Be Like Mandela…

… be an optimist!


“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being an optimist is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many moments when my faith in humanity was surely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

——-  Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom (1994)

18 July 1918 – 05 December 2013

Old and New

Yet another version of some of my favorite subjects.


Faber-Castell PITT artist pen on an acrylic prepainted background on 300 gsm (140 lb.) paper in a Pentalic Aqua Journal.

Note… this may be my least favorite journal.  I’m finding the cold press texture of this paper to be a little too regular and predictable for my liking.  One good thing… this paper has a different texture on each side and Pentalic has made the effort to collate the papers ensuring the textures are matched across the spread.

Rainy Day Sketching

It was too cold and too rainy yesterday to sketch outside. I suppose we all could have sketched in our cars but that defeats the whole purpose of getting together!

Lucky for us, one of our fellow artists has an old Victorian home overflowing with interesting objects set up in eye-catching vignettes. No matter where you look, there’s something to sketch… even some Christmas decorations. 

I didn’t have time to add color to the larger spread and now I’m not sure I want to. I do have a reference photo but……..

Sometimes it’s better to leave well enough alone. Besides, that was yesterday. Surely I can find something to paint Today!


Goldilocks Thumbnail

I’ve discussed my lack of landscape finesse here previously so I won’t go into detail. This time as I decided what to paint, instead of diving right in, I chose to do a few thumbnail composition and value sketches. Weeding out the less than attractive views from my spot on the porch at Windy Ridge Orchards seemed like a good idea. 


Each composition was considered in turn and discarded until, just like Goldilocks, I found one that was “just right”!

Out and About

People… People who draw people.

Okay, okay. That’s not how the song goes… I get it.

But I want to be one of those people. I want to be able to capture a gesture and movement, not necessarily a likeness.  At least not yet.





How do I achieve my goal? Practice… each and every time I’m out and about.

Frederick Franck’s Big Ten

I’ve been a huge fan of Frederick Franck ever since I discovered one of his books, The Zen of Seeing: Seeing Drawing as Meditation. This book has moved with me many times; the spine and cover are quite faded in spots.

The contents will never fade; they’re as relevant today as they were when they were written. I’m not the only fan, just the other day a friend shared Franck’s ten commandments from his long out-of-print book, The Awakened Eye. As with all interesting quotes, I documented them in my journal!

Like Frederick Franck, I believe everything and anything is worthy of being truly seen, even for a few short minutes.

If you’re interested in a text version of these ten commandments or learning more about Frederick Franck and The Awakened Eye please check out this wonderful website. There’s a lot to explore!

Summer’s Here

… and the time is right for dancing in the street.

‘Tis the season for outdoor concerts ! Lots of dancing on the green giving me the perfect opportunity to indulge one of my favorite activities… people watching.

 

 

 

 

Black PITT Artist pen F in an inexpensive Daler-Rowney pocket sketchbook (3.5″ X 5.5″).

I like to travel light!