a few more sketches

I'm enjoying looking through pictures I took in Paris to now turn into sketches.  

Here's a more complex attempt - the Paris Opera House, which I actually didn't see; Dan took this photo.

My humble attempt..........starting to include darks and some shadows (ala Marc Taro Holmes sketching video series)

This one was a quicker sketch with the idea of hinting at the row of fall trees some with no leaves and some with fall color.  That's a row of parked cars on the right.....obviously need to work on that!  :) Color again added with Inktense.  Will graduate to watercolor sometime soon.


sketching 2

Sketching an elevation view (ala Stephanie Bower) using info from her Craftsy perspective drawing video course (on sale right now). I added color with my inktense pencils & a water brush.

Source photo I took on one of our neighborhood streets:

Stephanie is based here in Seattle, so I'm thinking I might try taking one of her classes in person - could be fun (if I can get over my insecurities!).   Meanwhile I'll continue practicing using the tips in her video course.


branching out - sketching

I've been wondering what my artistic challenge will be for this year - I've done a couple of 365 projects......photos and collages......and thoroughly enjoyed those challenges. I don't think I'm up for that level of commitment, but I feel like I need a direction, a goal.

I found it tonight. I took a free perspective sketching class at Daniel Smith tonight and had the good fortune to sit next to Casey. Casey already understands perspective drawing and was SUCH a help to me - she guided me through the teacher's lesson and patiently answered all my questions.  Thanks Casey!

A couple days ago I bought a perspective sketching class online through Craftsy.com given by an architecture illustrator located here in Seattle. It's 7 video lessons - I've only done one and she begins by having us draw in elevation - standing directly in front of a building and drawing flat. Well, I can do that, sort of, but I was able to use the ration/proportion part of the lesson to good effect.

So, this year's journey is going to be to tackle a long held wish.....that I could sketch. Not picture perfect (I have a camera for that) but to sketch so that the item or scene is recognizable and somewhat follows the rules of perspective and proportion.

Here's my first attempt to draw an elevation from a photo I took of a door in Paris. (I discovered sketches don't scan well, but.....here it is)

Below, the photo:

Watch me as I struggle and try and practice and learn to sketch!

Hope you can make time for a creative, rewarding week!


stitched collage

I've been away from collage too long - this simple one just reminded me how much I enjoy playing with different papers - this time I added in a piece of one of my photos. This will be a great way to work my photos into mixed media.....

To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.  So do it.  - Kurt Vonnegut


DLP - go out on a limb

This year I'm once again starting out participating in the DLP (Documented Life Project) as a way to create art within a theme, but also to serve as a sort of journal of my year. Now, I've started this for the last 3 years and not been able to sustain it so far.  Maybe this year.

The theme for the first month is : go out on a limb (try something new)  The first thing that came to mind for me is to try photo transfer. I know almost everyone else out there has already done this, but for me it's something that was somehow intimidating so I kept putting it off. This seemed a good time to give it a try.

 Started with a painted background and photo I took in Vermont.

 Tore the edge when I was smoothing out the bubbles - but, oh well.

 After drying overnight, I rubbed and rubbed till the paper was off.

I discovered I actually really like the process of this; I like the way my stamping shows through the background and the way the edges rubbed away.  Now I have to figure out how best to incorporate the technique into my mixed media efforts........

Tried a few other versions as well.  I didn't like the first one - I learned the dark background didn't translate well....all the detail got lost and it didn't work well with my background. But a good learning experience. 

Next time I'll share my beginning DLP pages.... Have a creative week!


reading - part 2

Here's what I read the 2nd half of the year for the FB reading challenge.  Part 1 is here.

The Son    JULY
Bk originally in another language:  The Son, Jo Nesbo  (A)  recommend  -man unjustly imprisoned gets out and seeks revenge
Bk you can finish in a day:  The Uncommon Reader, Alan Bennett (B) recommend  - queen of England discovers a mobile lending library and rediscovers the pleasure of reading
Popular author's first book:  Patron Saint of Liars, Anne Patchett (B) -woman raises her child in an unwed mother's home and creates an unusual life for her & her child
Bk became a movie:    Wild, Cheryl Strayed   (B)  true story of woman walking Pacific Trail alone to deal with her grief
Bk of short stories:   5 Great Short Stories, Jack London  (B-)
Bk more than 100 yrs old:   Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll (C-) why is this a classic?
no category:  Personal Geographies, Jill Berry  (B) mixed media personal map making
no category:   Walking London's Parks & Gardens, Geoffrey Young  (C)
no category:   Walking Paris-the Best of the City, National Geographic

Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1)   AUGUST
Bk written by someone under 30:  Red Rising, Pierce Brown (A)  highly recommend; futuristic Mars settlement; young person becomes rebel against establishment, sort of Hunger Games genre but more adult, 1st of trilogy
Antonyms in Title:   Him, Her, Him Again, the End of Her, Patricia Marx  (C-) stupid, whiney relationship story
Nonfiction:   Adrift, Steve Callahan  (B) man lost 76 days at sea
no category:   Shadow Man, Cody McFayden  (B+)  mystery
no category:   Golden Son, Pierce Brown  (A)  highly recommend - part 2 of the trilogy

Nathan's Run   SEPTEMBER
A banned book:   Nathan's Run, John Gilstrap  (A) recommend  -orginally banned for language; excellent older YA story of  13yr old & his escape from juvey; well written, action, strong characters
Bk set in high school:   Dare Me, Eric Devine (C+) high school boys and a series of dares
Bk with non-human characters:  The Girl Who Remembered Horses, Linda Benson (C) YA mystical
Bk turned into TV show:  Heat Wave, Richard Castle (B)  light detective, just like the TV show
no category:   Red Light, Graham Masterton  (B-) mystery set in Scotland
no category:  Plain Truth, Jodi Picoult  (B-)  Amish family drama
no category:   No Mercy, John Gilstrap  (A)  recommend  - mystery
no category:  Kindred, Octavia Butler   (B+) recommend - unique combo of fantasy (time travel) and slavery (1970s and 1800s)

The Alchemist   OCTOBER
no category:   The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho  (B+)  recommend, simple fable-like style story filled with positive insights
Bk takes place in home town (Seattle):  Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet, Jamie Ford (B-); Japanese internment in Seattle from perspective of young teen
Bk from bottom of to-read list:  My Life as a Fake, Peter Carey  (D)  poetry writing scam & fallout, ruined lives, set in Malaysia
no category:   House Reckoning, Mike Lawson  (C)  mystery
no category:   The Girl who Fell from the Sky, Heidi Durrow  (B)  recommend -YA about bi-racial girl trying to find her identity after death of parents
no category:  Learning to Swim, Sara J Henry  (B-) mystery of woman who saves child thrown off ferry & tries to figure out who wants to kill him
no category:   Second Life,  SJ Watson  (B-)  woman who destroys her life obsessing about sister's killer

The Princess Bride   NOVEMBER
A classic romance:   The Princess Bride, William Goldman  (B) haven't seen the movie, enjoyed the fantasy romance
Bk that scares you:   From a Buick 8, Stephen King  (C)  disappointing, not scary
Bk set during Christmas:   Winter Street, Elin Hilderbrand  (C-) lightweight, boring story
no category:   The Leopard, Jo Nesbo  (B)  mystery, complex plot

Guardians of the Night (Gideon and Sirius, #2)   DECEMBER
no category:   Guardians of the Night, Alan Russell  (B) recommend  - cop & partner (a dog) solve a couple of crimes with a bit of humor
Bk based only on its cover:   Garden Spells, Sarah Addison Allen  (B) similar to movie Practical Magic
Bk with magic:   Deerskin, Robin McKinley (C+)  magic kingdoms, love, princess
Bk supposed to have read in school:  A Separate Peace, John Knowles  (B)  story of high school boys finding themselves, classic
Bk from your childhood:   Are you There God? It's Me, Margaret, Judy Blume (B) classic YA
Bk loved by a family member:   Watership Down, Richard Adams  (B) classic fantasy peopled with rabbits
no category:   Rough Justice, Lisa Scottoline (B) good thriller where you already know the killer
A play:  A House not Meant to Stand, Tennessee Williams (D)  nasty people full of meanness, bad way to end the year of reading!

Hope you find time to try some of my recommendations.  Happy Reading in 2016.


reading - part 1

I  am an avid reader. Last Jan. when I came across a proposed reading challenge on FB (thanks Tracey Fletcher King!), I enlisted a couple of friends to join me and we tackled the list of 50 reading categories. I finished all 50 categories ...... the last book wrapped up about when the ball dropped on new year's eve.  :)

I posted progress fairly regularly on FB, but for those of you out there who are also readers, here's what I read last year....the 50 categories plus another 26 books for a total of 76 books!  You can see my reviews on Goodreads (tpurk13). By the way, if you're on Goodreads, message/friend me - I'd love to follow along with what you're enjoying.

Tigerman  JANUARY
Bk with a 1-word title:   Innocence, Dean Koontz   (B) - supernatural thriller
Bk by new-to-you author:   Tigerman, Nick Harkaway  (B)   recommend  something different
Pulitzer prize winner:   Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout  (B)    relationships in a small town
A funny book:   Gone to the Dogs, Mary Guterson  (C) (not very funny)
no category:   Alarm Girl, Hannah Vincent   (B)   family issues set in Africa

The Farm    FEBRUARY
Bk set in a different country (Sweden): The Farm, Tom Rob Smith  (A)  recommend (thanks Karen!)
Bk about or w/ animal as main character:  The Sound & the Furry, Spencer Quinn  (B-)
Bk written by author w/ your initials:  Little Saigon, T Jefferson Parker (tp)  (C)  mystery
Bk based on a true story:  Driving over Lemons, Chris Sewart  (B+)  recommend  buying a farm in Spain and starting over
no category:   Daddy's Girl, Lisa Scottoline   (B)   mystery

Epitaph  MARCH
Bk published this year:   Epitaph, Mary Doria Russell (A) highly recommend  life of Wyatt Earp brothers - very well researched & new perspectives
Bk that made you cry:   The Lobster Kings, Alexi Zentner  (B+)  recommend   family relationships
Bk by a female author:  Eden Close, Anita Shreve  (C)
Bk w/ color in the title:   White Nights, Ann Cleeves  (C)    mystery
Bk w/ more than 500 pgs:   All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr   (B+) recommend  unique perspectives on WWII

The Paris Wife   APRIL
Bk recommended by a friend:   The Paris Wife, Paula McLain  (B+) (thanks Debbie F)  recommend  Hemingway's life told from wife's perspective, based on letters & extensive research
Bk started but not finished:   The Serpent of Venice, Christopher Moore   (F)
Bk from author you love but haven't read:  Divine Justice, David Baldacci  (B)  mystery
Bk with a love triangle:   The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway  (D)   classic
Mystery / thriller:   A Tap on the Window, Linwood Barclay  (A)   recommend    mystery
A trilogy:   The Magician King, Lev Grossman  (B)   magic along lines of Harry Potter but different
A trilogy:   The Magicians, Lev Grossman  (B-)

Case Histories (Jackson Brodie, #1)   MAY
A trilogy:  The Magician's Land, Lev Grossman  (B+)
no category:  Case Histories, Kate Atkinson   (B+)   recommend   mysteries
A memoir:   Up Till Now, William Shatner   (C-)
Bk you own but haven't read:   Memory Thief, Emily Colin  (B)   love & loss
Bk w/ number in title:   The Nine Lessons, Kevin Alan Milne   (C+)  using golf, father teaches adult son life lessons

The Martian    JUNE
Bk set in the future:   The Martian, Andy Weir   (C)   movie better than book
Bk set somewhere you want to visit:   The Most Beautiful Walk in the World, John Baxter  (C+)
Bk published year you were born:   The Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison   (D)  classic
no category:   The Racketeer, John Grisham  (B-)
no category:   The Gathering, Anne Enright   (F)  didn't finish
no category:  You can Draw in 30 Days, Mark Kistler   (B)   helpful sketching exercises
no category:   No Time for Goodbye, Linwood Barclay  (B)  mystery

This takes you through the first half of the year......stay tuned for part 2!


a new year

Happy New Year!

I know you've all been there........the desire to make art tugging at you, but life getting a bit too busy and in the way.  Couple that with a muse that just flat disappeared the last few months of last year, and I didn't get much artsy stuff done.

So, that's behind me - new year, new art commitment, new excitement to get back to my art room and get painty hands again.

Starting off the year by working in a round robin project that's been going on for a few months (the only arty thing I've done - so glad I committed to that!)

Established the border first then hunted for the right quote. Though I'm a little rusty on my lettering, it sure is fun to get back in the saddle!