April 12, 2018
The last month has been spent struggling with broken internet and creating an additional website to provide online courses and a plethora of resource materials, demo videos, group online critiques and monthly subscriptions that allow members to access free mini courses, discounts on both online courses and live workshops as well as free online group critiques. Needless to say, my brain is a bit more scrambled that usual.
While developing my online courses, I’ve been reflecting on what it is that artists want to learn from me. I often heard my students tell me they would love to be able to be inside of my head, just to see what I see in the way that I see it and to think the way I think. Sharing the thread of thought (or thoughtlessness) that occupied me for an hour this morning might offer the opportunity to slip inside of my head.
I think I’ll sketch a view through my window and try to capture the feel of the trees about to burst into bud before the branches are lost among spring leaves.
I sat down at my drawing board and gazed at the collection of fountain pens waiting to be chosen.
The pump-fill Desiderata won.
No ink came out on the scrap paper.
Clean the pen.
Hmmm. What ink shall I fill it with?
Clomp Clomp Clomp down the stairs to my basement studio where I have my supply of vials filled with samples of colored inks stored in plastic containers sorted by color … except for the bag of vials I haven’t sorted yet.
Hmmmm. The ink in several of the vials has dried and I don’t want to use it in any pens, not even dip pens. Nor do I want to use it with a brush.
Sort through the containers eliminating dried ink.
Sort the unsorted ink vials and put them where they belong with the other colors.
Hmmmm. If I don’t use some of these inks that have very little in the vial, the ink will dry.
I’ll mix the inks together to empty the vials that have very little ink in them.
I might come up with a great color!
Clomp Clomp Clomp back up to the kitchen.
Hmmmm. I wonder where my grease seal is to seal the screw end of the pump-fill that I unscrewed a bit too far when I was cleaning it.
Clomp Clomp Clomp back downstairs.
Clomp Clomp Clomp back upstairs to my table beside the drafting table.
Ahhh. There it is.
Empty vials put to soak so that I can reuse them.
I’m excited now about playing with the Desiderata fountain pen that uses a dip pen nib. I don’t want to use the small sketchbook I was planning on using.
Clomp Clomp Clomp back to my office to grab a larger sketchbook from the shelf. I grab the old green one, the one I have been reprimanded for using because the paper is so thin and it buckles terribly when I use watercolor on it (or ink used as a wash).
I shrug my shoulders and bring it back to the kitchen anyway.
The self-portrait, sculpted bust that Alexis made many years ago sits on the granite counter, safe from being toppled down the stairs by a fabulous two-year-old who visited last week.
Hmmmm. I’ve been wanting to sketch faces again.
Standing at the counter I open the sketchbook and start to scribble.
Maybe a wash of water to disperse the water soluble ink will help.
I add water.
I need stronger value washes.
Clomp Clomp Clomp back to the table next to my drafting table.
I grab two brushes and return to my sketchbook.
Dip. Brush. Add water to dilute and disperse.
Dip. Brush. Add strong, dark value.
I’m having fun in spite of the less than exciting results.
Play with values a bit more.
I’m smiling. Not because of the way the sketch looks, but the because of the way I feel inside. I have experimented, played and taken pen and brush to paper. It’s only 8am.
And so my day begins.
Maybe I’ll sketch the trees later …