Thursday, April 30, 2015

Every Day in May

Tomorrow is May 1, 2015 and I have a challenge for you: Join sketchers, artists and people just like you in making a commitment to drawing something every day for a month. Here's more: (zoom to read larger)

I plan to do this and post the day's sketch on my blog each day. I may also join the Flickr group and put mine on Instagram as well. If you like, come back to this post to find out the prompt for the day you're working on. Don't worry if you miss a day, just catch up when you can.
This is going to be fun!

PS. I can't wait to see what your favorite food is! If it was Homer Simpson, I would already know. :)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

White Lilacs

Our white lilacs are in full bloom and the whole house smells like spring!
Decades ago, I planted a row of ten white lilacs to protect the embankment of a natural swale in our back yard. We have a few days before it rains again and turns them all into "burnt popcorn". Good opportunity to do some drastically needed pruning and cut come bouquets for friends. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Finishing Touches

Since our usual Anacortes Sketchers Monday outing was cancelled today for fair weather, (only in the PNW!) I will post the two finished pages from yesterday.
Just a few accents here and there were added, but I definitely needed to add the clear blue sky!
I stood on the sidewalk on the way out to write the Chinese Calligraphy. I don't write or speak Chinese, so was a bit worried that my attempt would read incorrectly. I am relieved to read comments on my Flickr page that it turned out fine. 
On this page, I decided to explore the Yin Yang aspect of the garden.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Seattle Chinese Garden

"Welcome, Guests of the Garden" - This stone with beautiful Chinese calligraphy greeted visitors today at the Seattle Chinese Garden and was translated for me by three young women from China. I was in West Seattle to sketch with Seattle Urban Sketchers at the monthly outing for April. Our balmy spring weather was back (67° F!), but with a bit of a nip in the breeze.

I didn't get very far down the sidewalk to the garden, since the view of the south facing wall was dappled with springtime light and shadow. It was a dramatic introduction which stopped me in my tracks.
My friend and fellow sketcher, Kate found the perfect rock to start her first sketch.

"The humble gate" decorates the entrance on the sunny south wall of the garden. Sketch by M. Cooper
Pat, Jane and Kate find the rocks, courtyard, and sculpture completely in harmony with nature.
My DYI Altoids mini-palette makes it easy to sketch while standing
More than two dozen varieties of tree peonies and several herbaceous peonies donated from Luoyang, China, were planted by volunteers in 2012. It is hoped that these 400 peony rootstock will create the largest public peony garden on the West Coast. Although the early spring weather has caused many to bloom already, Dewey (a volunteer and tour guide) says that there are still some that haven't bloomed yet. They will be ready to view next weekend at the Peony and Bamboo Festival. There will be a lion dance at 11 am on Saturday.

I put a few finishing touches to my two sketches. To see them, please visit my Flickr Photostream.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Topping the tulips--Monday Sketching with ASk--Tulips Second time

Sketching in the cold shelter of a tree line with Tina.
As we settled on a spot to sketch, a group of workers walked by and moved across the rows, snapping off the flower heads of the bulb crop. They left some for visitors to enjoy, but the weather was cold and breezy this time. I KNEW I should have brought my gloves!
We managed to finish our sketches, greet new arrivals from ASk,
then shiver our way to the other side, looking for a warmer spot. 
Fingers frozen, next we sketched in the car with our front row parking spots! Mt. Vernon weather is unpredictable this time of year.
You can just barely make out the workers in the upper right edge of the field.
This was April 6, the second Monday in a row for the Anacortes Sketchers, making sure we didn't miss the extremely early bloom this year.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Out in the sun with tulips

Scored some field tulips after sketching with Anacortes Sketchers on Monday, the sun came out, sketched out on the deck with a friend this morning.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My friend, Anne Elkins, gave me permission to use this photo she took of me while I painted in the field across from Christianson's a week ago, Monday.

Here's a shot from a nearby field nineteen years ago. The workers were topping all the flowers as I painted.