Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Yupo trial

One fun thing about traveling is stopping in at unfamiliar art supply stores. Of course, Jerry's Artarama is familiar to me as a great internet resource, but in Austin, TX, I got to walk into the real thing

I didn't NEED anything, but I still bought some Yupo to try. Have you used it? Here's my first go at watercolor and ink on Yupo. I think I like it!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


A window is a transparent threshold, an opening, a "wind-eye," or "breathing hole." Maybe a search for what lies within. (from Taschen's The Book of Symbols)

It doesn't surprise me in the least that windows are on my mind and in my sketchbook these days.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Shuffleboard refs and players
I sat in the stands and sketched while Mom played shuffleboard with her team. Mom is the team captain and when she plays, she has her "game face" on! Everyone playing at this level takes things very seriously. 

Many people asked me who was the model for the pot-bellied referee. I never said for sure, but I enjoyed the speculation and sucking in of tummies that followed. 

The score was tied at the end of the game, so Mom and her opponent played two more frames. On the final shot, Mom lost. Aaaargh! "Game face" became "frustrated face."

I am so fortunate to have time with my mom. Believe me, I relish every moment!

Monday, January 16, 2012

one thing perfectly clear

A stop in Yorba Linda, CA to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.  From his actual birthplace home (built from a kit by his father) to the presidential helicopter, the museum was much more than I expected. I guess I was expecting a huge focus on the Watergate scandal and President Nixon's resignation. In fact, that was covered but so was the rest of this man's long life and political history.

At one point in the museum, I sat on a '60's era sofa in a '60's era living room set and watched the Kennedy-Nixon debates on a small screen black and white television. That's when I pulled out my sketchbook and did this drawing.

While I was drawing, I thought about how I wanted to make an accurate drawing of the man, not a caricature of a political figure. I resisted drawing his hairline as receded, his nose as a ski jump, and his eyes as shifty. I just drew the youngish man I saw on the television. A man who held his own and held his temper in the debates with John F. Kennedy (who didn't look movie-star handsome to me).

Bronze sculpture by Robert Berks, 1999
Maybe you'd like to see a sampling of the debates, when debates were unfancy and unglamorous and all about issues.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

broccoli trees

Lines with Sakura Gelly Roll pen, color with Koi watercolor field kit

Design is on my mind as I work my way through this sketchbook. Each page becomes an opportunity to try out an idea for putting together images and words in a new way. 

Trees trimmed up like broccoli -- it makes me laugh!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Andrew Wyeth at the Palm Springs Art Museum

"The only virtue to it is to put down an idea quickly without thought about what you feel at the moment. It's one's free side. Watercolor shouldn't behave.”
-Andrew Wyeth

Palm Springs Art Museum is winding up its long exhibition "Andrew Wyeth in Perspective." About 30 paintings filled the walls, including a few from the "Helga" series. I was thrilled to see many of Wyeth's graphite sketches in the show. Once again, as I walked through the show, I admired his subtlety, his attention to fine details, his sense of value, and the overall loneliness of his subjects.

When Wyeth died in 2009, I wrote this blog post and painted this piece as a remembrance. My reference is the servants' staircase at the Bidwell Mansion in Chico, CA.

Missing Andrew, 18 x 12, pastel

Sunday, January 8, 2012

visit with Dori Dewberry!

Dori holds a value painting from Kitty Wallis' workshop
I met Dori Dewberry a couple of years ago at a Kitty Wallis Color Intensive workshop in Portland. We were "tablemates," which means we shared a table for all of our pastel supplies. I don't think it took more than 10 minutes for me to be charmed by Dori's enthusiasm and warm laugh. I liked it that she shared nicely at the table, too!

Over these years, we have kept in loose touch by following one another's blogs (see her on my bloglist to the right of this post or click here). Since I was in Southern California on this trip, we connected face to face!

Dori's work looks great on line but looks even better in person. She has a keen sense of light and her paintings are luminous and beautiful! We had a great visit today at Dori's place.

Now, we're plotting to have Dori come up my way for a plein air field trip! I hope we make it happen!

I had such fun talking to Dori's husband, Bob, who is a musician! This one's for you, Bob.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


what fun!

It was a special treat and surprise for me to get the Liebster Blog award from Sam Hannaway at the amazing blog samartdog! I always enjoy Sam's take on life and art and all things dog. If you haven't been there recently, I hope that you will click on the link and see what's new at Sam's place. On one of my cross country trips, I plan to make a stop in Colorado and meet this great person in person.

Here's how Sam explains the award:

Liebster is a German word that translates as
favorite or dearest
The award originated in Germany
 and is intended to recognize up and coming bloggers.
 Those distinguished by this award have
fewer than 200 followers. 

 These are the blogs I am happy to recognize.

I hope that you will click on the links and enjoy, as I do, the variety and creativity of all of these fine artists. 

Thank you, Sam, for giving me a chance to participate in something so positive as this award!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More from the Crocker Art Museum

Untitled, Hans Hofmann

Flowers, Richard Diebenkorn

Green Lampshade, Elmer Nelson Bischoff

Besides Wayne Thiebaud, these three artists were also on my "must see" list for my trip to the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA. 

Hans Hofmann, legendary Abstract Expressionist, and teacher to Wolf Kahn, Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler (recently deceased!), and Frank Stella, among many others. Some of my current art teachers are students of students of Hofmann and it's little wonder that I wanted to see his color fields and the sense of push/pull in his original artwork

Richard Diebenkorn's lush application of paint and color sensibility always appeals to me. He takes ordinary objects and makes them extraordinary! 

Finally, Elmer Nelson Bischoff.  His work, and that of the other Bay Area Figure Movement artists, interests me very much. I have a lot to learn from that group of fine artists. Though this example of Bischoff's painting style is not figurative, I spent a lot of enjoyable time studying the way he assembled the elements of this composition and how he created that delicate but sure sense of light inside, coming from the lamp, and light outside.

I love road trips. Here are some drawings from my sketchbook as we drove south out of Oregon into northern California. The beautiful road, and all that it suggests, intrigues me. There might just be a series in this for me!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Eve at the Crocker Art Museum

The Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA

Wayne Thiebaud, Boston Cream Pies

detail, love the juicy paint and brushwork!

Thiebaud, Pies

detail pies

Thiebaud, Sacramento Delta

At Rio Vista, in the Sacramento River Delta
The beginning of this journey is an excellent visit to Sacramento and to the Crocker Art Museum. 

How do you like to visit museums? After many years of experience, I have worked out my own routine. I study the museum before I go and get acquainted with their collection and current exhibits. Then, I make notes to myself about what I am MOST interested in seeing. I put in order at least 10 paintings. And those are the paintings I go to see first. 

The Crocker Art Museum has such a huge collection, it was hard to narrow down my list. I started with Wayne Thiebaud, as you see above. I loved seeing his bold application of paint, the "halation" around the subjects (click the word to read more about his great "pop art" style), and his confident brush strokes.

Wayne Thiebaud was my first choice of paintings to look at, but not the only choice. I hope to post more artwork from the fabulous Crocker Art Museum.

Look here for more about Thiebaud!