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

Pooches

There is no commission I like better than a good purr or pooch face. Here is my work from this past week. Thank you to the client and all who advertise my art – I appreciate you!

For other finished pet portraits and commissions visit my website.

dawgs

A Warm November Sketchbook Sunday

I enjoyed a long walk this morning and into the afternoon, camera, sketchbook and watercolors on hand. I packed a sweatshirt in case there was cloud cover or I had to sit for an extended period of time in the shade. I often listen to a book on tape while I walk but today I wanted no distractions. I was on an “art date” and mission for inspiration. I focused on shadows and alleys, piles of junk and animals. Sometimes I just look for mobile homes, or trucks or adobe architecture.

Here are two sketches for the “Portraits of Portales” series. I’ve added this series as a “gallery” on my website dodington.us but it will likely take me some time to scan in and upload all the paintings and sketches I have so far, so check back every few months.

November Adobe, watercolor and graphite on paper, 5 x 7"
November Adobe, watercolor and graphite on paper, 5 x 7″
Garage, watercolor and graphite on paper, 5 x 7"
Garage, watercolor and graphite on paper, 5 x 7″

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″

Day in Santa Fe

I just got back from a mini vacation with my husband to the Santa Fe region of New Mexico.

The view from our balcony was stunning and my favourite part of the trip was watching the light change on the mountains:

Working on the balcony
Drawing on the balcony
Balcony View, ink in sketchbook
Balcony View, ink in sketchbook

We did some exploring in the town when we weren’t reading by the pool and enjoyed some delicious coffee and tea at the Station Cafe:

Cafe table at the Station
Cafe table at the Station

My favourite piece from the trip:

Sundown on the Mountains, Santa Fe, Watercolor and ink in sketchbook, 3.5 x 5.5"
Sundown on the Mountains, Santa Fe, Watercolor and ink in sketchbook, 3.5 x 5.5″ $50 unframed

Tuesday on the town

I’d like to give you glimpse some of the sketches I made yesterday from around town.

While I sketch I either listen to the radio or a book on CD. Right now, it’s “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.” hahaha. I find the strangest things at Goodwill.

I’ve decided these works will be best displayed in published book form, rather than hanging on any gallery walls. This also means I’m free to work on both sides of the pages in my sketchbook, without worrying that later, one will be hidden in the back of a frame somewhere.

It also means I am not uploading the best quality photos on my blog. Nor am I posting all of my drawings, only some. Otherwise, what reason would you have to buy the book?

Main Street, sketchbook
Main Street, sketchbook
Daylight Donuts, sketchbook
Daylight Donuts, sketchbook
Pumpkins on the Porch, sketchbook
Pumpkins on the Porch, sketchbook
Crumbling, sketchbook
Crumbling, sketchbook

 

A belated yet well-deserved Sketchbook Sunday post

Hiya!

While making a concerted effort last week to work more in my sketchbooks – they are invaluable tools for artists: they help one learn to see, think, play, practice and hone… I could go on but it could turn into an inarticulate ramble so I will move on to my point.

I discovered that I have been really wanting to make a “Portrait of Portales”.  A collection of drawings or paintings that describe the personality and character of my town.

This is a project I sort-of began over a year ago with small, “en plein air” oil paintings done from my car, of scenes around town. Let me jog your memory with a photo-collage:

8 x 10 oil on canvas paintings
8 x 10 oil on canvas paintings

Grated, the above could really be paintings of anywhere in New Mexico, so common are the scenes of yellowed grasses, cows and crumbling adobe structures. Many of my new works will be specifically Portales, its stores, real estate, lawns, animals, abandoned buildings and neglected alleys. And as the title of this post suggests, they are being worked in my sketchbooks.

So now I’m back to venturing around town in my little mazda, and at the risk of looking like a creep-o or a cop on a stake-out, parking and sketching from the car. It really does make me feel like a cop… or okay, more like Stephanie Plum…

It is SO MUCH FUN and really IS showing me more about where I live. Nothing makes me appreciate a place more than painting it.  Here are some examples of my work so far. I will share more detailed/close-up pictures of them in the future. For now you just get a taste:

sketchbook pic A
sketchbook pic A
sketchbook pic B
sketchbook pic B
sketchbook pic C
sketchbook pic C

New sketches from my watercolor table

I’m in the midst of a 5 week road-trip madness adventure extravaganza, only the road trip part of it is complete. I’ve been staying with dear friend and using my travel watercolor set on a little 2 x 3 foot desk that has become my workspace. My mind is on birds; their immense migrations, their delicate frames and the subtle hues of their plumage.

travel watercolors
travel watercolors
sweet
Sweet, watercolor and ink/paper, 3.5 x 4.75″
speckled
Speckled, watercolor and ink/paper, 3.5 x 4.75″
striped
Striped, watercolor and ink/paper, 3.5 x 4.75″

Drawing Challenge? What drawing challenge?

Happy Thursday world!

I have gotten a bit off track today but since I make the rules here… everyone wins! The drawing challenge yesterday called for a comic, and today called for hmm… something equally neat to draw but for some reason I just couldn’t muster the motivation. That leaves me two days behind on the challenge with other drawing projects piling up on the side. So, today I focussed on one of those side projects instead. Pencil still hit paper, so I forgive myself.

My side project is a bit difficult to explain. Essentially I am part of a knitted-monster swap wherein I knit a toy and embellish it along a certain theme and mail it to a stranger along with a few other fun things to match the theme. In return, I will soon receive a package in the mail with a knitted monster embellished in ways that would please or delight me.) My partner loves the movie Fantastic Mr. Fox so I set out to knit a character for her and wanted to include some “character studies” drawings as a fun thing to include in her package.

Because you probably want to see the actual knitted toy component itself, here sits the villainous rat and a little bandit monster companion for the fox thieves. Note: Bandit hat is removable to reveal big scary white felt teeth. Bandit also comes with knitted black cape.

knitted toys, fantastic mr. fox rat and rebecca danger monster
Rat and Monster Bandit

Here are today’s sketches I’m going to include in the package… probably with little matt frames and plastic, as one might buy a print.

ink and watercolor drawing of weasel from fantastic mr. fox
Weasel (voiced by movie’s director Wes Anderson)
watercolor and ink drawing of rat from fantastic mr. fox
Rat (voiced by Willem Dafoe)