Sunday, October 13, 2013


This summer when I was at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, I found a book that intrigued me so much that I purchased it then and there.
I've always so admired people with artistic abilities like my Uncle Gary and Uncle Paul (and you too, Oma!), but I never tried to draw or paint because the stress of conceptualizing something with "focus" and "perspective" just seemed too much for my sometimes OCD tendencies.  This book, however, appealed to me because it was very step-by-step and narrowed the focus down to sketching one thing rather than a scene or tableau.
These were the first few things I sketched, using a regular pencil and some sketching paper I got from the grocery store.
(Sorry they're so grainy and dark.  I just snapped a photo of them and the lighting wasn't so good).

After doing a few drawings with pencil I purchased a set of colored pencils and tried adding some color.  This was very stressful for me.  The idea that my decent sketch could possibly be ruined by adding color was almost paralyzing.  I know, I know, it was just sketching, but messing up something I'd worked on for an hour was soooooo hard to face!

I never thought of myself as a "I might fail so I won't even try" type of personality, so this aspect of my character that was revealed in the course of my "sketching journey" shocked me.

This sketch is one of my favorites, even though I did make the pot lopsided.  The green in plants is particularly difficult (for me) to capture correctly, and to date I think this is my best attempt.  Plus, I had a lovely cup of tea with me at the time and I was having a marvelous afternoon at my Mum's house, so that might have added to its charm . . .

At the beach there wasn't much opportunity to sketch (obviously, sand and water + 4 boisterous kids is asking for trouble), but I did manage to sneak away for a bit to sketch this pretty little plant that was tucked away in a sand dune.

(I would dearly love to figure out how to get the color of sand right.  It's not salmon, it's not pink, it's not really white, it's sometimes gray, but it's always frustrating, ha ha!)

When I was at Camp Parma, I was so delighted when my Uncle Gary offered to spend some time sketching with me.  Auntie Erna very sweetly watched all the babies for hours on end while we quietly sketched away in Aunt Sue's warm afternoon garden.  (I think my Uncle Paul would have joined us, but he was too busy giving the older kids Kamikaze Motorcycle rides.) I can't think of a lovelier way to while away the time!

 Uncle Gary sketched the barn, and I shamelessly stole his sketch, for which I have felt guilty about ever since.
 (Art thief, art thief!)

This is one of the plants from Aunt Sue's garden I sketched, and is a perfect example of "knowing when to stop".  I was so pleased with the flower stem, and I should have stopped there, but I decided to add a leaf and it all went wrong after that.  I would like to state that the title "Colored Pencils" is deceitful, and that you can not erase a colored pencil.


Since I've gotten back from my trip this summer I've only managed to finish one drawing, which is of my father-in-law's beloved tractor.  (Ssshhhh, please don't tell him, as it's a surprise!)

I started this weeks ago, but finding the time and frame of mind to finish it has been impossible.  It's my first attempt at a watercolor scheme.  My Uncle Gary declared that watercolor was the easiest medium to work with, but he liiiiiiieeeeeed! 

Perhaps I'll get to finish working on it when the kids leave for college . . .


Ellen said...

When they leave for college you will be busy too. Trust me I know.

Ellen said...

Love them! It looks like you're having fun with it - I especially liked how you captured the textures and patterns in the beams with the plant in the sand dune - and the tractor picture.

Have missed "hearing from you" - have been praying for you folks right along and hope that you've found some answers where Ella's health is concerned. Have a great week!

Merry Marinello said...

Amazing, love your work!

@Ellen--I DON'T want to hear I'll actually be BUSIER when they go to college!!!!