Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sage Stossel

A great cartoon for a glimpse of how we've changed in the last 10 years.

Sage Stossel in the Boston Globe

If the link takes you where you don't want to go, these two items are sufficient to see her point.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Isaac Asimov said:

"What militates against creativity most of all is peer pressure. By definition, that is creative which seems new and novel to most people. People distrust the new and novel, and prefer the tried and true.

Therefore, the creative person is a pain in the neck. any person with tendencies toward creativity quickly finds out he is having trouble socially.

Since many people would rather be popular and one of the boys than anything else, they stifle those tendencies. And creative people *are* irritants and pains in the neck. How many of them do we want?"

I found this Asimov quote in some notes I made years ago. I see the truth in it, but I also know creative people who would rather make and create than please any group of commentators around them. And many creative people attract a social circle of admirers.

There are degrees of strangeness, of course, but I wonder if greater tolerance now and internet-audience acceptance makes more people than in Asimov's time dare to be new, novel and fearless of social condemnation.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

the underside of a clamp

Filling a sketchbook page. Pencil.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Everything!

Whatever holiday you're celebrating, from Solstice to Christmas to Surviving 2009, enjoy the coming Light and warmth of the season!

w/c and micron pen on Strathmore drawing paper

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

practicing fabric folds

This is an eyemask that I folded and held with my left hand as I drew the shadows and creases.

Pencil on Mead Academy paper.

Monday, December 21, 2009

layering the cover

Rolling color onto a boring sketchbook cover. I covered the inside with shades of phthalo turquoise.

This book had a 50 pages of 130# paper. I replaced the spiral with a smaller one and have made two books of 25 pages. Much lighter to carry.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

the freedom of mixed media

Collage, acrylic, Stayz On stamp pad ink, and lots of gel medium. Oranges and greens are calling me now.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

bear back

I was flipping through an Arches spiralbound book of 140# paper and found a watercolor sketch of the bear. Adding a background made it postable.

As I switch between mediums now, I can see progress in the various techniques each medium allows--wet-in-wet flow, etc. I'm happy with what 2009 has brought me.

Friday, December 18, 2009

blue armwarmers

One more project finished. I started these probably 3 years ago, had the first one done a long time before I started the second.

And the last 4 inches of the ribbing for the hand end waited almost a year to be finished. Just in time for a 2010 winter!

This is the embossed leaves sock pattern that was so popular several years ago. This is the fourth pair I've made, the first ones I'll keep.

If you don't like heavy wool socks (I don't), knit the great sock patterns into arm pieces!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

a hat a day

Six hats in six days last week! That's a record for my knitting production.

Each one is different. I started the top left one with a band of simple cable, then picked up along the side edge to make the ribbed top.

I dug into my half-finished projects drawer and found the 3/4 done silk scarf. Finished it in about 30 minutes. It's been waiting about four years.

There are at least five other half finished projects to consider, unless I start another hat.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gorey shadows

Maybe none would agree with me, but this quick sketch with a Wolff carbon pencil reminded me of works by Edward Gorey, a favorite of mine.

Remember his illustrations for the PBS series, "Mystery"? Gothic and Goth, too.

The carbon pencil is not erasable, so I use it like a pen--just keep moving forward with whatever lines I've made. I like that it doesn't shine as graphite does, and isn't as dusty as charcoal.

Monday, December 14, 2009

in progress

I drew the blocks freehand, and first, this time, then filled in the colors. The verticals are slightly aslant here; part of that is my crooked scan.

This piece is in progress, though. Sponge and finger painting so far.

Transparent red oxide, azo gold, hansa yellow light, jenkins green acrylic on 140# paper.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

painting in a series

This might be the first in a series of abstracts corraled by grids. Maybe.

This is a page in the journal where I kept putting the last bits of paint from other pieces. The green/gold from the brayer, overlaid with a bit of titan buff, then daubed with some transparent red oxide.

By the time I'd added some more yellow and filled in open space with some conte pastels, I began to see a composition of blocks.

I emphasized what was emerging, then mixed jenkins green and red to make block lines--which scan as black here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

knitting fast

Given the 9 inches of snow we got on Wednesday, these are ready for cold heads.

The purple and orange ones are destined for a friend's twin granddaughters, due any time. The multicolored one, and 3 more on the needles, are destined for a Christmas basket to a local charity.

General hat pattern: I used size 10, 16", circular needle. Cast on 72-80 stitches depending on child or adult head size. Go around and around, doing cables or ribs of any sort (gives good stretch).

Knit until the hat is 6 to 7 inches tall. Decrease at least 10 stitches per round, as it fits your pattern, for the next 6-7 rounds. End when all the stitches are gone!

Since we already have large mounds of snow and have had a snow day for the schools, it's time to knit hats!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

basement stacks

I'm not a packrat, but there are things worth storing. I stood in the basement and did a quick sketch of the main storage section.

Picnic basket, laundry baskets, cat crates, and under the orange drape, an air conditioner we haven't used in years, given the relatively cool NH summers.

Colors are not accurate! But more fun this way. Why *don't* they make cardboard boxes in blue?

Pencil and w/c in the journal.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

TV sketching

I caught a good long look at a character on TV, then finished drawing a version of him.

Pencil in the Hand Book sketchbook.

Monday, December 07, 2009


With all this face drawing, I'm so aware of noses now!

The ones that have a long slant from tip to top of philtrum, the ones where the tip angles down to the top of the lip, flaring nostrils, flat nostrils.

Noticing adds a whole new dimension to waiting in line or sitting in an audience. I'm studying noses!

Pencil in the Hand Book sketchbook.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

best paint combos

I'm always playing with color combos to see what emerges.

Golden's transparent azo gold, phthalo blue, some glazing medium, rolled on.

I love how the green appears as the colors mix on the brayer. Now, what to put on for a foreground?

Friday, December 04, 2009

drawing before bed

Just to feed my drawing fix, a quick sketch of the bedroom rocker before going to sleep.

Pencil in Cachet sketchbook

Thursday, December 03, 2009

turning his back

The round cat on the square table caught my eye.

Pencil in a Hand Book sketchbook.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

waiting for my soup

There's a local restaurant that has great hot and sour soup (not sour at all, in a good way). The takeout window is in a little alcove, before the door to the table area.

With a bench, perfect for sketching.

In a 4x6 sketchbook, micron pen.