Monday, August 31, 2009

A nice day for sketching

Yesterday was the first day we had without rain since I don't know when. Which made for a beautiful day for our monthly Blue Ridge Sketchers sketch outing. We met at the Moses Cone Manor on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I did this little watercolor sketch in my Moleskine watercolor sketchbook.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Color away

Turtle Pond
Neocolor II and colored pencil
7 x 10 inches on Arches HP
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

Still playing with water soluble crayons and colored pencil. It's become almost an obsession. I really have a lot of other projects I'm wanting to do but they are all in a holding pattern while I color away with these crayons.

This is a view of the Turtle Pond in Buxton, NC, near where the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse used to be, before they moved it. I was more selective with the layer of dry colored pencil on this one, allowing more of the watercolor crayon to remain. I may go back into it some more with colored pencil. Or not. Things are stacking up on my drawing board.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Evening sketches

Some recent sketches from my journal. Above is our Corgi napping in that twisted around way that she does. I love how she shows off her little short legs this way.
And this one of Kiddo and our Springer. I thought I'd be able to get a view of our Springer's face, but much too soon he flopped back into his usual evening time resting pose.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Apple Trees
Neocolor II and colored pencil on Arches HP
approx. 7 x 10 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

Another in my experimental series. I am really enjoying this method of working. It feels more intuitive. Of course, my ideas are way ahead of my execution of them, as usual.

". . . vision is always ahead of execution, knowledge of materials is your contact with reality, and uncertainty is a virtue."
-Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland

On another note, The Professor has started his very own art blog. Finally! You can check it out here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back in the swing of things

Summer is winding down around here. It seems way too soon yet we are beginning to settle into our fall routine anyway. As the pace of my days picks up I find I am reconsidering my intentions with my art work. I began the year wanting to focus on the essentials. I am slowly working my way back to that train of thought.

Above is another of my Neocolor II and colored pencil drawings on a 7 x 10 inch hot press block.
This is for Everyday Matters #236, draw the palm of your left hand.
I did EDM #10 as well, draw your hand. Both are done with watercolor pencil in my square journal.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The experiments continue

Thank you everyone who commented and sent me notes about my previous post. I am enjoying the spontaneity of these experiments and your kind remarks mean a lot. Here is another, Neocolor II crayons, a little watercolor pencil, washed and sprayed with water, then dry colored pencil on top, on a 7 x 10 inch Arches hot press block.

Friday, August 14, 2009


If, indeed, that's what it really is. Or maybe just being uncertain or undecided. Or trying something new, a different approach. But the thing is I have all my art projects planned out. A whole series based around this piece, and another continuing along these lines. So I was working away on another drawing and it was becoming a struggle. Not because it was challenging. More like it wasn't challenging me at all. So I avoided working on it and my scheduled plan and started playing around with my Caran D'Ache Neocolor II crayons on a block of Arches hot press. After wetting the drawing with my water brush I went at it with a spray bottle. The lack of control was interesting to me, as well as what happened as it dried. Then I went back in with dry colored pencil, selectively, in order to retain some of the crayon marks and splashes from the spray bottle. This is the result. It's not a finished work by any means but I enjoyed the play in making it. I don't intend to abandon my intentions for those other works, just working out a way they can co-exist with some of another direction. Maybe it's the planning of art projects that needs to be let go of. It may be too much of a to-do list without enough room for inspiration.

I have been reading Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland. A lot of you have probably already read this book but it couldn't have come to me at a better time. Just when I have been feeling a little bored with my art work or that it has become a little too predictable. Perhaps because I was a little too certain about what I was doing. Anyway, I have been finding lots of passages to highlight, including this one:

"Uncertainty is the essential, inevitable and all-pervasive companion to your desire to make art. And tolerance for uncertainty is the prerequisite to succeeding."

-Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


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

This is a vacation week for our homeschool. While the public school kids started back to school today we are having a "Not Back To School" holiday with this week off from our usual school routine. One of the many perks of homeschooling. So we've been playing tourists in our little home town and generally relaxing. I have been making a lot of new art but nothing I am ready to show here. I did draw this little ACEO the other evening of our beautiful Blue Ridge mountains in the peak of summertime.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A 2nd anniversary

colored pencil on paper
4.5 x 6.5 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky
Click here to buy

Today marks two years that I have been keeping this blog. My, how time flies. I started this blog without any preconceived notions of where it would lead, or where I was going with my art. But keeping it going has been greatly motivating and I have made many wonderful blogging friends along they way. More than I could have ever imagined.

Back when I was in college, studying art, we had to submit a portfolio for review our sophomore year. This was so our professors could make recommendations about whether a student should continue in their program of study. When we retrieved our portfolios from the review, my classmates all had paragraphs, long paragraphs, written by our professors outlining their opinions and recommendations for that student. Mine had a slip of paper with the one line, "continue with drawing". I never really knew exactly what this was supposed to mean. Were they saying that I was strongest in drawing or that I needed much more work? Regardless, or maybe because of that cryptic message, I did continue to take as many drawing classes as possible and I am still continuing with drawing today, more than twenty-five years later. And what I have learned is that as long as you keep drawing you never stop learning to draw. That sophomore review still pushes me onward.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In the meantime

Sometimes I just have to do something quick and loose, especially after working on a graphite or colored pencil drawing. I did this watercolor sketch last evening from a photo I had taken at Doughton Park. I have fun playing with watercolors, even if I never do get the results that I am after.
And this is a watercolor pencil sketch in my journal. It was done while waiting in the car during kiddo's tennis lesson one day last week, of the trees across the tennis courts. I would like to make time for regular watercolor practice because I do like the change of pace from drawing in graphite and dry colored pencil. Going from one to the other, the fast sketching with watercolor, and the slow drawing with pencils, seems to balance my creative energy somehow. What do you do to keep from feeling stuck with a certain media? Does switching gears by switching media work for you too?


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