Art Journals, sketches, TV sketches, watercolors. Read: guilty pleasures, fixations and obsessions.

paintings

Because I’m the Leprechaun!

031613 Party Favour

Noodler’s Bulletproof black, watercolor pencils, watercolors on A5 Moleskine watercolor journal.
16 March, 2013. Windham, ME.

Wish I’d bought two of these punching Leprechaun pens at the dime store last month, because I gave this to the hostess at her St. Patrick’s Day party last Saturday. (Great party, though!) Every time I look at the face on this sketch, I think of the comedian Chris Rock. Come to think of it, he does kind of remind me of a Leprechaun, somehow.

And then my mind goes down the association tunnel and quickly lands on a certain Saturday Night Live skit involving Wayne, Garth and a flashlight.


The Eyes Have It

031313 castiel

From last fall’s TV sketching obsession, this is CW’s Supernatural Archangel Castiel in the midst of smiting the devilish Crowley with his laser-blue eyes. Noodler’s Bulletproof Black and watercolor on 11×14″ Canson Mixed Media Pad. 14 Nov. 2012.

Last night, I just couldn’t fall asleep. Tossed, turned, counted backward from 100 several times and never once nodded off. Oh, I was tired enough to sleep. Yes, I was. And no, I didn’t consume caffeine or the like after noon yesterday. What I did was teach an early evening yoga class that ended at 7:30 p.m. Sleeplessness after teaching has happened to me before. I also get this skimming consciousness after practicing a pranayama, or breathing exercise, called Nadi Shodhana. I’ve casually queried my yogini friends and nobody else admits to this experience. Maybe this was a spontaneous Yoga Nidra experience? Naaaa. I feel refreshed and alert after Yoga Nidra, quite the opposite of how I feel at the moment.

Today I will have to endure feeling … and looking … like this sketch of poor old red-eyed, dry-lipped and sleep-deprived Castiel.


Lunar Delicacies

030313 lunar treasure

Pencil, Bulletproof black ink, water soluble crayons, acrylics, acrylic inks and watercolor on an 11×14 Canson mixed media pad. 3 March 2013. Windham, Maine.

This sketch is the first rough study of the illustration I envision for my sci-fi short story, Blame, which is based on a dream I had in the late 1990s.

First, I did a cut and paste Photoshop file and the more I look at it, the more I think that it should be the illustration not something I draw or paint. But, I love drooling over the depression glass pieces and think it would be fun to include portraits of the “lunar delicacies” I have in my own china cabinets in the eventual painting.

For me, in this case, it’s more process than product. I can’t wait to set up some of the glassware my mother gave me and start drawing and painting them.


Earthlight

030213 earthlight

Acrylics on 8×10″ canvas board. There are probably a half-dozen abandoned, gessoed over paintings under this one. Windham, ME. 2 March 2013

Still feeling my way around with acrylic paints — I started this right after gessoing over an awful self-portrait. It was dusk outside and the clouds were striated and slightly illuminated (from God knows what, we haven’t really seen a sunset in days!) This started out being a “serious” study of the poplars on the Presumpscot River bank behind the house, but then I added the moon and it evolved into an earth-like planet.

I wrote a sci-fi short story called “Blame” which stemmed from a dream I had years ago where I was stranded on the Moon (yes, that was some dream…) and was sifting through piles of beautiful depression glass. In the dream, I could see the Earth looming in space but the piles of sugary glass were even more compelling. Hmmm. Maybe my next not-so-serious study subject?


Out the Window

022813 Out the Window

“Out the Window.” Acrylics on 4×4″ canvas. 28 February 2013.

Stymied by my latest self-portrait attempt at getting reacquainted with acrylics, I grabbed a tiny, 4×4″ stretched canvas, put on soothing Yoga Tribe music and slapped some paint on it while gazing out the window at the poplars in the woods.

This mini painting makes me feel tons better.


Branching Out

022513 selfie study

WIP 25 Feb., 2013: Acrylics on 9×12″ canvas board.

Working out my winter-blues demons with my tiny watercolor portrait last week was incredibly productive for me. It shook me out of my doldrums, spawned several productive studio days — now I find myself itching to branch out further and signed up for a Strathmore multi-media instructional art workshop. After I signed up, I thought I’d better reacquaint myself with my rather neglected collection of acrylic paints. Initially, I’d set up a rather ho-hum still life. Bleh, no fruit or household objects, please! Since I’d learned so much from my little watercolor self portrait revelation, I again turned to my mirror for a handy subject.

This work-in-progress shows about three hours of fiddling. I’d dreamed of big swaths of brushstrokes and thick, buttery paint … the opposite of my effort. Yes, there are primitive stabs at technique, nearly fatal proportion problems here and, ugh, I have portrayed my eyes as flat and too small. Something I didn’t omit, however, was my brilliant fledgling set of Gramma jowls; looks like I exaggerated them, instead.

Ach, unless I spontaneously burst into an interesting new rhythm with my approach, this strange “selfie” will likely be covered in gesso after a few more hours of fiddling.


Angel on My Shoulder

021913 self portrait002adj

Angst, pencil and Daniel Smith watercolors in 3.5×5.5″ Moleskine watercolor
notebook. Mirror self-portrait, Windham, Maine. 19 Feb. 2013.

Feeling restless this winter. Don’t want to go to bed at a reasonable hour and don’t want to get out of bed in the morning because I stayed up too late. Activities that usually got me to spring out of bed weren’t motivation enough anymore. I was feeling mopey and sluggish and looking grey faced and haggard. I’ve gotten winter depression before, but it snuck up on me this year and hit me like a ton of bricks.

Tuesday morning the angel on my shoulder must have whispered into my ear, because all at once I thought, “Ah-hah! It’s Seasonal Affective Disorder!” This explained my arty dry spell; I needed to use my neglected stash of pencils, pens, ink and beautiful watercolors to find my way back. Before I had even brushed my teeth, I was looking in the mirror and scratching out a self portrait. I saw evidence of my state of mind. When I looked at the finished sketch again Tuesday afternoon, I felt like the spell was broken. I’d nudged my downward spiral upward and outward just by picking up my tiny Moleskine watercolor notebook and a pencil.

Thankfully, I’m much better now. Realizing that I am experiencing symptoms of S.A.D. seems to be half the battle for me. I’m trying every trick in the book to claw my way toward spring with a genuine smile on my face: Yoga, meditation, chocolate, extra Vitamin D3, drinking plenty of water and — most importantly  for me — continuing to express my feelings with art supplies.