Lights on my Shelves

On the Shelves In My Desk
It is quiet and dark here this morning.  There is a little snow falling.  Very peaceful.  BUT  -  I have to get going.  I still have a grocery run to make, some cooking to do, a table to set .  .  .  We are doing Christmas Eve Eve dinner tonight. It won't be peaceful for long : )  Last year we set the table with blue and white, but I think this year we will put holly in glass vases and use crystal candle sticks.  I know  -  you were dying to know that.

Okay.  My mind is on things other than blogging, but I did want to drop in here to wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Have a great Holiday.


Cafe Sante

Salt and Pepper Shakers at Cafe Sante
My dinner was not colorful, so the salt and pepper shakers will have to do. Yeah, I know, they aren't colorful either.  Of course I was hungry, and I am always the last one finished, so doing salt and pepper shakers before the meal comes works out well for me. My husband, brother, and sister-in-law are very patient people, but there is a limit.

I had chicken fricassee, and it was delicious! The place was very crowded, noisy, warm and cozy. Fun!

The paper I did this on is Canson Mi-Teintes in my hand bound sketchbook.  I think it is pastel paper, and this particular color is an olive-y green.  I did the drawing with a Gelly Roll pen, then used watercolor, and added white with a Prismacolor pencil.  Gelly Roll pens are permanent and archival, and an be found in scrap booking stores.  Prismacolor pencils can be purchased open stock in most art supply stores.

Now I'm going to go wrap a couple of Christmas presents.  I'm getting there.  How about you?


Salt and Pepper Shakers Again

I hadn't done this style salt shakers yet. They weren't exciting  -  just a little different than any in my "collection".

We went to the book store before dinner, and I found a book for my husband for Christmas.  When I told the girl at the counter that this was my first Christmas gift purchase, she acted shocked.  Come on - I was really pleased to be getting at it. Don't judge me.

Our Christmas tree is up!  The lights are on.  The cat has climbed it a couple of times. We are officially into the season.  This week we have a Christmas event with my husband's library board members, and two grade school concerts - among everyday things that at times can seem overwhelming. It's okay  -  'tis the season to be jolly  -  and we are!

How are your Christmas plans coming?  Are you taking a few minutes to sketch some of your activities, ingredients, illustrate your gift list?


A Theme for December

Measuring Spoons
I took a little blogging break, and now  -  where were we?  Themes?

Back in the November 29th post, I mentioned using a different theme for each month.  For December, I had listed dinner ingredients, labels, bottles and jars.  With a theme in mind it is pretty easy to jump-start an idea for a sketch.  I was getting out things to see what I need for holiday baking, and I was thinking about the labels on the can of cocoa and the bottle of vanilla. They weren't too interesting, but the measuring spoons caught my eye as a possible sketch.  I threw in the sprinkles as an "ingredient" from the theme list.

For fifty some Christmases my mother made a certain kind of cookie with nonpareils, or sprinkles, on them.  In November she would start to worry about the stores running out of them.  They never did that I know of, but maybe.  It does seem like a funny thing to worry about, but I must admit that I checked my supply a couple of weeks ago.

Do you have your sprinkles?  Are you going to paint them in your sketchbook?



 Simple Figures
 Often I will have my students choose a theme/topic/subject and work on it for several weeks.  They will work through the whole process of being inspired by a theme,  keeping their eyes open for their theme, sketching, working out the composition, planning the value pattern, and then, finally, getting right down to it and doing the painting.  By the time they get to the painting, they are pretty inspired, have a plan, and it comes together pretty easily.

In my post of November 28th, I mentioned a few themes. This week was the beginning of a new eight-week session, and I handed out a list of ideas or thought starters.  I don't want to bore you with the whole list, so here's the short version:
Light and shadow
A place
Every view from your porch
Tea, coffee, cups, pots, mugs, cafes
Chairs of all kinds
Food and anything to do with food
Weather, nature

A few of the students have chosen to do portraits, some figures, one is doing "things around my house", another is doing "portals" such as doors, windows, gates, and another is doing landscapes.  Several are still undecided, but I'm sure once they start looking around and thinking about the possibilities, they'll have trouble narrowing it down.

This is more fun and more personal than painting still lifes all winter that I set up for them.

Wow  -  I made it through November blogging every day, and here it is December 1st.  Of course I'll keep blogging - don't think I'm going to keep quiet  -  but I really don't have anything interesting enough to blog every day.  Thanks for putting up with me throughout November.