Sunday, May 29, 2016

Peace, Love, and Rock and Roll....

I have not had the time I'd like to have to be creative, of late. But my Peace Rose just gave me it's first bloom this weekend, much later than my other roses, which have been blooming for several weeks now. But that is the way with peace: it seems to take it's time. Better late than never, though! I did take the time to sit and do a colored pencil sketch of it, (watercolor pencils, mostly Inktense) in one of my favorite vintage vases.

As a pacifist, I truly believe the best way to memorialize fallen warriors is not to glorify war, but to learn to solve issues in such a way as to avoid more loss. Surely that is what they would want, as well. The sketch is a simple one, but I did it slowly, as a meditation and a prayer for peace.

May your weekend be a peaceful one. May our days and moments be peaceful, and may the peace that comes from us spread - as far and wide and quickly as possible.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Giving a hoot.....

I have not been getting much weaving time, again. How was it that I used to be so productive? And I have reached that frequently reached point in this tapestry where I look at it with despair, knowing it will be a total failure, as it doesn't look at all like an Amaryllis. It looks like a weaving, though, so I trust my work, and keep going. What else can I do?

One of the things I can do is go out in Nature, so my husband and Booker and I went on our annual owl hunt the other day. The owls were out of their nest, so we were afraid we'd missed them. But Mom was in a nearby tree, keeping one alert eye on her young ones, and the owlets were in the nesting tree, out on a branch, huddled together against the spring wind. We got a few good photos, and I sketched Mama Owl in my sketchbook.

I also got some new markers I wanted to try out, so I also 'tried out' the Sketchy app, for the first time. It is probably something I'll do again! It is fun to sketch someone I don't know - all the pressure is off. I was happy enough with the sketch, but not thrilled with the markers. They were expensive, and they bled through even my heavy Stillman and Birn sketchbook paper. Oh, well. Live and learn. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Working, worrying, and a bit of playing....

I did not have a Studio Tuesday last week. My Dad ended up in the hospital and had a Pacemaker 'installed,' so we spent last Tuesday and a good bit of the early part of the week there with him. He is doing very well back home now, so my husband and I took a few days to go over to see two of our grandchildren (dare I say 'Very Brilliant and Talented Grandchildren?') perform in the Denver Public School's annual Shakespeare Festival. The kids (now ages 10 and 12) have done the festival for the past three years, but this is the first time we got to attend. They amazed us! Each of them had challenging lead roles in their scenes and did a wonderful job! What a great thing this festival is: exposing even the youngest kids to this great literature and language! The photo above is of a small portion of the kids parading in, sadly in very bad weather, though their spirits and enthusiasm did not seem to be dampened. Below is this years 'Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth,' which we were told are honorary roles, to be earned by top high school seniors.

In our few days away, we stayed in a VRBO apartment in Lake Dillon. We have a tradition of taking a small trip for my birthday each year, and this was that trip. My intent for these trips is to do a bit of painting or sketching. It was rainy or snowy our entire time there, until the morning we were to come home. So we mostly just enjoyed relaxing, reading, and watching movies. The last morning, the sun came out and we could finally see our view of Buffalo Mountain from the living room window. So I sat and began a sketch of it, and the next door cabin. Above is as far as I got before we came home.

I was tempted to quit at the stage I was in the above photo. I often don't know when to stop a sketch, and frequently regret continuing. So I decided that, for awhile, I will take pictures of my sketches in progress, and see if I like the 'less completed' ones better, and can then convince myself to 'quit while I'm ahead.'

When I got home, I 'finished' the sketch from a photo of the scene. I am not sure I improved it at all. In fact, I believe I like the 'less finished' version best.

This morning I decided to continue my 'experiment' by doing a small sketch of some lilies of the valley from my yard. Gus, as always, was my assistant and advisor.

Here are three stages of my sketch. I think I like the middle one best - before I felt compelled to add shadows with a grey Copic marker. I have trouble blending that marker, so the shadows look a bit stark to me. As always, I begin a sketch with pencil and watercolors (photo#1,) then add colored  pencils to intensify areas and add contrast (middle photo,)  then finish up with markers, as in the final photo. I'm not sure the markers were/are needed, especially in a sketch of a somewhat 'delicate' topic, like this one.

I did do some Studio Tuesday work this week. I am mostly working on these petals on the left side of the tapestry, though I also keep trying to even up the fell line as I go. I am past the mid-way point on the tapestry, so will share an overall photo of what I can see on the loom later this week (hopefully, after a bit more work.)