Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Santa Indeed!

Last week I went over to the Seattle side again, this time to attend a performance by the outstanding Sweet Adelines chorus, Pacific Sound. I sing with a  Sweet Adelines chorus as well, the Grand Olympics Chapter on the Olympic peninsula. Barbershop style singing is a style unto its own, and creating four part harmony a capella is challenging and fun. They had several quartets perform, along with some of the students from Lake Washington High School. It was a great evening of song and entertainment, with a special appearance by the most delightful Santa! I couldn't resist doing a sketch and then then taking some photos from which I did one small watercolor.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Drawing Jam!!!

Last Saturday my artist friend Deb and I attended the 12th Annual Drawing Jam at Gage Academy of Art in Seattle. With an almost three hour drive ahead of us, we left home at 0600 in order to arrive for the start at 9. Driving to the ferry in the dark, the Christmas lights on some of the businesses were beautiful, and being December, we were glad that the roads were dry. Gage is one of my favorite places to go, and I have attended several workshops there. People were arriving in droves and it looked like it was going to be a fun day. Deb and I wondered if we could last the whole 12 hours (probably not) or until 6 (hmmmmm.) While waiting in line, I saw Faye Castle, a wonderful artist from whom I took a journaling class last spring. It was fun to see her and get caught up on what we've been up to. The entire building- three floors- had multitudes of subjects to draw- figures (musicians, actors, dancers), still lifes, florals, plaster casts, you name it! A large gymnasium area was set up with tables, vendors and more figures for gesture drawing. We staked out territory, but there was just too much for me to hold still. While traveling back and forth between buildings I spotted some PIRATES who had come to be models. I grabbed Deb and said "Let's see where these guys are going to be." We found them on the third floor and made our way to the front of the room to get a good spot where we could draw. They were from and were a hoot! Way too jolly for pirates, if you ask me, but so very interactive with a lot of expression. They have graciously consented for me to post my drawings of them here. None of the work I did that day will be for sale. Although I will use the drawings to make more drawings, they are all for the purpose of improving my skills. I have to get up the courage and ability to draw on location and the only way to do it is to jump in at the deep end. It does help if people aren't moving around so quickly, but with practice comes the skill of capturing the moment. In the meantime, here are my pirates. More drawings will come as I get time to post.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Did a little updating on the website yesterday. See and click on the "Open Gallery" link to see what's on sale to make room for all the new stuff that's been happening. Every once in awhile it's good to purge the inventory. Meantime, a little watercolor of some fall leaves kept me off the street for awhile. Check the Skywriting side, too, to stay up to date.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Journals and Sketches

Okay. After a trip with the Air Force Art Program to Beale Air Force Base with some excellent artists, I have become inspired to do more sketching and journaling. One of the artists, Stephen Gardner, is working on a series of paintings from bars and taverns in New York. Seeing Stephen's work and hearing his encouragement has me on a quest to draw more on site and post more often. I became a member of Urban Sketchers and am in awe of the work they accomplish on the spot! This blog site (I have two- the other is called Skywriting) will be dedicated to my on the spot sketches as well as a new series I will be working on for a solo show at the Museum and Arts Center in Sequim next July featuring coffee shops in the area. We don't have too many bars here, and besides that's Stephen's idea, anyway. But being in the Pacific Northwest, we do love our coffee! So if you are a coffee shop aficionado, your favorite place might appear here interspersed with other sketchable subjects that catch my eye. Let's start with one that I did in July. I went with some of my fellow Sweet Adeline barbershop singers to a Harmony College workshop in Tacoma where we attended classes on singing, choreography, music strategy and short private voice lessons. We had a great time, and came home with our heads filled with all kinds of new tactics. One of my fellow singers took a nap in the car on the way home and since she was still enough long enough, I took the opportunity to sketch her. Loved her striped socks!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Running of the Lambs

Well, I've never drawn a lamb before, as you can probably tell. But the walk to the farm north of here the other day greeted me with joy and hilarity when I saw the lambs running in a circle first in one direction and then another as fast as they could. Who, I wondered, decided when it was time to change direction? I don't know what kind they are. Some are dappled - there are dappled sheep in the pasture as well, obviously their parents who grazed unconcerned during the flurry of activity. Reminded me of parents at the playground sitting on park benches chatting and drinking lattes while their kids run hither and yon. Others are black as night, and it was difficult to make out features and shadows even with good light. It's not as dangerous as the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, but they were traveling at a great rate of knots. How delightful it is to see youth in a carefree mode. No texting, no computer games, no malls, just RUNNING for the joy of it. Think I'll go run around the block, although at this age it happens slowly. Just remember to keep joy in mind.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Earth Day

There were a lot of posts on Facebook about Earth Day. It was also Good Friday, but I didn't see too much about it, although to me and a lot of others it is pretty important . Some of my friends observe Passover, too, so by phone and email we shared our thoughts on the significance of their week.

After finding out the other day that I flunked my cholesterol test, there are going to be some additional observances in our household as well, creating what we call "a new normal." We have had those before, and this is yet another phase of life. I have been a great admirer of artists who get out and sketch every day, and draw slices of life and activity on the spot. Part of the "new normal" is going to involve w-a-l-k-i-n-g. I have a sketchbook and pencil tucked in my pocket so that when I go out on my walks there will be more of those "slices of life" based on what I see. I still carry a camera- I mean, you can't draw everything, or remember everything, or get it all down. But there is nothing like that first impression that simply isn't there once you get back into the studio.

On Friday morning I walked up the road to the north to see if the lambs were out at the delightful Black Rabbit Farm. They weren't. But there's a great old barn on Sequim-Dungeness Rd that has always intrigued me. It is on the verge of collapse, and almost invisible from the road tucked into the trees on the far side of a green meadow. Later in the day I walked to the coffee shop to meet with a friend, after which I walked back up to see if the lambs had come out. They were in a group running in one big circle. How fun it is when young animals discover that they can run! The calves in the other pasture get themselves into a frenzy now and then and go prancing around. The lambs were out running, the big pig was lying in a gooey glob sunning himself and the pony had already seen me earlier, thus was not particularly interested in my presence.

So having left very little footprint on the environment, or so I think, and pondered the significance of Good Friday as well as Passover, I came home with my watercolor painting of the old barn. Sketches of pig, pony and lambs will follow.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Comes to Sequim

Despite the continuing cool weather in Sunny Sequim, as we call it, daffodils and trees are beginning to bloom. There is a house at the corner of 5th Avenue and Old Olympic Highway that is ablaze with pink blossoming trees. It was a perfect opportunity to use the color called "Opera" in my paint kit!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Watercolor Journaling

After a superb class with watercolorist Faye Castle in Edmonds a few weeks ago, I have a new found interest in journaling. This has also sparked a quest to become part of the Urban Sketchers. It will mean that I have to stop, sketch, paint and post several times a week. I'm not capable of  doing this every single day, simply because of my music lessons, teaching and business schedule. But it is an opportunity to take some time to observe and loosen up as well as keep a near-daily log of what is going on around me. Some things are so fleeting that they haven't been captured as much as they should be. For instance, all the newborn calves in the pasture that we see on the way to town are growing. They are discovering running. It's a hoot to see them. We take both for granted- seeing newborn calves AND running. But as I drive by on the way to the post office, there doesn't seem to be time to pull over and draw. So let this be a beginning. I did sketch the pig at the farm just north of here. There are also new lambs, but they were being elusive that day. So here is the busy pig at Black Rabbit Farm. More to come soon!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Jumping back and forth!

Seems like most of my postings end up on the Skywriting side. Check out my new website at to see what's happening. The online store isn't finished, but I am working on it slowly.