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.

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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)

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

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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.

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

Take a tip from these three

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

Early Spring Musings

Sometimes I just want to look at the blossoms and not remember the storms that brought us here. Look at the green and the lacy morning dew and imagine that this world is mine, as is, right now. Not just in process and needing to be weeded. Not because it all will soon enough disappear, torched by summer’s draught. But just because it is right now. . .mine.

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acrylic textures (molding pastes), acrylic inks and collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

It is apple blossom season here in Sonoma County. You don’t want to blink and miss it! You don’t want to miss the butterflies fluttering through the garden, drinking apple blossom nectar, mating, and laying eggs on the pipevine. Gardening is a great excuse to be outside with hands in the dirt, and art making gravitates always to these spring colors and forms.

In Muse group we were playing with a wide variety of texture making tools and many of the acrylic mediums now on the market, from molding paste and crackle paste to gels with clear flakes and pumice. You could spend a fortune in the art store gathering up the various mediums to get texture. It’s what happens when you put fluid paint over them that excites me.

I’ll be teaching a weekend mixed media workshop June 24 and 25 where we’ll be using textures like these to achieve the light casting sparkle of Patina!  For more information and to register please visit my website.

Fool’s Day Parade

The Fools turned out in force to celebrate April 1st in traditional Occidental style Fool’s Day Parade on Saturday. I donned my tutu and joined them along with sketcher friends.

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Lamy Joy fountain pen and watercolor in handbook field watercolor journal, 8X8″

While waiting for sketchers to arrive I met Baan who was kind enough to pose. Her mermaid tail was a kind of hand-sewn blanket which added the marine effect to the gourd hat. A mix of themes creating a perfect fool-style costume.

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There was time for a quick picture of us with our green “official fool” badges before the parade.

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It was about 85 degrees in the shade by the time the parade got started and the parade was NOT in the shade. Wiltingly I marched along for a while.

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Switched to the brush pen which gets the idea down faster when there’s movement.

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After a bit of walking I ducked into the shade to watch and wish I had an umbrella. I’m not sure how I would have managed the sketching with the umbrella? And at this point the brush pen ink seemed to be melting, so I switched pens again.

The butterfly lady was added at the end of the parade when I was all warmed up and cooled down, sitting on a stool in the shade!

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And this one, while sitting around with the other sketchers, enjoying the last bit of fanfare and then sharing of sketches.

Next year will be my fourth year of foolery and I’ll be ready again! Zero the Clown will be back with his declaration to “do anything that brings fun, silliness, harmony, happiness, celebration, relaxation, health, love, joy, creativity, pleasure, abundance, grace, courage, balance, spontaneity, passion, beauty, peace and life energy to thyself and all other beings everywhere.” I figure that about covers it.

60+ Art, Music, Fashion

The Sebastopol Center for the Arts was bulging at the seams last Friday with a possibly record breaking crowd to view 1) the opening of the 60+ Exhibition and two other gallery shows (all must sees!) 2) the 20 piece Ray Walker Swing Band and 3) the Aging With Attitude Fashion Show: Style and Sass at 60+.

That’s 60+ years of the artists of course! My gang, so of course I was there with my curiosity and sketchbook, trying to look between the gray haired and flamboyant hatted heads to capture some of the action.

60+artLamy Joy pen and w/c in hand.book field watercolor journal 8 X 8″

The swing band was playing what I consider my parent’s generation music. I guess that’s what’s happening with our aging population now. It comprises more than one generation! Fun to see the stage literally filled with brass instrumentalists!

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Still peering between heads I caught glimpses of the fashion show and the appreciative audience. The styles were way beyond the usual seen here in west Sonoma County! Cell phones were busy videoing the spectacle of local friends doing the runway with a lively commentary going on.

In My Toned Tan Sketchbook

Nice to start out with toned paper for a sketch. Come in with white for highlights and ink, watercolor and gouache for the darks and a touch of color. It’s a shortcut that saves time.

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Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, watercolor and white Uniball Signo pen in Strathmore Toned Tan sketchbook, 5.5X8″

If I find myself at the end of the day needing a quick bit of art making  I’ll listen to music, find an image I can relate to, and do a sketch with the brush pen. I was watching a Clarence Becker performance for Playing for Change (I’m a subscriber) and was spellbound by the expressiveness not only of his singing but of his face! Didn’t begin to capture it here, but it was great trying.

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Next night it was an email I got about kids and their families visiting the halls of Congress to deliver petitions (one was mine)  to Save PBS!

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Next day I received pictures from my friends who have just become the happiest grandparents (taking turns holding baby).

So, honestly I got to enjoy a great performance, deliver petitions to Congress and hold a baby, without leaving my studio. I wonder what it will be tonight. . .

Intro to Sketching in Public (Sebastopol)

It’s always a crap shoot to schedule an outdoor sketch workshop in March! But somehow we slipped between the rain storms for an idyllic weather day last Saturday in Sebastopol town for the Intro to Sketching in Public workshop. We took over the stage area on the Plaza for the introductions and then spread out in the plaza for the morning of demo and sketching.

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We look at bit bundled up here, but it was warm in the sun. After some drawing warm ups I demonstrated continuous line drawing and shared thoughts about how we decide what to put in and what to leave out of a quick sketch.

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I certainly left out more than I put in! All those cars and benches and things. I’d still be there sketching if I’d put them all in!

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Lunchtime and the afternoon was spent in the Barlow where there’s plenty to eat and sketch. I picked a spot across from a clothing shop for a 5 minute sketch and then added the color in a demo later, adding splatter and white pen detail with the Uniball Signo white pen. Once again I left out way more than I put into this scene, capturing only the “bling” that attracted me.

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Last stop of the day was in front of everyone’s favorite coffee shop, Taylor Maid, and the Floral Design shop. There are still areas of the Barlow that are undeveloped, like this scene from bygone years across the street  And if you can tell me what it is, I would appreciate knowing. Does it have something to do with apples? Grains? Wine? Beer? None of the above?