Sunday, October 2, 2011

October Theme

This is a repost from the "Sketchbook Challenge" blog.
Original post here.

Carol here, welcoming you to October.

A month that brings many changes to my Southeastern US landscape... the days become shorter and temperatures drop cuing leaves to change color and fall off the trees, gardens mature with their harvest and are tilled under signaling their rest period.

Here in the South Carolina we are getting a much deserved break from the relentless humidity that we have suffered through this summer.

My husband and I kayak in the local rivers and can often be found tromping through the forest on any given trip...we're noticing things now that we didn't see all summer – whether it's the changing of the leaf color or the filtered light through the trees – our landscape is changing...

Which brings me to the theme for this month.

The theme for October is VIEW



1. An instance of seeing or beholding; visual inspection
2. sight; vision
3. range of sight or vision
4. a sight or prospect of a landscape, the sea, etc
5. a picture or photograph of something

My suggestion would be to look the word up in a couple of different dictionaries (here, here, or here), check out the synonyms and see how it is used in a sentence.

This is what I usually do...but I can get rather intense from time to time. The research phase is one of my favorite parts when beginning a new project.

I am choosing to begin the month with a more literal interpretation of the word.

If you're been reading this blog (here and here) and my personal blog, you'll know that I've been doing a bit of (much needed) work in my bathroom.

I purchased and altered a shower curtain, which by the way, turned out very nice. Now I'm painting a triptych for an empty space on the wall.

I knew that I wanted a landscape painting. I wanted bold, bright colors (aren't you proud of me Kelli?) that would just jump off the wall. I also wanted to try out an idea I had about the house paintings that I had been doing.

So the first step in my “journey with a view” was my trusty sketchbook.


You know, we've all been so brave this year in sharing our sketchbooks.
I don't know about all of you loyal readers but there are marks in my book that are, um, less that stellar. As a matter of fact, they are almost pitiful! But there is one thing that I have learned in this Sketchbook Challenge journey, it's that we all make marks like that. We all have room to grow and improve. And when you share your bad marks along with your good marks, people connect with you on a different level.
That view is the same for all of us, isn't it?

Kinda got off topic, didn't I?


I started painting a series of houses and landscapes last year called “It Takes A Village”. I envisioned a village of wonky skinny houses that had tall skinny trees and odd skinny flowers in the garden.

I fell in love with the whole project and I am still painting them a year later. I wanted to take that idea up a notch with this triptych.

I sketched out my idea – which was to have the painting flow through three separate panels of wood (my substrate).

This was my first idea (sorry, I didn't scan it before I painted it).

I also used this page ( Moleskine Folio Sketchbook A4 ) to try out several different colors of paint. I have to jot down the name of the color or I will forget it. I was using the Derwent Intense Watercolor pencils on this page.
I liked what I had on this page – it was bold and colorful, it was in keeping with the “It Takes A Village” series...but something just wasn't clicking with me.
I really wanted to let my wonky little houses grow up a little bit.
I began thinking of how I loved the “Rainbow Row” houses in my beloved Charleston SC. I decided to look at some images pertaining to that type of structure.
When I begin a project or get stuck with one, I often turn to Google for help. I click on “images” at the upper left hand corner of the main page and type in what I looking for. The returns are usually pages and pages of images to calm or confuse you.
In this case, I found just enough to get me going in a different direction.

I went back to my sketchbook.
These pages are a sample of what I sketched out after my Google search.

I really liked a couple of the houses this time and began another “test” painting.
This is what I came up with (again, I didn't scan before I began painting).

I laid out the landscape as one continuous scene, then drew the lines in to separate it into the triptych panels.
You will also see the smears of red paint on the left hand side. I was trying to make up my mind about which color to paint the houses. You will later see that I used almost every one of the colors in my shading.
I also added a bit of the ocean to the background in the "real" painting.
The scene is a compilation of views that we have when kayaking in the Charleston Harbor.

I used a bit of artistic liberty but that's what we do, right?
I'll give you a tiny peek at how the painting is progressing. Throughout the month, I'll post updates and let you see how it's going.
I hope that you will enjoy a small view of the work that started in my sketchbook this month.
Please share yours as well!

The theme for October is VIEW

How to be eligible for prize drawings:

In order to be eligible for one of the October prize packages you must post at least one photo of a sketchbook page related to the October theme to the Sketchbook Challenge Flickr group and you MUST tag one of your photos with the code "oct489".
It is not necessary to tag more than one and it will not increase your chances of winning.

Information on how to upload photos to flickr can be found

Winners will be chosen based on random draw on 10/31/11 and announced on the Sketchbook Challenge blog either on that day or on 11/1/11.

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