Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Light before storm

In the middle of this, I thought, hey - here's a pen and ink that wants to become a watercolor. Still working with some leftover pigment because it was there and the initial impulse was for ink alone but the light turned gold just as I was getting into the scribbling. Couldn't resist the brush and water. Not quite the gold color I would have more carefully mixed. I'll have to clean off this plate tonight!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rainy path

I am a scribbling fool! I am simply going with the flow because, as anal as I have been about my marks in the past, apparently these speedy, sloppy strokes are the order of the day and must be leading me somewhere. The question is, should I be posting these?!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Great Horned Owl

I made a couple of quick sketches of the Great Horned Owl in the outdoor educational area of Walden's Puddle then worked this one up at home with leftover watercolor and a bit of gouache. My model was rather annoyed with me throughout the sketching!

See more at Landscape into Art and My Great Day.

Friday, April 25, 2008


After a full day teaching a workshop at Cheekwood, I took a short walk through part of the gardens and made this pen and ink of one of the lovely dogwood trees in bloom. After feeding the felines and tending to the poor little opossum (who is still, barely, hanging in there), I brought this sketch out to the studio and in very dim light worked it up with water and some watercolors left in a plate from earlier this week.

Come listen to a wonderful song over at My Great Day where you can read my list of favorite films with children. At Landscape into Art I'm continuing to show paintings of my back yard from the past year and a half.

My songs and CDs

Thursday, April 24, 2008

New plantings

Is there any way to make an eyesore beautiful? Only through art but I'm afraid this is not a good example of how to. The dilapidated air conditioners are fit into hacked out siding and the wire fence is worse for the mulberry stump collapse. Still, I felt compelled to make a very quick drawing of the new plantings. From left to right there's sweet broom (barely visible but I hear it grows fast and tall), what was a radiant red-tipped photinia still reeling from the shock of being transplanted and an elaeagnus. They all are fast growers so with luck and good tending this section of the yard should be looking much better in no time.

As for my sketch, well, I'll have to make a better one asap and post it just as quickly!

Come to think of it, see today's post of one of my yard paintings at Landscape into Art. I'll redeem myself.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Knocked over

I have a regular stone birdbath inherited from the previous owner of this property. Sometime last Spring, I picked up a nice looking plastic bird bath. In order for the plastic one to stand, I need to post a rod into the ground for support. I've never gotten around to that and have sort of gotten used to seeing it on its side near the junior oak leaf hydrangeas, in front of the vines on the next door neighbor's garage wall. A little piece of yard art.

My songs and CDs

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Over the compost pile

I didn't get deeply enough into this one - could have worked up some darker values - but something distracted me and I quit before getting there.

My songs and CDs

Monday, April 21, 2008

Down the west hedge

Although it mostly rained for three weeks, April 7th was a very nice day and I took advantage of the weather to get out and sketch. I didn't mind the rain too much because it's exactly what we're supposed to be seeing not to mention what we desperately need in middle Tennessee having been in an extraordinary drought over the past couple of years.

Anyway, the tippy tops of the trees were just starting to bud that day and the grass was beginning to get a bit long.

My songs and CDs

Friday, April 18, 2008

Southwest view

As promised, here's a slightly beefier version of the Southwest view from my studio. I drew this on 7 April so there's still very little foliage in the trees. Aside from the fact that I've become a wus about working outside in chilly weather, the landscape around my house and this region is so riddled with trillions of tiny bare branches that I haven't been able to get a good fix on landscape from any comfortable vantage point when the leaves aren't out. But they're coming out now!

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bare Bones

Hmmm.... I was wondering whether or not to post this — it's so simple — but apparently have decided to! This is a five second bare bones of what I look out on every morning from my writing spot in my inner sanctum. Tomorrow I'll post a beefier version.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Bamboo Gate

Some students just like to watch me draw and so I've surrendered to that and have learned to whack something out with minimal narration about why I'm making some mark and how I'm establishing some illusion. This is the last drawing I made for the Winter drawing class at Cheekwood and it's a fitting image for the close of another session.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Stone Latern

I doodled this up between looking over the shoulders of students. In class, I like to leave students alone to work on their own for a while. In these interims, I madly set to work thinking that I might be able to accomplish something then get anxious about leaving people alone for too long and leave off to go look over a shoulder and more often then not, grab someone's pencil (after asking permission).

Monday, April 14, 2008

Forming Trees

The sketches over the next few days were made during my last drawing class at Cheekwood in the Japanese Garden. This sketch was to demo working up the negative space to pop out trees, for example, and establish value.


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