Thursday, December 31, 2009

Little Moon Essentials

It's alarming that, while I've been working like a dog to get everyone else drawing, I have not been drawing myself! Oh, well. These things happen. So... my New Year's Resolution is to draw something every day and post it here no matter what. I do not care what it looks like or that I manage to post every day. Only that I manage to draw every day!

I grabbed the closest thing on my desk on New Year's Eve and, when I was almost through, realized that I was drawing spray bottles of Blue Moon Essentials mists on a ... Blue Moon! But I confused myself! They are Little Moon Essentials and I encourage you to try their products, especially the Sleep Comes Easy mist. It's great! (and so is the company.)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Frothy in Ink on Blue

The Frothy Monkey
12th Avenue South

Tomorrow is the first neighborhood Big Draw day in the United States. Right here at the Frothy Monkey beginning at 8 AM. I expect that I'll be way too busy to draw but this is a good place to thank the one person in the neighborhood who helped me create a community event by providing a staging area and unflagging encouragement. That person is Miranda Whitcomb Pontes, owner of The Frothy Monkey. Thanks, Miranda!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Greater Christ Temple Church

Greater Christ Temple Church
400 10th Avenue South

I'm just repeating myself to say that this is another mad-dash sketch. But it is! I wanted to make sure to have examples of a house, an architectural detail, buildings with historic importance and at least one church while showing different mediums, styles and levels of skill.

I chose Greater Christ Temple Church as the church example because it was the best attended Sunday morning service I noticed in the closest proximity to Frothy Monkey and because the Bishop's daughter welcomed me warmly and promised to pass fliers for the Big Draw to her father.

Looks like they're moving. I expect that, of the quick drawings of buildings I've made and posted, this church building, Magpie's and probably the Belmont Waverly School will no longer exist in the not too distant future.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Teddy's House

At this stage of making up drawings for the Big Draw promo exhibit, I was coloring monkey posters and agendas with markers. I set those fliers aside to throw myself with great abandon into a 5 year old's head to make this drawing based on a real house behind the Waverly Belmont School. Don't know what street it sits on but no matter.

After putting my crayola markers aside, I walked out to the mailbox where I found the new issue of Art News —

I must be doing something right.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


12th Avenue South and Kirkland Avenue

Yet another attempt at drawing style variation on a serious deadline. This is the only building in the 12 South neighborhood on the National Register for Historic Places. A quick ink sketch of all but the south wing.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Waverly Belmont School

Waverly Belmont School (detail)
2301 10th Ave South

One of the (many) reasons that drawing is so important is that it helps us to understand what we are looking at.

I love the 1930s design style of this carved title in the center tower of the brick school building on 10th Avenue South built in 1935 at the beginning of the WPA and FAP programs.

It was only by drawing this detail in the last few minutes before driving off to install the promotional exhibit for Big Draw 12 South that I understood the beautiful integrity of the characters, radiating suns and spirals.

Friday, October 2, 2009

2509 12th Avenue South

2509 12th Avenue South
Nashville, TN

Again, this page is too large for my scanner surface so this is a detail of the star of Big Draw 12 South: This Is Where I Live! — Miranda Whitcomb Ponte's Frothy Monkey Coffeehouse.

Last night, I sketched and drew until the second I had to leave the house to install the preview exhibit. Miranda and company were out painting the interior of the new addition while I was stringing sisal and clothes pinning paper up around the main room. Now, I pray for good weather on the 10th!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

1007 Gilmore Avenue

1007 Gilmore Avenue

Nashville, TN

I wish I had time to fiddle in photoshop and clean up the dulled edge of this paper - too big for my scanner surface.

As I was passing out early fliers for Big Draw Nashville, I met the fellow who lived here and had designed the addition (in back) to keep and honor the integrity of the front, original part of the house. They did a fabulous job and the red paint they chose for most of the house is a perfect shade!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Office Building at Sunnyside

Office Building
12th Avenue South and Kirkland Ave.

I have been madly cranking out drawings of buildings in the 12 South Neighborhood over the past couple of days as promo for the first Big Draw Nashville. The idea was to get neighborhood artists and Frothy employees to pitch in. The reality is that John Newman at Frothy made one great drawing, I have the two boys next door making last minute pencil sketches and it looks like it'll be a mostly Suzanne McDermott mini drawing exhibit for 10 days.

So, anyway, while trying to work up different styles and mediums, I really got tired of signing my name because this is not all about me. I signed my late mother's maiden name to the above because it's her birthday. I like it. It's a little Gahan Wilson-ish.

More to come.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


2227 10th Avenue South
Nashville, TN

I'm making a little pile of promotional drawings of buildings in the 12 South Neighborhood for promo during the 10 days leading up to Big Draw Nashville. Here's the first effort. Little building, big deal.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Frothy Monkey

A well-loved coffee house on 12 Avenue South in Nashville, Tennessee. The staging area for Big Draw Nashville, a rather important part of my current project.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


In a little bit of downtime, I turned the page of a garden book and found a glorious painting by I have no idea who made I have no idea when. But probably an English painter and probably in the 19th century. I love to sketch from photos and paintings. It's easy for me. I sketch from life most of the time because it's really difficult for me. Now that I write that in public, it strikes me as ridiculous. I think the greater truth is that I enjoy drawing from life because I enjoy connecting to life in the moment, as difficult as that may be.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Green Thumb Farm Stand

A glimpse of my part-time summer job. I felt like I was 17 again. A delight to work with plants and fresh vegetables and a stream of lovely customers. I squeezed this sketch into a moment of downtime and never had the chance to work it up a bit as I'd intended.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Garden Comes Forth

Along with the Sweet Bay Magnolia, one of the first plants to come forth with blooms in my garden is the Snow Queen Oakleaf Hydrangea.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Venice, California

My home away from home in Venice, California. Poor Skippy the dog (sitting on the porch chair) became a blob due to waterbrush and bleeding ink.

Last morning coffee on Abbot Kinney Street before my last beach walk.

En route from LAX (what a mess!) to Nashville. Here's a tip: never try to use a waterbrush in a pressurized airplane cabin. What a flow!!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Rescued Bird

After the workshop on Saturday, I drove up to Morro Bay for a walk on the beach north of Atascadero. Almost immediately, I spotted a stranded bird at the water's edge. Two young veterinarians had been watching the bird from the dunes for over an hour, watching it exhaust itself flapping it's wings with no results. As I leaned over the bird, I smelled a strong odor of oil and noticed that it's left wing and under-down were covered in oil.

I lifted the bird in a towel the young vets had given me and began walking, looking for help from someone. Eventually, I learned that there was a campground some ways up the beach and worked my way up there to the host who called his dispatcher who called a State Park Ranger who eventually came by in his pick up truck. The Ranger had a crate for the bird in the back of his truck and had called the local wildlife rescue organization who had a staff member waiting at the facility two minutes away.

A happy ending because all the bird needed was a wash and a rest. I did a slow burn about the young veterinarians who made no attempt to help the bird and thought of reporting them to their employers but time passed. But now that I've written this, I was prompted to pick up the phone to do so. Which I did. Now I can put the matter to rest with hopes that the bird is in flight again.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Brahms Requiem Cal Poly

I sat in on a rehearsal of the Brahms Requiem at Cal Poly and arrived as the first few musicians wandered onto the stage. I began sketching as the orchestra and choir assembled and continued (for a little while) after the hall was plunged into darkness. Sketching in the dark can be fun!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Santa Barbara Marina

I made the most of every minute in Santa Barbara, walking for hours upon hours. I finally plopped down on the beach before sunset and made this drawing.

Santa Barbara Courthouse Staircase

I paused on the outside of the outdoor/indoor staircase at the ever-fabulous Santa Barbara Courthouse and thoroughly enjoyed making this drawing.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Palm Springs in Ink

Here's the same view (more or less) out the front door of my Palm Springs host as seen in watercolor demo at Landscape into Art.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lobster portrait

I read this article about George the Giant Lobster and decided to post some old drawings of lobsters I found in one of my books. These were ideas for a book I was toying with some years back about a girl and her lobster. Over the next week, I'll be posting my favorites of these drawings.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Nine Cats 9

"If I really work at it, I wonder how much more hair I can scatter around."

To all winners of previous captions, email me privately with your addresses so that I can send you your little prizes!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nine Cats 8

"GULP.... THAT was NOT Tuna!!!??????"

Submitted by Sandy Maudlin.

See my paintings at Landscape into Art.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Nine Cats 7

"I know she'll drop something tasty soon..."
(watching the baby's high chair.)

Submitted by Trish.

See my paintings at Landscape into Art.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Nine Cats 6

"The playmate -oops, play date- is over now."

Submitted by Aubrey (daughter of Mineke).

See my paintings at Landscape into Art.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Nine Cats 5

You're not leaving again? Please?

Submitted by Mineke.

See my paintings at Landscape into Art.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nine Cats 4

I'm going to the vet to be....WHAT?!?!

Submitted by Rhonda Carpenter.

See my paintings at Landscape into Art.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Nine Cats 3

I know you're in there....

The game here is to comment with a caption that describe what each cat in this series is thinking. Whoever gives me the biggest laugh wins a prize.

See my paintings at Landscape into Art.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nine Cats 2

"How many times have I told you-I don't like my kibbles touching my tuna."

Submitted by Trish.

See my paintings at Landscape into Art.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Nine Cats 1

"Not ANOTHER football game?!!???"

Submitted by Sandy Maudlin.

Now begins nine posts of quick pen and ink cats. When I came across these drawings, I was so struck by the personalities that I just had to post them. Here's the game, if you'd like to play.

Comment with a caption for each cat and entertain us all! I'm not much for contests, but I'll send a prize to the author of the caption that gives me the biggest laugh. That, of course, means that some people are going to have to visit this blog and participate! So, we'll see what happens.

See my paintings at Landscape into Art.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

12 Landscapes 1

This is the first of, you guessed it, twelve quick landscape idea sketches. I'll just post the sketches with minimal, if any, commentary. I thought it might be interesting to see the what the germs of my landscape paintings look like.

Visit Landscape into Art.


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