Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Figure Drawings of the Female Nude - Charcoal and Pastel

As usual figure drawing group was a welcome activity on Wednesday evening! It is so wonderful to have that time dedicated for figure drawing. I look forward to it every week!

This is a five minute drawing. I loved how our model chose casual, relaxed poses that gave a lot of curves in her form.

We worked from the next pose for about an hour with a short break. I chose to draw on a white pastel board, and I used charcoal pencil and a water wash. I loved the way the water effected the charcoal that was already on the board, plus how it changed the way the charcoal looked if i drew on top of an area that was already wet - the charcoal looked much darker and glided on the surface creating a different type of mark.

The detail above shows some of the variety of mark-making achieved with the charcoal pencil and the wet brush.

Other than working a bit on the profile (I'd like the face to feel softer, especially around the nose) I am pretty pleased with the drawing.I had in mind for a quick abstract pastel that my palette would be borrowed from one of my FAVORITE lace-cap hydrangeas that is blooming in a yard close to my house ( I swear if it wasn't morally reprehensible I would steal it in the middle of the night!) The flowers are a gorgeous periwinkle blue mixed with white and the stems are a deep reddish brown. I'll try to take a picture so I can show you the colors that inspired the palette above!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Crowd Pleasing Desserts - Chocolate Cake and Sherbet Jello

I love cooking and baking. I get lost in cookbooks and Kraft Foods magazine hunting for fun recipes to try. But I always run into two problems - one, my hubby will not eat ANYTHING with vegetables, and 2, my kids will not eat anything with vegetables.

(Jack always either helps me bake or helps me you can see the clean up may be his favorite part!)

So, I have stack of recipes waiting for the day when I can try them for another group of people outside my family...

However it is NEVER a problem when I want to try a new dessert recipe! On Memorial Day our neighbor invited us over for BBQ and I volunteered to bring desserts! Knowing that hubby and most adults like Chocolate, I made THE BEST chocolate cake! (I HAD to take a picture as I prepared to chop the chocolate to go into the cake batter - this is my GORGEOUS cutting board from Ripperarts on Etsy !)
And the recipe feedback is correct - if you let it sit in the fridge covered over-night, it gets VERY fudgy - yum!
And for the kiddos I tried a new, vey easy jello dessert recipe - I doubled the recipe and used small clear plastic cups. My helper Jack added the whip cream on top! (I wish I had my camera while my neighbor's 18 month old ate his jello...with his hands! It was priceless :)

Both recipes are from Kraft Foods - I am addicted to the magazines they send out and have found numerous other helpful recipes on their site!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

If you have a refridgerator and children, then you need these magnet pots!

My fridge is very happy today! I just recieved my order from JDWolfe Pottery on Etsy . I had marked some similar pots as a favorite, intending to buy someday...and they sold out before I could get my hands on them! But lucky for me she is a FABULOUS shop owner and incredible artist - she made more and even customized the colors for me! Jack loves green, and Ari loves blue, so now, whenever they pop off a flower of my lantana or bring in another beautiful dandelion, I am all set to proudly display them on my fridge!

(The magnets are all images of my art work )

Custom Portrait Update

As the rain keeps coming down in GA, Jack and I worked a bit in the studio today. Here is a recent commission I have been working on. It is for a father's day gift - I think it will be a big hit! It is charcoal on cream drawing paper.
Jack was hard at work next to me - my little abstract artist...You can see more custom portrait samples in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Figure Drawing of the Female Model - The Sexiest view may be from Behind

I adore our figure drawing group. There's a great mix of artists who cover a great range of styles and techniques. Everyone works hard, contributes ideas and it's a very pleasant atmosphere where we can chat but also get some great art accomplished.

One of the characters, Cecil, is a back man. And by back man I mean he loves to draw the backs of the female nudes. So often he makes a request for a back pose, or you see him scurry from one side of the room to the other because the models' pose has a lovely back view on the other side of the room!

Last night our lovely model struck this gorgeous pose, and the lighting and gesture just made for a wonderful figure drawing of the back, and of course thrilled Cecil!

The rest of us adored this pose as well - and asked for a variation of it for our long drawing. My first figure drawing was on a grey pastel board. I used a wash of white watercolor to lay out the light, then continued with charcoal.

After I was pretty happy with my first figure drawing, I moved on to a couple of quick and colorful pastel studies from other viewpoints in the studio. You can see the pose was interesting from each angle, and our model did an AMAZING job of holding the pose! Thank you!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A quick update...working on a new custom pastel portrait commission

I have just a few minutes to post some progress pictures on a new pastel portrait - then I have to rescue the 2 yr old who will be awake any minute and hopefully mow the lawn before GA gets MORE rain! (Not complaining - the lawn is nice and green!)

Feel free to leave feedback - it's definitly a work in progress! I started with a little bit of watercolor on colorfix paper and then switched to pastels...I still have lots more to do!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Musings on Mother's Day...We Can't Do It Alone

Happy Mother's Day everyone! I wanted to take a moment and say "thank you" to everyone out there who makes it possible for all of us Moms to be Moms.

Motherhood is a job that consumes you 24 hours a day, for every minute of every hour. Your thoughts are occupied with contemplating"What's for dinner? Is it healthy? Will they eat it? Will I be a good mom and MAKE them eat it? Do they need a bath? Are they watching too much TV? Did I throw their summer PJ's in the wash? Why is J miss behaving at school?" Etc., etc., etc.

Like any job in the world or any other accomplishment one achieves, Mother (the job) and Mothering (the accomplishment) requires a system of support and acknowledgement. Every mom NEEDS to hear that she is "doing a good job". But more importantly, every mother needs a system of support.

For many moms, that support comes from the children's father. In my case, I could not ask for a more supportive and involved husband and father. Because hubby not only supports me as a mother, but as an artist, I can be a better mom to our children. (I hereby declare my undying love for my hubby...I wonder if he's making me breakfast)

It's the circle of support beyond husband or father that I think deserves extra acknowledgement today. The aunts who care for their nieces and nephews, the neighbors who have the kids over for play dates, the grandparents who host slumber parties and spoil their grandchildren. If that circle of love and support was not there, Motherhood could be nearly impossible. All moms love their children - I believe that. But I know that you CAN'T do it alone - you need a break. You need time to pursue your own needs and desires - whether that is creating a new painting or just some time to exercise uninterrupted. Because if you are able to take care of the WHOLE you, not just be a mom, you can be, in turn, a better mom.

I must admit that there is a special person who inspired me to point out how wonderful a support system can be....I shall refer to her as "D". She is one of those Aunts, and friends, who allows her sister to be a better Mother to her Niece. D has sleep-overs and shopping trips and play dates with her gorgeous niece all the time, allowing her sister to work and even have some time to herself. What amazes me, and touches me so dearly, is that D also helps ME be a better Mom, even though we are so far away, and we have never met in person! She found a a cool activity for her niece, chalk paint, and sent a set to my children! She knew that a fun activity that can occupy the children (outside and artistic!) would thrill me - and it did!

D supports me as an artist, and a Mother, and it's people like that who also deserve acknowledgement today. So moms, as you are opening your special cards and appreciating your lovely flowers and gifts, be sure to say "Thank you" back to those who help you be a better mom.

And for all of you aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas and friends and neighbors who babysit, entertain, and support the moms in your life, Thank You. Thank you for the phone calls that allow us to vent our frustration or share a funny story. Thank you for the little gifts that arrive in the mail that help us entertain the children away from the TV. Thank you for helping us all be better Moms.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

New Figure Drawing in Pastel...Nude Model Removing Long Gloves

Our nude model for figure drawing last night was beyond fantastic...she not only does amazing poses, but she holds them SO WELL! She brought some very elegant black gloves and sexy black heels to wear, and our long pose caught her in a moment where she was removing her second glove. She held her pose for almost 2 hours (with breaks...we're not monsters!) and I can only imagine how sore her shoulders were!I had actually started drawing with light grey chalk on a grey mat board, but I didn't like the look of it - it wasn't feminine enough. So I switched to white drawing paper and a lilac pastel pencil, andit felt much more feminine. I love the curve of her waiste, and the implied nudity, only showing a hint of the bottom of her breast. I also like that this tells the story of a moment, not necessarily a pose.
As usual...I had to let out some pent up energy and grabbed my nupastels and colorfix paper! This is a 9" x 12" sheet of brick red, and I used a light and dark turquoise, yellow ochre, and a couple different oranges for the drawing.

One more break, one last drawing before the night was thru! I switched to the other side of the room and worked on a light yellow piece of colorfix paper. I tried to layer a bit more on this one - line over line, color over color. Some of the color combinations are really nice - I love the lilac, fuscia and lime green under the leg on the right.
These smaller pastels are so much fun!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Recent Treasuries

HI! I always forget to support the lovely treasuries on Etsy that felow Artists select my work for! So here are a couple currently up...hurry! They don't last for long!