On The Back Porch

On The Back Porch
I am going to have to live with this for a few days to see if it is finished. I have been playing with it too long, and I am having trouble being objective. I posted the sketch awhile ago, and have been trying to get a lot of other things accomplished in the meantime.

This is a painting of the geraniums that I brought in when the first freeze of the Fall threatened. I sat out there on the porch this afternoon with a cup of coffee in the sunshine - first time this year. The storm windows are still closed and I didn't open the doors, but the sun felt wonderful. We will probably still get some snow, but everyday is a little sunnier.

The painting is a watercolor, about 16 X 22, on 300 lb. Arches paper.



I wanted to post this sketch because . . . well, because I have yet to finish a painting this week. Still working on last week's painting. But that's okay. I've been busy and it isn't all about the finished product anyway - it's the journey.

It has been a busy week. I have taught three classes, one all-day private lesson, shipped out some promo things, have worked on setting up the next session of classes and have committed to some summer workshops and I need to narrow down those details for publicity etc. I had to digitally send a picture of a painting for a post card for a solo gallery show I will be doing this summer. I'm not sure how to do that, and I was a little worried about how it looked at the other end of cyber space, but the graphics designer for the gallery emailed and asked for the dimensions and title of the painting. She didn't ask for the dimensions and title of my crummy, fuzzy, huge-pixeled painting, so I guess it was okay. I spent some time painting with a couple of friends, and was a spur of the moment babysitter one day. . . . I made a pass through the second hand shops, but I have found my bargain of the year - a fabulous lamp for TEN BUCKS. Maybe I should have been working on that painting instead of looking for a bargain.

Oh, this sketch of wooden spools - it is done with number 6 and 9 drawing pencils and white Prismacolor pencil on Aquabee Bogus Rough sketch paper. I had my drawing class doing this subject this week, and they really hung in there (for two hours) and did a beautiful job! After they left, I worked on it a bit, but I just couldn't do it for two hours. That paper is fun. It is a different experience to think of the paper as the middle value - still working on that concept. As rough as the paper looks, it takes pencil or ink surprisingly well.


Backporch Sketch

I AM WORKING ON IT. I had hoped to have a new painting to post today, but I am still working on it. In the meantime I will post the sketch I am using as reference.
For some reason the painting is going slowly. Yes, that's right, it's the painting's fault.
I just can't seem to get as gutsy (spell checker says "okay" to gutsy!) as I need to with the values - lights and darks, contrasts. The door frames need to be pretty dark because of the light behind them, and the shadows on the floor need to be very dark.
Tomorrow I'll get gutsy.


Drawing Class. This afternoon my drawing class did contour drawings of bookcases and all the STUFF in them. They all did a beautiful job, and I wish I had their drawings to post here. This is one that I did. It is on Bogus Rough Sketch Paper.
It looks and feels very rough, but a fine Pitt Pen feels pretty good on it - not scratchy and it doesn't feather. I had it spiral bound with some very smooth, creamy drawing paper.
The class ended a few minutes early, they were all pretty tired after two hours of contour drawing. I figure if my drawing class doesn't go home exhausted, I haven't done my job. I'm pretty tired too.


This painting is watercolor on clayboard. I have done this scene previously as a sketch and as a small study. This isn't very large either - 8 X 10 on cradled textured clayboard. I took a picture of it at this angle so it would show the side of the "cradle". It is just a piece of flat "masonite" or hard-board with a textured coating, and is "boxed in" on the back. The advantage, to me, is that when the painting is finished, it's finished, ready to go. It doesn't need a mat, glass, or frame. AND it's fun to paint on.


I am posing here in black and white with my colored pencils - I was probably about five years old. They were wonderful - the nice, rich colored, waxy kind. I wouldn't use crayons, in fact I actually felt sorry for the kids that didn't know the pleasure of owning a big set of beautiful pencils. I have never been a colored pencil artist, but those "sticks" of wonderful colors are nice to have in my life. You can still buy these (and I do) in sets or individually.
My bike, my doll house, and my colored pencils were the outstanding possessions of my childhood. I don't care for bike riding anymore (we live up a hill!), my doll house is in the attic, but my colored pencils are still with me! I just bought a couple sets of Pitt Brush Pens - very colorful - and like the pencils, they are just nice to look at whether I am using them or not. Of course, using them is what it's all about.
Look at those bangs!


Just finished this watercolor. It is an 11 X 15 of another Mackinac Island Street. Can you tell I am thinking summer? Other paintings of Mackinac Island are here and here. The thought of going to Mackinac Island right now is chilling - literally. You wouldn't catch me driving a snow mobile across the straits on the ice. Well, I don't own a snowmobile, but. . .
Today I am starting an 8 X 10 watercolor on clayboard. It is a larger version of a scene I posted previously.


And Speaking of Color . . .
(Which I was in the previous post)

This is another sketchbook page with some drawings of the little Altoids Chewing Gum Tin paint palette that I made. I just fastened in some empty half-pans and filled them with tube paints. Don't ask me why it has to be this small - just 'cause. This isn't original, I saw it someplace on the web, and now I am seeing all kinds of small containers being used. The half-pans aren't that easy to find - I found these at Daniel Smith, but in a larger city they might be available at art supply stores.

Okay. I need to post something. I want the whole world to know I have been working. Yes, I want the whole world to know, but I will settle for the few people that visit here daily.
This is my first sketch in my new Moleskine (mole-a-SKEEN-a) sketchbook. I am still trying to find the best way to get color on the pages. They are pretty slick and watercolor beads up. Colored pencil and watercolor pencil work pretty well, but . . .