Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sketches and Photos

Another glorious morning here in Southern Michigan. I just love the 60s and 70s; don't really care much for the 80s and 90s.

We (the Tigers, that is) played the Mets again last evening and we put up a better showing, but still they waaaay outplayed us. Tonight Verlander pitches and it is hoped that things will be much different. At any rate, I needed something to do besides watch the game, so I got out my journal and decided to do a few sketches. I must remember to do this more often.

As you can see, I continue to struggle with perspective.

And, since you were good enough to look at those, I have some of nature's art to share with you:

I think I'd like to try a small watercolor today and maybe work on more books. I went up to the Maple Street Mall with the hubster yesterday and found more old books for my class in August (when I have the flyer finalized I will share it here) and now need to take more drawing paper to the printer to have it cut to size.

Summer is getting really busy. This weekend I am going to Battle Creek to meet up with Dee for some outdoor sketching; on Sunday we are taking Zoë to Aunt Jan's for a cookout; the following Thursday I am getting together with Nancy for a fun and arty day; the next weekend we are taking the four girls and Zoë's Mom and Dad up to the Leelanau peninsula; the last weekend in July we have a wedding in Madison, Wisconsin; and somewhere in between I want to get over to visit my sister in the Benton Harbor/St. Joe area.

Can you believe June is on the way out already??? Didn't it just get here?


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pens, Paper and Gesture Drawing

I've been playing with my new Art Pen from Rotring and like it so far. Last night while watching the Tigers play the Mets, I tried to do quick sketches of the players. I mostly wanted to do a quick sketch of the pitcher in his windup, but the whole process is over in a nanosecond and there was no way I could catch it that quickly. The two curved lines in the picture below were supposed to represent his left arm and right leg at the end of his delivery. That is as much as I could get. Considering that the Mets hit two, yes I said two, grand slams and were showing no signs of slowing down, it is good that I got something out of the game. Here's what I did get:

The elephant sketches challenge that I tried yesterday were supposed to be gesture drawings not blind contours. Sandy Sandy put up pix of a deer today so I tried to do gesture sketches of them. At least I think these would be considered gesture sketches:

I also intended to show you a sample of the papers I got from Paper Mojo yesterday, but I was having problems with Blogger (so what else is new?)

Aren't these lovely?

I need to go to the Library today to return some books that are due and then to the daughter's to feed the cats. I cut my toenails yesterday and hurt myself by trimming one way too close to skin that is not intended to be exposed. Ouch!!! Needless to say, I will not be walking the treadmill today, but hope to get back to it tomorrow.

I got such lovely feedback about my photos yesterday, I thought I would share a few more:
I love the fence line in this one.

I can never get enough pix of these little guys.

Do you see the size of that bee? This one scared me into the house.

Mr. Gorgeous!

This looks to me like the personification of the "cat who swallowed the canary".

Lovin' the lilies

I am so looking forward to meeting Dee in Battle Creek on Friday and doing some outdoor sketching. I will tell you all about it on Monday. Can you believe that tomorrow is the last day of June??!!

I hope to see you tomorrow,


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Quick Sketches, WC, Photos

I've been reading Sandy Sandy's Sketching Everyday blog for quite some time now and have always meant to try her sketching challenges for some time, but you know how life gets in the way sometimes. Well, her current challenge is to do a quick sketch of an elephant from four different perspectives. I read this post last evening after the Tiger game, and decided to just do it right then. Here is my quick, sorta blind contour:

I fully intended to keep us with the blind contour Friday that Peggy Stermer-Cox got me started on, but I'm afraid it's fallen by the wayside. Maybe I need to set an alarm on my computer for every Friday at start up that says, "Have you done a blind contour this week?"

I had two lovely packages delivered yesterday. One via the postwoman from Paper Mojo with a wonderful assortment of decorative papers. I think I may have to include some of these in the gift package for the people who take my repurposed books class. The other was from Misterart and delivered by UPS. It contained a ream of heavyweight drawing paper, a Rotring Art Pen (that I discovered in the worst way did not have waterproof ink), and a bottle of Bombay Green India Ink.

Here is the proof that the Art Pen did not have waterproof ink:

My perspective needs more work, the later addition of the Art Pen ink bled, and I overworked it.

I know I still have miles to go before I can feel at all comfortable with watercolor, I am enjoying playing with it and have promised myself not to put it so far away this time. I am thinking of trying some ink and watercolor. I will just have to remember to use waterproof ink.

A couple of weeks ago, I couldn't get the treadmill to run, so I took a walk with my SLR and came home with a couple of good pix:

Isn't he the cutest little thing? All proud and cocky standing in the road?

I copied this one and then used the multiply to better see the composition and colors as I really need a better understanding of clouds.
I made a blood donation to the mosquitoes yesterday and took my camera outside to get some pix in the yard.

I just had a breakfast of Shredded Wheat & Bran with some All Bran, blueberries and kiwi. Delicious!!! I need to clean out the refrigerator and do some grocery shopping today, but first there is a good tennis match on and I think I will go watch for awhile. I'll probably watch with the sound off as I can't stand to listen to Sharapova's wail. I love to watch her play tennis, but I wish they'd muzzle her.

I hope to have something to share tomorrow.

Stay well and have fun,


Monday, June 27, 2011

Repurposed Books, EDM, and A Sketchcrawl

I've finished the Through A Looking Glass book and decided I'd better do a few more to check out the "what ifs" that could happen in a class setting. While taking the text block out of this one, I caught some of the spine in a cut and so there was a hole in the spine. I had two choices - tape the cut or take the spine off. I chose to take the spine off (but now I suppose I am going to have to check out what taping a rip would be like). I cut some webbing to size and sewed over it (I intended to do the link stitch, which is a bit more interesting, but decided that I'd better stick with basics), then glued the ends to the covers. I rather like it:

I am currently working on one with multicolored sketching paper.

I have a couple more EDM sketches to share:

It turned out pretty messy. I used a dip pen and chocolat ink, then added a bit of water.

I should have drawn it bigger.

A friend I made at my Krasl watersolubles class, Dee,  and I are going to meet up in Battle Creek on Friday this week to try sketching outdoors. I guess that is called a sketchcrawl. When I have particulars about place and time, I'll let you know so that if you are in the area, you can bring your sketch kit and join us. I'm thinking the zoo and/or the historic buildings on the river. More later........

Nancy and I were going to get together today, but life got in the way. We hope to meet after the 4th to do some spanortin', art related of course.

For now, I am going to go out to the living room and watch some tennis. I hope to see you again tomorrow.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Through A Looking Glass and EDM 224

I drove into town this morning to have some sketch paper cut to size and have begun working on my latest repurposed book "Through the Looking Glass". I glued a piece of cardstock into the spine to replace the old piece I removed when taking out the text block and then watched a bit of tennis while folding my signatures.

This is my adhesive of choice.

The original text block had about 200 pages in it, so I estimated that I would need around 50 sheets to fold. I actually found that 55 was a better fit for my purposes.

When I first checked for fit, the 'creep' associated with signatures was too great, so I trimmed them with the dreaded rotary cutter seen behind the book in the picture below. I was very careful and liked how the pages fit after trimming.

Another check for fit.

I will sew the signatures together and then decide on endpapers for this book and should have it finished to show you tomorrow. This book didn't have fun endpapers so I didn't save them to use in my new journal. I will make a book that does have good endpapers and show you that one as well, perhaps early next week.

While watching tennis this morning before driving into town, I sketched EDM #224, a jug or pitcher.
As you can see below, I actually drew it twice. The first one is in the right colors (my Lamy Safari pen ran out of ink, so I inserted the adapter and used some of the Chocolat ink as a refill). The second drawing is more true to scale, but is not the blue and white that it should be.

I need to empty the dishwasher, walk the treadmill, and clean the bathrooms some time today and think I will do my favorite of those (the treadmill) before deciding whether to continue with my responsibilities or feed my bookbinding habit instead.

I hope you are doing well and that the sun is shining on you. Here in southern Michigan it is raining again so another day will pass and I won't be able to spray the workable fixative on my pastel painting so I can add more to it. I guess I will just have to look at it as a pleasure to work on another day.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Repurposed Book WIP and EDM

The girls just left, so I am in my workroom playing. I just sketched a favorite sound for EDM 223 and hope you like it. I have many sounds that I love, but a pair of bluebirds just moved into one of the houses in the yard and so I have bluebirds on the brain.

Sketched with my Lamy Safari pen and then colored with Caran d'Ache colored pencils.

I've also begun a new repurposed book in the style I will be teaching in August at Small But Mighty Arts in Haslett. I've made my selection and removed the text block. I was hoping to get to the printer today to have the pages cut to size so I could fold them into signatures and get them sewn together. Maybe I will get to that tomorrow and I will have more to show at that time.

I love this cover

This is the inside with the text block removed. The endpapers were nondescript so I will add my own with patterned paper.

I am completely worn out from two days of Miss 8 and Miss 3, but we had a blast. We ran around yesterday and got caught in a downpour; Miss 3 and I worked about 4 different jigsaw puzzles; and the three of us played Doodle Hangman on my computer. I am indeed blessed!!

No matter what is going on in your life, don't forget to count your blessings. I'm afraid I don't remember that bit wisdom often enough.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Late Nights and Making Time for Art

I stayed up way too late again last night and I'm afraid two nights in a row may have been a bit much. I didn't get out of bed until 10 this morning and then was greeted by a phone call from my daughter asking if I would take Miss 8 and Miss 3 around noon and keep them overnight until she can pick them up after work around 3:30 pm. Of course, I didn't hesitate. I will have a lot of fun with them and they are getting ready for a two week trip to Myrtle Beach and I am sure I will miss them while they are gone. This does change the plan for the day.

I was able to get my horizon line straightened up a bit in the Adirondack chairs WIP, but find that adding any more layers just messes up what is already there. I will take it outside and spray it with a workable fixative and then work on it some more later in the week. Here it is just before getting fixed:

I also did a sketch of my favorite drawing tool for EDM 222. I first sketched it lightly in pencil and then dipped it in ink and used it to draw itself.

I put this aside and made coffee and greeted my girls, worked a puzzle with Miss 3 and am just getting ready to take the girls on some errands to the Mason Mall and Meijers and then to the library and the ice cream store.

I was finally able to upload my pictures and would welcome comments and/or suggestions.

Gotta go!!!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice, EDM, and a Swap

Today, June 21, is the longest day (at least in terms of hours of light)  in the year. Unfortunately, here in Southern Michigan it is sweltering. The hubster always says, "This is what we've been waiting for all winter." I have to ask him if he is referring to the royal "we" because I have been waiting for mid-70s and a breeze.

We went out for a quick breakfast at the Leslie Train Depot and then made a trip to the Maple Street Mall in Mason. I took along a book that is about 7 1/2" tall by 5 1/4" wide so that I could find more of that same size for the class I will be teaching in Haslett on August 13. I found some goodies and am now waiting for the text weight paper and the decorative papers for the endpapers to arrive so I can have them cut to size. I am enjoying the planning for the class and expect I will enjoy the teaching experience even more. More details to come.......

I got a lovely bit of art in the mail yesterday from Karen, a member of the watercolorpencilbuddies Yahoo! group. We are in a swap with the theme of green monochrome. I remembered to take a picture of mine before getting it in the mail this morning and will share it with you after she receives it. Here is what she made for me:

I am quite pleased and can't wait to display it.

I've been doing a bit of art and have a few things to share. First, I have added a sand dune to the Adirondack chair pastel painting and am thinking of adding a bit of fence on the left as well. The most crucial thing I have to do is work on values. I want a bit more color in the sky, a lot more color in the water and need the sand to have more contrast with the chairs. I still haven't added the shadows, but feel a bit more confident about how to do them since we had a discussion on shadows in the group. I think I need to add some kind of fixative so subsequent layers don't interact with the underpainting. Does anyone know anything about this???

I need to straighten out the horizon line and add more grasses to the right and maybe a few random ones between the chairs and the sand dune.

I have gotten caught up on my EDM challenges and have two to share with you:

And finally, I did go back and add some color to the window sketch I shared yesterday. I like it so much more like this:

I've been watching quite a bit of tennis in the first rounds of Wimbledon and have some wonderful talent. Besides the big names, I've noticed an American woman to watch. Her name is McHale and she is from New Jersey. Very impressive youngster!

I think I am going to go lie down in front of the fan for a bit. I think I only got about 3 hours of sleep last evening. Whenever I am working on a new project like the repurposing books class, I can't seem to shut off when I lie down to go to sleep. I didn't get to bed until almost 3:30 and then listened to the white noise machine for an hour and still wasn't sleeping. I am so lucky to be retired and have the opportunity to lie down when I feel the need.

I hope you are having a lovely day and want to thank you so much for visiting my blog and all the lovely comments and suggestions you offer.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Tina's Birthday, MIABA meeting, EDM

I've had a very full weekend with lots of little girls and lots of running and spending time with wonderful arty friends. On Friday, I had Miss 8 and Miss 3 and we went to a huge neighborhood garage sale in the morning and then back to my house for a rest, then we went to the post office to mail the Inktense pencils to Tracy, then to the library, and then to another garage sale we happened upon on the way back to my house. I don't remember being that tired at the end of the day when my kids were little. Of course, that was almost 30 years ago so I guess I had more stamina in those days. At the end of the day, I drove to Marshall to help Tina celebrate her birthday and saw a few friends and made more friends. The party was at a lovely home with lots of friendly people. I didn't stay very long and I hope it didn't seem rude of me to leave so early, but I was pooped from my running earlier in the day.

On Saturday, MIABA had a meeting at Small But Mighty Arts in Haslett. What a fun day that was. I saw some familiar faces and met some new ones. I must admit I am horrible with names so I went to the MIABA group page to check the database so I could mention everyone and not just the ones I remember, but the database isn't there any longer. So with apologies to those whose names I don't remember, I will say it was nice to see Barb, Linda, Ingrid, Nancy, and Dusty again and it was such fun to meet Kip and Rhea. Also there was a lovely woman who drove down from somewhere just south of Charlevoix who had some wonderful altered books whose name either I can't remember or I didn't catch. I could kick myself for forgetting my camera (and then forgetting the books I took for show and tell), but promise to take pix the next time I am in that wonderful art space.

And as a result of that wonderful meeting in a lovely new venue, I am planning to teach a class on repurposed books on August 13, and once I have the flyer ready and to Kip, I will tell you more. At this point, I am planning to provide the books, paper, linen thread, glue and decorative paper for the endpapers. Each class member will leave with a lovely, finished blank journal in a repurposed cover. I am nervous, but very excited to get this chance to share what I love doing. More info to come.

On Sunday, the hubster's brother came out for coffee in the morning and then we had Zoë for the late afternoon and evening. I swear that child just gets cuter and cuter; and, oh does she love Papa. He is always able to get a big grin just by getting her attention. I have to beg a little. While I wasn't able to get a smiling photo without lots of blur, I was able to get some rattle action and a nice shot of those great eyes of hers.

I did get a bit of work done (I mostly enjoyed watching others work on altering books with their wonderful collages and talking) at the MIABA meeting. Here is what I got done in between the watching and talking (and eating).

I am looking forward to adding a bit of color to this one.

This morning I am watching some of the early matches at Wimbledon and doing a bit of house cleaning. I'm just about to shut up the house as it is going to be a very hot and humid day. I hope to get a book repurposed so that I can take some pictures for the flyer for my class.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Shadows, Pretty Baby, and EDM

I finally was able to get a couple of the hubster's newly made Adirondacks into the sun around 3 pm yesterday and now have the shadows as I want them. The shadows in the original attempt were longer; I'm guessing it was closer to 5 pm. And while on the topic of shadows, I must thank Maer for all her help in identifying the location of the light source (in this case the sun) and making every shadow is in tune with that source.

The hubster and I went to my son's to visit last evening and I couldn't resist getting a new picture of the latest member of my girl tribe.

She is such a sweet, happy baby.

And last, but not least, my latest EDM - #217 - an umbrella. I'm afraid it is quite messy. Sometimes ink is not the best thing for me. I forget to be careful until it dries and smear it. I've tried making it a striped umbrella to cover up the sloppiness. I am not sure I've succeeded.

Miss 8 and Miss 3 will be here shortly to spend the day with us while their Mom is working. I don't know for sure what we will be doing, but there is bound to be some art involved. We are going to the post office to mail the Inktense pencils to Tracy and then making a visit to our small local library branch. It is sure to be a busy, fun day.

I sure hope you have a busy, fun day as well!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's Either Feast or Famine

Most of my weekends are either spent with girls quietly at my house or spent home with no plans and lots of free time. This weekend there is so much going on and I can only be in one place at a given time. What's a girl to do???

At this point in time, I have the girls all day on Friday and then am going to a birthday celebration in the evening. On Saturday I am going to Small But Mighty Arts in Haslett for a michiganab get together. I am so looking forward to this, not just to reconnect with fun and artsy women from around this wonderful state, but also to meet Kip and check out this new art venue.

Just when I think I am having the best weekend ever, I get a notice from another member of michiganab that Creative Papers Online in Ann Arbor is having a grand re-opening on Friday and Saturday. I have been wanting to check out this place for a very long time, but can I be in two places at one time?? I don't think so. BooHoo!!!

But I must move on - I was experiencing even slower than normal internet performance yesterday, so I sat with a sketch book drawing while waiting. I really must do this more often. I have a couple of sketches to share.

I really enjoyed drawing this one and may add some color later.

This one is a bit light, but I think if you click on it you will see it better. This one needs some color as well.

I've also worked a bit more on the Adirondack chairs. I added a bit of turquoise and light green into the water and added a bit of beach grass on the lower right corner. I'm not sure I am liking the effect in pastels, but will persevere until I get it done - I know that means adding the dreaded shadows. I will share when I've done more to it.

The sand in the lower left corner is not darker than the sand in the  other side. Not sure why it shows up this way.

I also drew my inner critic as my EDM 216. She is even meaner than she looks.

I've heard from Tracy, the winner of the Inktense pencils and will be trying to get them in the mail either this afternoon or tomorrow. I sure hope she loves them!!

I need to go get on the treadmill and then have a nutritious breakfast so that I can really enjoy this wonderful day. I hope to see you tomorrow.