Why Sketchbooks Work
“The reason that sketchbooks work is that they don’t count.” –Craig Frazier, illustrator The beauty of a sketchbook is that it is simply that: a sketchbook. It’s a place to do what you want as an artist. It is ideas and experience and creativity and experimentation crammed between two covers. One blank page after another, it becomes something extraordinary when filled earnestly and honestly. Yet, in the end, it doesn’t really count. And that is a beautiful thing, too. There is no price tag, no commission, no gallery wall waiting for it…. Read More
Boxed in – Springing out
There’s always a lot happening in April—both in my life and with the seasonal shift to spring. I thought I’d try a grid in my journal as a way to make time for small sketches that would capture some of it. Unfortunately, I found myself feeling increasingly boxed in by the design. Instead of drawing more, I was drawing less. Then I found violets growing in my yard. So small, you’d think they would be perfect for a tiny box. But they seemed to beckon for more, which led me—finally—to turn the… Read More
Five Days Later…
This page follows the one I posted on June 14, Things Worth Noting. A lot is going on in my life, which has made it hard to find time for art. I started this more than a week ago and I can hardly keep up– the daisies are now open; the iris unfurled; my son is leaving again. I need to paint faster!
Things Worth Noting
It’s been quiet on my blog and in my journal lately– these pages explain why. Big changes are in store as my husband and I not only become empty nesters, but give up the nest altogether and move from upstate New York to Connecticut. Amidst all the big things going on, I wanted to capture a few smaller things, too. Comings and goings; things that seem lasting, but, in the end, are ephemeral. Expect some turbulence in the months ahead, along with new adventures and new places to explore. Thanks for being along… Read More
In the Bleak Midwinter
I finally cut down the last of my baptisia pods, which were attractive in the fall, but had become bent over and forlorn since the last snow. Still, I liked the shape of this stem and decided that a stark portrait might be fitting for the first day of winter. Christina Rosetti penned In the Bleak Midwinter as a Christmas poem in England sometime prior to 1872. The entire poem was later set to music and published as a Christmas carol in 1906. The script is based on Italics from the Treatise… Read More
I was drawn to the golden orbs of the horsenettle while hiking last week in an old field on the edge of an orchard. Bright spots of yellow against faded, brown grasses and dried wildflowers, I decided to take a stem home to paint. Upon identification, I was not surprised to learn that the plant is invasive and unwanted, as are many plants that grow in the weedy margins of fields. Still, I love the way the fruit drapes from the tendrilous vines and there is something ironic, yet masterful in a… Read More
Farmers markets are an extravagant display of color and form at this time of year– the sheer abundance of summer’s harvest is astonishing! I went last weekend in search of both culinary and artistic treasures, and found a wealth of choices. Though tempted by the deep red-purple of beets and onions, I set those aside knowing that they would keep until winter. Instead, I selected some of August’s finest– ripe tomatoes, succulent apricots, and several varieties of the year’s first apples. Fortunately, my family is well trained– they know not to delve… Read More
In Camille’s Garden
Having creative friends is wonderful thing—especially when they invite you over for an evening of sketching! I’d been eying Camille’s garden for awhile and I was glad for the chance to look at it more closely. Unfortunately, the sun was fading fast, so I chose just a small part of the flower bed to paint. I especially liked the way the hedge bindweed threaded through the lilies and daisies. The wren is nesting in my own garden, but he fit that space quite nicely and so became the final element to the… Read More
April showers bring…May showers, or so it seems. We’ve had many days with only a glimpse of sun. But magnolia blossoms are so fleeting that I was determined to try to capture a few blooms before they lay scattered across the lawn. Yet each time I grabbed my sketchbook, sun quickly gave way to clouds. I finally managed a very quick sketch against blue skies, before it turned gray again. I added watercolor and text later inside, using an old fashioned dip pen with waterproof black ink.