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January 31, 2007

Face Practice


I sat in the back row yesterday, in a corner of the auditorium, listening to the medical school Dean give a lecture.  I was able to sketch several audience members during the lecture without being detected (or at least not confronted).  I'm determined to keep sketching people but rarely find an opportunity.  I'm not a Starbuck's fan, don't commute on trains, subways, or buses, and usually attend very small meetings.  I increased the contrast on this scan to bring out the pencil sketches - accounting for the brown smudges over the page.  It is not a sepia watercolor wash!

EDM Challenge #104: Draw a Salt and Pepper Shaker


In our kitchen we use a glass cannister of Kosher salt and a pepper mill to season food - and really don't have specific S and P shakers that we use during daily meals.  However, my daughter gave me a set of miniature salt and pepper shakers that we put out on the dining room table when we have a group dinner - especially on holidays.  Roz told someone in the EDM group that she has calligraphic gold gouache in her watercolor palette and I thought this was a great excuse to buy a tube of glittery gold for myself.  My local art store only had Winsor-Newton, not the Daniel Smith color that Roz has.  You can't see it on the scan, but these tops really glitter as you move the page around.  The darker color is the gold.  The lighter color is Winsor lemon that I added for the light reflection.  I love the effect of the sparkles!!    

January 26, 2007

More Sketchbook Practice: Figures and Hands

One of my Art Goals for 2007 is to become more comfortable sketching human figures - especially hands.  This week I pulled out some reference photos of ballet dancers and magazine advertisements showing hands and just played with them.  The hands on the first dancer are so bad that I resketched them at the bottom of the page,

I'm such a novice with watercolors, that I am simultaneously trying to work with skin tones and shading so these sketches in my large watercolor Moleskine serve two purposes.  My husband and I watch the Lehrer News Hour each night after I come home from work and that hour was a perfect time for one of these journal pages.  I could listen, but not really watch the speakers.  And then I had the rest of the evening to hand quilt a wedding quilt that is overdue (My oldest son was married in July 2004)!  Too many baby quilts for my grandchildren kept getting in the way and I still have a wedding quilt for my other son who married in Oct 2005 on my list to be quilted.

The background on the pages looks muddier than in real life.  I suspect that my scanner is picking up pencil that was used and poorly erased.  I am one of the EDM group that does a quick preliminary sketch in pencil.  Otherwise I don't think I would be able to make these learning experiences.






January 23, 2007

EDM Challenge #103: Staying Healthy


I wonder if I will be the only EDM member without exercise equipment to sketch for this challenge?  When considering what I really do to stay healthy, I could only focus on really good weight control and daily walking.  Obesity is such a major problem in America.  When research data is displayed at national meetings that I attend, and the average weights of the study subjects are reported (regardless of the type of medical study), there is always a chuckle from the audience when comparing the numbers from the US in comparison to the study populations from other countries.  The only way that I have been able to maintain an ideal BMI as I age is to weigh myself every morning and rein in my food selections and portion sizes.  By walking, I really don't mean that I am Julie or Penny (or other EDM members) who walk a fixed distance every day.  By living in a city, however, I now walk almost everywhere that I want to go.  My car is parked 3 blocks from our apartment and when I get to work I park several blocks from my building.  All daily errands are done by walking in my neighborhood and carrying home the packages.  Our car remains in the garage, except for work days and we walk long distances in the city on weekends.  It is almost exactly one mile with stroller(s) between our apt and that of our grandchildren.  This is a huge difference from our previous life in Texas, where the culture is garage door openers and car trips even one block to the covenience store for a newspaper.  During those years I took 2 ballet classes each week in the evening after my husband came home from work and our children went to bed.  Although I do take occasional ballet classes here in Manhattan, I can't fit everything that I want to do into my usual work week.  I now buy walking shoes that move comfortably from work to play and wear out one pair of these shoes every several months.       

January 19, 2007

EDM Challenge #100 : Draw a Landscape


I sketched a photo of Sydney and Henry in Hyde Park - intending to do a "city park landscape" painting.  But I never got around to finishing it when we were in London, and today decided to add a watercolor wash to both of my grandchildren and then call it done.  I have a series of similar pictures of the two of them.  Sydney, who just turned 2, says to Henry "hand!" when we are walking with both of them and sweet boy that he is, he takes her hand and walks with her. 

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