22 December 2011

memory of an old friend

The doctor's office where my mom's eyes are treated have lots of small stuffed animals for sale, to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. I couldn't pass up this sock monkey, remembering all those hand-sewn by my great aunt Lucile. Of the many she made, only one was left in our family -- one she gave to our daughter. I was hoping that Kristen would forget about it when she went to college, then on to Texas to begin her career.

After all, I have so many memories of my great aunt, who was also my childhood pen-pal and one of the only family members who regularly encouraged me. But after Kristen & Michael bought their first home, she asked me to bring her monkey to her. Still, I have the precious memories, if not the actual monkey. And this new little guy can remind me of them.

21 December 2011

waiting room sketch

Another trip for my mom to the eye doctor -- she is getting treatments for macular degeneration. Usually we have a longer wait, but today was relatively quick due to wintery weather cancellations.

Even so, I was able to sketch this and add most of the paint as I waited. Skipping the pencil under-sketch really saves time!

When I sketch around family or friends, I feel intimidated and don't do my best work. But some of the strangers in the waiting room were watching me work and I found myself enjoying it. One lady and her mother even asked to look at it up close when I finished. It was fun! And much more enjoyable than the obnoxious show on the TV.

18 December 2011

trip to the lumber yard (?)

We went to the local lumber yard in search of drawer guides for Bill's brother's kitchen project. The best lumber yard in town (locally owned) closed last year; the chain store taking it's place is bigger but never has anything that Bill is needing.

So we came away without . . . except for some fresh produce. Now, why in the world were they selling produce at a lumber yard??? I don't know, but the grapefruit I ate last night was wonderful!

16 December 2011

final drawing class

A good friend of mine was giving informal drawing classes at a Wichita church. The final one was last night --- the selected model (his wife) was sick, so we talked John into posing for us. This was the first drawing of the evening to warm up. The photo quality is poor due to it being regular graphite pencil on newsprint.

We next did several timed drawings of 2 minutes or less -- this is only one of many. I usually work very slow so this was a real challenge. (The above sketch took 90 seconds.)

Then came the blind contour drawings, which I always enjoy. I chose a softer pencil this time, so it shows up a bit better. Too bad his shoulders didn't seem to get together. Then his head went missing completely.

I don't know that I improved much, but it was a lot of fun. So much so that we talked John into some watercolor lessons, beginning in January. John is the one who introduced me to watercolor 6 years ago, with a group of people meeting in the same church --- not for formal lessons; just meeting once a week to paint something together.

13 December 2011

Bill has been busy

While I am furiously stitching away on a stocking for my brother's new grandchild, Bill has been busy building a kitchen-full of new cabinets for his brother, Dale.

Dale and his wife are renovating her mother's Victorian farmhouse outside of Manhattan, KS. They chose oak cabinets similar to what Bill built me, except my cabinet doors are flush with the framework and theirs is not.

There are even more pieces hidden behind the long section shown in the sketch. Bill is just about finished with everything; now he's waiting on the men hired to put up drywall. He plans on hauling it all up in a trailer for installation; Manhattan is a 2-hour drive away from us.

09 December 2011

taking a break

My sister-in-law asked me to make a Christmas stocking for their new grandchild, so I am furiously stitching away instead of sketching.

I made stockings for my brother's family years ago . . . . when the new baby's daddy was the baby. I no longer do much embroidery; in fact, I gave away all my supplies. So this is a bit challenging, trying to remember how I designed the other stockings.

I limited the watercolor in this sketch because I used a water-soluble ink that would bleed a bit. And it just didn't seem to need any more.

07 December 2011

just for fun

Playing with the Daler Rowner watercolor set I carry with me most often . . . and a couple of new toys. The paper strip in back holds the kid paints I popped out of the tiny toy palettes --- they are glued in place so they stick to the paper --- and made me sticky as well.

06 December 2011

family Christmas get-together

Early each December, the Williamson extended families get together, taking turns whose house to meet at. This year we were at Bill's baby sister Leanna's.

This is Bill's other sister, Elaine, and our niece Amy. Both moved before I quite captured their likeness. So I moved on to the snow people . . . being very polite, they held still for me.

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