December 31, 2012

A Band Concert Happy New Year!

This sketch is from one of the two holiday school band concerts I attended this month. Since my nephew Calvin has been in 6th grade, I've been to many band concerts. Now he's a freshman and his brother Joshua is in the 6th grade band, and their sister Somerset will be there next year.

Every band concert I've seen makes me feel hopeful for the future of our world. Here's wishing you hope and joy in 2013. Happy New Year!

December 30, 2012

Sketching at Work

What? I wasn't sketching at work, who said that?!

Just kidding I totally was, but we were in a meeting and there were technical difficulties, and I had a pen and paper. What else was I supposed to do?

December 29, 2012

Sketching in Collierville

Earlier this month the Memphis Urban Sketchers went all the way out to Collierville to sketch with Plein Air Memphis, a group that meets like we do, only they make paintings instead of sketches.

It was so fun! And the Collierville town square is so lovely.

December 28, 2012

Christmas Camping

This Christmas we did something a little different, but not too different considering last year we spent Christmas in a cabin. We went camping! Like, in a tent!

It was cold and glorious. I do love a winter landscape. We had the coziest tent and the biggest fire and the best site in Ft. Pillow State Park. And we had the whole place to ourselves!

I didn't make many sketches, as I was too preoccupied with just staring off into the distance. I highly recommend it.

Also, if I had made more sketches of the landscape, they all would have looked like the first sketch. I did enjoy sketching the campsite, though.

We had a weenie roast for Christmas Eve dinner, but we dressed up our hot dogs by putting pimento cheese on them! Because we are geniuses!

After sleeping through a cold and windy night, the temperature stayed low on Christmas morning. A storm was blowing in! We decided to take down our camp before it started raining, then we drove home and had a wonderfully lazy Christmas day at home.

I hope you had a great Christmas, too!

December 27, 2012

Sketch Portraits

Earlier this month I accidentally offered to make sketch portraits at a Cash Mob at Literacy Mid-South. I'm just kidding, it wasn't an accident, but I did take myself by surprise by suggesting it. See, I don't do faces all that much. They are difficult, and I fear hurting people's feelings by making something that looks dumb. But hey, it turns out I can do it!

Would you like one? Just let me know.

December 12, 2012

St. Jude Marathon

On December 1st Memphis hosted the St. Jude Marathon and about a bazillion of my friends were running the half version. The marathon route always goes through my neighborhood, so I rode my bike up to a prime viewing and cheering spot. After seeing my friends and ringing my cowbell at them, I made this little sketch to commemorate the day. It is hard to draw people running!

December 11, 2012

Very Quick Lunch Sketch

I just needed to put pen to paper!

After I finished this sketch a nice woman who saw me sketching asked what I do, as in for a living. I almost answered with what I actually do for a living (booooring), even though I knew it wasn't what she meant. So I said: I'm an artist! Then I gave her a lot of proof: I teach! I show my work! I have a sketch group!

Then I went back to my boring (I say that with love!) job :)

December 08, 2012

Portrait Sketches at Memphis Cash Mob, Sunday December 9

Tomorrow, Sunday December 9, I am participating in the Memphis Cash Mob! I will be making portrait sketches for $20. Here's the information:

Memphis Cash Mob: Memphis Creative Women's Collective

Literacy Mid-South, 902 S. Cooper Street

The women of Memphis Creative Collective make everything from pottery to jewelry to paintings. Most of these women don't have a store front, so they are setting up shop in the lobby of Literacy Mid-South.

The rules are simple: Plan to spend around $20, meet three new people, be a kind and patient mobber, and have fun!

You need to do some Christmas shopping, and these kind women have generously agreed to donate 10% of their profits during the mob to Literacy Mid-South.

Hope to see you there!!!

December 03, 2012

Color Workshop at Flicker Street Studio

You can't tell it by this sketch, but I took a color workshop from Nancy Cheairs at Flicker Street Studio today. I spent all day mixing paint and making color charts. It was so great!

(click on the image for more detail)

Sketching People and Writing Random Stuff

December 02, 2012

My Favorite

December 01, 2012

Family Time

Sitting outside watching the nieces and nephews playing in the yard, under the great ravioli in the sky.

*** come sketch with me & the Memphis Urban Sketchers this afternoon at the Collierville town square at 1:00 PM! ***

November 30, 2012


We went to Thanksgiving at my grandmother's in Georgia (east of Atlanta). We usually drive there on Wednesday, but this time we decided at the last minute to leave Tuesday afternoon! Which turned into Tuesday night, but whatev.

My mother-in-law hitched a ride to her sister's house (southwest of Atlanta), but since we left Tuesday night we stopped outside of Birmingham for the night. Here is my fabulous Hampton Inn breakfast.

Wednesday we dropped Sharon off in Senoia, and after a short visited headed to my Mimi's.

This napkin holder (top) and these salt shakers are ever-present on her table.

After a full day of cooking and cooking, and making place cards, playing outside, watching the parade, and napping, we had a table full of food to enjoy together. Those are the ravioli on the bottom of the picture.

As we finished our wonderful meal of ravioli, turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and spinach & artichoke casserole, we went around the table to tell what we are all thankful for. It was a tough year to do this, as we lost my dad this year and my grandfather, my Pop, passed away just a month before. His absence was palpable, but we were comforted by being together, almost just like every year.

Then we were comforted by pie.

November 26, 2012

Last Week of My Show

My show with Martha Kelly at ANF Architects (1500 Union Ave) is up for one more week! Go take a look!

November 21, 2012

Alone-Time Sketching

My week was SO BUSY last week that I didn't get to have my normal lunch-hour veg-out at all, so by Saturday I needed to recharge with some alone time. After getting a haircut, I hung out with myself at Starbucks and did some sketching.

In the top sketch I used two new pens that I was not thrilled with: a Pentel Hybrid Technica, which smudges a lot; and the Pentel Color Brush, which does not go on evenly and does not dry quickly. CAVEAT: could just be the paper in the sketchbook I'm currently using! Normally I LOVE Pentel products, so I do think the problem is the combination of paper with these pens.

It was too cold to sketch outside any longer than it took to make that first sketch, so I moved inside and back to my standard Zig Memory System Writer pen/marker. I adore this weird little pen. And my crazy Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth Magic pencil with all the crazy colors in it. And a Tombow ABT marker I carry around just for making light blue skies. Seriously. That is its purpose.

Anyway, much happier with the second sketch.

(click image for more detail)

November 20, 2012

Regina Spektor at the Ryman Auditorium

We went to see Regina Spektor! In Nashville! At the Ryman!

Sorry for all the exclamation points, but I LOVE Regina Spektor. Her latest album, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats, was my summer album.   Like most of her other work, it is happy/sad. No, not bittersweet, happy/sad. It has one of the most joyous songs I've ever heard, and songs that make me cry every time I hear them. I cried through most of the concert, which was exactly what I wanted to do!

The Ryman is a lovely, lovely place. We saw Ms. Spektor there once before, also Flight of the Conchords and Elvis Costello! But not together, though that would be awesome.

I carried my Laloran sketchbook that I got at the Urban Sketchers Symposium, and sketched the tall guy who sat directly in front of me. I feel like this same guy sits in front of me at every concert, movie, lecture or whatever other kind of show I go to.

Oh well, it was a great show.

(click image for more detail)

November 19, 2012

Lunch Things

Today at lunch I did a bunch of stuff.

Click image for details.

Aquash Brush

If I have talked to you about sketching in the last few months, I've probably mentioned my new favorite tool, the Pentel Aquash Brush. I love it. LOVE IT.

It creates a lovely, even shade of grey and makes it so easy to create shadows. I keep telling people I feel like I'm cheating when I use it!

The only drawback is that it leaks. This is basically one of those brush pens that holds water, but it comes with ink in it, and is apparently formulated not to dry up or clog or break up. Which is great! But it means I'm carrying a brush loaded with ink in my purse at all times, so when I discovered it leaked I was pretty disappointed.

 But I took precautions and continued to use it.

Friday I bought another Pentel product, a Pentel Color Brush, which is similar to the Aquash Brush, but not as good. The ink in it doesn't go on as smoothly or dry as quickly, at least not with the paper I'm using.

But I noticed these instructions on the pen itself. Right on the pen! They say to remove a red ring that sits right under the instructions. AHA! Did I not see those instructions on the other pen? They are right on the pen how did I miss that?!
I went out and bought a new one, because I had already ruined the first one I bought by removing something from INSIDE the pen to make it work, which actually (together with the un-removed red ring) caused it to leak.

I probably did see the instructions when I first bought the Aquash Brush, but I don't read Japanese :)

Oh well, now I'm reunited with the brush/pen of my dreams!

November 18, 2012

Ravioli Day!

Today was Ravioli Day, which my brother's family hosts every year before Thanksgiving. They invite over a bunch of friends and we make up to 50 dozen ravioli, from our Zanone great-grandparents' recipe.

I was super late today because I had an Urban Sketchers board meeting (via skype!) that ran a little long, and then I HAD to go to the Art Center to get yet another ink brush pen (more on that later).

They had it well under way when I got there, so I made a couple dozen ravioli, critiqued everyone else's ravioli-making, then headed outside with Shannon to have a glass of wine and a chat. Her husband Brian and our friend Stacey joined us (with more wine!) and we chatted some more (1st sketch - Brian's legs and Shannon's knee on the right).

We all went back inside to eat some delicious ravioli for dinner. After we emptied all of the plates and bowls, we sat and talked and I sketched as much as I could before Andria zipped by and cleaned everything up.

My niece Somerset asked me to sketch her, and who can say no to that face?! I honestly haven't been sketching faces for that long, and every time I start one I think (or even say out loud), Oh this is terrible and wrong! But then, look! It looks just like her. Yes, she is really this beautiful, and equally as smart and funny and all around cool. I had her sign it. She's 10.

That's Chip's camera. He signed it, too.

We always end up in the kitchen again at some point. That's a big ol' roaster that Richard uses to cook the gravy in. Those are lots of empty wine bottles. And that's Shannon again in the background!

It was a fun day, and I can't wait to eat more ravioli on Thanksgiving!

November 08, 2012

Union Avenue and Wood Pile

November 07, 2012

Skype Meeting

Having a skype meeting at my drawing table in my pajamas.

November 06, 2012

Busy Day

Went to the Dixon at lunch on October 17 to hear Jim Buchman talk about his work that is currently showing there. It was a great talk!

Later that day I went to the first Memphis Cash Mob at Goner Records. Amurica Photobooth was there. It was a very Memphis kind of day.

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