Tag: graphite

Winter landscape watercolor painting of bare trees with the sun peeking through at sunrise

Clean Morning

Winter landscape watercolor painting of bare trees with the sun peeking through at sunrise
©2023 Carolyn A Pappas, Clean Morning. Watercolor and graphite, 8 x 10 inches.

I don’t have enough time in the day to do all the art that I want to get done. I also have been working in my studio for my full time job (because it’s warmer) and then staying in that very same room during the evening to do my artwork. That has led me to have this weird, closed in feeling at times. I can’t wait until it warms up outside and we are in that sweet spot where you don’t have to run the heat or the air conditioner. I will feel more comfortable working in other areas of my house and I can reserve my studio for my art activities.

I’ve been doing a lot of drawing on my iPad, using Procreate, and also editing photos in Affinity Photo on my iPad. I figured out how to remove the backgrounds from my drawings, which I had a good method for in Photoshop, but I wasn’t sure how this new program would work. My process is not the most efficient, but I enjoy it and the results have come out to my liking. Even on the days that I am not drawing new artwork, I have been working on my art in one form or another. Not a day goes by that I haven’t been working on something.

This is my first proper painting of the year, called Clean Morning. I took the reference photo about a year ago, the morning after a late February or March snowstorm. This watercolor does not contain any pen and ink, but uses a sketchy style pencil drawing for the trees (I used a BIC disposable mechanical pencil). What attracted me to this scene was the dramatic light shining through the trees and the long shadows cast over the snow. It was really a perfect snowy atmosphere that morning, and I took a number of interesting photos on that occasion that I have in my reference file.

A lake shoreline with autumn trees drawn in pencil with watercolor wash

Quiet Christmas

A lake shoreline with autumn trees drawn in pencil with watercolor wash
©2022 Carolyn A Pappas, Last Boat Ride. Pencil and watercolor wash in A4 moleskine.
Last week my surgeon called me and said they reviewed my case at Tumor Board and determined that it was a borderline tumor, not cancerous. This was amazing news to hear, and unexpected, because the report originally said cancer. (Also, weirdly stressful in a way.) However, after doing some more research, I found that borderline tumors can still recur and come back as cancer in the future. With that in mind, I have still decided to pursue a better lifestyle and do everything in my power to stay healthy. I have given up meat and dairy and have been eating as many raw vegetables as possible. I have also purchased an infrared sauna (haven’t tried it yet). I have an appointment with a naturopathic doctor to see what else I can do to get healthier. I have been feeling a lot better after my surgery and I’ve been getting dressed in the morning which makes me feel like a more normal person.

I have been reading a book called Radical Remission, which is all about people who have healed themselves from advanced or incurable cancers without or despite modern medicine. It is encouraging to read positive stories and realize that it is possible to get better after a terrible diagnosis. I’ve also been listening to Chris Wark’s videos and interviews. He is an inspiration.

I’m not supposed to drive yet, so I’ve been staying home most of the time. I haven’t minded it though. I’ve been really enjoying my quiet time during the day. I’ve started a few art projects that I’m excited about. I joined a Facebook group called Creating a Cozy Life – Hygge style. It is full of beautiful photos and ideas and everyone is so kind. I’m thinking of doing some small, crafty sewing projects. I have a number of patterns from Ann Wood that I haven’t tried yet and I want to work on some of them.

I have a follow up appointment with my doctor at the end of the month. She said that until then, all I have to do is have a good Christmas and that is what I am trying to do.

aechmea fasciata painting

Selection of Pink Watercolor Flowers

Thanks to my membership at the botanic garden (and multiple visits over the summer), I now have a huge collection of snapshots of beautiful, showy, and unusual (to me) flowers to paint. Today I’m taking a look back at some pink watercolor flowers that I painted this past August in my large moleskine sketchbook. I spent quite a bit of time painting these—on paper that isn’t even intended for watercolor. It’s almost a shame that I didn’t use proper watercolor paper, but I think that the fact that it was in my sketchbook helped me to relax and enjoy myself more than I would have otherwise.

aechmea fasciata painting
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Aechmea fasciata. Graphite and watercolor in large moleskine.
watercolor hibiscus
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Hibiscus in strong lighting. Graphite and watercolor in large moleskine.

winter sunset painting

Sunset After a Light Snow

winter sunset painting
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Sunset After a Light Snow. Graphite, watercolor and oil pastel, 4 x 6 inches.

This is in the mail on the way to New York City for the Twitter Art Exhibit to be held in March. Proceeds benefit Foster Pride’s HandMade program, which teaches girls in foster care how to crochet and then market their product line.

I based this painting from a snapshot I took after one of our recent minor snowstorms. The sunset was brilliant, with pinks and purples and the lake was mostly unfrozen. This piece is more whimsical than my normal work, and I had fun with it. I used graphite pencil, Neocolor I oil pastels and watercolor.

pink peony drawing

Pink Peony with Buds

pink peony drawing
©2016 Carolyn A Pappas, Pink Peony with Buds. Graphite and watercolor on 5 x 7 inch greeting card.

A pink peony for Valentine’s Day, drawn from my photo archives. I have really been enjoying the artwork of Inky Leaves on Instagram and I’m getting inspired to start making some more botanical themed artwork myself in the near future. I never used to care for the white backgrounds in traditional botanical painting (thinking they were too boring), but this aesthetic has grown on me and I’m going to try to leave my backgrounds white for the next couple of paintings.

Self Portrait with a Smile by Carolyn A Pappas

Self Portrait with a Smile

Self Portrait with a Smile by Carolyn A Pappas
©2015 Carolyn A Pappas, Self Portrait with a Smile. Graphite, 8.5 x 7.5 inches.

I’ve been dealing with chronic tooth pain after an accidental blow to the face this past January and I ended up getting a root canal done on Friday. At least in the short term, it has seemed to make my problem worse. This drawing was an attempt to get my mind off my tooth pain, which has pretty much overtaken me.

I was overdue for a self portrait, as it has been about four years since my last one. I have also never drawn myself smiling. (I am so thankful that my smile is still intact, even though I can’t bite into anything.) I also drew my glasses, which is another element of difficulty. This drawing is not perfect by any means, but I think I captured my likeness and my spirit. My three year old daughter took the reference photo and I was feeling very joyful at the time. When I was working on this drawing, my daughter walked into the room and said, “Mama, why are you drawing YOU?” and I couldn’t help but start laughing.

I also took the opportunity to update my About & Contact page.