Sunday, June 22, 2008

EDM 176 - Draw summer

There are so many things that shout "summer" to me. Living in a winter country as I do, summer is short, sweet, and something that you wring every last drop out of. I even keep track of the "firsts" of every summer:

  • first gin and tonic (because you can only drink G&Ts in the summer)
  • first full day wearing flip flops (the day you don't have to start off wearing socks)
  • first harvest of rhubarb
  • first day you can drink morning coffee on the patio
  • first cutting of the new grass
  • first robin in the birdbath

But it's really watermelon that is the quintessential taste and smell of summer. I know that we can have watermelon all year long now, but when I was a kid we waited for summer to have watermelon. It was like the reward for surviving the six foot high snowdrifts. And the best part was when you went to the freezer and got the snowball that you made from those six foot drifts and stashed away in there last January, hoping your mom hadn't found it thrown it out. Eating watermelon and a snowball - yep, that says summer to me. I don't think I would enjoy summer nearly as much if I didn't have winter.

This is watercolor in the Moleskine watercolor journal. I wanted to experiment with gettting the sparkly texture of the watermelon, so I used lots of water to create blooms. It does give the effect of those slightly mushy parts of the melon. I think salt would have worked as well.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

EDM 175 - Draw a basket

This is the cute little basket that I use to carry my "stuff" around. I'm in a fortunate place in that I only work ten months of the year so with vacation time, I have about 12 weeks off most of them in the summer. Last year I found this basket that is the perfect size for carrying my personal things around. It holds my drawing and water color pencils, my sketchbook, my personal journal, and a paperback novel. Since I spend a lot of time outside on the deck, it's perfect for moving my life from the inside to the outside. The basket is in one hand, leaving the other hand free for a cup of coffee or a cold drink. And when the urge to draw the flowers in the back garden strikes, I just reach into the basket for what I need. It's organization and creativity in perfect balance. It doesn't take much to please me. But then, life on the deck in the summer should be simple and easy.

Monday, June 09, 2008

EDM - Draw a bridge

This is the little footbridge that crosses over a creek in Weaselhead Flats. The wetland area is one of my favorite walks in the city. It is a protected area, and is away from developments. There are lots of wildlife, especially water birds of all kinds. It also has one of the largest coniferous forest of white spruce in the area, which is mostly prairie. The first bridge was built in 1971, but was washed away during a flood. This particular bridge has been in place since 1996. By the time you reach the bridge, you have descended from the main park area onto the wetlands, and the noise of the city has disappeared to be replaced by the trills and chatter of birds and water. It is a simply lovely, tranquil place, where I go often to refresh my soul.
I don't do many landscapes, as I find it difficult to choose what to leave in and where to just "suggest" the trees or forms. But this seemed to be a good photo to work with. The spruce trees were quite fun to do, but I had to remind myself to slow down, and make a conscious decision about how much detail to put in, and where to place the reflection of the bridge, and the shadows of the trees. It also seemed like the right tool for this job was the water color pencils and I really like how they worked here. I feel like I learned a lot from this sketch.