The end of the school year is always straight up craziness. Final projects, exams, recitals, parties, and for Moya and me (this year) a springtime cold/flu bug. Things are finally settling down a bit, though, Moya would disagree as she still has one more week of school and her finals, but I'm actually able to sit down and type up a blog post. The first in over a month.
Allan and I have been enjoying this spring by getting in lots of walks. This photo was taken over a month ago at Reeds Lake, one of our favorite places in town.
We don't always walk down to Crazy Charlie's for fries when we visit Reeds Lake, but it's a fun treat every once in a while.
I'm really enjoying my Mother's Day gift, and I've gotten lots of great bird photos to paint from, but I've got to tell you, I had no idea how fast the birds would empty this feeder. One day. One! Sadly, it spends much more time empty than full of seed.
Allan chaperoned Elijah's field trip to Chicago. They had so much fun. The museum of Science & Industry, Willis Tower, The Bean, Giordano's pizza for dinner, and a historical boat tour of the city. All in one day. They were so exhausted.
This girl has been enjoying the warm weather as much as she can, even doing her homework outside. Yes, that's our field of dandelions, er, backyard I mean.
Elijah had a belt test a couple weeks ago. This was his first weapons test. He was awesome.
Now he is a Green Deputy. Only two and a half more years to first degree Black Belt status.
Elijah turned twelve on Sunday. Twelve. Sigh.
He always chooses donuts for his birthday. Since we are all gluten and dairy free I decided to make them this year. I added some strawberry puree to the batter and drizzled them with strawberry glaze. Yum. They were a success...which is not always the case when baking gluten free. ;-)
These seagulls were relentless while we ate our lunch...of course, my son and brother tossing them food may or may not have had something to do with that. At least it provided some good photos to paint from.
Today I'm sharing some more sketches from my 2013 summer vacation sketchbook.
My brother took us down some really awesome trails in his Jeep.
He also took us on the Silver Lake dunes in his Jeep, which was a first for me and so fun!He's pretty good at driving on those sand dunes. We had lunch on the beach there, which is where I spotted this pretty drift wood.
To render these flowers, I first used a water soluble marker to add all the purple line work in the petals. Next, I went over the lines with a water brush to both soften the lines and color the petals. Finally, I added highlights with a white paint marker. Now I totally could have painted the petals and gone back in to add the line work with paint and a detail brush, but, using a marker is a whole lot faster, which is great for sketching. If I were painting this as a final piece of art, I wouldn't use the marker, I would only use professional quality paint...and these flowers would take a lot longer to finish! :)
Bracelets have always been one of my favorite accessories, so when I came across this Beaded Wrap Bracelet tutorial, I knew I had to make one. Of course after I made one and realized how fun and easy it was, I had to make another.
Supplies: Waxed Linen from Hobby Lobby; Beading Thread, Needle, and Beads from Michaels; Buttons from a local fabric store.
Triangles. They are everywhere right now aren't they? Jewelry, clothing, home decor...I'm loving this trend. I really want to make a triangle quilt, but for now, decided to play with triangle pattern in my art journal.
This spread was created by cutting triangles from two of my bird drawings, notebook paper covered with handwritten Bible verses, and plain grid paper. After gluing the triangles down, I covered the spread with watered down gesso, and then added paint and doodling on top.
It was really fun to play with pattern on this spread. A lot more fun that I thought it would be. I just might need to recreate this on a canvas.
Yes, I'm back with even more bird sketches. I think they are my favorite subject to paint right now. On a side note, the birds outside our house were chirping like crazy this morning. I think the freak April snow confused them. Poor little birdies.
For this colorful fella I used Derwent Inktense Pencils blended with a water brush. I love how vibrant the colors are and that the pencils blend so well with water.
Since I started focusing on painting again, I have finally filled my first sketchbook. It might sound silly, but this is a big accomplishment for me right now. I'm sticking with it and fitting...no, making time to make art almost every day now, which has been my intention for well over a year. I have several different sketchbooks that I'm currently using, but this is the first one with filled pages.
My completed pocket Moleskine sketchbook. Started December 2013 and completed March 2014.
This little sketchbook will probably always hold a special place in my heart. Pages filled, a goal achieved, and hopefully the start of something much bigger.
It was a gorgeous day, so after seeing the butterflies we took a walk outside. One of my favorite things about FMG is the art. They have a wonderful sculpture collection, mostly outside.
Siblings being siblings in front of this cool sculpture made out of letters. It's part of a trio titled, "I, you, she or he..." by Jaume Plensa.
Allan and Elijah especially like this one, "Neuron" by Roxy Paine.
The waterfall and koi pond is one of my favorite places at the gardens. If you ever get a chance to visit FMG you really should. It's such a fun and beautiful place. Moya and I have decided we'll be using our family membership to go for a walk here at least once a week this summer. I can't wait.