Cut Paper Floral

One of my favorite things in the weekend Wall Street Journal ‘Off Duty’ section is a monthly column called Flower School. In it, Lindsey Taylor puts together a floral arrangement based on a work of art. The flowers and arrangement are always gorgeous as is the photograph of it. She really does capture the mood, colors and composition of a piece. Her write-up is delightful too. It’s perfect in every way. Sometimes the art work is well known but often it’s an artist I’ve not heard of or a piece I’ve not seen. I end up looking up that artist to learn more so it’s educational in addition to being visually pleasing. A nice break from the news. Check it out: https://lindseytaylorgardens.squarespace.com/writing-1-1/ ¬†Scroll down to WSJ Off Duty to see her arrangements. For my arrangement above, I cut leaves, flowers and a bowl shape from white card stock and glued them to Canson dark gray pastel paper using YES! paste. Cutting and pasting–one of life’s simple joys.

Chicadee dee dee

Such a delightful bird! Playful and bold. They seem to enjoy their birdness, you know? The way they dip and swoop as they fly. Anyway, I always felt it would be too hard to draw or paint birds since they are so precise–their markings and smooth feathers. But then I remembered that it doesn’t have to be perfect, just give it a try. I’m not illustrating a bird book. Don’t be afraid. All that stuff. This card was drawn with a micron pen and watercolor. Sam said if he had to pick a favorite non-human creature, it would be a chickadee. Good choice. Happy Birthday, Sam!

Winter Wrens

Happy Anniversary to us! Yep, it’s 36 years today–hard to believe. Well, not that hard. I think it’s funny when people say things like “Seems like just yesterday we were walking down the aisle.” No it doesn’t. It seems like thirty-some years ago. But it’s been great! I love my husband and we are happy. Aren’t we, honey? I know I often sound like a curmudgeon but maybe I’m just a realist. Although not so much with my art. This is the card I made for Rich. I used pen, watercolor and crayon here. I haven’t ever seen a winter wren but whenever I’m flipping through the bird book and see it, I always think–what a cute bird. The book says they hang out in forests and near woodland streams. They forage on the ground and their nests are also near the ground so they wouldn’t survive in our neighborhood with all the cats. Nature is cruel, gotta be tough. I hate that. See, more realism.

Momma Bear

Here’s a belated Mother’s Day post. I drew this piece from a photo I took of a clay sculpture at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in D.C. It’s in the glass cases that serve as their visible art storage system. Louis Naranjo is the sculptor and he was from Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico. He did a whole series of storyteller bears and this was his first. You can google him and see lots of photos of his wonderful clay bear sculptures. It’s smallish–about six by nine inches as I recall. Very sweet. I used watercolor pencils and am not happy with how the black bear body turned out, flat and streaky. Probably regular watercolors would have worked better for me–which is what I used for the background. Wanted to share it anyway. She looks a little dazed. Kids.

Portraits of Jesus’s Mom

And now for some-thing completely different. I found a three-by- four inch notepad of hand-made paper and wanted to test it out. So I drew quick sketches of some favorites from the large book I have of Mary throughout the ages, as painted by different artists. I used a micron pen and then watercolor pencils for color. Fun little studies. Certainly less somber than the originals. It’s interesting to see how Mary has been depicted through the ages. Sometimes humble and kindly and other times in armor and with a sword. Pretty bad-ass. Well, she had a stressful job.

Ten Minute Elephants

Sam and I did three of the timed charcoal sketches that I mentioned in the last post. I should have included Sam’s camel in that post but I wasn’t thinking and hadn’t gotten his permission. So now here are our elephants (mine on top and Sam’s below), and his camel (at the bottom). His drawings are charming. Just like him.

I just want to mention too, that charcoal paper is so much better to use with charcoal than regular paper. So much easier to get good results. Easier to smudge and blend. Get some and try it!

Ten Minute Camel Sketch

One weekend when Sam was here he suggested we draw together, doing timed ten minute sketches. The object was my choice, the medium his–charcoal. It was so much fun. I may have gone a tad over ten minutes but not much. This ceramic camel is about eight inches long and three and a half inches wide and I guess it’s meant to be a tea pot or creamer since his mouth is a spout. It probably at one time had a lid. But matching lids to things are in short supply in thrift stores. He’s charming, though, don’t you think? Definitely fits in with my curios.