Saturday, December 5, 2020
Friday, December 4, 2020
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
In November, we ventured out to the Old Town area of Bluffton. We didn't do the traditional meetup prior to finding our places to sketch, nor did we meetup after to take a group photo. I did see a couple of sketchers from a distanced. It warmed my heart.
I chose to sketch in ink with my Platinum Carbon fountain pen. I love the line it makes. Brave of me to try architecture directly with ink. The building turned out a wee bit wonky. This is my Stillman and Birn Zeta Journal. The subject: Church of the Cross - a Bluffton landmark that sits on a bluff overlooking the May River. A must see if you are visiting the area.
Monday, November 30, 2020
Wow! Where does the time go? Thankfully special moments during month were documented on paper with colors and lines, head and heart. How do you like my new tag line... Color and Line ~ Moments in Time? It will have a home on my updated business cards. 2021 will bring lots of new ventures for my art studio. Can't wait to share!
My demo was of the palmettos outside the gallery's front window. The lighting is what initially grabbed my attention. 'What lighting?' you ask as you view this image. Well, a blah image is what happens when I realized it sure would be nice to post a view of what I was painting. It looks like an uninspiring subject matter. Oh, but the lighting that initially inspired my creative soul...
When painting plein air, it's really helpful to do a quick value sketch when you find something that captures your eye. Second best - take a quick photo. This way you are not chasing the light as you paint. Once your shapes are on the paper, you can reference the value study for the lighting that captured you in the first place. Personally, I like to create a value study over just snapping a pic, as you get to know your subject even more. More eye, more hand and more heart makes the connection to your work at hand. Not to mention the meditative bonus of the focus you are giving to your subject. One of the many reasons I so love creating in my journal - 15 minutes of focus can feel like a mini vacation from the world.
What to do? Play with a new brush and see what it will do. Don't worry about the initial inspiration. Take the brush out for a spin and see what marks it can make... More precisely, what marks can my arm and hand create with this brush.
The brush? A Princeton Neptune #8 Quill. A big momma that holds lots of pigment and water, but maintains a wonderful fine point!
This is the only brush I used and I'm in love. There is a learning curve that I'm looking forward to pursuing. This baby holds a lot of water. I need to learn the water to pigment balance. Each brush has one. Just part of the wonderful watercolor journey.
Below is the portion of the direct watercolor sketch I finished when at the gallery. I may play with the rest of the piece or may not. I will certainly continue to work with this brush. The magic of water with watercolor. This tool really lets you take advantage of the medium!
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
I used a couple of images as my inspiration for the above watercolor. It’s my coworkers birthday today and I want to surprise him with a card featuring this sweet tree.
Colors used for this are Daniel Smith’s Essentials, plus a wee bit of quin gold and quin burnt orange - also DS pigments.
The card is roughly 5”x7” and I used a no. 12 round brush.
I have no suitable envelope so decided a clear bag with a ribbon will make a pretty presentation. I hope it brings some sunshine to his day.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
How did the omission happen? I was feeling 'Late for a very important date!' so to speak. AKA: It's taken me over a week to be able to add the lettering to this page and I really wanted to post it this week! Ahhh, the classic haste makes waste.
I decided to sketch directly with watercolor. The first strokes were with raw sienna. It's a great first color to lay down for the sky, land and water. Once dry it won't turn a blue wash green. Cobalt blue and peacock blue were used for the second layer of sky and water.
The beach is very close to the airport. Quite a few planes took off while we were there. I thought it fitting to capture one as a remembrance of our time there.
Just before we left I did a quick sketch looking down the beach.
All in all, a lovely day. A lovely beach.
The answer is.... the date! No page should be with one : )
Monday, October 19, 2020
Last week was our local SketchCrawl. We are still holding them virtually - sketch where you are and post work to the group’s FB site.
Autumn in the Lowcountry is staring to bloom. I could get lost in the textures of the grasses and other plants that are changing. It’s a great time for wildflowers, too. I managed to spare an hour or so for a plein air, direct watercolor sketch of roadside plants just outside of my neighborhood.
Most of the time was spent carefully drawing the danglepod with my waterbrush and different shades of greens. A lot of folks dislike this ruderal plant. I love it as to me, it’s a great contender for a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Just a season off in timing, is all.
I wanted to add the names of the plants to the page along with a blurb about how the beauty of Lowcountry colors tug at my heart. I knew about goldenrod and dogfennel, but had a devil of a time finding the name of the tree-like plant. My friend and Ecologist a work came to the rescue. I love learning about plants! Both the goldenrod and dogfennel are in the Asteraceae Family, the danglepod in the pea / Fabaceae Family.
When I have a lot of text to add to a page, and time to think about it, I love to explore possibilities. I added a photo of the journal page into the app Procreate. I can then play with different ideas without making a mess of the original journal page. Here is a short time lapse video of the process.
From here, I penciled in the copy on the journal page they went over it with a Faber Castell Pitt pen, making final tweaks as I went along. The Procreate App is a fantastic tool to add to your art supplies!
Monday, October 5, 2020
We checked out Fish Haul Beach Park on Hilton Head Island this weekend. Of course I had my trusty 3" x 5" Stillman and Birn Alpha Journal with me : ) Mostly overcast, the blue sky patches were trying to gain strength. The cooler weather feels sooooo goood! The park beach overlooks the Port Royal Sound.
The land on the far shore is Bay Point Island. There is a lot of public concern for this undeveloped barrier island. A developer out of Bangkok, Thailand submitted their special use application to Beaufort County to build / operate what they are calling an ecotourism resort. That would be a big hit to this environmentally sensitive, erosional barrier island, not to mention Beaufort Country residents having to shoulder the costs, through taxes, for any beach nourishment and damage caused to infrastructure from severe storms.
The island is a designated Important Bird Area. In the winter, there can be 5,000 to 8,000 shorebirds on this island. In the summer loggerhead turtles nest there. Since the island is only reachable by boat or air, it's a rare untouched sanctuary for wildlife in the lowcountry.
The Coastal Conservation League has an intensive article about this proposed development that you can read here. The Audubon South Carolina further explains the importance to shorebirds in this article.
There was a county zoning board meeting on September 24th, but I cannot locate any information about what transpired. My fingers, toes, eyes and soul are crossed for the correct environmental outcome to prevail.
Yes, the Girls were with us. They love weekend adventures. Annie, is not real keen about getting near the water, but sunbathing is mighty fine : ) Lots of folks were enjoying their Sunday on the beach. Fish Haul Beach Park is open to the public and just a short walk from the parking lot to the sand. It's one of the few beaches that isn't manicured. Wrack is everywhere. (last year's spartina). It's a haven for beach critters. This beach is fabulous for nature journal exploration. Be careful if you are walking barefoot on the sand area untouched by water, though. Sand spurs are lurking. Those little devils hurt!
Thursday, October 1, 2020
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
It’s official... The bird feeder station is my shiny bobble. Making breakfast? What birds are feeding? Doing dishes? Who’s visiting under the feeder? Making dinner? Surely I have time to check the bird feeders out!