Sunday, May 31, 2009

Peas in Pods

We have a tiny raised bed vegetable garden in which we attempt to perfect our square-foot gardening techniques. I can't bend (for now) because of my surgery, so my husband has been tending it for me. He brought in quite a harvest of snap peas (edible pods - yum!) to share with me today. Here are some sketches of what was left of our impromptu picnic.

Sketchbook Daily

Whenever I get a new art magazine (Artist's, Drawing, American Artist, are my usual favorites), I start sketching in the margins or in my sketchbook anything that really strikes me. Today, my first foray back into my actual routine, resulted in these images.

I love the tutorials and explorations, especially in Drawing magazine. There is so much information to glean from the articles, and advertising. The black cherry is actually from a back cover from a few months ago, advertising colored pencils. The tropical cottage, the lace and the little girl, from some colored pencil tutorials.

This sketch, which says, "after Boucher", is actually after another artist of the same era, and was featured, as well as the other figure, in Drawing Magazine's foreshortening article.

Friday, May 29, 2009

What Did You Do for Memorial Day Weekend?

This is a dangerous self-portrait. No sooner did I finish it, than the aches and pains of increasing decrepitude made themselves heard (really loud, too!). I suffered a massive disc herniation in my lower back and had emergency surgery over the Memorial Day weekend.

Haven't been making much art, understandably. Heck, couldn't even read until today and sit up at the computer for longer than a few minutes.

So, here is my self-portrait. I entitled it "Not All There" because, well, I think that's obvious.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Cat, The Clown, and The Koi

Two from WetCanvas monthly challenges, and one just because I felt like fish.

Colored pencil May 2009 Challenge, 8x10, Mi Teintes stone paper.

Monthly Oil Pastel Challenge 2009, 6x9, Mi Teintes steel blue paper.

Koi, colored pencil on Artagain black paper, 8 x 10.

From Fort Worth Botanical Gardens, my own reference photographs. Most of my subjects are from my own photograph, but not the challenges shown above.

If you have never explored the WetCanvas website, there is are very lively forums, challenges, paint-alongs, discussions, show-and-tell, and critiques available, along with a vast library of classes, studies, and instructional downloads.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Central Coast Secrets

Morro Rock Sunset
A bit of a departure for my artblog, but thought I would pass along some favorite places to take pictures, relax, day dream, and explore.

We spent a long weekend in our favorite place -- California's Central Coast -- this time, staying in Morro Bay at the Masterpiece Inn. This is a nice, off-beat little place with prints of famous artwork in all the rooms and hallways, etc. They even have a guide to the numbered pieces. Staff was very friendly, rooms are quiet and very clean, and continental breakfast and early evening wine and cheese are offered. There is a very large indoor spa downstairs and it is a pleasant walk to the harbor. Plenty of art galleries and throughout the year there are art shows, wine festivals, and a farmer's market on Saturday's. Not at all expensive, either, although we are "gettin' there" and got an AARP rate.

The Galley restaurant on the Morro Bay Embarcadero intrigued us with its "naked fish" offerings. Just simple, grilled fresh choices with a variety of sauces available on the side. Small, unobtrusive, great views and excellent service.

We were a week late for the Roll Out The Barrels wine festival and a week early for the art show, but even with Mother's Day on Sunday, we never felt crowded or stuck in traffic or any of that nonsense.

Drove up to Cambria and had lunch at one of the Linn's restaurants there. Excellent food and we came home with not enough Olallieberry preserves and syrup. This little blue door is from the pottery store courtyard in Harmony, pop. 18, between Cayucos and Cambria.

Wineries we liked: Domaine Alfred, Tangent, and Stephen Ross Tasting Room in San Luis Obispo. We talked to a brand-new Cal Poly Business/Vinticulture graduate and a wine growing family, and learned just how the economy is affecting them, but everyone seemed upbeat and willing to work through it. Wine growers, especially, take great pride in their vineyards and the time (as much as nine years before viable production) it takes to create their dream. It gave me new perspective on artists, too, as it takes a lifetime to produce one, whether that lifetime is long or short. Sort of like a great wine, some take longer than others.
Pelicans at Stearn's Wharf, Santa Barbara.

San Diego Art Walk

Took a few pictures at San Diego Art Walk and thought I would share the digital manipulations I do while exploring the subjects for artworks (maybe).
I just really like this version of the street scene during the show. The white outlines feel like spring in San Diego and I would like to do this in pastels. Below is a pair of ladies engrossed in their conversation. I love the draping in their clothing and am thinking watercolor here. These three young ladies made me think of the three graces:

This violinist was very amenable to having her picture taken and she appealed to me as a potential graphite portrait.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mother's Day

"Vada". graphite on bristol, 14 x 17. This little lady is my grandmother, who passed away a bit more than a year ago at age 95. She had one child, who had four children, who have fourteen among them. She has six great-great grandchildren, and another on they way -- all courtesy of my four. Must have overwhelmed her, at times, but she was a feisty little thing in many ways and took it all in stride. She taught me a perspective on life that, as I get older, keeps me from complaining about the aches and pains of daily life. I took this portrait from a photograph of her in the back seat while on a roadtrip to Montana. For me, family is what life is really all about. So, I am sharing the mother of us all, in our family.

Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tale of Two Poppies

Here is the companion to the poppies done previously.
There are a few more ideas in the dark ground flowers series I seem to be building. It appears that I do not like soft pastels, so I bought a small set of oil pastels. Much, much better! The messier ones were driving me crazy. That is part of the appeal of pencils. They are so neat. So clean. So quiet. Quiet because I swear less (at least, alound) while using them.