Sunday, March 19, 2017

True Confessions

True confession from a paralyzed mind, and a getting chubbier body.  Has life since Elections and January 20th taken you, shaken you, left you wondering what the hey?  It has me!
Without going into too many details, except to say I live on Whidbey Island in Western Washington, you might get the picture.  I have marched in my little 1000 person town with 1200 marchers, men, and women, (where did they all come from?), read numerous Newspapers, FB, TV stations.
Our current Resident in chief at the White House leaves me wondering; then, like a murder mystery, I stay hooked, wondering even more what the outcome will be.
Some of my friends and family are supporters of the Resident and I almost wish he would live up to their expectations, but he is no Harry Potter with a magic wand and I bet he wishes he had an invisible cape!
I'm actually reading Catherine the Great and loving it, but it is looong.  I yearn for a good whodunnit that doesn't involve politics, just to relax my mind.
So, even though I haven't been posting, I have occasionally sketched and hid in my studio painting.  I've also traveled to Santa Fe for a beloved nephew's wedding, had my gallbladder removed six months after receiving a pacemaker.  Not to worry, I am getting back up to speed, increasing the dog walks and dream of finding a chair yoga class.
Following this true confession, you will find some results with descriptions of when and where below the photo.  Next time, I'll post some oils.
Kachina dolls mounted on a wall at the El Dorado Hotel in Santa Fe NM

More Kachinas!  Yes, I did go to the wonderful Georgia O Keefe museum!

It was so cold, sketching outside was out of the question.

It's whale season on Whidbey.  This is a replica in our fantastic whale museum in Langley.

Whale museum Walrus skull!

Welcome to Blueschool Art center, Clinton WA

The outside of the charming Blueschool!  Rainy day, but still sweet looking with the wipers swishing away.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Colorful night countertop

Or, decoration by Ted!  While cleaning up, my husband washed and left many items on the countertop to dry.  I thought it was so colorful it had to become a sketch.  I liked the way the red towel picks up the other reds that are a part of our color accents.
Left side of sink

Right side of sink

Monday, December 12, 2016

Scotland continued

Where did the month go?  I've been trying to read more of Kate Tristram's book "The Story of Holy Island". Seems like November and December obligations have interfered.
If you want to learn more about the subjects and places here are two more titles to read.
"In search of Bede" by Simon Webb;
"Around a Thin Place" an Iona pilgrimage guide by Jane Bentley & Neil Paynter.
The topic is interesting, however my type of reading is more escapist.  We just found a program on PBS call "Sacred Places of England" and last night it was about the connection between Iona, Lindisfarne, Durham Cathedral and the Benedictine Priories.  It covers several centuries, Seventh thru to Henry VIII; the scenery is beautiful and story interesting, showing how Christianity arrived in England.

Green and more green, somehow it took gouache and watercolor to
get the right combination for these two sketches.

Facing the sun 

The quiet room window in Iona Abbey.  I sat facing this window on a bench
 and viewed this window and then turned and sketched the window by the altar from a distance.
 It was peaceful and slightly warmer than outside where the wind and rain were blowing off the sea.

This is just a step down from the altar.  The musicians use this space.

From a photograph, so much brighter colors and cleaner shapes because it was outside.
This was taken the day we arrived while we meandered around the Abbey grounds.
 (we hadn't received our entrance ticket yet)

The most disappointing thing about Durham Cathedral was a ban on taking photos
 and the lack of time to sit and record all the wonderful art in this incredible space.
I took a break from standing when I got to the Treasure House. An empty chair and dramatic
 lighting on the cross said break time.

A small replica of Columba's Coracle sits in the window to the left of the Altar.
There was beautiful light coming through this window, even though the day was so cold, windy and rainy.

Note the figures on the beach, Ted and I hiked up thru the fissures on the right and
 came out in a beautiful cove farther away. 


A quick stop in Edinburgh for lunch and a run back up to the bus to do this quick sketch.
The views of the skyline in this country of old buildings made me want to sketch all day.

We loved the Kelvingrove Museum.  It was large and lively, filled with children
 visiting from school and other tourists like us.  We traveled here on a city tourist on, off bus,
visiting another museum of transportation that would make MOHAI look puny.  It had
whole trains,trolleys, boats, bikes, you name it.  This is another skyline view outside of
Kelvingrove Museum.

While listening to the history of St. Pauls church I sketched as fast as I could
to remember these amazing pews from the 1500's.  

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.  

My husband and I went on a Pilgrimage this past September to explore the roots of Celtic Christianity, time period 700AD.  The Saints we learned about were humble men, monks, who gave up everything to live and teach Christianity.  These Monks cared for their parishioners, traveling miles by foot are still honored in Scotland, Northumberland, and by those who study this period of history prior to the Roman influence. 

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, is a docent at Durham Cathedral, and has enlightened people like Sting and Princess Margaret.

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.

2. 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.
1. Beach by the castle with a view of the Priory in the distance.

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