little "snippets" of things happening that are like little beads on a necklace of time.  None of them more than 15 minutes.  

The first is a train car from the Villages Christmas model train show...

The second is a composite of two drawings...the first during last Sunday's sermon about Forgiveness...the drum set to the left of the altar.

And below, the wine bar at Ruby Tuesdays were we went for lunch after services.  

And some of the lovely things set out at the holiday party with friends on Wednesday, orange slices, blackberries and cookies.  

And 3 tiny sketches...the window from the Clubhouse at the Plantation Model train show against the dark rainy sky, the oboe player at the Christmas band concert, and then the altar at church two Sundays ago.  

Monday, December 17, 2018

The Zentangle Spinner project (My version)

A recent series of videos and instructions came out for the Zentangle® followers of CZT leaders Rick and Marie.  They do a 12 days of Christmas special every year with some sort of inspirational ideas.  They are now publishing what they call "project packs" which is a nice little "kit" you can buy with all the materials need to complete a project.  

I think the kits cost about $25 a piece.  Granted the materials are lovely...using the beautiful Italian paper and Sakura pens and I think the pack I am telling you about today also includes some colored pencils.  And a spinner.  

The idea of this Zentangle spinner is that you put your own favorite tangles in the blank boxes or quadrants and then how you use it is to spin it when you are ready to make a tile or project of your own and the tangle you use must be chosen by the "luck of the draw" so to speak.  Allowing you not to fuss over deciding what tangle to use eliminates one of the side issues of making a tile.   In other words just for fun.  

The project was video taped and I believe is available to anyone who wants to watch the tangles being drawn so beautifully!  Just go to YouTube and put in Zentangle Project Pack.  This is #4.  And there are 12 videos.  But I digress.

So this is MY version of the project pack and it cost about 50 cents.
Done on a piece of fairly good cold press watercolor paper (Canson recommended), the spinners are inexpensively purchased at Amazon.  My version is smaller than the version you would buy at Zentangle (circle is a 7" diameter).  But it still gives you a choice of 30 different tangles to choose from.  I simply used a plate for the outside circle and a compass to draw the others.  

The purchased project as shown in the videos had numbers and letters around the outside that to me made very little sense to me overall.  If I was going to use this with my students I wanted something quite practical.  So I wanted a way for them to identify the tangle's name so they could go and find the "step outs" for that tangle if they needed to.  So I typed the names the tangles giving them each a number and put that number next to the quadrant in which they are drawn.  

This whole thing could be put on a printer and copied for students to just glue down onto a paper if that is what I decided to do...or I could give students a blank copy and get them started on one of their own.  It was a fun project and didn't take all that long to do.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Demo watercolor for the last beginner wc class.

The challenge for my last session of "beginning watercolor" workshops on Tuesday is to help students with minimal supplies actually paint a real painting.  Up to now it's been small little "studies" teaching the concepts.  Tuesday they will have "real" watercolor paper...a quarter sheet of Arches 140 cold press.  

But they only have one #10 round brush and a very limited little palette.  (although they have Daniel Smith paints).  I wanted to have a subject that would not take a lot of drawing time and one where they could use some of the textures and techniques we have been using.  I wanted them to use a sponge, a screen spatter, shadows, masking, scraping, wet on wet and wet on dry, color mixing, etc etc.  That is asking a lot of one painting!  

So this is my demo painting which I will paint again on Tuesday for them.  We only have about 3 hours and we won't get done...but I am sending them a copy of this painting to help them finish at home after the class.   This was tricky with all the limitations.   

I hope they will have fun with it.  And not get too frustrated.  It's hard to "paint along" with someone. I plan to demo in two segments...drawing, masking, taping, and background.  Then go on to the second part.  And everyone works at a different pace!  
Wish me luck!  

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Sketching Collections

Groupings of things are an interesting idea for a sketch journal. 
Think of all groups you could possibly come up with from shells, or leaves, or flowers, or buttons, or favorite pens or even old abandoned sofas (someone I know has a collection of photos of those!!!).  In my case due to the holiday I chose favorite ornaments on my tree.  My sketch group is using holiday sketches for a challenge and I thought this might work!  

Every ornament has a story attached to it.  I'll bet you have those kinds too!!  Lots of nostalgia drawing these.  Remembering the countries I visited, the people who made them for me, or emotional stories associated with them.  I like that now, no matter what might happen to them in the future, I have a record of them.  

This is an 8 x 12 journal by Moleskin.  Mostly my Lamy Safari fountain pen and watercolors.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Little Frames for your sketchbook...

Today I've been exploring some of the possible ideas to use in my sketchbook that will eventually share with my class in January.
One idea that comes from Leslie Fehling's blog is to do some small sketches and think of how you might establish their "framing" ahead of time.  You might be drawing a collection of things, or putting ingredients into a recipe.  The ideas are endless. First she takes contact paper and cuts it into the size squares she wants.  Draws a line to sort of keep them in line and sticks them down.

There are a lot of ways to paint around these squares.
You could just take out watercolors and lay a wash over the entire page.  I chose to spray them with a mouth atomizer designed for spraying paint.  I've had it for years.  I used liquid watercolors.  

When this dried, I SHOULD have lightly sprayed the page with a clear coat of acrylic.  This should have stabilized the spray paint which is after all...WATERcolor.  But I didn't so now I'll have the issue of some of the paint probably bleeding into the squares later.  Oh well.  

Here are the liquid watercolors and sprayer.  But as I said, just putting a wash over the contac paper would have worked too.

So here are the 8 frames after the contac paper is removed waiting for my sketches.  
I'll erase the pencil lines, of course.  I'll let you know how this works out.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Sketching in Mount Dora, FL

The sketching group gathered in Mount Dora last Tuesday, Dec 5 for a little art.  It was a chilly morning (about 55) and windy.  So none of us wanted to stay out too long.  But the sun was lovely and so it turned out rather fun after all.   I sat in the shade of a "slatted" wood wall and ended up in interesting shadows myself!  

I moved to the corner at the main intersection on 5th Avenue and found interesting shapes, Christmas decorations, and got caught up in the wiring of the street lights! The building to the left on my sketch is the one with lots of wrought iron that looks like a New Orleans type building. Across from it,   I discovered a building I'd been by a million times that is called the Shamrock Building. I never knew that until I started sketching it.

Built in 1925 by James Simpson, the Shamrock building was first operated as a hotel.  Then it became the First National bank of Mt Dora which operated there until 1964.  It appears to be commercial property now.  

In this photo taken some year ago you can see where I was sitting to the right of the information booth facing toward the Shamrock Building.  Now and then there are horse drawn buggy rides available although I haven't seen them lately.  

5 of us went out to lunch at the Thai restaurant just down the block after painting.  We'll all meet at the Leesburg Library next Tuesday for our last get together in 2018.  

Monday, December 3, 2018

Using your own half pans to make a kit and how to do wonky printing

This is my little travel sketchbook (my third one) and it's an accordion book...pages about 3 x 5.  The tiny wc set next to it is in an Altoid's mint tin and I've glued in half pans (you can order them on Amazon). I painted the inside of the lid with white gesso and then a coating of clear acrylic gloss medium.  

I have one of those water brushes that unscrews and is half it's size.  It came in my Koi WC pan set.  I haven't seen them anywhere else but I'll bet you can find them. Great for tiny sets like this.  That dirty thing at the top is an athletic wrist band.  You just put it on and use it as a wiper for your brush.  
That way you have no need for bringing paper towels.

The tree with white and gold is from our church.  
It is a "Chrismon" tree.
"Chrismon" is a combination of the words "Christ" and "monogram," and means "symbols of Christ." Chrismons are gold and white, representing majesty and purity. Ideas for fashioning them are developed from early Christian symbols, the Bible and church histories.
Below is a wonky way to do some printing for use in sketchbooks...I call this printing "Zentangle®" printing because I first discovered it on the Zentangle site for CZTs.  

It is simple to use your own handwriting with this kind of printing.

Just kind of make the word a little "wonky" at first in pencil.  Then trace around it in ink once (we call that aura in Zentangle).  Erase the pencil and add some little "sprigs" coming out at random places.  Then aura again.  
Sometimes I aura twice as in this one.  Then I go back and color in the original letters.  I used colored pencil for this one.  Voila.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Making Tiny Sketchbooks to carry on location.

I am making up tiny sketchbooks for my sketchbook class later in January.  They are 3 x 4" and will be "purse sized".  A friend gave me the binder machine last year and you can get the plastic ring binders at Office Depot.  They do cost a bit and I used Canson wc paper, so I am going to have to charge a something each for the little sketchbooks.  They each have 5 pages with two sides...10 sketches.  You could probably have these bound at Office Depot too.  

There are pre-made teensy sketchbooks that you can find at art stores and in art catalogs.  I love the accordion fold out books and you can make those yourself too.  Here's one way. All depends on how much time you have for that sort of thing.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Illustrated Recipes

This is the cookie recipe for my cookies for the exchange next Monday morning.  I haven't brought a bar cookie before but cranberries are very "Wisconsin" and so I thought this would be a good one.  

I also wanted to do a demo for my upcoming sketchbook class (in January) so they get the idea of how sketching has lots of angles to it.  Did you know there is a whole website for people who "cook and draw"?  Seriously...wonderfully creative website.  Take a look.

Monday, November 26, 2018

WC palette

Colors on my palette are:  leaf green, Hansa or Lemon yellowQuin gold, Windsor orange, scarlet lakeAliz crimsonpermanent or quin rose, cobalt violet, cobalt blue, Antwerp blue (or Prussian or ultramarine), cerulean blue, bamboo, viridian greenburnt Sienna, magnetite black (that black is optional). 

Some of the folks who are taking my classes in beginner watercolor have asked for my palette colors.  Thought I'd just put them here.  

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Watercolor Beginners.

Here's my Tuesday morning WC class.  All above average!!!
Proud of you gals!  

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Discovery Gardens in Tavares, FL is part of the UF Extension office.  They have a lovely garden with many different areas to wander through.  Fountains and shady nooks and cactus and chimes and lots of benches.  Very fun.  

My Sketching Group in Florida met there this morning for a few hours.  By noon it was close to 90 in the full sun so we broke up then and headed out.  

Here's my initial sketch done with my Lamy fountain pen in my Stillman and Birns notebook.  

I used my Winsor Newton small wc kit and water brush for this.  It's not my most favorite sketching set up but I was kind of in a hurry this morning and took my smallest set up.  I hope next time I can take a little bigger palette and some real brushes.  

I plan to add some printing and maybe a map and I'll repost that when I have time to do it.  

The fountain played lovely splashing sounds as we painted.  I think we had about 6 or 7 people sketching.  One of the gals sketched me into her drawing...that was cool.  

Some of the gals went to lunch but I had a meeting and had to head home.  Hopefully next time.  

Sunday, November 11, 2018

This was done with a Lamy fountain pen (no pencil) in Lexington gray ink and my Stillman and Birns Beta Sketchbook (my absolutely favorite).

It was a still afternoon and about 80 degrees and slightly overcast with the sun peeping out now and then.  The gal who had this set up at the Garden Show was down near the fountain area in Donnelly Park and it was shady and delightful to sit there.  Greg was so kind as to just wait for me.  He didn't even have a newspaper to read!  I consider this my birthday present from him!  There is enough white space left that I can do a little journaling about the day later. 

We bought a hibiscus plant to replace the one we lost last winter and I bought 4 tiny little plants for my "fairy garden" that I have been doing in a small pot indoors the last few winters.  People strolled happily among the many flowers and displays.  Lots of people brought their dogs.  This is a wonderful sketching event.

We stopped at a few garage sales along the way there and I found an absolutely darling bowl/gravy set in Christmas motif.  $3.00.  It'll be perfect for the holidays.  I didn't own a gravy boat.  I'll sketch them later! 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

A Hand Painted Book for Violet

My loyal and patient blog followers have watched me watercolor and collage my alphabet book for my new great granddaughter much of the summer up north at the cabin.  My daughter had the book published this fall so that I could give it to my granddaughter, Maddy, in October when I was traveling south to FL.  

Here we are in northern Illinois on Oct 17.  
I also gave her the original pages which my daughter had laminated and bound.  You can see the book pages if you scroll on back on the blog.  

The book was very personalized...a was for "apple computer" and c was for "California" where she was born, etc.  Z was of course for "Zentangle".  This is a tad blurry but you can see it better in other blog posts.  Here's a child who will know Zentangle from birth!!!

A nice surprise for me too was that my daughter had all the drawings and photos put onto a poster than can be framed.  What a neat idea.  She used Shutterfly for the book and poster.  

I share that you might be aware that you can put your drawings and paintings together is a truly fun way.  Christmas is coming!

The book, as you already know, is highly themed to painting...b is for "brush" and w is for "watercolor", etc.  I expect her to love art and be an artist too.  

And here is a great grandma brag photo of Violet Virginia at 4 mo.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Inktober challenge draws to a close

It's time to say good bye to Inktober again.  It's been a fun challenge and especially since I was traveling part of the month!
This tangle is called "Cruffle".  

Fun to be home in FL now...just got back from the pool.  
Not too tough! 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Sandswirl is an "oldie" but a goodie.  One of my first tangles.  Q-belle is new to me but is pretty okay.  

We are beginning to settle in here in Florida.  
The first week is so hard...we are tired and a bit off switching times and trying to replenish the fridge and shelves and meeting old friends and getting caught up.  

Went to book club at church today. That was nice and stopped at the local art store.  Picking up materials for the wc classes I am teaching.  That starts on Nov 6.  

Hoping some more art will come soon.
This is gouache and collage started up north.  
Would like to get more going on this too.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Inktober Challenge #21 and 22

Hammadox and Yuma are both interesting and fun to do.  I've added a bit of watercolor to each.  Yuma was tangled AFTER the watercolor dried.  

We are in TN now just north of Nashville and headed to Alabama tonight.  One more night on the road.  We are always SO ready to be home by the time we get to the last night.  Drove through a lot of  rain in IL and KY yesterday which made for a stressful and tiring trip.  

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Challenge for October: #19 and #20

Okay..just one more.  This is 4 generations...l to r: my daughter Beth, my granddaughter Maddy, her daughter Violet and me.  We got to spend two days with them and tomorrow are heading to TN and AL and then to home to FL.  It's been a nice trip down.

Weather was clear and sunny and about 50 in northern Illinois here.
Note: the first two paintings behind Beth are mine.  

Abeko and W-2 are the challenge tangles.  W-2 is an old friend...from way back when.  Always fun to re-visit it.  Threw in a little Zander on that one.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Meeting Violet Virginia

Here is my great granddaughter, Violet Virginia...all the way from CA.  We hit it off just fine!  She is 3 months old.  Smart, beautiful, and way above average!!!  

Inktober # 17 and 18

These two tangles are "Narwhal" and "Luv-a".  I liked both of them.  Narwhal I've done many times but the second one I thought would make such a cute picture frame.  If I had time I would have put one in.  But traveling along the highway as I am...I am lucky just to get the tangle done!!!

We are currently in Love's Park, Illinois...visiting family along the way...Greg's daughter in Poynette, my daughter in Madison yesterday and now my daughter and son and their family in Warrenville, Ill today and tomorrow.  So wonderful to get caught up on news and share laughter and hugs.  

We'll be in Naperville for two nights now and that's nice to give us a break from the "driving routine" before we head south on Friday morning.  Off to breakfast now and a busy day ahead.  We will be meeting our great granddaughter, Violet Virginia for the first time today!!!  So fun.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Inktober Challenge #15 and 16

Pushing ahead a little starting today because we'll be heading out tomorrow and on the road for about a week.   I am not sure when I'll have time to get these done.  Still working in 3.5" squares.

About half way through the challenge now.  I am always amazed at how fast it goes!  

I absolutely adore these two tangles: Inapod is an old favorite and Joki is a new favorite.  

Our itinerary will take us south through Wisconsin and Northern Illinois stopping to visit family.  Then KY, TN, AL and GA before getting to Florida.  Packing clothes for this is tricky as we start at at 32 degrees and end up at 88 degrees.  

Friday, October 12, 2018

Challenge 11-13

Here are the next 3 tangles for the Challenge...11, 12, and 13.
Copada, Heartswell, and Dewd.

So it's snowing in the northwoods now...we HAVE to go now.
3 days and counting.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Day 7, 8 and 9 in the Inktangle Challenge.

These 3 tangles for days 7, 8 and 9 are Onion Drops, Cockes 'n' Mussels, and Feba.  

We are having flood warnings up here in the cold north woods.  By Thursday night time temps will drop to 27.  This could mean snow?
Also watching Hurricane Michael closing as it is hitting the panhandle on Wed/Thursday and it's surely to affect our home neighborhood (near Disney).  Whew.  Lots of bad weather all around!!!