Saturday, February 25, 2012

What I Have Been Up to Lately...

Trying out different things. Probably just to avoid drawing from life. So everything is from my head, which is easy to do on the train and while listing to Catching Fire (the second book in the Hunger Games series) on my headset. 

It is true that when you look at a drawing it takes you right back to the moment it was created. Although the drawings have nothing to do with the book I am listening to, I can remember what the characters were doing when I made the drawing.

Anyway, not in a good mood these days, so nothing to say.

 Watercolor, Fountain Pen with Noodler's Bullet Proof Black. gel pen, and water soluble graphite pencil

 Collage, Copic Markers, watercolor, gel pen, corrective pen, and fountain pen (same ink).

 Fountain Pen (same ink), collage and watercolor

 Fountain Pen (same ink), watercolor, Prismacolor pencils, charcoal

Micron Pen, watercolor, Faber Castell watercolor and regular colored pencils, charcoal and gel pen
Baci e abbracci

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I think I mentioned a commission that I was working on and how it was going to help pay for my new watercolor set. I finished it 2 weeks ago and gave it to the client who seemed to love it (hoping that is true, because as an insecure creative type I often think people do not want to hurt my feelings, especially when they are a friend). I was asked to paint a picture of her new house. I was asked to do it before Christmas and the fear of starting a new project caused a great deal of procrastination (this is so typical of my creative life and why I get nothing done). I was given an extension to complete it by the end of February. Perspective and buildings are not my strong suit. As I have mentioned, drawing a straight line is just not in my "can do" column. So I cheated a little... Let's just leave it at that. Once I was able to get the house in, the tree caused another month of procrastination as the idea of messing up the tree and having to start over again terrified me. Anyway, it is done and waiting to be given as a gift by the purchaser. I do hope the recipient likes it. I know this person has refined tastes and wonder if he/she will like my style.

 I have to say I was pleased with the way it turned out. My favorite part of the painting is the dormer windows. 

I just ordered the new book The Art of Urban Sketching, which is due to arrive Monday. I've always loved the drawings on the blog Urban Sketchers, which is where the sketches from the book were originally made public, but was not going to purchase the book when I first learned about it. I decided just recently, while reading Lapin's blog, that it could be inspiring to try buildings again. His drawings of buildings and some of Tommy Kane's do not use straight lines and I love them so, there is some hope for me.

About a week ago I tried drawing a nearby church from my office window. Not the best drawing, but not the worst. I need to start drawing from life again. Drawing stuff from my head is okay, but it does not help improve my skills. And since the most difficult thing for me is perspective, that is probably a good thing to tackle.

Hoping to get some sewing done this long weekend, although it is close to 11:00 am in the morning and even though I have only been awake for less than 2 hours, I am ready to go back to bed. I better go make a cup of tea!

Baci e abbracci

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Philadelphia Zoo--America's First Zoo

Greg Goldman, Vice President of Development of the Philadelphia Zoo invited TOMA and I for a tour of the Zoo this afternoon. Mr. Goldman and Vikram Dewan (President and CEO of the Zoo) visited PAFA one day to have lunch with my boss. I commented that I was not sure I like zoos, keeping animals in captivity seemed unfair and possibly cruel, so both Mr. Dewan and Mr. Goldman said that I would have to come for a visit so I could see that although the animals are in captivity the Zoo is always trying to improve their quality of life. So now I have mixed feelings.

I do not like seeing a wild animal in captivity, although my cats are definitely in captivity as I do not allow them outside. The animals in the Zoo for the most part know no other life--just like 2 of my 3 cats. At the zoo the animals' habitats are pretty spacious and there are new ways in which they can go outside and come back indoors through tunnels that are suspended in the tops of trees. The Zoo is making lots of improvements with a new children's zoo and more of these contraptions that allow the animals to go out and come back in. (I believe the Philadelphia Zoo is the only zoo that has this option for some of the primates.)

We had a really enjoyable day and I became a member. My favorite area was the McNeil Aviary Center where there was a section where the birds were close enough to touch (but touching is not allowed). So I will be visiting again and concentrating on one area per visit, waiting for the animals to be in the perfect position for photographs and even sit on my portable stool and draw from life. So in the end there were a couple of sad moments knowing the animals are trapped in a room and pointed at all day, but for the most part they were busy eating or sleeping (like my cats do all day) and are safer at the Zoo than most of their natural habitats. I think the zookeepers are attentive and give the animals a decent life. Mr. Goldman gave us a great tour and spent a good part of his Saturday with us and we really appreciated it.

If you live in the area, please support the Philadelphia Zoo. Your admission helps support these animals and the improvements that make their lives better. Here is some of what we saw. I did not take the time to write down the name of each species, sorry--next time...

Now, a little art...

Baci e abbracci...

Friday, February 3, 2012

and the Winner is...

I am so sorry I have not posted the winner of the contest! I have not been feeling well all week and forgot until this morning. So the winner is...


Annie, please email me your shipping address and I will send the prize package right out to you!

Tomorrow the zoo--a place I have not visited since I was a child for many animal rights reasons, but I have been invited as the guest of a member of the staff to prove me wrong, so I will report on my experience in another post.

Bacci e abbracci