March for Science and Earth Day

I packed felt tip pens and Inktense pencils only for the March for Science last Saturday in Santa Rosa. We missed the speeches so it was all marching when we got there. Surrounded by signs and chanting and friendly, committed people.

science1

You can see I’m taking liberties here, combining moments from the march (which was impossible to sketch in motion) with the Earth Day fair. Clo is of course the mascot for Clover dairy products and was there is costumed-human form. (It was not my intention that she look so diabolical!)

science2

Sketched later from pictures I snapped while marching. The signs are the best part!

A Day at SF MOMA

Taking sketch breaks is a perfect way to to avoid the tired feet and visual overload that usually happens to me at a major art museum. The San Francisco MOMA was our destination last Thursday and the Matisse/Diebenkorn exhibit. Rather than trying to head home before the rush hour, we stayed through dinnertime and benefitted from a more relaxed approach.

moma4

Lamy Joy fountain pen and watercolor in Beta series Stillman + Birn sketchbook

If you feel a bit like you’re on a ship while looking at this, then I achieved my goal of communicating my experience of Snohetta’s architectural design for the new expanded MOMA.  There are so many interesting angles, both inside and out, that one needs to continually re-balance to stay grounded. Perhaps that’s what happened to the bronze statue, which I sketched in an effort to reconnect with gravity.

moma2

I made it through the exhibit about five minutes ahead of my friends and got this much down before they showed up. It’s enough I think. Always better to only sketch what one sees. The mind fills in the rest.

moma3

If you watch an Alexander Calder mobile long enough, the up and down of perspective gets lost and you no longer miss it!

moma1

Looking up through the Occulus as the light pours down. It’s not a subject for a quick study, more an opportunity to record a tapestry of favorite visual moments.

Workshops This Spring!

It’s a busy spring season coming up, and I’ll be doing what I enjoy most – sharing approaches to painting and spreading my own creative wings with like-minded people! Hope you can join me.

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 7.03.57 PM

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 7.04.23 PM

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 7.05.20 PM

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 7.09.08 PM

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 7.09.27 PM

For more information about these workshops and to register visit my website!

Sketching Between the Puddles

Normally at this time of year here in Sonoma County wouldn’t we be enjoying more predictably sunny days? Instead we’re dodging downpours on a regular basis, and LOVING IT! Gardening days are pure bliss because all the plants that have been biding their time throughout our five year draught are going bananas now!

harmonyfarms

So last weekend we planned to visit the goat farm and sketch the baby goats, but that plan got rained out. So we headed over to Harmony Farm Supply and sketched in the sprinkles of rain and under an overhang while garden-fever was in full swing and customers were hungrily selecting additions to their spring gardens.

redwoodhill

Oh, by the way, while being frustrated that it was not a baby goat sketching day, I did a quick one of this handsome young one (Redwood Hills Farm) from a Facebook photo. Good practice for when the sunny day comes!

farmersmarket1

Next day, Sunday, was sunny! The Sebastopol Farmer’s Market never disappoints with seasonal fruits, veggies, baked goods, plants, crafts, live music and more to tempt, well, everyone! Greedily I did a series of vignettes, some while standing.

farmersmarket2

And then found a sunny spot out of the way to draw the tents and a guy picking out a pastry.

Some of this was practice and thinking through the schedule for my next sketch workshop April 29, 30 in Sebastopol, which will feature on location sketching along with the opportunity for some good eating! If you’re interested, visit my website.

No Need to Panic

This week we borrowed an idea from San Francisco magazine, a glossy well designed monthly with far out fashions and architecture and city culture. The concept: take a picture of interest, crop it off and continue the image with lines that vector off on white space, connecting with other images/designs. In order to have room to honor the white space, we folded 30″ wide paper accordian style into the usual 10 X 11″ size which can be put in the ring binder.

noneedtopanic

Tri-fold, opens on the left

noneedtopanic2

No need to panic. Just follow the lines. But which ones?

The preferred arrangement is best, they say. 

Seek the strong buttress, the steady beam to hold things up.

But ah! the meandering line is the one to follow for the unexpected and novel delights.

In any event, there’s no need to panic. Follow the line up to the roof and enjoy the view.

Just don’t jump.

The directionality of lines is a powerful force, both in design and as a metaphor for life.  This lesson pushed us all into and through uncomfortable places as we randomly sought design solutions. When these words “no need to panic” appeared on the pieces I was cutting out, I took the advise to relax and maybe trust a bit more in all that white space. There’s so much of it, but it seems to be holding up it’s part of the picture. Who would have thought?

TV and Photo Sketch Practice

The more I draw, the hungrier my eyes become for images to sketch. For instance, my favorite TV programing, Masterpiece Theatre! the costuming! the dramatic expressions of the characters! Sometimes while I’m watching I’m also doing imaginary sketches. So after I watched The Bronte Sisters on PBS I went back and found my favorite poses and indulged myself.

bronte1

I grabbed a couple fountain pens, my credit card sized mini w/c palette and water brush, which I carry in my purse, and sketched furiously to simulate real life (and because it was late and I was tired)

bronte2

Next day I did the other Brontes, with a bit more care, but trying not to overwork.

foolsdaypostscript1

You may have seen the figure on the left from my “live” Fool’s Day sketches. The fool on the right came from pictures I took in the parade. I know I couldn’t have sketched those hands as more than crude mittens if it were live. I think the practice of studying pictures of frozen action helps prepare one for the next real time event.

foolsparadeLiz

I was so impressed with fellow Urban Sketcher Liz’ hat, as well as her sketches, so I had to get her down in my sketchbook.

foolsdaypostscript2

And one more post parade fool, texting on the steps.

Take a tip from these three

takeatip

Take a tip from these three, tripping the spring fandango

Get up and make some tracks in the soft wet earth or high on the wire

Join the avian gang twittering the day away

They won’t save those seeds for you

But they’ll let you fill their feeder

Take your lunch under their tree

Get all quiet and munch

Take a tip or two or three from these spring warblers

We got kind of stamp-happy this week with our acrylics and all kinds of stamping things: home-made, found, and purchased. At one point in Muse Group I went around and took some pictures. It is such a catalyst for creative work to see the materials all spread out and people diving in and making colorful marks and seeing the patterns evolving!

stamping4

When I saw what was happening on my paper palette (on the left) I decided to “steal” the idea from myself! I slathered on the paint and used a homemade soft linoleum stamp and cut out some paper I’d already stamped on.

stamping5 For these birds I used a hand-carved stamp made in India and then cut out the shapes to use in the painting above, adding more color later.

stamping3

Mary Ellen was rolling acrylic paint onto rubber shelf liner which you can find at the hardware store, then printing with it!

stamping2

Here Pat is making some wonderful collage paper for later use. Actually many of us wished we could have this design in a set of placemats!

stamping1 Experiment! Experiment! Experiment! It all made my creative tail wag! Carole’s were spread all over.