Monday, May 30, 2011

Behind the scenes!

I have always enjoyed tools, materials, and processes. So my plan is to start sending out one or two photos of what’s going on in the weeks that I don’t post the regular blog. These will show what’s in the works, aspects of how I go about creating these drawings, or other things that might have happened along the way.

Here are my colored pencils (woodless) made in the Czech Republic (marketed by Koh-I-Noor), a 7mm #2 retractable lead pencil (from Staples), and my pigmented ink pens (Pigma Micron) from Japan. This kind of ink is fade proof.

And an eraser

Here is my sketch of Salisbury, New Hampshire, ready to color. You’ll see it on next month’s blog. I’m working in earnest now on my Draw Every Town in New Hampshire project, DRAW-NH! My paper is so small so it can fit easily into my purse. That way I am always ready to go. This challenges me to capture the scene in just a few square inches, and it allows me to sketch quickly and inconspicuously when the situation demands.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

New Hampshire, Alberta, Wisconsin, and Airplane!

Spring has come at last. We are in Colburn Park in Lebanon, New Hampshire. I had in mind to draw the town library, the yellow brick building with columns. Not until I got there did I decide to include the trees, the Veterans’ Memorial, and the swing set. Urban parks have intrigued me for a long time. This one is square, surrounded by a street, and around that are some fine old buildings. The park is used by people of all ages, and it serves a real community need.

I like the pathways in Edmonton, where our younger daughter and her family live. Our younger granddaughter balances on the round river rocks, on the left. A jack rabbit on the right watches us. (The plentiful wild rabbits are large and white in the winter, and turn brown in the summer.) He and his siblings have nibbled the bark on the crabapple trees. That is why they are yellow. He had a good reason, as it was a long cold winter and he got hungry. The snow got very deep and he ate all the way up. I don’t think the bark has been permanently damaged. We shall see. The purple shape on the right is a roof line not a mountain. Oh, that we could see the Rocky Mountains from here. They are a four hour car ride west of Edmonton.

This space is called Café o’ Play in Edmonton, Canada. Good snacks for the parents, and a fun experience for the kids. I drew our grandson three times, as he was everywhere. There were lots of other kids there too of course. In the background I included the mothers who come to meet other mothers. They are all holding their infants, and enjoying their conversations.

Our younger granddaughter again. I liked her black and white dress. Her hair is not really blue and pink and red. My colored pencils just pick themselves up and start to work. Her hair is ash brown with bluish tones in the shines.

Our older granddaughter, aged 8, drew these sunglasses. I thought she did well. I give her drawing lessons sometimes, and talk about observational sketching.

My sister is very kindly making me a pair of earrings. We chose the beads together the day before. Her house is made from a barn that was on their property. It was taken down, numbered, cleaned, moved, and reassembled at 5/8th size, I think. The diagonal beams were in such a configuration in the barn. The windows were added. I love the oak trees on their property with their wavy branches.

Another room in the barn house. Their cat Alibi watches the bluebirds outside. The lilac bushes are all in bloom now. The scent is divine. My sister and her husband maintain bluebird boxes on their land. We opened them up and peeked at turquoise eggs and grey fuzzy newborns.

I saw this sunset from the airplane window. Below is Lake Erie, one of the massive lakes that form the border between the U.S. and Canada. I drew it on an iPad. It is fun to paint with light.

Another iPad drawing. This is the moon as we flew over Chicago. The lake on the left is Lake Michigan. The city’s skyscrapers hug the shoreline. The blocks on the right are of low rise buildings, on the flat Illinois land, with yellow street lights. I come from the East Coast where the roads twist and turn around the hills. I prefer to live in a hilly landscape, but it is fun to see the regular square shapes of light as I fly over the earth.

One more iPad drawing. I love these colorful songbirds. They occupy a very large enclosure in the Ingleside Nursing Home in Wisconsin, where my mother lives. They make nests and have babies. And quarrel and sing and entertain the residents and guests. I try to imagine them in their native habitat.