Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sketchbook Image

Busy busy summer days lend themselves to very little creative time...
but I did make use of my (away from home) down time in a creative manner.

My trusty sketchbook, travel watercolor palette and a simple little Koi water brush.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sketching at Home

I am doing my best to draw every single day.
Sometimes at home, sometimes in public.

This particular day it was at home.
A Trader Joe's bag, beside the TV.

I smudged the journaling to protect the privacy of another.
No deep dark secrets about me (not today anyway).

Friday, July 20, 2012

Faces in the Crowd

I keep  saying that I want to learn to do quick sketches of people.
Saturday morning was a great place to start that since there were lots of people downtown at the Saturday Morning Market.
I did a couple of easy sketches first - buildings, tents, trees, backs of people...that kind of thing.

I finally made myself begin to make quick marks that resembled people.
As soon as I began that, the lady at the table next to us started looking over my shoulder watching me.
I almost froze but decided that it didn't matter anyway. I would just keep sketching and hope for the best.
I couldn't have asked for a kinder onlooker.
She was like my mother, constantly giving me positive affirmations and murmurs of encouragement as I pushed forward (even though I secretly wished she would quit watching me work and thought that my sketches were less than stellar).

I will hesitantly share them here- only because it will force me to do more.
Which will in turn make me sketch more, which will increase my skill, which will help me share more, which will encourage you to sketch people too.

Ahhh, the circle of sharing ones artwork, right?

Evidently I was so intent on sketching that I was unaware of the actual faces that I drew.
I spied a vampire on the page after I got home (mid page on the left).

In looking at this page now (and then actually), I can see that I REALLY need a lot more practice.
I will certainly work on that.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Market Sketches

Here's another sketch that I did on Saturday morning.

This tent was right in front of us.
As the day progressed, the shadows did as well.
My sketch doesn't reflect that but I'd love to go back next week and do a series of sketches showing the changing shadows from the tree on the top of the tent.

As before, I added color after I got home.
I didn't work from a photograph (even though I had one) as I was away from my computer so I made up most of the colors...except the green cucumber.
And the tree colors.
Oh, and the tent...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Saturday Morning Market Sketches

My friend Sarah and I met in downtown Greenville, SC at the Saturday Morning Market to do some urban sketching.

I had never been to the Market and was surprised at the number of people selling organic produce, "happy" meat (as my friend Liz calls it), local baked goods, herb plants and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
I was equally surprised by the number of people milling about & shopping on Main Street.
Rows of crisp white "E-Z Up" tents and  brightly colored coordinated shop signs greeted us as we turned the corner.
It was a veritable feast of sketching scenes!

We found a small table under an awning to sit away from the sun, grabbed a cup of joe and got to "work".

I wanted to spend some time (trying to) sketch people in the crowd but didn't want to start out on this (as it would wound my sense of accomplishment right away).
I spied a woman sitting in front of one of downtown Greenville's beautiful fountains - quietly reading.
She was to the right of me, with a busy main street hustle and bustle all around her.
But, there she was, sitting still.
Barely moving!

I was using a Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen on a 6" x 8" piece of 90 pound watercolor paper.
(well, it's actually a piece of 8" x 12" paper that is folded to be the above size).
I will stitch my loose pages into a handmade book later.
I like the flexibility that the loose pages offer me.
I added color (with various watercolors) and small details at home.

I'll share more sketches this week.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Beaded Birds

Art and Soul Retreat
Virginia Beach, Virginia
April 24, 2013

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sea Life

While I am (supposed to be) working on class details, putting together samples and step-outs,
I have to do other things to keep me inspired (to keep me away from work) and to help me keep a fresh outlook.
When you teach, you tend to deal with the same materials and the same projects for a long time.
It's nice to take a break and (escape) (run away) play with other things.

Drawing is one of those things for me.
I have long held the belief, as many others do as well, that daily drawing/writing/painting (insert whatever creative endeavor you love) will not only improve your technical skills but your creative skills as well.
It's just like exercising your skeletal muscles...you use them/exercise them and they increase in size/stamina.
They reward you by serving you in an increased capacity.
If you exercise your creativity, it will do the same thing!

Grab a cheap journal, sketchbook, pile of paper and get to it!

Just make marks, write, paint...just do something creative every day.

I started drawing these little underwater plants a couple of days ago.
Now I can't seem to stop!

This is where it all began -

I usually begin my drawings with simple lines.

I getting a little looser with the designs in this one.

Maybe it's time to stop...

I made a thermofax screen out of some of these and I love it!
The tiny details really look good on paper as well as fabric. I'm going to use this screen on the "Birds of a Feather" mobile that I'm working on.

Friday, July 13, 2012

"Birds of a Feather"

I hope that everyone is enjoying the summer. It's hot and humid here in the upper corner of SC.
You can usually find me inside, far from the maddening humidity.
Playing with pen and paper, moving paint around or beading on some tiny birds that are hanging around in my studio.

This little fellow is just peeking out of my window.

This one looks kinda like a sea horse with the crocheted tail feathers!

Look at all of the beading fun on this little bird!

I love the tiny scrap of tulle that I used on the wings.
Lots of seed beads put to good use here.

Nothing like showing off a little bead embroidery, is there?

Here's a full view of the mobile with another one in the  background.

I am so excited to be one of the artists teaching at Art and Soul next year!
I'll be teaching one class in Virginia Beach in April.
The class, "Birds of a Feather", is a mixture of surface design (we paint our own fabric with Thermofax screen printing), a tiny bit of machine stitching, creating the stuffed birds (stuffed with a secret ingredient!), several different beading techniques, constructing a mobile and crocheting the wings (if you choose to use that type of wings).
Maybe that is too much for one class...maybe I will crochet the wings and bring them for everyone to pick from.
The photos above are of one of the first mobiles that I made.
Here is another -

The last one is particularly difficult to photograph...But you'll get the idea by this shot -

I'm working on (yet) another one and I think that I will weave bones and other found items into it.
Won't that be fun?!

So - you can register for next years Art & Soul now.
My class will have a kit so you won't have many items to bring at all.
I promise that it will be fun and filled with interesting techniques! You'll get a thermofax screen for the bird pattern and get to use my huge stash of screens for painting your base fabric.

I'm off to do some beading.
What about you?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sketchbook- Fourth of July

The fourth of July found us looking for a little cooler temperatures so we headed up to Ceasar's Head (in SC) and stopped at Bald Rock to see if we could catch any fireworks while overlooking Greenville, Easley and Table Rock (South Carolina).
It was much, much cooler there with a nice gentle breeze blowing.
The outcropping of mountainous rocks is a popular viewing spot but has been desecrated with graffiti over the years.
It's a beautiful place - you just have to look over the irreverent graffiti.
It would seem that many of the guests that stop there have the overwhelming urge to document their name...
I could expound on this but I won't.
It's just ridiculous (in my opinion).

Anyway - here's another two page spread in my Moleskine sketchbook of the overlook.
I did pencil in colors of various areas to remind myself later (when I will add color - hopefully).

Here we were, surrounded by the majesty of the beautiful mountains and what is the lady next to me doing?
Playing games on her phone.
I wasn't surprised when she left (after sitting there for over two hours) about 10 minutes before the fireworks started.
She had already missed the show that nature was putting on anyway.

We did see some beautiful fireworks but evidently the show from Greenville's downtown area hit a snag.
We thought that we were just too far away but seems that the people right there at it didn't see very much either.
I know that the event coordinators really hated that. All of the work that goes into an event that size is tremendous. To have that happen must have been so disappointing.

Still drawing?
Every single day?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sketchbook- Daily Life

I chose the theme last month for the "Sketchbook Challenge" blog.
It was "Urban Sketching".
If you regularly read my blog, you'll know that I love getting out and sketching outside - not only around my own town/city but every where I go.
Since I started sketching public places, I've hardly left my home without a sketchbook or pieces of drawing paper in my possession.

I know that I have said it before, that you've read it in any sketching /drawing book, but it really does force you to look at your world differently!
You have a greater appreciation for the world around you - for the potential sketches- for the layout that nature provides you.
Every single direction that you look lends itself to a sketch or drawing.

Like this, for example...

My husband got a little too much sun/heat one day and had to go in for IV fluid replacement.
What's a doting wife to do after she has tucked him in and done every little thing that she can think of to comfort him?
Why draw him, of course!


Monday, July 9, 2012


And the winner is


Blogger Sandy said...
What a great blog hop - I'm loving all the art, the ideas, and the suggestions and comments. And I can't wait to see the book.
07 July, 2012 14:01
Sue Bleiweiss will be contacting you with details about your prize.
Thank you for following along with the blog hop!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The "Sketchbook Challenge" Blog Hop Give Away!

Sue Bleiweiss is at it again!

She has written a fantastic book about the crazy popular "Sketchbook Challenge" blog that she created in the late days of 2009.
I'm so excited to be a part of this project as well as the original blog.

Sue invited a handful of artists (21) to create projects from prompts that she came up with.
These prompts/themes were different from the "Sketchbook Challenge" blog themes at the time of publication.
She also invited seven artists to submit artwork for the book.

Here's a peek at the projects that I submitted -
(all photography by Sue Bleiweiss)

I created two different books and one mixed media fiber wall hanging for the two different themes that I participated in.

And I love the actual physical format of the book!
It's a smaller size (7.4 inches x 9 inches) with rounded corners.
It really fits into my backpack so much better.

Well, here's a photo of the book -

(see those nice rounded corners? Great for decreasing the wear on book edges while being carried in your book bag)

I'll be taking comments through Sunday July 8 and announcing a winner (via random number generator) that evening.

I'll be giving away a 10yd combination package of Mistyfuse that includes 6 yards of White and 2 yards each of Black and Ultraviolet and a Goddess Sheet.  Total retail value: $48!

Order your copy of the book here -
Barnes & Noble

Hop on over to Carla Sonheim's blog today for a different giveaway.

Check out tomorrow's post from these artists -
Susan Brubaker Knapp
Diana Trout

The giveaways will be going on until July 10.