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

pencil sketches

A Good Soaking

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Noodler’s Bulletproof Black in a Lamy Vista, EF and DS & WN watercolors in an A5 Moleskine watercolor notebook. Windham, Maine.

I am now officially a fan of those cheesy “expands by an amazing 600%” sponge toys! So much fun documenting the transformation and prodding the jelly-like and slimy critter with a stick to adjust its position in the vase. Guess I’m just one of those people who never really grew up. It doesn’t take much to amuse me.

Here’s my second sketch of Stego in his early stages of expansion. Finally, he grew so long and heavy that his tail busted under the soggy dino’s weight. Yesterday, I tenderly pulled him from his bath and cobbled his slick tail back on with a toothpick (ouch!). Now he’s on a platter and enjoying a small snack. A good soaking apparently made Stego so very hungry. If it warms up tomorrow, I’ll grab a chair on the porch and sketch’im again as he withers.

Very soon, I shall plunge his companion, Chandra the Sea Star, into an appropriate vessel and observe her progress with pen in hand. What do sea stars eat, anyhow?

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Stego. Saurus.

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Graphite and DS watercolor in a 3.5 x 5.5″ watercolor Moleskine book. Windham, ME

My sister-in-law gave me a couple of expanding creatures last week and it’s been too cold to do anything but sit in my idling car with the defrost and the heated seat blasting. Warmer weather started (exactly) today and I scheduled front porch time for hanging out and sketching. I filled a huge vase with water and dropped the stegosaurus in and sketched away while sipping iced coffee.

Summer is here and not a moment too soon.


All Wrapped Up

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Miyoho serves food and beverage to the entire shuttle crew en route to Kaguya Lunar Station.
Micron Pigma pen, watercolor on random scrap of paper, glued into the approx. 8×8″ hand bound journal filled with Strathmore 500 Series mixed media paper and Canson Mi-Teintes paper.

My participation in the International Fake Journal Month has consumed me. My creative sketching and painting energy is all wrapped up in my hand-bound fake journal where young Hoshi Banks, a college engineering student, has taken an internship position on the Moon. At “present” she is on a shuttle, about to orbit the Moon and descend to the Japanese Lunar surface station Kaguya. Hoshi has been sleeping quite a bit on this journey, the reasons for which she is (finally) becoming suspicious. There are three other interns in the program and Hoshi is growing desperate to tell them she thinks the aerospace corporation which has organized this expedition to Kaguya is not what it seems!  I wonder what lies in store for them on the Moon?

Have a look through the pages of my fake journal, Kaguya’s Gift, and let me know what you think! Maybe you will want to participate next year?

Click here to learn more about International Fake Journal Month, created by Roz Stendahl.


Filling In

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Noodler’s Bulletproof Black in a leaky Pilot Penmanship and watercolor
A5 Moleskine watercolor notebook. 13 Oct. 2012

Looking back at my sketchbooks and seeing the huge gap of time where I neglected to post my sketching efforts, I’ve decided to try to fill in the gaps with drawing experiences that made me especially happy. The inference is that some sketch sessions don’t make me feel great. Although that’s unfortunately true, those grumpy sessions are few and far between.

This Portland (Maine) Harbor sketch was really fun to do. I took the footpath from East End Beach to get a view of the Ocean Gateway Terminal, where a huge cruise ship was disgorging hungry passengers to the many excellent Old Port restaurants. I’m a bit shy when sketching alone in public, so I try not to attract attention and don’t make a big production of whipping out my drawing supplies. This day, I had hardly put pencil to paper to block in the basics in my notebook when I was interrupted by a friendly cruise ship couple who wanted to have a look at my work!


Sketch of a Sketch

Received my copy of the Laws Guide to Drawing Birds by John Muir Laws a couple of weeks ago — I only had the chance to hastily flip through it because company came that very afternoon to stay for a week… Every so often during that week, I’d casually handle the book, furtively crack it open for a teasing peek only to slap it closed, my face flushed as though it were something taboo to do in “mixed company”. Clearly, this book intrigued me and I couldn’t wait to get some alone time with it.

A couple of days after our guests departed, I uncovered the book, which was in a pile in my studio and immediately formed a vision and intention for the next morning: Two morning hours (at least) of play on the cool and breezy front porch with this book, my sketch kit and a virtual fountain of hot coffee.

The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds is laid out well and although I didn’t start at the beginning (I never do!) I read a couple of early chapters and settled on scratching out one of the lessons in my small dry media sketchpad. Then I started to get fidgety — probably the coffee — and scooted everything together for a sketch outing “portrait”. Then, not so mysteriously, I felt compelled to sketch and paint that scenario in my new Moleskine watercolor notebook.

When I think back on last Thursday morning, it makes me grin. I need to manifest more of this type of vision/intention, it was so much fun to play!


The Motley Crew

The Motley Crew. Pencil and ink on 3.5″x5.5″ Moleskine cahier notebook. 24 February 2012.

Scribbled this furtively at 3:00 a.m. after being unable to fall back to sleep because of a screeching headache.