Sunday, October 26, 2008

EDM 194 - Baked potato rant

This is a baked potato the way it was meant to be. Baked in a real oven, not a microwave. Garnished with a glob of sour cream - real sour cream, not that no fat abomination that I try to (lie to) tell myself tastes the same as the real thing. Chives, preferably fresh from the garden. Bits of crumbled bacon - real bacon and not that edible oil product that masquerades as bacon. And a liberal grind of black peppers. Yes, I'm a baked potato snob, and I'm not afraid to admit it. There's really no substitue for genuine, fresh ingredients. As someone who loves to cook (and eat), I am constantly dismayed by the plethora of "fake" ingredients that are in the stores. Often they are marketed as being convenient or fast. But don't you have to wonder what's in a product that never, ever goes bad? And isn't it preferable to have a small amount of whole fat products rather than a lot of modified products with parts taken out? If the flavor is left in food, perhaps we would need less of it to be satisfied. And maybe they wouldn't need to add a lot of corn syrup to cover up the lack of natural taste. I ponder these things in the grocery store, and am trying to buy more local and natural ingredients. It just tastes better.

Watercolor pencil, micron pen, in the Moleskine sketchbook. 5"x7"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

EDM 103 - Draw some exercise equipment

Deep Water Workout is my favorite exercise class. It's the one I have been able to stick with for 5 years now, twice a week. The pool is a heated salt water pool, and the water is silky smooth and soft. It feel wonderful against your skin, although it wreaks havoc with your bathing suit. I drew this suit as one of my favorites for its bright colors, but it's rapidly losing its structural integrity due to the salt. The Aquabells are made of styrofoam and are light as feathers outside of the water, but in the water the resistance is about 15 pounds - way more than I can lift in the gym. The belts keep us afloat in the deep water. But the noodle is my nemesis. Yeah, that benign pool noodle beloved of children everywhere becomes an instrument of torture in Deep Water class. The instructors actually expect us to stand on the noodle while in the water! It is impossible! Children love the pool noodle because when they try to stand on it, it dumps them face first into the drink, and causes much hilarity. The same thing happens to grown-up women when they are conned into believing that standing on this noodle is a terrific exercise for abdominal muscles. Much hilarity ensues, as we too are dumped face first into the drink. So not only do we get a workout, but we are reminded that grownups need to play, too.

Watercolor pencils in the Moleskine sketchbook.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Autumn asks that we prepare for the future - that we be wise in the ways of garnering and keeping. But it also asks that we learn to let go - to acknowledge the beauty of sparseness." --B.W. Overstreet

As I walked home from work one day, I noticed all the autumn leaves on the trees and on the ground. Of course, they needed to be drawn. I chose carefully, looking at shapes and colors and patterns. I'm not sure what was more fun - the selecting or the drawing. As much as I mourn the passing of summer and the death of my garden, I celebrate the changing of the seasons and the cycle of life. For how would we appreciate the warmth and bounty of summer without knowing the chill and nudity of winter. And though I grumble about the cold and the winds of winter, I really like living in a country with such discrete seasons. It's always changing and always interesting. Each season has it's own beauty and charm, and it's one of the things that makes me want to draw and paint. To try and capture the ever-changing face of nature.
This is watercolorpencil in the Moleskine journal. At first, I didn't like this journal much, but it's grown on me. Although it still scans oddly, I've found that having the black lines as an anchor point tends to balance out the scan some.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

EDM 190 - Draw your pallette

This is my pallette of water color paints. In real life, it's a lot messier than that. This was a real exercise in perspective. I struggled quite a bit with all those corners and angles, and trying to convey "shiny white" surface. It was a real challenge, but as usual, I learned quite a bit. It always seems that the harder it is, the more I learn. There was a lot of erasing and re-placing of lines that forced me to look closely at the angles, and draw what I really see and not how I think it should look. Good challenge all around.

I had been without Internet access for about three weeks. I'm not one who is on the computer all day everyday, so I didn't realize how much a part of my life it had become. It was difficult to run my daily life - paying bills, renewing library books, looking up recipes and crossword puzzle clues (yeah, I cheat a bit!), communicating through emails, posting to this blog, and participating in the weekly challenges. So now I'm much more appreciative of the sense of community there is in being "connected". Rather than being isolating as so many think, it really opens up the world to you. And that can't be a bad thing - to be able to join a group of like minded people with the same interests as you, to discuss, to share, to teach, to learn, to participate. Isn't that what community is all about?