Monday, October 5, 2020

Come to the High Country with me!

The road to our cabin, the red is scrub oak


These red trees are a stand of aspen that are always red!

Today's watercolor sketch in my sketchbook

I have sketched the scrub oak and aspen leaves from around our cabin every fall for the last 8 years, at least. Before that, I used to bring home pockets full of them, and hang them on the refrigerator until they dried up and fell off. Sketches are better - they last longer! 

Fall is my favorite time of year. The colorful leaves excite me far more than spring blooms do, and I have felt that way all my life.

In addition to the sketches, I have woven fall leaves a number of times over the years, and here are a few of the Autumn tapestries.

Aspen Autumn (1996, 48x34")

FALL/ don't fall! (1998,  21x34")

October  (2013,  18x18")


Saturday, September 19, 2020

Another Loss

digital sketch, with respect


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Cats! An Illustration Project...

Earlier in the year, I did a sketchbook spread of cats, many of which I had found in books from my childhood.

I decided I wanted to challenge myself to learn to make a repeat pattern, so I began with the cat sketches.

I ordered one yard each from two different online sources, and These had been recommended by illustrators I follow on Instagram. I ordered them at the same time, and ordered 100% cotton from both, using the same pattern source (the photo above,) altering just the size of the repeat. The Spoonflower fabric came about 2 weeks sooner than the other, but that may be because of where they are located in distance from me. It is the larger print fabric. I felt that the cats, are 'sharper' on this piece of fabric, but again, that may be because of the size of the repeat. It was also a bit less expensive that the other fabric. Both fabrics washed well, and they feel like they are the same material.

The smaller print is perfect for face masks, so, with about half of it, I made masks for loved ones. I still have not decided what I will use the larger print for.

Who is that masked maker?

One of the mask recipients sent me a lovely photo of herself in the mask, and I couldn't resist sketching it, with a collaged 'mask' of scrap fabric for my morning sketch today!

I also decided to use a bit of the smaller print for the background fabric behind these two silly little tapestries of Ringo and Poe. I've had this old frame for years, wanting to find just the right thing to put in it. I'm not sure if I will leave it like this permanently, but for now, at least, I'm happy with it.

Monday, September 14, 2020


The link for the Virtual Opening Reception for this exhibit is 
The reception is at 6:00 pm, Mountain Time. After the reception, the exhibit can be viewed on the Webster Arts website at 
I have a tapestry in the exhibit, which I am quite happy about, as I find red to be the most important color in my palette! I use it in some form in all of my tapestries. I'm looking forward to seeing how my favorite color is used by other artists in the exhibit!

All Passion Spent

Sunday, August 2, 2020

End of a bumpy month....

The month of July was, once again, a rough ride. I'm hoping the fall (November, especially) will see our world becoming more sane. In the meantime, I distracted myself from the terrifying rollercoaster ride on the daily news by doing the #30Faces30Days challenge on #Sktchy, concentrating on learning to use #Procreate to create digital portraits. The image above includes the 29 I did from Sktchy, and one self-portrait (there was one day I was just not interested in doing the muse selected, so I sketched myself and a photo-bombing Poe instead.) 
The last Sktchy portrait (face with lightening rainbow) also was animated, but I couldn't figure out how to get it here, so, if you'd like to see the animation, go to my Instagram account.

As the month ended, I felt I needed to do a couple of sketches in my sketch journal, to commemorate a lost hero, and to celebrate some new ones.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

More Digital Sketches!

Another week's worth (almost) of digital sketches, done on the iPad Pro in Procreate. These are all done 'by hand,' meaning that I don't upload and alter a photo. I use photo references from Sktchy in the same way I would use them if I were doing these in my sketchbook, or on WC paper or canvas. I have the photo nearby (often in my iPad mini) to look at, but am using the Apple Pencil in the same way I would use a 'regular' pencil or brush to sketch and paint.

The sketch on the right above (with 3 raccoons) was a challenge to use multiple photos to create a new story. The original photo had one raccoon. This is something I actually do a lot of  when I design tapestries; work from multiple images. It was probably my favorite challenge of the month, because (in part) it felt familiar.

The challenge for the 'Frida Kahlo' style sketch was to import a background for the figure, after you had sketched it. I used a Henri Rousseau painting and added the birds (also a part of the challenge.) The sketch on the right also asked to import a background, using a photo you were to take yourself. I shot a photo of the light coming through my sheer studio curtains. The middle sketch was again from the tutor who is a cartoon artist. It was done from looking at a photo. I always loved his days, as they felt like 'recess;' as his tutorials were 20-30 minutes, and most of the others took an hour.

The biggest advantage - and also the biggest disadvantage - that I can see in doing digital art, as opposed to 'analog art,' is that perfection always feels attainable. You can erase and undo, you can use multiple layers and 'paint glazes,' fixing and correcting until you suddenly realize you have spent an hour or two on a sketch that you will actually not do anything with. It's not even in a sketchbook that you can take off the shelf and leaf through months or years later, unless you print it out. And, if you print it out, it looks like digital art. It feels to me like the artist's hand (although it is used much the same as with other media) is lost in translation.

I know I will continue to use this handy (and expensive) tool. I will use it much like I have used PhotoShop over the past many years: I'll start out in my head with an idea, scribble it in a sketchbook, paint or photograph it, then put it into the app to 'fix,' to alter, to change size or color or direction, then take it back to the sketchbook or into the computer to finish into a usable design. And maybe I'll continue to 'sketch' a bit on the iPad, just because it is so mess-free and so portable.

I do look forward to choosing my own 'muses' again! These were all chosen by the tutors, and I stuck to them, so that I could learn the techniques that were new to me. Tomorrow is Day 30, so I have one last sketch to do, and another handful to upload here. Then I'll post what I've been doing at the loom again!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Still 'Procreate-ing' (digitally, that is...)

I am still doing the #30Days/30Faces challenge on the artist's #Sktchy app, so here are sketches 7-14, from week two. The 6 instructors all have different work methods and art styles; they also choose the photo images we work from each day. For the most part, I stick to the demonstrated style, digital brushes, and method used, though I am allowing my own style to take over when I prefer to do so. The above sketches were all done in #Procreate on an iPadPro with an Apple Pencil. The first, done with a gouache style, the middle one with charcoal brushes, and the one on the right in a comic book style.

These were also done in the same digital app; Procreate. The middle sketch was done with pencil and ink brushes, from a photo of a man looking out a window with blinds. The other two used ink and watercolor brushes.

The two end sketches here are not digital, though the middle one is. The middle sketch is again a comic book style, and I confess that I really love this style! It is a lot of fun to create, and I love the 'clean-ness' of it. The other two here are  from my sketchbook, and are done with a black Bic ink pen. The one on the right is a self-portrait, and the left one is of a lovely child's photo from #Sktchy.

Digital sketching still takes me longer than sketching with 'analog' media does, but I confess that it is pretty handy to just grab one tool - the Apple Pencil - and to not have any mess or cleanup. Most of the tutorials are almost an hour to watch, as well (except the comic style ones.) So I have dumped most of my social  media time for the month, and am using my online time for these lessons. I am missing seeing what everyone is doing on Instagram, but I'll be back there in August. In the meantime, I'm learning to sketch digitally - and I'm weaving a tapestry and have warped my floor loom and begun weaving some rag rugs (with much enthusiastic help and interest from Poe and Ringo, requiring me to cover the loom when it is not in use.)

Two weeks done, 14 of 30 sketches. The month is flying by, as it does when I'm having fun!