Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Sketch while waiting...

Just waiting for our order on Sunday after church at Jeannie's Place...a nice little restaurant near Lake Eustis.  

This was hanging on the wall and we all though it was clever.  
And it was a fun little sketch while we all visited a bit.

Very busy days around here this week...lots of events, meetings, and projects going on.   Sketching will need to be squeezed into the corners of my life.  

Raining gently this afternoon here in FL but nice and warm.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Shoes and Gouache

This is the facing page for the first one on shoes.  I am not sure why I seem to feel the need to sketch them so large.  It just happens that way.  I used gouache for the backgrounds and I was sorry I did as it was hard to draw over it.  

Most of my pens refused to write on it.  I know I've used acrylic and had no trouble but the gouache lifts.  So that was a challenge.
So it wasn't my most successful sketch but it's interesting to try different mediums sometimes.  

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Sketching for Centering

These are two pages from my Stillman & Birns Beta series 5 x 7 notebook with my usual two favorite pens. They are really snapshots of the last two days.  Above a relaxing evening with Deb and Mac on their screen porch...I sketched a bit of their new landscaping that just got put in that afternoon.  Cardboard Palms?
That is interesting.  

On the same page the next day (I didn't date it yet) I was in the doctor's office with Greg at our primary doctor this afternoon...trying to see if we are doing what we should be doing for his acute bronchitis which is now 18 days old...this is the 4th doctor appointment.  I drew the fire extinguisher just to keep sane.  Wait Wait Wait.  But this one didn't take too long.  More meds and a chest x-ray followed.  

So then this evening a lovely little dinner at our church to thank some of the many volunteers.  A shrimp boil (I just drew one shrimp but actually ate many!).  Potatoes, corn and a side salad.
A really nice dinner.  With a gift bag of chocolates.  People are so sweet.  

Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Few Shoes

I actually wasn't going to sketch shoes today as I had in mind to emulate Fay's blog where she is sketching her favorite chairs.  Something I had my list for "some day".  But one has to go with the amount of energy and the time you are allotted.  By the time we went to church and out to brunch with friends...it was 2 pm!  And it was so lovely I wanted to catch a swim at the pool...so then it was 3:30.  AND a lot of my initial ambition was waning!  

Since I've been cleaning some closets...shoes were on my mind.  
I need to toss some that I haven't worn in years.  But these are ones I plan to keep.  

And I am working with a new palette and needed to play around with it to see how it might work out.  

Shoes are not the easiest thing to draw actually. But they are challenging and interesting.  Three was all I could manage today.

Sketching Display

On March 10 is our big Fine Art show here at the Hawthorne Community. We combine with Photography Club and the Quilters and take over the great hall for the afternoon.

I suggested a display of sketching information at a side table this year and the chairman thought that might be fun.  So I am trying to get my "ducks in a row" about how to do this. 

Beside some of my own sketchbooks I hope to display some of my students work as well.  And two of the book making artists in the park are going to show some of their work as well along side this.

I'll have some of my "equipment" there...palettes and brushes, etc.
AND a sign up for next fall, if anyone is interested in taking the class then.  It's a challenge to try to tell about the "meaning" of sketchbooks in written form.  I'll have a few reference books there for display too.  

This week was my week to start gathering materials and ideas together for the display.  This is about 3' high and will sit on a table and I can then put actual items down on the table in front of this.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Becoming Unhinged...or how to make an Altoid Palette.

I've been collecting Altoid Mint tins for awhile knowing that they are really quite lovely for holding wc paints in a small concise way.  
(And the mints are yummy too.) 
The tins are easy to carry.  You can buy half pans on the internet and glue them into the base...something I have done fairly successfully.  Then I looked at a blog called "madebyfay".  (You can see it on my sidebar in "blogs I follow".  I love her work.  Information about ordering the cool insert is on her blog. These hold more paint AND in addition you are able to fit more pans.  

She found someone in KY who designed for her an insert that exactly put 15 little slightly larger than half pan inserts into an Altoid tin!  See her photo below.  And he used a 3D printer!!! How cool is THAT.  

SO I was able to order one of these and it just came.  And voila, it does indeed fit perfectly.  Note that Fay has unhinged another tin and is using just the cover for an added mixing space for her paints.
AND she has painted the inside of the covers white so that the paint will have a good background for the mixing.  

So my white paint is drying.  Now I have the delight of figuring out exactly what colors to take with me on my next foray out into the sketching world.  

Below is the progress on "life in general".  

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Themes for Sketching: How About Clocks?

Having a theme for sketching is just another way of looking at ordinary days.  A way of praising the days and often even smiling at them...giving them attention.  

This particular clock theme evolved when looking through an old journal in preparing for the Sketching Display that will be at the Fine Arts Show in March (a month that seems to be stalking me).  I came upon the sketch I did of the iconic downtown clock in the center of Main Street in Leesburg, Florida in April of 2017.  Obviously out of time...the sketch sat alone on the page.  This got my wheels to spinning.  

Subject matter is one topic in sketching.  Composition is another topic.  Other topics would be Style of drawing, and then Painting (or adding color with some medium) would be another topic.  And Materials would be another, as in type of pens and kinds of paper.  It's a little more complicated than just "Sketching" would imply.  

Subject matter can be approached many many ways.  There are lists of subjects online that you can find to encourage you...and the themes you choose can be in broad categories like "nature journal", "meditative journal", "lists", "memories", "maps", "recipes" or "travel".  Or very specific like "things I did on Jan 12".  It's variety is endless.

This theme ended up a two page display compositionally as I kept thinking of new clocks.  (And I left a little space on the page below just in case another one surfaces.). Think car clock, oven timer, fit bit, antique watch, pendulum, egg timer, smart phone, or sun dial.

Now one last thing...the watch in the first page was Greg's grandfather's train watch.  He worked for the Milwaukee Road in the 1940s.  Greg explained to me why the numbers are not on the face in the ordinary way.  The watch would have been held in his hand with the winder to one side.  And so 12 o'clock is actually printed in the 9 o'clock position so that it would be at the top when he took it out of his pocket and held it in his hand.  Make sense?  

I've looked at this watch many times and never noticed this!
Even the display box is special as it is hand made by Greg's uncle Sig who was a pattern maker by trade.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February Life in Florida

I was planning on going out to Discovery Gardens in Tavares to join the sketch group this morning.  But life had other plans.  Greg is still recovering from acute bronchitis and I just didn't want to be that far away in case he needed me.  SO...I sent out to the back yard and walked next door to neighbor Pete.  He has a pleasant well-kept garden with lots of little bits and pieces about the yard.  The temps were very pleasant (80) and the clouds skidded by leaving me with mostly sunshine.  

So I got two little sketches in before lunch!  That was relaxing.  And Greg was napping.  I do think he is slowly improving.  Not coughing as much now.  Sleeping a bit better.  But SO grumpy!  


I decided to add two little bits to my "life in general" collection.  Yesterday I added Greg's inhaler.  And today I see our camellias are blooming.  Such opulent blossoms!  I decided to bring one inside to enjoy.  And I received the little carry-all kit for art supplies and decided to see what will fit into it.  Then sketched it full of brushes and pens, etc.  I think it will do quite nicely.  I am constantly revising how I carry things!  

Looks like we may get a bit of rain this evening here in central Florida.  We've had the AC on most of the day.  The pollen is back...as the azaleas are blooming...it's early spring here.  The strawberries are coming in at the grocery now.  Nice week ahead with temps up to 85.  

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Georgia On My Mind

If your eyes are sharp you'll see the date on this is June 2018.  And that is when I did the center watercolor sketch...on location in Milledgeville, GA.  And it was 100+ that day.  THAT was nuts.
I about passed out.  Greg went and took refuge in a nearby visitor's center that had AC.  THAT was smart.

So I painted this very fast...45 minutes tops. Then off to get water to drink and cool off.  You can pass out at those temps.  But we just happened to get there around noon and I could have just photographed it, right?  I so so wanted to sketch in person.  Anyway to make a short story long, I did what you see and then we took off.  Heading north for the long journey to Wisconsin for the summer.

Today (Feb 9) I am flipping through this sketchbook and come upon the sketch.  Just lying there in the middle of the page. Tsk tsk.  So it'a a cool cloudy FL Sat afternoon.  Hubby is watching the races on TV and I am futzing around in the studio.  

So I took about an hour to decide and complete the "composition".  I know it's really not necessary to get quite as detailed as I did. But I have some really wonderful tutors in this area...friend Susan of course, and then sketchers like Jan LaFazio and and Leslie Fehling and Brenda Swenson.  So, it's an example of how you can "finish off" a sketch (if you so choose) and at least for me, it gives me pleasure to see the sketch in a nicer setting.  

Isn't just amazing how a drawing or on-location sketch can bring to back to the moment in time.  Photos just cannot do that.  I can smell the heat off the sidewalk, hear the tour guide telling his group that the bus has AC (they were skeptical as it was a very old bus) and then the smell of some flower wafting around from near by.  June in Georgia...Georgia on my mind.  

Friday, February 8, 2019

Life Happens

I am playing around, as you know if you've been following me, with different layouts and formats for sketches.  This two-page spread is done in my Stillman-Birns notebook with my Lamy Safari Pen and carbon ink.  Print in Noodler's brown ink. 

The point of this sketch...other than just fun...was to practice eye hand line work (no pencil) and trying to establish relationships in size and perspective (by eye).  Obviously this lends to a wonky drawing.  😳. But it is good practice.
I played with the light/shadow a bit.  Proportion is off a bit but all in all it was a satisfying sketch..right in my own drive way in the shade of a fig palm tree.  (It was 80 today!). 

And...here below is my "ordinary day" popping up again.  My practice for just noticing the little bits of my life that are needing  more attention. And paying attention is the name of the game.  You'll see I've chosen to call this page "life in general" which is sort of the same thing.  Also note that Greg has been sick.  Bad sore throat and ears and a cough.  We ended up in urgent care yesterday and he's on antibiotics now.  We had to cancel our trip to the beach today.  Much sadness over this as we were to have a shore lunch at Daytona Beach with Greg's daughters.  Sigh.  Life happens.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

A morning at Bountiful Farm

Bountiful Farms is an organic farm in Okahumpka, Florida about 10 minutes from where I live in Leesburg.  What a lovely 80 degree morning with full sunshine to be outdoors at this beautiful farm.  
That is Kohlrabi on the top left...and HUGE radishes on the bottom right.  AND some of the carrots are black.  I understand they are very sweet.  Who knew?  

Monday, February 4, 2019

Making Ordinary Days Memorable

It's hard to explain "littles".  Tiny fragments of days in the recent past that have something about them I want to remember.  

Something I've tasted, heard, watched, done, laughed over, wept over, worried about, rejoiced over...in other words bits and pieces of normal days.  

Remembering "moments" in my days.  The lovely Belgian waffle after church one Sunday, the Steampunk festival in Mt. Dora, the amazing Osprey on the branch outside our window, the 24 hour rain storm in Florida, etc etc etc.  

I don't draw them every day...just when the mood strikes and the idea comes to me.  The message to me is that the ordinary delights of the days often slip me by...the smell of my favorite cologne or the comfort of my favorite pillow or the Tufted Titmouse on the feeder.  

These are 2" squares.  I've posted some of this before.  But after I finished it, I decided to start another one.  

In another journal I remark on the Hawthorne concert last Sunday.

And about the interesting set up for the art demo up in Summerfield.

And here is my granddaughter and GREAT granddaughter reading the book I drew for them...remember the alphabet book?  Violet Virginia is will be 7 months old on Feb 12.