December 18, 2014

Poetry Reading

From a poetry reading last month at Crosstown Arts story booth.

December 17, 2014

More Cute

One more of this cutie. I've been making tiny paintings of him as gifts, so he is just sitting here on my drawing table staring at me. His name is Brownie. We've been friends most of my life.

December 16, 2014

What I Talk About When I Talk About Sketching

I was invited to give a talk about sketching to art students at Arlington High School. I just love to talk about sketching, and show examples, and demonstrate materials, so that is what I did today.

Each of the students received either a black Faber Castell Pitt artist pen (fine), or a black Pigma Micron 05, and a grey Faber Castell Pitt artist pen (brush). I went to the Art Center and tested them all out, then bought them out of grey pens.

Studio night, playing with the pens.

Grey in front, black in back, for a change.

This morning my makeup and jewelry made a nice tableau.

I took half of today off, and finished putting my presentation together at lunch. I could have continued to tweak it and add images FOREVER. I talked about myself and my (long) history with sketching, and then gave them some things to think about while sketching (like layers and mark-making), and showed examples from so many of the great sketchers out there.

I had to get to the school early, because apparently there is really bad traffic when school lets out (this was an after-school event). So while I was waiting, of course I sketched!

After my presentation the students asked tons of great questions, then we all looked through my sketchbooks, and I demonstrated some of my sketching materials. After we handed out the pens, most of them sat down and started working in their sketchbooks. Success!

December 11, 2014

President Elizabeth

You know I have, like, four jobs, right? I'm a technical writer, artist, art teacher, and one of the hardworking members of the all-volunteer board/staff of Urban Sketchers. For the next year I'll be an even-slightly-harder-working board member of USk, since I'll be serving as president.

I don't know what it is about USk, but I love it, and I love the actual work. It's one of my top three favorite current jobs.

I am excited about this position, and hope to be able to make a bit of a difference in my own inherent-project-manager sort of way. We have a great group and great plans.

So, if you need me any time soon, I'll probably be working!

December 10, 2014

Sketching with Pencil in a Museum

I'm so hooked on pens now I forget how fun it can be to work in pencil. See more about visiting the Rodin exhibit at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens with the Memphis Urban Sketchers here.

December 05, 2014

Friday Night Fun

Know what I looove to do on a Friday night? Get a pizza from Little Italy on Union, put on my house pants, read a magazine or catch up on shows, and generally just hang out with my husband. Either that or art openings, but any night is better with a Little Italy pizza.

December 04, 2014

Fountain Pen and Waterbrush Pen

Some of my fellow sketchers like using the Kuretake waterbrush pen with a fountain pen or other water-soluble pen to soften lines and get a lighter value out of the ink. It works great! I need to work on the technique more to make it my own.

December 03, 2014

Studio Night Last Night: Now With Less Angst

After a few weeks of frustration in the studio, I finally had a normal night of painting. It happens. And I know it happens, so I just stayed there and tried to paint until I could paint. It worked!

This angsty sketch is from last week's Studio Night.

November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I hope wherever you are you have some good food and someone you love.

As I've posted before, my family has been having ravioli for Thanksgiving (in addition to the traditional turkey, etc.) since before I was born. Even though we are all spread out now, many in our family try to continue the tradition. Mostly because it is delicious, but also it doesn't seem like Thanksgiving without ravioli.

So how to make ravioli? Get your big brother and your sister-in-law to do it all, like I do. That gravy? They made it. The filling? Ditto. But then there are many of us to help with the assembly of the ravioli. My nephew Joshua helps Richard roll out the dough, nephew Calvin and niece Somerset have been assembling ravioli since they were each about 6 or 7. We have friends who come over to help, some years to make us do it in the first place.

 This is pretty much the setup - roller in the corner; dough next to it; filling, flour, pasta cutters, forks, and paper towels in the center; and all of it on top of a plastic throw-away table cloth for easy clean-up.

The freshly made ravioli is put into pans with some corn meal sprinkled on them in layers between waxed paper, then put in the freezer. The sides can't touch! They will break when frozen. I usually inspect everyone's work to make sure it's right. We've had some attempts that yielded heartbreaking results when the ravioli weren't sealed right and they broke when boiled. So as long as everyone does what I say, the ravioli turns out fine.

After we make them, we cook some up for dinner as a reward for all of our hard work.

November 22, 2014

Lunchtime Sketch and Notes