Saturday, February 9, 2019

Little Woven Goose...

I have been having a few health issues, and a LOT of company. So I warped up a little loom and used spare minutes to weave this silly goose. It is based on a noisy, aggressive goose that chased me last week. Other than that, it was just for fun, and just to distract me from aches and grocery lists. So nice to have these little looms, little moments to weave, and now a little tapestry goose!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Sketchbook Project

I have completed filling my Sketchbook Project sketchbook. The theme I chose was "This One Thing" and the 'one thing' is Color. In spite of the less than artist-friendly paper, I have enjoyed filling this sketchbook! I am going to print myself a 'copy' of it, to sit on my studio shelf with all my other filled sketchbooks. In the meantime, here is a video that gives you a bit of an idea of how it has been filled.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Filling the Sketchbook....

I am still working to fill the #SketchbookProject sketchbook. I am generally resorting to colored pencils now, as the paper is not wet-media friendly. The theme of the book is Color, so it is taking some doing to get the bright colors I want with colored pencils. I am discovering a lot about this medium, though, as I didn't use it much in the past for complete sketches.

Many of my sketches are inspired by colorful people and situations, shared in photos on the #Sktchy app. This one, though, is my cat, Gus. Also, I did it in ink (brush pen) and colored pencil on a separate piece of toned paper, and glued it in. I just needed to do something a bit easier and quicker on that day.

This was also done on separate paper, so I could have a loose watercolor background.

I still have four 'Color' sketches yet to do, then I will do some collage work and text on the facing pages. I have a couple more weeks before it needs to be completed, so, barring life interferences, I should get it done and sent in on time!

"The Duet" tapestry is off the loom, and just needs the lining put on to be ready to exhibit. I have been getting several tapestries ready and entered into exhibits, and I will keep you notified where to see them, when the time comes!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New Year, New Projects!

I know I just posted 15 of 25 sketches here that I did based on my advent calendar. All 25 of them can be seen on my Instagram site. But it's a new year, and I have other things going forward. For one thing, "The Duet" tapestry is off the loom! I will post an image of it here, when I know where it will be going. I do still have some off-loom finishing to do on it, as well.

My son gave me the Sketchbook Project for Christmas. It is something I had looked into, followed to some extent, and thought I would do 'someday.' I guess someday is Now! The book is due either mid-February or the end of March (I have conflicting information, so I need to clear that up.) 

When you get the blank sketchbook to fill, you also get a list of 'themes' to choose from. They are intentionally vague, and the one I chose is "This one thing..."  I am concentrating on the one thing that inspires my work the most right now, and actually has inspired me all my life: color. I will probably title the sketchbook "It's a Colorful World."  When completed, the sketchbook will be sent to the Brooklyn Art Library in New York, where it can then be viewed both there 'in person,' and online. 

This is the first sketch in the sketchbook. I did it in gouache, because the paper is not great for watercolor or markers, and they specify not to use acrylic (pages stick together.) It took a long time to do this page, as gouache seemed very slow, filling the 5x7" page with intense color. The sketch is inspired by a photo from the Sktchy app, where people provide their photos for artists to sketch and paint.

For the second sketch, I also used a Sktchy muse. But I switched to colored pencil. Much faster! 

Another Sktchy muse for the third sketch, again in colored pencil. I am just sketching on one side of the page, and the facing pages I am filling with paint chips,  color bits from magazines, colorful ephemera, etc.  Small scale, abstract collage, in other words.

The next spread includes the story that goes with the image. It came from our local paper, and is about a local couple. I loved the story and the image, and have always loved the shop that they own.

The fifth sketch is from a photo I took in Wiscasset, Maine. We lucked into the last open day of the season at Red's Eats, a local lobster shack along the river, famous (and rightly so!) for their lobster rolls. I told this lady how much I admired her hat, and asked if I could take a photo, explaining that I was an artist and would love to have her in my travel sketchbook. She not only let me take her photo, but graced it with a lovely smile! She said she is a local, and she never misses either the opening day or the closing day of Red's Eats, and I don't blame her a bit!

The Sketchbook project has pages for 16 sketches, plus the facing pages. So I am just now about a third of the way completed. I am enjoying these sketches, as I love color! In fact, on that note, just wait until you see my newly completed tapestry! You may need to get your shades out!

(I remember reading somewhere that in 'dark times' historically, art got brighter and more colorful. I guess that is true - at least for this art maker!)

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Saturday, December 15, 2018

A Week and a Day....

I am still doing a daily 'advent sketch,' based on what is in the little window of the beautiful advent calendar my daughter-in-law gave me. 

Day 9, running horses

On the 10th day, there is a man with a tree in the calendar window. My sons' families had just gotten their trees, so the little red car is my daughter-in-law's car (not the calendar giver, but my other wonderful daughter-in-law; I am lucky to have two!) We had also just put our tree up, much to Gus's fascination and delight. He is determined to climb it to the top this year, but we have stopped his pursuit of the star, so far anyway.

The little wren was in the 11th day window. This little girl (a photo inspiration from #Sktchy) felt like a perfect friend for him. And one of my favorite carols is by Christine Rossetti, "In the Bleak Mid-Winter," though nobody will do the song with me. They think it is too bleak.

The owl in flight inspired this on Day 12

There was a cute bunny on the calendar on Day 13. It was such a busy day for me though, that I just had time for little sketches to represent my day.

A star to represent Day 14 brought to mind this carol. Carols and holiday songs have been floating through my head all week, as my music partner and I went to several assisted living places this, and last, week to share holiday songs with the wonderful folks who live there. This is something we are blessed to do every month, and January will begin our fourth year to do this. 

Today's little window opened to reveal the little hedgehog (on the right.) I had just run across the quote by Beatrix Potter earlier in the week, so I put it and the lovely Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle in my sketch this morning. I have her baking, because this is the day I will make fruit cakes for my father-in-law.

My life is so busy right now, with holiday and parent and company needs. And I should be weaving! But I have to admit that doing these little 'advent sketches' have made me enjoy the holiday much more than I usually do! I love seeing what is in the calendar window each morning, then thinking how I will incorporate it into a sketch while I eat breakfast and sip my coffee. The sketches themselves are all pretty simple and quick - a half-hour passes quickly as I sketch and sip a second cup of coffee. These are mostly done in ink first, then a little watercolor, and gouache (for snow) or colored pens or pencils if a bit more detail is needed. Fun, indeed! And more windows yet to open.......

Friday, December 7, 2018

Advent - tures!

From my sketchbook

As the holidays approached, my daughter-in-law sent me a beautiful advent calendar! I decorated my sitting room mantle around it, so I could look at it when I sit in there with my morning coffee.

As I opened the little window for the first day of December and saw the adorable little snowman, I thought how fun it would be to sketch him in my sketch journal, then add things inspired by what was revealed each day to fill out the page.

 On day 2, a dachshund was in the window, and a fox, on day 3.

Words from Dave Carter's song "Go Tell theFox"

A little mouse appeared on Day 4 (the one in the lower corner,) and Gus joined the calendar cat on day 5.


A mole was in the corner of the calendar on day 6, so I put him in the corner of my advent sketch page.  And today, day 7, there is an owl, flying through the night sky.

I don't know that I set out committing myself to do daily advent sketches, but I am finding that I look forward each morning to seeing what is behind the little window on my Advent Calendar, and filling a sketch journal page with things that it inspires. I don't spend a great deal of time on these pages, usually about a half hour, though sometimes time gets lost and my coffee gets cold!

I have been posting the sketches daily on Instagram, and will post them each week through the advent season here on the blog. In the meantime, I hope the holiday season is finding you with creative inspiration and joy, as well!