25 January 2015

AJW challenges # 23, 24, & 25

Friday's through today's drawing prompts for the Artist's Journal Workshop January challenge: 

23) a mechanical contraption -- my mechanical pencils suggested by a young friend, Kathleen, at church.

24) a barn or shed -- our shed that Josiah calls a barn, as seen from our bedroom window.

25) a busy pattern or design -- an eagle from the Book of Kells, symbol of St. John.

24 January 2015

a random doodle day

Sometimes I have a day of randomness, where my sketchbook becomes a collector of unrelated bits throughout the day. Such was the case last Sunday on this two-page spread . . .

22 January 2015

beachcombing sketches

As I was recently going through old sketchbooks to find work to post for the 5-day art challenge, I also came across these sketches from nearly 5 years ago. We had a lovely day in Galveston with Mikala and I got a lot of sketching done onsite.

And just because it seems to fit a theme on this blog post, here is a random seascape I once painted:

21 January 2015

AJW 19, 20, & 21

The next sequence of prompts for Artist's Journal Workshop's January drawing challenge are a self-portrait, something made with chocolate, and a tool.


I drew myself from a photo daughter-in-law Carrie took of me a few months ago, leaving off the glasses since I no longer need them. Doesn't look much like me, I don't think.

Bill was eager to suggest that I draw one of his tools -- an antique cast iron nail bar used to remove nails. It is HEAVY!

AJW challenge #18 - dusk or sunset

Although I have been keeping up with drawing something every day, I'm a bit behind in posting the results. 

Sunday's prompt in the January challenge on Facebook was to sketch dusk or a sunset. So Bill and I drove west on country roads, getting away from the trees to get a good view. 

Texas has gorgeous sunrises and sunsets; Sunday's was not very spectacular. I would love to learn how to do watercolor landscapes but as usual I niggled this one too much. But it is what it is so I'll post it and move on.

20 January 2015

5-day art challenge, day 5

Today is the final day of the 5-day art challenge on Facebook that I have been participating in. Here are a few of the memory pages from the Stillman & Birn sketchbook as we transitioned from our old life to a new one.

Bill was just recovering from a heart attack and surgery, during which I found it very hard to draw. This journal got me started again, as we said goodbye to the 1920 apartment building we had renovated and made a home.

I wished to remember the details we worked through as we took what had been a torn-up rat-trap and slowly demolished then rebuilt it, retaining the style of the building's history from the 1920 oil boom days. The two upstairs apartments were finished first, to allow rental income to help pay for the downstairs remodel. Here, we joined 2 one-bedroom apartments into 1 large 3-bedroom, 2-bath apartment for ourselves --- remodeling as we were living in it! I can verify that plastic sheeting does NOT keep out all plaster & lath dust!

Where we could not find doors of the same style, Bill built them himself, including those seen in the above sketch as viewed from our from our bedroom.The large cast-iron sink was there when we bought the building; I persuaded Bill to keep it in the pantry for planting herbs and washing dogs.

I love vintage tile in bathrooms and kitchen; Bill came to hate the stuff as he applied it --- it seems the tile I chose was molded after original tiles which were not uniform in shape. Very authentic looking though!

With Bill's retirement, we went ahead and put the building on the market, thinking it would take time to sell such an unusual property. It sold in SIX DAYS. Thankfully, the new owners gave us 3 months rent-free to go house-hunting in Texas. We were moving there to be closer to our four grown children, all of whom were raised in Kansas but settled in Texas. The above sketch on the right side is the first I did in our new home while sitting on the patio --- a cabin in the country between the various locations of our kids.

19 January 2015

5-day art challenge, day 4

Day 5 of the Facebook 5-day art challenge: some travel sketching from our 40th wedding anniversary trip to San Antonio, Texas. We had a lovely room with a terrace right on the Riverwalk and I was able to do LOTS of sketching over several days. Often when traveling, I am with non-sketchers and have limited time to sketch onsite, but this time I was able to sketch as much as I wished.

As a bonus, here are some sketches from the last Kansas State Fair we attended before moving to Texas. Bill was working a booth for the company he worked for, allowing me a full morning to wander and sketch.

18 January 2015

5-day art challenge, day 3

Cathy Johnson & Christiana Farabee on the grounds of The Elms historic hotel
I attended my first sketchcrawl in November 2007, driving 200 miles to meet Cathy Johnson and others in the Kansas City area. I knew artists closer to home; I just couldn't get any of them interested in going out to sketch "on site" together. But I formed many lasting friendships going to these sketchcrawls in Kansas City and Excelsior Springs, MO. That's what I miss most after moving to Texas.

One of our frequent spots is the historic Hall of Waters in Excelsior Springs. And my favorite subject to draw there is this lion fountain located at the end of the water bar.

Below are some tiles and gauges from the Hall of Waters. The golden lion is from an elevator door. At one time this was a very high-end spa and there is still a treatment room full of old spa equipment, as well as a swimming pool.

I tend to be slow at sketching; on that very first sketchcrawl, I only managed to do this drawing in pencil:
Then I went home and painted this from the sketch:

virtual sketchcrawl . . . and AJW # 22

Yesterday was set as "virtual sketchcrawl" day, with sketchers all over the globe participating by going on their own sketchcrawl and posting their work on the Facebook group. My friend, Suzanne Bearnth, joined me at the Old Baylor's college site in Independence, Texas -- We both drew these old columns, all that remains of the women's classroom building. A very peaceful day, though a bit nippy in the cool breezes. We expected sunshine but it was mostly cloudy.

Jumping ahead a bit in the order, I am also counting this as day #22 of the Artist Journal Workshop January challenge: draw a historic building. Or in this case, part of a building.

17 January 2015

5-day art challenge, day 2

I have been nominated to participate in Facebook's five-day art challenge, posting three art works per day for 5 days. So here goes with day number two:

In 2007, I began reading books on drawing and finding artists online, longing to get involved in sketchbook art. Seeing many artists posting from the Everyday Matters group challenge list (and reading Danny Gregory's excellent book), I decided that this was the best way to jump in.

Feeling intimidated, I first began in pencil --- this is my very first sketch in my first sketchbook. Fighting my fear of actually posting it online, I jumped in, at first on Flickr but eventually moving to Facebook and Blogspot.

Eventually I switched to working in ink (over pencil lines which I then erased). This is a sketch of the front of the 1920 apartment building my husband and I renovated in El Dorado, Kansas.

And eventually I switched to watercolor, though I had not yet taken the plunge to use watercolor paper --- that's why there are ripples on this drawing of our eldest granddaughter, Mikala.

From there, I began experimenting with toned papers, colored pencils, watercolor pencils and crayons, colored inks, and various brands of sketchbooks. I also learned how to bind my own sketchbooks, using my own choices of paper, shape, and size.

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