Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Saying Goodbye to the Old Year

One should say goodbye to the Old Year and start the New Year in the right way. As I started my jeans bag in 2014 and have been stitching on it in order to finish it soon, it is a good candidate to bridge the past and the future.
I'm stitching across the back pockets, inching along in the bitter cold that has hit Tunisia. There's snow over the north and within 5 miles of my house--drat, if it's going to be so cold, one might as well have snow. Oh, well, I'm not sure the citrus trees would appreciate snow.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2015 full of creativity and art! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Shoe Project, 1

Thanks to the Sketchbook Skool classes and playground (Facebook page), I have acquired enough skill to honor some very lovely shoes--which I myself cannot wear. While drawing this, I reflected on shoes as artefacts. This one pleases me because it is "patchworked" and the craftsmanship is excellent.
The challenge was in the textures of smooth leather and velours-like suede. I sketched it with pencil lightly first because I wanted some exactness. Most is done with a humble ball point pen, however, for the suede parts, I cross-hatched lightly in pen then went over it with a Prismacolor black pencil. I used colored pencils for the beige interior as well. The shadow is in watercolor.

The background will get a watercolor treatment.
I might get there's a pleasant thought.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Lake

Tunis is situated on a lake connected to the sea. 
Another view from the passenger's seat.
Have I overcome motion sickness?

Friday, December 26, 2014

Recurring Themes, 3

Motion sickness is my bane. Yet, I've been managing to sketch in the passenger seat of the car, which results in a lot of sketches of the backs of vehicles, among other things.

A day in Tunis running errands...

The "take-a-line-for-a-walk" has been developing into some interesting shapes.
Always a surprise to see what will happen.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

An Exhibit

Paul Klee, Auguste Macke and Louis Moilliet made a trip to Tunisia together in 1914, so in honour of its "centennial" the Bardo Museum (Tunis) is hosting a show of their work from that trip. No photos allowed of the small aquarelles and sketches, but, I went with the intention of sketching anyway, to sketch the sketches. I was surprised at the poor quality of paper they used (looked like newsprint), but delighted with the line work. 
Louis Moilliet, left: "Scène de la rue en Tunisie" ("Street Scene in Tunisia," 1914);
right: "Vendeur de rue arabe" ("Arabe Street Vendor," 1914). 
I was a bit disappointed that this exhibit did not include some of the wonderful color studies for which all three artists are known. However, it provided an excellent sketching exercise--I found that Macke was much more precise in his lines while Moilliet had a very loose hand. Enjoyable afternoon that is now recorded in one of my sketchbooks.
Auguste Macke, left: "Homme avec une brouette" ("Man With a Cart," 1914);
right: "Arabes assis devant leur maison" ("Arabes Sitting in Front of Their House,"1914)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Recurring Themes, 2

The push to finish school work before vacation took up most of last week. Today I am finally on vacation. I managed to squeeze in a few sketches in my small journal during the week. 

Students and teachers will probably be a recurring theme for a long time...

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Grabbed Moments

Winding up the rather turbulent Fall semester, I haven't found much time for stitching. However, my small sketchbook attests to the moments I can grab during a day.
I add color at dinnertime, but, truth to tell, it may take longer...
I'm so much happier with my sketchbook/journal since I started adding the color. 
On the other hand, I think it helped to limit myself to pen sketching for awhile. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Recurring Themes

Some themes seem to be developing in my small daily journal. Watches and time for my bigger textile pieces. 

Students appear occasionally, sketched during a few brief minutes of quiet in class.

And I am forever delighted by the "take-a-line-for-a-walk." The possibilities are infinite.

Materials: ballpoint pen for watch, gel pen for students. Prismacolor pencils.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Time's Face

Another watch face drawn at dinner. An interesting old watch--from the sixties, I suppose.

As this is small (2 1/2" tall) I just hold the fabric down with my left hand while drawing. I'm using Copic multiliners on a tightly woven, smooth cotton and it helps to use a larger tip so it doesn't catch on the threads. I especially liked using a 0.7.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Morphing into Color

My small journal is morphing once again. This time from the 75-Day pen and ink drawing challenge into something more colorful. Since the paper is light, I can't use any wet media, but I have a luxurious 72 Prismacolor pencil set that I like to play with.
So I do the pen drawing, then add color (my version of the coloring book)..this makes me so much happier. In my search for a good quote for each page, I began reviewing The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, the book that saved my artist's life many years ago...tried and true.