April 30, 2006

Having a problem with the scanner, could shoot a picture of my sketch but don't have the energy. Last night and today have been difficult, Gram went through another bout of dementia. They are so hard when she gets angry or fearful in them. She wanted to call the police because "she could not abide with the goings on in the house." there were no "goings on" there wasn't even very sound sleeping going on. The later part of her unsettled state came on after I went to work. Hopefully, she will sleep tonight and wake up okay. Some times the dementia is almost pleasant, when she visits and talks to folks she hasn't seen in years or who have passed away. Her blindness and deafness leave her so isolated from the rest of the world and the activities that she used to enjoy. Most of the time anymore, she doesn't want to make decisions but when she is having a "Day" I see all of the strength that I remember her having when I was a child. I feel guilty when I get frustrated with her, I know she doesn't choose to be like this and what she thinks she hears and sees seems so real to her, I am sure she can't figure out what my problem is that I don't see/hear it. Anyway, I did draw, when I can focus on a drawing, it helps ease the tensions. Tomorrow will be a new day.

April 29, 2006

It occurred to me today, that popcorn is the only food, that I can think of, where the instructions tell you to listen to know when it is done. Now that is a food that involves ALL of your senses!Here is my personal nod to comfort food.

April 28, 2006

This is my wind chime that hangs off a tree in the back yard. It has a medium tone and is pleasurable company on a summer evening. It has seen it's years, about 17 of them, has had some surgeries and some amputations but to my eyes it is lovely just the same. What I really wanted to show you were all of the different lichens I found growing on the top of it when I went to hang the bird feeder. There are pictures on my photo blog.

April 27, 2006

Wow! This is really hard to see, I was afraid of that because I was trying to paint a white flower on to white paper and hoping the background would make it stand out enough to see it. Guess I will have to go back through some of the others in the groups paintings and see how some of you have done it.

The catmint reminds me of my cat that I have had for 12 years, she has been missing now for a couple of months and I suspect the worst. When I work in the yard around the catmint she always wanted to roll in it. It always held up to it pretty well. It blooms in spring and if cut back will give another show later on. As to the Dutch Iris, well, you can get a better view of it on my photo blog.

In my sketch book I have written on the backs of the pages what I have learned or if it is the first time I have tried a technique. It is amazing to see how many things I have labeled as 1st... Yes, I am learning.

April 26, 2006

This was my view all afternoon. I have been working on replacing the front lawn but there was so much rain after the initial rototilling that weedy grass is coming up all over the place! God Bless the man/woman (she was probably behind the idea) that invented gardening forks! They are my #1 tool in the garden (since I don't have neighbors the will come and do it for me like Laura does :>).

By the way, the red at the top of the picture is the bill of my ball cap. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get the perspective on this better so that it doesn't have to be explained, I would appreciate hearing it.

April 25, 2006

I spent the major part of the day walking out at the Marsh with camera in hand. It was still pretty cloudy when I got out there but cleared as the day wore on. The accompanying tune was sung by the Black Birds and the Meadow Larks. I kept thinking as I would catch quick fleeting glimpses of things scurrying off into the deeper grasses, "Who's land is this anyway?", we are so sure that we own it but I suspect the ownership belongs to the scurrying feet that are constantly in touch with it. At any rate, I was glad I could share it.
For anyone who is checking, and for myself particularly; I did do a drawing yesterday, tried a new technique, learned a lot, but certainly do not want the world to see it! As is true with most of the things in my life, I learn more from the things that don't turn out "mistakes", than I do from successes. I will try to draw something decent and post it tonight.

April 23, 2006

This committment to myself to draw something every day leads to drawings like this. This is a fairy that presides over one of my plants. She once was very proper and straight on her stick, however, that was prior to one of the Grandchildren deciding that she would look much better at a tilt like she is getting ready to fly. As for the "plant" underneath her, well I have said before, my biggest stumbling block to decent drawings is when I am in too much of a hurry. This is a case in point. Or maybe she really did fly and landed on top of a box of Chinese food! We shall leave it to the imagination to figure out.

April 22, 2006

This takes care of not only today's drawing but this weeks EDM challenge. I found that drawing in reverse is not real easy. If I was doing it over again, I would pick a larger subject but I wanted something small and simple, and part of the challenge was for the subject to be something that we have previously drawn. I love the look of this type of drawing and I probably wouldn't have tried it for a very long time if it hadn't been proposed as a challenge.

Yesterday was a tough day, at work were are going through a buy out. I have worked for the same company for 15 years, it was a small indepently owned operation. There were some bad things with that, like trying to get promoted, if you weren't liked, you just got passed up, vacation time was very limited and we had no sick time. The advantages to it were, being a garden manager (the company was a hardware store) I had autonomy, I could buy what I wanted to buy, make my nursery look the way I wanted my nursery to look, it was my baby. I worked hard to get into the position that I had. In November we were bought out by The Big Orange Box. There are again, some advantages to this, my vacation time went from 2 weeks a year maximum to 4 weeks per year with 6 days sick/personal time, but I will lose my autonomy, everything is consistent in all the stores, as a matter of fact, from what I am hearing, the Corp. Office in Atlanta does most of the plant buying and the vendors put up most of the product. The manager of the dept. is a number runner, what is selling what needs to be stocked (inside), blah, blah, blah. I am in a funk over this, I put a lot of years in getting my certification to know plants, and sell plants, not to run numbers. Next week starts the liquidation process, so off I go.

Any way, I had a really hard time focusing yesterday, drawing helped as did my walk out in the pasture on this working farm, that is also open to the public. It is a very nice place to spend a few hours. I will be posting the photo of this barn on my photo blog (link at top) if you want to take a look at that.

April 20, 2006

Just a quick painting job, I was a little pressed to find something to draw/paint today, mood wasn't quite there, seems to always happen that way on "Monday's" which today is for my. Always seems to get better once I have been at work for a little while and had time to mentally adjust.

April 19, 2006

This morning was beautiful, I sat out in the back yard with my Grandmother and painted one of the Rock Rose flowers. When I scanned this it was upside down in the scanner and I realized that my shasows fell better that way ( even though I painted the shadows that I saw), but with the leaf and bud in there, it looked wrong turned upside down. As the day moved on, I did the first mowing of the spring in the back yard. The past 2 months of rain pushed everything to grow!

These are my drawings from yesterday. The one with the collection of wild flowers was to meet the EDM challenge for the week, I could not fully identify the toadstools on line and my books are packed up. The animal in the corner on that one probably won't be in a book, it is a very young calf that my dogs startled awake. In the drawing it looks like a calfderonky (calf, deer and donkey mix.) Gotta practice!
The drawing of the elk I did after I got home, I wanted to go from memory and not draw off of a photograph. These guys were barely discernible even through the binoculars so I blame any mistakes on their unwillingness to come closer. I realize that the look hokey. Gotta practice, animals are hard. Last of all there is my dog, Pan, he was sleeping on my lap. I was just going to do a simple pen and ink drawing but decided to add gouache to it, that is why his "cap is drawn like something placed on his head... So as I said yesterday, some days are good and some days are not so good and ya just get up and draw some more!

April 18, 2006

Can't seem to get images to up load to blogger so there will be no viewings tonight. There are good days and bad days, today's art work had a bad day, so you have all been spared until tomorrow when Blogger recovers.

April 17, 2006

This is the most difficult thing I have attempted to draw. It has more detail and lines that really need to match up. I feel good about it, it isn't perfect but I did pretty well. Drawing every day is helping me immensely! Elizabeth @ woolgathering made a comment a while back to the effect that when she draws everyday there is less fear of making a mistake because it is just one more drawing and there is always tomorrows drawing. I am finding that this is very true, I feel more freedom to experiment knowing that it doesn't have to be really good, to meet the requirement that I have set for myself, it just needs to be.

I am starting to do rough sketches out in the field. Trying to capture the gesture of some of the birds and wildlife I find around me. It is hard, they don't hold still! But I will keep showing up, pen/pencil in hand.

One of the things that I am finding out is that if I don't fully connect (lack of a better word) with my subject, if I am in too tight of a time frame or just can't settle my mind, my drawings are not very good, I have to slow and focus. Sometimes that is hard, but when I can do it I come away feeling like I have truly shown up and been involved with life. The same limitations, frustrations and successes are true with photography, if I am not fully in the moment, I have problems with my photographs and when I can fully focus, I get lost in the pleasure of what I am donig.

April 16, 2006

Quick sketch done in colored pencils, which takes care of this weeks EDM challenge. Impression of my back yard, Happy Easter to All!

April 15, 2006

Nothing really exciting today, just trying out some simple gesture work. One of the things I did notice is how many people put their hands in their pockets. These folks, with the exception of the guy at the top with the dog, didn't have theirs that way but during some slow moments I did some real quick jots in a small pocket note pad I had at work. I was amazed at what a useful invention the pocket is, after all what would one do with that dangling appendage? The woman in the lower right corner had on a hooded sweatshirt, it had started to rain and instead of using her hood to cover her head she used her package from the store. The guy walking the dog now needs to have rhinoplasty because my pen seems to have given him an awful growth below his nose. But all in all, I put some attention into how people stand and in trying to quickly catch those fleeting movements. I was pleased.

April 14, 2006

My work for today is a rendition of a rose from my back yard. Again, I am trying to see more of the subtle tones in the shadows and move away from just pink and green...

We are back into some what cloudy skies, more rain due in on Sunday and then, finally, clear days in the forecast!

April 13, 2006

My sketch for today was the pear I was getting ready to eat for lunch. Funny thing about drawing the food I am getting ready to eat, after I have drawn it I feel like I have too personal of a relationship with it to destroy it! I did much better in being able to see the other colors in the skin than just tan. I could see hints of both blue and red under the gold. My eye is getting better. This also qualifies for EDM challenge #24 A drawing of a piece of fruit.

It was so nice out today I had a really hard time confining myself to work. I just wanted to draw and shoot pictures. I love it!

EDM challenge #52

These are my two dogs and the black one way out on the far hill is a friends that I dog set for. My dogs Britget (golden one) and Pan (black one) are wonderful. I take them on walks frequently out at the marsh by my house. This day it was not cold but was raining.

EDM challenge #29

Something architectural

EDM challenge #17 A musical instrument

I can't draw my piano yet, so this is the music I love.

EDM challenge #42 Something that I love.

This is my Grandmother, the small light one is on a good day, the one in her bed is a bad day (it looks more like her than the good day one).

EDM challenge #56 Self portrait.

I really don't look this serious, I was concentrating on what I was drawing!

April 12, 2006

This is a calendula that has come up wild. I planted some yellow and some orange large flowered hybrid ones about 7 or 8 years ago. They have all reverted back to the original strain which is solid orange with a much smaller flower than the hybrids, but they create bright spots of color in the garden where ever they pop up.

April 11, 2006

This is a truly funky rendition of a quite interesting knob on a very old gate at the cemetery. I happen to like funky, less than perfect "wonky", if you please, drawings. On that note, I leave you with this, my out of round/ out of square gate knob.

This is Gomer Schoor, est. 1900. It has been restored to it's original beautiful state, ( at least a better state than it was in when the children were running in and out of it). My lines are funky, its lines are beautiful. I did get the bell tower (minus the bell) drawn nicely. I prefer using ink to pencil simply becaue the lines show so much better however, there is no erasing so you get to see all of my gory mistakes. I wish I had kept the red to a minimum, I feel like I over did it on the one wall, again I was trying to correct a mistake.

It is funky weather again, I kept needing to turn my wipers on so I could see the school house.

I love drawing, it makes time bend and flow in a diffrent way.
When I am completely focused on what I am drawing, nothing else enters my mind, it is such a really nice way to relax.

These are my drawings from last night,in the one on the top the flower in the lower right hand corner was bugging me, I felt like it looked like stitches on the edge, so I went back in and "fixed" it, that is the one on the bottom. The only problem with the"fix" is I think I over did it (this is what typically happens when I don't leave well enough alone).

This is all done in ink except for the WC wash for the background. I wish I could really do justice to the Lamium, it is such a beautiful plant with frosted silvery mint green leaves with a dark green edge. It is a wonderful shade plant for ground cover especially in a dark shade where the leaves really pop. Okay, enough shop talk, I sound like I am at work regaling the customer with the merits of my beloved Lamium.

More rain today, I believe I am going through sun withdrawals...I am almost afraid we are going to skip over spring and go straight into summer (90 - 110 degree temps. A-A-U-G-H!), I love spring and feel jipped when it ends up being short.

Well, I need to go find some poor hapless victim for today's drawing. I love some of the people sketches some of you illustration bloggers have been doing lately. Lin made the comment that you need to practice quick sketching to get quick, I think she is right, I need to practice it. It would be much more fun with some of you guys out to practice with though.

April 10, 2006

Can't seem to get Blogger to eat my drawing...guess I will have to wait until tomorrow morning to upload.

It is okay I am tired tonight, end of day, end of week. Don't have much to write about tonight so will try again tomorrow.

April 09, 2006

Todays sketch is a blind contour of a Butternut Squash. That was all I could manage, but I drew!
I am officially obsessed! I bought two 6 packs of violas (pansies) , assorted colors at work today, simply for painting. It took me almost an hour to settle on which packs had the best variety of colors in them. Mind you, this is not color choices for planting, this is color choices for painting! The good side of all of this is, by the time I get done rendering these color combinations, I will have paint mixing down!

April 08, 2006

I am done with my sketch page from my trip to the marsh. I wanted to add the two birds to fill the page better and because I had stopped to fully watch and enjoy them both. Of course, as fate would have it, I had finished everything and liked it all very well and was adding THE LEG to strider when my ink suddenly decided to FLOW. Now, I have used this pen dozens of times and the problem is always not getting enough ink to flow, but nooo not this time. So Strider's leg is a little jacked up...I was already going in to attempt to fix the problem of it being too wide. Live and learn, maybe it still being a little wet from the orange ink made the black flow more than usual.

I am trying to improve my sketching skills and style because we are planning a trip out to
Colorado in July. I want to be able to do some on the spot sketches along with filling in with the details from my pictures.

April 07, 2006

Here are the pictures that I used to draw my sketches, with the exception of Mr. Rabbit who was gone before I could even look at my camera. Any suggestions for improvement would be appreciated.

This is a simple recap of my day out at the marsh . Temps were warm, the scent of alfalfa a soft note on the air. The blackbirds were playing the melody for the song of life. Perfect space in time to truly evaluate the simple joys of life. Made me aware that my frustration from the day before was due in part to being blind the the common gifts. By the way, I did draw yesterday, I worked Mr. Rabbit out.

April 06, 2006

Small break between the rains...

When I got up this morning the sky was blue and the sun was shining, great day to photograph, so I took a trip out to the marsh with my camera.

These (with the exception of my bird house) are from this trip.

This first one is of the white pelicans that nest here in the spring and summer. Looking at them on land, is like looking at ballet dancers during intermission at a performance, their grace is stilled for the moment.

This Cistus is from my back yard also. The clouds gathering on the horizon are a forewarning of more rain to come.

I probably won't have time for sketching today but I have taken lots of pictures to work off of in the next few days.

April 05, 2006

I am ready for spring! Although, the hills are greened up it has been too wet for most of the flowers to really get going with their blooming. These are picture from my yard last spring.

I love the color combinations of the pansies.

Drawn with ink painted with watercolors.

April 04, 2006

This is the corner of my back yard as seen out the kitchen window. It was actually very rainy and grey here today, but in my mind the sun was a shinnin'. I will just leave out the details that I have to look over to see this view. I used to have a beautiful backyard but care taking for my Gram takes up a lot of the time I used to spend gardening. I think the biggest factor tho, is that the kids are all grown and moved out now and I don't need to go out side to get some peace and quiet...I still am out there just not nearly as much.

These are some of the images from my sketch book that I have done over the past year including this year's New Years resolution sketch. I discovered this morning that if I plan to post images that I draw in my sketch book, I need to draw them in ink, pencil is so light my camera has a hard time picking up the lines.

The first one is of some mushrooms that are growing on a stave from an old wine barrel. The second is of some of the birds out at the marsh, I am embarrassed to say, I don't know the names of (not egrets, they are smaller).