Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tulip Petal Study #1

I always buy tulips in the spring.  This year I got some that were variegated, sort of a mauve and white.  When they started to curl and die, I was attacted to the shapes, colors, and the veins in the papery thin petals. I thought it would be interesting to draw them, maybe put together some nice color combinations.  So I bought about every color of tulip available just to see how they looked when they dried. For a while there it was "tulip overload" at our house and I'm a little ashamed to say I couldn't wait till they were dead.

The variegated variety were the most interesting.  Tulip Petal Study #1, in colored pencil, is of a stunning red and yellow parrot tulip that dried beautifully. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mr. Clean

Clovis is forever grooming himself. I call him Mr. Clean. I praise him and tell him how nice he looks and what a good boy he is.  Maybe that's why he cleans so much. When I come home from work and I start fixing his dinner he's in his room cleaning. Is he cleaning up for dinner?

I'm always entertained by the positions he can twist his body into to get those hard to reach places.  It's a fine balancing act. Sometimes he makes a squeaky noise, he's squished his body up so much.  When he was little his balance wasn't so good and he'd tip over. 

I'm starting a series of drawings of his grooming poses I hope to post at some point.  I just need to spend more time at the drawing board instead of the keyboard... 

Saturday, June 12, 2010


After spending the night in his cage, Clovis is EXTREMELY anxious to get out in the morning. He chews on his door frantically and can I tell you how much this annoys me?  What is the point? 

I fix his breakfast then set it down on the rug outside his cage and open the door.  He bursts out like a jack-in-the-box and nose dives into his blueberries. As if he hasn't eaten in days...

The other morning while I was fixing his morning salad, I heard a little commotion from his room and went to check it out.  There was Clovis chewing away at his door and Minnow, knowing she had the upper hand, batting at his little nose with her (yes, declawed) paws from the outside.  I think under normal circumstances Clovis would have backed away but he was so focused on getting out that a little cat boxing wasn't going to deter him. 

Later, while eating his carrot, Clovis lectured me on the benefits of nocturnal roaming privileges for lagomorphs.  I remain, however, unconvinced...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Artist's Tools

About 12 years ago I saw some colored pencil drawings in my local art store done by Gary Greene. They were fabulous and I was quite taken by them.  I couldn't believe work of such quality could be achieved with tools I considered to be kid stuff.  I checked out some books about drawing with colored pencil and gave it a try. A few years later I attended a workshop with Ann Kullberg, who does wonderful portraits. I was hooked. I love drawing with colored pencils.

Here's what I like about them.  They are extremely portable - you can take them anywhere.  They're inexpensive - around a dollar a piece. You don't have to wait for anything to dry and it's odor free, no harmless chemicals. With colored pencil you can do some very nice detail work and I find it an interesting challenge to figure out what colors I need to layer on to create the depth or color I want to achieve in my work. I like detail and working small so this medium suits me well.

For me there are some drawbacks to colored pencil. It took me awhile to get used to the jarring sound of an electric pencil sharpener.  It is time consuming to do all the layering with fine tipped pencils, and sometimes I feel that I am not getting the intensity of color some artwork seems to need.  When I am deciding what I want to draw or paint, the subject, or what look I want to achieve often determines what medium I will use. So I don't use colored pencil exclusively.

When I work, I sit at my kitchen table with my drawing board, my pencil sharpener, my pencils, and the TV on. For my pencils, I have a lazy Susan cake plate from my cake decorating days on which I mounted a round cardboard.  I cut up some paper towel tubes and glued them to the board. (My daughter insisted they be covered with nice gift wrap paper so she did that for me...) Each tube houses a color of varying shades. Yellows and whites, peaches and oranges, pinks and reds, and so on. I also have a small bowl to put stuff in like magnifiers, pencil extenders, and ticky tac. (Ticky tac is an excellent eraser. Pulls the color off the paper without damaging the paper.) There's a spot for me to slide in my drafting brush and some notes.  So everything is compact and I just give my lazy Susan a spin to find the color I want.  Then I get into the zone, oblivious to time, and color to my heart's content.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Outside Bunny

We've been watching this new little visitor to our yard.  He munches on the sunflower seeds below the bird feeder with the squirrels and eats our grass.  The other day I watched him chewing up one of my rose bushes....perhaps that's why my strawberry plants seem to be disappearing?  I don't really care what he eats.  It's just nice to have him visit.

I'd like to think he came for my enjoyment; because he sensed a rabbit loving home. I know that sounds silly but I don't care. 

Stay safe, outside bunny...