Another warm day, I am in the park - behind another group of moms ;)
It was hard to catch kids and place them in this sketch - they were all over the place - I tried but it's a little like catching a wind in your sketch ;)
I like watching people play tennis. Plus this spot is just next to a great place where I can lay on the grass and have a quiet moment, listen to the tree above you and relax both mind and body. Until ants come, of course ;)
I realized that my drawings of the dogs are very symbolic and I need to work with real dogs to move away from that. A few things prompted me to look into dogs lately - Danny Gregory's little book, the death of my parent's dog Darwin and my little guy's requests to draw all his toy dogs and all the dogs we meet in the park and ... well - you get the picture ;) So I took my book to the dog park and spent some time there on that lovely Friday afternoon...
These geese had a very peculiar behavior! One was always on the guard. Another one would be eating, without a moment to spare for us or it's companion. But the guard one had both eyes on any potential danger - checking the horizon all the time, not even looking on the ground under it's feet. We looked at them for quite a while and then saw a switch: the watching goose lowered it's head to the ground as if to take a bite of the dry grass - but his eyes were on his grazing companion. And the eating one looked at him and immediately stopped eating, stretched it's neck to the full length and started looking around - immediately becoming the watching one.
I made my first handmade journal pretty spontaneously somewhere in the beginning on May 2008.
It looked ugly but I love it nonetheless. Main lesson learned - I CAN DO IT - under 2 hours and no special tools (OK - I have basic handyman equipment at home - like hummer and large ruler - and I also purchased a tapestry needle - (after poking myself while making a small trial journal - ouch!) :)
About 3/4 in the first journal I made another one - and this one turned very nice - stylish looks, even pages, stripes on the cover! I am still posting works from it though I am on the next journal and would like to summarize some things - to share, remember and to learn!
Part ONE. Lessons I learned moving from the first handmade journal (which was 18th since I started numbering them) to the second (19):
A) Making spine is not that hard and is worth it! Just another piece of cardboard and the book will look so much better!
B) Checking the book somewhere in between drying to add some glue between signatures pays off (then when the book is completely dry it's ready to go :)
Part TWO. Lessons learned while working with journal number 19:
A) The size is marvelous to work with but hard to scan with my current set-up as I either need to move scanner to my lap or fold the journal badly.
B) I enjoyed lighter paper very (90 lb) much and I think I prefer hot press Fabriano Artistico - at least for now. It allows me to have more pages in the journal, takes writing much better (and I write in my books more and more these days), does not spoil pens (nexus pen died as I was scribbling on some rough watercolor paper earlier) and is still capable of everything good watercolor paper can do: I can lift color with the brush to adjust things, I can work wet and very wet (it buckles a bit - but it has it's charm too:), I can work with different mediums- from watercolor pencils to gouache and some funky inks!
C) I should enforce somehow the corners - since I carry my journal with me in a backpack and it meets lots of hands, some feet and even occasional paw or two, I need to make sure that corners are not falling apart. Perhaps some clothpaper? I will experiment...
D) Old/unfinished/ paintings = sheets of watercolor paper work great as endpapers and even as decorative cover papers (I did it for journal number 20 - below is a sneak preview of it).
E) Remember to cut the wrapping paper about 1/2 inch away from the corner to make sure that you get a good coverage.
That's about it for now - I will keep adding as I remember/learn more :)
Here is how #19 looks before going on the shelf:
And here is #20 (current one):
Some Raw Data:
Papers: Fabriano Artictoco 140 LB CP WC, Fabriano Artictoco 140 LB HP WC
Size: 7 1/2 x 7 1/2
Papers: Fabriano Artictoco 90 LB CP WC, Fabriano Artictoco 90 LB HP WC and one signature with an unknown paper (though now I have a suspicion that it might be lighter Fabriano...
Size: 11.25' x 8
Papers: Fabriano Artictoco 140 LB CP WC, Strathmore 140 LB CP WC, Fabriano Artictoco 140 LB HP WC
Size: 7 1/2 x 7 1/2
Please feel free to let mek now about any questions or comments!
I thought that little packets with seeds would be as gentle and fragile as flowers, My hand went up: fingers wide as if I am catching a butterfly... my feelings were crushed by hard, thick, very uninviting (to someone expecting a butterfly) scale of a dragon-line pack of seeds....
But it was beautiful inside and kept opening for many days - I still have it sitting on my kitchen table ;)
It's Jacaranda tree:
Using everything around me - to try and recreate a dance of light on the foliage :) My palm seems to be very useful painting tool! As well as nails ;) Some dark watercolor pencil added when dry to add details.
June 27, 2008: Villa Montalvo - wild peony - and again, originally uploaded by apple-pine.
A little windy again - and warmer - more scents and more experiments in capturing the flowers :)
I pre-mixed some green to keep leaves less active and mixed colors for flowers right on the page - again - using whatever I could find - in this case - sponge, palm of my hand and some spray and blow ;)
Black cat is not included in this image :) But the story goes like this: I was painting comfortably in the park, my companions took a different road to the same destination and I decided to paint this little place.
And suddenly (about half-way in the painting) I started hearing strange noises. As if someone (very large and dangerous) was going through the woods with no consideration to the path at all... sounds were getting closer and closer... I quickly looked at my set-up assessing what will have to be dumped if I have to face a running away option and what can be used to make me look large and dangerous (in case if it's a mountain lion :)
And then he came - huge, absolutely black with red gold showing when he walked into the sun patch - THE BLACK CAT! He was BIG, but not panther big - so I decided to see how he will interact with me :)
He was absolutely... god-like there - did not spare even the smallest amount of attention to me, walked as if the whole world belongs to him and it's fate is in his paws. He looked at the paper, went around it, sniffed my paints and brushes, and went ahead...
And when his tail disappeared behind the turn, all of a sudden lots of noises came back - as if someone turned them on - all kinds of birds appeared and started eating this and that around me, jumping and singing... and because of this sound effect lots of things started to look much more inviting - lights brighter, darks more colorful, lizards greener, blue jays - almost purple ;)
Huge flowers on very long stems with beautiful, very real and familiar smell that you notice from afar and walk in anticipation around the corner...
They are hard to catch in the wind and I tried them on hot press paper with different tools - from fingers to leaves... I got hooked and came back the next day to paint them again ;)
June 26, 2008: Villa Montalvo - irises after bloom, originally uploaded by apple-pine.
You know how you start something and you are not sure how much time you have? When I look at Gabi Campanario works I always think that notes make these works especially interesting for me. But I rarely try to make them :)
This time I had a regular ballpoint pen with me and a companion who retired for a minute - so I did a quick drawing and added lots of notes ;) But then it happened so that I had some extra time. And then some extra. And ended up with this :)
I fell in love with these irises after bloom - so you will see a few more soon ;)
this is a new place - they were so much faster that I had time for the quick (but not very successful) sketch of the digging/scraping equipment around the place ;)
great dives, lots of fish! The day was very hot and it was exceptionally interesting to be cold after the dive and gradually warm in the shade of a huge spruce tree while painting this :)
A few droplets of water are accidents and some look ok and some - very out of place (like in the sky - UFO?)
This was a first page of the mystery paper in my hand-made sketchbook and it took watercolor OK - interesting at least ;) A little too much buckling - but I was not too gentle either ;)
the women noticed me drawing her but was very calm and the only thing that gave away her uneasiness was the fact that she was putting on her baseball hat and then taking it off every 30 seconds :)
And the truth is I started painting lights and shadows around her and on the sand and only then noticed that she already is a part of my sketch ;)