Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Painting and Drawing

I hope that you don't mind seeing drawings and more drawings because that is about all I have been doing. Unless, that is, you would like me to explain about how the church looks at the Bible and what that means for us. Yeah, I thought that the drawings would be preferable and to tell you the truth, I am too tired to do thoughtful and thought provoking writing tonight.

So here are the drawings and the painting.
This painting still has layers to go but this is where it stands now. It is supposed to be a narrative painting, telling a story and is supposed to incorporate  words, etc. I am not even sure which way is up right now, but I will get that worked out. I went to the studio late this morning to work on it but after an hour or so it got so cold that I had to come in. What's with this cold weather?

This is the third and last rendition of the water scene. I used liquid pencil on it and a little colored pencil. The drawing on this one is better but the background still needs to be a little darker.  

Sandy brought in some holly for us to draw in class. I think this one is pretty good. 

For homework we had to draw simple flowers. I had drawn all these before I realized that two petals on each flower were longer than the other two. How could I have missed that? It is so easy to see what you think is there and not what is actually there. 
This is the tree in front of our house next to the street. I sat on the front porch steps about seven o'clock in the evening to draw this. It was a lovely time. 

These maple buds were a class assignment. 

I found these in the neighbors yard. Both of these drawings are about life size. What a huge difference a different tree can make. 

Just in case you are tempted to think that I am really getting good, the ink bottle in the center, the first I drew tonight, will relieve you of that idea. As I said, ellipses are my nemesis. NO 3 is a little better, at least. #2 might actually be the nearest to the ink bottle. 


I need to draw a line to write on. My writing goes uphill without one. This is a homework drawing of my favorite drink, tea, in a favorite cup - a very thin and delicate one. Evidently also a crooked one. 

There is lots to learn and much practice to be done in both media. Do you ever draw? Anyone can if you only look and draw what is there and not what you think is there. Give it a try. You might really like it. 

All is Well, 
XOXOXO,
Caroline

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Crows and sketches

Last night DH watched and I listened to a program about animal brains which showed quite a bit about how smart crows are. When we lived in the mountains there were a lot of crows and I really enjoyed watching them.

This guy was my favorite. He hung around a lot. 

This should have Wanted written under it. 

I messed with this one on photoshop elements. 

These lilacs were a gift from our next door neighbor. Last night I drifted to sleep with the lovely scent wafting my way. What a luxury. 

Outside the windows the pink dogwood is doing its best. The poor thing has dogwood blight and is slowly dying but is giving us all it can each year. I wish there was something to be done but I have talked to the arborist and there is nothing to do. 

This end of the living room is clean again after moving my desk out. 

I can't say that for this end. 

A really interesting app called Waterlogue paints from your photos. Don't you like this? 

A watercolor of an oil painting. So much fun. 

Last night's sketch - DH's chest/dresser. This sketching business is fun. Tomorrow it is back to class work on the narrative (purplish ) one and the drawings. 

All is well, 
XOXOXO, 
Caroline

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Eyelashes

(I wrote this a few days ago but got called away and didn't post it. Since then I have darkened the background of this drawing. Much better. )

This post will be really short. Did I hear a sigh of relief? I am still selecting things to get out of the house, including furniture, and all else. Except maybe china. I have a thing for china. I have bought some decorative boxes to hold the things removed from the desk, but haven't put them to use yet.

This is art week. Last night DH, Vicki and I went to Chattanooga to an art show where several of our class mates (art class) were exhibiting some of their work. Tonight we go to Atlanta to see another show. Anne Bagby, from whom Vicki and I have taken classes, will be showing some of her fantastic work. I would love to own a piece of her work.

I just wanted to show you my colored pencil drawing that is finished (actually, once you see it online you think, "That needs a little..."). I really enjoyed working on this and think I might do another, but I also need to work on painting. Anyway, here is it and then, Goodnight.

By the way, have you seen cars with eyelashes? I hadn't until today I saw a yellow VW bug with long curvy eyelashes. I had to laugh. 

All is Well, 
XOXOXO
Caroline

Meeting Myself in the Middle


I am sure that you have been where I am now.  It is variously described as running as fast as I can or meeting myself coming and going - or maybe a little of both. What made me think that I could take three classes a week and do some serious editing of our household goods, getting several things out of the house each day? (today it was several large bags of fabric) Ha! So what did I do? I started keeping a drawing journal, not to be confused with a daily diary. Daily would surely do me in. Drawing/sketching just records what is important or interesting or what catches your eye. Just for fun. 
Here is the only drawing I have done. This drawing and future ones will be in ink. I can hardly even think of drawing in ink, much less actually do it and yet I did. The human mind/will or whatever being what it is, if you just jump in and don't worry almost anything can be done. There are several false lines here but I just made myself ignore them and keep on going. It is no prize winner, but so what, it is just my sharpeners and erasers. 

Here is the next layer of the class project, the first layer being white, the second black. These are little pieces of practice writing in the Spencerian manner, no longer practiced for a good reason - it is slow. However, it is pretty and I like to give it a try every now and then. 
This is the fourth layer. Color. I used red, red-violet and violet along with white. When I snapped this with my iPhone, the clear layer on the top was still wet so it is a little smeary looking. I don't yet know which will be the top and which the bottom. Tomorrow is class and some decisions will have to be made. There are more layers to be added. I am not at all sure what the finished piece will be like. I do like these colors, though. 

This is something I unearthed in the cleaning and pitching I am doing. I painted this years and years ago. A few days ago I glazed a little grayish over it and was amazed at how much it came together and changed. It is amazing what a difference something so minor can make. Life lesson here, don't you think?

My pencils and some work from yesterday's class. This might be hard to believe but, discovering that there is another formulation for colored pencils (these are wax-based, the others are oil-based), I had a very hard time keeping myself from buying another set of 60 pencils. What was I thinking? It is hard enough to keep up with these and find what I am looking for. Thank goodness good sense prevailed. And now I know I have at least a little good sense

Have you read that egg shells are good for your plants? And that the birds need calcium in laying season? We are saving egg shells, drying and then grinding them then putting them in the back yard. If you look carefully you can see DH in the background at his computer. 

The day has been long, I have reading to do. I wish you a good night (or day). 
All is well, 
XOXOXO
Caroline


Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Hair Off Plumb

As you probably know, I find life almost unbearably beautiful. Everywhere there are beautiful gifts from nature, beautiful faces, great books, absorbing study,loving people and so much else that a gracious God has given us in this world. With that attitude, and it really is mine, why do I paint things like this? I always thought that I would paint beautiful things to share the beauty I see all around me. This is not beautiful. It is colorful. It is maybe a little disturbing. Either I am deeply affected on a level I am not conscious of what I read or I have some deeply hidden anger and pain. Deeply hidden - I am not conscious of that either. Or, as DH says, I am a hair off plumb. 
If you have a better answer I would love to hear it, because I really don't know. The piece above, nearly finished, is what came of a start to make the first layers of a piece we are working on in painting class. It took an abrupt turn and became what it is. The new first several layers are shown below. Color will be added and I am not sure exactly what else. 

This piece is about writing and painting. I have done some writing practice and lettered some sayings I made up. I am thinking that the colors will be red-orange, red and red-violet or red, red-violet and violet. They will look different over the white or the black and they will have white mixed in them. This is the only time you will see this part and when you see it again you might not even recognize it. 

Today I read Mary Ann Moss's blog and she told about Waterlogue,an app that was new to me. I had to try it so I downloaded it then took this picture of Bella at the end of the bed.
When I opened it in Waterlogue it was turned into this. I love it. I wish my watercolors would be that good. Practice, practice, practice. 

I cropped this pic and then the original got in here. I cropped out the ladder and the stuff on the bench so you would think that the back yard looks nice. It will, but right now we are sorting things that came down here from NC and there are boxes and other stuff all around. I took the photo, though, because I looked out the studio window and saw Forsythia and Quince blooming in the sun and it was just joyous.

I have been moving furniture in the living room and the studio and packing up things to go to the Restore or other good places. I gave my desk to a daughter and and am passing on all my quilt fabric except what I will be using on the two quilts currently planned. It is a good feeling to have that going out of the house/studio. I also have sold my piano. This house is smaller than our previous house and all my furniture just made it feel very cramped in here. 

DH filled the four pots that have sat in the front yard since just before winter and planted little shrubs in two of them. The shrubs sat in their nursery pots inside the large pots all winter. Next week, after this next little cold spell I will go to the nursery and buy plants for the last two. Do you think that I should go with succulents? They are very popular now and should be easy to find and they are so interesting. 

All is well, 
XOXOXO
Caroline



Friday, March 28, 2014

A Week's Worth of Jabber

I know that I haven't been posting as often as I once did, but I have an excuse a reason. I am taking two art classes, each about three hours long as well as the two and a half hour class at church. Each class has homework. Actually, they each have several hours of homework. Also, Vicki, my sister, broke her foot last Monday and I have helped her just a tiny bit getting from here to there. I really need to offer her more help, as a matter of fact. It is hard to do housework on crutches and she also has a job. All this would be nothing if I weren't so slow and there's the problem. I am getting slower and slower. However, life goes on. 

This is the little boy. He has a sailboat in his hand and it looks like he plans to sail it in the little dirt patch under this tree. We bought the three older children, the ones holding hands and going in a circle, then just couldn't leave him there. We bought them in NM and had them crated and shipped to NC. This one is not exceptionally heavy but the other has to be moved by machinery. 

My studio has no water source so I have to bring water in bottles, then let the waste water evaporate in an old ice cream bucket. Yesterday I was all out of water so I trudged out there and up with stairs with the iPhone and the spray bottle in the pocket of my apron, the camera around my neck, the gallon jug of water and the cup of tea in one hand (do you remember that water weighs 7.5 pounds per gallon?) and the old Cascade dishwasher tab container half full of water in the other hand.  I think that I might snake a hose up through the window. Or I could get another milk jug to help fill the other water containers. See, already a better way!(Did you  notice the sun streak on the floor?)

This is a piece that started as an assignment and turned into very much something else as has happened to me before. Now I have started again on the assignment but so far it is only some copied pages, and a square canvas covered with gesso. I have chosen the colors to use and have prepared some papers that will be included. I have some transfers to make and then I will be back to where I should be. We don't have class next week but I have plenty to do before then. The following week I will miss again as we are going to our daughter's house but I will get that assignment and go from there. 


A drawing of a perfume bottle, a Limoges box (there is a tiny perfume bottle inside it) and my pearls on an embroidered piece. I see places where I could improve and I will improve but that will only happen with daily drawing. Remember practicing the piano? Kinda like that. By the way, that egg-shaped thing is the "box" in case you were thinking I had finally just lost it (my mind, I mean). When I finish this post I must get the pencil/pen and draw. I also have knitting to do. And housework. 


A drawing of my neighbor's yard as seen out my dining room window. It was late in the afternoon on another of those grey days we have had so many of. I photographed the drawing at a slant, which doesn't help at all. Unfortunately, it is not great even flat, but it is okay. I like the tree peeking from behind the large tree, and I learned a lot about drawing iris leaves. I might add more color or I might just leave it. 

A homework assignment. My favorite jeans hanging over a chair back. 

This is a beginning of three landscape drawings based on the same photo. (below) I took the photo when we were driving near Highlands, NC, late one fall. 

We were to slip the photo into a sheet saver and trace the large forms, then transfer the forms to white paper. We are to draw them once in black and white with pencil or pen and ink, do a color rendering and then a third time we will work in liquid pencil, a new product that I have not seen but have heard about. So far, I have only put in my darks and not all of them on the first version. 

For the church class I am reading about Nature and Human Suffering(actually last week's lesson which I didn't get done after spending the afternoon in the Emergency room with Vicki), The Sacrifice in Creation and The Trinity. It is heavy but quite interesting reading. I will present it Monday night; we each present our week's lesson and then have a Theological Reflection on what we learned or another subject of the group's choice. 

This afternoon my brother and I talked to our soon-to-vacate renter and then had a snack and a nice visit. I really do like living so near my siblings. 

All is Well, 
XOXOXO
Caroline


Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's Here!

Spring is actually, officially here today. It was even sunny and not too chilly! Here are the sign I saw around the yard. 
 
I never can remember what these are but I like them. 

I know these. That is my neighbor's driveway, but I consider that we share these. 

This is their quince, took but I get to see it and I love that color. 

My blue hydrangea was nearly trampled to death but is making a valiant effort to survive. 

When I was a little girl I thought that violets were the prettiest flowers of all. I still think that they are sweet. These are blooming at the end of a walkway in a pile of rocks, doing their best to bring loveliness to the world of concrete and rock.

In other news, DH made some Kale chips and they are crispy and good. Tear up a bunch of kale, toss with oil and salt, put in a low oven for a long time. Even I could do it. 

This fabric will possibly be used for slip covers on the dining room chairs. Still  in the thinking stage on that one. 

 I will definitely cover some pillows(cushions if you are English) from this fabric to put on the sofas. They look so drab to me now. The crewel pillows were embroidered by my mother but unfortunately the colors are not right for here. They might, however, go in the bedroom. 

This floral will be bedroom curtains or Roman shades or something on the windows and the chevron will be a cornice board and possibly a bedskirt since you can see right under my bed from the living room. 

I am also drawing and painting(Art and Shelf )and doing all the regular work of housekeeping so don't look for finished projects any time soon. Like many things, none of these are exceptionally difficult, but getting it all together and getting going on it can be a hurdle that is not easy to leap. 
BUT
It is Spring!!


All is well, 
XOXOXO
Caroline