Saturday, January 29, 2011

A New Palette

I bought a new Masterson palette from Daniel Smith. I had never tried this type before. I love it! I will be doing some more little sketches tomorrow. I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful Saturday!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thank Goodness, It's Mole-Uh-Skee-nuh!

When I first saw the word "moleskine", it made me sad (kind of like when I found out that the bird I thought was a morning dove was actually a mourning dove)and I thought I would never buy a moleskine sketchbook. Then, when someone told me how to pronounce it correctly, I decided I would get one. It seems that moles no longer give their lives for the sake of art. Hooray!

Here are some little white flowers that are in our backyard. I don't know what they are called.

My Project

I painted two little watercolor sketches today. It was such a pleasure to be outside with the dogs on another sunny, glorious day. I will post the sketches as soon as my photographer wakes up from his nap. (I still haven't learned how to use Jim's camera:)) As I was out there soaking up all the good vibrations from our dogs and our yard, not worrying about the quality of my painting - just happy to be painting, I decided that my project will be to paint little sketches of parts of the backyard until I fill up my sketchbook or the weather sends me back indoors. Today I painted my cactus again and my geranium that survived the winter. (I didn't know that geraniums could survive cold weather, but this one is planted right next to the house, so maybe that helped protect it.)

Jim is awake. Here are the photos.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Plein Air Painting

I've painted outdoors approximately two times in my life a long, long time ago - once for a class I was taking at UNLV and once with a group of artists at an old ranch in North Las Vegas. Today I decided to try again. The weather was perfect - cool and sunny. We have a gorgeous cactus that bloomed about two months ago and still has flowers. It survived our recent 22 degree temperatures, not to mention the 5 summers that it has lived through. Desert plants are so hardy. This one is right next to our patio.

I moved outside and with the warm sun on my back, I began to paint. Here is what I have learned so far. (We have a three day weekend, so I'm going out again tomorrow and Monday.) When you're out walking or hiking, you don't notice this as much, but the sunlight changes rapidly! I'm out there getting all toasty warm in the sun, relaxing, enjoying looking at my subject, breathing the lovely fresh air, listening to the dogs running around the yard, listening to the birds, sketching and... the shadows have changed and then... the shadows are gone! Okay - tomorrow I will paint more quickly. In fact, I may break out my little moleskine sketchbook and try to do several little watercolor sketches.

Another thing I learned is that your paint dries much faster outdoors.

I have also learned to shade my paper with my head:)

I also learned that I want to buy a couple of new greens. (You're not reading this, are you, Jim?)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gratitude Friday

I'm very grateful to Sue at a brush with color for posting a poem from T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. I read it, fell in love with it and ordered a copy from Amazon. This is one of those books that I want a hardcover copy of rather than putting it on my Kindle.

I'm also grateful that the sun is shining very brightly again here in the desert. Although we had some rain and some cold weather (22 degrees!), it's gorgeous now. I hope it gets better soon in all the places that are having floods and heavy snow.

Do you think it's odd that along with my T. S. Eliot, I ordered Earth, Wind and Fire's Greatest Hits? Hmmm... I think it's an interesting combination:)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

I wish you all a happy New Year! To start the year right, I have some movie recommendations. The King's Speech is excellent. I hope the movie and the actors win Academy Awards. They deserve it. I also enjoyed True Grit. (If you go see it, there are two parts where you should cover your eyes. Jim's not as quick at that as I am...) I had mixed feelings about going to see a remake, but my new philosophy is to give it a chance if it seems to have potential - treat it as if it were a play.

I also have a rental to recommend. It's called Easy A. It's hilarious. I love the actors and the dialogue is very clever and funny. I almost didn't rent this one because I was afraid it would be too silly.

Yikes! We go back to school on Monday. We had a great vacation. I guess I'm ready to go back. I love my job.