This and That

The Last Chicken Sandwich and a Blue Chair

At the Afternoon Tea last week (was that a whole week ago!?) I drew a little sketch of the last chicken salad croissant on the plate.  Not only was the sandwich alone on the plate, it was alone on the page, so when I sat on Karen's front porch one evening to draw the blue chair, I put it on the same page spread.

Today is a little like that  -  a little of this and a little of that.  I don't have any classes today and I am puttering around, cleaning things up a little. When I come in from a class, I dump out my bags of books, palettes, sketchbooks, etc., and the stacks were beginning to overflow onto the back porch.  We spend most of our time in the summer on the porch (eating, reading, talking), so I thought today was a good time to put things in their proper places and sweep out the spider webs.

Wednesday night I was getting ready for Thursday morning's class, and I commented to my husband, " I have the best job in the whole world."  There I was washing vases, cutting and arranging flowers, squeezing out fresh paint.  I am doing exactly what I want to do!


Makes Me Smile!

Just Hangin' Out.

Are these the cutest things you've ever seen in your life?!

When the California grandkids were here, one day they sat out under the backyard canopy and painted little clothespin people.  Yesterday, as I went to grab some more clothespins, I walked past these guys.  I just couldn't resist using them.  They made me smile every time I walked past them on the line.


Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea at the Terrace Inn

What a fun afternoon!  There were nineteen of us, painting in our sketchbooks and enjoying high tea in the Victorian dining room.

This is a demonstration page I did to kick things off.  Everyone did beautiful  sketchbook journal paintings, and it was such fun to walk around and see the various choices of subject and interpretation.  Someone even did a a small painting of one of the very fancy crystal chandeliers!  There were paintings of teapots, tablescapes, sandwiches, petit fours, bud vases  .  .  .

No beach chair-and-jeans-out-in-the-sun-painting for us yesterday.  We were all ladies at a tea party  - painting up a storm.

Thank you to everyone who attended.  You made it so much fun!


Trees and Flowers

Bay View Demonstration - Trees and Flowers

This journal page spread is a couple of demonstrations done in my Watercolor Sketchbook Journal class last week   -  birch trees and bright flowers against a dark background.  I get a little colorful with my birch trees  -  gray is just not all that fun. I use the colors I would use to get gray and let them mix (a little) on the paper.

Yesterday was a fantastic day for clouds  -  huge, very white, and very dense.  I didn't paint them.  Today's class is meeting at a park along the shoreline of the bay, and I'm hoping we'll have some interesting clouds and colorful water.

A couple of frustrating things right now  -  my merchant VISA won't deposit!!! and my computer won't let me access any weather reports!!!  Where does this weird stuff come from?!

And Blogger won't let me use the font I want.


Education Garden

Education Garden/Arlington Garden

I have always called this garden Education Gardens  -  I even had a pamphlet about it with that name.  Now I see there is a sign near it that says something like Arlington Park and Gardens.  Whatever.

It is divided into several sections that are taken care of by different non profit groups.  Some of them are beautifully cared for, and some not at all.  There-in lies the education, huh?  See what happens when you don't take care of your garden?!

I am not pleased with the view point in this little painting.  My intent was to show the house way up at the top of the hill, but after squeezing the layers together, I more or less missed the point.  I do, however, like the painting - so, time well spent. I'm happy.

After a busy week of classes and getting ready for an art fair, I really feel like a free woman today, with no outside obligations.  Actually, the reason I have no outside obligations is because I have no vehichle! I don't have classes scheduled for today, so everything can be done by phone and email and maybe a walk downtown.

It's a beautiful, sunny day  -  a good day to take my sketchbook out in my own backyard.


Journal Class

Raindrops Keep Falling on my Painting

It didn't rain enough to stop us.  We kept painting.  

This was a contour (continuous line) drawing, and I was having trouble "connecting" with the line and talking at the same time.  That can be a problem when I'm teaching  -  trying to explain what I'm doing and why.  But it's a good example of "just keep moving  -  it's a SKETCHBOOK" - mistakes, raindrops, and all.

This is a great group, and they are painting up a storm.  We are hoping for sun this afternoon when we go down to the waterfront.  We could use some sparkles on the Bay to make it more fun to paint.  However, we'll take whatever we get  -  it's all about being in the moment and in the sketchbook!


Bird House

Cathy's Birdhouse
 I have painted this birdhouse several times and never get tired of it.  I like the angles and the neutral colors in the worn wood.

This was a demo last Friday for the two-day bookbinding/journal workshop we did at Cathy's home studio.  The weather was perfect  -  rain on the day we spent inside making the books and beautiful the next day when we took the books outside to paint all day. It was a fun and talented group  -  they made some beautiful books and painted some wonderful journal pages!

This afternoon I am off to a new Watercolor Sketchbook Journal Class  -  four consecutive afternoons.  We meet on the porch of one of the old buildings in Bay View, and one time when we were standing there in a circle introducing ourselves, a bat fell from the rafters right into the middle of the circle.  I always check for bats now.  I know some artists would have used him as a drawing subject  -  not me.


Gnarled Tree

Gnarled Old Tree Across the Street

After yesterday morning's class, I went over to paint with my friend Karen on her front porch. It was hot hot hot, and it was so pleasant on her porch. Many of you who have been in my summer classes know how beautiful Karen's garden is. So here I am painting this old gnarled tree across the street. It just called to me. It is all twisty turny and many shades of gray. I'll go back another day to paint some of the bright pots of flowers.

This week's classes met down by the river, near the spot where it dumps into the Bay. Sometimes I take all of this for granted. I mean, how many people actually live within walking distance to the place where a river dumps into a bay?! I need to remind myself now and then to pay attention. We all need to pay attention - where ever we live. There is beauty all around us if we look for it. I find that I look harder and with more appreciation when I have my sketchbook with me.

And this just happens to be the first entry in a new sketchbook.


In Karen's Garden

Spending an Evening Painting in the Garden

I realize we are about a month into the season, but I am still catching up on posting journal pages.

This page was done one evening sitting in the beautiful garden of my friend, Karen. We did some painting and a lot of talking. So nice!

Here we are now, five days into July. I have no classes today, so I think I will spend the day getting myself ready for the week. There are still plants unplanted, the house is pretty much a wreck, there is no food in the fridge, and it is raining. That's good! I'll clean up some projects, make a good grocery list (and shop!), and get things prepared for my two classes and a two-day bookbinding/journal workshop I'm doing this week with my friend, Cathy. She is preparing the bookmaking kits for the workshop and I am sitting here blogging. Time to get going.

I hope you take a minute to sketch something today. Two minutes. Really. You can do it!


Pretty Much Picasso Patunias

Purple and Lime-green Petunias

Whoa - I love these! Lime-green and purple. What a great color combination! I planted them in a hanging basket with light blue lobelia.

It's the 4th of July and I am still buying and kind of planting flowers. It is actually too hot to do anything today, but I am not complaining. I have complained about being cold for two years, so I am not going to complain now about being hot. It was a good excuse to do nothing, and we really enjoyed it. We sat around on the porch and read. Perfect.

This is the last page of this sketchbook. I have a couple of blank sketchbooks made up, so now I have to decide which one to use next. Life is just full of decisions, isn't it?


Bay View Library Again

The Bay View Library Door, 2010

This is a demo page from my journal class in Bay View last week. It was, as always, a great group of people, and they really got into the "journal thing". They didn't try to do masterpieces, they did journal pages, and did them beautifully. This week I did a drawing class there, and they were great too. I saw some real progress in four days, and they were such a friendly group - fun!

I am switching mental and emotional gears here. After having the California grandkids around for most of the month of June, it is very quiet. They left Wednesday morning. It helped to have to hurry off to my classes. It was a great visit!

July already! My busiest month for classes and workshops! I have no classes today, so I may run a few errands and find a good book to read on the porch. I may also finish the last page in my current sketchbook. Big deal stuff, huh? It's called relaxation.

Don't forget to carry your sketchbooks around with you!