Sketching and Purring

Last year I took a break from “producing” paintings and picked up my sketchbook to record life around me. This decision was in response to an online class I took from Cathy Johnson.  I painted a few watercolor paintings, but I spent most of the year capturing pieces of my life and surroundings in my sketchbooks. It was like taking a vacation not to  frame pieces or consider their “sale-ability”.  After spending time away from creating larger paintings, I’ve decided what I really like is painting smaller watercolors and large collage and large fabric paintings. I’ll post images of them on this blog and sell them at my online store.

Heather's cat

Heather’s cat/Strathmore Aquarius II paper/watercolor/white watercolor pencil and Sakuru white gel pen for the whiskers

During the summer I visited my friend, Heather, and I tried to photograph one of her beautiful cats while we visited in her garden. He was behaving like a cat and wouldn’t sit still for a minute or would only give me his backside or tail to look at.

A few weeks ago Heather posted a photo of one of the cats and I couldn’t resist those eyes and whiskers. I thoroughly enjoyed painting on this for several hours. This would be considered more of a study than a sketch, I guess, because I consider a sketch as taking less than an hour. That is only my definition so don’t quote me.

I wonder if you have stepped back from something to refocus or regroup this year? Please share in the comments.

What Color is Alaska in the Winter? Sketches From a Warm Car

Although it has been cold and windy here, I was determined to get out and paint the soft colors of winter in Alaska last week. I gathered my sketch bag and tootled off in our car with the heater on high.

The sun has long ago abandoned us and only touches the mountain peaks during the middle of the day.  I stopped to sketch the Matanuska River from the Glenn Highway. Most of the river is full of ice and the reflections are from ice polished by snow as it blows down the frozen river. Water is flowing under and around the ice, being fed by ground water and springs. No glacier melt adds to the flow when the thermometer hovers below minus ten degrees day after day.

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Mount Wickersham glows in the sunlight, causing colorful shadows.

Spruce trees are almost navy blue against the glow of the deciduous tree bark being lit by the weak sunshine. The sky is pale and silvery.

Alaska Winter Sketch 5

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I wasn’t sketching very long before the sun set at three in the afternoon. The weak blue in the sky gave way to a warm peachy glow as I sat snuggled up in my car, happy as a cat as I sketched with the heat on.

What color is winter where you are?

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