Saturday, September 27, 2008

Virtual Sketch Date

Before I write anything else I want to thank everyone who commented on my last post. All of your kind and encouraging comments are greatly appreciated!

Now here is my entry for this month's Virtual Sketch Date. And my first time participating in this project. So I gave it a few tries. Then not sure which of my attempts to post I decided what the heck, I'll just post them all here.

First I sketched a cropped version of the image, a Tree Peony provided by Sharon. I did this one with colored pencils in my Moleskine journal.

Then I did an ink sketch in my watercolor Moleskine and splashed about with watercolors. Not being particularly thrilled with that I tried just watercolor, no preliminary drawing.
This one loses some accuracy in form but oh well. It was fun to play with this image.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


colored pencil on pastel board
12 x 6 inches
©2008 Ann Thompson Nemcosky

Lately the air has a touch of crispness and leaves are beginning to turn. Tomorrow marks the Autumn Equinox. Fall officially begins. This year the change of season finds me dragging my feet. I don't know why. Autumn has been my favorite time of year for as long as I remember. I enjoy the cooler days, bright blue skies and the explosion of color. Autumn festivals, apples and pumpkins, big pots of homemade soup and getting out the sweaters and warm comforters. It has always marked a time of beginning for me. The start of things.

Then there is November. November is much quieter and unassuming. A time for turning inward, indoors and bundling up against the chill. It wasn't until I began studying painting in college that I really paid attention to the colors of the seasons. November has all my favorite colors. Muted blue skies, ochres and russets to contrast purple branches and deep warm pines. This scene is from a photo I snapped while at a nearby farm last November. I have been meaning to do a drawing from this image ever since then. So I started it last weekend and finished up yesterday. Getting myself ready for the changes this turn of the seasons will bring.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Is it Thursday already? I've been feeling a little uninspired this week. Oh, things are generally fine here, everything is moving along nicely really, with our homeschool and activities, our day-to-day routine is good. I imagine it's everything else that has me down. The world in general. Each day brings something more distressing. More and more stuff to worry about and so little that I can actually do about it. Sigh.

So I decided for a brief escape of all that I would post about artists' sketchbooks. Those visual journals that give a narrative peek into an artist's day-to-day, the real stuff of our lives. As you know I have been practicing a bit with watercolors in an attempt to become more comfortable with the medium. My goal is to keep an illustrated journal like so many artists that I admire. I have begun carrying my sketchbook along most places. And at home, using it for visual journaling and practice sketches. Even sketching along side kiddo while she works her lessons. So here are some sample pages of what has gone into my sketchbook recently.

For a peek into a just few of the many artists' sketchbooks that inspire me with their visual journaling, here is a brief list. Always a pleasant way to escape the cares of the moment, I hope you enjoy visiting them as much as I do.

(Oh, I know this last sketch is dated incorrectly. It was done last weekend, on 9/14. Maybe I was just wishing for calmer times. In which case I should have changed the year as well.)

Now that the weekend is nearly here I plan to try to avoid the news shows and instead fill more pages in my sketchbook. Continuing to make my little corner of the world as nice a place as possible.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ducks in a row

Ducks at Bass Lake
colored pencil on pastel board
8 x 10 inches
©2008 Ann Thompson Nemcosky

Ducks' Ditty

All along the backwater,
Through the rushes tall,
Ducks are a-dabbling,
Up tails all!

-excerpt from Ducks' Ditty by Kenneth Grahame

One of my favorite poems since childhood, that I kept thinking about while working on this piece.
But this one didn't turn out to be as successful as I first thought it would. What attracted me to this image was the abstract quality of the composition. Those diagonal bands, each with a different texture, intrigued me. However, once into it, I began to wonder what the heck was I thinking. All that grass making a big triangle lacks interest, takes too much space. Sigh. So I finished it up anyway and in doing so became less and less interested in the piece. I began to get ideas for new pieces to work on, making me even more anxious to have this one completed. So there it is. Does this ever happen to you?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Pastel Monday

Moses Cone Trail
pastel on sanded pastel paper
6.5 x 4.5 inches
©2008 Ann Thompson Nemcosky
Click here to buy

This image is from one of our recent hikes over at the Moses Cone Mansion off the Blue Ridge Parkway. An extensive network of old carriage trails provide excellent hiking paths and many wonderful views of the surrounding mountains. This is one of our favorite destinations on the Parkway.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


colored pencil on paper
3.5 x 2.5 inches
©2008 Ann Thompson Nemcosky
Click here to buy

I found this little leaf on our walkway the other day. It reminded my of how the season is beginning to turn to autumn, however subtle the changes. I liked the curl of this leaf, turning inward, with just a touch of green still remaining, a remnant of summer days now nearly gone.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pastel Monday

Looking North
(Along the River at Brookshire Park)
pastel on sanded pastel paper
6.5 x 4.5 inches
©2008 Ann Thompson Nemcosky
Click here to buy

Pastel Monday has returned! Hopefully I will be able to continue with these pastel pieces for a while. I missed doing them. Working in pastel is so much more immediate than colored pencil that it makes for a nice burst of spontaneity for me.

This is a scene from a nearby park where we often take the dogs for a walk. There are rarely any other people there and the walking path is really a quarter mile track. So kiddo gets to ride her scooter and once around is just enough distance for Sara dog's short little Corgie legs. She always refuses to go around the loop a second time.


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