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

Sketching the Sketchers

Our local college, Dartmouth, has closed its Hood art museum for two years as it renovates and expands. In the meantime they’ve created an exhibition space in a previously empty storefront downtown… cleverly named Hood Downtown. Last Thursday night they had a “Sip and Sketch” event featuring noshes and drinks. (White wine, ginger ale, Perrier…nothing with color in case there were was an “incident”.) 

The museum had set up two beautiful 360 degree still lifes for us to draw. I briefly thought of sketching the objects but instead decided to sketch the sketchers. My subjects were so intent on their own work they never knew they were models!




The Hood, like many other museums, has a policy of allowing only pencils for drawing in its exhibition space. That’s okay by me… the humble pencil is a powerful tool!

If you’re in the area be sure to see the current exhibit, Bahar Behbahani’s Let the Garden Eram Flourish. It will be on view through March 12, 2017. 

Here’s just one of Ms. Behbahani’s stunning works… Adorned With Pillars (mixed media on canvas). 

January Portraits

The year is young but my January seems to have a theme already. Portraits.

I’ve drawn people 4 of the first 5 days and I’ve really enjoyed capturing folks in a variety of sketchbooks using various media. 


Platinum Carbon Black ink on prepainted background. 


Child’s 4-color pencil on mixed media paper. 


Ink and watercolor pencil on thin sketchbook paper. 


Watersoluble ink and watercolor. 

The more I practice, the more comfortable I am sketching random people but now’s the time to focus on drawing my friends and family more often. Most are strangely absent even though they mean so much to me. I think this is the year to rectify that. 

Recess at Sketchbook Skool

I had great plans for the winter holiday hiatus from Sketchbook Skool. I thought I’d take the opportunity to sketch a portrait of every teacher. There were only 14 instructors… 3 terms, 6 teachers each… and each term 2 of them were returning teachers, the founders, Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene.  No sweat… plenty of time.

HA! …. it’s amazing how time just evaporates.

I did manage to sketch all 6 instructors in the SBS – Beginnings class: Danny Gregory, Koosje Koene, Prashant Miranda, Jane LaFazio, Roz Stendahl and Tommy Kane.

Have you been wondering what Sketchbook Skool is like?  You can find out by taking a free klass. Get a taste of creativity, it may be just what you need to get you through the winter.  Beginnings starts again January 2, Seeing starts January 23 and Storytelling starts on February 13.

Don’t be too kool for skool!

SBSBeginnings1DG

SBSBeginnings2KK

SBSBeginnings3PM

SBSBeginnings4JL

SBSBeginnings5RS

SBSBeginnings6TK

 

Sketchbook Skool… art for me!

I’ve matrikulated into Sketchbook Skool!

This endeavor is a wonderful kollaboration of Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene, two artists I’ve followed for quite a while. They’ve put together a six week kourse, (adding the k is killing me… I’ll stop now.) each week featuring the art, inspiration and guidance of a different artist.  Danny took the first week and inspired us to draw the ordinary, the everyday… no special equipment, just a sketchbook and a pen.  Paint the page first if a blank white page makes you freeze… just start.

140410 SBS1

140410 SBS2

Just yesterday, Koosje’s lessons, week 2, were posted.

I particularly appreciated Koosje’s intonation to “get over yourself!”… to just get out and draw… out in the open, in the community, even if… gasp!… people may be watching! This has long been one of my goals so I packed my sketchbook Friday evening when we went to a friend’s home for a Celtic music house concert.

140411 SBS3140411 SBS4

My apologies, portraiture is not a specialty, but I’m going to keep working on it!

Next up… Prashant Miranda.