Wednesday, July 29, 2009

EDM 233 - Your favorite drink

Once again, I couldn't decide. I drew two of my favorite drinks. The morning one which is, of course, coffee. But not just any coffee. The product discription states that it is a "bold, assertive coffee" with a "heady aroma" that comes from "an exclusive blend of the world's finest arabica beans including the very rare Indonesian Sumatra Mandheling". And they allow mere mortals to drink this coffee!
My new favorite evening indulgence is Copper Moon Pinot Grigio wine. These writers are just as enthusiastic about their product. Copper Moon comes by its name because the grapes are "harvested under the light of the moon" and the wine has "a cool fresh taste that captures the mystery of the night itself, its spirited individuality exudes citrus, green apple and melon". Obviously my palate is not sophisticated enough to discern all that! I just thought the label was pretty.
I think I'll read the label descriptions more often. Clearly, I'm not getting the full value of the item through my own devices and I'm not appreciating it as much as I should.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

EDM 72 - Draw somewhere new

Last week, I went to Red Deer to visit my parents. While there, I went across the river to Bower Park - a lovely little park with walking pathways, a pond that is stocked with fish, paddleboat and canoe rentals. It was so nice that I did what I hardly ever do - I pulled out my sketchbook and quickly drew what was around me. So much of what I saw is typical around this part of the country, things that I see everyday and I have seen every summer since I was a child growing up in Red Deer. There were crows perched on a bench looking for all the world like they were gossiping about the fat little Mallard ducks. The wild roses were blooming and are the official flower of Alberta. The pond is stocked with trout each spring and there is a platform for the kids to fish from. It was a very hot day and the Canada geese waddled over to the shade of a large tree to groom themselves. The seagulls were swaggering around giving everyone attitude, and chasing those beautiful blue dragonflies. It was a perfect summer day.
I drew these in pencil in the Moleskine sketchbook, then added pen and wc pencil later.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

EDM 232 - Draw your junk drawer

This is a sampling of what's in the junk drawer. At least these are the useful things in the junk drawer. There is a lot of junk in there that isn't used and probably could (should!) be thrown out. I have for the last several years waged warfare against the clutter that has accumulated over the last decade or so. Over the winter vacation, I shredded a drawerful of household bills that dated back to 1996. Earlier this spring, I shredded decades worth of old insurance and investment papers, and threw out manuals for appliances that hadn't been here for years. The junk drawer is the next step in Operation Clutterbusting. But the junk drawer, I discovered, has a lot of emotional baggage attached to it. "Look there, that's the plastic orchid that was attached to the birthday cake when I turned 40. How can I possibly throw it out?" A Google search for "clutter" proved that this is not just my problem, but a universal issue. We are drowning in paper, and useless junk. There are millions of websites dealing with it, there are people who make their living helping others get a handle on their junk. The late great George Carlin did a classic monologue on people and their "stuff". Why do we have so much trouble throwing things out?

Staedtler pen and watercolor pencils in Moleskine sketchbook.

Friday, July 10, 2009

EDM 230 - Draw a map

This is the way I walk to work every day. Here are some of the highlights of that walk:

1. My house.

2. Pearl Express Takeout - love their Salt and pepper Squid!

3. Two big dogs live here. They can put their paws on the top of the fence and look over.

4. This house had to be completely renovated when a crane that was fixing the overhead power lines tipped over and smashed into the front of the house.

5. This house has been for sale for a whole year in a neighborhood where houses usually sell within days.

6. There is an enormous apple tree on this corner whose owners let the fruit fall to the ground and ferment. The birds get tipsy.

7. This house has rock garden with a lot of cute little rock sculptures.

8. This is the bike path to and from the park.

9. This house has the best rose garden in the neighborhood.

10. A little grey Schnauzer lives here and watches out the window every morning. When his people put the Christmas tree up in front of the window, he has to go underneath the tree to see out the window. I wonder if his people know this.

11. This house has a glass front door so their dog can lie down and look out. That's luxury!

12. This retaining wall was hit by a car and smashed. The owners then created a pretty little rock garden filled with poppies and pansies instead of just a plain wall.

13. A day home for little kids right across from the playground.

14. Down the steep hill of 46 Ave and then up the short hill of Richardson to my workplace. Half an hour listening to the iPod.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Comin' up roses

The roses are blooming! These are Hansa roses in my back garden. They've been there for many years, and this year they are quite spectacular. I wanted to draw the promise and potential of the buds, as well as the glory of the full blooms. Shortly after I did this, they exploded into blossom, perfuming the air. Their color this year is very intense, as is the scent. They sure attract the bees, which is good because the bees are also visiting the nearby tomato plants.

I'm trying to draw all the perrenials as they come to bud and then full flower. Right now it's happening so quickly that I can hardly keep up.

"The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things"

- Veronique Vienne