I’ve avoided embracing the excitement over Artist Trading Cards ….. until now.

Black Bush Sage

Black Bush Sage

I awoke late.  The sky was the color of cantaloupe.  As I sipped my coffee I created my first ACEO.  When I taught the workshop in Santa Rosa last month, Joanie nudged me to try creating a few trading cards.  After several weeks, my resistance faded.  I resolved the problem of working on such a small piece of paper (2.5″ x 3.5″) by stitching a sketchbook just for the ACEOs.  The sketchbook pages measure 4″ x 5.5″, a slightly more comfortable size to work on.
Now that I have my new website with my own little store, I can offer these little gems without a hassle, either cut to standard ATC size or full-page size for framing.

Full Page - Black Bush Sage

Full Page – Black Bush Sage

The sketchbook was created with a boring cover.  My intention is to cut the pages out as they sell.  If I liked the cover, I wouldn’t cut the pages out.  I always have to trick myself.  The little drawings I do in my sketchbook I like far better than the drawings I do on separate pieces of paper with the intention of selling.  I end up with boxes full of drawings that I eventually throw away.  The problem was that I won’t cut pages out of my personal sketchbooks.  The solution is to make specific sketchbooks that are intended to be cut apart.

Will I be able to trick my brain?  Time will tell.

Image: Black Bush Sage Against a Melon Sky – drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor.

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The overcast sky and the daily rainfall has revived my gasping Licorice Plant.

Athena Brazil, Helichrysum Petiolare, Licorice Plant

In spite of watering it daily, it remained unhappy.  Perhaps a move to the north side of the house would have been better than forcing it to stay among the collection of potted herbs on the south side of the house.  A rainy, Labor Day weekend appears to be what it has wanted all along.

sketchbook drawing: drawn first with fountain pen filled with Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Goldgrun ink, followed by watercolor on BFK Rives printmaking paper.

My potted herbs offer a variety of leaf shapes and an opportunity to play with warm greens and cool greens.

Potted Herb Plants

I braved the heat to sit outside and draw a selection of potted kitchen herbs.  I was hoping for at least one good thunderstorm to refresh the fields of corn and the crunchy grass.  No such luck.  Thanks to my watering cans, the herbs are still alive, though not thriving.

Drawn en plein air.  Line drawing using an old Scheaffer fountain pen filled with Noodler’s black ink, followed by watercolor.  Color Palette: Phthalo Blue, French Ultramarine Blue, Carmine, Cadmium Red Scarlet, Cadmium Yellow, Gamboge, Viridian.  I used only a tip’s worth of the Carmine and the Cadmium Red Scarlet to tone down the green in a few areas.

As a child, I loved coloring books.  As an adult, I frowned upon them, feeling that they stunted creativity.  As an older adult, I find myself making my own coloring books.

Peas and Herb Garden in Clay Pots

I find myself staying within the lines ….. how dreadful!  I rationalize my current obsession by saying that the difference between mine and ordinary coloring books is that I draw my own pictures and my lines bleed into the colors.

I also find myself at the coloring table with small children and ordinary coloring books.  I enjoy every minute of it.

Coloring Book Sketch: drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor in handmade watercolor paper sketchbook bound in leather.

Staying within the lines

Lavender in Vase - Pencil Sketch

I attempted to sleep last night without taking a pain killer.  I’m not really in pain.  The minute hand kept moving around the clock and my eyes remained wide open.  Finally, I stopped fighting my sleeplessness and got up to draw.  Barbara and Bill had stopped by earlier in the day bringing with them a beautiful vase of lavender and a small orchid (my first).

I spelled Lavender wrong in my sketchbook…. oh well…. I can correct it.  It’s only pencil.