Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Sketchbook Project

Is there anything quite like a deadline to help push some folks along?

Back in October, I found out about the Sketchbook Project from a friend and fellow blogger, Quiltin' Mama.  What fun, I thought! I signed up immediately.  The sketchbook showed up very timely with instructions that said it's a good idea to make the sketchbook sturdy as it will be looked at often. The sketchbook also contains the same type of paper that's in my only moleskine journal that I really don't care for.... very thin and see through.

So, these are my excuses for not starting this project sooner... How to fortify the cover and shore up the thin weight of the paper pages, and I'm sticking to them :)

Given that I live in the lowcountry of SC and alligators love it here, and pink is the color used to celebrate breast cancer awareness and survivors..... Well, what better material to use than faux pink alligator vinyl??  I'm multi-purposing an Estee Lauder zipper tote that would have otherwise gone into the trash.

Stay tuned..... cover construction and page fortification to begin real soon.  I think I've got it figured out :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Celebration

Our Thanksgiving Celebration
Originally uploaded by PJBee
Rob and I have lived away from our families a lot. We were able to travel to them a good part of the time but when we couldn't we kept the Thanksgiving tradition alive and well in our own home.

This year I decided to record the way we spend our celebration.  What really prompted me to try this was the pumpkin pie.  I baked it Wednesday and it looked soooo yummy when it came out of the oven.  I used my favorite pie plate made in western NY by the Wizard of Clay. I've had this pie plate for years and every pie I've ever made comes out extra stunning. It must be the way the clay reacts to the oven heat.

The fruit cup, sweet potatoes and butternut squash were already cooked but, I decided it would be better to leave them in their raw form. Thankfully, the turkey must rest for 30 minutes before carving.... plenty of time for a sketch :)

I finished up the page today, choosing the font for the title and recording our day's activities around the border. To me, this looks as warm and happy as our day.  I hope your celebrations brought great joy and blessings, too!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dahoon Holly Sprig

Dahoon Holly Sprig
Originally uploaded by PJBee
I love this time of year when the Holly trees sport their fruit. I discovered this variety of Ilex right outside my door, after I read Elizabeth Smith's Dahoon post.

The pen illustration with watercolor shadows of the sprig was done as a demo for my last workshop at Coastal Art Supply.  I used Canson Edition paper. It's become a favorite of mine.

I let the illustration hang around in my studio for a couple of weeks. I like the meditative process of finishing a page. I find, after a fashion, a line of communication opens between me and the initial sketch. Last Sunday, I laid in the watercolor on the leaves and berries. Monday, I played with the lettering on a tracing paper overlay. I used watercolor pencils for the calligraphy. Yesterday the final piece of the design puzzle came into place..... I added information about the tree and treated it as a border. Done!

The joy of discovery is captured forever in my heart :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Enjoying a bit of the warm afternoon....

Had time for a quick watercolor sketch yesterday. I sat on a bench at the driving range while Rob hit some golf balls.

Such a beauty of a day. 73 degrees, soft, warm air. Yum!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chechessee Creek Marsh

Chechessee Creek Marsh
Originally uploaded by PJBee
A stupendous day in the SC lowcountry! No wind to speak of and soft, warm autumn air. It was a joy to sit and sketch this scene of the Chechesse Creek Marsh.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Travel Journaling Workshop

A few weeks ago I conducted a 3-day Travel Journal Workshop at Coastal Art Supply in Beaufort.  We made 2 simple practice journals. One from a sheet of 18 x 24 Strathmore drawing paper, the other from a half sheet of Canson Edition paper. I wanted my students to feel less intimidated about making marks in their designated 'travel journals.' Practice, after all, is a wonderful thing. What better way to prepare making journal entries than in a journal - even one with just a few pages! 

Beaufort is such a great town to vacation. Water everywhere, beaches nearby, historic buildings galore, buggy ride tours, great specialty shops, lots of galleries and restaurants. By the end of the 3 days, we felt like we had been on vacation and we only went across the street from CAS to The Beaufort Inn and then to downtown's Waterfront Park, barely scratching the surface of the sights :)

The image above is my demo from the last day. We were behind the Inn in the gardens. The assignment was to live on the wild side and sketch with pen. Yikes, pen? No pencil? I then said I was going to be their impatient travel companion and they only had 10 minutes to sketch their subject, then it was time to move on..... More groans :)

I explained sketching with pen is terrifyingly freeing.  That they'd love it..... Teacher doesn't lie :)

They did a series of 3 - 10 minute sketches, then they worked on each sketch an additional 10 minutes adding color. Later that day, in the comfort of the classroom, they added type to complete their pages.

Jobs well done!  See, you can sketch quickly with pen and what great results!

Below is day one's demo.  A view of The Beaufort Inn and some of the garden's plants.  Sometimes it's a hit or miss experience when doing a demo. This time I didn't get the proper proportions on the inn. Only very small people can enter this inn..... the first floor is way too short :)  So, I make light of the ooobooo and move on.

Here is a quick building vignette of a favorite restaurant 'Plums.'

October was sooooo crazy busy that I was ever so grateful to be outside sketching.  It was the first outdoor time I had since early in the month. Nothing soothes the nerves like plein air sketching :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Five Minutes with....

I made the newspaper today :)  Front page of the Lowcountry Life section in the Island Packet and the Beaufort Gazette no less!  Thank you, Justin Paprocki for your call and interview!

The article is entitled "Five Minutes with Pam Johnson Brickell"

Such fun spreading the word of illustrated journaling :)