Thursday, February 23, 2006

"Testing the Water"

I drew this in pencil this morning and called it "Testing the Water."

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Art is Like Golf

I can feel it, I think, I hope. My nearly obsessive daily studying of art might actually be sinking in. I just need to get outside and paint something to see if I can make happen what's in my head.

I've often thought golf is so alluring to some people because for most it is a deceptively great challenge with just an occasional payoff. It keeps players striving for good games. Art is like that for me. It looks easy, I'm learning the rules, but executing it well is another story altogether.

I painted this three years ago and while it was good for my skill level then, I've learned enough that I can see ways to improve it if I were to try painting it again. That's encouraging. And the fixes look easy to me but I can't count on actually doing it right. Like golf, I'm likely to slice one off into the bushes. I think that's part of the allure. The fact that I can't just conquer it keeps me coming back.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bookplates & Borders

I've finally found an appropriate vehicle for my pen & ink work: bookplates (this one says Ex Libris, but I usually write "From the Library Of"). Good idea, yes? Since they're small, bookplates also work well for small blockprints. Here's a pen & ink one.

And below is a "border" I drew for a note card. I draw these borders instead of doodling while on the phone, or if I have only a few minutes to draw. But since they're just borders, incomplete by their nature, I'm not sure what to do with them other than use them as note cards or stationery. For us detail-oriented people, they sure are perfect for nearly immediate gratification.

This one is called Nouveau. (I must take the time to think of better names.) Your initials will go in the middle circle.

It really must be printed on good paper, darling. Speaking of which, if you love paper products like I do (and lots of my friends do), then you know how delicious it is to write on nice quality, tactile paper and with a favorite pen. Second only to shopping for them. Someday I will open an art supply store, I tell ya! It's gonna happen.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Santa Barbara Palm Trees

Santa Barbara is a lovely, extraordinary place. It sits on a mountain sloping down to the ocean, so you have the beach on one side and the mountains sloping upward on the other. The air is clean and almost always cool, just like I like it.

When I took this photograph the other morning, I shot directly into the sun with the tree trunk blocking most of it. Since it was all in silouette, I colorized it.

Just a minute later, we saw this woman playing with her dog in the surf. The dog was bounding through the surf after a stick, full of energy. I was lucky enough to catch one shot of him with all four feet off the ground. You could tell he was about as happy as a dog can be.

I'll post more photographs later.