January 2006 Archives

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Sleeping child on blue and green pillows. Ink and gouache. This is the first time I've used gouache with this paper - I like the way I can layer it, even when I'm trying to work quickly.

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Towards the end of a Sunday afternoon, and the band was rehearsing in the dining room. They sound better and better... (Rehearsal ended before I could draw more of them.)

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Looking at the light and shadow across the table tonight, as I listened to original music - felt lucky to be in this place, at this time. (Brush pen and waterbrush.)

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A version of my bedside table - but deceptively tidy. I moved another pile of library books to my bureau earlier this week, and my journal and tin of watercolor crayons were in my lap. This end of the room does not have squared angles, but instead a slight bay window. When you sit up in bed, the room pulls forward around you. Cross drafts from the tall windows are welcome in the summer (in the winter, less ideal). I feel embraced by the angles and the color in this space, so I had fun exaggerating them tonight.

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Layers of onion, layers of process. Idea, then pen and ink, then wash, then some watersoluble oil pastel.

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Thinking about copies and symbols tonight... My daughter drew a flag and cut it out for me. So this is a drawing of her drawing.

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My eye is drawn to blue glass in the way it is drawn to the horizon, to water. Deep, calm, cool blue. I can look for a long time, and feel balance restored to the moment.

Ink and watercolor crayon.

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Proceeding intuitively from a different starting point...

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Green leaf lettuce, somewhat picked over after a small salad and maybe a couple of sandwiches. (Better put it on the list, as we'll need more before much longer.)

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Today we went to the aquarium. I love how other-worldly the jellyfish are - I could watch them swim in circles in their tank for hours, I think - certainly for longer than the youngest family member's attention span will allow. So this is a combination of pen and ink on the spot, with watercolor crayon added at home.

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Today was black and gold day in Pittsburgh - ordinary dress codes were suspended in favor of Steeler-themed apparel or black and gold clothing. The football spirit is contagious. There suddenly seem to be a lot of people named Roethlisberger, Ward, Bettis, and Polamalu, judging from their shirts. I got to wear my yellow sneakers to work.

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Evening view from the neighborhood playground. The weather was in the mid-fifties and clear today, but what with one thing and another, by the time we got there it was nearly dusk. While my daughter played on the slides, I got out my brush pen and began sketching a roofline and treetop against the sky across the street.

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Was at an event for local bloggers earlier this evening. The people were interesting, and I chose to listen and talk rather than draw - so I return home and to the citrus motif. (Our weblog guarantee to you: no less than 20% citrus content?) Everyone is trying to avoid (or recovering from) vicious colds at this time of year. I don't know that drawing an orange offers me any protection... but it does smell good. (Watercolor crayon and waterbrush.)

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Living room, after supper. Brush pen and then watercolor crayon and then waterbrush.

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Drawn after a vigil held in the community - citizens coming together in witness against violence and in quiet observation of the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday. We have a long way to go...

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Unsalted tops make these taste like much fancier (more expensive) crackers if you eat them with your eyes closed.

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Palms and orchids, ferns and euphorbia. As the temperature dropped into the twenties and the wind picked up, it seemed a good day to visit the imaginary tropics of Phipps Conservatory.

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Ink and watercolor crayon.

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These are very ripe, but not yet past eating. The air near them is bright with the smell.

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And the band played, "Shake, rattle, and roll," while I drew in the dark...

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Late night continuous line drawing of my hand, intended to slow myself down after a very full day. (It worked.) I added watercolor crayon wash afterwards, and then went to sleep.

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Continuing in my new year's resolution to draw more figures.

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Half lime in a wooden bowl. Watersoluble oil pastel - no ink.

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Black socks and baggy khakis on my younger son, who was watching The March of the Penguins on TV - maybe that's why I was thinking about black and white?

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Ink, brush pen, wash, watercolor crayons... kept layering with this drawing, to see how much the paper would take.

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flu

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Fighting off the flu... Here we are watching T.V. with Felix the Cat, which has its own feverish tenor. Thought I'd skip over sickness - but here it is... arriving with the certainty of night and sleep.

It's a short-lived bug, as the first patient got it last night and is already feeling herself again. Sleep is the answer, I think.

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I'm not sure where the two crossing lines came from, but afterwards I found myself thinking of latitude and longitude... (ink and wash)

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Well, actually, it's the same lemon... (different materials).

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New paper makes all my other materials seem new again - what a treat. Everything works just slightly differently. This is pen and watercolor crayon. The crayon feels more opaque, more stuck to the paper. Maybe it's the absence of that Moleskine sizing? The crayon is also more responsive to the waterbrush - I feel as if I have finer-grained control. I'll be interested to see how my work develops in response to this paper during the year...

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Getting the feel of the paper in my new sketchbook series, so I drew my bottle of ink. My pen moves smoothly over the page without smudging. Ink is good and black. Kuretake brush pen for the shadow is black, and then I can pull washes out of the black with my Niji waterbrush. And the paper is white (Lenox 100).

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Over the holiday, one of my sisters and I each bound a dozen sketchbooks for the year ahead. Working in our mother's beautiful seaside studio, we took a break from the rest of the world, folding and stitching and pasting and talking. Wonderful.

That sister - Maria - has been keeping a weblog with her drawings, too - she's a painter with two small children, and her sketchbook gives you a taste of the vitality of her work. We were having such a good time that another artist sister - Rachel - joined us and made herself a journal, and then my mother made four of them. My closest sister - Margaret - is a longtime committed diary-keeper, but she hasn't jumped into the world of blogs yet. I feel fortunate to be inspired by such an expressive and creative family.

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Two self portraits: one done just as I began drawing last year (Dec. 30, 2004) and one done today, after drawing every day in the meantime... Even I can see the difference!

I think I'll put them both away, and make another self portrait next January first. Wonder what it will look like - or more to the point, I wonder what this year's drawing will look like when I have more distance from it. (Click on either image for an enlarged view.)

There's a photo of me here, if you want to check the likeness.

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