Whenever I find some free time I try to do exercises from one of these great books One Watercolor A Day or One Drawing A Day by the talented Veronica Lawlor and the members of Studio 1482. This one was Exercise #7—Food Studies in One Watercolor A Day.
February 28, 2014 Willard Beach Maine
It is so cold when I take Sophie to the beach every morning—today it was 8° but of course with the wind it feels far colder. Despite the cold, I am always struck by how beautiful it is so I usually manage to get a photo before scooping her up and running back to the house.
It as though winter will never end. Snow is still piled high and covering the ground creating a bleak landscape. It is hard to imagine in 4 months it will be green and lush. We are back into what they are calling a "Polar Vortex". It just sounds cold and is with temperatures in the single digits because of the windchill factor. I'm so over this winter.
I have been painting at the gallery huddled in front of the easel and the space heater. My lastest two paintings are above;
"Ikan Koi Bali" 24"x24" oil on canvas
"My Jeans" Oil and acrylic on my Gap Boyfriend jeans
After months and months of ignoring my tired old blog, I decided to come back for a visit. I have been busy with the show, illustration and painting commissions, visiting my family for the holidays and getting ready for my next adventure this spring—5 weeks in Spain Walking the Camino de Santiago.
After six months of painting for the art show and numerous holiday commissions I have finally put the oil paints away for much needed break. Back to my roots in the San Francisco Bay Area, I am enjoyed a visit my family. With a sketch book and colored pencils I spent an afternoon sitting with my 87 year old dad at the assisted living facility that he now calls home :(
California was around 65° and everyday I would take a five mile walk in the hills near my parents home in Portola Valley. Ground squirrels running freely in and out of there underground homes peeking up to check what their neighbors are up to. At the top I can look out over Stanford University to the Dumbarton Bridge across to the East Bay. Around the first bend is a view north of San Francisco.
This is a crazy sketch (notice giant mutant ground squirrels) done over prepainted paper while talking to my sister late one evening. Maybe coming home did make me a little crazy…
Back in Maine
After a month with my family in California I am back home in Maine. In between working on more illustrations and painting commissions, I decided to do prompts from the two books by one of my teachers, the talented Veronica Lawlor and Studio 1482. One Drawing A Day and One Watercolor A Day.
One Drawing a Day—Still Life sketch with crayons (my friends grandson's crayons)
One Watercolor A Day—Exercise #2 Wet on Wet and Wet on Dry
"It means I get to read more books in my life"
And lastly I discovered the wonderful world of Audiobooks through a good friend. She owns a magazine called "AudioFile" which focuses on reviewing the audio presentation of the story not a critique of the written material. It has opened up a whole new world for me on my long walks along the Maine coastline. I had never met the infamous Los Angeles detective Harry Bosch and his half brother the Lincoln Lawyer Mickey Hallor—my new heroes…along with Jack Reacher. They did the above short article as a new audiobook listener for their first publication in 2014.
I sketched (except for the text) this fall bouquet with dry twigs, Chinese ink and watercolor. After reading Ch'ng Kiah Kiean's Tutorial from USk 2013 in Barcelona, I gathered a handfull of twigs then whittled them with an X-acto knife hunched over a wastebasket in the gallery.
After 5+ months of producing oil paintings for the show, I haven't had much energy to pick up a brush...or even a pen. Finally I was able to sketch a few fall bouquets along with a friends kitchen when we visited beautiful Georgetown Maine.
40+ paintings finished and the show is hanging!!! (At Clayton's in Yarmouth, Maine)
In January of 2013 I had to teach myself to oil paint again after years of letting the paints sit in a tote bag with the tops dried on so tight I needed a pliers to pry them loose and stacks of unused canvases collecting dust in the storage unit. I decided that I would do this entire show without buying any new supplies—to use all the paints, canvases and brushes I already had.
A most amazing, challenging, disciplined and creative year of learning to paint.
Hanging the show with my amazing friends Patti and Elizabeth.
I never thought I would get here—DONE...for now...
After dinner quick sketch of the flowers on the table in my new Strathmore 18 x 24 inch sketchbook—on sale for $5. I decided to use supplies I don't normally use (and always wonder why I have them). Econoline watercolor ink, big brush Pitt Pens, Stabilo Woody crayons and Tombow markers.
I needed a break from painting so a felt pen and colored pencils seemed like a easy sketch solution. A quick sketch of the ship channel at the end of the street along with the ubiquitous seagull, a visit with my friend Mary for a glass of wine while sketching her grandaughter Haisel and delicious tuna steaks from the big winning tournament tuna.
Looking across the Casco Bay ship channel towards Peaks Island at the
end of the street
At my friend Mary's house with her two cute grandaughters running around.
Hard to capture a fast moving 3 year old who was also critiquing my work.
Mary's son Jack was part of the crew that caught this monster 586 lb tournament winning tuna.
May through September in Maine, dogs are not allowed on the beaches except at wonderful Willard Beach where the dogs run free 7-9 am and 7-9 pm. Sophie loves that we live at Willard Beach because there is lots of seaweed to roll in!!!
A commercial job made it impossible to complete Everyday in May 2013. This month-long daily drawing challenge comes around every year in May. This year it was fun to follow on FaceBook. I made it about 2/3 of the way through. Maybe next year I will do better...
EDinMay #19—Something that belongs to someone else
George's can of old brushes left behind at the gallery.
EDinMay #20 My favorite drink
I absolutely love Matcha Green Tea Frappuccinos, so when I went looking for one in Singapore it came with red beans on top...
EDinMay #21 The last thing I bought
Lunch with my beautiful niece. She came to Portland so we had to indulge in
the famous Sweet Potato Fries with Truffle Ketchup.
Living on the waterfront in Portland Maine, the sounds of the gulls awaken me in the morning as they swoop around the buildings and chase the lobster boats out of the harbor. They perch on the hotel next door watching and waiting and soon there will be baby gulls. I watch as they build a nest precariously perched on the slanted roof and stand guard until the chicks are born. The mother gull walks the furry chicks into the shade everyday and then back to the nest at night. When they are ready fly there is a lot of rolling off the roof. I'm never quite sure who makes it...
It has been such a long since I have done any watercolor sketches so the Every Day in May challenge seemed like the perfect opportunity to get back into it. The last time I did the EDinMay challenge was in 2011.
I absolutely love kombucha (a delicious bubbly fermented drink) but it is crazy expensive. I have started making my own. I have at 2 gallon jug fermenting on top of the refrigerator. When it is ready I bottle it, add some fresh ginger, a little lemon and pomegarnate juice and it is delicious!!!