Finding a Breeze

A Great Place to Paint on a Hot Day
It's been pretty warm this summer in northern Michigan, but there is always a shady spot and almost always a breeze coming off the Bay.

We sat on the porch and painted, drank jasmine tea and ate green tea mochi ice cream.  

Today I'm tearing up my garden  -  if you can even call it a garden.  Everything is soooo out of control.  It looks like one of those old gardens that was at one time very pretty, and then because of neglect, it just became overgrown and tangled  -  that's exactly what happened.  So, I'm finding my way down to bare dirt, and we'll just see what happens when spring comes.  If things come up again, I'll have to decide whether to let them grow or pull them out.  If nothing comes up, I'll have to decide whether to replant or plant grass.  

The tiger lilies were devoured by red lily bugs (REPULSIVE), and the day lilies and hostas were eaten by the deer. Maybe next year there won't be anything for the predators -  that'll show 'em.


A Productive Weekend

A Fun and Productive Weekend
Spiffing Up My Studio Classroom
With the help of our granddaughters, we finished installing a new ceiling, painted the walls, and painted and installed most of the trim  -  in a very short time.  Unlike us.  Of course "a very short time" is relative, isn't it? Let's say less than two month's time, or less than a year. Seriously, we were able to get a lot done with the help of our teenage paint crew. We ate a lot of pizza and listened to their music  -  not that bad!

Then I spray painted the chandelier and covered the candle things with decorative paper. The paper does NOT touch the bulbs.


More Journal Pages

Journal Pages
A couple more journal pages from March.  

It was very sunny part of the day today, and that is really a welcome sight now.  I saw a few crocus leaves today along the edge of a big pile of snow in the back yard.

I'm putting lesson plans together for summer  Bay View Watercolor Sketch Book classes.

Crocus leaves and summer lesson plans!  The winter doldrums are beginning to lift!


Journal Pages

A Couple of Days in March
  Finally we are beginning to get some sunshine, the huge piles of snow are melting, and we can even see some grass.  It's brown, but it's grass!

I've been trying to spend a little more time with my journal.  In northern Michigan it will still be awhile before we can get out and sketch and paint. My winter journal pages usually end up being about food.  Some people ski in the winter  -  I eat.

We have a big house project going, and it is very very dirty.  You know what dry wall dust is like  -  this is 120 year old plaster dust!!!  We are tearing down and replacing an old ceiling.  The dust is EVERYWHERE.  Every single thing in the house is going to have to be washed, dusted and/or vacuumed.  It's time for a good decluttering  -  then there won't be so much to clean.  


Still Life Value Study

Small Value Study and Painting
I love doing quick little "thumbnail sketches", and especially like doing them on toned paper with chalk and charcoal as a value study.

A thumbnail sketch is a very small, quick sketch  -  2 inches, 2 minutes. The purpose is to get your composition figured out before you even touch your watercolor paper.  I start out drawing just the shapes  -  absolutely no detail.  When I get the composition I like, I start working on the values (lights and darks, contrasts).

In class we played around with some thumbnail sketches, transferred the best ones to the brown paper, and worked out the values with the chalk as the lightest value, the paper as the medium, and the charcoal as the darkest.  We then transferred our original small sketch to watercolor paper and did little paintings using the value sketch as a guide for our lights and darks.  

It was a fun project and made us think about the process of planning a painting.  It's hard for people to drop the detail and just do shapes in the step.  I like to think of it as brain storming.  Kind of like a few people sitting around a table having dinner and someone gets a bright idea and sketches it out on a napkin. No detail there.  It's just the very first step toward a finished project.

Looks as if our days of painting out on location are over for the year. We have had high winds with some snow and sleet for a couple of days.  It's time to snuggle in and work on compositions, still lifes, and maybe try something new and different.  I'll have to give that some thought.


Fond Memories of Our Workshop

September 2018, Mackinac Island Book Binding and Watercolor Journaling
Sketchbooks Made by the Workshop Participants
We took a little break from painting and arranged some of the sketchbooks on the boardwalk along the water's edge to admire them and take pictures.  Aren't they beautiful?!  We had a total of twenty-six colorful, beautifully made books.  Such creative people!  

My workshop partner, Cathy Cohen, teaches the bookbinding and I teach the watercolor journaling.  We had such a fun bunch of people attending and they all took to each other like they were old friends.  I miss them.

Here we are, arranging the books for their photo op.

Painting in Our New Books
Chunky book at the top  -  the 3 cent stamp on the left was a gift from one of the students.  She brought one to everyone to put in our journals.  It seemed appropriate to put it on the facing page of my little light house sketch.  From where we sat to sketch the light house, we could also see the Bridge.

We all sketched our keys  -  real live keys  -  not a card.

Mackinac Island is Magical
One evening a few of us walked down toward the west a bit to see the sunset.  As we turned to go back, this is what Main Street looked like.

Don't let the magical glow of the evening lights fool you. At 10pm they play taps at the fort, and then things really get ramped up out in the street.  It's noisy and crazy until  about 2am.  But it's Mackinac Island crazy, so that's okay.  It lulls you to sleep :)


Book Binding

My New Journal 
and a Page From Our Book Binding Workshop
Last week we did a two day book binding workshop.  It is so much fun to pick out the fabric and paper for the cover.  I felt that the design of the fabric (on the left side of the book cover) needed to be broken up just a bit, so I cut out two shapes from the paper (on the right side of the book cover) and glued them on.  

The shiny reflection on the book is the acetate cover we use to protect them.  They take a beating  -  paint splashes, grass stains, pencil smudges . . .

One of the pages we did on day-two was "what I wore today", which is also the homework assignment for my Wednesday and Thursday classes this week.

The books made in the class were just beautiful, and the creative participants were such fun to spend two days with.

Today I'm watching dark and dramatic clouds over the Bay. The sun in and out of the clouds (mostly in) is doing some interesting things to the colors of the hills across the Bay and the surface of the water  -  a good day for some color swatches in my journal.


Museum buildings' steps

The Steps in the Garden 
Behind the Woman's Council
This is one of my favorite places to paint in Bay View.  The light is always changing and the garden is doing something different every time I go there.  Move three feet one way or the other and the view and perspective of the quirky buildings change.  Zoom in,  zoom out . . .      The garden is right behind the Woman's council building with a good view of the museum buildings just a few feet away.

I did this watercolor sketch at least a month ago, and now the sun and the garden have really changed.  It's very dark and windy today.  I'm all about comfort  -  I won't be going out painting.

Do you have any creative plans for the weekend?


At the Waterfront

A couple of evenings ago I went down to the waterfront to walk.  I went east for about a half mile, and when I turned around to go back, this sky to the west just took my breath away.  Look at the color of the water!

Last night there was this juvenile cormorant sitting on a rock right near the walkway.  Some kids came down and sat on the rocks right near it.  It didn't seem to mind that we were right there talking about it.  That lone duck kept hanging around too.  

What is it about cormorants?  They're a little creepy. Very creepy. But thrilling to see up close and personal. 


Another Cottage

Early Fall Garden
The flowers in front of this cottage are hanging in there  -  still colorful.

The little door on the left has always fascinated me.  It looks like a regular paneled door, but on a much smaller scale. I think it must go to the basement.

Another warm week here.  Nice! Last week was beautiful, and I went out sketching a few times.  Now I need to buckle down a bit and get things ready for classes, but I'm sure I can get in a few more outdoor days.

How has your September weather been?  Have you been out sketching?


More Rooftops

Painting in the Evening
It's getting late in the season to be painting in the evening.  This is really not what was going on with the light.  In fact, not much at all was going on with the light. Because of all the trees, the sun was a little too low to reach this location.

On the way home we saw the most gorgeous sunset! We were hoping to see the green flash, but it didn't happen.  I have only seen it a couple of times in my life.  

Another beautiful day here today.  I am heading down to the waterfront with my sketchbook.  My plan is to take my sketchbook out every day this week.  Day two.



Rooftops on Stephen's Lane
It finally warmed up to about sixty degrees Friday, and there was some sun, so we headed out with our sketchbooks.  With the sun so low in the sky now, it kept going behind the trees, and we had to keep moving to stay in the warmth of it.

It is pretty quiet around here now, so we aren't as likely to get run over if we sit in the middle of the road to sketch in the sun. 

Just checking the weather forecast and my calendar for next week. My goal is to get out every day and paint.  The weather looks perfect and the calendar is pretty empty  -  perfect combination.


Julio In and Out of the Studio

My Pal in the Studio
Julio loves paper, pencils, pens, and paint brushes! I have to shut him out of the studio when I have a class because he tries to help everyone paint.  He's not that helpful.

Today I'm really feeling the effects of summer's end.  No more outdoor classes, no more open doors and windows, no more evening meals on the porch.  Well, there may be a few, and there will be more days of sketchbook journaling out and about. Oh yeah,  there's always that stuff to do in the yard.  I think people who take good care of their yards call it "putting the garden to bed".  I call it "cutting down all the overgrown stuff that has taken over".  

Really, all I have to do is switch gears to autumn mode  -  there are plenty of fun projects to get going on.  I think instead of cutting down all that stuff in the yard, I'll go out to the farm market and get some fall produce.  

I need to sketch something  -  I like paper, pencils, pens, and paint brushes too. 

Are you sketching?!


Soup Season

My Favorite Spot in the House?
When I did this watercolor sketch, the stove was new and it was soup season.  It's the beginning of soup season again, so this seemed appropriate to post.  

I have neglected this blog for at least two years.  Short breaks sometimes have a way of turning into a long stretch of neglect.   When I got back to my blog again, I was going to spiff it up and do all the "fancy" things other bloggers do  -   Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, links to everything out there, moving parts .  .  .  .  That's not going to happen.  I'm just moving on here, as is.

It's the day after Labor Day, and it feels like someone flipped the "change seasons" button. 
I have some summer sketchbook pages I'll be posting  -  maybe that will stretch summer out a little.


Colorful little paintings

Little thumbnail sketches
 finished off with a couple of swipes of watercolor.
They are continuous line drawings done with a Uni-ball Vision pen with a fine tip.  They are each two inches square.  

Thumbnails are not only a warm-up, but a way of planning out a composition.  They should take about two minutes (without color) and contain no detail.  The first step is to just put in shapes to see how they fit, and if you're happy with the fit, put in some very simple medium and dark values.  Do one after another until you are happy with the composition.

Today I was looking over some of the objects that are on the classroom tables from this week's lessons.  I occurred to me, as I was mentally matching up some of the things, that thumbnail sketches are the equivalent of stream of consciousness writing.  I start out drawing the objects as they are, then just move along to the way they could be, until I get to the way I think they should be.

It's snowing here and the wind chill advisory for tonight is for 25 to 40 BELOW!!!!   NOOOOOO!!!! That has to be a misprint.  Please be a misprint?


Studio Still Life

Our Assignment "Where I Paint"
This is a continuous line drawing in ink with watercolor

My classes will be working on still lifes over the winter.  I think it is pretty easy to get bored with still life, so I'm trying to make it interesting by mixing things up a little.  We'll be doing contour/continuous line, value patterns,  negative shapes, crosshatching, ink, pencil,  watercolor, various view points .   .   .   . 

It is snowing like crazy right now  -  great weather to stay inside and sketch and paint.  Are you more productive in the winter, or less productive?  I always think I am going to get so much done, but I get a little lazy thinking I have all this "down time".  I get a lot lazy.


View down Ready Street

View Down Ready Street and a Burger
A couple of weeks ago we took a little trip up to the Marquette area.  Marquette is a mining town on Lake Superior.  Our son and his family are in the process of moving there.  He is already living there with our middle granddaughter, and the rest of his family will follow at the end of this school year.

It seems like a long way away -  like driving to another country. Well, actually, if we didn't make a left turn, we would be in Canada real soon. It is about an hour to the Mackinac Bridge, then five miles across that to the Upper Peninsula, then miles and miles through woods and little towns, and then 25 miles through TREES with no sign of a human being and no cell service, and then   -  wham  -  there's a    big city ( by northern Michigan standards anyway).  The terrain is different, the rocks are different, the buildings are different . . .   Everything is about mining  -  even the iron colored dust in the air.  I sound like I have never been out of town, don't I?

This little journal sketch is the view out of their dining room window.  It's hilly there, and the area is full of spires and towers, and fortunately for Middle Granddaughter, it has a "Big Boy" restaurant.

We painted snow covered pine trees today in my class.  We are trying to embrace the idea of snow.    It is snowing as I write this, and there is a spotlight of sun on the buildings across the Bay.  The sky is dark, and the bare trees look very black.  I could sit all day and watch the light and colors change on the Bay,  but I'd better not.  I really need to get going on my Thanksgiving dinner list, although it does not change year to year.  Some things you just don't mess with.

Our homework assignment for our journals this coming week is to paint/sketch a dish  -  maybe something you only get out at Thanksgiving.


Looking North

The View Out the Front Window

When I did this little watercolor sketch in my journal a few days ago, the Bay was actually this blue  -  a very Prussian blue.  Today the view is softened by snow.  I don't know if "softened" is the right word.  "Softened" has kind of a positive connotation, and this is not feeling too positive to me.

Oh well.  It is cozy and warm in here, I'm having my second cup of coffee, I have a sketch I'm working on, and I AM going to enjoy watching the snow fall.  Right now out the front window, it looks just like this little painting with a piece of tracing paper or translucent vellum over it. Pretty.

Are you sketching?


Day Trip Page

A Page from my Journal
The California kids are here, and we took a trip up beautiful highway 119 to Sturgeon Bay.  The mosquitoes beat us to it.  We actually ran, screaming, for the car.  Well, some of us did.   It was fun anyway  -  just being together!

I'm just getting used to the idea of summer.  It was winter for soooo long, and then suddenly the kids are out of school.  It's a little disorienting.

Okay  -  I'm going to go play with my sketchbook now.  I have a couple of new pens and I want to try them out.

Are you sketching?


Sketching on the porch

Wonky Little Chair
After I had drawn this, I noticed how wrong the angle of the middle spindle is.  I could have made a little patch and sketched it in correctly, but, hey, that's not what sketch-booking is all about for me.  Actually, it's about ANYTHING you want, but my purpose is to keep the pen and brushes moving!  Keep in mind what your purpose is  -  is it to get very correct information down and have a beautiful page, or just to get a rough idea that can be cleaned up later if you're using the sketch for a painting reference, or maybe to just loosely record a moment in your day.

Students always ask me if it's okay to rip out a page or cover it up.  Anything is okay.  I've had mistakes that have driven me crazy, so I'd fix them in some way.  

Another beautiful day in Northern Michigan!  Where ever you are, are you sketching?


Petunias, marigolds, etc

Okay, I'm done hibernating. 
I've had my spring greenhouse fix, and I'm ready to plant and paint  -  not necessarily in that order.

The sun is shining, the birds are singing (squawking), and we've even had a hummingbird.  We've mowed the lawn, and hauled junk out to the curb for the spring pick-up.

This little watercolor sketch was done using some cross hatching with a Gelly-roll pen.  I watched a Tommy Kane demo on cross hatching, and thought it looked fun  - I hadn't done it in years.  I don't think flowers are really a good subject for that technique, but it was fun, and I'll do it again.

As far as the greenhouse fix  -  I'm sure I'm not really "fixed".  There's something about the heat, the smell, the colors .  .  .

How was your winter?  Are you painting and sketching?


Not Quite Snowed In
We've had a couple of days without snow, and things are looking a little dirty.  It isn't any where near melting  -  19 degrees today.   The city trucks are out today cutting back the snow banks, widening the streets, and hauling away snow.

Last week we worked on some snow scenes in my watercolor class.  This week we are talking about pigments, and what they do according to their consistencies  - some are transparent, some granular, and some staining.  Then we talked about how those properties work when used in a triad.  A triad is a group of three.  In this case a combination of the three primaries  -  some version of red, yellow, and blue. 

I'm taking an online watercolor lettering class from Val Webb.  Fun!  I'm also taking a calligraphy class locally.  Actually, VERY locally, it meets in my studio.  Yeah, calligraphy.  Calligraphy never interested me  -  I always felt it was too pointy, too scratchy, and too structured.   Maybe I was wrong.  I just went along to the organizational meeting to support a creative group of women that wanted to get a  calligraphy class going.  I really got sucked in  -  in a good way.  The instructor,  Millie, is so giving and so creative (there's that word again), that not only did I sign up, I said, "Hey -  you can use my space for your class!"  We have homework.  Oh dear.  If I do something great in either (or both?) classes, I'll post it.  If I don't, I won't.


Snow Covered Pine

Snowy Tree Demo
Because snow is what we see here in Northern Michigan (and pretty much all we see), my Thursday students wanted a snowy tree demo. They did a beautiful job with their trees!

It's been snowing here since the middle of November.  We may as well embrace it.  A couple of students requested a snow scene demo for next week.  Good idea  - we have a long time to do still life paintings.

I've lived in Michigan all my life, but the concept of snow still fascinates me.  Don't you think it's weird that this pure white frozen stuff falls out of the sky and we have to shovel it??!!

Stay warm!


More Succulents

Sketchbook Page
This is a very quick contour drawing loosely painted with watercolor.  I did this after my class left on Thursday.

For me, contour (continuous line) drawing is very much like connect-the-dots  -  connect-the-shapes.  I really don't know what's going to happen until the end.  I'm thinking "shapes", not "objects".  Some of those shapes might be negative spaces, not an object at all.

I'm not thinking about composition either.  I'm just getting down the information that's there.  I can put it to good use later. I can move things around for a better composition (although I I am pretty happy with this), and shape up that clay pot on the right.

I can't believe it is January 11th already.  I have waited so long to begin a fresh start, that it just isn't fresh anymore.  I'm not good at fresh starts anyway  -  I do better just plodding along.  I enjoy plodding along, so I'm doing okay.


Loose and Juicy

In class this week we were trying to see how simple we could keep it and still show some separation of shapes  -  such as the leaves on the plant on the left.  I had intended to work in some detail as I went along, but I really liked what was happening with the looseness, and decided to leave it alone.

I knew the composition was weak, but my intent was to demonstrate some drop-in color and then do some negative painting, and I wasn't thinking much about where I was putting things.  The plant in that dead-center blue and white cup was going to have some negative painting to show the pointy leaves, but I just liked all the bleeding colors there and decided to move on and not do anything else to it. That's what is so much fun about watercolor  -  so often it will do something that is much better than I would have done.

I like some of the things going on in this little painting.  I wonder if I worked out a good composition and gave it another try, if I would still get some of these results.  I am not good at re-doing, but we'll see.   


Middle Granddaughter

Let it Snow
A snowy night at Grandma and Grandpa's, lots of art supplies, and a cozy corner to sit in and create.  It would have been even more fun if school had been called off the next day, but surprisingly, it wasn't.

We've been seeing lots of snowfall, but very few snow plows.  It snowed two or three more inches this morning just during my two-hour class. 

If you're somewhere in the north, I hope you're staying warm.  I hope you have a cozy corner with some art supplies!



Simple Still Life

I'm really not a fan of watercolor underpainting.  But just for the fun of it, in class this morning, we painted a light wash of the primaries on our papers, and then painted a simple still life over it.  It's just kind of fun and challenging to figure out what to paint over and around to make it work with the underpainting.  I wish I had taken pictures of the paintings the class did  -  they were great.

If you plan out your composition and paint the underpainting accordingly, you have a better chance of leaving some whites.   We just painted our wash of primaries, and then drew the still life, working with whatever wash we had. 

It isn't the underpainting's fault that the yellow pitcher is a little wonky.


A Little Bookbinding

This is a portfolio/folder that I made yesterday to hold small pieces of watercolor paper.  I had seen a similar one online, but I didn't have any directions, so there was a lot of measuring, cutting, folding, gluing, and fitting.  Trial and error stuff.

On the left is the front cover,  top right is the inside showing the folder, and bottom right shows it with a stack of watercolor paper in it.  The paper is a full sheet torn into sixteen pieces  -  five and a half by seven and a half.

I was so completely absorbed in this, I was actually surprised this morning at what a mess the house is  -  half finished laundry, dirty dishes in the sink, recyclables on the kitchen counter  .  .  .    Actually I'm sugar coating it. But most surprising of all,  no Christmas shopping had been done! 

I like the idea of "loose-leaf" sketchbooks, and I'm trying to come up with a couple of simple designs to teach next spring in a new bookbinding workshop we are planning.  This design may not be on the agenda.

Now on to Christmas shopping. 


Pears . . .

This is another go at yesterday's composition.
I "painted" the objects with clear water, and then started dropping in the local color  (the natural color of a thing in ordinary daylight, uninfluenced by the proximity of other colors)  of each piece of fruit, and letting them bleed into each other a little.  I used a triad again (a combination of the three primary colors  -  red, yellow, and blue).

Today I used prussian blue, quinacridone red, and quinacridone gold.  It's essential  that you  pick out a triad  that will give you a good color mix for the subject.  I had first planned to use quinacridone burnt scarlet for my red, but it wouldn't have given me a good orange, and the persimmons are a pretty important part of this composition.  Using quin. red instead of quin. scarlet gave me a good persimmon orange, and still grayed down well for the other fruit

Ooops  -  I didn't put a shadow under the bottom persimmon.


Pears and Persimmons

 Still Painting Pears and Persimmons  -  and a Lime
This is a small watercolor  (4 3/4 X  7 3/4).  I did the sketch viewing the fruit down the table from a standing position, drawing it as I saw it and not tweaking the composition.  The red pear in the middle was just too much of a RED PEAR IN THE MIDDLE.  Screaming for attention.  I put a little more red on the tan pear on the left, and brightened up the persimmons.  My original composition didn't have a persimmon in the lower left,  but it really needed to be there.

I used ultramarine blue, quinacridone red, and hansa yellow.  I did end up using a little manganese blue in the mix for some of the shadows. 

I'm going to try this same composition a little  (a lot) juicier, letting some of the colors and shapes bleed a bit.  This one is pretty stiff.  I might try a different triad too  -  a different combination of the three primaries.

There was an old Italian couple next to me in the produce department buying persimmons  -  I mean a HUGE bag of persimmons!  I had to ask, "What are you going to do with those?"  They looked at me and said, "Eat them."  Okay, that makes sense, but boy, are they missing out by not painting them!


Day 30

After the past few days of lots of cooking and eating, it seemed appropriate to post this collage.

We have pretty much cleaned up the turkey and all the trimmings, and it's quiet here tonight  -  no kids, grandkids, or out of town relatives.  In fact the whole street is dark and quiet.  I think it's time to watch a silly movie.  Maybe it's time to eat again  -  just a little something?  Help  -  I can't stop!


Day 29

Cathy's Zinnias and Cosmos
This is a demonstration in my sketchbook, done last summer in one of our bookbinding classes. 

This is day 29 of blogging every day in November.   It has been a busy day, and I'm getting a little blurry eyed, so I think posting this little sketch is about it for now.  More eating, dominoes, even a little shopping today, and family games tonight.  Fun!

I hope everyone is having a good weekend.  Are you still eating turkey?



Pumpkin Pie
We are cooking, eating, playing dominoes, eating, talking  .  .  .
Happy Thanksgiving!


Persimmons and Mint Tea

From my Sketchbook
I have posted this before, but it's day 27,  Thanksgiving Eve .   .   . 

I've been baking pies today, getting out the tablecloths, the guest bedding, ETC.  Are you traveling?  Getting ready for guests?  Having a quiet day?  whatever you're doing  -  relax, enjoy the day, and maybe get in a quick sketch.


Travel Palette

Contour Drawing
This is a contour drawing (continuous line) of one of my little travel palettes, brush, and water container.  As you can see, I was struggling a bit with the water container. I was pretty pleased that, when doing the palette, I ended up with the line where it needed to be. I have to get into my right brain to do that, and sometimes I begin to let in a little fear (okay, maybe "fear is an exaggeration, but maybe not) that it won't connect in the right places, and then I begin to be distracted by that insecurity and start to slip out of the right brain mode, and then that really goofs up the drawing and .  .  . 

Day 26 of blogging-every-day-in-November.



Looking Down the Street
This is what it has been looking like around here for the past couple of days.  This storm going across the country isn't hitting us as hard as in other areas..  We are not snowed in, and I made it to the grocery store today.  When I saw the weather forecast, I was getting a little worried about getting our turkey!  All set. 

I am not a multitasker, and planning and buying food for the days leading up to and just beyond an event (Thanksgiving) is multitasking as far as I'm concerned.  I have no idea what we'll eat Tuesday and Wednesday and the weekend will take me by surprise.  I am hyper-focused  on Thanksgiving.  So now that I've said that, it had better be good, huh. 


Orange Geranium

Poor Straggly Thing
My bright orange geranium is pretty wimpy looking.  I'll try to baby it through the winter and see how it does in the spring.  I love the color, and have never seen another one exactly like it. 

It has hovered around 21 degrees all weekend.  We have snow, which should make the ski resorts very happy.  Skiing is important here for our local economy.

Now I'm going to go warm up some leftover homemade chicken noodle soup, we'll pick out a movie, and call it a day.  It's been a nice one. How about your day?  I hope it was good!



A Page in my Sketchbook
This is a page in a 9 X 12 sketchbook.  The drawings are done with a 6B drawing pencil.   The houses are value and composition sketches for future paintings, and the chair is just because I love drawing chairs.

I t has been soooo cold here today  -  about 21 degrees with strong winds.   We went out this morning to run errands, but after a couple of stops, decided to just go home.  The wind was bitter cold and it was getting slippery. 

What is the weather like where you are?  Hope you're staying warm.


Workshop Lunches

Some of my Lunches from Summer Workshops
In my journal workshops I usually have the participants paint their brown bag lunches before we eat.  I'm always on the look-out for pretty paper plates to add some color and pattern to my workshop lunches.  That way I can have any old unattractive lunch and just put a couple of things on a pretty plate and still have a colorful little watercolor sketch. Also there are no rules against painting  the lunch of someone else in the class if it's prettier than yours.  The only rule is, you can't then claim it as yours and eat it.

Because we are hungry and in a hurry,  we really don't care how it turns out.  Those are usually the best sketches.


Colored Pencils

Colored Pencils for my Birthday
I posted this old black and white picture very early on in my blog.  Yesterday, with my paper-making friends, we were talking about our art supplies, and how much we love them, and I thought about this photo. That set of pencils was my prized possession.  I loved those pencils.  They ranked right up there with my bike and doll house.

Look at those bangs!


Our Creative Endeavor

 Paper Making
We made paper today from dryer lint.  It was not a pretty job.  It was slimy, chunky, stringy, hairy (pet and human).  Have you ever seen the Bassomatic skit with Dan Akroyd from Saturday night live back in the mid-seventies?

 I think the paper will turn out much lighter after it has dried  -  which I think might take days.

We had a great time! And I think the most important thing we learned  -  start buying much lighter clothes so we'll have better lint.