Monday, April 30, 2012

Olive Tree

I'm not remembering the reason or the story behind the above sketch apparently done in 1993, but I do know it's an olive tree.

Since I was a girl, twisted, gnarled trees have been a favorite subject matter in my drawings and paintings.  Once I'd spent my entire two week Christmas break in 12th grade sizing up my black ink drawing of a twisted pine and painting it as a mural on my bedroom wall.  My mother taught me how to use the grid technique and use blue chalk powder through pin holes to trace the full-sized template onto the nine foot by eleven foot surface, which I then afterward painted in Prussian Blue acrylic paint, mixed with black on an azure blue wall:  

Here is the original ink drawing of the tree I painted on my bedroom wall as a teenager.   The grid ratio is 6 inches to the half inch square.    Needless to say, I was grief-stricken when a couple years later they
sold the house.   I was told the mural was a selling point, but I did not profit from it.  

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Leaf Reader

I kept going back today to my yesterday's blog post, The Imaginary Village Perspective, as there was something there I was reminded of.   I studied it over and over, wondering what it was that intrigued me so much.   During dinner it hit me that this sketch was a little piece of something I had forgotten and lost a long time ago.   It was my pleasure in creative illustration, stuff from my imagination.   When I gave up oil painting in the mid 1980s, I began playing with air brush techniques (remember airbrushes?) on watercolor paper.   I wrote manuscripts for children and illustrated them, as well as creating small clay sculptures to help me with shadowing.   I accumulated a number of illustrations and sketches before I suddenly found myself in the "real world" of raising kids as a single mom, and had to punch a time clock in the publishing industry.   Those illustrations and sketches are still in an old wooden ammo crate in my studio, under layers of clay dust.   So glad we don't have cockroaches in the Pacific Northwest!   They all look pretty good, still.   Thought I'd share a few.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day 2012

I was taking a break yesterday after hours of snuggling Jim's and my new plants into their nice, wet, muddy new homes in the wine barrels.   Gazing at the lovely scene before me, I figured it would be nice to immortalize it.  

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Owl Sprit For Lunch

Truly I'm not starting a new career in illustrating all the Northwestern eateries, it's just that we've been eating out a lot this last week, for some reason.   This little place in Port Townsend is dear to us, too.  The young couple who own it create a great atmosphere and very healthy and very tasty food, some of which is gluten free.   And the art on the walls isn't bad, either!   There is a very colorful owl painted on the back wall... too big to put anything more than it's left wing in the sketch.   MMMMM... smell the shrimp tacos!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dynasty Restaurant - Our Favorite Table

I guess Jim and I have spent so much time at this table that it feels rather like home, and the owners feel more like family, so while we drooled over the menu at another table (there were interlopers at OUR table), I pulled out my Moleskine and sketched.   Again, the color went on a couple days later.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Autumn Romance, Phase Five

It's finally finished.   Echoing the gesture of the kindly gentleman in the sketch, Jim raised a bottle of a nice Spanish Cava (though we think the gentleman is holding a bottle of Sauterne), and poured us a couple of glasses in celebration.  We love any opportunity to celebrate, and do so often with great food and a lovely wine.   This sketch has made it to the "print on canvas" list.   We'll see how that turns out.    I do think I'm having as much joy sketching and drawing as I've had sculpting for many years.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Autumn Romance Fourth Phase

Nearly done.  Tomorrow the faces, hair and hands, as well as menu printing.   Maybe I'll doctor the coffee cup a bit, too.   Can you hear the clanking of plates in the kitchen?  The smell of fresh pastries just out of the oven? This has been so much fun to do!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Autumn Romance, Third Phase

As Jim and I are moving much furniture in our house these days, and rearranging our living spaces so that he can have a studio of his own, the progress on this piece is slow but steady.   I "wove" lace curtains with the help of a white permanent gel pen from Staples (wonderful for stark, white, fine-point details!), put in the lit areas of the couple's hair, stroked in the mid-layer of her sweater, colored the napkins (Payne's Gray and Shiraz Inktense).   Also began the shadow details in the wineglasses' stems, and used Payne's Gray Inktense pencil to shadow the table's paper cover, as well as the wooden block holding the menu.  I'm loving the opacity of the Dr. Martin's Bombay white ink.   I wish I could scroll forward to next week's postings so I could see how this turns out!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Autumn Romance, Second Phase

I had washed the surface of the paper with burnt sienna acrylic ink, then began putting on base coats of ...well,... their coats (or sweater, in her case).   A little painting in of Dr. Martin's Bombay White Ink on the curtain.   It's coming along.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Autumn Romance

Jim and I have a photograph we'd purchased last year on vacation, as we were both taken with it when we saw it.   Unfortunately, in the passion of the moment, neither of us examined it too closely.   After hanging it on the wall in our dining room, we noticed the photo had "sweated" and was damaged.  The frame had also been damaged, and was unprofessionally repaired with a permanent black marker to hide the wood's rough areas.   As the profits from the sale had been donated to charity, we didn't really feel we should demand our money back, but were disappointed.   The subject was a couple in a Paris cafe that were caught by the photographer sharing a bottle of wine over a leisurely meal... it could be us in ten or fifteen years!   Well, except Jim has curly hair.   And I'm not... well... quite so pretty.     

As the photo would no doubt degrade in the condition it's in, I decided to immortalize it on watercolor paper with paints and acrylic inks.   This is the scan of the initial graphite sketch.   On my next post, I'll publish the next stage of it's completion, and so on until it's finished.   

Friday, April 6, 2012

PT Food Co-op

This was a quick small sketch done after I'd loaded the groceries in the car, waiting for Jim to follow me out.   So very grateful to the little dog patiently awaiting it's companion's re-emergence from the building. I love the little red coat.   Maybe I will come back when all the vines on the walls have leafed out and do another sketch.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fourth Friday Open Mic Readings

Rainshadow Coffee in Sequim has been hosting a reading venue that's been nurtured by a friend of ours, Ruth Marcus (pictured right in the sketch).   Who would've thought there would be so much talent hidden in the fields and hills around Clallam County?   As usual, the room was packed, but my sketch was more expressive without the intervening heads and shoulders, so I limited the listeners to a few.   You can see the bags of coffee beans were important props in creating the perfect atmosphere.   They seem to be very attentive in their expression.