View From Judy's Yard

View Across the Cottage Lawns
I painted with friends yesterday and it was hard to zero in, there was so much to choose from.  The clouds were fabulous, the water was tropical, the cottages are charming, but there was something about this row of trees going off into the distance across the lawns of the cottages.  I can see this as a larger "serious" painting.

As I mentioned to Marj. in yesterday's comments  -  I am not transitioning well.  I just go from August classes to September classes, I don't have to get kids off to school, we don't take off for other parts of the country when the season changes.  So what's the big whoop?  It was a nice summer, the weather is still great, we're planning a mini get-away, we'll have a family get-together for labor day  .  .  .

Okay, thanks for listening.  I feel better now.


More Black-eyed Susans

Black Eyed Susans at the Workshop
 This was my demo for our warm-up painting for our one-day-watercolor-sketchbook-journal-end-of summer-workshop yesterday.  The weather went from cool to very nice to cold, all between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  The weather never stops us  -  good or bad  -  we can turn out the paintings!  The participants did some great little paintings.  I'm hoping they are fired up to carry their sketchbooks around all winter and sketch wherever they are.  They did some cute little two minute sketches around the house when it became to cold to stay outside.

I was feeling a little adrift, aimless, lost, at loose ends, bewildered, unbalanced . . . . after the workshop.  It was my absolute last class of the summer.  My summers are full of classes and workshops  -  often two classes a day.  My Fall classes start the 1st of September, so what's the big deal?  It's a much slower pace, and that's okay.  I just am not ready for summer to end.

I spent the morning painting with friends  -  that got me over my aimless drifting, and then I came home and cleaned a closet.  Wow  -  cleaned a closet  -  maybe I am still drifting.


Flowers in Harmonious Mug

Last Bouquet of the Season?

Well, not the last bouquet, but it's getting to be slim pickin's.

I still have a couple of workshops to go before my fall classes start the first of  September, but I'm feeling the change of the seasons in my soul.  Dramatic, huh.  

I've been cleaning out stacks of things that I have let pile up between classes during the summer. I'm digging through table linens, looking up recipes, even DUSTING.  I do this nesting thing every fall.  Doesn't everyone?

When I picked this bunch of flowers for the dinner table, Rudy, the cat, thought they were dinner.  He loves loves loves black eyed susans.    OOOPS  -  maybe they are toxic.  YES, they are!!!  But apparently he would have to eat 4% of his body weight.  Some of the symptoms are lethargy and wandering aimlessly.  This is a cat!  When he is not lethargic, he is wandering aimlessly.   Aren't we all.  Or is it just me?


Flower Box and Ferns

A Journal Page Demo
In this week's sketchbook journal workshop we have been talking a lot about painting very simply and quickly.  It is not about laboring over a masterpiece.  It is about getting the impression of "here and now" on the journal page.

I understand that it is difficult to take a chance on a page being less than perfect, or even less than good, because someone might look at it, and of course, we will look at it ourselves and feel as if we have failed if it isn't great (or good).

I think that I have  made a dicision somewhere along the line that has made it easier to "let go" and just get it on the page quickly and simply.  There are a lot of things in this world, and if I labor too long over each page, I'm just not going to be able to get to all those things.  If I just do snippets here and there, I'm going to be able to cover a lot more ground.

Decide what it is that made you stop to paint  -  and paint THAT.   Then move on!

This week's class is doing a great job of moving on, but we do talk a lot about simplicity -  just to make sure we don't get too hung up on each little thing.  Because there is another little thing waiting for us  .   .   .   and another .   .   .


Salt and Pepper Grinder

Take Your Sketchbook to Lunch

Thursday I painted with a summer group that I teach a few sessions for each year.  It was their last official meeting, and we had lunch on the porch after a very informative talk and  beautiful demonstration by one of their members.  She talked about cast shadows, and brought up a lot of interesting points and lots of questions.  It has my head swirling.  She was applying geometry to the placement of shadows, along with obsevation and common sense  - the observation I can do  -  the geometry and commom sense are something else.

Sticking to my "take you sketchbook to lunch" plan, I sketched the salt and pepper grinder on the table.  The salt shaker idea has worked out well for me  -  I'm a slow eater and I talk a lot, so if I were to sketch my lunch, I'd be there all day. Not that there is anything wrong with that  -  sitting with friends on a big porch overlooking a gorgeous lake, eating a delicious lunch! Nice.

The book on the left is my newest hand-bound sketchbook.  


Another Fabulous Summer Day!

Wheelbarrow in Bay View
Posing for us.

  I did this quick little sketchbook painting this morning with my watercolor class.  The paper is Zerkell Frankfort Cream.  Sounds yummy, doesn't it?  Good enough to eat.  It isn't a watercolor paper, but I really like the way it handled.  I was never really able to get dark darks with it, and thought about using some ink line, as I often do in my journals.  However there is something about the almost  faded, middle-value, simple look that I like, so I didn't use ink.

This is the last week of summer watercolor classes.  The summer has gone all too quickly!!!  I have a few things coming up, but the rush of summer is over. Kinda sad.


Another Beautiful Day

Painting in Karen's Garden Again

This is a quick little sketch of some things in Karen's garden.  My classes painted there last week, and the weather was perfect.  It is such a nice, relaxing place to be.  Just as an example of how relaxing and pleasant it is, the neighborhood mailperson eats her lunch in this chair.

The guys in the family planned a road trip to visit some car museums in Indiana, so I hitched a ride downstate with them to the Lansing, MI area where my brother and sister-in-law live.  I promised to sit in the back and keep my mouth shut.  I'm sure they didn't believe me, but they took me along anyway.  I DID NOT GO TO THE CAR MUSEUMS WITH THEM  -  not that there is anything wrong with car museums.  My sister-in-law and I bummed around some funky little galleries and art supply places in Lansing, and I found some nice decorative paper.  It wasn't easy, but we made it our goal for the day.  We had a great time, and she has salsa all over her purse to prove it!

This week is pretty calm  -  two classes, and then a painting day and bookbinding day, just for fun.  I have a lot of summer de-briefing and fall promotion to get going on.  So  -  if it doesn't rain, I am going to take my computer outside under the canopy and get some work done.  Oooops  -  rain!  Does that mean I don't have to work?




Who'd think filling a new palette could be so much fun?  I bought a new porcelain palette (as opposed to an OLD porcelain palette?!).  Because it is arranged like a color wheel, it only makes sense to fill it like a color wheel.  

My friend, Cathy, bought one also, and we decided to fill them together.  No, this is not the first palette I have ever owned, and hopefully not the last  (it is certainly the heaviest  -  does that count for something?), but everything is more fun when you do it with a friend.

Somewhere, on someones blog, I read about painting small squares of watercolor paper and putting them in your palette to see how the sequence of colors works in your color wheel palette.  I use a very limited range of colors, but Cathy had a lot of paint choices, which made the whole process entertaining  -  playing with all those colors!!!  It was great.

Middle granddaughter then made a chart for me with the names of the paint colors on the little squares, and then she squeezed the paint into the wells on the palette.  This one little project kept three of us entertained for a couple of hours.  Who could ask for more?

Now I am off to teach Tuesday morning watercolor in friend Karen's garden.  It is very overcast, but we're goin' for it.  We don't want to miss this chance  -  it is a beautiful place to paint.