Second Drawing On the Theme of Waiting

Ball Point Pen on Paper, 8.5×5.5″
This drawing was done right after the previous subject left to get his car. This woman is older, my age. She’s a geeza. (Geezer is the masculine form.) We geeza’s are not as attached to cell phones. That is, if we are attached at all. I recently got an iPhone and I understand the attraction. I could get addicted really fast. 
My younger son is constantly checking his phone. It can be very annoying if I am trying to talk to him. I think the instant gratification of checking the internet and receiving hockey scores, etc., is the rub. I just haven’t gotten there yet. I play only one game and have few apps. But, I do text.

This lady is reading a real book not an electronic device. I prefer books too but I’m having difficulty with font sizes lately. That’s the real advantage of reading on a reader; changing font size. If not for that it would be a book for me too. There’s something about holding something more weighty and substantial and turning real pages. I am sooo twentieth century!

T F m
May 31, 2013

First On the Theme of Waiting

Cell Phone Addict
Ball Point Pen on Paper, 8.5×5.5″
I do a lot of drawings done while I am waiting. This was at done while I was waiting for my car to be serviced. There was a whole room full of people ripe for surreptitious drawing. Cell phone addicts are really good models. They are so in thrall to their smart phones, they are nearly motionless. This guy was modeled unknowingly until he was told his car was ready. 
More to come. 

T F m
May 30, 2013

Drawing and Wait

Waiting at the Eye Doctor
Ball Point Pen on paper, 8.5×5.5″
I took my mother to the eye doctor today. It took the entire morning. We hustled to get there on time. Then, we had to wait a half hour for the doctor. My mother is 98 years old and she is very hip. She knows what’s going on in the world. She has well informed opinions. She lives independently in a retirement community, takes her medications on her own, balances her check book herself, pays her rent, and sees to all her own affairs. She has few cognitive deficits. Her marbles are a little chipped and worn but she has them all.

So this doctor rolls in calling her “sweetie”, and “dear” and “honey” in a sing-song kindergarten teacher’s voice. This is the first time she has ever seen him and he is treating her in a very condescending fashion. My mother is NOT his “sweetie” or “dear” or “honey”. She is an adult.
I wanted to smack him for his incredibly rude behavior! To walk in and treat her like a five year old is insulting. She is to be treated in as courteous a manner as anyone else. 

T F m
May 30, 2013

Painting Outside My Front Door (Part Three)

Watercolor on Masa Paper, 7.75×5.5″


I have several spruce trees in on the west side of my driveway. My house faces south so there is lots of sun. These trees are doing very well. They slough of the the stresses of  heavy winter snow with a casual shrug and put forth new spring growth with similar nonchalance. 

My hubby worries about the snow breaking branches and should he knock the snow off? Well, no. They are evolved to handle it. No one goes around knocking snow off them in the woods  Why should they need my hubby’s intervention. Besides the first sunny day the snow melts off or is dislodged by a good gust of wind. My hubby’s misguided acts of kindness can do more damage than doing nothing. Sometimes benign neglect is the wisest choice of action or, in this case inaction.

It can be the wisest choice for a painting too. My hubby’s worries are about controlling things which are outside his capabilities to control. Letting go of control can be very liberating. There’s no worrying about outcomes. Also the element of surprise is part of the fun of it. 

It’s a perfect attitude for painting. Let the medium do the its thing. Watercolor can do wonders if it’s left alone. These little masa paper watercolors are worked wet but not soupy, puddly wet. I just put the color down and let it bleed. If it’s not too wet the spread is not too great. That’s one of the secrets of watercolor. Know the state of the paper and take advantage of it. Experience gives one the abilities make the right decisions for the all the states from wet to dry. That includes the decision to not touch it once it’s down.

There is no such thing as a failed painting. It’s only a learning experience. We have an infinite number of works in us. We can always do another one. 


T F m
May 27, 2013

Painting Outside My Front Door (Part 2)

In Bloom
Watercolor on Masa Paper, 7.75×5.25″


This clump of trees is in my neighbor’s front yard. There are lots of tree clusters around here that make very nice painting subjects. 
Once one arrives in a location that is rich with subject matter, the tendency is to be overwhelmed by it and try to include everything interesting you see. Well, you can’t put everything into one painting. Have the discipline to be a good editor and be selective.  It will take years to record all your experiences of a place so save all that good stuff for many paintings. 
It will keep you very busy. It’s good to be busy with good things. Life is short. Eat dessert first.

T F m
May 27, 2013

Painting Outside My Front Door

Across the Lawns
Watercolor on Masa Paper, 7.75×5.25″ 


I am at my Wisconsin house for the Memorial Day weekend. I have been engaged in several creative projects. Among them is doing a little watercolor painting. Yesterday, I took a my watercolors and a chair out onto my front porch and painted three little watercolors. This is the first of the three. 
 I live in an area where the houses are on big lots and the lawns are large. I really don’t understand the need for the big lawns. I’d plant a lot of trees and put in a lot ground covers to make mowing unnecessary. It also takes a lot of effort to maintain the lawn monoculture. I would also use native plants. They would be close to maintenance free and would require less water. It’s a much better choice for selfish reasons. It’s also a much better choice for the environment.
Two more little watercolors to come.

T F m
May 25, 2013

Not Perfect Painting Weather

Winding Path
Watercolor on Masa Paper. 7.75×5″


This is the the second of two little watercolors done last Saturday. The weather has taken a turn from perfect. It has been rainy, warm, and humid. And now it’s rainy cool, and damp. Boohoo! This piece is now nostalgic for good weather conditions.Later in the summer I’ll be swathed in white fabric like a Bedouin protecting myself from the sun. (I am a sunburn queen.) I’ll also have a wet cloth around my neck for the heat.

During all that time I will be pining for perfect. That’s my kvetch of the day.

T F m
May 23, 2013

Finally, Perfect Painting Weather!

Looking Through the Trees
Watercolor on Masa Paper. 7.75×5″


The weather has finally become warm enough to go outside to make watercolors.  Mother’s day was cold and rainy. The day after was only slightly better. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I had to prepare work for a couple of shows. Friday I worked on an oil portrait. Yesterday I went out to paint. This is the first of two efforts.

There is a small park near my home with a tot lot, basket ball court, and tennis court. There is a circular path around grassy lightly wooded area. The kids were out with all the energy bottled up from being indoors anticipating better weather. Both courts were busy with activity. The tot lot was in heavy use and kids on bikes whipped around the circular path with the exhilarated freedom bikes bring to kids. People were pushing strollers and walking dogs. 

It’s the revelry of spring. Green has returned. The heat is held in abeyance, the humidity too. It’s perfect! I have always said that I am very easy to please. Just spoil me with perfect. Yesterday was it!

T F m
May 20, 2013

Painted Plaid

Tom, in the Comfy Chair
Watercolor on Rag Paper, 10×7.5″


This is Tom from our final pose of the semester. He is sitting in the comfy chair. It’s a rather large chair and Tom is not a big man so he he looks like he is really in the chair. 

I was attracted to the plaid fabric. It is a lesson in cross contour. If you can observe the stripes in both directions and see how they appear narrower or wider with perspective; how they stop as they move under rolls or folds; and how they emerge from the rolls or folds; then, you can capture the undulations of the surface. If you can do those things, all you need do is sweep the shadows in and the fabric is done.

Cross contour can be applied to any 3-D object to help express volume. I have exercises in cross contour for my life drawing class. It helps when beginning to work with shadows. The cross contours helps one understand the change in the direction of the surface and how that effects light striking the surface.

Structural, prototype drawings for computer graphics are cross contour drawings. It’s nothing new. Cross contour studies have been done since the Renaissance. It’s part of a suite of techniques for developing spatial illusion on flat surfaces. All computer 3-D graphics take advantage of that suite of techniques. Old techniques are new again with the digital age.

T F m
May 18, 2013

Drawing at the Airport

Ball Point Pen on paper, 8.5×5.5″
I was out of town for the last two days and had no time for drawing. Here is a make-up stored in another sketch book.

T F m
May 17, 2013