Saturday, November 5, 2016

United Kingdom

Picture these sketches zipped together and you have a perfect
vision of the Priory ruins just beyond the graves at
St. Marys church

The United Kingdom. A trip from Seattle/Glasgow to Lindisfarne (The Holy Island) UK, acrossScotland to the Argylls ending up at the Island of Iona (a thin place).  

My husband and I went on a Pilgrimage to explore the roots of Celtic Christianity, the period of time was early 700AD.  The Saints we learned about were humble men, monks, who gave up everything to live as Christians.  They loved and mentored their parishioners traveling miles by foot to care for their Spiritual needs.  They are still honored in Scotland, Northumberland, and by those who study this period of history.  Briefly, this was the period prior to Christianity before going the way of Rome.

My interest, of course, was to record what I saw in my sketches.  Along the way, I learned to admire, Aiden, Cuthbert, Hilde, Bede (early centuries) and in this century incredible story tellers like Kate Tristram, who wrote a book about the story of Holy Island and incredibly went back to the University in her 80's to study Gaelic and brush up on her Latin!  Lillian, also in her eighties, who is a docent at Durham Cathedral, and has shown people like Sting and Princess Margaret around.

Much of this early history would be lost if it weren't for Bede, a great scholar born around 672.  He was a teacher, a chronicler of history; wrote a book called Ecclesiatical History of the English people, the story of what happened before his birth.  He writes about the monk and bishop Cuthbert (he was fifteen when Cuthbert died).  He chronicled the history of Holy Island which includes Aiden, the first monk, and Cuthbert.

I am an artist not a writer.  The sketches that follow will have snippets of who, what, when & where, not to mention how difficult it is to paint the color green!  Curses!
Beautiful ancient church on Lindisfarne,
the home of Aiden and Cuthbert.
The story will continue next week with travels to
Durham, Oban, and Iona.

Huge carved wood sculpture of Cuthbert's funeral.
A super size version of this called The Journey, is in the square in Durham England.
Cuthbert's remains took years to arrive at Durham because
 his casket was taken everywhere he preached so he could
 be honored by his parishioners.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Chocolate Sunflower

6x6 oil on board
I was inspired this week by my bounty crop of Chocolate Sunflowers.  These beauties were seeds from the Chocolate Flower Farm in Langley.  I carefully selected where each one would go, placed a couple of seeds in the ground, then marked it with a bottomless pot, so I would know where to water.  It was touch and go between me and the Jays, but out of 12 seeds, I got about seven plants and they love to bloom!
I've given them as thanks for dinner and to cheer up friends under the weather.  It is a wonderful way to stay connected.

Some of the flowers were dead Chocolate, others had streaks of orange and deep dark red.  This is a 6x6 oil of a brighter flower.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Gouache, can you pronounce it?

“Gouache (/gu:’a:,( gwa:)/; French: (gwa), body color, opaque watercolor, or gauche, is one type of watermedia, paint consisting of pigment, water, a binding agent (usually dextrin or gum arabic), and sometimes additional inert material.  Gouache is designed to be used with opaque methods of painting.”  wikipedia

When painting a watercolor, one values using the white of the paper, or going from light to darker.

Gouache is sneaky and it takes lots of gray before you find the value needed to make the painting speak.

I monitored a class last week at WIFAS, instructor was Mike Hernandez, Artist, instructor, Plein Air painter, Art Director, Production designer DreamWorks Pictures.  I’d like to add patient, relaxed instructor who also paints beautifully in oil and on the computer.  You can find Mike on Facebook and see some of his beautiful paintings.

We painted small 5x7 and 4x5 on special board by Cottonwood Arts, or in my case Canson board.  Its and acid free cardboard-like surface that can be popped into a mat easily.  Mike recommends not putting these paintings under glass.  

The images are low key; a gray day is celebrated for its moody effects.  Today, I plan on trying to paint a little brighter.  Here are a few images from last weekend and yesterday, painting on the cliff across from Camano Island in the mist.

McLeod Cabin 3x5

From Sea Wall park Langley looking Northwest?

Camano from Edgecliff Dr.

Sea Wall Park looking South

Camano Island, Picture is a little slanty 8-(

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Uncluttering my desktop

Duck duck goose?

Gordon the goose- still can't make the neck long enough.8-(

Annie Hortons Hollyhocks

I've been too busy lately to give this blog the attention it needs.  Many of the recent sketches have been sitting on the desktop waiting for their day of glory.  Some of them are more than a month old. Its been so nice to be able to sketch outside, even though the weather will change quickly and we bundle up more or run inside for a different point of view and to stay warm.

Topless lighthouse ;-)  I might add a fold out for the roof!

Starting with the  Annie Hortons country garden all the back to Ferry Coffee trailer and Mukilteo Lighthouse, then Bob Bowling Sheds.  Here goes!

Quick sketch of the cheery coffee trailer at Clinton
Little shed, pretty garden
Bob Bowling Rustics
shovel weather vane and other decorative items

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Whidbey Island Garden Tour 2016

Sketching at the Farmhouse B&B garden is appealing.  Everywhere you turn there are artifacts from the way our parents lived, if they lived on a farm.  Collections of old wash tubs, coffee pots wheelbarrows; delicious raspberries, beautiful roses and even a couple of donkeys.  Gary and Janie Gabelein made me feel comfortable and cozy under one of their Gazebos.  People came by in droves oohing and aahing over the garden decor.  Even though it rained later on it didn't stop the visitors.
I had plenty of time to sit and do a very detailed couple of sketches, one of them even has one of my paintings which was on display.
Im looking forward to returning with the Whidbey Island Sketchers later this summer.

rusty tub

wash tubs

Monday, June 13, 2016

Sandri's playhouse

Sketchers spent a delightful afternoon sketching at one of the homes that will be on the Whidbey Island Garden tour this next weekend.  Susan and Kevin invited us to see the completed project.  We were there earlier this year while they were still building the Rose Garden.

Yes, they will be known as Tutu and Pappy!
One of the new additions to the garden is a cute Bob Bowling playhouse that their grandchildren will use.  They can't wait till the first little girl is old enough to enjoy playing there.  I channeled Emily Carr, with the big trees to try and show the small size of this cute shed and its location on the property.
When the weather turned chilly and rainy we headed into the house for a bit of Happy Hour.  What fun sharing stories and meeting Todd Eugene who created the gates for the garden.
Thank you Kevin, Susan and Mikey for such a terrific day!

Top of the pizza oven outside and glass bottles inside
Looking down on The lion fountain from the porch.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Small town, big beaches, quiet atmosphere.

I'm talking about Westport WA.  Heather and Tony bought a cottage in Westport.  It is nicely proportioned at about 1000 sq ft.  Each room is large and the living room has a great fireplace.  Its necessary when the wind turns and the house has been empty for a couple of weeks.  The have been fixing it up and the day of this sketch had just hung the flag out together.  Sweet!
The lamp on the front porch was found in a thrift store and fixed by Miss fixit (better than her Mom at electrical stuff).  Tony says he loves pulling dandelions, but I think he needs to get off his knees and use a grandpas weed popper.