Monday, July 28, 2014

new sketchbook and other stuff

I am trying out a new sketchbook. As you know, I have been making my own sketchbooks for quite some time. Occasionally I give a store-bought sketchbook a spin, but I have always returned to making my own. I have tried some that were hard cover but the paper was too thin, or the pages didn't lay flat, or the paper was good but I didn't like the spiral binding. So when I saw this sketchbook advertised I was interested in testing it out. It's a Strathmore Softcover 400 Series Watercolor Art Journal.
Here is my first page spread. I like to paste in a calendar on the first pages for reference. I like the size and orientation of this sketchbook. At 7.75 x 9.75 inches it is a manageable size, and when opened I will have 9.75 by 15.5 inch area if I wish to work across the page. The binding seems sturdy, the pages will lay open flat, and the cover makes it feel very nice to hold. Because it is a soft cover the book is a bit lighter weight as well.
The other day I was in an office supply store and their display of tablet cases caught my eye. The size seemed about right to hold my new sketchbook and a few supplies. But they were expensive. Then I found this case here. I have smaller cases and pouches for supplies but nothing that my entire kit fits into, sketchbook included. Now this seemed like a workable solution. Everything I need fits easily into one lightweight bag. And it has a shoulder strap!
The larger of the front zippered pockets has pockets for pens and two elastic bands that work perfectly to hold brushes. The sketchbook fits easily into the main interior compartment.
It was a gray, overcast day but I didn't let that stop me from test driving my new sketchbook. As I often do, I painted what was right outside the window.
Although it is not the quality watercolor paper that I use in my handmade books, it did work well for my sketch. I have tried sketchbooks where the paper was rather hard and slick, which doesn't suit the way I like to paint. This paper has enough absorbency for dropping color into wet washes and allowing the paint to mix on the paper, which I like. Yet it does seem sooth enough that dry media should work just fine too. I know that sketchbook preferences are very personal things. I have even found that my own taste in sketchbooks changes from time to time. It is nice to occasionally try new supplies as a change in materials can sometimes bring a freshness or even a new approach to the way you are working.

Friday, July 25, 2014

housekeeping

Misty Morning
watercolor
6 x 8 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

I have had a busy time lately creating new watercolor paintings. So much so that I am beginning to run out of storage space for them all. So I am doing a little housekeeping, here on my blog and in my studio, with the intention to free up space for new art to be created.
Mountain Spring
watercolor
6 x 8 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

In my cleaning frenzy I discovered that I had never posted these two paintings. They had been sitting in my file waiting their turn so it was time to bring them out. The top painting is a view of my neighborhood in the early summer morning. And this one above was inspired by the colors of spring along the Blue Ridge Parkway. They are both now available in my newly re-opened Etsy shop. I have quite a few other works that I will be adding to my Etsy shop, priced to sell, so if you are over that way please do drop in for a visit!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thunder Hill

Thunder Hill
watercolor
8 x 10 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

This painting is inspired by my favorite spot along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Not far from my home, there is an overlook named Thunder Hill, where you can park your car and hike up to the top. From there you can see beyond both sides of the ridge, almost to forever.

Friday, July 18, 2014

sketchbook :: lemons

They looked so nice with the sunlight coming in behind that I made a quick watercolor sketch in my handmade sketchbook.

Monday, July 14, 2014

deep greens and blues are the colors I choose...

Mountain Moon Rise
watercolor
8 x 10 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

It is somehow a comforting sight, seeing the moon peeking through clouds. I was inspired by this past weekend's full moon to attempt this dreamy painting of our night sky with the moon rising over the mountains.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer Mountain Meadow

Summer Mountain Meadow
watercolor
8 x 10 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

I am enjoying painting these summer scenes inspired by our mountain landscape. I find the subject of these small paintings to be as much about color as the landscape itself. And I am inspired by the colors of summer!

Monday, July 7, 2014

sketchbook :: fireworks

Flowers from our yard explode with color like fireworks in a milk bottle vase on our kitchen table. Sketched with watercolor only in my handmade sketchbook.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Blue Ridge Summer

Blue Ridge Summer
watercolor
8 x 10 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

Summer just might be the best season to be here in our Southern mountains. Gentle temperatures, cool breezes, and views that go on forever. I do love capturing the colors of summer in paint. So I am taking inspiration from the landscape and trying to use what I learned from doing all of those little washes, remember those?

Friday, June 20, 2014

sketchbook :: a taste of summer

We have been waiting for the peach truck to arrive, and it's finally here. I'm stocking up on peaches and I made a peach pie. And I have plans for peach jam. Peaches are a wonderful taste of summer. What are your favorite ways to eat peaches?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

One Diced Tomato

One Diced Tomato
watercolor
6 x 6 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

I spend a good deal of my time preparing meals, and every once in a while I pause to capture what I see when cooking in the kitchen. Sometimes it's the small stuff of our daily lives that I find the most beautiful.

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