Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Finale to Drawingaugust, sage

Last little drawing, pilot pen on mulberry paper, of sage in late summer.  Last entry for #drawingaugust this year.  

This drawing will join its friends in an artist's book, which I plan to work on today.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Creative Collective and Plein Air August 29

Wonderful weather today, not too hot, cool in the shade, a good sign that humidity must have retreated. Perfect for working out of doors in good company.



and your humble blogger

were able to get there this morning and had a great convo as well as good art making.  Next week is Labor Day, but I'm still going anyway, and maybe people who usually work Mondays can get there next week? I live in hope.

I made two little paintings

 Sponge brush and round brush, watercolor and pilot pen

 Sponge brush, sponge, round brush, fingers

 then two little drawings

Pilot pen, fine, on mulberry paper, smooth side

 I tried painting first before drawing, to see if that affected anything, painting being looser and with many more decisions at the same time, than drawing.  I had a good time, but not sure it affected the output anyway.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Spinning and Weaving Blurring Together Now

The spinning adventure went into high gear with the arrival of the bag of roving ends, and I recommend it as a terrific low cost way of testing all kinds of roving to see what you like.  I'm finding that some of them are resistant and hard to spin, while others are ready to spin themselves, and look much more like the yarn in the pictures.

So maybe it's not always the spinner. Maybe it's sometimes the preparation of the fiber.  Anyway, what's happening now is that I'm working on a small weaving, and when I want to change color, I paw through the bag of roving and spin up what I need.  This is so much more my style than planning and setting up, and is a lot of fun.  It really is like having a palette of color to go to.  And that includes mixing fibers to change the color.

This weaving was interrupted by a friend showing up with an out of town friend in tow, wanting to show her the artworks around here.  I heard the friend saying, shouldn't we have called ahead?  and being assured that we have an arrangement. Which is true. If it were not a good time, I'd say so, no hard feelings.  But as it was it was great to show this new person around, and have her ask interesting questions about what she saw.   Actually I think she liked the kitchen backsplash as much as anything...

So, this weaving now has more added in to it, a dark blue, and some of my plied blue and white. I think I'll weave over the top of the loom and down the back, to length it.  It's shaping up like a landscape.  There will be more beads added, probably.  Meanwhile, it's really engrossing and taking over from a lot of other things.

I keep on browsing online about spindles and the latest interest, a kick spindle.  Wondering if it would help my spinning. But then I remember that drafting is drafting no matter how the spindle is held, and no number of handy toys will improve that.  But I'm still wondering about it.  

And if you google on it, you may find yourself in an automotive rabbit hole.  Evidently it's also the name of some part of a car!  which explains my total confusion when I tried to see kick spindles and was looking at bits of machinery which didn't seem likely to lend themselves.  Also googling on spinning tends to take you to local gyms. This reminds me of a long ago convo with a guy, to whom a Singer was a kind of car, and to me a kind of sewing machine.

And, since the lovely birthday bouquet has finally wilted, after sticking around for many days, I was able to save out some petals for future dyeing, here the red carnations and the stripey tulips.

 These are now in the freezer ready for the next dyeing caper.

Extra added attraction, entry in group show is of our plein air location

This lovely watercolor by Joelle Hofbauer is of Turning Basin Park, our Creative Collective's plein air location.  Just had to show you!

Photo doesn't do it justice, because of reflections, but it's worth a visit to Plainsboro Library Gallery, along with other talented works.

Plainsboro Art Group Annual Show, 2016, theme Square One

This year's show has an additional feature:  under each hanging work is a square code, for smartphone users to scan.  Each code takes you to a jpeg showing either an earlier attempt, or the origin of the work, or raw materials which ended in what you see here.  Since I don't have a smartphone, I will use the other option: the links will be printed up for people to search on, instead. If you click on mine, you'll go to a bucket of daylily foliage, the raw material of the daylily paper work I entered here.

It's a strong show, again, and here's a general view of it.  Local people are all warmly invited to the reception, Monday evening, September 12 from 6-8 in the Gallery at Plainsboro Public Library. Bring your phone!

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Drawing August still going strong

I suddenly had a model presented to me by nature this morning, a dead cicada on my front path.  So he instantly became a model for today's ink drawing.  Pilot pen on cold press drawing paper. Wings spread, then underside then on right wings furled.

And here's the model

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Many art commitments, many simultaneous approaches

In the usual course of events in the studio, more like a four wheel skid, really, I was simultaneously thinking this morning about 

the paper weaving workshop I will be leading in September at the local Festival of the Arts, largely for kids, 

the current thinking about printing out my artwork on transparent silk, 

the other workshop I will be doing also in September for adults, on nature drawing.

And once again, it pays to have several trains of thought on the tracks at one time. I broke up that para so you could disentangle each train from the others. A literary signal box, you might way.

In the course of looking for the paper shredder and some interesting paper, for the paper weaving, and testing the shredder

 I found a stack of 3 x 5 cards, which I will use for the drawing workshop (like 5 x 8 cards, it's a golden rectangle, perfect drawing proportions). No pic of them, you know what they look like. 

And I found a painting of fish in acrylic on rough dark green canvas from a totebag, and realized this was a great candidate for a silk version.  

Also in the course of searching for paper, I disinterred several covers I'd made for artist books, which will do well to show friends in Creative Collective, and one or more of which will work at the end of the month when I assemble the month's plein air output into book form.   These are painted and printed and stamped and mounted onto either foamcore or cardboard.

So all these solutions came to me in the course of one search. 

You could say that chance favors the prepared mind, too, if you want to.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Plein Air august 22

Perfect day for out of doors, temp in 70s, low humidity, made to order.  Catherine and I had the park to ourselves, and had a wonderful morning's art and chat.

I learned a lot from talking with her about many subjects, very interesting convo, and I learned a few things in my own art.  One thing I did by accident was take a pic as my tablet was slipping out of my grasp, and got an image I plan to print on silk.  Very happy accident there. And it reminded me that I can print out other watercolors on silk, following on that experiment.

 Full disclosure: this is the accidental exposure, which I like a lot.

 Here's an ink drawing of the path down to the canal towpath, with caran d'ache watercolor crayons over it, damped slightly and blurred around

 Drawing finished in watercolor with brush

 Straight watercolor, no ink.

As you see, there's a lot to learn in even a simple plein air session making small artworks in good company.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Plein Air August 15 Turning Basin Park

Surprisingly, since the weather has been impossible to be outside, today was not bad at all.  I started early and stayed in the shade, and had a very good time. So did a couple of mosquitoes, but I had my handy anti itch dabber at the ready.

Here's the haul from today, all small works, and building toward an artist's book, probably.

As you note, I'm under the pavilion roof in the shade, and looking out, pilot pen fine on mulberry paper, smooth side

Picnic grill same pen and paper as above, interesting shadows caused by trees above, but not visible until the pic was made


 Looking at trees with sun coming through them

 Trees with sun slanting through them. These are both watercolors using cad yellow, cad red and ultramarine blue.  I meant to spatter the second one, and still have to do that.

I was just thinking it would be good to find something very small to draw as a change of pace in distance, when this little maple leaf fell onto my paper.  It was a sign!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

At the gallery, artists gallery sit

This afternoon, a squad of artists with work in the Gourgaud Gallery show in Cranbury came in to open the gallery and to gallery sit for the afternoon to allow the public in on the weekend. During the week the gallery is open all the hours of the building, which is the Town Hall. Weekends we have to take on the sitting responsibility. Since the heat index was over 110F today, we were not surprised to find that visitors were sparse, to put it mildly.

But we had a lovely artist convo afternoon, sharing and critiquing and discussing and talking up future possibilities for all of us.  Very good group, and I took the chance to make a couple of small ink drawings

here's one of two colleagues deep in conversation, ink on watercolor paper

 and one deep in creating a value study for an upcoming class, ink on mulberry paper.

There were artworks galore

ink on mulberry paper and we all took a new walk around to admire and discuss methods, materials and the kinds of things that interest us.   I shared a few pages of the mulberry paper so other people can take a shot at working with it, too.

Next Sunday the gallery will be open again and with any luck, the heatwave will have moved on and visitors will dare come out.  The gallery is cool and comfortable, and complete with snacks, in case you were thinking of showing up next Sunday, 1-4 p.m.  Just sayin'!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Plein Air and other adventures with nature

Today, two Lizzes, Colleen and Anthony worked together on plein air at the park.  Perfect day, little cloudy, mild, and the park was buzzing with activity as well as ours.

Here we're setting up and working at various paintings and drawings in the upper part of the park near the pavilion.  

I made four small watercolors which will probably become cards or something to send or give, great fun to work in small, unambitious proportions.

Then a couple of us went down to the towpath, and in between encountering small fisherfolk 

and larger kayakers, accomplished some good work. 

I did a few ten second drawings of people in action, seemed like a good opportunity, not lasting artworks, just getting eye in and skill up. 

On the way home, I made a stop at the bank, and found this wonderful animal, which belongs in an art blog. 

If my researches are correct, she's an Imperial moth, about five-inch wingspan.  She had obligingly settled to rest on a bank window, so I was able to get pix of the underside from inside the lobby, as well as the top.  You can see where her wings are overlapping, as well as the underside spotted pattern. She stayed for ages, long enough for several people to admire, take pix, and generally argue about what she was.

Then home to find the squirrel had set up this handy feeding station for himself.  I wonder if this was a hint to me to replace the pine cone, which they love and scatter all over my patio for me to sweep, with a nice ear of fresh corn.  Dream on.

But do be sure, if you're local and interested, to come join us Monday mornings at 10 at Turning Basin Park.  Great start to your week.