Monday, February 12, 2018

Beginning Watercolor Workshop

Not sure if watercolor is for you? If you have always wanted to try watercolor but been afraid to, or have tried it and become discouraged, take heart. This workshop will dispel your fears and help you begin to experience painting as an enjoyable and adventurous part of your life.

No need to go out and buy loads of expensive equipment. Pay a nominal lab fee and try everything out for the weekend. (If you used to paint and want a great way to get back into it, you come too!)        

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The fully loaded 2018 Compact Ambulator

My husband brought this home from the second hand store
Looks like this is the answer to making a commitment to fitness for senior citizens and orthopedic surgery rehab patients. Don’t forget to wear your helmet!

Although I wonder how it will fair in light of the new automatic safety features for next year’s model, such as automatic lane departure warning and the emergency sitz pillow airbag.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Short List of Sketching Pens

Last night I decided to see which of my sketching pens were water proof and which were water soluble. Then I wanted to determine which were the right ones for a minimal sketch kit, something that would work for a student just starting out in urban sketching.
Super Bowl Sunday art project 
All the pens listed here wrote well and there was no bleed through or ghosting on the back of the page. My test paper was a pad of 90 lb  Canson XL multimedia.
Waterproof pens  allow you to draw first with the ink and then paint over it with water color without  smearing the ink lines. Water soluble ink pens allow you to draw then selectively wet some of the lines with the water brush, pulling the ink away from the line to create shadows and contours. 
For beginning  sketchers or artists on a budget choose the blue starred pens. Red starred pens can be added when you’re ready. The Uniball Signo white gel pen is water soluble if you want to remove some with a damp brush. It is quite opaque when used over dry dark washes.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Composition, Positive and Negative Space

Paul Brand uses "white space" in his composition to create movement, asymmetrical balance and direction

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Abandoned Art #2 in Hawai’i

Not always, but sometimes I take along a little extra surprise in my sketchbag when I’m on my way to meet up with fellow urban sketchers. Today I decided to abandon this original 5x7” watercolor at the Honolulu Fire Museum while spending the early afternoon sketching with USK O’ahu and my two granddaughters.
Here’s what happened: A visiting sketcher from Australia was working on her sketch of Engine #6 when she spied something on the driver seat!
Averill from Australia found it while sketching the fire engine!
Here’s phow I do it:

  1. Choose a piece of art, original or print, to abandon. Tag it and wrap it.
  2. Post a photo and details of where this will happen on my Instagram feed (follow me to get the latest notifications)
  3. Post a photo on FB Art Abandonment Group page.
  4. Place the free artwork for someone to find, but don’t get caught!
  5. Post a photo of the abandoned art as a hint for the finder, whoever they may be. (Sometimes if a fellow sketcher finds it, they will surprise me by letting me know of their find! Three times the fun!)

More about Art Abandonment here.
More about my process while painting Kawainui Marsh here.
Please read more about our wonderful day with USK O’ahu here.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Kawainui Marsh

Had a wonderful afternoon stroll at Kawainui Marsh. Inspired!
I made a value study and 5x7" greeting card preliminary sketch in watercolor. I plan to abandon this art at the Urban Sketchers O'ahu meeting on Saturday.
Just before sunset on the marsh.
I think the pigeon is trying to blend in

Monday, January 8, 2018

Tenting in Hawai'i is not camping

Here's something that you aren't likely to experience in the Pacific NW. 
I had to sketch fast to keep up with this efficient crew
Periodically in tropical climates, a homeowner may have to call in the pest control experts and have the house "tented ". Our son had his home treated for termite control today. 
Fumigation is a method of pest control that completely fills an area with gaseous pesticides—or fumigants—to suffocate or poison the pests within. 
Kama'aina Pest Control crew tenting the house
This was our first and only experience with tenting for pest control but the crew and other representatives from were thoroughly professional and easy to work with. They had the entire job finished in no time and made sure everyone knew the safety requirements. 

A Familiar Scenario

Yesterday my husband and I went to Sandy Beach, Oahu, for a little wave watching and for me to do a bit of sketching.
I love sketching on location with line and wash watercolor whether on vacation or just around my neighborhood.  We had beach chairs,  sunscreen and my little travel sketch kit. Then the tropical winter ensued. So even though it’s 76°F on O’ahu, I had to resort to sketching from the mobile studio. (Hmmmph. Seems very familiar to sketching at home.)
Taking advantage of the sunny intervals even though the wind was blowing sand in my eyes.

However, every 15 minutes or so the weather would alternate between bright sunshine and rain squalls. My husband dashed in and out of the car with his beach chair while I sketched in the “mobile studio”, alternately rolling the windows up and down, wipers on and adjusting the AC.

Just as I would step out of the car to fine tune my sketch, another squall would blow up. The salty rain spatter on my preliminary ink sketch didn’t seem to affect the  successive watercolor washes other than to retard the drying time a bit.

Still, it was warm rain and the sun came out eventually. And everything wasn’t gray. 

It was amusing to watch the people with the red umbrellas start out with the pole fully extended, chase the umbrella down the beach three times and finally crouch under it like turtles under a shell.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Sketching a Banana Plant

My finished two page visual journal spread about banana plants. 
I’ve been working on this off and on for a few days, interrupted by life, weather, etc. See my Flickr account for high resolution and zoom able scan. (In case you want to read all the commentary.)
A pause while sketching. Work in progress.
Notes from the South Pacific Studio:
At first I thought I heard the pattering sound of raindrops on the windows. In actuality it was the sound of palm leaves rustling in the Tradewinds. As I watched the wind ruffling the palms, my attention was drawn to the variation among the banana leaves.
Comparing neighborhood banana leaves

I love learning new things and the best way for me to "see" something better is to sketch it. Since there are banana plants literally all around our son’s house, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to compare the living specimens in detail.

I started out with the plant next door with a new crop of bananas growing from the flower. Although the flower I sketched from this plant was wonderful to draw and paint, it was too far gone to eat. The next sketch was of a section of the stalk. I was amazed at the variety of colors and textures to be explored.

A wild banana plant lives at the back corner of the house. After I looked these fresh green leaves over, I realized that they have a red stripe down the back. Many of the older leaves were shredded into fringe in the wind and rain storm last week. You can tell how windy it has been by the amount of “fringe” there is on the leaves. (Note to self: If I  ever buy a banana plant from the nursery, don’t bring it home in the open back of a pick up truck)

I learned that besides the fruit, you can also eat the inside core of the stalk and the banana flower. More research on the internet revealed that there is quite a cleaning process as well as an acidic soak required to get rid of the bitter taste of the stalk and flower.
A diagram of the edible parts of a banana flower

Monday, January 1, 2018

A Metaphor for the New Year

As I observed this banana plant for the past few days it occurred to me that the transition from the flower to the new crop of bananas could be a metaphor for the change from the old year to the new. Farewell 2017 and welcome 2018! 
It gets pretty warm sketching in the hot sun!
Watercolor and ink on paper 1/1/2018