What weather we’ve had today! Stormy, hail, wind and rain! Torrential downpours then bright blue skies. Ah, the start of spring! Seemed appropriate to work on a few water droplets caught on a leaf. A few days ago, I spent a bit of time wandering around the backyard looking for leaves and grasses harboring water drops. They are pretty amazing things to gaze into since they reflect everything upside down. I have a smidgen more color adjustments on the leaf before moving on to the next page. Not certain what I’ll put down yet, but it will come. I really shouldn’t be revealing everything as I progress, but I just enjoy sharing.
To create the image, I pulled out one of my dad’s art toolboxes of watercolor supplies. This particular box holds much more than watercolors: carving, drawing and many other surprises! I discovered he actually organized the watercolor tubes in ziploc bags, separated by color family (which totally surprised me because he wasn’t the most organized person). In general, painting is not an area I play with because it really baffles me. Give me a block to carve or a copper plate to scratch, and I’m a happy camper. Put a brush in my hand and it just feels wrong, but I’ll try anything.
A5 handmade sketchbook, watercolors, sakura micron pigment pen.
It continues to surprise me the energy level required for assisting my brother. For those who don’t know the back story, he suffered an anoxic brain injury last fall and spent basically 3 months in the hospital and is now relearning how to speak, walk and the works. Yesterday, he had his first outpatient rehabilitation center appointment. Of course, he was a tad confused about the date, thinking it was Sunday, but I assured him it was Monday and we were going into the hospital. We didn’t quite know what to expect, but he had two sessions with both the new speech & physical therapist. Wonderful people. He was so exhausted after it all and we still had some shopping to accomplish. I assured him we would tackle more jobs on Tuesday rather than wear him out more. I really hope he took his meds. The home care person didn’t wait for us to return home. Not like they help him much anyway. What a screwy system.
So I’ll be heading back to Eugene for more fun today. I started the water sketchbook drawing back on Sunday but haven’t been able to return to it yet. Drawing water is a serious challenge! Hopefully Wednesday when I have more mental/physical energy, I’ll get back to the page and complete the sketch and watercolor and start the other pages too. My brain is also wanting to do some research on a different project that is coming back into focus. So many ideas and not enough energy!
Handmade A5 journal with Arches CP watercolor paper & graphite
It’s Sunday and I’ve been working on the book for the collaboration. The book subject will be ‘Water’, which was influenced by our current lack of (in the form of winter snowpack), and the fact that I just returned from two weeks on an island. Today’s temperature isn’t super warm and it’s beginning to concern me about everything drying before sewing in the pages. I decided to create an inset piece using the marbled paper. Above is where I’m pulling the layers back on the board. Below is the section of marbled paper I chose for the cover.
Below is the interior paper.
Finally, a shot of the inset disc on the book cover. More pressing required. I might have to move things to the oven to speed up the process!
Adding pages and drawings to come later!
Marbled paper, Lama Li Lokta paper, linen tape, acid free board, and eventually arches 300gm CP watercolor paper.
I don’t often create books anymore and I’m wondering “why not?” They’re so much fun to create. All the papers to choose, both interior & exterior. Did I mention I’m a paper addict? I’m still working out the final colors, but I need to work fast. This is part of a collaboration between 4 artists: each artist creates a book, picks a theme, sketches on several of the pages and then sends it off to the next. Four books will be completed in the end, each completely different but connected. Once I complete my first round of drawings (and finish assembling the book) I’ll post images and links to the other artists. Interior paper is currently Arches 140# coldpress watercolor paper. Finished book is basically an A5 journal. So far the interior pages are that measurement, but the jacket is just a smidgen larger. I might need to tweak it a tad more.
Looks like I’ll be working hard on Sunday!
Am I really home again? I could swear the warm sunny skies and sandy swim-able oceans were just a dream. The house is quiet, with exception of a ticking clock in the print zone. The cats are outside, a single Moby dog sleeping on the couch upstairs, cars moving to and fro on the main street to the east. The surrounding environment has morphed while we were gone. Green leaves have emerged and many of the blooming trees have completed their display. Fortunately the forest plants have just started. Trillium and orchids have been reported by many friends. I realize there is still more of spring to come!
We arrived home yesterday after a red-eye from Maui to Seattle followed by a quick flight to Portland. Moby was retrieved even before reaching the house. He seemed happy to see us, but it took a few hours before his brain chemistry settled down and he started acting more normal. Nigel was enthusiastically pleased to see us once he was let outside for several hours. Yes, I locked the cats indoors while we were away. His enthusiasm continued through the first night, sleeping on the bed, attacking my hands while I tried to sleep, yowling around the house until one of us yelled at him and he would come running with a happy chipper meow. I had thoughts of Simon’s Cat as he kept purring and walking all over me. 15 pounds of kitty love. This morning there was evidence of dried blood on the sheets from where he attacked my hand. The bedroom door will be mysteriously closed tonight!
I’m looking around the studio with glazed eyes, wondering what needs my energy. I have several things that need closure on my brothers behalf and for our taxes. It’s amazing how life come rushing back and slaps you in the face. All that beautiful warmth and love felt while on holiday is quickly becoming smushed down. This afternoon I’ll work on a book for a sketching collaboration due very soon. The paper below will become the cover for this upcoming collaboration. It holds the perfect sensation of the subject. I’ll let you guess at the subject matter!
Sunday I grabbed a little bit of time to work on a watercolor and pencil sketch of a ridge above Lahaina. There is something so beautiful about the steep drops and dramatic inclines. It was late afternoon and the shadows were becoming better and better. It was a lazy sort of day. We wandered into Lahaina for the afternoon to visit friends arriving via the ferry from Molokai. Their holiday started off in Kauai and shifted to Molokai after the first week. They have raved about the house they rent and hopefully we can visit it in a few years. We all had dinner at a restaurant right next to the port. A great way to end the day, especially since we still have a few days left here on Maui.
A5 sketchbook with pencil and watercolor.
Maui west coast.
Saturday we went in search of a different snorkeling location. We had been scoping out milepost 13 to where the road moves over the rocky headland to the south. Yes, milepost 14 is a great spot, but we needed to try something different. The beach was beautiful and snorkeling sucked. After spending the day there, we headed into Kihie for dinner at the Maui Brick Oven- a fully gluten free restaurant. It was the first time I’ve had good (non home cooked) pizza in over 2.5 years. On arriving home,we had missed sunset, but not moonset! At this latitude the crescent rested at the bottom. Hmm, a position I hadn’t even thought about before! At home, it moves from right to left. I decided, in honor of the different moon position, to attempt a night drawing like what my friend Rosie Scribblah creates from time to time. All I had was a charcoal pencil to work with. It was a beautiful sight that looked so much better in person than on the page! At least it will be cemented in my memory and that’s what counts!
A5 sketchbook and charcoal pencil.
Maui- western shore.