As with the September 1 painting I posted, this one was done in the class I have rejoined-the one taught by the artist who introduced me to watercolor. I originally thought I was just going to the one class, but it was such a great experience being there that I decided to attend for a while again. I am having such fun being in his class; it’s on Monday morning and starts my week off so happily! Jim sketched this work, we copied his drawing and most followed his painting also. I went quite different with my colors, since it’s almost fall, and I wanted to reflect the beautiful shades of the trees this time of the year. This is a small painting, only 11″ x 7.5″. Painting so small can be its own challenge, but it also enables most of us in his class to complete a painting in one class. It’s just pure enjoyment to spend time with the other awesome artists and my friend/mentor!
I have been tied up a lot lately with Spokane Watercolor Society things. I finally got into my studio for a short time tonight and did a little reference photo searching and then drawing. All around my studio, I have quite a few of my older works and one grabbed my attention while I was sitting there.
This is one of the first pen and ink works I did. I really like the exacting, slow process of doing pen and ink work. Being one of my first makes it a little special to me and I have always liked it. But there is a more important reason that it is special. My mother was particularly fond of old mills with water wheels. I did a painting of this one, which I now have since she passed three years ago. Somewhere along the way, I wanted to try my hand at the same scene in pen and ink. I’m sorry for the poor photo, but tonight I want to share that (possibly unfinished) work with you.
Have I mentioned that I am very proud to now be the president-elect of Spokane Watercolor Society? I love being a part of that group and I look forward (with some trepidation) to being the “leader” for the coming year.
I have gone to my second Spokane Sketch Club “meetup,” met several more members and enjoyed myself thoroughly. I joined to network with other local artists beyond SWS, not knowing how or if the group would fit well into my life – so far, I’m very pleased that I did so. We met in the Garland District Thursday of last week, where there was a local street music fundraiser going on to benefit our local Second Harvest Food Bank. Great cause, nice entertainment and wonderful subjects for sketching all over the place. Here is a bad photo of my quick sketch of the “Milk Bottle Restaurant” from that day.
Tomorrow is a meetup at Manito Park’s Nishinomiya Japanese Gardens. It is perhaps the most unique and beautiful park garden in Spokane, although to me the rose garden, lilac garden and the perennial garden in Manito Park are all equally wonderful, all in different ways and at different times of the year! Because I haven’t been to the Japanese Garden in years and I don’t know just where my pictures taken there are filed on the computer, I’m borrowing one from a Google search just to show how wonderful this garden is.
Also, because I haven’t painted anything this week, I’m also including a photo of a view from my bedroom window that I took 3 days ago. It is of just a small part of the amazing perennial/rose garden I have in my yard. I will add that the reason I haven’t painted anything this week is that I’ve been busy working in my yard – it takes a lot of work to keep up with the weeding and plant care – and “playing” with friends! Not very disciplined, huh?!
Japanese Garden, city-data.com post by 6-18-13 in my back yard
Wednesday was such a fun and wonderful day. I had lunch with two great friends; one of them is here visiting her daughter and I haven’t seen her in about a year-great fun! Then later, Spokane Watercolor Society’s June meeting consisted of a visit to Kay O’Rourke’s studio and then a pizza party at a local Italian restaurant, Ferrantes. Great information, great fellowship and great pizza! What more could a day hold? When I got home, I checked my email and found a message from Wetcanvas about a comment on one of my posts – from 2008! How that painting post was “unearthed” this long later, I will never know, but the comment bumped it back up and I have gotten numerous nice comments since. It is great to have people seeing that particular painting again and especially nice having them like and appreciate it. I took the photos on a trip to the Washington coast, primarily for my daughter’s wedding. We then made our way to Mt. Saint Helens and eventually down the Oregon coast for a bit. But the sunset view of Mt. Rainier that one evening was spectacular and something I will always remember. Previously, I had only seen glimpses of the mountain driving down the freeway through Seattle. No matter what the view or when you see it, it is simply an incredible sight. So, today I am sharing that painting, “Mt. Rainier Sunset,” here and a link to the Wetcanvas post – just because…
Isn’t the internet great? Just to name a few things, you can find information on almost anything you search for, watch video tutorials of all kinds, find old friends or others with like interests, easily keep in touch with almost anyone and join online art groups of all kinds! When I start a search, I’m looking for one specific thing, but often I see something that leads me somewhere else. I did that early last week. I read an article regarding the “Clandestine Cake Club” which began in the UK and has spread to many other countries. As I understand it, it started as a type of “underground” group of people who love to bake (and eat) cakes; they meet monthly in a pub or somewhere else, each bringing a homemade cake. It intrigued me – I LOVE cake and baking! Hmmm-I wondered if there are any such groups in Washington state, and maybe even near me… So, I “Googled” it and, while I didn’t find any such group locally (darn!), what I did find was almost as interesting. It was a listing for “Meetup” which is basically all types of groups formed for all types of interests-and something I was totally unaware of. I found there seems to be quite a Meetup movement here and I just had to look into it further. There were quite a lot of rather oddball-seeming groups, but also a few groups that caught my attention, including a photography group (not just for professionals) and one called “Stitch ‘n Bitch” for hand-crafters. But, not wanting to join more groups than I have time for, I chose the one that seemed perfect for me – the one art related, Spokane Sketch Club – and joined. At this point, I must mention that, in my opinion, one of the greatest things about the Spokane area is our abundance of beautiful public parks. The first meeting was Saturday at the one that I feel is the best of them all-Manito Park. I went and met up with two other members in the Duncan Gardens (a very formal garden in the park) – Don (the founder of the group) and his friend Kenny. It was a small turnout, or maybe others were there and didn’t find us, but a beautiful day in a beautiful setting. We visited and sketched from the back of that garden. Of course I didn’t create a great work of art-or even one I like very much. But the whole point is meeting more local fellow artists, learning and sharing with other members and simply drawing more. In my case, practice may not make perfect, but it most certainly does make improvement, which is what I am always after-improving my eye for perspective and composition, my drawing ability, my techniques, my art in general! I am a watercolor artist, but in order to paint in watercolor, I must be able to compose and draw the picture first. Only time will tell, but I am intrigued by this group I joined and look forward to more “meetups” and to meeting more members. Maybe the best thing about it is that it will force me to get out in my own community and appreciate all of the artistic opportunities right here in my “own backyard!” So, whether or not you join a group, get out there with your sketching materials, paints or your camera and enjoy what your city has to offer!
I’ve been away from my blog for almost three weeks now. I have missed it, but sometimes life just gets in the way, in good ways and bad. I’m throwing this out because it’s a subject that can affect any/all of us as artists. Without going into details, I have recently had a major loss in my life. My art is my calm, my solace, my escape-it’s good for my soul. But, as much as I have tried to paint lately, I have been unsuccessful in turning out anything I felt was acceptable. It’s been very frustrating and is adding to my struggle with acceptance and healing. Apparently the pain of loss is getting in the way of the very thing that usually helps me to cope with the ups and downs of everyday life and perhaps only time will help. I’m not giving up – I am an artist! So please don’t give up on me.
On a lighter, happier note, I have also been very busy with the Spokane Watercolor Society elections (I’m now the president-elect) and our only fundraiser for the year. And the happiest event-a short visit from my daughter and 3-year-old grandson who live on the other side of the country. I miss them all the time and I cherish any time I am able to spend with them!
Three generations My table of work at SWS fundraiser