White Geranium

White Geranium Demonstration
This is a journal page done in last week's Watercolor Sketchbook Journal class.  It was to done to show how to make the white blossoms stand out by painting a simple background color.  The petals were also kept simple with just a few shadows.

Yesterday's quirky weather changed my plans for the afternoon drawing class.  We had to find a warm place (it wasn't!) and do indoor-type drawing. The weather prediction was for 71 degrees  -  and it was that warm  in nearby areas.  It was 53 degrees here all day!!!  We should be getting used to the low fifties, but come on  -  don't promise us seventies and then roll in the fog off the Bay that drops the temp by twenty degrees.  Who's responsible for that anyway?     The morning watercolor class stuck it out and did some great paintings.  They had no choice  -  there was nowhere to go  -  we were committed.

Here in the USA we have the Fourth of July weekend coming up!  What are your plans?   How about doing a grid of small squares in your sketchbook and recording a few of the long weekend's happenings? Only a couple of minutes of commitment at a time makes it easier to tackle.



A Demonstration Page from Our Bookbinding Workshop
This was done during a sunnier, warmer week.  This week I was doing two watercolor classes and four afternoons of outdoor journaling.  It poured rain continuously!  The participants of the outdoor class were really good sports.  We met on the porch of one of the buildings in Bay View and we worked on techniques and painted things like flower pots, watering cans, color mixing, and did manage to get in a couple of Bay View scenes between storms.

It is a little too quiet here now.  The California grandkids are heading down to the Detroit airport today.  It was a wonderful visit!  The month went by all too quickly. It's so hard to see them leave. 

Moving on.  The sun is shining today.  I'm anxious to get out in the garden and see how much damage all the rain has done   -    and the deer.  I have put out repellent things and sprayed liquid fence which has probably washed away by now.  

I have a painting I should be working on, and with this sunshine, it looks like a good day to set up a little temporary studio on the back porch.  Here I go.

Take your sketchbooks someplace this weekend!


Beverly's Lunch

Painting Our Lunches at the Bookbinding/Journal Workshop
Beverly's lunch was more colorful than mine, and my salad was not conducive to a good composition.  I should have followed my instructions to the students to bring a "paintable" lunch. I thought it was okay while I was packing it, but then I saw Beverly's.  The lunch is always greener  .  .  .

Our second two day bookbinding/journal workshop was a lot of fun, and there were some beautiful journals constructed.  On the second day there were some great little watercolor sketches painted. 

The Traders Joe's green tea mints box is my newest tiny palette.  It has a see-through lid, which doesn't give me much in the way of a mixing area, but it sure is cute.  It has seven half pans in it. 

This coming week I have three new classes starting (which means six class meetings), a granddaughter's birthday party to attend, and the visiting grandchildren will return for a couple of days before they head on home to California.  But,  I'm not thinking about the "heading on home" part yet.  With three new classes starting, I am feeling just a tiny bit stressed, but as my husband says, "If you aren't a little stressed, you're not trying hard enough".


Cathy's Birdhouse

Bookbinding/Journal Workshop Demonstration
This birdhouse is in the garden of my bookbinding workshop partner, Cathy.  Someday I'll go through my sketchbooks to see how many times I have painted it over the years.  It makes a good subject for the journal painting part of our workshop.  It is a good example of how contour drawing (continuous line) can simplify a complicated subject, and how to paint colorful neutrals.

We had a fantastic group in our Monday-Tuesday workshop, and another group begins today.

We've been having so much fun with the grandkids! Things have been relatively calm  -  no more crashing through window panes.  Yesterday we took a tour through the new candy factory!  The kids are at the other grandparents for a few days.   I think I'll be okay with the quiet  -  I have to get ready for three new classes starting next week, and begin and finish a small painting.  All fun stuff, and if it weren't for deadlines, I'd probably never do a thing.  Well, maybe I would.


Modern Art in our Backyard

My Latest Art Project
Looks a little like a Calder, doesn't it?  Actually it is the collapse of our backyard canopy that we had put up for my workshop last Friday.  A little rain and wind and this is what you get.  You can do this too.

I am taking advantage of a little quiet time to finish packing up things for this week's bookbinding workshops.  My husband and our son have taken all the kids to the KOA for a camping weekend.  Friday night everyone was here and things got a little crazy - one over-turned coffee table, one lost cat who turned out not to be lost at all (the kids actually went around the neighborhood gathering up cats that looked like ours), one little hand through a pane of glass in the porch door  -  which thankfully did surprisingly little damage   -  to the hand, that is.  Of course it totaled the window pane, but who cares.  So, yeah, I'm taking advantage of this quiet time.  Also looking forward to their return.  Silly me.


Demo and Lunch

A Demo for the First Friday Kick-Off

The page on the left started out as a demonstration of negative shapes.  Someone in the class asked how I would handle this hanging basket.  I was going to show them how I would handle the negative shapes, but when I put down the positive shape of the basket, I really felt that was all I needed to "say" in the little sketch.  So the lesson turned into "try to know when you have said what you want to say, and then leave it alone".

Last night Bambi ate my orange petunias!!! Darn!  In yesterday's comments Ginny suggested a deer repellant in bags, and one of my husband's library patrons suggested a repellent that comes in (or on) stakes that you put at the corners of your garden.  I think I'll go to the garden center today and buy every repellent I can find.  We live in the city.  This is people territory, Bambi!


Early June

Painting in the Garden
A beautiful day to sit in the back yard with a friend and paint, catch up on news, laugh, look through each other's sketchbooks, and look forward to a wonderful summer of painting.  After a long gray winter, early June is SO promising!

The watercolor sketch on the right was done as a quick, ink, contour sketch.  The one on left left was drawn in pencil first, then the watercolor was added, and the ink was done last.  The sketch on the left took a lot longer to do than the one on the right, but I enjoyed getting lost in the slow deliberate process.  I usually like to do my sketchbook watercolors quickly, but there's a time and place for slow and deliberate.

The deer have been devouring  the asters in my cutting garden.  The hoof prints barely miss the other plants. I'm afraid what they don't eat will get trampled  -  although from the looks of the prints they are being careful.  Gee, thanks.


Summer Kick-Off

This is a Demo from my First Friday in June Summer Kick-Off  
Watercolor Sketchbook Journal Workshop
We had a great group  -  such fun.  The weather was fairly cooperative  -  a little bit of everything from one extreme to the other, but not bad.  From past experience, I think I can accurately say that the first Friday in June is always QUIRKY.

This page in my sketchbook is showing how to just let the colors mix on the paper without mixing on the palette at all.  When working with a very small palette, sometimes we run out of space for mixing and may not have extra water for cleaning off the palette.  So besides giving interesting and pleasing results, mixing on the paper is convenient.  I was using very basic colors  -  ultramarine blue, hansa yellow, quinacridone red and a little manganese blue and cobalt violet.  There is a little bit of a learning curve to figure out how to have enough water to let the pigments float around and mix without flooding the sketchbook page.

So here we go  -  that was the Kick-Off  -  the beginning of a very busy summer full of classes and workshops.  I am soooo looking forward to it.

At the top of this blog there is a tab that links to my classes.