I'm Tammy

 

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    Monday
    Jul122010

    Flowing Sunshine

    "What wouldn't I give now
    for a never-changing map
    of the ever-constant ineffable?
    To possess, as it were,
    and atlas of clouds."
    ~David Mitchell

    5.5 x 8" Exacompta sketchbook journal, pitt pen (xs), watercolor

    First flowers and now mandalas and suns in psychedelic colors in the Exacompta journal. The first sun was drawn first, then painted. For the others, I painted the backgrounds in watercolor, let them dry overnight and then drew the mandalas on top. The texture is just wonderful for drawing, no drag, lovely. You could do this in photoshop (merging a watercolor background w/sketch), which is cool and you can play and interchange backgrounds, but this is the real thing! FYI, you can find Exacompta sketch journals, unlined, with a super shiny silver edge at Vickery.

    Monday
    Jul122010

    Bouquet of Watercolors

    "The books in Mo and Meggie's house were stacked under tables, on chairs, in the corners of the rooms. There where books in the kitchen and books in the lavatory. Books on the TV set and in the closet, small piles of books, tall piles of books, books thick and thin, books old and new. They welcomed Meggie down to breakfast with invitingly opened pages; they kept boredom at bay when the weather was bad. And sometimes you fall over them."
    — Cornelia Funke, Inkheart

    my favorite, i think

    the ribbons look like pink leaves

    not liking the odd blue-purple flower on the top left

    5.5 x 8" Exacompta sketchbook journal, pitt pen (xs), watercolor

    I've been playing around in several journals this week. This Exacompta journal has paper thinner than watercolor paper and a touch thicker than the paper in moleskine sketch journals. As you know, I draw on watercolor paper so I decided to paint on drawing paper to see what happened. I found it interesting that the color stays where you put it, I don't know how else to describe it. The white of the paper looks great against the colors I typically use. But I had to work quickly to blend colors - if you don't blend instantly there's really no blending as there is no absorbancy and the color dries quickly. You get used to this with acrylics, because they dry quickly as well.

    I liked the challenge and was impressed with the way the paper, not designed for wet paint, handled the paint without warping (unlike Hand journals, ugh). Overnight, I popped parchment paper between the pages and put them under hardbacks. The third painting was inspired by Quinn's watercolor flowers, as it was actually painted in reverse - paint first, pitt pen second.

    Getting out of my comfort zone, in terms of size and type of paper, helps me think out of the box. Two business buzzwords in one sentence, do I get bonus points? Lots of fun ways to experiment with your art supplies... check out Creative Experiments (Intro).

    More bouquets tomorrow, in the moleskine watercolor journal!

    Sunday
    Jul112010

    Containers of Flowers

    "If you love a flower that lives on a star,
    it is sweet to look at the sky at night.
    All the stars are a-bloom with flowers..."
    ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

    Working on a container garden of zinnias + marigolds, planting strawberries + jalapenos, checking the upside down tomatoes, starting alyssum + marigold seeds. The girls are happy to help with anything that involves water and getting things themselves wet. My younger daughter discovered that she could make "music" by spraying water into different sized pots so she made a water symphony. After a day of planting in the upper 90's, a quick jump in the pool followed by... a race out of the pool when we heard thunder! A good tired.

    Sunday
    Jul112010

    Curiosity + Oil Pastels (#2)

    "Alice had got so much into the way
    of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way
    things to happen, that it seemed quite dull
    and stupid for life to go on in the common way."
    — Lewis Carroll

    don't forget to play with your art (in photoshop)

    More oil colors in the 5x8" moleskine (check out the first experiment in Curiosity + Oil Pastels). I used color shapers and white eraser to blend the circles, this time adding color in several layers, then blending, then a little color here and there.

    Lots of potential experiments... shading with tortillons, trying oil pastels over gesso, or as a resist with watercolor or acrylic.

    So it turns out that student and artist quality oil pastels are like turnips and mangoes; pentel is not a mango. I might order a handful of Sommeliers, because I'm really curious what they'd be like. I wonder if they are like butter...

    More...

    Tuesday
    Jul062010

    Morning Mandalas

    "If our condition were truly happy,
    we would not seek diversion from it
    in order to make ourselves happy."
    ~Blaise Pascal

    Enjoying an hour a few mornings each week to draw in the fresh not-yet-sweltering air while the kids learn to play tennis. Aside from the lawn mowers + fresh cut grass, which I could do without, I'm a happy camper. I draw, happy in my own little world, life and tennis balls swirling around me.

    Tuesday
    Jul062010

    Dashboard

    "Read not to contradict and confute,
    nor to believe and take for granted,
    nor to find talk and discourse,
    but to weigh and consider."
    ~ Francis Bacon

    5x8" watercolor moleskine, pitt pen

    Friday
    Jul022010

    It's About Drawing, Not The Drawing

    "Is there anything, apart from a really good chocolate cream pie and receiving a large unexpected cheque in the post, to beat finding yourself at large in a foreign city on a fair spring evening, loafing along unfamiliar streets in the long shadows of a lazy sunset, pausing to gaze in shop windows or at some church or lovely square or tranquil stretch of quayside, hesitating at street corners to decide whether that cheerful and homy restaurant you will remember fondly for years is likely to lie down this street or that one? I just love it. I could spend my life arriving each evening in a new city."
    ~Bill Bryson

    It's hard to be unconfident in your work. It's hard to be a beginner. These are some impromptu sketches of our little manekins (girlekins) and a camera on top of the book Bird by Bird. It's drawing practice.

    Angles and perspective are so confusing! I'm directionally challenged to begin with. If I have to follow directions like, "go west on Boardwalk, then go north at the light at Park Place, there's little chance that I will wind up at Go without any landmarks.

    But I'm trying to focus on small successes. I'm happy that the pen does what I want it to do more often than it used to. I just don't know what I want it to do.

    For those of you who sketch, do you just have a "feel" for your lines, or are you thinking mindfully about what to do next? Do you look at the page as you draw? Do you work from the top to the bottom? Main subject outward? Do you find yourself following the same general process with each drawing? For example, I start 85% of my mandalas in the center with a circle. I don't sketch frequently enough to have any sort of process.

    Wednesday
    Jun302010

    Impromptu Mandala Class

    "The artist one day falls through a hole in the brambles, and from that moment he is following the dark rapids of an underground river which may sometimes flow so near to the surface that the laughing picnic parties are heard above."
    ~Cyril Connolly

    The girls had friends over to play, bringing the household kid total to 5 for the entire day. After lunch, the girls wanted to draw, and my younger daughter suggested teaching everyone how to draw a mandala. So an impromptu mandala drawing class came together! The girls were really excited to learn, asking lots of questions, the younger ones verifying that they were doing it "right" (and me reiterating that there is no right). When we finished the first mandala, discussing as we went, they jumped immediately into a second!

    I didn't show them any of mine until after we were finished, as I didn't want to skew the process. I just drew a simple mandala, walking them through the process, with the girls choosing their own symbols throughout. They named their work in funky lettering as well! I've got to tell you, my heart was jumping around, I was so happy to see their curiosity and focus in creating their mandalas.

    When moms came to pick up the kids, they were so cute, showing off their creations. I snapped some pix before they left. I think their mandalas are really cool!

    Wanderings...