Sketch Your Life March 2016

Of course, totally forgetting that it was supposed to be pen, I grabbed pencil.  I'm not fond of sketching portraits/people, but this is a challenge and I will continue.  Took a photo in the mirror and used that to sketch from.  Promise to use pens from here on out.  


Ok...with pen.   I will not let the pen get the best of me...(and it certainly didn't with this sketch...lol)


Day 2...Trees..The lady said trees.  We live on the coast of Oregon..right on the ocean. Pine trees, cedar trees and other trees grow wild and with abandon.  We live in a community where trees have a height limitation.  What they have done to the trees would make you weep.  Whack them off here and there, helter skelter.  I took this photo out my dining room window..


This is a cedar tree.  You cannot see the half that has died, probably from exhaustion.  My pen rendering


Not very good, but I'm having fun learning to be comfortable using the pens.  

Day 3...lunch...well, today it was a frozen pizza.  I prepare lunch daily for my husband and myself.  Like Elisa, it's often times leftovers.  When there are none, we improvise.  Today, pepperoni pizza.  Not an easy sketch for sure.


And, without the watercolor wash..my sketchbook is not for painting..but I figured a light wash would be ok.


I have to add this.  This afternoon, our family gathered.  My Daughter in Law asked our youngest grandson, "a threenager"  who is that?, showing him the pen sketch of myself..."Grandma"  he said.  Then, showing him the sketch of the plate..what's that?  "Pizza"  he said.  I am totally awestruck.  There will be nothing stopping me now..

Day 4 Building

As mentioned, I live on the beach.  The sketch I did for building is what I gaze out on from one of my many windows.  The houses shown, they live right on the sand beach.  I'm up a hill a bit, out of the sand, but still, right there on the ocean.  I had trouble with the ocean.  I think it looks like clouds and sky, but it's supposed to be the ocean.  And, it is not blue today, it is an angry gray, but I took some artistic license and made it blue.  After all, that's why we are artists, to interpret what we see, but also, what we want to see.  And, I wanted blue ocean.


Day 5 Fruit

Can you tell I'm wishing for spring?  Strawberries.   Really enjoying the challenges and looking at all the different projects.


Using a bit of wash makes me a bit more confident in what I'm doing.  I have to admit, I like the freedom of the pen.  If you make a mistake, oh well, can't be changed and it's there to stay.  Move on.

Day 6  - Book

A favorite?  Hmmm...no, I don't have a fave.  I love books.  I read every day, but now most of it is done on my Kindle.  I have many art books, reference books leftover from my business and journals.  In our business, we traveled extensively, by car, shopping for the "biz".   I would keep a journal.  Nothing fancy, but notes about where we shopped, what we liked etc.  

Now, I'm retired.  Not too happily either, I miss what I did for so many years.  So, for my "book" I chose a new book I've started.  We are going to garden in our new home.  It's going to be an adventure.  I've started writing about the planning and execution of the garden.  The journal I chose, has a plain side to every sheet so I will sketch as we go.  


I should not have tried to put the rings from the binding in the shadow, but it's there and goodness knows with pen, once it's there, it's there forever..lol..

Day 7....Drink...My Birthday too.

Favorite drink.  Hmmm...In the morning..my cup of coffee.  Although, I've cut back considerably over the years.


But, in the evening..

It's my vodka martini (cut back on those too..lol)


Enjoying looking at everyone's sketches.  Great class and greater classmates!

Day 8.  Shoe

I love my Keens.  My DIL introduced me to them.  When she was pregnant, in Singapore, they walked, a lot.  She wore Keens.  I now have 3 pair and I love them.


Day 9, Clothes

I hate to say it, but since I retired, my favorite clothes are my sweats.  I get my walking done in them and there is nothing more comfy to clean the house, do the laundry, play with the grandkids in than my trusty sweats.


I used a different paper and I'll continue to use this one.  I have a bit more control over the wash.  

Day 10...(wow, already!)  Appliance

I have several faves, but the Kitchenaid mixer won out.  I love to bake.  I waited for many years to get a Kitchenaid.  My hubby finally gifted me with one.  This is my second Kitchenaid.  It is the heavy duty model.  I bake our bread every week and I can no longer knead the dough with my hands without pain.  The KA does the job for me.  


Day 11 - Vegetables

I thought this would be somewhat easy as I've had success doing peppers with pastels and charcoal.  Not so easy with that tricky pen.


We eat all veggies.  Love them all.  

Day 12 Collections

After being in the antiques and collectibles business, I can honestly say I don't collect anything.  I think after years of adding to other's collections I don't want a lot of "stuff" around me.  However, it's hard to convince my husband that I do not collect boxes.  I have about a dozen different antique boxes that have found their way home to me over the years.  This one, we believe is from South America.  The lid is carved with a donkey, llama, and a man.  


I am not good with perspective.  I need to work on that.

Day 13 - Family

Well, I have wonderful family, son, daughter, grandkids.  But, the love of my life, my partner, my best friend, my husband of 43 years.  And..I'm not a portrait sketcher.  When you try to draw someone that you love, you want your sketch to be "just right".  I think I captured his sense of humor, that twinkle in his eye.


I showed him the sketch.  He did not really say anything, but he smiled..that's good enough for me.

Day 14 - Sketching supplies/tools

Well, have you ever tried to sketch/draw/paint a pallette?   It is not an easy thing to do...


I use Micron pens.  I use the .5.  I have all different sizes.  And, I also have the pen brushes that Elisa mentioned.  I don't really like the pen brushes, there is very little control.  I'm sure it's just a matter of learning and experimenting.  

Day 15, Stranger

Well, even though I was out and saw plenty of strangers, it wasn't a "sketching moment'.  So, I went up to trusty old Google to find a stranger who would sit still for me.


Profile is easier than front on.  

Day 16 - Animal

For the past couple of weeks we've been watching a pair of mourning doves in our backyard.  They have been nest building.  There are trees behind our fence and it's probably been their nest location for a few years.  In case you aren't aware, doves are not the brightest birds in the sky.  Their nests appear in the most bizarre places.  In CA we had them build a nest in the horn of an outdoor speaker at the club house we attended.  The male sits on the nest while the female goes out and hunts.  


I have a difficult time with bird (and chicken) beaks.  I do love to sketch/paint them.  More practice needed.  I'll confess, I used an image from Google to help in the sketch.  My momma dove wouldn't stay still for very long.

Day 17. Flower


I had to use an indoor bloom.  This is Cyclamen.  I really rushed.  We celebrate St. Patricks Day and I'm in the middle of cooking the big dinner.  

 Day 18 - Bag

Well, I'm a bit of a purse hmmm...don't know the word.  I went 20 years without carrying a bag unless it was a formal function.   I hated purses.  I would wear slacks/pants that I could put my wallet in.  Then, cell phones happened.  The very first purse I purchased ( I thrift shop ) was a glorious Vera Bradley in the "Day on the Green" pattern.  I was hooked.  I now have three Vera's plus I've had others that I've passed on.  This is my fave at the moment.


I have many bags.  Some I use more than others.  They are fun ways to accent your wardrobe.  I'm on the hunt for one of the larger Vera's, probably a diaper bag that will make a great tote for my sketching supplies.

Day 19 - Accessory

My favorite accessory is my Pashminas.  My DIL introduced me to Pashmina when she gifted me with one on her first trip to the states to meet us.  I now have over 20.  They are very versatile.  They can keep you warm or dress up an outfit. 


This is one of my green ones.  Not my best sketch, for sure.  

Day 20 - Patterns

I thought I could get by with my Vera bag for patterns, but I guess I cannot double time..lol


When you knit, you follow a pattern.  If you look very closely at even a t-shirt fabric, you will see the tiny little pattern.  Knit and purl is merely a pattern of v stitches and "bumps".  This is a project I'm working on that has a pattern of 3 knits, 3 purls.

Day 21 - Desserts


Grandkids coming...chocolate chip cookies.  I could not update or post all of yesterday.  I hope they have fixed the bug.

Day 22 - Texture


My basket for  my yarn.  It is kind of a sisal rope fiber.  

Missed day 23.  Houseful of company.  Will miss the 25 also.

Day 23 - Everyday activity..if I remember correctly, we were to go somewhere and sketch everyday activity...I sketched my every day...cooking


Elisa was kind enough to give us some extra days to fill in what we missed.  I love to cook, so this is my stovetop..

Day 24 - Furniture

This is a piece of furniture from my great, great grandmother.  Nothing expensive, nothing special, but I love it.  It's a washstand or commode.


My husband and I took a trip back to my home town many, many years ago and my aunt who had rescued many pieces from the grandparents estate, gave us this piece.  It was painted orange and green.  We refinished it.  We will always have a place for it in our home.

I am so sad I missed a couple of days.  I so wanted to do every day.  Family visiting and Easter, it just got away from me.

Day 25- Old Thing

Being in the antiques business for over 30 years, old things were a big part of my life.  As I aged, they no longer had the appeal they did when I was younger.  A few pieces that are from family stay around and a couple of just plain favorites.  No particular value, I just like them.  One is this lamp.  And boy, is my sketching off.  The shade should be a bit bigger, but you get the idea.


Day 26 Somewhere new.  We have lived a stone's throw from the beach for the last 5 years, yet, I rarely go there.  I took a walk..


Day 27..Cafe/shop

This was Easter Sunday.  My husband treated me to a brunch at one of our local resorts.  The brunch was very nice..the view of the ocean is the real treat at this dining room


Day 28.  Transport


It looks nothing like our Red Nissan Quest Van, but there it is.   Our van is getting pretty old, but it runs like a top and we've had oh, so many great trips in it.  We traveled back and forth to Oregon many, many times before we moved here and settled.  It was interesting trying to sketch outside "Plein Air".  

Day 29 - Toiletries

Can you imagine how many bottles/jars/boxes/tubes I've collected over the years trying to look younger?  Well, recently I decided that looking younger wasn't a top priority.  I'd rather look healthy (and be healthy)


I chose this bottle because I liked the wood top.  It supposedly is good for exfoliating aging skin.  It contains echinacea and the company does not use animals for testing. 

Day 30 - Contents of.....

This is my closet in the "office/guestroom".  We took off the doors and put in shelves and a cabinet to house some of my art supplies etc.


Day 31 - your senses

At this given moment in my life, yarn stimulates my sense of touch.  I love knitting and am always excited to start a new project.  This Paton's Merino wool will make a lovely cowl for a friend. I do not know that yarn inspires all of my senses or stimulates me to sketch.  However, I do believe that this month of daily sketches has hightened my awareness of what is around me and how to look at it differently than perhaps I did a month ago.


I've truly enjoyed the month of challenge.  I will use the extra week to add in the few days I missed because of company.  Big hugs to  Elisa for her encouragement.

For Olivia R.  Here is a photo of the cover of the sketchbook.  It is called "Savoir Faire"


The print didn't come through too well.  It says, Savoir Faire, Artist's Book, 6 by 8.5", Acid free- Rough, 50 pages, Cotton Rag Paper, Deckle edges, Suitable for Watercolor, Acriylic, Drawing ink or pastels.  Made in India, Imported by Savoir Faire, Novato, CA 94949.


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