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

Posts tagged “Maine

The Gauntlet

Watercolor on 140 lb., 8.5 x 11″ Strathmore Visual Journal. Westbrook, Maine. 1 June, 2012.

Nothing says “carnival” to me more than the scent of fried dough. It smells delicious, and I’m sure that when the oil is new, the result is very good. But, ugh — I tried it once a number of years ago and even though I’m a hound dog for anything covered with sugar, the dough was heavy and greasy and sat unpleasantly in my stomach. My friend and I were walking off an excellent meal of Indian food last weekend, when we happened upon a small carnival in a park by the Presumpscot River in Westbrook, ME. Full of saag paneer, I was able to run the gauntlet of carnival delicacies without succumbing to any temptation. Until I got to the milkshake stand, that is.

Looking around at the carnival sights as I contentedly sipped my chocolate shake, I realized how extraordinarily crisp the lights of Jensen’s Fried Dough stand lit their flags against the night sky. I had my sketch book with me, but didn’t feel comfortable whipping it out and starting a sketch. So, I snapped a photo and sketched it at home later that evening. I wasn’t thrilled with the sky rendering, so I started another version with a different palette and here is a view of the comparison. Although I like the sky in the second attempt, I think the first sketch has more personality.


Pressing Business

Pastimes and fixations on projects come and go with me, but I’ve always sketched, doodled, painted and otherwise made things from scratch. Some years, I am up to my elbows in buckets of sudsy water, scraping layers of wallpaper from the walls of our old farmhouse and other years I can’t seem to get enough time outdoors in the gardens. This year, I’m sketching more, started playing with watercolors again and am getting rather obsessed with fountain pens, paints and sketch books. Especially sketchbooks made with watercolor paper.

Over the years, I’ve made a couple of booklets and pamphlets and have enjoyed the process, but mostly I adore having a tangible piece to show for my effort. Lately, I’ve been wanting to create sketch journals, making the sizes that I want and filling them with good watercolor paper that won’t warp with repeated washes. After watching a fast-action video in which a guy makes himself a beautiful journal, I got it in my head to make a book press and get started bookbinding.

The maple board and the hardware came from Lowe’s. My kind husband cut the boards for me and yesterday, I assembled the book press. Today, I created my first book with it. It’s not perfect, surely, but it’ll do nicely for as a palette journal. I’ve got to revisit a couple of Web sites to find out where I went wrong with the stitching, (although the stitches seem tight, one of the signatures is slightly separated from the others,) and it would probably be a good idea to get some archival glue. But, I’m happy to have been able to put this little 3.25″x4″ booklet together with scrap materials.


Helles Crew

Ink and watercolor on Moleskine notebook. 28 April, 2012.
Last weekend, we took another road trip to New Hampshire. The waitress fairly rolled her eyes when she saw me whip out the devil ducks and wooden Cabin Fever contender. When she saw me sketching, I heard an audible sigh. No matter, the beer was great and the devil duckies wanted beer. Here, see the envious Helles Crew at Moat Mountain Smokehouse & Brewery on 28 April. Cabin Fever Snow Pile Races Evil Devil Duckies and rounded, grounded Palooka Red only wish they could taste this brew!


Looking Up

Watercolor and ink on 5″x8″ Moleskine. 4 April 2012.
Feeling a little guilty for spending this beautiful April afternoon painting and listening
to music. But, only just a little. I’ve often sketched and painted this house on the Presumpscot River that we’ve been living in for 27 years and never feel that I quite capture the look of the vergeboard. Looking up at the roofline, I marvel at the workmanship and simultaneously see dollar signs when I see how it needs to be repaired.


The Beast

Watercolor and ink on 5″x8″ Moleskine watercolor notebook.

It was unseasonably warm here today, so Will rolled out The Beast from The John Deere Palace (the former goat barn.)
It started up on the second try, no black smoke or chugging at all. No wee mousies fled the engine
when it started like they did last year. Maybe no one had set up camp over the winter…


Presumpscot River at Bridge Street, Westbrook, Maine

Downstream view of the Presumpscot River at Bridge Street in Westbrook, ME.
On errands, I couldn’t resist stopping for a few minutes to scribble in the scene,
leaving the color for later. Spring is definitely in the air!
Watercolor and ink on 5″x8″ Moleskine watercolor notebook.