Little Cube Salt and Pepper Shakers

Lunch at the Twisted Olive
This is the journal page from yesterday's lunch. My little palette is so handy.

Tomorrow I will go to the grocery for a couple of things I want to make sure I have before the stores close at 6:00.  For some reason, knowing that the grocery stores close at 6:00 on Christmas Eve makes me a little nervous  -  more than a little nervous.  What if I have forgotten something???!!!  I'm not even the one feeding everyone.  Calm down. 

Here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, and a nice weekend just the way you like it  -  peaceful and cozy or bustling and crazy.  Have a good one!


Blue and White Table Arrangement

The Table Arrangement for our Pretend Christmas Eve
Because of various commitments, we do a family Christmas Eve (and then get together again on Christmas day) a couple of days before Christmas - Christmas Eve Eve.  This year we are doing it Christmas Eve Eve Eve.   That's tonight.

About a month ago the local granddaughters  ( six and nine years old) saw a picture in a magazine using blue and white china vases for a center piece table arrangement  -  so here is their version.  They came over last night and set it up.

The California  kids and grandkids will be spending Christmas at their cabin in the mountains with plenty of snow.  If they can't be here, it is nice to think of them all Christmas-y in the mountains.

It is beginning to feel festive here.  Friend Karen and I went out to lunch today and took our sketchbooks.  After lunch I said how festive that was.  She said, "It must be you  -  there was nothing festive in there."  So - wow - there it is  -  I have the Christmas Spirit! Fun!

Take your sketchbooks to lunch!


Lunch After Class

Another "Take Your Sketchbook to Lunch" Journal Page
After this morning's class we went to lunch at the City Park Grill.  This is a contour drawing and watercolor of the salt shaker, my biscuit, and butter.  I had a roasted vegetable sandwich with goat cheese. Yum.

This is the last week of classes until after the New Year. I like the structure of a class schedule, even though I only have two classes a week in the winter.  It's not like I don't have anything to do  -  a little Christmas shopping and baking wouldn't hurt.

Sketching, painting, baking, wrapping, listening to Christmas music. Nice!


Family Weekend

Going from One Extreme to the Other
A couple of salt "shakers" from the weekend.   In my quest to sketch the salt shakers or pepper grinders everywhere I go, this is my journal entry from Sunday.

We had a fabulous brunch at the hotel.  I mean fabulous - appetizers, prime rib, cheese cake, and everything imaginable in between.  It was fun! Then after a fantastic afternoon with more family, we headed out into the blizzard.  Because of the weather, the trip that would have normally taken us three and a half to four hours, took six. 

Our kids have a great family vacation vehicle and we stuffed it with seven people, gifts, dishes to pass, overnight bags, and everyone had a pillow, blanket, and at least one personal electronic devise  -  some as large as a laptop (which may not seem so large under other circumstances).  With cell phone calls and texting, we were able to tell our friends and family what it was like out there in the cold, slippery dark.  It is nice to have someone rooting for you.

In these days leading up to Christmas, I hope you'll carry your sketchbooks around and sketch a few memories!


Persimmons and Tea

Hachiya Persimmons and Mint Tea
The angle of these persimmons doesn't really show their elongated shape.  Apparently, there are two commercially available types of persimmons  -  the kind of round, flat ones, and these that are wider at the top and narrower at the bottom. The color is fantastic.  That is what I bought them for  -  the color.  This shape is edible when it is very soft.  I guess. I've never eaten this kind.

In class tomorrow we are going to play around with these colors.  Using different triads (variations of the three primaries) we will mix the fruit and the stem color from the same three colors.

I LOVE the Cotswold Cottage Mint tea container.  My brother and sister-in-law gave it to me because of the colors.  They didn't know if I like mint tea (I do!), but they knew I would like the container. I can't hide it away in the cupboard  -  it sets out on the kitchen counter.

If you ever get to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan, spend some time in and around the Cotswold Cottage.  Bring home a container of tea to paint.


Onions and Vinegar

Yellow Onions in Ridgways Dish and White Balsamic Vinegar
This is done on Arches Cover Cream.
Couldn't seem to loosen up on this drawing, but I like the way it turned out anyway.  The painting was loose enough  -  I just swooped through with a big brush, using the same technique on the onions that I used on yesterday's plant -  painting them as one shape. I threw in a little red and yellow and softened it out a little lighter in places, and then went back with some shadow color.

I'm listening to Christmas songs and it's snowing.  Sooner or later I am going to have to bake a few Christmas cookies and shop! Maybe this weekend we will do our tree.  Maybe.  Don't want to rush into anything.


There's That Plant Again

A Quick Little Demo for Class
I painted the leaves as one shape (not each leaf) and then went back in, when it was dry, and added some darks and detail.  I kept the detail simple  -  just enough to show that there is some pattern on the leaves.

Snowy, cold, windy here.  No, I won't say that every day all winter  -  just until I get used to it.  Actually, I never get used to it.  I need to embrace it! Get some snow shoes.  Drink more hot chocolate.  Buy some more candles.  Make more stew.  Bake more bread.  Do you notice how everything after the snow shoes is an indoor activity?  I don't think that's embracing winter  -  I think it's hiding out.  Hibernating. 

I have decided for the month of December I will sketch/paint dinner ingredients, bottles, jars, and labels.  Stay tuned.