Monday, April 28, 2008

"Bluebirds and Yellowflowers" 4-23-08

Today I've uploading my sketchbook pages that I did the other day (4-23-08). It was my first day going outside to draw since my car accident...what a great day to be out there! I got to observe the bluebirds trying to nest in one of the bluebird boxes I put up. A Red Spider Mite came and visited, then crawled all over my paint box. I tried to note the bugs I saw, one I need help identifying, the little brown one with tan spots.
The thing I wanted to draw most were the little yellow flowers, I still have to figure out what kind they are.

Check out the pictures I added, the Red Spider Mite was crawling over my white watercolor block, I photographed it through my magnifying glass! The other picture shows my field bag and it's contents...also my palette. I kept the little binoculars handing so I could keep checking out the bluebirds.

"Butterflies in the Doctor's Office" 4-15-08

If you click the picture you can read my notes about when I drew these butterflies. I was in an awful lot of pain from my car accident and waiting to see the Chiropractor. The day was sunny and gorgeous so I tried to occupy my mind by drawing. I brought my small field bag, sketchbook, and a small butterfly book. I did the initial sketches one day then worked on details another day. I listed the colors I used as usual, they are Inktense Watercolor Pencils. For the Eastern Tailed-Blue I tried laying down an even base color of Leaf Green and Field Green then wet it with a waterbrush. After it was dry I experimented with layering Violet on the left, Deep Indigo on the right and Leaf Green on the bottom. Doing the background first made the butterfly really stand out white so later I could just come in and very lightly add some colors for shading. To do this I touched the waterbrush tip to the pencil then I used the color that it picked up.
For the Zebra Swallowtail I laid in Ink Black for the stripes lightly then built it up till it was darker. I used lively colors around it to brighten my sketchbook, it was fun to experiment with layers of color. I touched up around his tail with a micron 005 permanent pen.
I just love using these Inktense Watercolor Pencils! The color is so vibrant! I would love to see one of these Zebra Swallowtails in person.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Car Accidents Can "Set You Back" ! 4-22-08

Well as my title alludes...I was in a car crash a few weeks ago, that's why I haven't posted. I was rolling right along preparing for my classes, going out hiking, getting ready to do plein air oil landscapes again when I got hit by someone who ran a stop sign! Sigh...well, thank God I wasn't hurt worse, my car was totaled and I got out myself but I did take a ride in the ambulance to the hospital. I joked with the EMT's that I guess you need to experience everything in your lifetime. I thought I'd be back to normal again right away but just as friends warned me, the pains and problems might show up later. Yup...they came! I won't go into detail about all the pain and suffering, I'm trying to focus on the positive.

The killer is the weather turned absolutely gorgeous in my area of the world, and I just didn't feel like going out to draw. What I did do was carry my sketchbook with me to the doctors offices, I've never ever been one to 'waste' time sitting around waiting.
I threw my field guide into my small field bag and my sketchbook, my inktense watercolor pencils and waterbrush. So...I nursed my interest in drawing along as I nursed my body and nerves. I even drew a chair while waiting for the Neurologist, chairs you know, are very good to practice drawing skills on. Think perspective!
I have a few pictures that show stages, with more to follow. If you take note of the dates, I did them about one week I HATE moving so slow in my work, but I have to be patient everyone says. I am WAY behind on my drawing! I will also upload on another entry about the wonderful two openings I was in at the Burchfield Nature and Art Center in West Seneca. Lots of great photos from those events. So for's some pages from my sketchbook, though unfinished still, please forgive my taking so long!

This last sketchbook page is from a butterfly field guide, it's an Eastern Tailed Blue. I did do more work on it since this was scanned, I'll upload it soon.
I hope to take you on a walk with me this Friday, I'm going exploring with a photographer friend of mine and I will post about it after.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Burchfield Nature and Art Center Open House 3-28-08

(I'm posting this late because of the car accident)
This is the Open House of the Burchfield Nature Center where I'll be teaching Nature Sketching (for kids and adults), plein air Landscape Painting (oils), and a Fairy class if we can squeeze it in! It's a gorgeous gallery and many acres of grounds to walk on and discover, located right outside the city of Buffalo, nestled alongside the Buffalo Creek.

Each teacher had an area to display their work, I brought some oil landscapes, watercolor birds, and a few of my Goddess oil paintings to show how I combine my love of nature and mythology. I brought my field bag and actual supplies to show people who were interested. People were very curious and loved being able to look in my sketchbook, like a glimpes into someone's personal world. Well it 'IS' a glimpse into my personal world, parts of it! Every page I've shared here on my blog they were able to look at in person, it was great. Three times during the night, new student sign up sheets had to be printed for my Nature Sketching class!! Wow, looks like I'll be busy!

Some guests and friends checking out my display, (me talking with my hands as usual!), Dave, an old friend from college, Ken Morgan and Gene Witkowski, some of my photographer friends. And a picture of me and Cy Alessi ,
from "Art Voice" magazine.
The last photo I'm talking to an interested student, sharing my sketchbook with her.
Check out the website for the Burchfield and view the grounds, classes etc. I'll post pictures as I teach and explore the grounds myself.