It’s turned into a beautiful day. But I’m not going out to sketch as I’ve had a very painful knee for several days. I’m using some treatments that are working and it feels much better today. But I don’t want to push it too much. I’ve walked about 10 miles already this week and it got worse. So a couple days of rest are in order.
Thus, I’m still painting from photos. This is from one I took in 1978 in County Galway, Ireland showing a rainbow over fields with dry stone walls. I’m trying out a pad of 5×7 inch Fabriano 140# hot press paper. I didn’t think I liked hot press. But I did enjoy painting on this.
During the academic year of 1977-1978, I studied in England, at Leeds. During that time I took 2 trips to Ireland.
One was a backpacking trip in December during which I stayed in Youth Hostels and traveled with another student. On the ferry from England to Ireland I was questioned aggressively by the police about whether I was carrying anything for someone, why I was going to Ireland (asked several times in different ways), whether I knew anyone in Ireland, etc. This was during the height of the “troubles” in Ireland. I was dressed in my hiking (walking, in British English) rain jacket, jeans, boots and carrying a backpack.
The second time was with my mother in the spring. I was better dressed and using a suitcase as we would be renting a car. I was also with my (then) 67 year old mother. Not a single question was asked of me when we boarded the ferry. That’s what I call profiling!
And our rental red Ford Fiesta was broken into while parked at night on the street. The B&B owner said the IRA liked to steal that kind of car to use as a car bomb. Oh, great, now they tell us!
Actually, it’s the huge Space Gallery at the Seattle Museum of Flight, looking between supports out the window, across the street to the Personal Courage Wing (housing WWI & WWII artifacts & aircraft) and the Red Barn (Boeing’s first plant). A bit of the foot bridge over the street is also visible.
It was a rainy day but quite a few people trickled through. I got this sketch done during the quiet times.
It is 3.75 x 5.5 inch 90 pound Fabriano cold press watercolor paper in my home made sketch folder.
It’s getting warmer outside but has been raining buckets. So I’m practicing some things learned in the workshop this weekend and re-enforced by the book I’m reading. My practice is sketching from my photo of the helleborus outside my front door.
First one doesn’t really work. My intention was to reserve white spaces. In this one I did more of my usual thing of covering the entire page with paint.
This one is closer to what I wanted to do.
Sketching friends have invited me to life drawing sessions. I’ve not been interested. I did that in college and no longer saw the relevance for my current art interest…. Urban Sketching.
I’ve been working my way through the book of Urban Sketcher whose blog I’ve followed for a couple years and whose work I admire. The “Analog Artist in a Digital World”, Thomas Thorspecken, just released Urban Sketching: The Complete Guide to Techniques. He is selling it on Amazon.
He provides an alternative view of life drawing sessions. He goes but draws the entire setting, including both the model and the other artists. It gives him practice for drawing the events, with people, he often sketches for his blog.
Hmmm. Maybe there is a Dr. Sketchy session in my future. Or some other venue.
About 6 weeks ago I was interviewed and photographed for a volunteer profile article in the Seattle Museum of Flight’s member magazine, Aloft. It has finally been published. It features my sketching and gives information about Urban Sketchers.
I spent all day yesterday in Stephanie Bower’s three session workshop, “Good Bones” I attended the first one a month ago, missed the second due to another commitment. This one, the third in the series, was about adding watercolor to our sketches. I’ve been using watercolor (again) for 2 years. I was challenged to paint watercolor sketch using pencil lines only, not drawing in ink first. I also used only the triad of primary colors with which we worked during the classroom section of the day. While I didn’t really like my results, it was an excellent learning experience. The main take aways from the day were blocking out shapes first and preserving the white areas of the paper. During the classroom session, I learned more about how to mix warm and cool grays. I was pleased to learn that a darker, nearly black, wasn’t possible with this particular triad. Pleased, because I was having trouble getting it darker! the Triad was Cobalt Blue, Permanent Alizarin Crimson and Nickel Azo
yellow). She said to use ultramarine blue to get a darker value.
Another version of Rachel the pig greets visitors to Pike Market Downunder.
A hurried second sketch done of some outside stairs near Pike Market
This was a wonderful experience that I would recommend in future. The next session in 2 weeks is full but she might teach it again. Stephanie is an excellent teacher. She always finds something to praise in a sketch. And even with sketches that look nearly perfect to me, she finds something to suggest to make it even better. Her review sessions don’t feel like critiques but a discussion of helpful hints and suggestions.
Stephanie Bower reviews and discusses sketches done on location in Pike Market for Good Bones 3 workshop
Stephanie Bower Pike Market demo… stages of the painting: #2
A few more photos from the day are here.
I follow her blog and flickr streams. But there is nothing like seeing the original work. To that end…. Stephanie’s show opens March 6 here in Seattle. It is an exhibit of her work from 3 months in France on the 2013 Gabriel Prize.
The “Friday Sketchers” ad hoc outing was to sketch at Wintergrass, a local bluegrass festival. There certainly was a lot of jamming in the hall ways!
One of the people leaving this jam session looked at my sketch and said, “oh, that’s a good likeness of Ian. He’s an old beatnik”. I was pleased she could recognize him!
My first sketch of the day…. a concertina player in the lobby playing by himself. He got up and moved but I had enough done that I could finish it.
Bass player in a jam session…. just drew her.
Here’s the group!
L to R: Gordon, me, Angie, Lynn, John, Tina, Francisco, Rachel, Wanda (a friend of mine visiting from Portland). Angie and her father, Francisco, were new today! Welcome!
This is a crafting post rather than my usual watercolor sketching topics. However, there is a connection to watercolor sketching!
Yesterday I went to Sew Expo with 2 friends. All photos are here.
I came across a booth demonstrating how to use Inktense pencils to decorate fabric with a watercolor look. I have a small set of pencils given to me at Christmas that I’ve not yet used. They work on 200 count Southern Belle cotton fabric just as they would on paper. Once it is dry, it is permanment. I bought a yard of the fabric and will probably first make and decorate a scarf with this technique. I found the company website and the description of how they use the pencils.
I bought a couple Folkwear patterns and attended their fasion show. I do love Folkwear!
Current owner of Folkwear, Kate Mathews (see more in the “about” ). I learned that after many years of corporate ownership, Folkwear is now back in the hands of a creative woman.
Lars, from Birch Street Clothing has a vest made of an actual pattern piece. He sells Folkwear Patterns.
Earlier this week I made 7 pillowcases to donate to the Pillowcase Patrol.
They give them to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma. They are also part of the Million Pillowcase challenge.
The Million Pillowcase challenge
Today was the first outdoor sketch of the season! It was blue sky, sun and 54 degrees.
It is also two for one.
First, it’s another for my series of Renton public art as it is a newly installed sculpture called “Going Global”. The artist is Benson Shaw.
Second, it fits the Urban Sketchers’ weekly theme of “signs”, as it is a new “Welcome to Renton” sign.
I sat in the sun on the sidewalk next to a very busy main street. It was so warm all I needed was my light fleece sweater. Fortunately, I did not have an experience similar to the sculptor’s. When he was installing it, an out of control car came “careening over the cub and smashed into a pole”!
I had several errands this morning. One trip was to Daniel Smith for 2 more large sheets of the Fabriano 90 pound cold press watercolor paper. I really like it as it has a smoother texture than the Arches. I also bought the 1/8th inch brush Peggy H. suggested for use in lettering with watercolor. On a whim, I bought a small block of 140 # Fabriano hot press.
On the way back home, I stopped at Southcenter mall to try a new place I heard about. It’s a challenge for healthy eating, but one of my favorite foods is French Fries. So I just had to check out “French Fry Heaven“. After I ate, I sketched the place.
So, how were they? Not quite heaven. I should have just tried them plain for a good taste test. But I ordered the “Canadian”. I’ve never had poutine before so I might not be able to make a good judgement. Still, I found the brown sauce to be unremarkable. It says, “loads of melty cheese”. Not so much. I’ll give it one more chance with an order of plain fries.