Monday, September 24, 2007

On and Off EDM # 136

This is something that I turn on and off more frequently than anything else I could think of. I like the graceful, swooping lines of this faucet set. We bought it when we first moved into the house, and a few years ago when we renovated, we decided to keep it because we still liked it. The counter and backsplash are new. As I was drawing this yesterday afternoon, I noticed that I could see, faintly out of focus, the pink portulacca and calibrachoa that were in the window box outside. So I added them in as well. This morning when I opened the blinds, I saw that the frost last night was so deep that they succumbed to frostbite. Now I'm extra glad that I added them in.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Swag from the Dentist Appointment

I visited the dentist today. I always get a brand new toothbrush and some dental floss on my way out. It's better than the cheap. overly sweet suckers that the dentist of my childhood gave me. My childhood dentist I remember as a very tall, very thin man who didn't believe in dental anaesthetic except in extreme circumstances, and never told you what was coming next. His office was in the neighborhood strip mall, on the second floor up a narrow, dark staircase. I was fortunate that I didn't have a lot of dental difficulties as it was an unpleasant experience in an uncomfortable dingy office. My grown-up dentist has a bright, cheery office with a tropical fish tank, posters on the ceiling, and music. It's clean and light and cheerful. During my check-up he spoke enthusiastically about how much he enjoyed the Harry Potter series. It was as pleasant and comfortable as it can be when someone's fingers are in your mouth. And of course, there was that ergonomically designed toothbrush to make it a sketchable experience.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Summer's Bounty

There is a hint of frost in the air, and the next five days are to be cool and rainy. It's time to harvest the summer's bounty. We have so many tomatos this year. In the spring, we bought a four pack of "mystery" tomatos - they had lost their identifying tag and were on sale for $1.49. It tuned out they were all cherry tomatos, I think perhaps String of Pearls or Sweet Millions. The vines often have 14 or 16 tomatos on them. Pictured here are some of the larger ones. We eat them at every meal, and have given several bowls to the neighbors. These were ripening on the counter in a transparent bowl. The sun shining on made such lovely patterns and shadows and highlights. What could I do but paint them? It seemed the perfect thing to continue my study of transparency. I was halfway through when Shawn stole the top tomato (the one shaped like a strawberry) to eat with his lunch.
"The incredible gift of the ordinary! Glory comes streaming from the table of daily life."
Macrina Wiederkehr

I have been remiss in posting because I have been struggling with another sketch that I wanted to do that has had me very frustrated. It was of my favorite tea tin and cup (combining two challenges). But for the life of me, I couldn't get that tin's back corner to stay grounded on the table. It always looked as if it was defying gravity and floating upwards. Those pesky vanishing points have come back to haunt me. After 4 confidence-destroying attempts, I gave up and had to try something that had a possiblility of being moderately successful. I like the way the shadows and highlights turned out on this tomato sketch. And perhaps tomorrow, I will go back to the drawing board (so to speak) and practice vanishing points and two point perspective once again.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

EDM 135 - Draw a salad

This is my favorite kind of salad for this summer. It's made with romaine lettuce, cucumbers, red onions, pears, and toasted walnuts. I posted the recipe for the dressing in a previous post about the peach. I could have done a regular salad, the kind we have on a daily basis, but I've already put a lot of tomatos on this blog. This salad with fruit and nuts in it is so fresh and lively tasting. It's a nice change from the ordinary, even though there is nothing from my own garden in it. Our tomatos are ripening nicely, we have cherry tomatos every day now for both lunch and dinner. We had a frost warning last night, so we covered them just in case. This is a bittersweet time for gardeners - sweet because the harvest is coming in, and the flavors burst on your tongue with juiciness, and you feel the pride that you grew this yourself. But bitter because it's coming to the end, the flowers are tired looking and leggy, the air is crisp and cool, there is a touch of frost on the grass. It's time to harvest what you can, clean up the rest, and plan for next year. But most of all, it's time to savor the best of what's left, and look forward to the new season, and eat salads like there's no tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

EDM #2 Draw a Lamp

September, and the students are back at the college. The last long weekend is over and it's time to sober up, buckle down, get on with the job of helping the students navigate their way through their education. Suddenly it's noisy and crowded, and you can see that some of them are overwhelmed, homesick, anxious. This is when a kind word or a simple smile can make a difference. There is such energy and potential in the air, excited voices, squeals of recognition of a friend not seen for several months, and many questions. Most of the questions we will be asked this week will have little to do with "library stuff" and more to do with just finding their way around. This is usually the most interesting week of the whole academic year. I really like the first day of the Fall semester.

But back to the reason for this blog. This sketch is of our new lamp. We bought it the same day we bought the new fridge and stove, but the drama of the fridge stole the thunder and the lamp did not even get a mention. But here it is, shiny and new and reliable.

Watercolor in the Moleskine journal.