Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lemon Dogs

Last week was machinery prep for harvest - waxing, cleaning, greasing, oil-changing, fixing, etc.  We started cutting wheat Saturday.  Actual drawing or painting exercises just can't happen these busy weeks and moments to sketch illustrated journal-style are rare and brief.  What gets on the page is wonky at best, but it's all about capturing the moment, so I'm good with these (both in my pocket-size sketchbook).

About 20 minutes snatched between finishing up for the night and heading home.

I'm the cook for our little harvest crew.  I stole a few minutes to sketch ingredients and then, while the meal was cooking, added bits of color.  I asked my sister if she could tell what this sketch is of and she identified the whisk & eggs, but then "... and a spoon of, um, a tiny dog?"  Hahaha!

It is raining today.  Frustrating the farmers, but it gives me a break to catch up on housework and sketching and maybe napping, though probably not in that order.

(PS - It's lemon zest.  No tiny dogs were harmed in the making of my lemon bars.)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I Can Sketch 65 (mph)

Intro:  Bought a Harley last year.  (back story here)  Trips planned.  Short-ish rides happen.  And, well... old butts need comfier seats and better suspension.  Traded for touring cycle.  Wider backrest (couch) for me.  Backrest and better seat for him.  Suspension is smooooth!

The past few months were too worrisome and busy to ride much.  On Sunday, my husband's first fatherless Father's Day, he said "Let's get on the Harley."  It was time for some two-wheel therapy.  

I've pondered sketching while riding, especially with the new comfier set up.  Too windy?  Too bumpy?  Would I feel secure?  Only one way to find out.  I stuffed a Moleskine Cahier and a pen in my jacket.

Cruising along in the open air behind my steady hubby is nice relaxing good for the soul.  The countryside rolls by and random thoughts float through my brain.  Fifty miles into the ride, out came the pen & sketchbook.  Wiggly lines, but not too bad.  The road got a little rough while drawing my driver's right arm.  (Okay, the suspension has it's limits.)  The lines went all kinds of wonky and then I laughed - hysterically.  With a grin, I put the pen away.  I will most certainly be cycle sketching again.

I shared this adventure with Sketchbook Skool classmates.  They think I'm brave or trusting or crazy - maybe all three.  That makes me laugh too.  In real life I'm kind boring - introverted and all about safety (hence the helmet).

Monday, June 16, 2014

Moving On - or - Sketching Tommy

Life is slowly, slowly resuming some sense of normalcy.  I recall when my Dad passed away five years ago, it was weeks before happy people no longer annoyed me.  The days got better, but we had to experience a year of events without him to adjust to the new us.  We'll get there.

As mentioned previously, Sketchbook Skool mostly fell by the wayside after the first week's lesson.  Fellow participants joined the SBS Facebook group during class and continued on together after the lessons were complete.  I sometimes hung out in the periphery - enjoying the camaraderie and briefly joining in during moments of improvement.

Last week I stepped back into Skool and homework assignments.  Six inspiring artists instructed us and the last week was presented by Tommy Kane.  Afterwards, he wrote a moving letter about what teaching us had meant to him and how we should love our own artwork.  He noticed when posting work, we were overly critical of our own abilities.  I've noticed it too and am guilty.  We must stop.  He instructed us to practice every day, keep going no matter what and, of course, love our work!  My interpretation is mistakes are learning experiences, but also what you did well, even if it's one line, causes growth and helps with the next page.  Always start the next page.

Part of healing is returning to my sketchbook.  After reading that letter and noticing many classmates sketching Tommy Kane, I decided to do so as well.  One pose in this comical video grabbed me.  I draw my feet often, so there's that.  It also makes me want to actually try sketching something with my long toes just for giggles.

Roz Stendahl (5th SBS teacher) recommends warming up with gesture sketches, so I did.  On the third page I used more of her advice to line up landmarks - eye to elbow, chin to knee, etc.  I tend to do this without really thinking.  Focusing more closely was a good thing.

Next, moving from the little Moleskine to a bigger multimedia Strathmore book for the "real" page.  Jane LaFazio (4th SBS teacher) begins her pages with pencil, then pen.  I followed her lead and was pleasantly surprised how the initial sketches helped - less erasing.  Last was watercolor and journaling.  The quote (author unknown) fits both the comical page and my tumultuous life.  I'm kinda' happy with it.

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