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January 22, 2011

Pam Carriker's Strathmore Journal Workshop

I participated in Pam Carriker's online classes as part of the Strathmore Journal Workshops and just finished the 4th and final week's additions to my journal page.  I worked on a page in my 6.5 "X 6.5 handbound sketchbook containing 140 lb watercolor paper. 

Week 1:  I scanned previous "trees" from my watercolor journals - some were Christmas ornaments and others were just visual journal pages from the Holidays over the last few years.  I printed them out on the paper Pam recommended, although it seemed a little heavy to me, and cut out the individual trees.  I tore strips of green tissue paper for the background and then layered as many trees as I could in my Magical Forest.




Weeks 2-4:  I followed Pam's instructions each week and added charcoal, graphite, oil pastels, and gesso.  Then I added to the negative space using sequin waste, a plastic screen, mesh, and a bottle cap.  And finally, I doodled some with pens and added words. 




I persisted with the classes even though I had to admit to myself that I don't enjoy mixed-media art nearly as much as I enjoy drawing with ink with watercolor washes.  I love trying new techniques and really looked forward to seeing what came next as the 4 classes unfolded so it was worth the time spent.  And now I have a set of oil pastels!  I look forward to another Strathmore workship in March,

January 18, 2011

EDM Challenges 267 and 278

Here are two EDM challenges that are from Feb-Dec 2010 - 10+ months that I didn't do any last year.  I printed out and cut up the individual challenges and put them in a jar next to my chair - I can now select one randomly when I'm out of ideas for my daily sketchbook page.  These were both done after I selected the challenge from my jar. The actual challenge strip that was pulled from the jar is glued across the top of the page.




January 15, 2011

Sketchbook Challenge 1 - Highly Prized

BOOKS:  I adore my husband, who I have known since 1960, and my children and their families - including 6 grandchildren.  I prized my career, my City, and now retirement.  But from early childhood, what I loved most was books.  For this challenge I decided to paint a journal page with several books that are responsible for guiding me down my current journey - drawing, painting, and writing.


I found Gwen Diehn's book, The Decorated Page,  in a local store one day in 2003 when I visited with a gift card in hand.  I was thrilled to learn about visual journals and travel sketchbooks and started to play with one - and some student grade watercolor paints.  I was still working long hours and it took me 2 years to finish that watercolor journal. 

I used Linda Elsworth's Watercolor Skills Workbook to learn the basics about using watercolor and to select my artist grade watercolor palette, and that same month I started Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way - a book I had on a shelf for many years.  I completed all 12 weeks and loved writing morning pages, even though I had to get up earlier before work. 

I was always too busy to keep a journal when I was working and raising a family, but I suddenly became interested in journals and read and loved the Alexandra Johnson's book Leaving a Trace, which reinforced my daily journal writing. 

I was making two quilted, silk painted/dyed wedding chuppahs for my two sons' weddings during 2003-4 and 2004-5 and found Twyla Tharp's book, The Creative Habit, and devoured it.  During that same time I was reading Artist's Sketchbook magazine and thinking about my future creative projects and when I partially retired in 2005, found Illustrated blogs online.  Reading these led to Danny Gregory's book Everyday Matters, and the Yahoo Group of the same name and in January 2006 I started my blog. 

The following year I started what would become 3 full travel journals (150 pages of watercolor paintings - see London category on the right sidebar) while my daughter was living in London, and struggled with finding the perfect watercolor sketchbook - with just the right paper.  I bought Shereen LaPlantz's book Cover to Cover and began making my own watercolor journals.  Through these books and many more, I am enjoying myself more than ever and love retirement! 

January 12, 2011

Watercolor Pencil at Figure Drawing

Last night was my first session at Society of Illustrators for 2011 and one of my art goals for this year is to move toward use of watercolor while drawing figures.  I decided that a good place to start is the 20 minute poses - and to use a watercolor pencil and then brush in the watercolor pigment with water.  My paper buckled when I added water, but I cleaned up the scan buckling lines a little with Photoshop before posting these.  Next time I will take watercolor paper for these experiments.  Stay tuned to see how long it takes me to move to watercolor and paintbrush - I move slowly....

I still did my first 20 minute pose in 9B graphite.  The contrast was increased a little for posting.



These are the other two drawings - drawn with a Caran D'Ache mahogany watercolor pencil and then painted with water:



Open this link, if you also clicked on the Society of Illustors link for Sketch Night in the first sentence:

Joan was sitting right next to me!


January 8, 2011

Journal Study Group + Two

Our small, but active, Journal Study Group, had two guests this past Wednesday - Gwen Diehn and Vivian Swift.  Gwen is an honorary member now that she has a grandson in Brooklyn and we always look forward to her visits.  Her husband Phil usually joins us for the day's activities and on Wednesday he took this picture of the group. 

We had a long brunch at Landmarc in the Time-Warner building at this great table for 8, discussed everything art-related, and passed around sketchbooks.  Gwen is a fabulous bookbinder so we also needed to consult her on several upcoming projects.  There was eating, laughing, and a great exchange of ideas.


From the Left:  Benedicte, Pat, Teri, Me, Vivian, Melly Gwen

After brunch we walked across the street to see the current exhibits at the Museum of Art and Design (M.A.D.), followed by late afternoon coffee, tea, and ice cream in the Museum Cafe for some of us.  Vivian left us mid-afternoon to deliver the manuscript of her new book to her publisher!

The Global African Project is the current large exhibit at M.A.D. and most of us gravitated to this tableau by Black Coffee (the brand for 2 South African designers) for sketching. 


I sketched one of the figures and the dog, followed by a figure and costume by Missoni Spa from 1990.



I feel so fortunate to have such an inspirational group of friends in NYC.

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