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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Yellow Tulips

Yesterday, there were yellow tulips on all the tables at Cravings.  The yellow was sooo rich, that once again, I set aside another project, and drew the tulips instead.




I used the same color pencils and cold-press watercolor paper as before. 

Monday, April 30, 2018

Martin's..... Adventure: Inside Cover & Pg. 1

Continuing with sharing the artwork that I did for Martin's Fantastical Underwater Adventure for The Sketchbook Project, here are the inside cover and page 1.


Monday, April 23, 2018

Fresh Flowers

There are always fresh flowers on the tables at Cravings Thai Cuisine on Lake Rd. in Rocky River.   Now, if I'd been smart, I would have taken a picture of those that greeted me this morning, so that you could see them, too. But that thought never crossed my mind.

I'd planned on working on a stippling project that I'm doing for a friend, but one look at those flowers had me changing direction.  Fortunately, I had some supplies with me.... none of which I had ever used before.

The paper is an Arches watercolor block, 140 lb, 3.9" x 9.8", cold-pressed.  I always work with hot-pressed, so right off, I'm in unfamiliar territory.

Next up, was my new set of Caran d'Ache Museum Aquarelle watercolor pencils. Dreamy.
Actually, every type of pencil that Caran d'Ache makes is dreamy.

Due to time, I had to work quickly, so I decided to do a small outline in pencil (top right); then draw direct to paper with just the pencils (top left).  In the middle, is an outline in graphite, and finally, a black outline (bottom) with Micron pen - both of which, have been filled in watercolor pencils.


My water brush created the watercolor effect, though that might be hard for you to see.

My favorite is the bottom sketch, as the black ink helps make things pop a little bit.  However, next time, I'll use a thicker pen.  (Truly, a learning experience.)

While not great, it was good practice for me to try new supplies, as it took me out of my comfort zone.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Martin's Fantastical Underwater Adventure

For the past several months, I've been working on a sketchbook to submit to the Sketchbook Project.  I had participated in this global art project about 5 years ago, and thought that it'd be fun to do again.

While it was fun to do, my project blossomed into something much more than I had originally planned.  

I chose the theme 'underwater', initially thinking of cool underwater scenes filled with tropical fish. But, due to a lot of flooding going on in parts of the U.S., I realized that lands and homes were 'underwater'. Then, my husband reminded me that people often feel 'underwater' due to being in debt.  

So having three scenarios to consider, I combined them, rather than just picking one.  

Next, I had to tie them consider.  Well.... one thing led to another, and Martin's Fantastical Underwater Adventure was born.  

My book will be digitized, meaning that anyone will be able to go online and view it electronically.  But, I thought that in the meantime, I will share it with you - one spread at a time.

(The text is rather lame, as the artwork was really my focus. It was a great way to experiment with my many color pencils.)

Might as well start with the covers......



I just learned today, that the books will go on tour to the Historic Distillery District in Toronto, Canada (July 27th-July 29th), the Hyde Park Arts Center in Chicago, IL (August 3rd-August 5th) and the Ponce City Market in Atlanta, GA (Sept 21st- Sept 23rd.)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

French Horn Play

A young friend of mine plays the French horn, and her mom sent me a recent photo of her performing in a school concert... which in turn, triggered an artistic itch in me.

Now fortunately, I didn't set out to create a realistic rendering, 'cause if I had.... well, I'd be somewhat disappointed with my results.

However, my friend The Horn Player and her mom are fine with the image, and gave the OK for me to share it with you.


As always, I leave myself a lot of room for improvement.

I used Strathmore 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper with Derwent Inktense  pencils and a Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen on the horn.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Japanese Stab Binding

There's a new Book Club in town, and it's not the reading kind.  Rather, it's the making kind.

Headed by Margaret, owner of  Small Studio , I joined other like-minded people yesterday, all set and ready to measure, cut, stab and stitch a bunch of papers together into...... pretty, little books.

Oh.  Did your heart skip a beat upon reading the word 'stab'?  No worries.  The stab in this case is a type of book binding called Japanese stab binding.

(Books bound by the method of Japanese stab binding, also known as Traditional Chinese bookbinding, typically have soft covers, reserving hard covers for Very Important Books.  But hey! In current times, a VIB could be a treasured cookbook or photo album or.... in other words, what ever has relevant meaning to you.)

Margaret demonstrated the process of stabbing a needle awl through paper covers and several inside sheets of paper, and then a stitch pattern to bring it all together.

Below are a couple of my books and two different stitch patterns.  (A multitude of patterns can be found on the internet.)




Any kind of paper can be used, and for this class, plain copy paper with some inexpensive decorative papers were used.  (A book can be made as cheaply or costly as one's tastes. Once I improve, I want to use handmade papers to make a VIB without the hardcovers.)

Margaret plans on having a class once a month, but first she needs to complete the move of her shop from Westlake to North Olmsted.  I'm already anxious for the next meeting to see which style of book she'll choose for us to make, 'cause having made over 1,000 books, she's pretty adept at the craft - and well, she's makes pretty cool books.

Yesterday's event was so inspiring and motivating, that last night, I couldn't resist the urge to text Margaret to let her know how much I enjoyed myself!


Saturday, December 24, 2016

One-Line Drawing.... and Writing

I like One-Liners.

Well, let me expound upon that.

Yes, I like short, witty remarks; but for now, I'm referring to One-Line Drawings.... and Writing.

By the very act of drawing - or writing - in one continuous line and not being 'allowed' to lift the pen from paper until the drawing is complete, I have to let go of controlling how I think that something should look, and simply accept the end result.

Due to all the loops and back-tracking needed to complete a drawing, one-liners are not realistic renderings. Plus, there's no taking a break to survey the work and correcting a perspective that went awry.

So, when I found myself accepting a sketch outing with my friend Calvin, I committed to drawing only one-liners.  I also promised myself that I would work more quickly than usual, in hopes that my subconscious would come forward, and perhaps, allow my work to be more freeing.  (I can be painfully slow at most things, whether it's eating, drawing, knitting, etc.)

A venture such as this begged for breaking in my brand-new, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" hard-back, Strathmore journal with toned gray paper.  Coupled with a few pens, and I was ready to go.

We crossed town to the Cleveland Museum of Art and immediately set out for the Torso of Venus, which resides in the Roman section.  After a few drawings of her, we made our way to the 2nd floor..... and, that's when I felt a quickening to set pen to paper.

The attraction?  Auguste Rodin's, bronze sculpture: The Heroic Head of Pierre de Wissant, one of the Burghers of Calais, 1886.





Time was limited, so I had only one opportunity to draw his head.  On the left side is an example of one-line writing; more of a creative lettering style, rather than calligraphy.