Saturday, January 20, 2018

moment with owls

Christmas Eve, Florida near the Gulf, I heard two owls calling to each other from a tall palm tree. The sun was still setting, a long flaming blaze afire along the beach. The moon was rising, a bright silver sliver against the warm dark velvet above. I took a photograph,  or maybe a hundred photos, it was such a poetic moment. None of the photographs show what I really saw and heard. Now I have painted the memory.
This would be a category #2 in my sketchbook, memory infused with emotion.

Friday, January 19, 2018

four categories

There are four types of drawings in my sketchbook:

1. Direct observation from immediate experience of time, place, and emotion. Could show reality as perceived in the moment, but only that moment in time. (here we have that immediate in the moment observation of toes in the warm sand)

2. Memory of time, place, emotion and observation. Will not have quite the element of reality as immediate moment in time is missing and the art is not based on a photograph. Memories have a different quality of emotion and observation. (here is a memory of an encounter in the wild when I walked around a clump of bushes and found myself within a couple of feet of a very large alligator)

3. Fantasy idea or magical realism based on memory, emotion, and observation but does not contain immediate reality. (here is a drawing that I made in my sketchbook shortly after my 6th grandchild was born.)

4. Art drawn from photography. Might include or encompass all of the above but more likely to imitate reality. (Here is a drawing of my first grandchild, now four years old, and I just had to draw it from a photograph because...she isn't likely to hold still, being quite a mischievous imp.)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

in the moment

When a lovely morning on the beach includes playing with my grandchild, I sketch and watch, and stay with the precious moment forever.

Monday, January 15, 2018


"It's what you carry to an object that counts."
- Andrew Wyeth

Saturday, January 13, 2018

moment 5

I know a few people who love fishing and I know what moments like this mean to them. This guy was not anyone that I know, just a happy fellow as absorbed in his moment as I was in mine.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

moment 2

the first moment

The first Moment when I arrived on the hot sandy beach was purely sensual, purely emotional, purely physical. I wiggled my toes, I felt the heat on the sand, and then I recorded that moment. After I sat there getting hot and even a little sweaty, I went into the water which is not a moment I can sketch, just too cool and too wet.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


It is for moments like this that art is made. That's my original quote.

I'm going to make the next few days show nothing but peaceful moments preserved from my sketchbook. My days on a beach in Florida watching the waves break on the shore. Holding my watercolor book on my knees, dipping water from the Gulf coast, and mixing tints and tones in my little travel watercolor box. Trying to catch that elusive moment when the colors of the wave change from various blues, purple, indigo, turquoise, to that sunlit pale green just before the wave curls and breaks. Watching for the moment the foamy sparkle is just at it's height and trying to observe fast, really fast where it all happens.
I could consult a variety of photographs for this wave information but I prefer the experience of observing over and over striving to catch the moment with brush on paper.

Monday, January 8, 2018

catching a wave

My sketchbook blog has suffered from lack of attention. Since September of last year I seem to have wandered away. The death of my mother-in-law and the births of two more grandchildren all seem to be life altering events that tore me away from this posting. However I never stopped sketching so I finally scanned a bunch of stuff from my sketchbooks and am going to share a lot in the next days.

 We spent a few absolutely lovely days with family in Florida for Christmas. Anyone who knows me well knows I do not love cold winter weather. I have been known to say I would not be sad if I never see another snowflake. Especially not sad if I never shovel snow again from our mile long driveway.

Here's my newest sketch from days leading up to Christmas spent sitting on a beach with watercolor sketchbook trying to catch the elusive wave. I painted this appropriately on the longest day of the year, the winter Solstice. I found out while visiting that part of Florida that they get one and a half more hours of sunlight every day than where I live in Chicagoland! That explains a lot.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

epiphany and truth

Truth, by which the world is held together, has sprung from the earth, in order to be carried in a woman’s arms.
— St Augustine

The 12th day

I can't resist showing some of the art from my students. I taught them an art lesson about the 12 days of Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany. All the classes did watercolor and collage works.
The festival of Epiphany is a Christian holiday celebrated on January 6 by Western Churches. It marks the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas following Christmas Day.
The word ‘Epiphany’ originates from Greek and means manifestation.
It is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as: “The manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12).”
Protestants and Roman Catholics say the date is when the Magi, or the Three Wise Men, followed the Star of Bethlehem to visit the baby Jesus.