Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Drawing Class Sketch #6

How I wish we had been given more than twenty minutes to sketch this one! I also regret not taking better notes of the different artists we are studying so I could look them up at home. Well, live and learn!

This one was so much fun. I absolutely love portraits of children who look as if they have been taken straight from a Dickens novel.

All of these sketches have been on newsprint, which is not at all archival, and won't last very long. But, the point is to learn and I am having a ball!

8" x 10", charcoal sketch
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Entering A Deeper Phase

I have found myself entering into a phase of painting less but studying more. I am increasingly interested in studying the figure and in honing my drawing skills. These studies will intensify with the start of the new year. My concentration will be fully devoted to these studies so I don't anticipate being able to do a lot of painting. I have been wanting to do this for a very long time, the opportunity presently itself and the timing is finally right.
I do plan to continue to share my journey with you and, as a result, the posts may be coming a little more often once the classes start. If you are interested in keeping tabs but, not in the day to day of things of my blog, I invite you to sign up for my newsletter via my website,  My website newsletter goes out far less frequently so have no fear of being bombarded. 
Happy Holidays to All!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Drawing Class Sketch #5

I am very encouraged to be seeing improvement and am having such a great time that I hate to see this class come to an end. I think we have only two sessions remaining. Each session, after a short discussion and demo, we do at least two twenty minute sketches.  

This and the drawing from the previous post were done during the same session. I wasn't feeling very well but really didn't want to miss the class. I did not much feel like drawing but was determined to participate, even if nothing good came from it. And I learned a very valuable lesson that day! I learned first hand that it is not necessary to wait for inspiration to hit before I could produce something worthwhile. While these are not perfect sketches, I am greatly encouraged! Especially when I compare them to drawings done just a few short months ago!

I have been doing my best to do something art related every single day. If not painting or drawing, I am reading an art book or watching an art DVD. It is an easy discipline when you are doing what you love.

The journey continues. Thanks for coming along with me!

9"x12", charcoal sketch
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Drawing Class Sketch #4

This sketch is from our third session in Charcoal Drawing Class. Again, we were allowed only 20 minutes.  A benefit of being timed is that it helps train the eye to see what is essential in conveying the essence of a subject. With practice, good instruction and really learning to see, we will be able to render a subject more and more accurately. So, speed is really not the objective but rather one of the means to a desired end. For example, an area that speed would be very beneficial is in plein air painting. Since the sun does not stand still, it is essential to work quickly to capture a fleeting moment in time. All exercises in art help in every medium. None of it is wasted time because it all works together.

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I have never liked to draw. I can no longer make that claim. I am beginning to enjoy charcoal very much and intend to keep at it once this class has ended. I have never been particularly fond of strong color and these subtle tones really appeal to me.

I have a couple more drawings to share from this particular session. Since I also have more to say, I should save it for posting in the next day or two.
This landscape is about 6"x8".

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I would like to introduce my very good friend and sgraffito artist, Crystal Nolfo Brown. Crystal is very passionate about her home state of Louisiana, which shows in her sgraffito work. She is a perfect example of what happens when a person is able to translate their passion into art.  

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Drawing Class Sketch #2

This is another twenty minute sketch from drawing class. Our instructor introduced a different technique, which just wasn't working for me. I see how it could/should/would work but I couldn't achieve it. The good news is that I think I know why. So much of art is problem solving. You simply can't fix something if you don't see the problem. The important thing is to make note of your progression. It is so easy to look at someone else's work and feel you will NEVER get there. It is very important to keep in mind that the person you are most in competition with is yourself. Do YOU see improvement in your work? How does today's work compare to that of a year ago, six months ago, last week, yesterday? Sometimes the progression, if you see any at all, is very small. But, it IS there. Every time you try you are getting better. Every attempt teaches you something. There will always be someone you feel is better and that's a good thing. It should be motivation to keep on trying! When I was very young I remember reading "Talent is the desire." I believe that with my whole heart. No one is born knowing how to do anything. We all start from the beginning.
9"x12", charcoal sketch
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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Drawing Class

I recently enrolled in a charcoal drawing class, my first drawing class ever! I have never particularly cared to draw with anything other than a brush. The hard feel of a pencil on paper just left, leaves, me cold. But charcoal is different. It isn't hard like a pencil and it much easier to manipulate. One could even say it almost flows. I think I could settle into doing a lot of charcoal drawings for a while. It may be the transition to pastels that I have been wanting to try forever! But, for now, I am going to enjoy charcoal. This is the first drawing of my six week class. We had only 20 minutes. As you can see, I was just starting to darken the shadow side, beginning with the eye, when the time ran out. I didn't want to try to finish from memory so it is what it is. Nevertheless, I am encouraged.
9"x 12", charcoal sketch
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Friday, November 5, 2010

A Bit of Reflection

About this time last year the winds of change began to blow. For years I had felt a burning desire to focus on my art and to get better and better. So, when these winds began to blow, I was filled with the anticipation of child on Christmas Eve! I didn't know what was going to happen but I knew it would be art-related and I knew it was going to be good!  So, I began  a serious evaluation on what and how I was spending my time,  considered where I wanted to be and made a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish in 2010. In order to begin meeting those goals, I would have to reduce a great number of outside obligations and use that time to devote to the goals that were written on paper but  now felt more like they were written in stone.
The year has now passed and I am so happy to report that I have met every goal and then some! It is time for further reflection and the setting of more goals. The winds of change are still blowing as I look to the future with even more anticipation than before!
In the Art Spirit,