Thursday, February 27, 2020

Collaging two Urban Sketches

So after I did the one little sketch of the Mt. Dora Queen Anne style  house at home and then did a little demo in class on gray toned paper...I decided to try to "collage" the two of them together.  

Not sure if it was successful but it's kind of interesting.
Makes you look twice and think..."what?"  

I interpreted the house a little differently in each sketch.
I have drawn this house several times over the years.  

John P. Donnelly came to Mount Dora in 1879 from Pittsburgh, PA. He married Annie McDonald Stone in 1881 and built this Queen Anne style house in 1893 as a gift to her. He was among the founders of the local yacht club, and served as the city´s first mayor in 1910. The Donnelly House, now owned by Mount Dora Lodge #238, F&AM, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on April 4, 1975.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Architectural sketching with simple layout

Design-inspired by sketching artist Brenda Murray (see last post)  on a facebook sketchers group recently...I introduced "architectural" sketching in the last class.  Also inspired by Urban Sketchers website.   

The building itself is the iconic landmark Victorian building in nearby Mt. Dora, Florida.  I had a photograph (not a very good one) of the Mt. Dora building.  

The first was one I did at home in my Strathmore 9 x 12 multi- media sketchbook. The second was a demo done in class on gray toned paper.  This second one had highlights of white ink and white pastel pencil.  The first about 30 minutes, the second about 20 minutes.  

Both were lightly sketched with 03 mechanical pencil and then inked with my Lamy Safari fountain pen and carbon black ink. 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Preparing to Teach Part II

Prepping for the sketch class on of their assignments was to draw objects on a shelf...any shelf...pantry, medicine cabinet, dishes, books, art supplies, etc.  So I like to do the assignments too.  Here is one of my dish cupboards and where I keep my wine glasses.  

I have so many things to do that class day...we'll never get to them all.
We want to talk about sketching buildings (briefly).  I am bringing Brenda Murray's recent sketch from Mexico along as an interesting example.

I think her composition and her coloring is amazing and very interesting.  

Very chilly weather the last few days here in central Florida.  I woke up to 38 degrees this morning!!! What hurt was that it was also windy.  So there was a wind chill.  Something we don't talk about much in Florida!  Yikes. 

But we will be back to 80 for a high on Tuesday.  So very up and down!  Lac du Flambeau where our cabin is was -20 a few nights ago!  Sigh.

But they will be up to 40 tomorrow.  That's better.  We will be 66.  
So things are looking a bit better.  Everyone have a good Sunday.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Paying Attention

This was a REALLY fast sketch...about 15 minutes with a little bit added when I got home. At home I filled in the foreground a little more and added some blue in the sky and darkened the shadow on the cypress tree and added the printing and date.  Another 15 minutes I suppose.  Strathmore 6 x 8 wc paper journal.  

Autumn took me for a lovely lovely golf cart ride along her favorite stretch of the river walk (same river from the canoe sketch but further up the river).  We identified a lot of the plants she pointed out by using the app "iNaturalist".  Including poison ivy!!!  

She was careful to instruct me to watch for snakes as we stepped out along the way.  She showed me how she knocks off the snail eggs from large snails that are not native to this area and who are pushing native snails out of their habitat.  It's fun to be with people who are so sensitive to nature.  And are willing to find beauty in tiny flowers that most people would not even notice. 

Blue Toadflax

Here is Autumn knocking off the snail eggs from the cypress trees.

Note: for those of you who subscribe to my blog you won't notice anything, but anyone coming to the blog site itself may notice that the sidebar is not loading or loads very slowly. I was very disappointed to find that this morning.  Friends with google blogs experienced this slow down too.  Hopefully google will resolve it.
I have all my archives and blogs that I follow on that side bar!!


Monday, February 17, 2020

Peace Like a River

This is done in my Hahnemuhle Watercolor Sketchbook...6 x 8 pages in a double spread.  My Lamy Safari pen with carbon ink and watercolor.  
It was so beautiful down by the river across from the marina this afternoon.  So quiet and fishing boats slowly going past.  Temp around 80 and practically no breeze.  I found a nice shady tree to sit under.  

I'm continuing on my with "littles" although I didn't put one in today. We were down at the club house most of the afternoon at a meeting.  

Friday, February 14, 2020

Starting a new "Littles" page

Starting my new "littles" along with my students.
Strathmore Mixed Media Journal
Today's "fortunes" were pretty good...thought I'd save them!
For some reason we ended up with 3 instead of two.  Bonus!  
Step 24 through Feb 14 Finished.  This one took a long time.

I've been doing my "littles" now for about a year.  Still finding them fun!  And a quick little review of what "caught my eye" that day.  

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to all my blogging friends!
(little 4 x 5 card..wc and ink and pencil)

And as long as the holiday invites a lot of's yesterdays' "little" or "smallie".    Spring is here in central Florida and the strawberries are lovely on the farm stands now!  Azaleas are blooming and there are buds on the orange trees...blossoms soon to follow.  (They smell heavenly).  

Some rain this morning on the 14th but it will just bring out more flowers...even the cactus are blooming.  Only 71 for a high today but back into the 80s by Sunday.  

I know the midwest where I am from it is bitter this morning.  It's -9 in Madison, Wisconsin and -20 in Lac du Flambeau where our summer cabin is.  Oh my gosh.  

The legend of Valentine's is rather tragic...

Today is Valentine’s Day, the day on which we celebrate love, especially romantic love. The holiday was named after an early Christian priest, St. Valentine, who was martyred on February 14 in 269 A.D.
The tradition of exchanging love notes on Valentine’s Day originates from the martyr Valentine himself. The legend maintains that due to a shortage of enlistments, Emperor Claudius II forbade single men to get married in an effort to bolster his struggling army. Seeing this act as a grave injustice, Valentine performed clandestine wedding rituals in defiance of the emperor. Valentine was discovered, imprisoned, and sentenced to death by beheading. While awaiting his fate in his cell, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with the daughter of a prison guard, who would come and visit him. On the day of his death, Valentine left a note for the young woman professing his undying devotion signed “Love from your Valentine.”

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Respect for Teaching

Here is part of my preparation for the sketching your life/Art Before Breakfast class part I.  I have laid out all the materials I am using for part I of the class.  

Teaching is a difficult thing to do and if you take it seriously (as most people do) then it also takes a lot of preparing and a lot of time.  Usually at least twice as long as the actual class time.  There is also the cost of making hand outs involved.  

When people sign up for a class and then don't show up (without letting you know that they are ill or have had an emergency) then they are letting the teacher down big time.  Life happens.  Sometimes you just can't meet a class obligation.  But if the teacher sends reminders then you just don't show up it is really a sad thing.  It says you don't care about the teacher or the class enough to even RSVP.  

Just saying.  

I had 5 very interested students for this class.
We had a good time!  

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Time Is a Spiral

"Time Is a Spiral"
12 x 12 on canvas (multi-media)

This fun nonsense is acrylic, collage and ink.  I love working in's sort of like writing a many cases you are not quite sure how your plan is going to play out.  

In this case I had my composition in mind (crucifix) and I had my first layer of medium decided (hand painted collage papers).  Color combinations evolved as I went along.  I started out thinking I wanted to finish in white gouache...and there are several layers of this in white.  But as it evolved and became a poem about "time" I found myself going somewhere else.  Abstract paintings let you play a lot.  

Some of the stencils I used reminded me of piano keys and music, the gears reminded me of clocks, and color peeking through spaces reminded me of the serendipity of time.  At some point I had to stop...that's one the hardest it done?

Here's a photo showing that this is on gallery-wrapped canvas.  It will be varnished but not framed.  It hangs as is.  

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Framing Day...getting ready for an art show

The Fine Arts Show comes on March 1 this year.  But the planning, the framing, the applications, etc all have to be pretty well in advance.  Below is a watercolor sketch I did on location back in 2007.  I have never shown it, to my memory, but down here in Florida it makes a perfect place.  This is the St. Augustine lighthouse.  I climbed to the top of it once!  (Them were the good old days before knee surgery!) I think Mary and Den were visiting us from England that spring and since I'd been in the museum once I sent them all on ahead and I perched outside and sketched.  

13 years ago and I remember it just like today.   Drawing or sketching things as you travel etches the place, time, temperature, light and even the remembrance of who was with you and what you feeling.  Special thanks to Peg Lindsey for gifting me with some extra mats and frames!  

This little painting was done from a photograph I took up in Wisconsin one fall day when we were nostalgically looking for buildings that held memories of our past.  This is farm house and barn that belonged to Greg's grandparents.  His mother had 3 siblings and two of them, the youngest, were twins, Lucille and Richard.  They were born in this farm house and their mother died there in childbirth.   The twins were then split up and raised in two different households.  They connected again as adults. 

I've always kind of liked this little painting as it seem quiet and a little forlorn.