Monday, April 28, 2008

I did it!

Avon Boat
Neocolor II and colored pencil on pastel board
12 x 6 inches
©2007 by Ann Thompson Nemcosky

I wasn't planning on putting up another post today but because I received a bit of news in the mail this afternoon I couldn't wait to share. You may recall that one of my art goals for 2008 was to enter six exhibitions. Just enter. I had absolutely no expectations of actually being accepted, I just wanted to begin the process this year. And today I found out that this piece, Avon Boat, has been accepted into the Associated Artists of Southport 28th July National Exhibition. I'd better do some framing now!

But first I must get this house cleaned up. We have family coming to town to see Kiddo dance in two big dance performances this weekend. She will be a swan, in Swan Lake of course, for one of the shows. Seeing her dance on stage always makes me want to cry. Do moms ever grow out of that?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekly pastel

Sound Side
pastel on sanded paper
6.5 x 4.5 inches
©2008 by Ann Thompson Nemcosky
Click here to buy

I am really enjoying doing these works in pastel. The drawing, or rather painting, is so direct and immediate that it is a nice break from doing colored pencil drawings. Plus I am finding that working in each media serves as fuel for the other. So I am planning to continue with weekly pastel paintings just to see where they might take me.

This image is from the sound near Currituck, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Keeping up

Here are a couple of Everyday Matters challenges I have been meaning to post this week. I don't know where the time goes but it has been eluding me lately.

The drawing above is EDM #168, draw your daily newspaper or where you get your news. This is graphite in my small journal, a drawing of where I get my news. You see, in our little town we have no daily newspaper. We do have two weekly papers and one that publishes three times a week but we rarely pick up any of them. Unless you have a child playing high school sports or want to see the real estate ads there really isn't much to read. Even when I do glance at one of them I notice that the local news stays about the same. Steep slope building ordinances and land use restrictions or lack there of, a new business opening or an old established business closing, that's about it. We have lived here going on 19 years and not much changes around here. I guess that can be a good thing.
And this sorry little sketch is for EDM#165, draw the front of your house. Architectural rendering is so beyond my comfort zone and obviously I have done very little, but I promised to get around to this challenge so here it is. I used a sepia Micron pen then washed with watercolor, sort of. Here in our mountain community there is no level ground. Everything is on a hillside. I was sitting on our road looking about eye-level with the roof line of our house. Yes, those are supposed to be the mountains in the distance, that we can see until the trees leaf out. Behind the fence is the driveway down below that leads to the garage in the basement. Our little mountain cottage, there's no place like home.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Beach Walk
pastel on sanded paper
4.5 x 6.5 inches
copyright 2008 by Ann Thompson Nemcosky
click here to buy

As I have been working my way around my new home here on this new pc I have run up against some issues with color. I suppose I was lucky in my ignorance of color issues and computers on my old machine. Whatever I saw on the screen tended to be what I ended up with in print, whether printed on my home printer or a professionally printed design job. I knew that different monitors and computers would display color differently but I had no idea just how different color could appear until I set up shop on this computer. Files I had painstakingly adjusted for color to match my original art look completely different now when I open them up here.

So I have spent the last couple of days searching for solutions. I have adjusted the monitor settings, Photoshop profiles and operating system color profiles for devices. And I learned just enough about color on computers to make me feel like my head would explode. I'd really rather be making art you know. Anyway, for those of you brave enough to venture into this highly technical topic I found a great resource in this color tutorial. And I'm going back to concerning myself with color use and theory in the three dimensional world.

The image above is a pastel drawing I completed this past weekend. It is on Colourfix sanded pastel paper. I was feeling the need to work a little more loosely than what I have been doing with colored pencils. Thinking about getting out the paints again, but don't really have the space for that. Or the time. But I love drawing with pastels, one of my favorite mediums. Such direct color. And to mix things up even more, I put this one on Ebay this time.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Spring Cleaning

Sunrise ACEO
2.5 x 3.5 inches
colored pencil on paper
copyright 2008 by Ann Thompson Nemcosky

Marsh Side Dock ACEO
2.5 x 3.5 inches
colored pencil on paper
copyright 2008 by Ann Thompson Nemcosky
click here to buy

The drawings above were actually completed last weekend but I am just now getting around to posting them here. They were done with Faber Castell Polychromos colored pencil on Strathmore 500 Bristol.

The snow we had on Wednesday has given way to more appropriate springtime weather and I have been in the mood for some spring cleaning. Dust away those cobwebs and let the fresh air in.

First on the spring cleaning list at our house is replacing a dying computer, that hubby and kiddo use, with the one I'm using now. Which means, of course, that *I* get a new machine. They have been plotting this for some time, I suspect. But I'm not ready. I've been backing up files, just in case you know, and thinking how this little computer and I have been through a lot together. Am I ready to move on to the next, latest model? This one has served me well, we have a bond, we go way back. Even though I will still be able to see it everyday, things just won't be the same.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Something that needs fixing

Here it is, my chewed up couch pillow that I have been meaning to fix. This is for Everyday Matters challenge # 167. It was drawn with a Faber Castell Polychormos colored pencil, walnut brown, in my small journal.

This pillow is the last item our springer spaniel has attempted to destroy to date, and it has been several months now since this incident. We believe he is maturing beyond that destructive puppy stage but this pillow with its gaping hole remains as a reminder. What he destroyed in his extended puppyhood he has more than made up for with his devotion, especially to kiddo. And here he is, in all his cuteness.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Marsh Morning in Early Spring

Marsh Morning in Early Spring
14 x 11 inches
colored pencils on pastel board
copyright 2008 by Ann Thompson Nemcosky

I'm not sure about the title for this one. I usually prefer shorter titles for my pieces. Some combination of this descriptive title will probably be what I eventually end up with though. This is the largest colored pencil piece I have done so the size was somewhat of a challenge. I experimented with using Derwent's Inktense watercolor pencils as an underpainting, washed with water, then when dry used dry Coloursoft colored pencils on top. This process worked great. I was very happy with the saturated colors the Intense watercolor pencils provided for the underpainting and the Coloursofts felt very easy to apply over top. And yes, this is another from our trip to Edisto Island last month. I am planning a series inspired by that place. I took so many photos while there I have plenty of ideas to keep me busy for quite a while yet!

Friday, April 11, 2008

New project - because of the starfish

Because of the sea shell and the starfish, and other natural objects I have drawn in the past, I have embarked on a new project. This new project is to fill a journal with nature study drawings and related quotations.

The blue sketchbook journal you see pictured is my small journal that I have been using exclusively for Everyday Matters sketches. I have had the small leather bound journal just sitting here waiting to be used yet I hadn't figured out exactly to what purpose. Until I drew the starfish. Then it hit me that I could dedicate this little sketchbook to intimate drawings from nature. Now, I also have a larger 9x9 inch Aquabee sketchbook that I use when doing nature studies with kiddo. And a 9x12 inch Aquabee sketchbook that I keep for more experimental and learning exercises. When do you have too many sketchbooks?
I dusted off my worn copy of Annie Dillard's Pilgrim At Tinker Creek. A treasured book that seems a most appropriate companion to this project. I read this book a lifetime ago, while in college and living in Cincinnati. I enjoyed the book then but at the time would never have guessed the turns my life would take to now. I opened the book this time to discover a setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains, much like where I now live, and worlds away from a Midwestern city.

So here are the first pages. Quotes are from Pilgrim At Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. Drawings are graphite, mechanical pencil. The journal is a 4 x 6 inch Winsor & Newton. With the coming of spring and more time spent outdoors I am really looking forward to having this small journal along to record all the little treasures just waiting to be discovered. And if I am stuck inside I have plenty of natural objects available around the house, on windowsills, in bowls and baskets, tucked among books on bookshelves, we are a family of collectors.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Geometry in Nature

Here are two Everyday Matters challenges. This week's challenge #166, Draw a fish and two older challenges, #31, something you collect, combined with #78, draw a souvenir. These are both done with graphite in my small journal.

(I know I skipped last week's challenge #165, which was to draw the front of your house. When I had the time during daylight hours, it rained. I am not willing to work from a photograph for these challenges as my purpose in doing these is to gain practice drawing from life. So I will do a drawing of the front of my house when weather and time permits. I promise.)
So that is how I came to draw the shell. Wanting very much to do some drawing in my small journal I grabbed this shell figuring it must fit some challenge. I do collect shells. Although not an organized collection I have a lot of them. And they are souvenirs of sunny beach days.The starfish happened to be the closest fish-like thing I had available to draw. I really enjoyed drawing these objects from nature. So much so that now I'm thinking of doing some kind of series. Last fall we did a unit on 'geometry in nature' in our little homeschool. Kiddo and I spent an entire morning walking around the yard looking through our jeweler's loops finding triangles in spider webs, rectangular shapes in the structure of leaves, star shapes, ovals and circles in flowers. It was fascinating.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring Fever

Edisto Path
4.5 x 6.5 inches
colored pencil on paper
copyright 2008 by Ann Thompson Nemcosky

This is the first in what I hope to be a series of drawings taken from our recent trip down to Edisto Island, South Carolina. Such a magical place, I hope I can come close to capturing that magic I feel from the landscape there. I already have another Edisto drawing in progress but with our recent couple of nice weather days here I am finding it hard to settle down to work. Must be spring fever.


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