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

portraits

As seen on tv

As seen on TV

Paul Manafort wears navy blue for his mugshot in June, 2018. Pencil, watercolors,
Derwent Inktense and a dash of Micron pen here and there, in a 9×12″ Canson Mix Media spiral notebook. Reference pic was a screen shot snagged while I watched tv last month.

In anticipation of the upcoming trial this week, I wanted to brush up on Paul Manafort’s features. He has an interesting face and aura about him. Nearly always, I gain pathos for my subjects; like I’ve had a sit-down with the real person after time spent scrutinizing their nostrils and whatnot. I try to use great care which faces I scrutinize.


“If you can’t say something nice …

If you can't say something nice ...

WIP, 8×8″—Watercolors, Micron pen on Strathmore 500 series, 140 lb. watercolor paper.

… come sit next to me.” Said by Olympia Dukakis’ character in the film, Steel Magnolias. Somewhat weary of scrutinizing and drawing the faces I see on tv/internet regarding current events, I turn to spinning the backstory of completely fictitious characters. This guy’s supposed to be an iguana. He likes Ceylon black tea but he’s very sensitive to caffeine so he must limit his consumption. Unfortunately, moderation is not in his rather hefty toolbox, so he’s wired at the moment.


Feelings

Oh, Jared.

Jared, as seen on tv in 2017. 7.5 x 10.75ish” Watercolors, Inktense pencils and ugly-crying bitter tears on Canson Mix Media spiral notebook.

The first sketch of Jared I attempted to do resembled Rose McGowan. It was on a sticky note and it makes me smirk a little when I see it even now, and then I start to feel horrible about myself for smirking. I don’t know if it might affect anybody else this way, so I present that sticky note here for my own (I won’t say, benefit…) purposes:

Jared or Rose

Sticky note pencil and Signo Uniball white ink sketch of Jared, as seen in the news in 2017, and which makes me smirk and also looks a tad like Rose McGowan?


Guys who wear glasses…

Guys who wear glasses

Scoured his images for a good one. A not-too-mean example of Rudy because I felt he did all of us good during the 9/11 crisis. Reference pic is from a May 4, 2018 Rolling Stone article I saw online. Tried to keep this 11×5.5″ sketch from resembling Robert DeNiro portraying Rudy in the upcoming movie of the current crisis. Watercolors, Derwent Inktense, Micron Pigma and white Signo Uniball pens and coffee on Canson Mix Media paper.


Mind the Gap

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Five years since my last post. That’s quite a gap. But just because I haven’t posted for such a long time doesn’t mean I haven’t been sketching (or obsessing over art supplies.) My present plan is to pick up where I left off without attempting to fill in the spaces — in those gap years, I’ve posted five International Fake Journal Month collections along with tons of sketches on my Flickr site to which there is a link in the sidebar. Over the winter I had my first book gig and my illustrations for a children’s book are in the can, as they say. When that is published I will be able to write about it and another book project I’m working on.

Meantime, I’ll be conjuring, sketching, gardening and sipping tea with aplomb.


Dunked and Drawn

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Noodler’s Bulletproof Black in a Lamy Vista EF, DS and WN watercolors in a 11×14″ Canson XL Mix Media pad. Yes, the paper buckles; it’s not the greatest for wet work. But I don’t mind if I slosh beer on it while I splash paint around…

On the last day of Spring, I dunked Stella, the amazing expanding sponge toy into a glass bowl and placed her on the front porch table where Stego was ensconced. She had been egging me on for weeks and because Stego was nearly back to his old tiny self, I obliged. Stella began to grow slowly, but when she made progress, she meant business.

Recently, I found some toys on the walking path near the house and scooped ’em up because they were winking at me. They immediately began to hang around Stella’s bowl and they clearly desired to be drawn. I’ve been keeping track of Stella for a week now and so have the boys. They’d better watch out, though. Stella’s going to get way too big for that bowl.

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Finally!

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DS Moonglow, Fr. Utramarine and Potters Pink on 6×6″ 140 lb. watercolor paper. 3 May, 2013.

Finally! After a month of creating Kaguya’s Gift, my International Fake Journal Month fake journal, I was anxious to splash around color without a plan. More of that needed, although I enjoyed the journal immensely and am already scheming plots and materials for next year’s fake journal.


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.


The “Unwatch” Option

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The Governor to Milton: “You kill or you die. Or you die and you kill.”
Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and watercolor on 9×12″ 400 Series Strathmore hardbound sketchbook.

Ugh, I was worried that the dream Goddess would punish me with zombie dreams if I watched the season 3 finale of The Walking Dead right before going to bed last night. The Governor is one messed up unit and without spoiling the outcome, the character no longer has a shred of pathos intact after what he did in that episode. I sketched with my new Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, with which I have obviously not developed a working relationship. Rough sketch above! Need to keep sketching with it to learn its nuances.

On the subject of dreams, watching last night’s show doesn’t explain the dream that I did have: In it, I was a feudal Japanese house servant/wife, complete with a filthy floor, a smoky kitchen, a cranky mother-in-law and an oafish, arse-scratching husband. The family did own a beautiful exotic wood desk that had two big drawers, each of which had its own key. Needless to say, I did not possess the keys to the desk and during the dream I was intensely absorbed in fantasy about the contents of those drawers.

If I could “unwatch” last night’s tv show, I would select that option. I hope the bloody mess that was The Walking Dead season closer won’t enter my dreams.


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

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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.


Branching Out

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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

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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.


Snarky Sam

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Noodler’s ink, DS watercolors on 9×11″ Strathmore hardbound sketchbook. 24 January 2013.

CW’s tv show, Supernatural, Season 8, episode 11 • LARP and the Real Girl.

Dean pouts while Sam snarks about the medieval costume Dean must don to investigate the supernatch goings on at a LARP (live action role-playing) festival. Of course, Sam smirks to learn that his older and much prettier brother gets a taste of humility now and then, who wouldn’t? But, as they near the end of 8 seasons, I am reluctantly beginning to believe they are preparing to call it quits. Story lines have always been predictable and that’s never bothered me. But it seems like the Winchester brothers themselves have become complacent caricatures of their own characters. That doesn’t mean there won’t be a season 9; another season would give them an opportunity to indulge their dedicated followers a jump-the-shark grand finale season. (Not that they haven’t been “jumping the shark” in every episode for, oh, about 8 seasons!)

Over the top stunts and story lines or not, I’ll be watching … and sketching.


Suzanne

011413 Suzanne002 adj

Noodler’s Lexy Gray ink, Daniel Smith watercolor on 5×7″ 140 lb. watercolor paper. 14 January 2013.

Happy birthday to my friend Suzanne! I panicked Monday morning when I realized I hadn’t opened my calendar over the weekend. It had the reminder to mail her a birthday card on Saturday to be sure she got it on time.

Whoo, hoo for me! I made it.