Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Off to Mexico

I'm heading out for a couple weeks in San Miguel, Mexico. I'm traveling with my sketching buddies Cynthia and Paula, so I had to make some sketchbooks before I go. For my first one I wanted something bold and graphic, filled with plain watercolor paper:

I also wanted to take a journal full of different kinds of paper to change up my sketching some. I've been so inspired by the Remains of the Day journals I've seen from Mary Ann Moss' class, that I decided to sign up and make one of my own. It's a great online class. I'm sure I could have figured things out by looking at other's journals, but I would have spent a lot of time reinventing the wheel. It's a fun class and full of tips.

My Remains of the Day journal is inspired by the gorgeous hand dyed colors I saw while in Oaxaca:

Here's my cover:

And the back:

I wanted to mix the pages up with lots of different paper and leave a lot more blank space than Mary Ann does, so I have room for sketches.

I'm eager to play in this one and am hoping the challenge of different paper pushes my sketching in some new directions.

See you mid-October!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Color Play

I love thinking about color, learning about color, and just plain playing around with color. Most books on color that I look at are the same old, same old--color wheel, analogous colors, complimentary colors........ This one is refreshingly different.

Most of the exercises in the book have you working with color intuitively. I liked this exercise of making a simple grid, starting by choosing the center square color, and then working out from there quickly with whatever color feels right. I did them with a small, cheap box of crayons, so I didn't get much range of color. They'd be a lot of fun with a nicer set of colored pencils or paint. These are suppose to be the elements fire, water, air, and earth.

She also works with designer color samples, which seemed like they would be great to have until I found out they cost $100. I decided to make my own by cutting up paint chips (yes, I just happened to have that many paint chips lying around--I never can resist a handful when I see them.)

I started ad libbing my own exercises and pulling palettes based on color schemes that surprise or inspire me.

Fallen plums--came from seeing plums on the ground in the alley. The plums were cracked open and sitting on dirt and stones.

Bakery Bar--the decor of a favorite haunt:


I often fall back on favorite color combinations, so it's a fun way to stir things up a bit.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Summer sketches

This week marks the official end of summer for me as my boys start back to school this week and next. I've been enjoying our mild summer and meeting every Tues. with my sketching group for outings around Portland. Here's a little farewell to summer sketching as we no doubt will be returning inside soon.

View of the Rose Festival from east side of the river:

The Rose Garden in full bloom this year:

One of my favorite spots is Hughes water garden, full of lily ponds, fountains and gorgeous displays:

McMenamin' Edgefield with intriguing angles and architecture:

Lake Oswego's display of public art:
And Luscher Farms community garden:

I was just talking to a friend about why my sketches don't look anything like my fiber work or my paintings. I'm not sure why that is. I'm wondering if it is because my training in drawing was all very precise, or if I freeze up too much when I start working realistically. Maybe it's that I fall back on ink and watercolor because it's portable. Whatever it is, I'd like to have the same freedom and looseness in sketching that I do in my other work.

I'm intrigued by this book by Stephen Aimone. Lots of fun exercises for expressive drawing (mainly abstract) that I want to try.

And I really like this playful new book by Carla Sonheim.
She encourages lots of quick playful sketches. Here's Jack in action.

I'm hoping they take my fall sketches in a whole new direction.

Z'anne is giving away a lovely turquoise and coral necklace over on my art group's blog this month. Stop by and leave a comment to enter the drawing.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Back to the Dots

I'm going to be traveling later this fall, so I've decided to use Sept. to get lots of my little gift items ready for my art group's Dec. show.

Last year I made little dots of fabric and put them everywhere. You can see them here and here.

They were so much fun to play with that they will be reappearing in new forms this year.

I'm restocking my little hearts since they sold out last year. This year I'm experimenting with using big, graphic black and white prints as the backgrounds:

And I'm making some fantasy landscape bookmarks:

And my dots make perfect owl eyes. I'm trying some larger guys:

If you are in the Portland area, mark your calendars for Dec. 3 and 4 at Multnomah Art Center. It's always a really fun show.