Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 30 - The last page...

Well this is the last day of Art Every Day Month - November 2010. This is a page out of my regular sketchbook.....I saw this photo with bird silhouettes and something triggered a memory about snow, trees and the dark....I played with this idea in my sketchbook, and I could hear what I was I thinking but I couldn't picture it and kept going until I got close. As I worked this, I tried to think of some things my uncle taught me about drawing trees. I remember him giving me a lesson on doing trees when I was a teenager. He said trees are living things, each with their own shape. So, I dedicate this sketch to him for a lesson that has stayed with me...and I finally remembered the scene playing in my head that triggered the sketch above, it's from the movie "Polar Express," in the dark, when the little girl's ticket was flying through the forest, land's in the eagle's nest, animals calling in the background, that magical quiet that snow brings....

Monday, November 29, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 29 - The Chloe Pages

Puppies are a tough subject, I have 4 pages of Chloe sleeping, these were the best 2 of the 4...it's tough to sketch an animal when they are constantly changing position. Chloe is sleeping on her two blankets, the cuddly pink one and the soft brown one. Interesting thing about Chloe's color, she's considered "fawn," but she has a lot of pink tones and has pink skin, even a pink nose.

I wish I had sketched my Troy (RIP) as much as I sketch Chloe. If you have a pet you love dearly, sketch them often.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 28 - Greek Mythology

I finished a book recently that was tied to French Impressionist times and a painting based on a Greek Myth...this sort of led me to work on this page based on Greek gods and other characters...once in a while as artists, we have issues with the Scylla and Charybdis, better known in modern times as a rock and a hard place. I haven't decided yet what more I may want to add to this page.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 26 - Vegging Out

Tough day today....stepdaughter had a gall bladder attack early Wednesday morning, needed immediate surgery so they told her to get through Thanksgiving and come back this morning...so we were over in the ER early this AM waiting on her surgery, which was done around 1 PM ish...She's spending the night in the hospital, we are home now sitting by the fire trying to recover from the day.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 25 - Thanksgiving

Because it's Thanksgiving, I decided to keep it simple. We finished dinner, finished dessert, and I even finished baking that Pumpkin Bread I made out of the extra pumpkin in the can. I sat down to enjoy a cup of tea...and I sketched in that pumpkin bread that is looking too tasty to leave for breakfast tomorrow....time to relax and veg out.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 24 - The End of the Art House Sketchbook

Finally, the last sketch of my Art House sketch book. I went over to the coffee house this evening because I wanted the last sketch in the book to be at a Sketch Club outing...I was going to add color to the roaster, but I didn't want to ruin the sketch on the back page.

OK, so now the fun begins, all the embellishments for the mixed media pages and to decorate the cover. Then the scanning of all the pages in their final form. Then the book hits the mail....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


My website, finally! I put the basics together and I will be tweaking as I go but here it is!


Art Every Day Month - Day 23 - Testing out Strathmore's Visual Journal

I purchased three of the new Strathmore Visual Journals to test out. I don't usually use a spiral bound sketchbook because spiral pages slide and can smear more delicate mediums, but I picked these up to test drive them for my sketch group. This watercolor sketch was done on the 140lb cold press Visual Journal. Page buckled slightly but not too bad. Has a nice texture so that you can use the paper as part of the sketch. Handled layers and washes well. This was my first test drive, I'll see how it handles ink and other wet media, plus two sided work. Very reasonably priced, got it at Jerry's Artarama for a whopping $3.96 for 22 sheets of 5 .5 x 8 inch sheets of sturdy 140 lb watercolor paper in a wire bound sketchbook. Not a bad buy.

The sketch is from a photo that I took with my IPhone one morning during the summer. It's one of the rock jetties that border the Patchogue River, looking out toward Fire Island, in the distance.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 22 - In my personal sketchbook

I have three pages left in my Art House sketch book, I am leaving them to be closed by how they were opened, with a Sketch Club sketch, so I am working in my personal sketchbook this evening...I pulled up a photo that I took over the summer that I have been wanting to play with for a while....My Hand-book sketchbook has sturdier paper, but you can't beat it to a pulp, which is what I did tonight unintentionally and messed up the setting sun a little...I had the Stravinsky's Firebird Suite playing in the background, conducted by Ricardo Muti with the Philly Orchestra, I MISS him. He's an awesome conductor.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 21 - Autumn Journal Page

Only have a few pages left in the Art House Sketchbook...I quickly put this page together this evening because we weren't home all day. I have a few things more I do to journal type pages...with this book being three pages short of full, I will have plenty of time before January to go back in and embellish these.

Also, Monday is usually my goals posting day, and I am happy to say I managed to sneak in time this weekend to work on my website and I should be uploading that some time this week.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 20 - Pan Pastel Sketch

Tonight, the sunset was looking pretty colorful so I quickly took a photo and sketched this real quick with my pan pastels. I am trying to see what I can do with them, what limitations that they have, what advantages. I used pastel pencils for the trees and the house...this is only a sketch but it's a good exercise on using a medium I am familiar with in a different form, but getting acquainted with in this pan form.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 19 - What goes in my personal sketchbook...

The sketchbook pages that I have been doing for this November project are in my Art House CoOp sketchbook which will be sent to the CoOp in Brooklyn where it will join thousands of others and go on a tour around the US. When it comes back, it will be part of a permanent sketchbook library. I like the idea that something I am doing will be hand's on for the public to enjoy.

However, my private sketchbook, the one I really use, is used for a lot of things, not just sketches, but notes, and other ephemera gets glued in there, plus, it's also used for the more technical side of being an artist. What you are seeing here is my color mixing exercises and a personal journal page that I am still fussing with.

Tonight I was testing the two new pan pastel colors I got from Jerry's, the Chromium Oxide Green and Violet X Dark. I did smudges of them on the sketch book page, then went over them with another color in my pan pastel collection. What you are seeing is a blending of colors. We do this to get an idea of what will happen when we mix a color with another, then keep records for future reference when we are looking for that certain color later when we are painting. Not the more glamourous side of being an artist, but it's necessary to educate yourself in the language of color. So I took the time this evening to work on my technical, instead applicational, skills and you get a peek into my working sketchbook.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 18 - Testing out some new pan pastel colors

I ordered two new Pan Pastel colors, I have the full set of base colors, except that I didn't have Chromium Oxide Green, which is a warmer green that is useful for landscapes and I also ordered Violet X-dark because I like Indigo and wanted to see if I could mix Indigo myself.

This little pan pastel sketch (with pastel pencils for fine tuning) is perfect for trying out the new green. My little yellow friend in the middle used to visit my house in Jersey along with the rest of his family to eat the seeds from the sunflowers that grew outside the house every year. I used to love hearing their cheery, happy chirps as they emptied all the seed heads that I grew for them every year.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 17 - George Wybenga's Demo

I was at the South Bay Artist Association's monthly meeting tonight, I am a member and we had a special Demo of creative mat cutting and gift box making given by George Wybenga. It was a great demo and it was nice to learn more about George. He has a book that has all the different templates for making all sorts of boxes. It was awesome and of course I forgot the title but I can search his name on line. He also has done about 250 paintings of train cabooses and hopes to get those published.

I sketched this at the demo and didn't finish, George is in the middle and I needed to tweak him a lot (he was moving a lot, of course), but folks wanted to see my sketch book so it got passed around and the demo was over by the time I got it back, but I have the gesture of what was going on. My perspective is s little off but I wasn't going for accuracy tonight, I was trying to remember the demo better by sketching it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 16 - Whipping up something

Sometimes, it's a good thing I have a sketch book to screw things up in so that I don't feel so bad when something disastrous happens. Yesterday's sketch at the coffee shop was done with what I thought was a waterproof ink fountain pen, well, that wasn't the case. I tried to gesso the back of the page to hide the leaked pen marks from the other side and because the gesso was wet, the inked sketch on the other side looks like a wash instead of a drawing now. I've learned not to get upset about mishaps, but it still doesn't prevent me from being a little annoyed at myself for not testing it first.

It didn't gesso well at all, so what I ended up doing was pasting down a collage, I whipped up this little gem as a pick me up. I'll call it a night on my laptop, and maybe sit by the TV to embellish these collages with some gel pens and other stuff and have some fun with it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 15....At the Coffee Shop

Our local coffee shop had open mic night for poetry. We got there just after they finished, we were running behind because hubby had public transportation issues coming home tonight. We got a cup of java, listened to some Beatles, sang along and laughed at the antics of the poetry folks, who were socializing after their readings. I sketched them, which was very much like sketching fish in a fish tank because they were constantly moving, LOL. It's tough to sketch the public because they aren't posing for you so the pose can frequently change depending on your subject having the "fidgets." It's a good exercise, though.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 14....The Red Maple Tree

We have a red maple tree on our front lawn...I was putzing around this morning in the house, and my husband came in from outside to get me. He wanted to show me how pretty the red maple in front of the house looked this morning...next thing I know, he has a chair and a crate set up for me and I am outside sketching the tree. I used my pan pastels and my pastel pencils for this one.

My husband is my biggest fan and is constantly looking for things for me to sketch and paint. Our tree out front is beautiful and this time of year, it's a bright red. It has a nice shape, so it was fun to put on paper.

Two more pages done in my Art House CoOp sketch book!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 13....The Paintworks in Voorhees NJ

This watercolor sketch, with some ink for detail, was done very quickly as the sun was setting, the last of the "golden hour." I pretty much got this done by the skin of my teeth, balancing the sketchbook and my watercolor palette precariously on my sketch bag and sketch box , as a make shift easel. If this was a painting, I would have corrected a few things, but this is just a color sketch and I could probably do a painting from the information I set down here plus what I remember from the scene. That's the advantage of doing sketches on location, you retain a lot in memory.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 12....Results of my visit to AC Moore

I went to AC Moore tonight. I was on a mission for a certain type of sketchbook that I wanted to test out, went to Michael's first, then AC Moore, neither had the item. I miss PEARL ART!!! I guess I'll have to order on line. However, I spotted some stamps and some nifty paper that I just had to try out....and GLUE DOTS. Glue dots are so cool! But PVA glue works much better for this type of project, I am finding out...

Doing this page made me think of the disclaimer "Do not try this at home..." This is more like, do not try this with your good clothes on. At AC Moore, I picked up a glue dots, a packet of printed card stock paper (great for collage), and two holiday type stamps, one that says "Merry Christmas," always one that is useful, and the other has the Misfits from Rudolph that says "Misfits Have More Fun..."
Priceless, LOL.

Got them home and just had to try them out, what the heck, pulled out Naphthol Crimson and Hooker's Green Permanent Hue (both are liquid acrylics, the kind you pour on) and spread them on the page with an old credit card. Interesting mix.....and messy.

Added some collage bits, some pan pastel shading and took white pan pastel and smeared it on the stamps and pressed it on the page and got a really cool result.

This image is dark, but when I get done with embellishments, it will look completely different....17 pages to go in my Art House Sketch book!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 11....More for the Chloe Pages

Here's Chloe in a pose that I could swear she's saying "I'm too sexy for my dress...."

And at the same time, will roll over and try to scrape it off, LOL. They are supposed to keep her warm, but since she's turbo puppy all day, I would say she doesn't need them unless she is keeping still.

That was her Halloween Dress...she didn't scare anyone but had a lot of people telling her how cute she was on Halloween.

Now, what to wear for Thanksgiving.......

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 10....Art in the Coffee Shop

Tonight, I was out with my sketch group, which basically was just one other person tonight plus someone who came along to check us out. Sometimes we get a lot of people, sometimes not... We were at the Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Company on Main Street In Patchogue. I did this pen and ink sketch while we were talking all sorts of artsy topics. I was going to watercolor it but I think I like it just the way it is.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 9....The Chloe Pages

The Art House CoOp Sketchbook is a Moleskine Cahier book, which is a softcover book with very thin paper. It's not the right sort of paper for wet media, but I have been working around this issue by coating the underside of the paper, after using watercolor on one side, with gesso so I can use it for something else. If I want to use watercolor, I coat it with absorbent ground on top of the gesso.

After I do this, I prep with a color wash on a few pages to work ahead so I can get right into the next phase...this was a page I prepped in purple, which afterwards, I though would look good with Chloe.

I sketched Chloe in another sketchbook, then I photocopied the sketch and glued it down along with little cameos of Chloe for the border. Again, this is the 2nd stage, further stages will be occurring as I work through the book. More embellishments to come....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 8....Behind the Scenes for the Elegant Lady story

The Elegant Lady lived in the times of Renoir and Degas and all their cronies. Before she "moved up" in the world, she hung out with the rest of the artistic crowd, which included theatrical people, dancers and writers along with the painters. During the summer, they would board the train to the country, many to a place known as La Grenouillere, the Frog Pond. This was many of the rustic places along the Seine where Parisians would go to enjoy their summers in the sun, they would don swim suits and swim or they would have boat races. It was a Sunday past time. Many of the Impressionists, were known to hang out here, or also paint scenes here.

Many liked to dine at La Maisson Fournaise, which was the location of Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party."

This sketchbook page is my homage to La Grenouillere. The Elegant Lady would just DIE if her society knew she hung out here and flopped around in the crowds in a swim suit or hung out with sweaty men fresh from competing in boat races. She no longer lives in France so that life is behind her....or is it?

This page is also still a work in progress. My sketch/journal pages are layered, I might glue more things on, add gel pen embellishments and other ephemera. I will write in some of the elegant lady story, and just have more fun with it. If this was a painting, I work on it and when I am done, I walk away, but these type pages, I like to see what else I can build them up with. I come back to them at a later time and add more.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 7....Changing it up

Today's page I switched it up...we'll get back to the elegant lady during the week, I need printer paper to photocopy some of the scraps I want to use for the elegant lady pages...I ran out of printer paper so I had to change it up. I found a fragment of a leaf outside, the color caught my eye, so I brought that in and glued it to the page. I also decided to do a small sketch of Chloe so I can glue that into the page as well. Sort of mixing the collage, mixed media with a traditional sketch. I like how the newspaper print looks as a border so I've been doing that a lot the past few days.

As I am doing these, I am experimenting with techniques I would not have normally tried. This specific page was previously gesso'd then I covered it with absorbent ground so watercolor would adhere to it....I painted Ultramarine Blue and let it dry, then I was watching Avatar and a scene gave me an idea. I dropped paint drops onto that page, they were very wet so I dabbed the page with a paper towel and it left the spots you see here. I didn't mean to do that, but sometimes you get lucky with accidents.

One thing about doing this Art Every Day Month, the ideas are just flowing and I am learning some things just by playing with materials and techniques outside of my normal comfort zone.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 6....

Well I have to fill my Art house sketchbook and mail it out after the New Year, so many of my current activities are in that book. I am having a little fun with the "elegant lady" sketchbook pages. I never thought of telling a story with my art and I am having fun with it.

Tonight's page for Art Every Day Month, is scenes from the time that the "elegant lady" lived. It was also the time for many things in Paris, from where she lived her younger years as a show girl.

Basically, I do two types of pages in my sketchbooks these days. One is the straight up sketching or traditional sketchbook work, and I also do collage/mixed media pages to change things up and to stir the creative juices a bit. This page is of the 2nd type. I start with the basic set up you see here, and go back in and embellish the page and I will add more to the story on this one. In my personal sketchbook, I put daily activities, thoughts and other writings on my pages.

When the entire art house sketchbook is complete, I will be scanning in the whole book and posting the scanned, polished pages on my Art house coop site, the link and more info will come when the book is close to completion. For now, I am posting these current ones as my art every day accomplishments with further embellishments to come...

Art Every Day Month - Day 5....The story continues

Another journal page added to my Art House Sketch book....I decided to continue the story of the elegant lady....giving you a glimpse of her past...her wild life as a French show girl...hanging out with such a crowd, which included some artists such as Monsieur Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec...Such scandalous behavior, I believe she also was paid to pose for them.....This page isn't complete...it actually is taking me a while to think this process through to tell a bit of the story.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 4....Things aren't always what they seem

Recently, my husband and I had discussed a situation that made us think of the quote "Methinks thou dost protest too much...." That led me to think of an idea that helped me produce this page in my sketchbook...The woman is from high society, she travels in the most elite circles, yet...the small image is portrayed as a French Show girl, which is the elegant woman's past life....Hence the title, "things aren't always as they seem..."

Things in life, people you know, aren't always as they seem and it made me think of how I could portray this in art....I don't know how many times we've heard "don't take this personal but...." In the movie "You've Got Mail," Kathleen chastises Joe because he tells her it wasn't personal that he put her out of business. She tells him, "All it means is it's not personal to you, but it's personal to me, it's personal to a lot of people. And what's so wrong with being personal, anyway?" This elegant woman in my art is trying to hide her past, she is not what everyone thinks she is...which may one day catch up to her, when something personal happens to her....

There may be more to this story.....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 3

I worked on this in my Art House Sketch Book and as part of my Sketch Club Outing. We set up a still life in my kitchen, now I must confess, painting a still life hasn't been my thing, but it's always good to challenge myself. This started out as all watercolor, I hated the background so I simplified it with gouache. I am not sure what else I want to do with this yet, but here's what I have so far.....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Art Every Day Month

Well, I am going to give this my best shot. I joined an Art Every Day Month (November) on a blog I stumbled on...it was supposed to start yesterday but I missed a day, so here's my submission, a quick sketch of Chloe, who was constantly changing position as she gnawed her bone and I attempted to get her on paper....I took a quick IPhone photo so I could get this submitted before I went to bed, it's still too damp to scan...Chloe was on her bed chewing her curly chewy, which is actually an all-natural dried cow tendon. Gross, but she likes them.
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