Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday, November 30 - Sketches

Well, I was going to copy the sketches from my Drawing magazine but I got as far as 1 sketch. This is in my Exacompta sketchbook using a hard lead mechanical pencil.

Then I decided I could sketch the fireplace in the room for my Myrna Wacknov 5-hour drawing challenge...and got as far as 1 hour! Also in my sketchbook using a mechanical pencil. The angle of the bottom "screen" is off and I intended to fix it without erasing any lines but didn't get around to it.

A mini-vacation, apparently, is not the time to get serious drawing and work done.
Photos to share later today or tomorrow but right now have some errands to run.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007 - Back Home

Got back home this afternoon.
I have things to post (sketches and photos) but you'll have to wait for tomorrow!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007 - Gatlinburg, TN

Taking another short driving trip down to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We won't be gone long and I'm only taking my sketchbook and some pencils and pens this time.

See you later, alligator!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007 - Open Figure Session and Balluminaria at Eden Park

Went to Open Figure Session this morning 10 - 12. Here is the only sketch I did (graphite HB pencil) other than the few warm-up gesture drawings I did in vine charcoal.

Sandy M. says all the heads on my figures are too big so I have to watch that but unsure how - if I start with the head, which I always do, then I measure the head against other body parts and lengths, how can I make the head too big?'s a conundrum. Maybe I'm not measuring correctly and need to measure more and draw less :)

So I measured more often today, especially since he was turned and I had to check his middle and chest a few times.

Jerry and some photogs from the
TriState Photo group are carpooling
and meeting at Eden Park this evening
to see and photograph the annual Balluminaria. If you're interested in
going and seeing Mirror Lake and the
hot air balloons, here is the info:

Date and Time: Nov. 24th, 4 - 6 PM
Location: Eden Park, Mirror Lake
Description: Balluminaria! (Rain Date Nov. 25)
Join us to light up the Cincinnati sky. Holiday Music, Santa Claus with Candy Canes for Kids, Mounted Police, Free Balloon Animals and Hats, Hot Chocolate & Roasted Almonds and more!

And here is one of Jerry's photos from last year:

The balloons are tethered to the ground all around Mirror Lake and light up all at once or alternating on and off with its neighbors, creating some great reflections. It doesn't get any prettier than when they start lighting them up at sunset - which should be around 5:15 or so...bundle up and go out and enjoy!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007 - One Year Old on November 12th

Well, I missed a milestone - my blog turned 1 year old on November 12th and I missed it! However, in belated celebration, I'd like to say thank you:

Thank you to all those who pop in regularly and tell me when they see me that they are enjoying stopping by.

Thank you to those who post something when they pop in and take a look.

Thank you to those who have linked my blog to theirs and allowed me to do the same with their blogs and websites.

No painting today - I think I have the after-Thanksgiving slump and just wanted to sit on the sofa and watch movies today. So here are a couple of sketches I did yesterday evening while Jerry was watching a football game. I pulled these up on the computer monitor from and once you get past the face that the figures have no skin, it works out because you can see the muscles clearly. And you can rotate them around to show different sides of the same position. The 2 sitting poses were from posemaniacs and done with brown and black Speedball Elegant Writer pens in my Exacompta sketchbook.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007 - Happy Thanksgiving in the US

Happy Thanksgiving to all those in the US or all those Americans who are living elsewhere and wishing for turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, et cetera!!! I remember living in Wales during one Thanksgiving and telling my Welsh friend about pumpkin pie. She thought it was disgusting to even think about!! My husband, who is American, also thinks pumpkin pie is disgusting - something about the texture.

And, of course, our Canadian friends and neighbors have celebrated Thanksgiving as a true harvest celebration in October.No photos of turkeys for you - but here are 2 photos I took yesterday morning when the sun was out and the temperature was already 60F! And today - rainy and windy and cold - oh well! All compounded things are impermanent :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - Tuesday Class

I finished up the following paintings, just tweaking them a bit (White Poppy on masa paper + Banana Light + She Squared).

She Squared took the longest, trying to figure out, with the help of Sandy, how to tie the elements all together and still make the figure important but not too important.

And now back to the 24-hours-on-one-painting/drawing challenge! I should be able to put in another few hours today.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007 - A Bad Hair Day

I'm not painting because I'm having a bad hair day! Photo taken by Jerry at Raptors, Inc. in Ohio. This little guy was molting and did not look happy to have his photo taken looking so disheveled.
Actually, I've started the 24-hour challenge painting Myrna Wacknov has on her site - so it is going to take 24 hours (I'm at 1 1/2 hours now so who knows what it will become??).

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007 - Saturday's Figure Drawing

Well the model whose body throws me every time was with us again (I do wish we had more variety in our models but how many people do you know who want to pose nude for art students on Saturday morning??). She has thin arms and legs, but her middle has thickened and lost tone - as it does with us all at a certain age :( - and I always overemphasize that and she looks wrong. Maybe psychologically, I'm zeroing in on the thick waist because it bothers me to think about my own waistline (yes, I was a psychology major! ha-ha).

Whatever - I tore up the bad ones when I got home yesterday. So you can't see them!

I was reminded by Tracy (who does sumi ink drawings of these models) to measure and re-measure, using something as a unit to compare all the measurements with. So on the last one, I did that, taking the head and measuring that against everything else - which I think got her middle more correctly drawn this time. She is really an attractive lady, probably in her early 50's or maybe late 40's, and I hate making her look so pudgy all the time.

And I've started another painting using a grid - of different rice papers at different angles and then drawing the figure on top and beginning to paint. This rice paper bleeds a lot!! so no controlling where the paint runs to. This isn't finished - but it's at the stage to wait and see and look at it with fresh eyes later to see what else it needs. Because the bleeds look like flowers blossoming, I'm calling this one Flower Child. Comments and critiques are always welcome.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007 - SWAP Painting Revealed

I received a nice thank you from my SWAP partner, Floyd, in Canada. Since he has received his painting I can now show it here - for Jane, who asked about the pieces I shared and is dying to see the whole thing!
I did this in stages, pouring each stage and misketing off each stage (first the whites, then the palest value, and so on until I got to the darkest pour). Then I took all the misket off and darkened some areas that needed a bit more. A lot was left white because the photo really showed that white and shadow - which was what attracted me to it in the first place. Photo by Jerry :) I could have made it even darker but didn't want to go that dark - what do you think?

Now, I'm going to meet Nicholas Simmons (see sidebar for his website) in person this afternoon when he finishes up his workshop at Sandy Maudlin's studio in Indiana - looking forward to that and to seeing what he and Sandy have been cooking up all week.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 - She Squared, Steps 1 and 2

I cut and glued various artist papers on watercolor paper to get my grid after I drew the model on in the center of the paper. I then traced around her with an Speedball Elegant Writer pen - one in blue, red, and brown and let the color bleed out a little. It also bled a little when I glued the papers on over her and around her. Then I painted her body and hair and the mat she's on - and painted with a greyed mix of colors around the squares of paper. It's not done. But I think I'll need to let this one rest a bit to discover where I need to go to harmonize it a bit more. Any suggestions?? Here is a closeup version - you can see the papers better, I think.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - Waiting for the Cable Guy

I did some light housecleaning today. (I clean my house once a month whether it needs it or not!) and laundry. And waiting for the cable guy to show up to replace cables that are coming loose and causing the tv to lose color - not all color but just the warms which tends to make everyone a Herman Munster green when the cable shifts. What other business can tell you "We'll be there between 8am and noon," and have you wait for them?

While waiting, I worked on something Myrna Wacknov recommended: taking various artist papers, I tinted them with pale washes of watercolor paper. I used masa, hosho, other artist papers and some watercolor paper (cut from a painting I never finished and wasn't going to finish).

I will let them dry and then cut them into squares and rectangles to be glued onto watercolor paper to create my grid.

The plan is to paint on the watercolor paper and artist papers, creating a neat grid of different textures and designs. We'll see how it goes. And what should I paint? Perhaps I should incorporate 2 challenges and do the posterization painting Myrna is working on, too? I've chosen a nude from

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007 - Sunday SWAP Meeting

Sunday morning, Jerry and I drove 2 1/2 hours to meet my SWAP partner, Lenora, in Zanesville, OH. It was so much fun meeting Lenora and her husband, Mike, and sharing a Sunday afternoon with them. We had lunch together, chatted about art, teaching, framing (Mike does the matting and framing for Lenora and her students and other artists in the Wheeling, West Virginia area), art studios, selling, and everything in between! And we toured the Zanesville Art Center, which was a lovely place with 3 floors of artwork from pottery, glass work, ceramics and doll collections to traditional oils, acrylics, watercolors and drawings. The Ohio Art League was having their annual juried exhibition and I saw many paintings I liked and some I wondered about!

<<<<<----- Lenora and me

Jerry and Mike ---------------->>>

At the Art Center, an artist named Jay Amatangelo was having a solo show of work that was either acrylic or colored pencil on foam board that was cut and made into 3D Window Boxes (hence the title of his show, Window Boxes). Very cool stuff!

As our time together was coming to an end, Lenora handed me my SWAP painting - this gorgeous fall scene full of light and bright, warm colors! As beautiful as any of the paintings in the art center!

It was a great day :) And this painting so invokes the feeling of autumn, my favorite time of year. Leaves blowing in the wind, carpeting the paths under trees, lighting the sky with their colors of red and gold, a crisp clean scent in the air...wonderful!

And today it's back to painting and drawing for me - and that always means a great day!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007 - Figures from Saturday

Here are the figure drawings I did Saturday morning. Both were done using my graphite Sketch n'Wash (you can draw and then wet and blend it out). It was a bit troublesome to draw this model because he kept nodding off - literally! His head began up and just slightly leaned on his knee and tilted downward - but each time I returned to the head to work, it was lower and lower! I finally quit on the first one and started another after he had a short break and woke up some.
But the sketch n'wash doesn't blend as well as other things so I need to use it only if I intend to blend with water and go back to using charcoal or soft graphite if I want the blending to work better. I'm thinking I need a softer paper, too, not the Aquabee paper I'm using for these sketches. Or maybe it's just me and I haven't learned the technique well yet?? Anyway, I'm not happy with either of these for their lack of soft blending from darks to lights.

No drawing or painting today - off for a day trip to meet up with my SWAP partner in Ohio.
Photos to share later!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007 - Grids?? and Masa Paper Poppy

Well, I ruined the banana painting and the painting and the grid are stupid, unoriginal and boring!!

So I washed it back to white (or almost white as some of the pale colors stayed on) and I started over. The painting is on gessoed watercolor paper so I could wash most of it off. Now with another idea in mind, I did it over and I like the second version much better. I'm thinking the "grid" is just the darks that flow in and around the bananas and leaves. While I was waiting for paint to dry on the other one, I finished the white poppy on masa paper. I'm pleased with it. It just needs a bit more work on the center before I glue it on watercolor paper and mat it. The painting is from a photo taken by Stephie20 at WetCanvas.

Tomorrow I am going to Zanesville, Ohio to meet the SWAP member who drew my name and has a painting for me - she's coming from West Virginia! We are meeting in Zanesville and it will be fun to meet in person and see the painting (I love all of Lenora's work so I know I will love it), and then we plan to have a late lunch and tour the Zanesville Art Center. What fun!!! So I'll post my figure drawings from this AM for tomorrow's entry...stay tuned!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday, November 9, 2007 - Grid Work?

Myrna Wacknov has a challenge for November for us on her blog (see my sidebar for her site): using a grid, paint something. Sounds easy, doesn't it? BUT I can't come up with any interesting grid other than a plain old squared grid. Hmmm...
So I put this one over a painting I started. Not too bad but what about the grid? How do I incorporate that into the painting as a design element? So I took out my initial copy of the photo (taken by Jerry in the Bahamas), and marked on it with black Sharpie marker. I like it. So...began another painting that will incorporate that more. So now I have 2 to work on and who knows where it will go?

So that's what I'll be working on today - plus adding to the masa paper poppy painting.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thursday, November 8, 2007 - Class Work Tuesday, GCWS Wednesday

I usually don't leave my blog static for more than a day or two unless I'm out of town - but had a bit of a slump since Tuesday morning (unusual for me, but it does happen).

Tuesday in class we worked on Masa paper (a type of "rice" paper) and had our flowers drawn out and ready to transfer onto the Masa to paint. Taking a sheet of masa paper, we crumpled it up in our hands into a tight ball, then put it in water and brought it out, squeezing it a bit more to make even more crinkles. Then we put our outline drawing underneath the masa paper and put down a very pale first layer of paint on the masa paper but not painting the drawing yet - just using it for a guide to see where to leave whites. Then we transferred our value study drawings to the masa paper. You can't see the graphite marks of the drawing on the masa paper but it's there and ready for the next step. Unfortunately, that's as far as I got because I had to leave class early with a sinus headache (my head is a barometer - whenever a new front comes in, my head tells me!)

Wednesday = Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society meeting. The group stayed after a demo by Sandy Maudlin (our president and my watercolor teacher) and painted holiday cards. Here are a couple Sandy did in her demo (the 3rd one is on yupo - and nobody I've seen does yupo better than Sandy).

Sandy then gave these little cards away - to whomever could answer her "quiz" about her favorite watercolor artist of all time and her favorite artist of all time (non-watercolor). I didn't keep track of who received these little beauties but I thought it was very generous and now know her fave wc artist = JMWTurner and her fave artist = GKlimt and she highly recommends any dvds or videos of George James to see how yupo is done.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday, November 5, 2007 - SWAP Painting Mailed

I finished my SWAP painting in time and it was mailed out today to a partner outside of the US. I hope my partner likes it. I can't show it yet (not until it is received) but here is a little teaser part...can you figure out what it is?

No? Well, here's other things I'm working on...

1. WatercolorWorkshop's monthly project is COWS and I pulled out this older one I did from a photo taken by K9Artist at WetCanvas (she called her photo Cow Butts but I'm calling my painting Dairy Aires). This is on Tygerag paper (can't find it anymore except in home improvement stores in huge rolls - it's Tyvek that you wrap construction/building sites with but without the printing.

2. Started another version on regular watercolor paper and this is as far as I've gotten. I'm calling this one Flank Steaks (being a vegetarian, I don't remember what flank steak is but I think it has a funny sound to it and don't want to call it Dairy Aires 2 or something like that).

3. And have pulled out this old one I left unfinished and am trying to get inspired to finish it. Bananas growing in the Bahamas - at least, I think it was taken in the Bahamas. I want to use a grid system on it for the Myrna Wacknov November challenge - but unsure what to do with it and just putting a square grid on seems boring...will have to think about it as I work on it and see what comes to me, if anything.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday, November 4, 2007 - Turn Your Clocks Back

All those living in areas with Daylight Savings Time know it's time to "fall back" - turn your clocks back one hour so you gained an hour of sleep this morning (or just woke up an hour earlier than usual according to your body clock). Where does that hour go? And where does it stay until it returns in the spring? Time. Think about it. It's just a concept we've created so we have to be somewhere and we know when we're late - or early!

What would you do if you didn't have clocks or watches or meetings set at certain times? It definitely takes one to a Zen-like place...

Is not everything that one does from morning to night, just as one does it, the Way?
----- Yasutani Hakuun

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Saturday, November 3, 2007 - Fall Things Again + Figure Studies

I revised the Reflected Foliage painting a bit - more darks in the bottom now and maybe leads the eye better around?
And also worked on the Tulip Leaf a bit more.And almost finished with my SWAP painting - the last layer has been poured and the misket is off and I just have to touch up some areas a bit. It will be ready for the mail Monday :)

And here are the 2 figure drawings I did this morning. We had a model I'd never seen before, a short, stocky guy so I had to check to make sure the limbs weren't too long. Having skipped last week's session for a trip away, I felt stiff and it was hard to get back to drawing and feeling loose. Did the first with vine charcoal to lay in the shape and then charcoal pencils to finish.

The second one I went back to my graphite pencils and used an F - a hard lead and tried to put in the lines lightly at first, layering the shadows.