Tomorrow I take another step forward with today’s technology.

Pete's Measuring Spoons

Pete’s Measuring Spoons

I’m in Asheville, NC with my friend Pete.  He will create my first painting demos to post online.  I’m excited to add this additional reference for my students.  I’ll spend the day today preparing drawings for tomorrow’s shoot.

Sketchbook drawing:  drawn first in ink with fountain pen followed by watercolor.  I was testing how pushing the puddle works on the surface of a recycled file folder.  It is smooth and not as absorbent as the Rives BFK paper.  However, it behaves well and I like it.

How do they do it?  Every Royal Riviera pear shipped from Harry and David is perfect in every way.

Harry and David Royal Riviera Pear

Harry and David Royal Riviera Pear

They arrive at my door once a year with instructions to guide me through their final ripening stage.  I am also instructed to devour them within ten days.  Nicole and I have no problem following the directions.  They are the perfect gift.  They come in a box, they fill us with pleasure and then they are gone, never to collect dust or take up space.  What lingers is another wonderful memory of yumminess, smiles, moans and groans of culinary pleasure.

Sketchbook Drawings:  Royal Riviera Christmas Pears – Drawn first with inkbrush filled with Noodler’s Black Ink, followed by watercolor.

Holiday housecleaning is long overdue.  I had planned to remedy that as soon as I awoke this morning.


Whisk Broom and Dustpan

Instead, I spent the last seven hours continuing to fine-tune and fix glitches on the new website.  Finally, I get ready to clean ….. What do I do instead?  I do a sketchbook drawing of my whisk broom and dust pan.  At least I got so far as to carry them out of the cleaning closet.  And then…… rather than use them, I take the time to snap a photo of the sketch and post it on this blog.  Is there any hope for me ever keeping the house in order?

Sketchbook Drawing: Whisk Broom and Dustpan – drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor over a recycled painting page in my sketchbook.  Notice the wooden fence at the bottom of the page.  This was one of Betty’s unfinished paintings.  Thanks, Betty!  Your priority was painting, too.  You were, however, a better housekeeper than I am.

Turkey Buzzard Feather

Turkey Buzzard Feather

A month ago today Joanie suggested I create a new website with the capabilities I need.  I need a site where I can offer demos to remind my students how to push puddles of watercolor, draw with a dip pen and paint wet into wet….. among other fabulous techniques.  I need a website that presents simple, limitless galleries of paintings and drawings illustrating the diverse media, styles and techniques I use to express myself and the world around me.  I need a site where I can offer Color Scheme Game Template Kits, small paintings, online tutorials, online workshops, used art books and assorted used art supplies.  I need a site that is fun to visit, fun to explore and one that will be revisited over and over again.

I knew she was right…… I just didn’t want to start over again.  She convinced me.  That’s what good friends are for.  The new website is up and running as of late last night.  I will start filming my tutorials and demos in early January.  There are kinks to work out, but I love it.  Thank you, Joanie!

Please visit at its new home and let me know what you think of it.  Visit the new blog on the site and subscribe if you wish.  The focus of the new blog is Tools and Techniques of Drawing and Painting.  I will post three times a week and suggest a drawing or painting exercise on a weekly basis.  I hope you like it!

Pen and Ink drawing of a Turkey Buzzard feather: An old favorite of mine

At an early age, I became my brother’s barber to save him from my mother attacking him with this Craftsman Electric Hair Clipper.

Family Treasures No. 47, Craftsman Electric Hair Clipper

Instead of using the hair clippers to mow his hair, I pruned his hair with the Edward Scissorhands technique.  He was my only customer.  About thirty years later, using a new model of the electric hair clipper, my daughters convinced a good friend of mine to allow them to mow her hair down to a height of about three-quarters of an inch.  She loved it for all of about an hour and a half.  It took half a year for her hair to regain any sort of form or shape.

Family Treasures No. 47 – Craftsman Electric Hair Clipper: Drawn first with dip pen using Scribal Work Shop “Nessie” ink followed by watercolor washes and a few white lines using a Pentel White Gel Pen.  Limited palette of Aureolin (Winsor Newton), French Ultramarine Blue (Winsor Newton) and Permanent Alizarin (Winsor Newton).  This is an example of painting by color value rather than hue or color scheme.  I posted another example yesterday on the Creative Color Blog.  I’ll be teaching a Color Value Workshop at Village Art Supply in Santa Rosa, CA (along with four other workshops) at the end of January 2013.  To learn more about the method used to paint the image above, visit today’s post on the Creative Color Blog.

Earlier today I posted a drawing on the Creative Color Blog of the anchovies tin prior to opening and using the anchovies in the dressing for a Kale Caesar Salad.  The salad was yummy!

Semi Triad Color Scheme

Though its fun to step into the world of fantasy colors, the earlier version using a primary triad color scheme of yellow red and blue fanned my creative fire more than the semi-triad of yellow-green, blue-green and red-violet, a combination I usually adore when painting botanicals.  I might have had more fun if I had included what is left of the garlic bulb.  Maybe I’ll try another version in the morning. (Link to the next morning’s drawing post)

Sketchbook Drawing: Empty Anchovies Tin, drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Whaleman’s Sepia followed by watercolor, a few lines with a white gel pen and another few lines with the fountain pen.

Four small boxes were among the items I decided not to throw in the dumpster as we cleaned out the family home.  Each box stores twelve empty glass vials.  Scraps of wallpaper and colored photos of flowers cut from magazines decorate the outside of the boxes.  I thought them odd.

Four Decorated Boxes of Zonitors

What was the reason my mother had saved them?  Clearly, they were from the 50’s.  The wallpaper had come loose at the corners and I was able to pull it back a bit to see the label on the box… “Zonitors ….. Vaginal Suppositories”.  Hmmmmmm.

The wallpaper was not familiar.  It had never been adhered to any of the walls in the house in Martinsville.  Had my mother attended a women’s craft session where they brought their boxes of Zonitors and disguised them by gluing decorative papers over the label that announced their purpose to everyone who might visit the bathroom?  And why did my mother keep these little decorated boxes and the glass vials?  She didn’t keep the rubber stoppers that kept the moisture from dissolving the little pellets inside the white suppository packaged within the glass vial.

The purpose of the glass vials would still be a mystery to me if it weren’t for the internet and the power of search engines.  Zonitor suppositories are a product developed in the late 40’s and sold extensively throughout the 50’s.  The advertising was directed, I believe, at newlyweds.  Without a supply of Zonitor, one’s marriage might fail.

Six people lived together in the house in Martinsville.  It was a small house, yet large enough to hide so many secrets.

sketchbook drawing: Family Treasures, No 39 – Zonitors – drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor