Saturday, February 26, 2005

Bag: Everyday Matters Weekly Challenge

My ugly brown purse -- least favorite, but the one I carry when the week is really busy and I have to carry a bunch of stuff back and forth from work. Inked drawing colored with Berol Verithins. Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Sketches. Posted by Hello


Last week at work a friend brought in a book of old photographs of Knoxville (one of the Images of America series by Arcadia). Leafing through the pages of old black and white photos, several jumped out at me as candidates for possible paintings, but most captivating was a photo of an old downtown fruit market taken at the turn of the 20th century. I'm starving for color these days, and the possiblities this image provided filled my mind for the rest of the week.

Friday night I started tentative sketches of the photo in preparation for a big "watercolored-Saturday." Saturday morning I pulled out my giant pad of Borden & Riley marker paper and started the big sketch. (note-- marker paper is my favorite tool for making planning sketches. It takes pencil well for starting marks, then I use grey marker to refine, then black marker for strong final lines to use for transfers. The paper is thin, so light shines through it very nicely to allow transfers by taping to a window or other light source; it also is great for graphite transfers since not much pressure is needed to make a mark.)

Several hours later, with an unsettling feeling that some of the proportions are just WRONG, I remember that somewhere, buried in the back of a closet, is a "project-o-scope" (or some such name) that I got years ago. Now, this thing is the cheapest low-end model available, and was never of any help at all (see comment about cheapest low end model...) so I've only used it once before. Nevertheless I pull it out and set it up and begin beaming fuzzy distorted outlines of the photograph onto my drawing. DH walks by.

DH: That's cheating.
Linda: That's checking.
DH: Looks like cheating to me.
Linda: (pointing at the already done drawing) That's planning. I'm having trouble with my ellipses.
DH: (looks at me blankly) Sometimes I don't understand what you're talking about.

My proportions must be OK after all -- at least they seem to be from what I can tell by the wobbly out-of-focus image on the paper. How does anybody use one of these things to draw with anyway? Even if I WANTED to use it, the minute my hand goes up to the sketch to make a line the light is blocked and the image is gone. I decide that people who use these things to draw with should be awarded some special prize.

1:00 p.m. I'm finally ready to transfer the sketch to WC paper. Normally I tape the sketch to a window at the back of the house, then tape the WC paper over that. Since this drawing is horizontal it won't fit in the window unless I put it sideways, so I settle on using the glass storm door at the front of the house.

IC: Boy, the neighbors are going to love this.
Linda: I don't care.
IC: Look, R. and her dog have stopeed and are looing at you like you're crazy.
Linda: I don't care.

I hurry anyway.

5:00 p.m. After going out to a late lunch and errands with DH -- time spent with me smiling and trying not to be inpatient to return to the painting, we're finally home. DH does not understand the compulsion that accompanies a new painting, and I've learned over the years to consciously curb my urge to spend every waking weekend moment indulging that particular compulsion. It isn't easy, but it IS only fair and right. Of course, the moment we walk back into the house I'm back at my worktable. Several hours away have given me new perspecitve on the piece, and I'm now feeling that I'm trying to be too tight with the watercolor. So I change my mind and scan my first small sketch, enlarging it into pieces on regular paper, and begin making a graphite transfer onto oil pastel board. I'm at the table making tracing lines through the paper when DH walks by.

DH: That's cheating.
Linda: That's checking.
DH: You're tracing.
Linda: (grinning and triumphantly waving a grimy graphite backed paper at him) I'm tracing my OWN sketch. That's planning.
DH: Looks like cheating to me. What happened to the other one?
Linda: I changed my mind. The watercolor was going to be too tight.
DH: (looks at me blankly) Sometimes I don't understand what you're talking about.

9:00 p.m. DH wants to watch a DVD. I fight the compulsion and go into the den.

11:05 p.m. The ending credits of the movie are rolling. I'm back at the worktable laying down the first strokes of oil pastel. Finally.

11:40 p.m. DH: I'm going to bed.
Linda: OK. I'll be up in a minute.

2:00 a.m. I finally go to bed with one corner of the painting done. Or at least started.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Lamp: Everyday Matters Weekly Challenge

Lamp: Everyday Matters Weekly Challenge This lamp sits on my computer desk. I like the rather "wobbly" effect of linear pen and ink, although I don't do it very often. Posted by Hello

Friday, February 18, 2005

Harvey: Bringer of Joy and Protector of All Hearts

Harvey is a maltese mix that owns Jan, a friend of mine. He is one of the best dogs I've ever met.

Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Shoe: Weekly Challenge for Everyday Matters groups

I got these shoes over twenty years ago and have worn them maybe three times. They seemed a good choice for the Everyday Matters weekly challenge. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

From my Garden Journal, painted last spring. Posted by Hello

Hello World of Blog

This is my first venture into the "world of blog." I'd thought about it for some time, but anytime the thoughts got serious, my inner critic would speak up --

Linda: I think I'll start a blog.
Inner Critic: That's silly and stupid.
Linda: OK.

This time, however, I have a REASON. On the "Everyday Matters" yahoo mailing list we just began weekly drawing challenges, and I wanted a place to post my drawings. So the conversation went like this --

Linda: I think I'll start a blog.
Inner Critic: That's silly and stupid.
Linda: I know, but I do all kinds of silly and stupid things that I really enjoy anyway.
IC: Boy, you've got that right. But nobody's going to look at it. You're just wasting your time.
Linda: I don't care.
IC: (can't think of an answer) well ... well ... fine, then. But you'll never be able to figure out how to set it up, so knock yourself out, girlie. Go ahead ... give it a try.

a little later --

Linda: See. That was easy.
IC: Yes, it was! And I'm strangely comforted by the presence of the big red button that says "delete this blog."

Me, too.