One of Those Days

Sketchy Sketches in my Sketchbook
In my attempt to have my sketchbook really be a part of my life, I stood out in the 14 degree weather to sketch my poor sick truck. It only looks smashed up because I was cold - and cold really distracts me. I can take a lot of heat, but when I'm cold I can't concentrate. Anyway.

I woke up this morning and realized my hair was in panic mode, so I walked to my hair appointment. Yes, It was only 14 degrees - maybe 20 by that time, but I am a better woman for it. Better looking too.

And speaking of not concentrating, I realized after I finished tiling more than half of the end wall of the shower that I had done the "pattern" wrong!!!!!! The good news and the bad news - I was able to remove the tile. Should that happen - should I be able to do that?

I had left the battery charger on the truck all morning, and when I went out to start it, it would start, but wouldn't keep running. SO, my husband comes home, goes out there and it starts right up and runs fine. Don't you hate it when that happens!? He knew I would be - um - angry about this, so, sweet heart that he is, he says, "The truck started right up. You must have taken it past it's period of stalling and it's okay now."



Eight-Week Watercolor Classes
Beginning the first week in March. Please check out my class site for info. I still have room in the Thursday afternoon class.


O'Donnell Lane Again

A Small but Serious Painting of O'Donnell Lane, Glen Ellen, CA

A "serious" painting means it was done on watercolor paper and not in my sketchbook. I think I like my sketchbook version of it better.

I used Google Maps Pegman Streetview to do the sketch and also for some reference for this painting. One of my commenters on the sketchbook post said that she was making Pegman her new best friend. I'm in love with Pegman too - we have even gone to Paris together.

Yesterday we went to an open house for a friend that just finished a sculpture that will ship out this week. I love it when people celebrate accomplishments large and small. This was large! How often do we let achievements go by without notice? Sometimes we don't even recognize an achievement when we see one. We need all the celebrations we can get!


Spaghetti Night

Spaghetti Night at the Carey's
Every night would be spaghetti night (without the zucchini!!!) at the Carey's if my husband had anything to say about it. Well, he does have a little something to say about it, and he does eat it twice a week.

We've been talking in my classes this week about using our sketchbooks more. It's fun to use them to zero in on life and record the everyday things around us. Yes, I know, I'm always saying that. In my next session of classes we are going to be using our sketchbook/journals for experimenting, recording information, working out composition problems, and doing quick little watercolors, and trying to get rid of the perfectionism that keeps us from using them for fear of messing them up. I think it's going to fun.


O'Donnell Lane

Virtual Glen Ellen, CA

If you are familiar with Google Maps, you probably know about the little Pegman you can "drag" to the street for a Google Maps Street View. Fun!

Over at Virtual Paintout, a new location is given each month, and artists drag Pegman to the street and find something they want to paint. This month happens to be the San Francisco Bay Area and surrounding locations. I have never participated in this, but thought it would be fun to paint someplace in that area that I had visited . So I took Pegman to Glen Ellen, to O'Donnell Lane - a little lane we had walked down after breakfast one morning the last time we were there. I just did a quick watercolor in my journal, but I may do it as a "semi-serious" painting and submit it.

Using "Street View" is a challenge. It's not even as good as a photograph and because of the camera lens they use, the perspective is not good. I am always cautioning my students not to use other people's photographs because there is no invested emotion in them as there would be in your own. However - it's winter - we all need a little entertainment. See what Pegman can do for you.



Lime and a Tangelo in my Sketchbook

I absolutely love the smell of citrus. It is much more fun to paint it peeled or sliced ~ not only do you have that great smell, but the shapes are better than plain old round or oval. To keep the color "moving", I put a little orange in the lime, and then a little green in the shadow of the tangelo. The tangelos were fun to paint, but they tasted awful.

Did everyone have a nice Valentine's Day? We spent the day tearing out the old tub surround in the bathroom and putting up the new board and preparing to tile the walls. Crooked tub, crooked walls, crooked ceiling, crooked floor ~ what did we get ourselves into!? Wouldn't you think with all that crookedness something would cancel out something else and somewhere something would be straight? Guess not.


Color Demo

Quick demos - not even pretending to be finished paintings.

What I was trying to show here was how we can unify shapes in a painting by carrying colors around the composition. The primary colors on the left show how I put all three primaries in each shape to "pull" the shapes together. The example on the right, done pretty much in secondary colors, shows the same principle - there is pink in the oranges, and orange in the pink flowers. This keeps our eye traveling around the painting instead of zeroing in on one color and then another. Maybe we could call this "unity and flow".

I think a flat color is a flat shape. I am conscious of this in every painting I do. I'm not always conscious of anything else, but what the heck.



Flower Power in the Dead of Winter

Is it actually Spring in some parts of the country? We have a long way to go here. The other day in the grocery store I saw these bright pink tulips, and because we also have to feed our souls, I grabbed them up.

In class we did a little lesson on carrying a color throughout a painting. We painted these tulips in a still life with oranges, and worked at getting a little bit of orange into the pink tulips and a little pink into the oranges. Fun!

Are you sketching today? Putting a little bright color in your journal sketchbooks? I am going to go try out some new paper in a new journal (YES, another sketchbook). I'll see how it works with watercolor, pens, prismacolor pencils, etc.

Go create something!



An ink sketch done in my journal sketchbook.

Sketchbooks are such fun, and so liberating. In a serious painting I would never have put that tomato over the girl's head. I wanted to include the sign and that's where it fit. It's a sketchbook ~ we have permission to do anything any way we want.

On Wednesdays the neighborhood cafe serves homemade Gorgonzola tomato soup. Out of this world!

I think I am finished with snow paintings. Now I need some color. Of course, you wouldn't know it from this sketch.

By the way ~ don't you just love the word "Gorgonzola"!?



Another Local Snow Scene.

We have only had light snow for the last few days. Enough to keep the old snow white and clean.

This is a watercolor, 11 X 15, on Arches cold press paper. I started this painting as a demo for class, but I really botched the center evergreen. I had the area too wet - I went into the sky too soon with the tree color, and the spaces I had wanted to leave white for the snow on the branches ended up being greenish brown. Yuk. It made the whole demo a "do as I say, not as I do" kind of thing.

Just as a challenge I wanted to save the painting, so I scrubbed the snow on the tree to lighten it up a little, then I painted some other areas of the snow the same color. I think it worked out okay.

This week I will try not to botch the demo. But if I do, I will try to make lemonade out of the lemons. Yes, it is a still life - citrus fruit and tulips.