Sunday, November 22, 2009

Trois Crayons Drawing of Slim

Slim – Trois Crayons on prepared Canson paper –
half sheet, approx. 12” x 19” (30.5 x 48.3 cm)


Drawing has become my only artistic outlet lately. I go to the local library, power up my laptop and draw from photos. This one of Slim uses the trios crayons technique taught in Robert Liberace’s class and I think it really works well with fur.

Over the next few weeks I am going to be absent from updating this blog as the craziness of my home situation has just grown. S and I will be moving soon, so I am busy preparing for that and the holiday season. When it rains it pours.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Silverpoint Drawing and NGA Show

Standing Figure – 11" x 7" (28 x 17.8 cm) – Silverpoint on prepared Bristol

Hello Friends,

This is my first completed silverpoint drawing. It was finished last week Friday during my drawing class taught by Robert Liberace. I really love this medium, how line quality is so important to defining the form and values of the subject. It seems that silverpoint is very similar to pen and ink drawing and etchings in that once the line is laid down, it is pretty much there for eternity. Erasing silverpoint is possible but you risk messing up the tooth of the prepared paper, and also it will advance the tarnishing of the silver at a faster rate than it naturally oxidizes. A few spots where I touched up with an eraser and soften some lines have turned more red/green prior to the other areas, and it has only been five days since the drawing was finished.

Another value silverpoint has is the amazing deepness of value the delicate lines have, and this only gets better as the drawing ages. Robert had a few examples in class with some drawings that were only days old to over a year old, and the aged drawings had developed such a beautiful patina. I have never seen any of the old masters silverpoint drawings but I would expect they are fantastic.

By the way if you get a chance to visit the National Gallery of Art any time soon, they have a wonderful exhibit on French Drawings from their collection. I spent the most part of Monday in those rooms. Some of the highlights of the show was a Boullee architectural drawing, several beautiful figure drawings by Claude Lorrain, Antoine Watteau, François Boucher, and Jean-Honoré Fragonard. I have been spending time in museums lately because it is not possible to stay home and work in the studio because of the construction noises going on at our apartment building.

So over the next several weeks, I will continue to be somewhat absent from posting to this blog because of all the interruptions caused by the construction repairs. So far it has been exceptionally noisy from around 9am to 4:00pm, but yesterday lasted well close to 5pm. I made the mistake of coming home around four yesterday only to leave again. We are frantically looking for a new place to move in order to escape these intrusions. Now I have another thing to occupy my time while out of the apartment during the day.

Thanks for stopping by,


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Seated Figure Trois Crayons Drawing

Seated Figure – Trois Crayons on prepared charcoal paper –
half sheet, approx. 12” x 19” (30.5 x 48.3 cm)

On Fridays I attend a figure drawing class taught by Robert Liberace and on Monday I signed up for it again. I started taking this drawing class last winter term and with only two more classes left of this term I feel it is close enough to call it a year. My goal in attending this class was to improve my drawing abilities by following the classical academic methodology of drawing that Robert teaches. And I am very happy with how the year has progressed. Here are some previous drawings {reclining figure, seated figure, profile, and seated figure}

This drawing is a method Robert developed where you use verithin colored pencils to create the sense of trios crayons of yester-year. It is now very difficult to find quality artist grade red chalk, so by using terra-cotta verithin pencils on prepared paper you can almost create the same effect. For the three colors I used terra-cotta and black verithin pencils and a white pastel pencil for the highlights. It is a fun method of modeling and using warm and cool tones to develop the shadow shapes. This drawing was completed over three sessions.

Tomorrow in class we are working with silverpoint. I think it is my favorite drawing medium next to charcoal (which to me is more like painting) where with silverpoint it is all about the lines. It is all about draughtsmanship and integrity of line and form, and that is what I admire about it so much. Here is a link to a modern artist that works predominantly with silverpoint. I think the current pose is for two more weeks and once it is done I will share it with you.

Until next time, have a wonderful evening.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mangos Diptych

Mangos: Ripe and Almost Ripe {diptych} – both together 4.5” x 11” (11.4 x 27.9 cm) –
Oil on Linen Panel


I am happy to say that today rained and thus the construction was unable to move forward today, so I had a somewhat sane day. The weather predicts it will rain tomorrow as well, so I am hopeful that the construction will not be able to go on tomorrow as well. So I can spend some stress free time in the studio.

Here is a painting I completed a little over a week ago. It is of one of my favorite subjects, mangos. I bought a box of them and I liked how there was varying ripeness found with the fruit. I have since diced them up and pureed them for future snacks and recipes.

I have had a busy day and ready to call it quits. Until next time, thanks for sharing time with me : )


Monday, November 9, 2009

More to come during the week... I hope....

{Slim curled up in a new spot}


During the weekend Slim found a new place to nap, my knitting basket, she especially loved curling up on a finished side of a sweater for S.

How was your weekend? Mine went by too fast. Minimal time was devoted to art making instead time was spent on focusing on prepping canvases and organizing and picking up my studio space. I now wish I had spent more time painting and enjoying the quite as you will see...

I am not sure how this upcoming week will progress as today was a pretty pitiful day. The building I live in started some heavy duty façade repairs today, where from 9:30 to around 4pm the sounds of jack hammers and concrete saws reverberated through my apartment, I was forced out of my home around 1pm today because the sound got so bad that headphones would not cancel out the noise. When I returned around 4pm the crew looked to be packing up.

This bodes evil as I use the day to paint, I think a new schedule will need to be sorted out so I can work around this, as management has said this project will go on until February. UGHHHH!!!!

S. recommended that I work into the night and sleep late until the construction starts up in the morning, so I may have to try that out, as nothing art related got completed today and I have a few paintings that need some finishing touches.

Well, I will let you go now and beg to defer posting any new art until tomorrow or Wednesday.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing with my woes,


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Persimmons {a daily painting}

Wild Persimmons – 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – Oil on Linen Panel
Available in my Etsy shop

While out on a walk I passed by an old persimmon tree that was quite wild. Instead of having large opaque skinned fruit like found in the grocery store the fruit was small and berry-like with translucent skin and chalky-white areas of the natural yeast that will be found on some fruit.

As I have been gathering items when out on walks, I brought a branch home and completed this painting.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Reminiscing about Photography…

This morning I was reading one of my favorite blogs Little Augury, where she had a wonderful post about the photographer Ivan Terestchenko. In reading the interview about him and then subsequently visiting Terestchenko’s blog I was inspired to reminisce how photography has been an important aspect in my life and how it formed my early sense of design and form. This post particularly is expressive of how I sometimes think about a composition.

{architectural details of bas-relief carvings in Spain}

Before moving into the art of drawing and painting I was a photographer. During my mid-teen years I started using my mom’s old Olympus manual SLR, at 17 I took it with me to South Africa for the year I lived in Pretoria. These initial years were mainly me snapping images that caught my attention, looking at them and deciphering what turned out and what did not, experimenting and starting to discern my personal aesthetic sense. Later I took photography classes, gained a lot of darkroom experience and continued to snap photos and record my surroundings.

While studying architecture, photography was the predominant means of gathering research information in the field while at the same time I began to support the photos with drawings. I was especially fortunate to receive two separate traveling fellowships to study vernacular architecture in Spain, providing the opportunity to travel and complete independant research for my Master's thesis. I always consider these trips to be the pivotal moment in my career where my interest in photography began to support my artistis pursuits versus being my only outlet for creativity.

{scenes that always evoke as sense of peace and serenity in my heart}

{architectural sketches in pencil on canson paper}

As the years have moved by I started to turn more and more towards drawing, then painting as a means of personal expression. I found the feeling of really understanding a place or an object after I would draw it to be more rewarding and deeply emotional versus the experience of taking a photograph and then later finding out how it would turn out after being processed and printed. In reviewing the pencil drawings above I can still feel the dry heat of the afternoon sun falling on my back and then sliding away as the time passed by while drawing, the hard dusty surfaces I would sit on, and with the most right drawing that my back was leaning against the stone wall that surrounds the Mezquita courtyard in Cordoba. While with photographs a sense of moment, of capturing the fleeting moment when my eyes would rest on something and the thought that I wanted to record it for future observation but the memory of the experience is not as strong.

This morning has been a wonderful trip down memory lane and looking at some of my archived photographs I begin to realize that what peaked my interest then, does so now, I just now use different mediums and view photography as one of many interests.

Thank you for sharing this experience and reading my thoughts. I really appreciate it.


{Visigothic column in mosque courtyard
now attached to a Baroque church in Carmona, Spain}

{detail of carved marble in-floor door hinge}

{hammam in Granada}

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Simple Roses Still Life Painting

Roses – 8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel
{Flower Project 2009 – No. 4}

Available through my Etsy Shop

Hello ~

This week I am inspired by English literature and on the beauty of roses. I really believe that what I listen to while painting has an effect on how I go about setting up a composition. I often listen to audio books and my favorite resource is librivox, where you can download unabridged open source audio books. Currently I am listening to “The History of Tom Jones” and yesterday I noticed words like “forbear” and “opprobrious” were peppering my speech.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Autumn Leaf {a daily painting}

Autumn Leaf – 7" x 5" (17.8 x 12.7 cm) – Oil on Linen Canvas Panel

On Saturday this leaf was picked up and carried home. I have a fondness of picking up oddments and bringing them home as momentos. This leaf was so beautiful, I was inspired to capture it in paint.

Thanks for stopping by today : )