A long-awaited meet-up

This week I got to spend some time sketching with friends - Suhita Shirodkar, Shari Blaukopf, Brenda SwensonGay Kraeger, and Elyse Fairweather. Some of them came from afar - it was a special treat and something we've been trying to pull off for quite some time! 

We went to the magical garden and forest in Santa Cruz Mountains to see Gay and Elyse and had a blast trying to fit a gigantic redwood in our sketchbooks. We listened to birds and water and looked for frogs in a fountain. We smelled flowers, played with materials, flipped through each other's sketchbooks, and drew oranges outdoors, and humans indoors. 

Chatting about life's big and small things, sharing some food, and ideas, and looking at the clouds. Below are my drawings and some photos from our adventures. And attached to them are some really good memories and a feeling of joy of friendships - and that is such a gift! Thank you to all who made this week special!

First page of a sketchbook that is almost finished

I am on the last spread of the current sketchbook (number 155) and just realized that I've never posted what was on the first page!  

The first page is where I usually record current sketching tools and notes on current themes and ideas. In this case, you can see that I was enjoying a stable pre-determined subject for daily drawing - my amaryllis! It helps me a lot during times when I have very little sketching time and during times when my capacity for making choices is stretched too thin by other parts of my life to have something that is reliably there for me to draw. That is a big reason behind my table garden too :) 

I will post a whole series of amaryllises that I got in this book next week!

I've got a people-sketching bug!

The #oneweek100people challenge which I participated in in March did what I wanted it to do: it gave me a bug to find opportunities to sketch people more often. Apart from the occasional everyday sketching, I am now trying to do some online events - and pencils4tea is the one I am enjoying the most at the moment: all poses are timed with interesting music, a lovely bunch of people, and a convenient time. 

Beware -  if you come to draw you might end up being drawn by a bunch of artists! Which is fun too (I ended up drawing myself blindly when it was my turn to pose :)

I will show you what I do with all of these stacks of paper soon :) 

Drawing Orchids - continuation.

After my initial attempt to draw orchids I tried to understand them several more times. Some of these are stages of the same page in my sketchbook - I rarely go back to "fix" things but these flowers were asking for it! 

Sketching a hill, looking at waves of grass.

I went back to the fruit tree orchard where I had a painting adventure/disaster before only to find that the trees are no longer white. They still look quite bare though! But before I painted that view (see below) I tried to tackle a grassy hill that had an Andrew Wyeth vibe. Below are two of my attempts to catch waves that the wind created. 

I had a wonderful company with me for this outing - here is a link to what @umapaints created with gouache. As we painted and talked about life, work, and the future, a mowing team waited to start clearing this beauty. I am glad we got to see it! Below are two versions: the color version done in gouache and the black and white version made with ink. And the look at the orchard is done in gouache too.