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July 9, 2012

Family Beach Weekend

Our 3 children and 6 of our 7 grandchildren were together this past weekend at the beach.  Henry, age 9, is at sleep-away camp for the first time this summer and missed it.  We have great trouble getting a photo of all of them, but here is the best.

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I still try to paint a page in my sketchbook while we are together - although it gets harder each year with so much activity all around. 

There was lots of swimming - and I sat on the patio and sketched the outdoor shower while they were all off for ice cream.

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My daughter loves hydrangeas and all of the plants were in full bloom.  I can never remember the name of this variant - just one of the many types and colors around the house.

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Yesterday there was an 8k race in town and our two sons and our son-in-law ran it.  But guess who else ran it and received a first place ribbon for the 9 and under group?

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Trips to the beach, water balloons, and the ribbon - just a few more things to remember about our wonderful weekend.

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July 7, 2012

Circles - The July Sketchbook Challenge

I have to force myself to doodle.  Most of the time I have absolutely no ideas until I start, and then I struggle to fill up a whole page.  I never feel very imaginative.

This month, The Sketchbook Challenge is Circles - any kind, any size, and in any medium.  Several nights ago, I decided to see how many different circles I could doodle.  Very quickly I realized that I might run out of ideas after getting only half the page full.  But I persisted and at the end really liked some of my final drawings. 

I should take some of the final few rows and see how I can expand on some of these circles in a new composition.  But I know that I won't.  Maybe I'll just add color to these.

 

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July 2, 2012

Making A Second Venice Sketchbook

I didn't start sketching and painting with watercolors until 2003. 

Before going on our recent vacation to Venice, I painted some iconic Venice sights from my 2002 Venice photos.  I accordion-folded two 6" by 30" strips of watercolor paper and slowly painted 16 images - using both sides of each strip.

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I'm thrilled that I did these pre-trip paintings because while in Venice I was comfortable just doing quick sketches based on our activities.  I've posted many of those travel sketchbook pages on my blog in the last month.  Those sketches, done in the moment, really are my memories of our recent trip. 

This week I decided to make my "pre-paintings" into a small book.  I tore each accordion strip into two folios (4 total) and stitched them together as 4 signatures (16 pages).   The end papers are a commercial Venice printed paper and the cover is black Tex Libris book cloth.  The book is 7 7/8" wide by 6 1/4" high.

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June 29, 2012

Return to Figure Drawing

We traveled so much in May and early June that I missed my monthly figure drawing session at the Society of Illustrators.  When I went back this week, I felt very rusty! 

Here are a few of the 18 poses that I did.

Three 2 minute poses - fast portraits of the two models:

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One 5 minute pose:

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One 10 minute pose:

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Two 20 minute poses - drawn with watercolor pencils and then "painted" with water:

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June 26, 2012

Doodles and More

Last week we had a special day with our 5 year old grandson Callum.  We rarely get him alone, without his big brother and sister, or slightly older cousin.  But we missed the last Grandparents Day at his preschool because of our trip to Venice, so we took him to the American Museum of Natural History.  He wanted to go to see Creatures of Light (bioluminescense exhibit) and I wanted to see the Imax film "Born to Be Wild."  While walking between the two, I stopped for an incredibly fast sketch of a mountain sheep.  I left it in graphite as a reminder of how quickly this was sketched (i.e <5minutes).

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Last evening I didn't feel like sketching, but wanted to push myself.  I opened my Reference Photo folder on the computer and selected this photo (taken on a street in Chelsea New York in April).  I rarely paint with watercolor, without drawing in ink, so this became a practice sketchbook page.  I have no idea what they were looking at and photographing.  I was concentrating just on the man and his dog long enough to get this photo. 

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I spent today with my Mother in her retirement complex in New Jersey.  We take long walks and usually stop for coffee.  While sitting and talking, I doodle, drawing with ink and painting with watercolor pencils.  Today she thought that the lady looked a little like her.  Usually she tells me why my sketches are NOT her.

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