Camp Site

scan0232This is a little charcoal sketch I did for Sam’s birthday card. Had to come up with it quickly on THE day since I had forgotten about a card and realized I can’t do a homemade b-day card for his brother and not one for him–what kind of mom would I be? Yeah, lame. He and a good friend did 4 nights and 5 days on the Long Trail  early this month. They are working on the whole thing about 50 miles at a time each September. Rich and I enjoy hearing about their venture, the beautiful scenery, the funny things people write in the log books at the shelters, their discussions about food and drink as the days go by and how sick they are of trail mix. “If you could have any beer right now, what would you pick?” And, “What meal would you kill for right now?” Stuff like that. Sam said one of the best things he did was pack a Snickers bar for each day. He said a cup of coffee, a cigarillo and a Snickers bar…doesn’t get much better than that. Hmm…I’m thinking Christmas shopping should be pretty easy this year.

Black and White Necklace

more necklace 003Well gosh, I am such a delinquent blogger. Not that you are clamoring to hear from me but the whole idea of my blog is to draw and post stuff on a regular basis. Certainly more than once a month. But never mind, time to jump start it again, get back into the swing. Here is a simple necklace I made from rustic glass beads from the ReStore and a length of black suede cord. I drew it on this vintage ledger paper for added interest, using a black felt pen, white acrylic paint and watercolor pencils for the shading. It is too big for the scanner so I took pictures and then got obsessed with the photo editing trying to get it to look like it does in real life. Spent way too long on that. Geez, as if it mattered. I hate my inability to decide and select. Turns everything into a monumental ordeal. UGH. Sometimes I hate myself. Time to cut into the chocolate cake!

Knitted Batman Suit

scan0231While visiting my parents in VA last week, I went to the Textile Museum at GWU. They have some interesting pieces, old and new, in the collection. But I have to say, this hand knitted batman suit is my favorite. An artist named Mark Newport knitted it out of acrylic yarn–it is adult size and must have taken FOREVER to knit. Knitting is slow. I searched for him online and oh my gosh, he has made lots of super hero suits along with some made up ones — “Sweater Man” for example. All different colors and stripes. They are hilarious, sweet and quirky. He’s been exhibiting these for a while (he must knit 24/7!) and he likes them droopy on a hanger as if they were hanging in your closet for you to put on. Hmm…who shall I be today? Don’t you want to meet this guy? His view of the world must be colorful. I used a Pentel Energel pen (I like how it bleeds a little when wet) and watercolor pencils for my sketch.

Frida And Me

scan0224Rich and I recently drove down to the Bronx to see the NY Botanical Garden–fun short trip! They are honoring Frida Kahlo this year and have recreated some of the gardens from her home in Mexico in the conservatory, and have a collection of her paintings in a gallery. This self portrait was one of the works exhibited. I’m not a fan of Frida’s art but she is an interesting cultural icon, historical figure and was-still is- beloved by her country. scan0227So to commemorate the trip, I decided to insert myself into this oil painting. Move over, Frida! I opted to leave out the pricking thorns and dead bird hanging from her neck… and substituted my beaded branching necklace. I used watercolor pencils and pen. Hair is hard, need to work on that. And really a white shirt just does nothing for me. I’m like a ghost with the pale shirt, pale eyes and pale hair. Frida painted lots of self portraits which is the key–regular practice changes everything. On the one hand I hate that that’s true. Why does everything have to take practice? On the other hand, I like drawing, so it’s a good thing! Cooking–an entirely different story.

Man With The Golden Helmet

scan0223This famous image from around 1650 is an oil painting long attributed to Rembrandt. Now they are thinking it may have been one of his students who actually painted it in his style. Either way–great helmet! We had a framed print of this in our dining room when I was a kid. A lot of people thought it looked like my dad and yes, there is a bit of resemblance. The steely gaze and shape of the face. I was a little bummed when I found out it had been sold in a yard sale many years ago. Not that I loved the picture, but mainly just because it had been a familiar fixture in our house growing up. But hey, no problem, I found a picture of it in a discarded art book so I pulled the page scan0222out and put it in an old gold frame. Anyway, I thought I would continue with my little project involving my versions of art masterpieces. I was trying to do a portrait of my dad and this doesn’t look like him but there’s perhaps a vague resemblance. Dad has pale blue eyes but also fair skin. And a much friendlier expression. But if he were a big headed, battle weary conquistador from the 16th century then this could be him. Oh, hey Dad, Happy Father’s Day! This is your card which I will get in the mail to you shortly.

Stardust Sleeping

stardust 009The charm bracelet painting I am working on is not coming along swimmingly. So in the meantime here is a charcoal drawing of Stardust–the best cat in the world–who belongs to Jill next door. Sweet, sweet kitty. She lets us pretend that she’s our kitty too. And we let her pretend that she owns our yard, the back porch, the bird feeders and all the birds.

Homage to Chagall

scan0220I had this postcard (top) of Marc Chagall’s “Homage to Gogol”, which I used as an idea for a birthday card for Spencer. Chagall’s art has a strange, dreamlike quality to it, often with floating, sinuous figures. How did he come up with this stuff? Anyway, I thought I’d try my own version of it. He used gouache and pencil on paper. Mine is collage and watercolor, pencil and pen on paper. This was a fun little project and wacky enough to suit Spence. He says that’s just what he looks like walking to classes.

Drawing Class

draped figure 001skeleton2 001We are working on skeletons and draped figures in drawing class. Working from printed handouts of master works, using charcoal. Messy but satisfying. I especially like drawing with the kneaded eraser– creating highlights by removing charcoal. The creepy skeleton is copied from an 18th century engraving by Jan Wandelaar. Not sure who did the upper left draped figures (top photo), but I’ll find out. You should be having this much fun!

A Good Egg

scan0211Well this was fussy! But it was fun to draw once I settled down to it. Sort of meditative except for the part where I hold my breath. That can’t be good. This egg falls into the category of candles I can’t burn. It’s just too pretty. But then I’m a saver as you know. I was fine with this until I put the shadow in–ugh. Me and my shadows–geez. And the perspective, the curvature of the egg–tricky! Parts are a little awry. A little more time spent tweaking the initial sketch would solve some issues. But never mind all that, it’s still a good egg.