Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pitcher, watercolor

Pitcher, watercolor, originally uploaded by Skeinfest.

Drawing daily if I can, and painting a bit too. I had the watercolors set up on the kitchen counter, but then I found the little blue footprints.... Mac thinks natural-bristle brushes are HIS. He steals.

Here is the original ink drawing; I made it earlier this week, holding the pitcher in my left hand as I drew. I think this was my grandmother's; I am fond of it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Self-portrait with warnings

From five years ago. (The handwriting is my mother's.)

This time last year

January 2008:
A watercolor sketch from a life drawing in charcoal made a year or so earlier.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Boy on Lombard Street, SF, February 1971

Photo I took in SF February 1971; trying to paint it. Love it, love it, lost the negative, only have one 8x10 print that I have scanned. Started to block in on top of some old paint; stopped and now am trying to draw it to get it all figured out.

This kid was playing with his friends and I love his laughing face and stance. That left foot! Those shadows! The proportions of the background are amazing me!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes we can!

I am overjoyed at welcoming our new president and his family and all those who surround him and will help him. For the first time in years I feel that my government works for us, not against us. Here is Lauralee celebrating at Jillian's pub an hour or so after President Obama took the oath of office. (Did I mention that a co-chair for national security on the transition team [update: now an Undersecretary of Defense] was once my Secret Santa?)

From the wonderful Urban Sketchers site, our SketchCrawl friend Gabi Campanario commemorates the inaugural with a sketch of a stack of Obama cakes from the bakery at Albertson's grocery store.

Monday, January 12, 2009

SketchCrawl Seattle: January 10, 2008

SketchCrawl. It was chilly! Beth was making her drawing from the arched doorway in Raitt Hall across the quad; Edwin, Guy, and Bill were sitting on the steps at the top of the quad, making wonderful drawings. I joined them to make a quick one, looking toward the Barnett Newman sculpture "Broken Obelisk" (twins are at the Rothko Chapel in Houston and at MOMA in NY):

Glad Bill posted his wonderful pictures including the Art building; also glad to see the great drawings of the Music building that faces it by Edwin and, from another angle through those cherry trees, by Beth. These are all on the 21st SketchCrawl site for Seattle. (I want to see Guy's giant squirrel!)

Then the 5 of us retreated to the Hub (student/Husky Union Building) to share our drawings and thaw out. Beth recalled the idea of a Portrait Party, so we each drew the person on our right: Beth drew me, I made a couple of attempts at drawing Edwin.

After the first sketches, we each turned to the person on our left and began anew. Edwin had drawn Guy, now he drew me. I drew Beth twice.

During the first round, we had laughed and talked and shifted around, a bit self-conscious, I think, about making our portrayals. During the second set of portraits, very soon our concentration was wonderfully powerful and intense. Very exciting to do this; thank you to Beth, Edwin, Bill and Guy for sharing this experience with me! I think it is really cool that now Bill and Guy, father and son, have made portraits of one another.

At the top of my page is Beth, not as beautiful is she really is but it was fun to draw her clouds of hair!

We reconvened at the Solstice Cafe in early afternoon with 15 or more SketchCrawlers and shared our drawings with one another.

You say it's your birthday!? We're gonna have a GOOD time!

As if the SketchCrawl wasn't enough fun for one day, I spent Saturday evening (and on into the night) in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains at Fall City's Raging River Saloon to hear the wonderful keyboard player Lauralee Smith in a band called Free Rain. Despite their name they can NOT be blamed for the floodwaters just down the road. I did dance, I did drink some beer, I did stay up way past my bedtime. My hotel room was just up the street at the Fall City Inn, which apparently found fame in the tv show "Twin Peaks."

I kept trying to leave but the band kept breaking into great dance tunes and I had to stay: keyboard (piano, synth, accordian) player Lauralee, singer Tom, guitarist Dale, bass player Tim (hey Ballard!), singer P.A., guest singer Debbie from Chrome Molly, drummer Donn and a guest drummer whose name I could not hear above the ambient sounds. That was WITH the earplugs, gracefully provided by Lauralee; there is a reason she can still hear after playing in bands since forever.

The best reason for a party was to celebrate the 65th birthday of L's other half, the estimable Mr. Smith. Dick is now "officially the world's oldest 18-year-old." Ever so true. Note his shirt: Lauralee's turquoise accordian had its public debut in a classic version of "Twist and Shout." So we did -- although I was briefly expecting her to play "All Along the Watchtower" and I still hope she will.

Definitely a weekend for old friends. Beth (SketchCrawl) and I were locker partners in 8th grade. Lauralee and I go back nearly that far --

She remembers, if I don't, that I took this picture of her band Rock Kandy on the Seattle Art Museum camels in Volunteer Park in 1968. And somewhere I probably still have the negative for a picture of Lauralee and Dick on New Year's Eve 1970.

21st International SketchCrawl in Seattle

Here is Beth, making a drawing from the steps of Raitt Hall on the quad at the UW.

We joined the 21st International SketchCrawl, which took place in Seattle as well as almost 100 other cities around the world! Thanks to wonderful Beth -- my friend of more than 4 decades now -- for this picture:
Fifteen or more sketchers, here warming up at the Solstice cafe, after drawing pictures on the UW campus on a typical raw damp Seattle morning. And here the results of our SketchCrawl are accumulating, including our 5-person "portrait party"! My drawings to come soon.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Next International SketchCrawl coming up Saturday, January 1o! Convening in Seattle at 10 a.m. at the Cafe Allegro in the University District to draw in and around the University of Washington. Many memories from that immediate vicinity but nearly 4 decades ago. How'd THAT happen?!?