July 29, 2014

Row Your Boat.

If you haven't done this yet, do yourself an enormous favor. Read The Boys in the Boat.


An amazing true story that will make you feel SO good!

You want drama? Check. You want local, national, and world history? Check. You want a good story? Got it. But the best thing about this book is something my friend Ruth said about it: it is a tale about the human spirit. Something to lift you up in these days of grim happenings around the planet.

 Author talks about the book:

July 26, 2014

A tour of Daniel Smith

Lucky enough to be local to the best watercolor paint manufacturer in the world.. a free tour of their plant today. And time to play with some of the paints.



July 23, 2014

How to Write Your Name…. case you didn't know.

I wrote a slew of draft posts waiting for one thing or another I never seem to get to or complete. Here's one I started a ways back. I imagine I held it back until I could post a photo or two of  the books I had just received from her direct from the UK.  Love this artist. I have mentioned her several times here. I could never replicate her style, nor would I want to. She is her own style, as it should be. And I do not have her patience and deliberateness and if the good Lord said either draw like that or eat liver, I'd have to eat the liver.

But oh I do admire her talent and humor and approach to life's little treasures. And since she is a featured artist in Sketchbook Skool this semester, I'm sharing this with you now.


July 21, 2014

Quick sketch at Starbucks

This woman was a serious worker at her computer the whole time I was there. Even after I drew her using Paper app on iPad. Still on a learning curve with the app.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

July 19, 2014

Mapaholic Alert

Jill Berry and Mary Nassar...and all other cartophile friends....Have you seen this? 

Quote from site: The True Size of Africa" is one of the 140 maps that superstar curator and Serpentine Gallery co-director Hans Ulrich Obrist has put together for the hardcover, "Mapping It Out: An Alternative Atlas of Contemporary Cartographies." A creative offshoot of the gallery's Map Marathonthat took place in 2010, the book features maps as we've never considered them before. Damien Hirst writes instructions on how to get to his house (starting with "Call first"), former RISD president John Maeda draws a "map of the future" scribbled on a Best Western notepad, Yoko Ono contributes her poem "Map Piece" from her 1964 book "Grapefruit," Matt Mullican asks the reader to consider the calendar as a map of the future, and Sir Timothy Berners-Lee creates a map of "mingling and evolution of influences in the world wide web" (which, if you're not familiar, he invented)."

July 18, 2014

Assignment: Selfies

On both of these sketches, I used regular sketching pencils and a dark wash pencil. I did a few others in ink but then miss being able to shade for the depth and curves of a face. 

In Sketchbook Skool, we are drawing selfless - in real life with mirrors and from photos. Here are a couple of my selfies with my new goodies from Zazzle: a Sketchbook Skool hoodie (I love hoodies in the winter - so cozy!) and my bumper sticker. I also got a mug. Thankfully, I cleaned out my mug shelf a few weeks back in an effort to downsize it. So I had an empty space.

Do they look like me? A little. Parts.


July 17, 2014

A piece o' toast

A Sketchbook Skool homework assignment. May I use this opportunity to talk about toast?  There was once a brand of toasters called…efficiently…Toastmaster. McGraw-Edison made them. Now, full disclosure, I worked my way through college working summers at McGraw-Edison in Elgin, but it really doesn't matter.  There has never been a toaster like an old Toastmaster toaster made by M-E. Or maybe I was less fussy as a younger person.  But I remember perfect toast: evenly toasted all over and on both sides. Mmmm…butter melting into little pockets. Bob and I have been through at least a dozen - probably two dozen - toasters in our time together. Although we do not agree on what makes a good toaster, it really doesn't matter.  None of them pass muster. Too short, too burned, too light, only toasts one side, too inconsistent, not good for bagels, only good for bagels, oh brother. Please note the burned area of this toast and that it is only half a piece. The slots are too short for a longer piece of bread.  Oh brother. 
Thanks for listening. Now I feel better. 


July 12, 2014

Shattered dreams.

Did I get your attention?  Make that, Shattered Vases and Dishes and Bowls.  Hammering broken items into workable pieces to make a tiled outdoor tabletop.  I have done one before on a small table (we break a lot of dishes) and I love how it came out. Hope to love this one too. Although it will probably have to stay with the house if we sell. Pretty. Heavy.

these are photo of a vase in pieces that will take its place among the ruins. I distinctly remember that I deliberated over a good length of time deciding which of several beautiful - and costly - vases I was going to spring for. Although I love artisan pieces and paintings and admire the talent and hard work, I only invest (which is what I consider these purchases to be) occasionally. Finally decided on this pretty thing and, sadly, within a month it was broken. (Another reason I hesitate buying expensive stuff…klutzy cats, cleaning ladies, and yours truly. 
My Michael's vases are all intact, however. :)

July 11, 2014

The Amazing Sketchbook Project

Really. Truly. Shelves and shelves of sketchbooks contributed by people from all over the world. The Sketchbook Tour Mobile library arrived in Seattle today yesterday for 3 days, parked in front of the Central Library. Much easier to access this time.

My favorite: Penelope Harris, Today I Was Inspired By  in which this Vancouver Canada artist creates art in the style and spirit of favorite artists, incorporates perfect quotations, and whose workmanship and creativity blew my everlovin' mind.

Three selections from this luscious piece of work:

Penelope Harris

Penelope is inspired by Nick Bantock and Francis Bacon

Penelope is inspired by Lynda Barry and Robert Rauschenberg

And when I found the book on SP, I also found the others she has contributed, The Science of Story, The Builder of Bridges, and Time Traveler.
wowie wow wow…  Penelope has a blog here.

And….Mike Brennan I Once Was Lost charmed me, too.

Is this a good place to remind friends and readers that I, too, have a selection in the Sketchbook Project of 2013? If you haven't had the chance, I would love a look. It's called Hometown Journeys. It is in the theme of travel, but I chose to travel to local places to which I had not yet paid much attention despite living here since 1995.  I combined parts of photos with my sketches. It was a thick book with some foldouts and didn't translate well to scans at the SP site but you'll get the gist. Or you can check out my Flickr site to which there's a link in the right column here.

The weather was photo-perfect and we sketchbookers made friends with each other as we enjoyed the work of other artists "checked out" two at a time. We passed the books around and wrote names down for later enjoyment. (Many of these sketchbooks are also digitized on the Sketchbook Project site to enjoy at our leisures.)

Three hours was not enough time, though. I grabbed a gelato at a new place called Vovito….

and maybe I'll return tomorrow. I'll once again grab the bus to town and enjoy the books and the great city. The city is so vibrant; it matters not the weather or the day or the hour. I love cities and I love Seattle!

July 9, 2014

Summer days

Lunch with a good friend. A new sketching book. Rosie wants to know when she can lick again. Weather = Perfection. Good long walk, 11 songs worth.


July 8, 2014

Prepare to be inspired.

Sketchbooks are on my mind as I am participating in both Sketchbookery with Mary Ann Moss and Sketchbook Skool Semester 2: "Seeing." So after I complete this post, I'm drawing some toast and sketching some teacups. I have other things I should do (clean out the car, hammer out some tiles, clean up the studio, blahblahblah), but drawing seems like more fun right now. I'll post the results soon...

Meanwhile, in response to Mary Ann's call for some of our favorite sketchers, I revisited my Sketchers page on this blog.  I wanted to stop at 4 or 5 and already found those in the first half dozen of the list. There are so many talented artists out there!

I cannot choose a favorite.  It's like choosing a favorite child or book or European city or cat. But in the top five is this one: Enrique Flores will keep you busy for hours if you let him. I could send you directly to his sketchbooks (there are many there) but then you would miss the octopus. And his blog. Hit the glasses for Enrique on the link here; it will take you to the octopus. His sketches of places are loose and journaly, often with an expressive limited palette. He uses value beautifully. And does cool buildings. And crowd scenes. And MAPS! He does complete sketchbook page flips on You Tube. Subscribe to acuarelista

Enrique Flores
Enrique Flores

Liz Steel

I'll skip Liz Steele in my list but only because she's mentioned on the forum already. But only for that reason. Another prolific sketcher who does amazing buildings, reflecting her architectural background. But her teacups sing.

Cathy Gatland of Johannesburgs sketches and paints little vignettes of life in A Sketch in Time

Anita Davies, United Kingdom. Sketches from her journals. Close-ups of everyday things are especially charming. Blog is loaded with her work.

Amanda Kavanaugh
Amanda Kavanaugh

She has a wide range of subjects, but I especially love Amanda Kavanaugh's travel sketches. A Brooklyn artist, her small thumbprints cram so much visual information in them. Mary Ann, you surely must have noticed this one before. Note her URL!

They Draw and Cook (kristin youdesignme) above,
They Draw and Travel (Lena Umezawa) below

If you have not discovered the entries on They Draw and Travel and They Draw and Cook, where have you been? The maps in Draw and Travel are so much fun. These are blogs but a book is also available of They Draw and Cook

Andrea Joseph

Finally, although their work is hardly in the "sketchbook" arena, please look at the drawings of Andrea Joseph and Paul Madonna. You will not be disappointed. Au contraire, you will be astounded. 
(Andrea is a featured instructor this semester at Sketchbook Skool, but for the record, folks, I discovered this gem a LONG long time ago. So there.) 

Paul Madonna....(but you haven't seen anything yet!) 

and, oh gosh, I haven't even mentioned Nina Johannson yet. 


July 4, 2014

Thoughts of friends, Back to Skool today, and a Happy 4th to you all!

I am thinking of my southern California friends today and wishing we could be there to enjoy the visit of another migrant (but to the other Washington). Old times rehashed, new experiences shared, glasses raised to future adventures. I tried. There is no such thing anymore as a last minute air fare deal. Trust me.

Here's my sketch to start Semester 2 of Sketchbook Skool on "SEEING."  These are what I see with. Not the same as observing, mind you. As is pointed out so well in these Klass sessions.

Here's a link to some cool sketches from last semester's klasses.


July 3, 2014

Thinking pink this week

Two things today…to let you know that there's a link on the right to a PDF of the zine Carla Sonheim put together of art by participants in the Fairy Tale Year class. You will find so many creative versions of the Princess of the Pea there. You should go. It will amuse and inspire you.

The other from my sketchbook is my first contribution to Sketchbookery, Mary Ann Moss's class, and an update on our cat, Rose.

I was wearing figuratively, at least, pink last week. A very good friend had breast cancer surgery. She is doing well and the outlook is good; I am grateful and delighted she will be fine and she found it in time. Ladies, do your self-checks!

In a recent check-up, the vet found a small tumor in our tuxedo cat, Rose, that turned out to be cancerous. She had it taken out last Friday. She came home expectantly groggy and disoriented, and we did our duty, protecting her stitches from her licking in a variety of ways. We started with a baby t-shirt that lasted about 5 minutes. So we cut off the sleeves. No go. Then we bought a Thundershirt (?) made for putting around a dog or cat in anxiety. Caused more anxiety to us; too small to fit her fat belly and trying hard not to touch her sore belly. Then Bob went across town to find another bigger one.  Well…it fit, and she couldn't lick anything, but she also couldn't walk very well. Not sure whether it was still some grogginess from anesthesia or a constricting of back leg muscles, but, after a night's sleep and falling off the bed unable to right herself, I took that thing off promptly and came up with a few knit scarf versions - tying, pinning, and finally stitching.  Let's just say we put it on again often in the next few days. It kept falling off her butt end!  Becoming wise to us, she started resisting the sweater and it was taking two of us to get her recalcitrant legs through.

It isn't pink but it did have a nice round bulls-eye :)!

It took a hot day like Tuesday (record heat for this day in Seattle) to convince me to leave it off and hope for the best. We got GOOD NEWS from the vet about it; we think we have it licked. Pun intended.

I keep reminding Bob it's cheaper than college.

July 2, 2014

Do you know what a math lattice is? No you do not.

I drew this from the photo which accompanied the article below. Am sure it doesn't look like her (the photo was oh-so-small) but I liked making a woman who could fit the description anyway. Should have put her in a big hat, though. Maybe next time. 
I also have spent lots of time through Sunday papers of today and some past weeks. What a news and essay junkie I am. It's a curse. I know it. I get so much pleasure from finding all this stuff; but my piles of that Stuff grow more than I can handle. There is SO MUCH interesting going on in this world to, gladly or sadly, take our minds off the bad news. Of which there is SO MUCH.

On my Sumday Papers page, I've posted the links or summaries of what I've captured just this week. I know many readers have not the time or interest. But if you don't go over and look, let me just warn, you may miss stories that contain these gems.

The residents and shoppers of Abbot Kinney, the trendy Venice retail and restaurant strip, know her as the tall redhead who emerges in an evening dress and a big hat to police behavioral infractions big and small.  
   Scene Stealers, Brooks Barnes, NYTimes 22 June 2014

I was 31 before I got my heart broken...I had loved and lost plenty of times, but I had never let myself feel it. I numbed up....I fell for him so fast, and as if through space, no planet in sight. (But then), it was over...I would sob and wail in my car...crying in public, crying as I wrote in my journal at Dunkin' Donuts, as I biked home...but I marveled, too. I marveled at the feeling of being heartbroken.
          Modern Love, Lily King. NYTimes, 22 June 2014

'I think of myself as an intelligent, functioning adult,' says the writer Julie Klam, who has a daughter who just finished fifth grade. 'But my God. Do you know what a 'math lattice' is? No, you do not. The way basic math is taught now, it's not like A plus B equals C. It's more like A plus B, and then you run out for oranges, and then you take the subway. My daughter's recent assignment was like a buffet of confusion.' Several years ago, my fellow parents and i got so involved in an assignment that I suggested it would be best if we kept our kids home and just showed up for their classes.
            Opinion/Judith Newman, "But I WANT to Do Your Homework." NYT, 22 June 2014


I want this car.

I enjoy  Classic Car shows, admire the passion and energy it takes someone to maintain a classic car, and usually think if I had that much money I'd probably do something else with it (Paris apartment anyone?). I did fall in love with one at the Strawberry Festival CC Show this past Sunday. It was oh so cute. Red. My favorite color. Convertible. My favorite open-air travel. I'd take one. I don 't suppose there's someone out there who would like to have me take their Hillman Minx off their hands?

So cute. As cars go.
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