Monday after school

This evening, to beat the back-to-school blues I prioritized painting. This is NOT to say I am not enjoying the chaos and excitement of being back in my library with all the new students and returning students… just that I need this part of my day to keep me sane and to recharge.

Dragon was enjoying her favorite window ledge snoozing spot and I enjoyed listening to the rain coming down as I painted. My best friend from high school entrusted me with her precious yellow tea cup years ago and it is my watercolor painting vessel.

Dragon yawns
Dragon yawns
Palette and watercolor tea cup
Palette and watercolor tea cup
How far I got today
How far I got today, second session with this piece
Close up working
Close up working
Fancy angle close up
Fancy angle close up
Evening tea to finish the experience while I blog
Evening tea to finish the experience while I blog

A little study and a big new job…

My new studio space has proven to be a wonderful spot for watercolor. Here’s a hint of a study I did last week.

I’m also happy to report my new position as an elementary school librarian and computer teacher which, since school started Aug. 14th, has been a bit hectic. My love of libraries has been life-long, and I’m so excited to get to spend time with all the young people as they develop their interests, skills and character. I’m sure this will influence my art life as well, although my posts here may be even more sparse. You’ve been warned.

Desert plant study, watercolor on paper, 5 x 7"
Desert plant study, watercolor on paper, 5 x 7″

Reinstating the Sketchbook Sunday Segment!

Here is a sketch I made yesterday from a rocking chair on my front lawn. I know you can hardly see what it is of but that’s not the point. (It’s a house and some trees at the end of our road.)

The point is that I remembered some of my old blog posts being titled: “sketchbook saturday” or “sketchbook sunday” and like the idea of using my sketchbook each weekend… religiously shall we say.

in the neighbourhood, graphite
In the neighbourhood, graphite in sketchbook

 

Morning Glories

I had a great painting day today. The subject matter just sort of came to me and before I even thought about it I had already gone outside, plucked some morning glories off my vines and begun painting! That’s the joy about studies: I try not to think too much about them. The whole point of studies is just to get me in there and working, free up my hand and warm up my eyes.

The fun part was realizing that I had a small window of time before the blooms completely closed up. The three of them sit now in my studio in their jar, all closed up and looking like they’re huddled to keep warm in the middle of a snow storm. Tomorrow I expect to see them open and smiling happily back at me again.

Morning Glories, oil/canvas, 8 x 10"
Morning Glories, oil/canvas, 8 x 10″

Cat on a Quilt on a Wall

Hello again! It has been a productive week in the studio, what with finishing Quilted Lake and now getting to complete a second painting.

This one was started  a while back  and wasn’t working for me so it was set aside and stared at it with a gloomy expression for a few months. In that time ideas popped up and swam around with all the other detritus in my brain until finally something more solid was able to form…

I knew I had a few pictures somewhere of an outdoor cat named “Butters” sitting on our neighbor’s roof. I had taken them over two years ago when we lived in a different neighborhood and Butters and I spent a lot of time together. (Some of you already know of Butters. I’ve posted some photos of him on this blog before. I pretended he was mine, but he was owned/fed by some people a few houses down. I’m not sure how much affection they gave him though because he would come running down the road when he heard my car or bike and demand pats.)

I dug around a bit on my computer and found the photos I remembered. Then I did more digging around and found about five or six other photographs to use as resources to invent this landscape as it had formed in my mind.

Here are some process pictures from yesterday and today:

Cat on a Quilt on a Wall, in progress
The canvas before becoming “Cat on a Quilt on a Wall”
Cat on a Quilt on a Wall, in progress 2
Cat on a Quilt on a Wall, in progress 
Cat on a Quilt on a Wall, oil/canvas, 16 x 20"
Cat on a Quilt on a Wall, oil/canvas, 16 x 20″

More insects!

I thought I’d offer up some insect illustrations for your Monday viewing. It’s so interesting how making artwork, no matter the style or purpose, usually fills my head and heart with inspiration and a million other works I want to make.

As the spring arrives and I’m spending more and more time in my backyard garden, walking around town and making summer travel plans, the ideas are filling my sketchbooks and I sincerely hope I can make the time to bring them to life in the near future.

I hope everyone is enjoying a few signs of spring if it isn’t fully warm where you live yet. Perhaps I can post some more photos of my recent adventures in New Mexico for those of you who are still getting snow…

Blue Butterfly, watercolor and ink on paper, 4 x 4"
Blue Butterfly, watercolor and ink on paper, 4 x 4″

 

Click Beetle, ink on paper, 3 x 3"
Click Beetle, ink on paper, 3 x 3″

Company in the Studio

I have wonderful company in my studio every day. Her name is Dragon and she can often be found looking like this… either on my drawing desk or, if I’m using it, on the sunny window ledge.

Sleepy Kitty
Sleepy Kitty

Here’s what I’m working on today:

Quilted Wall in progress #1
Quilted Wall in progress #1
Quilted Wall in progress #2
Quilted Wall in progress #2
Quilted Wall in progress #3
Quilted Wall in progress #3