Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Cherry Blossom

More spring pink from the weeping cherry tree in the front yard.
Laura also happened to draw a weeping cherry branch today ... coincidence? I ask you ...

If you need a chuckle (and don't we all), go see this picture on Patrick's blog.Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Signs of Spring

From a photo of this little park downtown on the first gorgeous spring Saturday this month.
(and yes, the iron work on the gateway really does look like that)

Of course, there is only one TRUE and consistent sign of spring. Spring flowers and bulbs can be tricked to bloom at odd times, birds and bees can even be tricked into thinking springlike thoughts. The one sure sign of spring is, of course ... Girl Scout Cookies! You can force a crocus to bloom any time of year, but no matter what you do to a Brownie, you can't force her to sell you some Thin Mints in October.

If you see a girl scout selling cookies, stop and pick up a box, or at least say hi. They're working awfully hard out there. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Saturday Sketchin

Out sketching with Diahn this afternoon -- we decided to go downtown to Gay Street and then over to Market Square, looking at old buildings and more. We started at the sculpture of the Rowing Man* on the corner of Church and Gay, and then worked our way up Gay Street, along a couple of little roads, through Krutch Park and into Market Square. In Market Square we only shopped a little bit (we're getting better!) and then went to The Tomatohead to sit outside and have a soda while we sketched the crowds. What a beautiful sunny afternoon, with temperatures surprisingly up in the 70's. A little known (outside of Knoxville) factoid about Knoxville's Market Square is that Elvis Presley's recording career was essentially launched from here, when a merchant named Sam Morrison played the recording of "That's All Right, Mama" through speakers out into the square. The response was so positive that people flooded the store to buy copies of the song, including an RCA talent scout. The talent scout sent the record to his boss at RCA, who bought Presley's recording contract from Sun ... the rest is history.

Posted by Picasa
* This man is either rowing up out of the concrete, or hopelessly sinking into the sidewalk. It all depends on how your mood is. We looked and looked and couldn't find a plaque telling the name of the piece, or the name of the sculptor. I've searched on-line and can't find anything specific about it, either. If anyone out there can identify this, and especially let us know who did it, I would much appreciate it!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Star Magnolia

Honestly, I don't know how these botanical artists do it. This time of year, the flowers that are budding in the morning when I leave for work are in full bloom by the time I get home, and withering on the branch by the time dinner is done.

Last year's Star Magnolia drawing ... I can't help but do blue somewhere on the drawing if the flower is white ... it's a compulsion, I guess.

Technical notes: Watercolor in Arches 140# cold pressed sketchbook. The drawing of the bud.

Posted by Picasa And this one is for Cynthia on the Botanical Arts group -- an example of watercolor pencils on the Moleskine sketch paper. I think I did the ink drawing first, then the WC pencils and water over it. Probably finished up a few details with Verithins. ?

Just looking at this makes me want to run out to the fern garden to see if these poppies are coming up yet! I love spring!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

EDM Challenge - Self Portrait

The most difficult Everyday Matters weekly challenge seems to be the one that has had the highest participation! I guess we don't have any excuse for not doing a self portrait -- we can't say we don't have our subject with us and handy ... so here goes!
Posted by Picasa This was my first attempt -- something about it looked right, but something else looked off. For one thing, it might be me some years ago (I reserve the right to leave out any wrinkles and sags!), but there was something else ... After a brief family consultation, I realized that I had drawn my little sister. We DO look alike ...
I did several more highly unsuccessful attempts; then, this morning I decided to try one last time. This is really more like it:
Posted by Picasa This challenge really WAS a challenge!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sketch Day

Friday afternoon was a free one for me, so I got to meet up with Diahn and go sketching in Knoxville for a few hours.

In honor of Diahn's March devotion to the color orange, we met up at the Orangery, a wonderful building full of character and charm, which contains not only the Orangery Restaurant, but several other shops. I'd always thought it was an old building that had been restored, but never considered exactly what it used to be (a house? apartments? shopping center?) until Diahn asked. We called her dear hubby, who looked it up on the computer and informed us that it was all fake. Well, not really fake. The gentleman who built this building has done a wonderful job of restoring many old historical buildings in town; his love for the old architecture is evident in the careful way he carries out his renovations. This building was built to house some old architectural pieces from buildings that had been or were being torn down. Anyway, it was a great place to sketch. If you go to her blog, you'll see that we both drew the same "stoned cherub."

From the Orangery, it was just a block and a half down to Jerry's Artarama, where we felt obligated to do a bit of shopping. I had to pick up a few more colors in the Dr Ph Martin's liquids, and a couple of funny postcards for Diahn and I to keep in the backpockets of our Moleskines as additional souveniers from our day. Notice how it fits with Diahn's theme of orange for the month of March, too!

From Jerry's we pulled into a torn up old parking lot across from this wonderful building -- Toddy's Backdoor Tavern and Package Store. And in this sketch I learned NOT to start sketching one place, then move to another place to finish the sketch. It messes up one's perspective!

We drove around a little bit more, taking some photos and making another additional stop (we were NOT shopping -- we were just LOOKING -- jeez!) The afternoon went way too fast for me. Hey, Diahn -- when are we going again???

Technical bit: Micron and Staedtler pens in Moleskine sketch book. Note the wonky circles in the top drawing -- I'm going to add a few different sized circle templates to the pocket in my book!