Sketching the End of Summer

Here in Alaska the leaves are beginning to turn and the air smells of autumn now. I’ve been happily sketching on our deck and in the neighborhood. It feels so good to get out and enjoy the mountain air. I hope you get a chance to do the same. Below are some sketches from my sketchbook and at the bottom are some links to artists’ blogs whose sketches are so inspiring to me. The link at the bottom is full of resources if you catch the sketchbook bug.

Morning Glories painted on my deck.

Matanuska Glacier

Grasses where I walk

Painting A Three Foot Pear

I used to paint with tiny brushes and my face close to the painting, then I started painting tablecloths and banners and found that a large brush and a large canvas is such fun!  First, you have to use your whole body when the canvas is large, using whole arm and shoulder movements (and everything else if the studio music gets a little wild). Second, in order to see what is happening on the canvas you have to step away from it so I walk a lot. The drawback is the possibility-or  perhaps I should say probability-of stepping into a paint pot or onto the palette which in my case is a dinner plate. It was nice to go to the deck where I could hose things off if the paint got away from me.

Here is the first step: a three-foot pear shape on a four-foot square canvas.

A pear shape!

Then a leaf and highlights.

I took the canvas out on the deck so I had more room to add the golden halo around the perimeter. Notice the dinner plate is on the table instead of on the floor. I still got paint on my feet.

The hardest part was adding the text. You wouldn’t believe how many times I changed font size and I tried a variety of methods to get those letters on the canvas. I eventually used a squeeze bottle with a nib which has a tiny hole. I tried a paintbrush with ghastly results.  Here is part of the process:

I finished it today. I enjoyed the process tremendously and being able to paint out on the deck was marvelous. Next is a three-foot square of grapes. Maybe I should just start out on the deck…

Sketchbook Challenge

Summer has been peculiar in Alaska this year. It feels as if we’ve had three Springs and four Falls in just two months. Fresh snow on the mountains one day causes flooding from the melting snow the next.

Today was rainy so I picked some flowers from my garden and sketched on the deck until rain forced me back in. This is part of the Sketchbook Challenge I started a few weeks ago.

Glacier in Glass

While talking to a fellow artist this week, we shared photos of mosaics we had done. I thought you might like to take a look too. This is a commissioned piece I did for the 1% for Art project for Glacier View School a few years ago.

“Glacier in Glass” was created with stained glass and glued to MDF board. For added sparkle, abalone and colored mirror pieces shine throughout the glacier and the foreground. It was such fun making this, but because the mosaic is at a touchable level, every piece-every tiny piece was filed to remove any sharp surface. Just about wore out my fingertips, but it is safe for little hands to touch.

Glacier detail