Saturday, May 31, 2014

Tomato Paste Can

Finally, the tomato-themed journal page inspired by Koosje Koene's klass at Sketchbook Skool is finished. Yes, I started during her klass about 6 weeks ago; yes, I learned a bunch; yes, I loved the technique despite the tediousness; no, I won't be doing this often. 

I started with a light pencil sketch and used all 24 colors of my Stabilo colored pencils...lost track of the number of layers and the hours invested. 

And today I'm teaching this technique at Grandma's Boot Camp. We'll have fun!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Further Knottings, 4

Whew! The French knots seem to be finished for the moment.
I'm thinking I can put the sandwich together now, but, I'll have to do it in a big space as this will easily measure 6' by 6' and it has a tendency to grow.

Linked to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Friday."

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Fairy Passed By

Yes, elves and fairies came back into my life with the arrival of the Little People. My sketching friend created a dream of a cake. Note the pointy ears and lovely wings.

And it was soooo tasty. I had a sugar rush for two days...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Further Knottings, 3

With Grandma's Boot Camp going full steam ahead, I'm just managing to squeeze in some late-night stitching, lining up French knots. 

This is the right side of the Pomegranate Tree Quilt.

For the last couple of days, I have been teaching cartwheels to GD2 (second granddaughter). Today she wants to work on head stands and hand stands. I can't decide if this is keeping me young or aging me rapidly.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Liberate the Lines!

Mo, of It's Crow Time, commented in the last post that "your natural sense of line is so loose & wild & free, just go with it!" Thank you, Mo. And being influenced is the problem of taking classes, however, I did want to improve my sketching skill level and then meeting the community at Sketchbook Skool is just plain fun.

The last homework assignment was to draw your kitchen and pay attention to all the interesting details. So for Sketch Club, we drew my buddy's kitchen. This started out as a scratch page when we got into a passionate (!) discussion about sinks and angles. The first sink's outline is vaguely visible in the cupboards. I added some cross-hatching, and remembered the teacher's advice to just keep going. The mess straightened itself out, sort of. My apologies to Barb--her wall tiles really are square.

However, my hand seems to have a mind of it's own. It went wild with a medium tip pen in a 2 minute sketch and in a blind sketch. Watercolors added later.

Needless to say, I prefer the blind sketch. I'm being driven to abstraction:

Liberate the Lines!!!

Mo's right.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Copper & Brass Collection

The final homework assignment in Sketchbook Skool was all about slowing down, drawing details and using your kitchen as a subject. I chose my copper and brass collection instead--plenty of detail there. 

I could only stand to work on this a little bit at a time and I really needed a finer tipped pen as this is only 5 1/2" x 8", very small. Now I'll add some watercolors--but with a very fine brush. 

Seeing the posted homework of other students made me realize that a sketchbook/journal serves the need for constructing and defining Memory. Frequently, strong emotions are attached to the work. My collection contains nine teapots and kettles that belonged to my grandmother, consequently, her memory stays fresh in my mind.

However! as I like wild lines, I will only do this type of detailed drawing once or twice a year at most. It's very time-consuming, and stitching trumps drawing in my artistic world. I remain the Reluctant Sketcher...

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Simple Mosaic Plant Container

Before knuckling down to correct final exams, I finished a simple mosaic pot (on the right), which was originally an olive oil container. I've been trying to finish off the thick green floor tiles left over from a bathroom renovation. I could only find the bordeau and purple tiles to fit for the complex designs, but pretty all the same. Recycling at its best.

A cloudy day in May--that doesn't happen very often!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Further Knottings, 2

Maybe, just maybe, I have finished one side of the Pomegranate Tree French knots...maybe. Lately, I've become reluctant to say I'm finishing anything as I seem to jinx myself!
I started out with three colors then added others. Notice that the lines are not particularly straight--I would have worried if they were. The French knots are not particularly visible, but I'm liking the effect all the same...sometimes I can manage to be subtle...

Linked to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Friday".

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Sketching Weekend

After proctoring exams last week, I spent a couple of days at the beach with my sketching buddy. After watching the Sketchbook Skool videos we attacked a soap bottle. I used colored pencils on gray Canson paper.

We had a first--sketching outside on the beach. 

The weather was lovely with a soft, warm breeze that gently rustled in the palm trees. 

Sometimes nice things happen when sketching outside. A young Tunisian woman wanted to take a picture, and politely asked. Then we got to talking and it turns out she is studying film in Italy, but had been in the streets of Tunis during the 2011 Revolution. Like everyone else, she was sad and frustrated with how things have turned out. It is hard to be young these days...

Then we had lunch in a restaurant and I whipped out my planner/sketchbook and drew the old Hammamet fort, and a tourist because tourists are an endangered species...not many around. 

It was a good sketching weekend--and I got stitching done as well...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Plugged In Again

We were unplugged for 6 days, and I suppose it is good to be unplugged occasionally to keep perspective, however, so much is done by internet these days including professional activities. So it was stressful as well. 

It's like anything else: it's good to be unplugged if you choose. 

In any case, I laid out more fabrics on my tunic to balance out the design. What ever made me think I was close to the end?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Control Tower

The Control Tower is getting crowded...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sleeping Animals

This week's theme of animals in Sketchbook Skool has forced me to slow down a bit and take the time to look. Roz Stendhal suggested going to the local Natural History Museum (well, that's out, there isn't one nearby), or practicing with sleeping animals.

What surprised me as I drew this, was the ease. Because I've been sketching everyday, it has become easier, and I really didn't expect this. I'm having a lot of fun.

Now back to French knots, which are fun in their own way...

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cats and Cows

"Quick, quick, cows in the orchard!" So we kidnapped one and held her hostage in the garden until the embarrassed owner came to get her. 
Since Sketchbook Skool homework is about animals, I grabbed my notebook and did a 5-minute sketch on a watercolor background. I later painted the cow. The sleeping cat was easier--pen and watercolors. Colored pencils for his fur.

I'm wondering if there is a fabric version of the cow in my future? 
They seem to be showing up a lot lately.
Cats, too, come to think of it...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Further Knottings

Slowly, slowly, laying down the French knots. I added a dark green to the mix.

Friday, May 2, 2014

A Boot

At sketchbook club, we drew a shiny, black, plastic boot that had lots of reflections. This is for Sketchbook School homework which was a lesson given by Jane Lafazio: draw lightly in pencil, go over in pen, frame it up and add watercolors. Lucky I'm working in a small notebook--this type of sketching takes hours.

But, I still prefer the blind sketch. Nothing like fast and furious to get interesting lines!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Birthday Present, 2014

Isn't it just so convenient? The National Craft Fair occurs just about the time of my birthday and I get to pick out my presents--something totally unnecessary and beautiful.

The two pots on the right are old family pots. The tall pot in back is my birthday present, which stands two feet tall. Notice what I have perched it upon--just love those roman rocks. The rug is my grandmother's Persian rug worn thin, but the hand weaving is exquisite and still commands attention. 

I wish I had taken pictures of the artisan's booth as the work is unusual, done in an old-fashioned style that one sees only in the old pots. He wanted $65, I bargained for $55. Drat, I should've gotten another...oh, well, next year: something to look forward to!