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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Katy in foil

It's been a sketchy sketching season for sure, what with my other drawing project in the evening and the weather making lunchtime excursions somewhat less attractive.
In any case, I offer here a glimpse at Katy in the highlighting chair. I'd love to spend a whole day doing sketches at the salon. Wouldn't that be fun?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Do Not Feed Wild Animals

I won't make you try to read my writing on the page.
The other day I was getting out of the shower when I was gripped by the notion that there must be deer in the neighbor's yard. This is both stranger than it sounds and not as strange as it sounds. We live in a pretty urban neighborhood, but it's near enough to a wooded park. The whole area had a lot more wooded land up until pretty recently. So we've been visited lately by many wandering and displaced deer. We've seen whole herds strolling down the busy boulevard in front of our house.
On the other hand, it's not like every time we look outside deer stare back.
Anyway, I wrapped myself in a towel and went into the kitchen, which looks out on the backyard of the neighbors who moved out a while ago. At first I didn't see anything, and figured my extra-mammalian perception was off. But then I noticed a big lump under a leaning fir tree and realized it was a large, sleeping buck.

I sketched as quickly as I could. When I got out my camera with the long lens, he woke and noticed me. But he stayed and let me photograph him for a while. Eventually I did the bad thing (DO NOT FEED WILD ANIMALS) and tossed a quartered apple out into the neighbors' yard for him. DO NOT FEED WILD ANIMALS. He stared for a long time. He stayed for a long time. Eventually he moved, but then he came back, and while I wasn't looking he walked over to the quartered apple DO NOT FEED WILD ANIMALS and retrieved it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The (Perhaps Derailed) Redfaced Project

I had this new Japanese-fold version of the Moleskine and was wondering what to do with it when I hit on this idea: fill it with red ink. And then: No, not just red ink, but faces done in red. Draw faces in red and ask people, "What embarrasses you." So at the end of the book I would have a series, as such. Plus it would give me practice drawing faces, which I need.

My friend Evelyn kindly agreed to be the first red face. I warned her that the drawing would be bad - tried really hard to get her to not expect a good sketch, but I think in the end she sort of did. When I showed it to her, I could tell she hated it in every way. (On a scale in which 0 is zero and 10 is "wow - it's like a photograph!"), this drawing of Evelyn is about a 2. There's something about the attitude that comes through, but she looks like she has a big ethnic nose, which she doesn't. But of course, getting better at sketching people was part of the project.

Anyway, after watching Evelyn squirm to say something nice (she tried, she really did), I found that my enthusiasm for the Redfaced Project plummeted. It gives me no pride to admit this, but you, oh sketchers, must know the truth. I now hate the whole idea of my little Japanese-fold Moleskine and wonder why I would ask anyone else I liked to submit to such a trial.

I had one small insight, however. The last time I did a good sketch of someone, it was the CEO of Wal-Mart, done from a couple of photo refs. It turned out, I know, because I went a little bit in the direction of caricature - emphasizing prominent features. I know when I was sketching Evelyn, I was wary of doing that because she's my flesh and blood friend and I didn't want to insult her. The result is tight - and off. That's a lesson worth learning.

Still, here I am with my single-page project. What do do, what to do ...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Great Day

There's really nothing better than having someone like Suzanne Buchanan refer to you as an inspiration, which she did during her post explaining why five of her favorite bloggers (including moi) make her day. It's the Make My Day award, and Suzanne's blog is definitely one of those for me.

Now watch me plagiarize Suzanne by lifting the rules of the contest right off her page:
1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make your day.
2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
3. Tell the award winners that they've won by commenting on their blogs.

Here are five that make MY Day.
1. Maureen at No Feeling of Falling is one of my favorite writer friends, and so, so smart. I like being in her world. I also like seeing pics of her dogs, Shelly the World's Most Annoying Dachshund, and Hudson, a new member of the family.
2. Speaking of Maureens, there's another Maureen in my blog/real world these days. Visit Maureen at Lost in Wonder, and see her great sketches as well as the occasional finished piece of art. This Maureen makes my day because she's not only an artist herself, but a great supporter of other artists.
3. One of the things I like about the blog that Jana Bouc calls home is that you'll see fanciful little cartoons, sometimes based on dreams and the like, then you'll see these big, beautiful finished pieces. Talk about inspiration!

4. One of my newer favorite blogs (new to me, anyway) belongs to Pete Scully out in California. I like that he draws California, even when my Ohio is cold and wet. He's making my day recently with sketches of his new baby. I also just love his drawing style. I worry that he's a little busy these days to do his own Make My Day awards, but I'd love to see who they are.
5. And no list of faves would be complete without a mention of Don West's Idle Minutes. Don turns out to be a great sketcher, a prolific creator of artist trading cards, and a helpful internet friend. If you haven't seen his site, you should - bet it'll make your day, too.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Here, take a page from my book

I've been a baaaad sketchbook-chronicler this week, in part because I've been a diligent little project-worker. With that in mind, I thought I'd give you a glimpse of a page from my book project. It'll go without saying that you're in the middle of the story here, but it's the first page I've added color to. I can see it needs some cleanup, but it's close to finished.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Well, it is true ...

... it is true that I like a good bath.
Nothing like soaking in the tub.
But it is also true that I used to enjoy a good bath more before taking one came to be a joint activity. You know - me and my stomach, practically a separate entity - getting into the tub together.

I'd really like to tell my stomach, "Hey - do you mind? Can I have a little privacy here?"

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Date challenged

Uh, yes. Just noticed my sketchbook there says 2006. Perhaps I'll change that after I'm done here. :-D

A fine time was had by all (or at least by me) during the February 2008 edition of the Cleveland Sketchcrawl. The Main branch of the Cleveland Public Library proved full of stuff to draw. I could have stayed two more hours - and I might have, this week, if I hadn't had another commitment.

Anyway, I especially liked the Special Collections room, where a visitor can see an excellent array of rare chess sets as well as a collection of miniature books. I'll draw them next time; this time I wanted to challenge myself with a larger view of the room, since I haven't been doing much in the way of complicated scenes lately.

The page of faces done in the Reading Room include two people I don't know, plus Josh (beard, front) and Karen Blados (see her website on the link to the right). Neither of them catches much of a likeness, which I owe to the fact that I was trying not to be noticed. Next time I'll just say, "Karen - you have cool hair. I'm gonna draw you, OK?"