Tag Archives: drawing

bird, tree, and snow

Here is a quick sketch that I did of a clay figure sculpted by artist Maria DeCasto.  I found the photo in the book “500 Animals in Clay“.   I like drawing from other artist’s work, especially when it is not fiber.  It is a way to appreciate and celebrate what another artist is doing as well as to think about the basics of medium.

I fiddled with photo in my very rudimentary graphics package and now she is a ‘snowbird’.  Today’s fiber class will be devoted to doll-making and I’m going to try my hand at rendering Maria DeCastro’s avian scuplture in cloth.  I am not anticipating copyright issues because there is no way what I make will resemble hers.  Should I be concerned?

Perhaps I could ask the wise, enduring copper beech in my neighbor’s backyard.  I am lucky enough to see this massive and glorious tree out of my kitchen window (right where I stand to do prep) and out of my bedroom window.  I often turn my head to look at it, first thing as I wake.

When I woke up on the day after election day, relieved and tired, it struck me that this tree has been through so many elections, so many changes, tides, upheavals…  I’m pretty certain that it was alive during the Revolutionary War, more than 200 years ago.

What a thought!!  I wish that it could talk to me.  Perhaps I am not listening hard enough?

Library kicks

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Lynda Barry

my sketchbook

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gourd stamps

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CALABASH-carved African stamps for adinkra cloth

drawn from John Gillow’s book, “African Textiles”

It was a different exercise to draw and shade these shapes after reading sections of Lynda Barry’s HILARIOUS and INSPIRING book.  Very different.

It is full of tips about how to keep drawing, why to keep drawing, and funny, funny vignettes as well.

The book, African Textiles, is mine and I have barely scratched its surface – ALSO inspiring.  For those who don’t know, adinkra fabrics are produced by the West Coast Africans in Ghana.  The process described by Gillow goes like this — makers carve the gourds and create a handle from palm splints.  The printer draws a grid onto the cloth that is to be stamped.  “A thick dark goo” is made by boiling badee tree root bark that has been mixed with iron slag.  The printer then prints with the gourd stamps onto the cloth and the fabric is then hung outside overnight “to catch the dew”.

Inside and out

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A blur of days with some mulching/planting/weeding and some cutting of purse fabrics and some errands. I named one cloth “Joplin” and will show tomorrow (along with proper photo of chair?). Found a blue fish today and drew a green chair this evening. Posting on phone encourages brevity. Must go prowl for a new novel to read!

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the cold

Now, the cold is here.  Just when I should be walking the dog, I am curling up with a heating pad and quilt, instead.  Hard to get motivated to do much of anything.  “It’s Sunday,” I tell myself.

Yesterday, took my sister grocery shopping and the place was an absolute mob scene – supposedly because of the football playoff game that would be aired later (Okay, Mr. Pious, kneel down and thank god for THAT!).  It took me the rest of the afternoon to recover.  I hadn’t planned to sit with K. and watch the game, but he lit a fire and I had my fat, fat novel to read (“1Q84”) and so, it was nice.

And today?  It’s one of those days where I can’t remember WHAT I’ve done, or even, if I’ve done anything at all.  Crossword puzzle.  Drug store run.  Pages.  Prep for Thursday’s class.  Wandering around studio looking for something.  Somehow, it feels like a whole lot of nothing.  Perhaps if I make the chicken stew I have on the menu for tonight, and the ‘Wellesley Chocolate Cake’ recipe I picked out, there will be something more tangible (and delicious, hopefully!) to point to.

I HAVE been making some of the world’s most delicious winter salads.  Really.  What makes a good winter salad, in my humble opinion?  Some crunch (cabbage shreds, radish slices, celery, for example), some bitter greens (frisee, arugula, to name two), something onion-y (diced shallots, if you’re feeling fancy, or diced red onion or chopped scallions) and then your filler (usually, chopped romaine in this house) all dressed with a super-tangy vinaigrette (I have long been a fan of 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 acid — lately, I mostly use white vinegar — and then of course, garlic, mustard, and S&P).  One night, I added sunflower seeds (raw), along with dried cranberries and Granny Smith chunks (heavenly!).  So, so, good.  Last night, with both boys out and having had a heavy (but delicious) tortilla pie for lunch, K & I had a Winter Salad, Sweet Potatoes, and Green Beans and Brussel Sprouts for dinner — yummmmmm.

Well, maybe that’s all the day needed – to talk about food for a minute.  Definitely perked me up!

I am reminded, posting a drawing, that this time last year we were bombed by a snowstorm, and I spent Martin Luther King Jr. day getting my Sketchbook Project well underway.  I can’t imagine having that kind of energy tomorrow, nor can I imagine being bombed by a snowstorm.  I can hope, right?

felt house – toot/toot

Yesterday, I spent the better part of the morning having a love affair with my new tripod (now, now, don’t even picture those dirty things!).  Truly, I am having so much fun.  To prepare for tomorrow’s class, I made a new felt hut and documented as I went.  A total first stab at a still-life tutorial — here.  It runs just shy of a minute, so I hope you can take a peek.  Criticism welcome.

Meanwhile, the moon has been peeking in my window.  This is roughly the view from my bed.  Aspidistra and beech limbs talking in lines while the moon makes an illuminated beauty spot, a little like Peppy Miller, and her “little something extra”, in the movie ‘The Artist’.

Digging up and documenting and noodling.  Part of my gift to C. for his quickly approaching 18th birthday, is a collection of journal entries about him (I am already way behind schedule!)  The picture below goes back much further, however, to a batch of illustrations created for book of poems written as a freshman in college (1975).  I’ll spare you the poetry.

Meanwhile, my plaster friends probably have at least another season in them.  They certainly will keep themselves entertained.  I suspect they are talking about me, here.

Although perhaps they, too, are taken with the moon, rouging them up to a feminine pink here.

speaking of text…

Flipping through one of many sketch books in this house, came upon this page this morning.  I don’t know if C. or D. wrote it or when, but I think I need to put it on a wall where I can see it every day.

And, from my sketchbook this past weekend (a skiier taking a break for lunch on the deck of the lodge — his goggles perched on his forehead):