A busy miscellany

As I mentioned a short while ago, I’ve been ridiculously busy.   Between birthday (Joshua), Thanksgiving (all of us), wrestling (Eli and Paul), laundry, dog walkies, fundraising for the Cross Country and Track teams, follow-up doctor’s appointments in distant cities, it seems like the last month has evaporated.   I have managed to do some doodling (I *REFUSE* to call it zentangling, as I’ve been doing this sort of stuff since about 1973) and some sketching and visiting cool places in Portland, Maine…..  here’s a taste:

My decorated cat is my favorite new piece of noodling around.  Our cat Tyger had an unfortunate incident and ended up with a short tail as pictured here.  My friend Kathy said I should QUILT this...I'm thinking she is right!

My decorated cat is my favorite new piece of noodling around. Our cat Tyger had an unfortunate incident and ended up with a short tail as pictured here. My friend Kathy said I should QUILT this…I’m thinking she is right!

I like the owl, sort of.  The bottom tail feathers and feet are too dark compared to the rest, but I rather like his eyebrows and the blank spaces.  Initially I thought I would fill him in completely like the cat, but I like the quiet spaces.

I like the owl, sort of. The bottom tail feathers and feet are too dark compared to the rest, but I rather like his eyebrows and the blank spaces. Initially I thought I would fill him in completely like the cat, but I like the quiet spaces.

Both the cat and owl were done in my  new Stillman & Birn Epsilon sketchbook which has 100-lb “plate” (very smooth) finish paper.  I used HEAVY black ink (Pitt permanent) and there is very little show through (you can see a bit from the reverse side on the cat page).   With regular sketch paper I wouldn’t be able to do ANYthing on the back side of the paper.  TOTALLY love this sketchbook and paper.  It is heavy enough for light water media, so I think this may become my sketchbook of choice.  They also have a plate finish in heavier paper, and the journals come wirebound and hardbound, ivory or white paper.  Nice!

Birds in Colored Pencil with Val Webb.   Have been taking another online drawing course.  I am learning a lot, including that I am not a fan of the waxiness of colored pencil.  So for this lesson on black birds, I used graphite.  Apart from the fact that I totally forgot that the spine/rib of a bird's feather is *straight* (not rippled as I drew) I am pleased with my ability to get the proportions and value reasonably well done on this sketch.

Birds in Colored Pencil with Val Webb. Have been taking another online drawing course. I am learning a lot, including that I am not a fan of the waxiness of colored pencil. So for this lesson on black birds, I used graphite. Apart from the fact that I totally forgot that the spine/rib of a bird’s feather is *straight* (not rippled as I drew) I am pleased with my ability to get the proportions and value reasonably well done on this sketch.

And over Thanksgiving break, Max (younger brother of Eli’s wrestling coach) was home and came to chop down some trees.  Sigh.  This was a BEAUTIFUL tree.   Plopped right in the middle of the yard.   ????   Then, when we had to do some extensive ditching alongside the driveway to deal with water run-off, we discovered the previous owners planted this tree SMACK ON TOP of the power line to the house, which was about 24 inches below ground.  HELLO?   Can you say “root damage?”   Out there alone this tree could easily get toppled by a wind gust, ripping up the main power line to our house.   So down it came.  Ditto for the two trees the previous owners planted right on top of the power box and meter and the one tree right on top of the water wellhead.   WHAT were they thinking?  WERE they thinking?  They did so many things correctly (because the house is well-built and we love it) that it makes one wonder.

The 20+ foot spruce tree c omes down....

The 20+ foot spruce tree c omes down….

Since we feel like it is nearly criminal to cut down trees, we are sad.

I’ll share more about the trip to Portland in a post soon!  It involves old stuff and art!

 

 

3 Responses to “A busy miscellany”

  1. Jeanne Marklin Says:

    The bird and cat drawings remind me of the Native art we saw in Alaska. Lots of negative space and different shapes or creatures inside the negative space.
    I like the idea of the online drawing class and will look into it. Thanks for the post!

  2. Marie Z. Johansen Says:

    AS always, very cool!

  3. Dorothy Karman Says:

    You are just so clever and artistic! And good looking, of course. Have a great Christmas! Dorothy in Canberra, Australia.