Thursday, May 29, 2008

Taking a break

Perhaps it seemed I had dropped off the face of the earth. Well, I actually almost did just that. But we have now returned home to our mountains from a vacation at the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Which is really only a spit of land hovering out there along the coast line.

Every time we travel to the coast I marvel at the amount of sky visible and a horizon that goes on and on. Here we can only catch a glimpse of sky with a horizon interrupted by the zig zag of mountains and an abundance of trees. At the coast, the openness of the sky is a welcome relief.
I did do a few sketches and drawings while away. Here are two from my new watercolor Moleskine. The top image of shells was done with Graphitints while the bottom image is a collage with a tourist map and watercolor. As I was doing these I was thinking of all the wonderful watercolors I see folks from the Everyday Matters group produce in their Moleskines, trying to channel some of their creative energy. Maybe I was too far away. These were fun just the same, so with a nod to all those inspiring EDMers I thought I'd share these here.

Friday, May 16, 2008

What you see

quote by Annie Dillard from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
graphite and walnut brown Faber Castell Polychromo in Windsor Newton small sketch journal

This has to be one of my favorite quotes from Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. "Cultivating a healthy poverty" she says. Sometimes I find it all too much. Too much clutter, too much visual stimulation. Often I am just looking for that elusive simplicity.

This also speaks to paying attention. I am guilty of not noticing what is right under my nose. The process of drawing, I have found, is largely a matter of paying attention. Learning to see as much as learning how to make the mark. I am enjoying finding things from nature to study and draw in this little sketchbook. Usually at some point while working on the drawing I am surprised that what I thought I was seeing isn't really what is before me.
Drawing these natural objects is forcing me to take a closer look.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A little bit of color

from my lilac bush. Last year my lilac bush had no blooms. A springtime ice storm took away any chance for blossoms. This year it had an abundance of blossoms. I cut some for a vase inside but of course they immediately began to wilt. Just love that fragrance though. And I did try to capture this sprig in my sketch before they completely wilted.

Since my posts of late have been mostly monochromatic, this sketch done with Polychromos colored pencils seemed timely. This, and one for watercolor, are in my first Moleskine sketchbooks. Having heard that Moleskine sketchbooks were a nice surface for colored pencil sketches I was eager to try it out. I must say I am enamored with this new sketchbook and plan on doing many more colored pencil sketches in it. I seem to be getting quite a collection of sketchbooks here.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I had my cake

and ate it, too.

Everyday Matters challenge # 169, draw a piece of cake.
Walnut brown Polychromos in my small journal.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Random things

Here is Everyday Matters challenge #170, draw a zipper. Sorry about the poor quality scan but my journal always leaves a shadow in the fold when I scan from it. This is the zipper on the back of my purse, drawn with Faber Castell Polychromos walnut brown.

A little while ago Melanie from See.Draw.Share tagged me. If you haven't checked out her blog lately you should. She has been doing some wonderfully creative drawing and painting. I thought this would be a good time to respond by sharing seven random things about myself. I know it hasn't been that long since I was tagged before, so I will try to keep these brief.

1. Relating to the drawing above, I can never find the perfect handbag. So I keep buying more in the hope that someday I will find one that serves my need for just the right number of pockets, enough room to tuck in a small journal or paperback, a long enough strap to cross over my shoulder and not weigh a ton. I know there must be one out there somewhere, I just haven't found it yet.

2. But I don't like to shop for clothes. When I find something I like I buy the same item in two or three colors. I'm a pretty boring dresser. I have the same style of jeans in blue, black and brown and two pairs of the same comfortable shoes, one black and one brown pair.

3. I have a very eclectic taste in music. Mozart and Chopin, Dolly Parton and Nanci Griffith, Phil Collins, Meatloaf, Janis Joplin and Big Band/Swing music are all found in my music collection.

4. Currently my favorite writer is Sarah-Kate Lynch. Blessed Are The Cheesemakers is a brilliant novel, you should read it.

5. I hate air travel. Won't do it.

6. I love to travel by train. Years ago hubby and I toured the US by train, taking almost a month and stopping in various places such as Santa Fe, the Grand Canyon, Seattle and Glacier National Park. It was an awesome trip.

7. I like flavored coffees. You know the ones that come in the little tins. Cafe Vienna, Swiss Mocha and French Vanilla. Full of calories but a special treat for an afternoon pick-me-up.

So there it is. Instead of passing along the tag to others I am going to direct you to the links of blogs in my side bar. I try to keep that ever growing list current with the blogs I enjoy visiting. I have found a community of artists online, in all stages of their artistic journey, full of inspiration, wisdom and a willingness to pass along that support to others. Without which I know I wouldn't be as motivated as I am to keep progressing along on my own artistic journey.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Being there

quote by Annie Dillard from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
walnut brown Faber Castell Polychromo in Windsor Newton small sketch journal

I apologize for my absence from posting. This last week and weekend were very hectic here with family visiting, dance rehearsals and performances. Fun, but I am so relieved that is all over now. All went very well. Kiddo was in five individual dance numbers, including modern, jazz, tap and ballet. I don't know how she keeps it all straight and does so well. These aren't just some kid-type recital shows either. They are full scale productions with dancers of all ages, including professionals, in a theater complete with the full complement of sets and lighting. Can you tell I'm proud of her?

But now it's back to the comfort of our day-to-day routine. Through all the recent flurry of activity any semblance of our normal routine was abandoned. Today I am trying to regain my sense of balance. I realized how I depend on the normalcy of our routine to maintain that balance in my life and activities. And even though it's sometimes fun and exciting to have a change of pace for a while I am always happy when things settle back into their usual rhythm. I'm a pretty boring person really.


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