Thursday, October 23, 2008

Self Portrait

I have begun reading and working through the book "Drawing from the Right Side of Your Brain".

A quick self portrait was assignment one. Sitting in front of the mirror.

It was late. I had had two glasses of wine.

Hmmmmm. . .
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Okay, I have a LOT to learn about landscapes, but I was pretty happy with how the trees in the background actually look like they are far away.

Not so good on the shadows up front though!! LOL!
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Letter to Teach

Dear Teach,

Your lesson today was so exciting. The specifics of instruction made me feel empowered to attempt something I have never done, which is sit and draw a landscape!

I loved the explanation about the atmospheric moisture and why things at a distance lose the contrast and are lighter. Also, the importance of placing the horizon. . . of how shadows turn into just a line the farther away they are. . . thrilling!

I got my oil pastels and am waiting with baited breath for Monday. I love your instruction and how-to's on different details. I don't know if you have planned Monday to do any exercises on like "how to draw a tree" "how to draw a bush" "how to draw grass" "how to draw shadows", etc, but those basics would be so helpful for me.

My parents taught round and square dancing. They were well known for being able to teach even the clumsiest to dance and dance well. Their secret was they majored on the basics. They would teach one small set of steps at a time and have their students repeat over and over until they were fully confident. Then, they would introduce the next set of steps. To some of their peer teachers, their method seemed childish. But to their grateful students, Mother and Daddy were dance saviors!

I feel pretty clumsy on the working end of the "paintbrush". But I have this roaring desire to "dance" on canvas!

Thank you SO much!


Sunday, October 12, 2008


I think we all breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday. Teach gave us a quick lesson in perspective, then turned us lose in the hallways to practice. My walls on the right are tipping. . . I did not do so well without an easel and without standing back from my work. We used the Conte Crayon instead of Vine or Compressed Charcoal. Ah, something besides black or grey!!

Our assignment, due next Monday, was a staircase. Several students asked which medium and she said it did not matter. I know I have really stretched it using pastels.

This is the staircase from my childhood. I used to stand at the bottom of those stairs and long to climb up and visit my sisters' room. But Mother had her rules and so I could only stand there and wonder what the second floor of our home looked like. Seems cruel.

What that built in me was a fascination of stairs. So when Teach assigned a staircase drawing, I knew what I was going to draw. And I had to do it in color, annoying wallpaper and all!
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Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Did I say that this painting was from an Art Party night? It was wonderful to be together again and paint.
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Ahhh, it was so good to paint again!
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Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Torture continues. . .

Teach helped me a bit with shadows on the tray and showed me how to work the edge of it. Valuable lessons. She makes it look so easy. I would actually like more of her one-on-one. She didn't want to "take over" my unmasterpiece, which I love her respect. But I learned so much from those few minutes of watching her rework my mess. If I were her, this would get a C or C-.

How fun! We get to do a second take on the errrr still life! This time in landscape instead of portrait format. I rebelled. I loathe those irksome drapes, so I zoomed in to avoid them.

I can see the error in my texture/lighting on the coffee pot. It looks kind of wavy, not cylindrical enough. There is supposed to be an apple between the hook of the cane and the basket in the background. Ha. I just ran out of steam. We have an hour more to work on these lovelies before the class critique.


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Birthday Gift

My friend asked me a couple of months ago if I would paint her dogs. She had taken this photo of them in the backseat of her car and said it was a perfect depiction of their personalities.

I stammered around, "Uh, I dunno, that's a tall order. Don't think I am that good yet." It was a lie! I was screaming "Yes!!" inside me, knowing her birthday was October 2 and this would make a great gift!

Art Party Girl helped me begin the portrait. It was the funnest painting I have done yet.

I guess Sh loved it. She, her husband and their daughter all exclaimed a slow and major "OMG"!

Ah, I love painting!
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