Memorial Garden View

Memorial Garden One More Time,
but probably not the last time.

This is not a huge garden, but the views are amazing, inside and out. I'm always telling my students not to try to paint the whole world in one painting, and if it's in a sketchbook IT"S A SKETCH. Looks like I got a little carried away here. Maybe I will go back today and do a view in another direction. There are several views I want to do from the inside looking out, but I need a nice warm day to sit in the shade.

Right now, as we speak, our house is surrounded by a lot of big excavation equipment. "Hey, guys, it's not us. You do know that, right?" It wouldn't be the first time someone has had the wrong address and started to do something drastic to our property. Guess I'll go check this out. Whatever it is, it is more distraction than I need today. Remember how the big, hairy, drunk guy's little red car kept me running to the window? You can imagine what lots of excavation equipment could do to my day.


Educational Gardens

Finally ~ a nice evening for painting.
I spent the evening painting with a friend who had never painted before. That was fun, and she really enjoyed it. She is even carrying her sketchbook around with her everywhere she goes.

My class schedule is light this week. July is always very busy, and I hate to see it wind down. I like the structure of it, but I certainly couldn't keep it up all year. Now I have time to notice what a terrible mess the house is. Every surface is covered with watercolor paper, sketchbooks, palettes, books . . . .

I am afraid of slowing down and diminishing the creative impulses, but maybe my next creative thing should be to figure out how to make the piano look like it really does belong in the kitchen. Is that even possible?!


Contour Drawing

Contour Ink Drawing of the Back of the Bay View Post Office

We were able to have classes outside for a couple of days (after a COLD weekend) and then the rain hit again. I am packin' my bags and heading for . . . somewhere. Looking through my sketchbooks, I see that last summer wasn't much better, so if this is becoming a trend, I'm outa here. Idle threats. I'm staying.

I am teaching a multi-media drawing class this week, and we are doing ink, charcoal, and pencil. The above sketch is a contour drawing (my favorite kind of drawing) of the back of the Bay View Post Office. Contour drawing is so forgiving - what are a few more wiggly lines, and the perspective never works out anyway. I like to use contour to get the information about a subject before I get serious with it.

Contour drawing, by the way, is starting at a point on the paper and drawing the entire object without lifting the pen. If you haven't tried it ~ do! It's really fun.


Memorial Gardens Again

Another journal page done at Memorial Gardens.
I always say I could paint here everyday, and I'm coming close. My classes always want to paint here, and then they want to return.

This has been a hectic week. I have had fewer classes, so what makes it hectic? I dunno ~ it just is. You know how some weeks are like that. It has all been good. It has been filled with things like packaging and delivering cards, framing and delivering paintings, getting things ready for classes, doing the classes, helping a friend hang window treatments (if you know me personally, you will wonder why she ever asked ME to help with window treatments!) getting things together for a yard sale (and if you know me personally you'll wonder how THAT is ever going to happen), and the week is only half over.

I am going to try something different for tomorrow's morning class. I will have them do some flower studies - three paintings - zoom in, zoom out, and leaf detail. I'll let you know how it goes. In the afternoon I have a private lesson with a man and his grandchildren. Sounds like fun.

Hope you're all having a good week!


Terrace and Maple

Huddling on the Corner in Bay View.

A very cold day to be outside painting. We actually huddled in a tight group to keep warm. It's a good thing we are using limited painting supplies ~ it is easier to huddle that way. Everyone seemed to have fun and they really turned out some great watercolor sketches. What a group ~ they didn't even complain when we did the octagon house on the hill. The perspective of a house on a hill is pretty different anyway, and then to have it an octagon! They did a great job.

It was just tooo cold for the morning class to go out. We stayed in and worked on composition. They have been such good sports about the weather. Maybe next week we will be able to paint at MemorialGardens. We keep trying! I think maybe summer starts tomorrow.


Bay View Library

A Demo Sketch from a June Watercolor Journal Class

Another class starts tomorrow and rain is predicted again. NO! I can't stand it!

We are having a nice sunny weekend, so I guess I shouldn't complain. It's a lazy, relaxing weekend after a very busy, productive week. Today I want to work in the garden a little, go to the grocery, finish the book I'm reading, get things together for next week's classes . . . . Maybe I shouldn't have been quite so lazy and relaxed yesterday.


Contour Flowers

Contour Drawing Demo for Class

This is a quick contour sketch for my drawing class. I did it to show how easily and quickly we can capture the basic shape and gesture of an object. It is far from perfect, but this is how this bunch of flowers "felt" to me.

Just had a phone conversation with a friend about perfectionism. It sure can stand in our way! It can actually keep us from doing what we want to do. Why do we let it do that!?

I am a little overwhelmed this morning. I don't have to be anywhere. I don't know what to do with that. I have a lot to do ~ things that really need to be done ~ you know, as in making-a-living-type-of-things. I am still in my jammies and really need to move forward into the day.

Hope you all have a great 4th of July weekend. Whatever you do, or don't do, I hope you'll carry your sketchbook with you. Oh yeah, and open it and make some marks in it. Have fun!


Karen's Arbor

Karen's Garden on a warm, beautiful evening.

"On a warm beautiful evening". Did ya catch that?

If you live in Northern Michigan you know I didn't do this sketch this week. It has been cold and wet all week ~ how can it do that for so long?!

It has been a good week anyway. My afternoon group is the most enthusiastic drawing class I have ever had. They want to try it all! I am sorry for my morning watercolor classes that they can't be outside, but they seem to be having fun anyway and are turning out some good work.

I have been running in and out, doing some classes in the studio and some away, and dumping art supplies, books, etc. all over the house. Tonight we are having guests for dinner and I am not even sure I can find the dining room table! I've got to come up with a creative way to make all this look OK, and I have just about a half hour from the end of my last class until their arrival. You probably wonder why I am sitting here writing this. Me too.


Memorial Garden Again

Allium at Memorial Garden, Bay View
I could paint at Memorial Garden everyday. There is something to paint in all directions, and the garden changes daily.

And speaking of painting at the garden everyday ~ that is where we planned to be yesterday and today, but it is COLD and rainy. You know, Mother Nature, this is NOT what summer is all about! Oh well, it is still fun to get people together to paint, inside or out.

For yesterday's afternoon class in Bay View, I wore a thermal shirt, a turtle neck sweater and a very warm fleece jacket. I was comfortable in that ~ and we met indoors.

Okay, enough complaining about the weather. I have some great class participants this summer and I'm having FUN! AND I get paid for that!