Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Get Sketching

   Thank you to all who have commented or emailed with nice words about my watercolor experimenting!  I have really appreciated it.

   I am in a phase of life where I'm feeling a lot of turmoil, and I think that sitting down to draw and paint something is becoming an addictive sort of meditation for me.  The act of really looking at something, studying its lines and shapes and colors and shadows, is a very focusing and calming thing.  I'm also making some discoveries about self-acceptance along the way.  At first, I was irked at feeling like I couldn't draw.  Now I feel like I CAN draw, it's just my own, wonky way and it's not perfection I'm aiming for anyway.  I'm accepting and enjoying the process, and finding that the imperfections are what make these drawings MINE.

   Ah, a bit of psychological discovery with pencil and paints.


  Yes, yes, this is all about me.  But here is the good news for YOU:  Jane LaFazio, the delightful woman who set me off on this free and fun sketching and painting path, is offering online classes again at Joggles.com, and they start soon -- November 8 and 9, I believe.  Jane is a terrific teacher, and her focus is on giving tips and encouragement.  It's less about learning specific drawing or painting techniques than learning to LOOK, and to just try, and to experiment and have fun.

  The online course "Sketchbook and Watercolor: Journal Style" is the one I started with, and was very loose and fun.  It starts again on Nov. 9.  It's 6 weeks and you work at your own pace.  

  I did the dumpling squash page in response to an exercise we did in that class, and we all had so much fun with it (extrapolating designs from things) that Jane turned it into a separate class called "Watercolor Sketchbook: Designs from Life".  That class starts on November 8. 

  So if you are inspired to try a bit of sketchbook style painting, I highly recommend these classes as a way to jump-start you. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Where does the time go?

I just realized it's been over a week since I posted here last.  Oops!  I've been catching up after my quilty week away.  And I've been working on a new goal: to do a bit of sketching (almost) every day.  I'm finding it very fun to take along a little kit with pencil, pen, and a small watercolor set -- it makes me stop and celebrate the tiniest of moments.

Today, I returned books to the library, and paused for a bit to draw.  Very relaxing! I highly recommend it. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Irresistible Polka Dots

 I have been at PIQF for the last 5 days, taking a 3 day course on quilt judging, teaching a unit on art principles applied to quilts, and shopping and quilt viewing and having a darned good time, Just before that, I was off at my twice yearly retreat, where one of the things I did was learn a bit about drawing on the Ipad with the app Brushes 3.

I have unpacking and household catching up to do, but in the meantime, here's an iPad drawing of the box of polka dotted fat quarters I could just not pass up at the quilt show. Happiness in a box, isn't it?!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Into the paints again

     I am trying to get back into doing a bit of drawing and watercolor painting, with the help of a group of friends.  We decided to give each other weekly challenges, and this week's topic was "Bird."  Here's mine, of a china figurine that sits on a shelf in my office.

   It felt good to splash about a bit in my watercolors!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

An Art Disaster Revealed

Are you interested in seeing the art quilt projects that go badly wrong?  If so, I tell the story of a "maverick" quilt that went from bad to worse, here.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Art with Needle and Thread

    I've been so discombobulated lately that I've not made much time for sewing -- but it's a good thing that I've had a few deadlines lurking because they have forced me to get to work!  This week, on October 1, we revealed our quilts on the theme "Maverick" over at Twelve by Twelve.  Click over to that blog and scroll down to see each of the responses -- they're all different, although two of the Twelves (Brenda and Nikki) worked on the "square peg in round hole" idea. As always, the creativity of the Twelves impresses and inspires me.

  Maverick was not an easy theme.  I went off in one direction and created a big, complicated mess that got worse the more I did to it.  Maybe I'll throw caution to the wind and post about it one of these days.  But in despair, I retreated to my very first "maverick" idea: that in the traditional art world, quilt artists are mavericks.  I decided to illustrate that by putting art quilt tools -- thread and needle -- among the more traditional art tools of paint brushes, palette knife, pencil, etc.

  It only struck me as I was working on it that using drawing to create the imagery in a quilting challenge is, in itself, a bit of an unconventional approach. 

  Now on to the next challenge, which will be on the theme "Sweet."  Hmmm.  Lots of possibilities there!