Enamel Camel Necklace

scan0089A while ago, back when I was sketching the camels, I started this drawing. But I got frustrated and gave up before even starting on the stone and ceramic beads. I figured I’d get back to it another day. Today is THAT day. This time I enjoyed it. And I kind of like it unfinished this way to show the progression of the art work. Hmm…The green stone beads on the right look better than the ones with all the pen marks. Rats. I keep doing that. Can’t leave well enough alone. Anyway, I found this nifty pendant at an antique shop hanging on a plain ol’ ugly chain. I thought he deserved something fancier so I put together this double strand which I think suits him much better. He’s about two inches wide and two inches high. Enamel on brass. So colorful and exotic! I’m keeping an eye out for more of his kind.

Self Portrait With Butterflies And Veil

scan0084Well. Self portraits are mighty hard. Especially the noses. And Rich says “She looks older than you.” Perhaps. But you have to keep on drawing faces in order to have any eventual success at it. Why does everything have to require so much practice? Anyhow, I do like the butterflies which I cut from a fancy cocktail napkin. And the bright blue one from a magazine. They give your eye something pretty to rest on. And the produce bag netting has a softening effect. I saw a line somewhere (don’t know the source of the quote), “Leave everyone wondering which is more interesting, you or your hat.” In this case, it’s definitely the hat!

Maple Preview

scan0082The leaves they are a changin’! It’s just the start but we know what lies ahead. The mornings and evenings have a chill to them but it still warms up mid-day. Lovely time of year. Except for that melancholy feeling that summer is over. It’s such a short season here. And knowing winter is just around the bend. It’s such a long season here. And next we’ve got to contend with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas–all boatloads of work and fuss. I know, I know, they are fun too. But can I just go lock myself in a cabin in the woods somewhere?

JUST KIDDING. Speaking of curmudgeons, if you want to read some good stuff, check out Mike Branch’s Rants from the Hill–a monthly column featured in the High Country News. His web site will lead you to the essays: http://www.michaelbranchwriter.com  They are available as pod casts too. He is a professor in Nevada and writes about nature, living in the high desert, and everything else and trust me, you will be entertained. One of my favorites is “The Hills Are Alive.” Check it out. http://www.hcn.org/blogs/range/rants-from-the-hill-the-hills-are-alive

Flowing Glass Ashtray

scan0080Glass is tricky to draw and paint. I decided to leave well enough alone and not try to do the lovely but complicated cast shadows. My stupid fear stomped all over my fierce determination. Maybe another time when I’m feeling more confident. This is a gorgeous glass ashtray that was in our house when I was growing up so it was probably acquired in the late 50s or 60s. Heavy and smooth. I don’t know where it came from. Maybe my parents remember. I like to think it’s Murano glass from Italy. But probably not.

It was such a satisfying feeling when I was posting every other day or every couple of days there for a short while. Painting and drawing every day as if I had nothing else in the world I needed to do. I need to arrange my life so I can do more of that. They call it being “in the zone.” When you are focused on something and unaware of the passage of time. It’s a GOOD thing. You know what it felt like to me? It felt like my destiny.

Italian Ashtray

scan0076The problem is I’m not learning from my mistakes. I keep doing these horrible mottled, overworked background washes. Thank heavens for the crop feature on the scanner. The sketchbooks I’m using are heavyweight drawing paper “for use with wet or dry media” but it’s only 93 lb and not meant to take the place of 140 lb watercolor paper. I do have some good quality watercolor paper that I just need to cut down to smaller sizes and USE. So that might help. The other thing that would help is if I would learn how to do washes. That’s really the main thing.

In the meantime here is my slightly wobbly rendition of this lovely ceramic ashtray which is for cigars as you can see from the cigar-sized rests. It’s about 7 inches in diameter and says Italy on the bottom. Such a pretty piece. If I’m ever in the mood for a Macanudo, this is what I’ll use.

Three Vases

more vases 002This is more my speed. Turns out I like drawing dishes which I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t started this blog. These vases have a similar vibe. I like the patterns, colors and how cheerful they are. The tall one is Japanese and the other two are from Italy. I especially like the yellow one. Something sweet about it. We keep drink stirrers in it on the kitchen counter. And chop sticks in the tall one.

I liked Carole’s idea (my sister-in-law) of putting collectibles, or art objects to use. For example, her coffee creamer and sugar are in pretty carnival glass containers. She will only buy something (from the TO DIE FOR consignment store near her) if she absolutely loves it and has a place in mind to use or display it.

I have not yet acquired that discipline. I am wildly indiscriminate and ruled by whim. Also, I absolutely love a LOT of stuff. And OK, I am aware that it can be a problem. There. I said it. But maybe I just need a bigger house. Yeah, that’s the ticket…

Da Bear

scan0071Spent way too long on this one and ended up overworking it. Hate the background. Should have just let it be what it is–a carving sitting on a table. I need to take another watercolor class. Glad I made a copy of the original line drawing which I liked (see below), before I started painting. Anyway, the actual scan0072bear is wonderful, he’s a carved block of wood roughly 9 inches in diameter. A sweet sculpture from Alaska–a trip my parents took decades ago.

On a different note, check out this site: http://www.busymockingbird.com and scroll down to the Aug. 27 post. The artist, Mica Angela Hendricks, let her 4 year old daughter draw in her new sketchbook–adding bodies to the faces Mica had done and the results are wonderful—quirky and original. The story about why she grudgingly let her child do this is hilarious. Mica ended up loving them and added paint and details to finish the collaboration. I love them too. Made my day. Makes me want to send some sketches to my adult sons. It’s not too late, right?

Still Life In Yellow and Gray


This was a fun, little experiment. I painted the paper gray and when dry, covered it with yellow paint and then wiped away the yellow to make the picture. Also scraped into it with a stick. The acrylic paint dried faster than I would have liked so there is more yellow than intended. But still, I liked the effect. Then I drew on it with pencil. I keep thinking I need to work it more, like it needs something…perhaps more contrast. But, I don’t know, maybe it’s fine the way it is. It would be fun to try again. Maybe another series?