Archive for February, 2011

Just a bit behind…

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

I just uploaded my work for my watercolor sketchbook class for week three. This is week 5. In my defense, week three had us in Florida on vacation and then week 4 was work catch up so I  haven’t really been doing much of anything creative.

Week three’s assignment was to sketch and paint (if allowed) on location in a museum using the Tombow water soluble markers. We went to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in boynton Beach, FL. I thought we might be ther an hour or so. I think we stayed about 6 hours.

The grounds were magnificent. There is a walking path that is just under a mile and it wanders around through numerous gardens. Several pond areas had turtles lazily floating the day away and one had the biggest koi I have ever seen.

The architecture along the path was deliberate in its integration to the natural surroundings. There were many benches where you can sit and rest or just meditate and enjoy the space and the quiet. Or sketch! Most of the benches had some sort of dedication plaque in memory of, or a quote that complimented the grace and energy of the surrounds.

The zen Stone Gardens were particularly nice. The largeness of this one was soothing and perfect for contemplating just how the paths are raked. I had such a conversation with a woman who just couldn’t reconcile that this was done by a human but there was no foot print evidence.

There was a traditional Japanese house that was set up to offer glimpses of Japanese city life from a child’s perspective.  I was intrigued by a poster depicting Janken. Even if not for the English translation, the universal appeal was quite clear.

The class has been interesting and though I know I am learning simply by doing, I have yet to have a watercolor Aha! moment. I haven’t a clue what I am doing or supposed to be doing, other than that I am simply doing it. Even though I haven’t a clue, for the purposes of keeping a watercolor/sketchbook journal, I am happy with my efforts.

Watercolor sketchbook class week two

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

I was going to comment more on my week one images that I posted below, but just never got back to it. I still haven’t painted the chimebox or Nola, and I still haven’t caught Lilli sitting still long enough to sketch.

The class in general, is about getting out and doing this on location. From real life. I went last Saturday with Elizabeth and Kat to Empire Cafe. It doesn’t get more coffee house than this, and that was the assignment for week two. I got a piece of the Toll House Crunch cake and a one shot Milky Way. Both are no0nos on the new eating regime, but I only had a small portion of either and don’t feel bad about it at all.

The Toll House Crunch is yellow cake with creamy chocolate frosting. There are chocolate chips studded throughout the frosting, and the side wall of the cake is dusted with brown sugar which gives an interesting crunch. It used to be my favorite, and I would only get cake if this was one of the choices. I haven’t had it in a while, and when I saw it on Saturday, I thought it would be a good choice for homework. As soon as I put it on the table, Elizabeth had a few bites before I could get started. The plate is also adorned with chocolatey syrupy swirls.

The coffee drink is a Milky Way. It is made in a pint glass having a mix of chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut syrups which take up the bottom inch or so of the glass. Then they fill it with ice and pour in enough cream (not milk) to almost fill the glass. It is topped off with a double shot of espresso. Not being a coffee person, I order a one shot Milky Way with extra chocolate. O.Mi.God. It is the most awesome drink ever. I don’t have it often, and when I do get it, I usually only drink about a third of it because by that time, I can feel my heart racing from the caffeine. I don’t know how people drink espresso all the time and in multiple shots. Kicks. My. Ass.

I had the occasion to get out a second time this week and while it wasn’t to a coffee shop,  i am still submitting it as such as it is in that spirit. My knitting guild meets on the last Monday of the month at Spring Creek BBQ. I didn’t think about sketching and painting there until after I ate my turkey baked potato and stowed the leftovers (more than half!).

One of the things that I have been advised and seen again and again in class, is the recommendation that one item is featured, not a scene. At Spring Creek BBQ, the walls are very busy and the place oozes one scene after another. Then I looked up and had a nice view of the exit. Can you tell there is a lot of red here?I tried to show that the lights were shining down on the door way. The red is all the same shade I think, and very opaque, but there were definite differences in the tone due to light and shadow so I illustrated that as best I could.

Bring on week three!