Monday, November 23, 2015

Thoughts about Still Life

"Stop thinking about artwork as objects, and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences. That solves a lot of problems: we don't have to argue whether photographs are art; or whether performances are art or whether Carl Ander's bricks or Little Richard's 'Long Tall Sally' are art, because we say, 'Art is something that happens, a process, not a quality and all sorts of things can make it happen'... [w]hat makes a work of art 'good' for you is not something that is already 'inside' it, but somethings that happens inside you - so the value of the work lies in the degree to which it can help you have the kind of experience that you call art." -Brian Eno

Why do artists paint still life? Examples and explanation

Art Otter says Still Life is not Boring

What are your thoughts/experiences with still life as an artist or as an appreciator of art?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

All 31 of my Inktober 2015 sketches

After enduring a rough nine days with the cough, cold, fever yuck that's been going around, I finally feel like scanning all my Inktober 2015 sketches and posting the collection. (Tap or click to zoom)
Bee Super Deluxe 6x12"sketchbook, Lamy pen, watersoluble ink & Aquash water brush.
My faithful Lamy fountain pen lasted until the very end. In fact, I think I could possibly do one more sketch with what's left in the cartridge. Wouldn't want to waste any ink now, would we?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Have you ordered your Perfect Sketchbook yet?

Want a "custom designed" sketchbook with your name embossed on the cover?
Read all about this Indiegogo project here or search #theperfectsketchbook
I carry my pocket sized perfectsketchbook everywhere. 
It just so happens that two of my favorite watercolor papers are used in these sketchbooks:
Saunders Waterford in the pocket version and Fabriano Artistico in the new larger B-5 version. 

There is still time to get one! I got some with my name embossed on the front.
You might even win a pocket version and a travel brush! There are just 11 days left! Check it out!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

21st Annual Studio Open House Today!

Hours: 10 am to 7 pm

I have straightened the rug and put on the kettle. Coffee is done. Madeleines fresh from the bakery.
What would be cozier on a rainy Saturday morning?

I will be posting updates on Instagram throughout the day!
Update! Mary R. won the drawing! This is the original piece she chose:
Mary won! And everyone else is so happy for her!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fun with Leaves

I gave my demo as a door prize
I had a great time with brand new watercolor students today. It's Day 1 of my two day Introduction to Watercolor Workshop.

One of the lessons was practicing several color mixing and watercolor techniques while painting leaves. During lunch we picked up leaves outside and then came in to have some fun.
Here's what they did! Aren't they amazing students! Thanks, Kate K, for the photo!

After everyone left, I made my final Inktober sketch while cleaning up the classroom for tomorrow.
Inktober Day 31-Finished! Yay!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Light in the Autumn Trees

Can't forget those beautiful trees yesterday. So I went back to do a line drawing and demonstrated my ink wash technique and color sketch for classes today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Country Mouse, City Mouse

The crows roost in a tree across our street, pumpkins are everywhere and I visited two farms on Monday
It seems that I am alternating my sketching days this week: a day on a city street, then a day out on a farm, then city, then country. It's a fun way to keep finding something new to capture. Each round trip is about 90 miles, though, so I have fallen behind in scanning and posting my Inktober sketches. These are the ones for days 24-27.
The sun came out and gave me great shadows today at the Arlington Municipal Cemetery.
I was hoping to enter an online painting challenge today, but although I spent the better part of the day on location at the Arlington Cemetery, I still didn't get my 9x12 plein air piece done. So far, all I want to show is the value study of one of the gravestones that I did to warm up. (Conveniently, it serves as my Inktober drawing for the day!) Most of this section of the cemetery had stones from the early 1900's, people who were born in mid century 1800's. Many of the markers were leaning, especially the ones set on a steep hillside.

The light came over the fence and threw beautiful shadows down the grassy hill, catching a carpet of fallen leaves and turning them into gold. I'm not giving up on the painting just yet. So I will let you know when it's ready and post it here when I feel it's satisfactory. The thing that's taking me so long is that I am working in gouache, an opaque form of watercolor, and it's a bit of a brain twist from my usual transparent watercolor.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Easy Turban Squash Recipe

Turban Squash, for all its dramatic color, is a scary one to cook. Why? Because you risk a tragic accident just trying to cut it! That goes for Acorn Squash, too! Once you have it cut in two and the seeds removed, just place the halves in a baking pan, cover 1/2 way up to the rim with hot water and roast at 375° F for 1 hr.

Wash the seeds, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Let them roast in a separate pan for about 10 minutes. Yum!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Craven Pumpkin Farm with Seattle Urban Sketchers

To really and truly understand the multitude of offerings at Craven Pumpkin Farm, you must visit their website and Facebook pages. Their Autumn Festival is in full swing: Birthday parties, 3D black-light presentations, food, gifts, animals, Minions, hayrides, pirate ships, duck races, and people pushing wheelbarrows full of newly purchased pumpkins!
Fall Festival at Craven Farm
The Seattle Urban Sketchers monthly meet up began at Craven's at 10 am. For the first 45 minutes, it wasn't really cold at all and the rain held off. I took advantage by sketching the front gate post for my Inktober Day 18 drawing . See earlier post today. By the time I finished my first sketch, the parking lot had nearly filled up.
I wanted to catch the steam rising off the two large kettles out toward the back of the Snack Shack where they were boiling corn on the cob.
I toured as much of the property as I could before the rain started, then stepped inside the gift shop, Mouseville, and the animal barn to keep my sketchbook dry. Every once in a while I would step out again to check on something I may have missed in the sketch I was working on.

The man with the "Hair Style of the Day", was
Dutch Bihary, the face painter working at a barber chair inside the animal barn. His calm and smiling demeanor and fast yet effortless skill attracted an unending stream of children, ready to have him paint butterflies, tigers and more on their upturned faces.

After we shared our sketches, I could see that the rain was letting up, so I decided to stay and wait it out. There was a wagon load of fresh fall flowers, some pink pumpkins and a bin of apples that I had my eye on. I only had to wait for less than half an hour before I could go out to finish my two page spread.
Families, sketchers and people of all ages were not deterred by rain or cold.