Friday, July 29, 2011


I have made some progress on my latest colored pencil piece. I still have the breaking waves and water washing the sand, as well as the sand itself, to tackle. The waves will be challenging in that it was a very "flat" morning so they are small, subtle ripples instead of the bigger, splashing surf that I have done in the past. I also see now that I would like to darken some of those clouds and I am not entirely happy with the water to the right of the sunlight's reflection. But it usually works best for me to get everything up to a level of completion and then go back and do the fine tuning. The scene is from an early morning at the Outer Banks. Sure do wish I could be there now, putting my toes in the water. Lately, it has been hot for us here in our mountains. Has it been hot where you are? Let's go then.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sketchbook Tuesday - Summer Blooms

Some flowers from our garden. A cosmos, purple cone flowers and black-eyed susans, all in full bloom now. It has been so warm, wet, and steamy here that all the vegetation looks very lush and wild. I have heard that these Southern Appalachian mountains are a temperate rainforest. Well, this summer is certainly proving that to be true.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Back to the drawing board

Slowly. Now that my tables are all painted, I am slowly getting back to working on this drawing that I first showed a bit of here. I still have a heck of a time getting a good image to post, but this does give some idea of where I am with it now. Overall, it is 10.5 x 13.5 inches, too big for my scanner. I don't know what I was thinking! I have the sky complete to a point, as I am sure that once I begin putting in the ocean and the sand that I will be making adjustments to the sky. This is all colored pencil (Faber-Castell Polychromos) on Rising Museum board.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I want to paint it

white. Or why I haven't been drawing much lately. You see, last December I decided that this year was the year I was going to tackle our much neglected house with a few home improvement projects. Then the Professor added his own projects to the list and well, that has made for a pretty busy summer around here.

One of my projects was to refresh our living room. I had acquired these great end tables and a coffee table from a friend several years ago. (Hi Beth!) I had told her that if she were to ever get rid of them that I would like them. So when she replaced them with something new for her house, it was me or the donation pile and I gladly took them off her hands. We had talked about refinishing them but never seemed to get around to it. So last winter when I was brainstorming ideas for our living room I got out some magazine pictures I had saved over the years for inspiration. Looking through them I realized that a common theme to all of those saved photos of interiors was painted furniture. It turns out that I really like painted furniture. A little sanding, a couple coats of primer and paint later and I have new white tables for our living room.

Another big project has been some major de-cluttering. Bags and bags and bags of books have been donated to the library. It now feels like our book shelves can breathe. The bedroom closets and the attic are next. A dozen years in a house and so much stuff accumulates. Lately I have been reading about minimalism and find it a very attractive concept. But can two artists and a creative 12 year old come anywhere close to being minimalists? "Artist" and "minimalist" really do sound like opposing concepts. We are in the business of making stuff. Yet it seems like a worthy goal if for nothing else than the freedom of space for creativity to happen. Aside from the minimalist blogs listed in my side bar under 'Lifestyle', here are a couple more I have found that are also good reads.

miss minimalist
The Minimalist Woman
and this blogger, A Big Creative Yes,  recently had a great post on clutter and creativity

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sketchbook Tuesday - There's always the laundry

A quick sketch from last week that I did when I sat down to scribble a note in my sketch journal and spotted the laundry basket still waiting for its trip upstairs. For a household of only three it seems that most of our clothes, sheets and towels, most definitely towels, are in a constant state of transport by laundry hamper or basket. There's always laundry waiting to be done.

Other than laundry and a few sketches I have been mostly busy with home projects. I hope to get back to drawing soon. Maybe I'll take a few photos of my home fix-up projects for the next post. Just so you can see that I really haven't lounging around all summer.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Just what I needed

We had a string of delightfully beautiful summer days last week, with highs barely reaching 80 degrees, low humidity, and lots of sunshine. Just had to get out for a little sketch outing so we stopped at a nearby park. As you can see, I didn't have my grove, or planets aligned, or something, and wasn't satisfied with my sketch. But it didn't matter. The idea of going out to sketch was nice enough. Once home, I tried rescuing my attempt with brown ink and white gel pen. That helped a little.

So it's not always about getting a good result. Sometimes it's just the doing that's important. I have been reminded of that as I read through Cathy Johnson's newest book, Artist's Journal Workshop. I have been waiting for this book to come out ever since I took a class from Kate of the same title back in 2009. It was as a result of that class that I began making my own sketch journals. Her instruction really helped me focus on the what and why of keeping a sketch journal. And now I am so pleased to have her book, Artist's Journal Workshop, it is a real gem. Beautiful illustrations from a variety of artists combined with the experience and wisdom of Kate's writing makes this book a valuable addition to my library. If you only get one book about journaling, this should be the one.

Friday, July 1, 2011

And so it begins

This is just the very beginning of a large (for me) drawing. Overall, it is 10.5 x 13.5 inches in colored pencil on Rising Museum board. What you see here is only the start in the upper left corner of the drawing. The sky in this scene is a moody one, which should be fun to try to draw. However, it has been a long time since I did a piece that was too large to fit on my scanner. So it is a bit of an ordeal for me to get a "good enough" photo for posting. Hopefully I will have much more going on with this drawing soon, and so more for you to look at!

But since you are here and I have your attention I thought I'd take this opportunity to share with you a few art blogs that I have been enjoying lately. Maybe you already know of these artists. Maybe not. Either way - enjoy!

Catherine Hale - I discovered her landscape drawings on Flickr and fell in love with her expressive use of colored pencil. Checking out her blog revealed that same expression of mark making carries over into her oil paintings. Go see for yourself, her art is lively and wonderful.

Liz Patterson - I found while cruising through the blog listings on Colored Pencil Central. I don't know how I missed her gorgeous work before but it is very definitely worth a look.

dr kennedy jones - Oh my. I first discovered this wonderful collage artist through the Etsy blog and was immediately in awe of her work with cut paper. Amazing, strong graphic qualities combined with a few vintage elements give her work an other worldly feeling. If you are not familiar with this artist, well you just have to go see for yourself.

Do you have a recent artist blog discovery? Share a link in the comments if you do.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin