Rubens Version 3

4/25/2010 08:42:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 15 Comments »
OK, so she's proving herself to be a worthy adversary.  I've been working and reworking her face and I just can't seem to get it right.  Of course, part of the problem is what I mentioned in her first (very faint) appearance, which is that right out of the gate I had the angle of her head wrong.  But, since I decided to forge ahead anyway, the problem only magnified itself as I drew.  I had the eyes at the wrong slant and the line of her right side (the one on our left) is wrong.  Howsomever (I know, not a real word, but it seem to fit the bill), I valiantly (or stubbornly, which is more to the point) struggled on with her until I just had to stop..... which is not to say that during this process I didn't walk away from her a number of times, giving each of us a much needed time out.  I turned her upside down and sideways, trying to get a better feel for the lines, and the acrobatics did help.  She, however, didn't agree and complained bitterly.  So in the end, I told her we were through for the day, leading to a giant sigh of relief from us both.

Rubens Version 2

4/24/2010 12:37:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 13 Comments »
Today one of my daughters is running her first half marathon in Nashville.  She's been training faithfully for it, and I'd love to be there with her other cheerleaders to lend my support and encouragement.  I'm waiting to hear from my son to see how well she did - I just hope it's not really hot down there right now!  Tonight my other daughter is skating in her final roller derby bout of the season ... Yes, she's a Detroit Derby Girl, and she's amazing!  Last year her team won the championship of the league - alas, not so this year, but they did great!  I'm so impressed with my two wonderful girls who married my two wonderful sons.  How did I get to be so fortunate, anyway? 

I between many other things, I did manage to spend a bit of time with Ms Fourment, although not as much as I'd hoped.   She  I am having much difficulty with her, but then I always do when I try to copy these drawings.   I'm using a softer pencil now, so it shows up better than version 1.  I like to start out with hard pencils because I'm such a chicken - it takes me awhile to get plucky enough to go for the softer, darker pencils.  I'm not at the softest I'll use yet, but I'm getting there.  So, without further adieu, here she is!


Rubens copy

4/21/2010 10:07:00 AM Posted In , Edit This 12 Comments »
Meet Susanne Fourment (sister of Helene Fourment (1599 - 1643).   Now you know as much about her as I do.  I plan on trying to find out a bit more about her, but for now, she's serving as the reference for my most recent attempt at copying drawings of the Masters.  As you can see, I've only just begun, after several days of busyness and being away from home. 

I can already see that this drawing is off - her head is too straight.  I haven't decided yet if it's so early in the game that I might just scrap this one and start over.  Or, I may continue, knowing that it is flawed, and then attempt it again another time.  So, anyway, here's the original, followed by my beginning (as if you couldn't tell which was which!). 

Albert Einstein and friends

4/16/2010 09:30:00 PM Posted In Edit This 14 Comments »
Today was a wonderful day.  The weather was beautiful ... windy, warm but not hot, sunny, and filled with two dear friends.  Kathy and Jennifer have been my friends since our children were very little - babies, in fact.  But, as sometimes happens in life, our paths diverged, one by one we moved away, our children were in different grades (and sometimes in different schools), and we lost touch for many years.  We all still lived in the area, but our paths rarely crossed.  Then about a year ago, when I started volunteering at our county health department, Jennifer and I reconnected.  She's worked there for a long time, and now I get to see her once a week ...  lucky me!  So we hooked up with Kathy again through a planned lunch, and now the three of us get together  every couple of months for lunch.  We'd do it more often, but there's schedule conflicts.  Today they came to my house and we had lunch.  We talked - there were tears and laughter, and best of all, there was the love shared between friends.  I'm so grateful that we have each other again.

Now, what does all that have to do with Albert Einstein, you might ask.  The answer is Nothing!!  It's just that I got to thinking about him after working on a bulletin board at the health department, and decided to draw him.  He continues to be a very stubborn man, even as he was in real life, so what I'm thinking is that this may not  actually  be Albert at all, but rather his little known brother, Alfred.

watercolor sketches

4/14/2010 08:01:00 PM Edit This 20 Comments »
Today was a very busy day - I left in the early morning and didn't get back until mid-afternoon, then after doing a few things in the house, I worked outside in the garden.  Sadly we neglected our gardens last fall (we have 13  or 14 that we try to maintain, and 4 others that we've given up on) and they're full of grass, flowers that are thugs and spread everywhere with terrible, underground runners, weeds, ..... well, you name the thing that you Don't Want in your garden, and we have it in ours.  I've been laboring in them for days now, and so far I've got 3 of them fairly well under control, and a 4th that I've made a pretty good start on.  With that one, I might have 3 more days of working on it to wrest control back from it.

OK, enough whining.  Since I didn't have much time, after I finished working, being hot and trying not to be out of sorts what with the cut on my wrist and the spider bite and all, I changed my clothes and sat on the front porch with the new sketchbook, a tiny watercolor box, and my trusty Micron pens. ... oh yeah, and a glass of white wine.   This time I used the largest one (.08), and even that one balked on the rough paper in the sketchbook.  I didn't care, though.  I only did 3 small sketches before fixing dinner.  Tulips that haven't bloomed yet, a small, wrought iron fence portion, and a shrub that is really pretty with pink blooms (when it blooms, which is hardly ever because we keep cutting it back so we can see out when we're sitting on the porch).  So, here they are - modest, small, but fun to do.

Early Arrival

4/13/2010 08:57:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 9 Comments »
Yesterday I was meeting a friend at Panera Bread Co. for lunch, and I got there early.  I knew I would be early as I had an appointment in the area that I was certain would finish in plenty of time for me to get there before my friend.  I wanted to score a booth - I like the privacy and comfort of booths, but they can be hard to get.  Sure enough, when I got there all the booths were filled, so I took a small table where I could eyeball the booths, whipped out my new sketchbook, and settled in.  I just got going on my first sketch when  a booth emptied - I was on it in a flash!  The cost of the booth was a partially finished sketch, and I was sitting where I couldn't see my subject anymore. 

Undaunted, I just started a new one, and soon my friend arrived.  (We had a great lunch, a great chat, but sadly, no dessert).  But, I digress.  Back to my new journal.  It's by Savoir Faire and it's filled with handmade paper.  I had no idea what it would be like to draw or paint in, so I was very interested in what happened.  I used my .005 Micron pen which was a bit too fine for the roughness of the paper, but it wasn't all bad.  I did the painting at home tonite, and I used a Very Old Set of pan watercolors by Pelikan. (It's the first set of watercolors I bought as an adult, and I think I've had them about 30 years ... no lie!)  The paintings are nothing to write home about, but I think I do like the sketchbook and the paper.  I have to work with it a bit more to be sure - it's very different from what I'm used to, but it was fun to play with.   So, here they are - the guy who got stood up (I made that up), and the woman who had such a great story to tell, her friend's hair stood on end (I made the story part up, but her hair really was standing up on end).

watercolor sketch

4/09/2010 03:51:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 27 Comments »
I've been hungry for watercolor for quite some time.  I think about it, eat,  pace around pondering, eat, read about it, eat, ..... well, I bet you get the idea.  I've been avoiding it.  Why?  Well, the truth is Fear.  Yes, that old voice in the head that keeps saying, "You don't know how to do it.   You can't even think of what to paint.  Just get out a pencil (with a Big Eraser), or maybe do a collage".  It causes great anxiety in me sometimes.  My reasonable self knows what's happening, and also, there's always my mantra (it's only a piece of paper, what's the big deal), and yet, here I am dithering and blithering around. 

So, today I bit the bullet.  I decided to start out small .... just dip a toe in, so to speak.  I got out my jar of shells and my trusty .005 Micron pen and went to work.  It's modest .... small .... tentative.  But, It's Watercolor!!   Hooray for me!!!  I have to go lie down now with a cool cloth on my head to recover.

Back from Nashville

4/07/2010 04:14:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 15 Comments »
We were in Nashville to celebrate our little grandson's second birthday.  It was so much fun to be with him, our son Ben, and our daughter (in-law), Sarah.  CC (our grandson) is talking and gets more interesting everyday.  He declared in no uncertain terms "I wuv birthdays!", and who can blame him?  Neighborhood children came over to play almost everyday we were there, (all considerably older than CC), and they treat him kindly and with generosity.  The food was great, the company was great, the dog (Monkey), was pretty good .... she has a habit of running off.  She's the only dog I've ever known who can do some sort of flexing of her body and maneuver her way out of a harness (that's as tight as it can be without cutting off her circulation).  She does it in a nano-second, and then off she goes to "visit" someone in the neighborhood.  We started working with her using treats, but it's slow going.  I do dearly love her, though.

I've done no art since before we left, so I thought I'd share 2 things I did in my journal 2 years ago.  The first one is a collage I did when Sarah was pregnant and we were so excited about the new grandbaby, and the second one is a rather quick pencil drawing I did of him when he was just a few hours old.   As you can tell by the note on that one, it's version 2 - I really didn't like version 1 at all, so I did it again.   It's fun for me to look back on that time and remember how excited we were!