At the end of July, I took a day off from my studies to go out sketching at Tower Hill’s Free Fun Friday event (free admission for the public). As a member, I had never attended this event in the past before because I can attend anytime, but this time I was supposed to meet someone from the CPSA for a day of sketching. Unfortunately, I did not realize that there would be so many people that that facility would have to close the gates because there was no more parking.
In the end, the meeting never took place, but I did get to do some sketching on my own. Many people (at least 50) can up to me and either watched over my shoulder or struck up a conversation about my art. Many people would find this kind of attention anxiety provoking, but I didn’t mind it. I actually found it rewarding to talk to the kids about keeping a sketchbook and I think many of them were really inspired. I did find that I didn’t get as much sketching done as I would like because of the interruptions. I also made some pretty mundane sketches. I tried out my new Derwent Inktense colored pencils and did some experimenting with Stabilo Point 88 markers, which are both fairly new to me.
While this was not the ideal situation for nature sketching, I think showing up at an event like this to sketch and hand out business cards would be a great marketing opportunity to try in the future.
A friend of mine took a trip to Mexico a few years ago and gave me permission to make a painting from one of his snapshots. I have been planning to make this little painting for ages now, but never got to it until now. I haven’t traveled in the past several years, but someday I would like to visit some beautiful locations and make some paintings like this in person.
I used a Pigma FB brush pen and went over it with juicy watercolor and some Inktense colored pencils. I removed all the people and buildings from the picture because I wanted a more peaceful and natural looking scene. This little painting was a lot of fun!
These are some of my daughter’s nature objects that found their way into my bedroom, and then my sketchbook. I made the drawings in watercolor pencils, and then instead of using plain water to activate the pencil marks, I used a brush loaded with watercolor paint as well. It was an interesting experiment and fun. I used the same colors for the two pages so they have a cohesive look.
This is my most recent project—my first pet portrait commission. I originally was planning on painting it all in watercolor, but then decided to add colored pencil to give it some more texture. I also changed the color of the dog bed from seafoam green, cream and brown to Prussian Blue. I think the blue makes the dog’s fur “pop” a lot more against the background.
I’m glad I tackled this project, but it wasn’t what I would consider a relaxing painting to make. Still, I did find it rewarding when the owner was so pleased. Now, I am going to get back to a few projects of my own.
My mom, Cate and I visited Tower Hill Botanic Garden for the first time last week. What a treasure of a place! I can’t believe that I’ve never visited in over twenty years of living in Central Mass. There is a lot to look at and it changes seasonally with new things on display all year, even in winter I’m told. The tulip beds, planted in coordinated color combinations, were the highlight of the trip for me. There was also a display of fairy houses and an exhibit of watercolor paintings by wildlife artist Barry Van Dusen (on display until June 26, 2016).
I only took photos and didn’t get the time to sit and sketch this time. However, I joined as a member and will be visiting again soon with my sketchbook and a big block of (undisturbed) time.
Recently, I had the unfortunate opportunity to experience a concussion firsthand. It is not a pleasant experience. The doctor warned me not to make any “life altering decisions” or major purchases until it was completely resolved. But since I felt sorry for myself, I decided to treat myself to some new art supplies and I ordered a set of gouache paints. Specifically, I got a custom set of 10 tubes of Schmincke Horadam gouache hand picked by Roz Stendahl. The price was good, and I trust Roz’s judgment as far as colors go. Most importantly, if I am going to try out a new medium for the first time, I don’t want the experience to be spoiled by poor quality materials. After doing a lot of research, Schmincke is always one of the recommended brands. So now I will wait until my paints arrive. Thankfully, I am already feeling a lot better and I will be ready to get started.
Although I have generally been avoiding TV, I have been enjoying watching the four part Moving Art nature documentary series on Netflix. I love that there is no narration, only peaceful background music. Flowers is my favorite (not surprisingly).
What a strange weather day this past Sunday was! I woke up to heavily falling snow and even lost power for a time. By midday, the snow stopped, fog was rolling in over the lake, and the wind picked up—blowing into my house at a 90 degree angle. By late afternoon, most of the snow was gone and the sun had returned, but the wind was still wild and the waves had whitecaps.
I made this sketch using Derwent Watercolour colored pencils, which I haven’t picked up in a few years. I really got lost in it for a time, and enjoyed myself immensely.
This year, it does not feel like a normal winter. It is mid January and we are just starting to get some of the expected winter weather, but we haven’t yet had a proper blizzard. I miss it in a way. Even without the massive piles of snow on the ground, I still find winter beautiful. There is a crispness in the air and a whiteness of the light that I really enjoy. Here is a recent drawing from my sketchbook–thanks for taking a look.
This season is the first one that yielded a significant number of pears from the pear trees (Bartletts, two of them). The first year, there was nothing and the trees had to be dug up and rotated as they were planted improperly. The second year, we got pears on one of the trees but someone stole them! This year, the trees were heavy-laden with pears. One of the trees had fewer, fatter pears. The other tree had more pears, but they were generally smaller. We canned most of them already, but we saved some of the baby pears for eating.