25 March 2011

birthday card for Shirley

Recently someone commented on my Flickr site that they would like to learn to draw and asked if I could tell them my experience. I thought what I wrote might help someone else . . . .

In 2005, I was afraid to even try to draw again. While growing up, I drew all the time, but had not done so since and now I was 51. But a friend asked me to come with her to a small watercolor class. I had never tried watercolor but felt this was actually from the Lord --- that He was gently leading me back into art. Otherwise, how would this friend have ever known I was once interested in it?

I played around for a couple of years but without much direction. Then I found so many sketchers and painters on Flickr . . . . and then found the Everyday Matters (EDM) group and their weekly drawing challenge. One day in May 2007, I bought a sketchbook and did my first sketch. Then a second one. For a long time, I simply did the EDM challenge list, one drawing at a time. Eventually that gave me confidence and I began to post them on-line (shaking in my boots as I did so!)

This is like learning to play an instrument or driving a car or even learning to write your own name (which is just a line drawn) . . . . the more you DO IT, the more confidence you gain and the more comfortable you become. I never think I'm as good as I want to be, but I think that is a universal feeling. Just keep striving to be better. As you do, your own personal style just sort of "happens" and you grow.

22 March 2011

Hall of Waters

Finally winter loosened it's grip and we were able to have a sketchcrawl in Excelsior Springs on Saturday --- and on a weekend that Bill was not on-call --- hurray! (Last month's planned sketchcrawl was canceled due to ice.)

We drive about 3 hours from home, partly through the always-changing Flint Hills. I've tried to get local artist friends interested in a sketchcrawl closer to home, but no takers. So I meet up with artist/writer Cathy "Kate" Johnson and other friends I've met through Flickr.

We always have a great time . . . even with a thunderstorm this time. We met again at the historic Hall of Waters and stayed out of the rain. Hopefully next time it will be sunny and dry so we can go look for spring wildflowers in the nearby woods. After sketching, most everyone has a light meal or snack at one of the eateries in town as we pass around our sketchbooks.

It's a nice get-away for Bill --- no cell phone and no pager. He takes a book along to read while I'm sketching. Ceilidh went along for the adventure, traveling in an old cat carrier because she's still so tiny. We are trying to get her used to car travel so she can head for Texas with us sometime this summer.

17 March 2011

Ceilidh arrives at last!

I drove to Oklahoma on Sunday to pick up our new Scottish Terrier baby from our breeder, Pam. Right away I could tell she was an awesome little personality -- so much curiosity and confidence! Her tail never stops wagging and flying like a little flag.

As I was driving south to pick up my new baby, our son Jason was driving north for a spring-break visit, along with our son Jeff and grandkids Jayna and Josiah. They also brought Maxwell, my former Scottie who now belongs to Jayna.
Ceilidh seems to love everyone and can't get enough of exploring her new territory. She has already claimed her basket of toys, "killing" a furry fox several times, and stealing the cat's toys.

The only down side is that I have had no time for sketching at all. It's like having a new baby in the house, needing some kind of attention at least every 2 hours. She sleeps through the night MUCH better than any of our human children did though!

11 March 2011

sketchercise crocus

At the end of a walk around the neighborhood today, I stopped to sketch this early crocus that had popped up in the middle of a yard. It opened only a few days ago; now the petals are already drooping. Maybe because the weather can't decide if it wants to be wintry or springlike.

This pocket-sized palette had W & N gouache, but several colors had crumbled up into loose crumbs. I cleaned these out yesterday, replacing them with some of the newer M. Graham gouache. Then I removed the 2-piece Koi waterbrush I had kept in the center space to make room for a half-pan of white gouache and a sponge. When out and about, the Koi brush was just too much bother to fumble with.

With the sponge in the center, I no longer need the sock cuff I was wearing on my wrist to clean the waterbrush. One less thing to remember as I walk and sketch.

08 March 2011

new journal

another one I bound myself . . . . It's hard to come up with sturdy cover papers around here. I used a heavy scrapbook paper on this cover but it still seemed like it would wear out long before I finish sketching within its pages.

My buddy, Kate, told me of a neat trick she uses on some journal covers: Future floor wax! Actually I couldn't find any, but Pledge had one that had the Future logo on the label. And it seemed to work well. Just a bit of shine but it feels sturdier.

At first the cover was plain, but since I am picking up my new Scottie puppy this coming weekend, I just had to add a bit of Scots to the journal. I'm sure there will be many sketches of her coming . . .
But true to my own tradition, the first pages were palette sketches.

07 March 2011


I've joined the Sketchercise Flickr group as incentive to get back to walking & sketching more.

But knowing a new puppy will soon be joining me, I elected to keep this as simple as possible for now. Only what will easily fit in my pockets:

* hand-sewn journal pages I tucked into a leather business card holder

* Bijou pocket WC palette (or similar-sized one with gouache)

* Micron Pigma pen

* waterbrush

* old sock cuff for cleaning brush, worn on my wrist

sketches from first two days of Sketchercise

The first day, distractions and busyness kept me from walking until near sundown; by the time I stopped to sketch something, it was too dark to see very much!

The second day was cold and blustery; this trash can was so overfull, I chuckled at it's gluttony.

04 March 2011

new tubes of gouache

Here, I filled whole pans with some gouache that my friend Wendee mailed me --- she no longer wanted these and had read that I wished to try M. Graham and Schmincke brands of gouache. Roz is SO RIGHT --- they really DO rewet much easier and are more vibrant! (read more here!)

I use a fine-point sharpie to write the paint's name on the side of each pan, plus initials of what brand it is. If I ever stop using the paint, this information is easily scrubbed off with an SOS pad.

Due to a winter storm last week in Kansas City, Creative Coldsnow extended their sale another week. With new blue and brown gouache, I just HAD to get a couple of reds and a yellow in M. Graham, right?

I'll try both browns to decide which is the most useful (and to compare M. Graham to Schmincke) -- then maybe replace one with a burnt sienna. Although, I found I could not only make a great orange with the warm red and yellow . . . add a bit of the raw umber and I get a fantastic burnt sienna! I will also add a larger pan of warm blue eventually . . . not sure if it will be ultramarine or Roz' beloved dark indigo (PB60).

BTW, this is the last page of this journal --- now on to a new one!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...