Courage

Sometimes when you’re looking through a previous sketchbook or journal, a page you had worked on months ago will resonate with you.

And that’s the case here, because some days are tougher than others.

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”
— Mary Anne Radmacher

To try to be brave is to be brave.
— George MacDonald

She’s Really Not Looking at Me

I’m drawing & painting from a photo posted all over the internet. Credit goes to Win McNamee/Getty Images. Ms. Cheney is not looking at the camera but try as I might, I just cannot paint her eyes to show how she’s looking straight ahead to the video setup. I must have painted & blotted three or four times. Finally, I just have to accept it.

“Tonight, I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.”
—- Liz Cheney
09 June 2022

Life Drawing on Zoom

Back in April I signed up for a drawing session organized by Gayle Kayaker and Jennifer Orkin Lewis. We drew from a live model on Zoom, a costumed ballet dancer, Leigh Kidwell.

The Zoom presentation was 2 hours long and Included several breaks for both us and the model, Leigh. She delighted us with a few costume changes to complement her elegant poses.

I drew, and drew, and drew… even scanned all my artwork… and then it all sat cluttering up my laptop’s screen just waiting to be uploaded.

Well today’s the day.

I’m presenting my sketches in chronological order with a number key above each image. The first number is the number of minutes Leigh held the pose and the second number is the sequence number. For example: 5.4 means it’s a 5 minute pose and it’s the 4th time I’ve drawn a 5 minute pose. I used a black Pentel Pocket Brush Pen on 7 in. x 8.5 in. pieces of Strathmore Drawing Paper.

This experience just whetted my appetite to get back to live, in-person life drawing. I just checked, the next session starts in a few weeks.

One Month In

One month ago, 24 February 2022, Vladimir Putin directed the Russian forces to invade democratic Ukraine.

Zelenskyy may be Ukraine’s public face and champion of his country but all the citizens of Ukraine are heroic as they face unprecedented strife. Glory to Ukraine!

(Watercolor on Strathmore 500 Mixed Media paper in a handmade 7.5 in. square journal.)

I’ve found the ONE!

After trying one and then another, at long last I’ve found the perfect corner rounder for me! I hope you’re not disappointed because you were hoping I was going to dish on something much more juicy.

I present the Sun-Star Kadomaru Pro Corner Cutter. At the time of writing you can find it on Amazon for $12.67 USD

This little beauty can be used to round three different sizes depending on what’s needed. There’s a 3mm, a 5mm, and an 8mm. Does it measure radius? I think so but I’m not sure. I cut a sample card.

5mm is the same as the rounded corner on a self-healing cutting mat and the 8mm is the same as the corner on one of the Hahnemühle watercolor postcards.

Nice smooth corners with no leftover notches or tags like those left by my other rounders. I’ll be reaching for this one from now on!

Handbound Christmas Ornaments Book – Part Two

Project on Projects: Do It Anyway December

Or in my case… Do It Anyway 2021.

If the video above doesn’t play you can watch it on YouTube here.

In my previous post I detailed the year-long project that culminates in this nearly six minute long video. Yes, I’m pleased with the book… actually, I’m thrilled. But most importantly, I’m pleased that I could see this project through to completion, COVID-19 pandemic and other stressors be damned!

And now that I’ve finally finished the video and uploaded it here I’ll take a few minutes to reflect and get over my post-project letdown before picking up my paintbrush again because you see… I already have another project going!

Handbound Christmas Ornaments Book – Part One

It comes as no surprise to those of you who follow here that I’m a huge fan of Roz Stendahl and have been a long time reader of her blog, Roz Wound Up, and more recently, Roz Interim on Patreon.

Way back in November, 2020 Roz discussed how to select personal projects that are both meaningful and enjoyable that would encourage long-term exploration. She feels it’s important to develop the independence to organize a project that will be meaningful and not dictated by prompts or an instructor’s guidance.

Enter the Project on Projects: Do It Anyway December.

Roz pushed us to select a simple project based on accessible subjects that would continue through the month of December. We would build our project around three crucial items: skill, medium, and subject matter we loved.

I had been thinking of cataloging my collection of Christmas Ornaments and it seemed to fit this framework perfectly. I love serendipity!

I would paint my ornaments on watercolor paper signatures and then bind them into a book when I finished. But I have a lot… a LOT… of ornaments! I knew immediately that “Do It Anyway December” was going to turn into “Do It Anyway 2021.”

Skill – watercolor on 140lb/300gsm cold press watercolor paper signatures using standard brushes (no waterbrushes).
Medium – watercolor, ink if desired.
Subject – Christmas ornaments

I worked diligently through December but then my interest waned only to be invigorated a week or so later when I’d resume my mission. And so went the whole of 2021. I had other drawing and painting projects going on simultaneously so I was still keeping up my daily art practice without ever losing sight of my goal. I wanted my ornaments painted and scanned by early November and the book case made and bound by Thanksgiving.

I did it!

The book is approximately 8 inches square and contains four signatures with throwouts. It’s bound into a Sewn on the Spine structure using Keith Smith’s Dash & Bars stitch pattern twice on the spine. The case is covered with Asahi Scarlett book cloth and inset with a watercolor and ink splattered label.

Looks tantalizing doesn’t it. The full video will be in the next post!