Friday, August 29, 2008

The Avocado Dilemma

The other day, I sliced open this avocado for the salad and was struck by the gorgeous range of colors. From the buttery yellow near the pit to the electric lime near the edges, and the deep mysterious color of the skin, I knew I wanted to paint. It came together almost effortlessly and I'm very happy with it. It was effortless because this is what I love to do. This is my passion, finding the beauty in the ordinary things of life, the fruits, vegetables, flowers. This is what I love to draw and paint in small scale. And therein lies the dilemma. The library I work in hangs artwork from the college community on one of the large bare white walls. They have asked me to submit some work to hang in the fall. Last year, they took a sketch of tomatos that was 5x8". There it was, tucked beneath Pat's soaring Rocky Mountain landscapes, Judy's exciting horses and cowboys, Joan's exqusite portrait of a cat, and the guest artist's four panel painting of an elephant's head. All were quite large. I felt like a teetotaller on a wineries tour. Maybe I could choose 3 or 4 of my small veggies and frame them together to give a big bigger footprint. I don't quite know what to do.
Watercolor paints in the Moleskine WC journal 8x5"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

EDM 182 - Draw a truck

I don't think I've ever drawn a truck before. I can't even remember ever wanting to draw a truck before. It was cold and rainy so I didn't want to go outside to draw a truck. I googled it - "how to draw a truck". And I got this awesome site on how to draw absolutely everything you could think of . Check it out.
It gives step by step instructions for drawing things. The only drawback, for my purposes anyways, is that it has no backgrounds and doesn't show shadowing. It's strictly line drawing. But it is an excellent learning tool. I softened the corners on the truck and added shadows and the trees from looking out the window at a real truck. There's still no substitute in my mind for the drawing the real thing.
This is Pigma Micron pen in the Aquabee sketchbook (5.5 x 8.5"). And no color!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tranquility vs Exasperation EDM 184

I am back at work after about 3 months off. To ease myself back into it, I went in the afternoon to the beautiful little rose garden we have on campus. There is a water fountain, and beside it is a small gazebo with two benches facing one another. It is a lovely spot for solitary contemplation, or the sharing of secrets with friends. It was the perfect park bench to draw, there in the shade of the honeysuckle vine, with the scent of roses, and gentle flow of the water. Aaah, perfection itself! The angle of the arms and legs on that wretched bench drove me crazy. I tried and tried, gowing ever more frustrated. Finally, I gave up and sought to soothe myself with a walk around the pond. Where, to my chagrin, there were a great many other park benches, none of which had arms like the ones that had just defeated me! "Oh well", I lied to myself, "that's why they call it a challenge. I'm sure I learned a lot." I'm not sure I did, but after a while, I managed to clean it up a lot and added some color. It's still not quite right, especially on the right side, but I hope it conveys the tranquility of the spot (when I'm not there drawing).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

EDM 183

This is an Egyptian Cobra, one of the most dangerous snakes. We don't have many dangerous snakes in Canada, and while searching for information on cobras I found this tidbit on Wikipedia ... "the Egyptian cobra garnered attention in the fall of 2006 when a pet cobra became loose and forced the evacuation of a house in Toronto. For more than six months it is believed to have sought refuge in the home's walls." I don't know about you, but this boggles my mind. Why would anyone want a dangerous reptile for a pet, and why would you let it out of its cage? It's not like you can cuddle with it or take it for a walk. And how do you sleep at night knowing there's a poisonous snake on the loose in your house?

Friday, August 08, 2008


I took up drawing again, mostly because I was inspired by the flowers growing in my small garden. I had wanted a cottage type garden, and had planted daisies, delphiniums and roses. The daisies are my favorite perennial - cheerful, persistent and worry free.
Daisy, Common
Botanical: Bellis perennis (LINN.) Family: N.O. Compositae
Synonyms---Bruisewort. (Scotch) Bairnwort. (Welsh) Llygad y Dydd (Eye of the Day).
Parts Used---Root, leaves.
Historically used as a cure for fresh wounds in an ointment applied externally, and against inflammatory disorders of the liver, taken internally by distilling in water.

To the Daisy
"In youth from rock to rock I went,
From hill to hill in discontent
Of pleasure high and turbulent,
Most pleased when most uneasy;
But now my own delights I make,--
My thirst at every rill can slake,
And gladly Nature's love partake,
Of Thee, sweet Daisy!
- William Wordsworth

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Tomkins Park Gazebo

This was my second foray into drawing in public, and fulfilling the goal of doing architectural drawings. I wanted to start small, a whole building can be a tad intimidating. This is a cute little gazebo in Tomkins Park. My first "grown-up" library job was in a building that faced onto this park. I ate a lot of lunches in this park before the gazebo was there. Over the years, the park became a haven for the homeless and the addicted. The business community has made a real effort to clean up, and bring shoppers back. It's a lovely area now, and there are tons of people around. I was a little nervous to draw, but once I started I really enjoyed it. People were watching me but noone approached me, probably because I was very intent and absorbed. Those steps gave me many problems, and the columns are a little wonky. But I liked how the green roof contrasted with the deep purple leaves of the crabapple tree.

Staedtler pen and watercolorpencils.