Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry and Bright

Mele Kalikimaka!
Merry Christmas to you all! xox, -w

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's ..

The little cats are his. Really.

beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...

Here's a thought: The Virtual Cookie Exchange is a holiday cookie/yummy exchange. I'm still working through a couple of boxes of chocolate samplers. Even just the idea of cookies, real or otherwise, ehhh, even for a chocoholic like me, it's a bit too much. I say let's enjoy the real nummies and cookies and food and company, and we'll celebrate with photos and documentation of all sorts of Virtual yummies from all the holidays, all the way through New Years. In the meantime, Marta has been doing some nice coffee mugs. They'd go so nicely with cookies, eh?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

White gouache

20071212_white_gouache Click to see this photo's flickr page

I've been looking at all these great images and photos and sketches of the holidays, so this squooshed tube of white gouache really feels very much not in keeping with the season.

[Sigh] Oh well. We're in the home stretch. Finals and grading papers and final exams and figuring out grades and turning them in and grad show and school will all be done very soon and our holidays will begin in earnest. We'll return to being the cookie-baking and -eating snuggly bunnies that we were meant to be.

White gouache (opaque watercolor paint) is better applied, you know, as icing on paintings of cookies, the light white dusting of snow that lingers on our mountains, the beautiful formations of clouds in the mornings, the spray of the ocean, highlights on shiny things, and that sneaky glint in your eye. That'll have to wait just a few more days.

It also works when you're out of liquid paper, too. But I digress.

Hope that you've been well.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Tired of drawing my food

Trying posting directly from Flickr

I wanted to play with drawing the leaves in the negative space behind the chair, in a more graphic style, but got distracted. Maybe another morning.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Easier to eat quickly than to draw quickly
This isn't a holiday cookie, just finishing baking up a log of some pre-mixed cookie dough. I'm not sure baking several batches of different holiday cookies is such a good idea. The cookies barely survive past the cool-on-a-wire-rack stage ... The bears 'round here seem to get to them far too quickly.

At this rate, I wouldn't have any cookies that survive long enough to share. And the bears around would be in serious danger of getting ... too ... tubby.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Woo Hoo!

Huh? University of Hawai'i Warriors hang on to beat Washington and complete undefeated season! Woo!
The faithful stay up late to watch the games!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy medium

Highly coveted Pilot Hi-Tec-C pens

What? Where are the ... Cookies?
A little bit of playing with the new FC Albrecht Durer w/c pencils

A great train of thought from the design conference from Sir Ken Robinson:

"People who are most creative love the medium that they work in.
Everyone is creative.
You simply need to find your medium. "

I have been working with my Pilot Hi-Tec pens and markers quite intensively the last few days. I’m looking forward to spending the weekend working a little more with chocolate, fresh produce and the Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils that arrived yesterday.


Did someone say cookies? Join in on the fun!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I've been

Busy working!

Oh all the pretty colors...
Geh! This isn't even the half of it ...

But before this work frenzy, I got these in:

Carry a big stick!
Click on any of the images to see them larger. >click!<

More half-eaten meals

This last one was done with the Prismacolor Premier ("OOooo. 'Premier'! ") Fine Line marker they passed out at the Learning Product Expo in Pasadena. It's brown with a fine tip, so I'm not sure how well you'll be able to see the linked drawing, full screen. Squint a little. That might help.
Amazing, isn't it, how you can finally discern where the perspective is wonky, only when it's finally scanned and on your computer screen. And published where the whole world can see it too. Ehhhh, back to drawing board! (Yes, pun intended)

Back to work! Tonight in class I'm planning to have 'em all working very hard on perspective line drawings and little experiments of how to render different materials in marker. Lots and lots of industrial design product drawing today. I predict that I'll be wearing a lot more marker by the time today is finally done. Sigh.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving recap

Yup, looks like this. Pretty much!
Intense watercolor pencils

What'd you do for Thanksgiving?
- We cooked, ate, slept and watched a whole lotta football :) The whole time.

Oh, look at the Intense pencils!
- Yeah. So much fun. I figure I need to be a little more methodical in at least understanding the colors and how they react with water. I ordered the Faber Castell Albrecht Durer ones, too. I heard they create really nice washes...

Huh? You ordered more? How many different brands of these watercolor pencils do you need?
- All of them.

Oh. Um.. Right.
- Cheaper than a shoe habit. Or ... you know, worse.

Right. Hmm, talk to yourself much?
- [Furrowing brows] Huh? I'm not going to answer that.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Virtual Cookie Exchange!

Yes, that would be SO Low-Cal!

After several years of wanting to do a holiday open house and getting sick each year (lying dejectly with the flu on the sofa when I ought to have been baking instead), I've decided to try it the smart and all-inclusive way. This way I can still plan a party, without having to clean; can still bake, but not have to save all the cookies for one big party.

I mean, let’s be real:
Saving several batches of cookies in the freezer around here would be impossible.
[shaking my head]

So, you are invited to the 2007 (Progressive) Virtual Holiday Cookie Exchange!
Where else but TheFridgeDoor, eh?

Create a tasty little treat* to share:
You can bake, draw, paint, sew, draft it.
Whatever. I won’t be picky.
You could even discover it and share a photo of what you’ve found.

Then, send a digital image of what you’ve created to me.

Or, better yet, why don’t you share a few warm holiday memories and plan a Blog Entry to bring to the Cookie Exchange?

In December (let’s say starting around December 10th), we’ll share all the yummy goodies, nice little coffee breaks for the busy, bustling holidays.

I’d be happy to post images, but it’d be even better to share a list of blogs and postings. It’d be a great excuse for everyone to visit each other and share a memory or two.

Go ahead and forward this post to your crafty and artistic friends and have them whip up a batch of creative (digital) yumminess, too!

My guy, reading the artwork, said "Virtual Cookie swap? Sounds disappointingly low-cal..."

Best wishes to you all.

*Tasty little treats like these, and not like these.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


You've done this, I know you have...

With the holidays pretty much here, it's time for us to indulge in rituals of comfort, food, tradition. Every Thanksgiving, I wonder if this is the great American holiday. Forget the Fourth-of-July and corn on the cob, barbeque and burgers and dogs! No matter where you are in the world, I imagine that everyone has at least a teeny craving for roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie. At least, this is what I like to think - that we're all sitting down to a national dinner.

There are the quirky traditions, too, like olives, celery sticks filled with cream cheese, the universal method of drawing a turkey (see above), eating too much, turkey soup a few days later, and everything else. There's so much at stake in preparing the food that I've seen all-out mayhem break out in kitchens. It seems more and more that there's more stress and expectation involved in preparing this one meal than Christmas! OMG! And sadly, that stress and craziness has become part of the ritual for a lot of people, too. Sigh.

People do pause to say Thanks, but it really has become just a moment, that lingering pause right before we all start digging into all that food [Lips smacking: Nom nom nom nom!].

There's a lot of gratitude floating around the blogosphere, though. I don't think we need to save it all for just one day. Expressing Thanks is a good thing; it keeps you humble, happy, keeps things in perspective and spreads the light and warmth of a smile on your day.

I am thankful for my man, his warm hands, warm words and warm heart.
I am thankful for notes of courage, friendship, encouragement and support that I get.
I am thankful for the beauty that others capture and create and share so openly, work that inspires.
I am thankful for the chance to teach and to continue to learn.
and I am so thankful that for the better part of my job, I get to draw! Yay!

What are you thankful for?

Now! Let's get to the cooking part of it all!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! xox -w

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Catching up a bit

I've been ..

And this time it didn't cost $1200!
... waiting around getting my oil changed ...

The phone cord looks pretty interesting over there
... killing time between meetings and classes ...

Gee. I want a classic chair ...

... drawing study sketches of classic chairs with my class ...

Another gnarly tree!
... and killing more time between meetings.

And (over the weekend) watching a lot of football and napping. The napping part is hard to draw, so you'll have to take my word for it.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

And finally, Cylinders

See? Empty wrappers. Drawing food as it's lying there is almost impossible. Better to eat first.
Passing time.
Ellipses and cylinders
We did cylinders in class last night, finally. One cannot live on cubes and spheres alone.

It's always nice to be able to sit and draw with my class, working with them individually. But, mostly, it's nice to be able to just draw with them.
We plug into a different student's iPod for music when we draw, more or less rotating through the group. Better than having everyone wearing earphones, off in our own secluded worlds. The chatter is nice, and I get to listen to different music.
Last week, we sampled Korean rap.
I have to say: Life is pretty cool.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Eva Zeisel exhibit

Been doing study sketches of this for a while

When you hear people gush about industrial design, you’ll typically hear words like, “Cool! Juicy! Sexy! Aggressive!” Boy, I’ve just, uh, enhanced the traffic to my site from search engines. We all love the sleek, hip, new, crazy stuff, yup. I love to look at it all, too, but I also crave the soothing pause of very lovely and graceful design that doesn’t feel the need to smack you over your head.
Sunday, I went to see the Eva Zeisel exhibit at one of the smaller museums in Los Angeles, the Craft and Folk Art Museum, across the street from LACMA.

Seeing the work in person is much like seeing any other kind of classic work in person. You know how great it is from lecture slides and books. But in person, it’s just so much more lovely and so enchanting. Yes, it is so wonderful that you just wish you could pick up the pieces and hold them, as they were meant to be, in your hands. The quotes and video add layers of warmth to the exhibit.
One quote, up high on a wall, seemed to sum up the overall theme and tone quite nicely:
“Years ago, when I was asked about good design, I answered ‘Love is a very personal matter’ …”

I wish I could share it with you. Photos weren’t allowed in the gallery (yes, imagine my great sigh of disappointment!). If you’re in the area, stop by and see it. It continues through December 30th. Yes, it's a small museum. The exhibit is small enough that you don't mind sitting through the whole video, but not so small to be completely underwhelming. Maybe. It'd be a good pause for your day.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Yes, people,

Jell-O! Jell-O!  We all Yell-O for Jell-O!

it's the last of the Jell-O cups.

Have a great weekend! :)

Oh, my Bad

Yes, you're right:

This would be the last of the Jell-O cups.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


I had to fight the urge to sit and color in the floor, to balance all the volume of the forms a bit, help settle it in space, especially the table. Mmm, maybe later.

OMG, no, I don't draw these freehand. I rough-in sketches and work on proportion (or, not) with pencil and go over it with pen, then take out the pencil lines with a kneaded eraser.

The past 5 days, we’ve been recovering from some kind of stomach ailment/flu/bug. You know it’s bad when neither one of us wants to eat. I mean, seriously. You’d think that padding around all day, napping, it might be nice and soothing to draw, but no! (Gasp!)
See? I told you it was bad.

I can (but probably shouldn’t) work through a cough, sniffles and allergy attacks and fever. But, when I’ve got a seriously upset stomach and can’t eat, well, heck, there’s no point in facing the rest of the world until I can eat and have more energy. Bleh!

um, yeah. Bleh, indeed.

I’ve had plenty of chicken soup (canned), saltines and jello (talk about comfort food) for a while. Feeling better today, though, much better, Thanks.

I’m having to dig through my backpack to figure out what I had last done before the intestinal unhappiness, what I need to do to follow up with that stuff, and what was is that I had to do today? I dunno. I have piles of binders, with papers from different jobs and classes. I’ll get home from the day, unload one group of binders and books from one school, plunk it down on the floor. Then I grab stuff from the other school and class and load it into my pack. If I’m ambitious, I slip in a sketchbook and work files. Everyday, it’s something different, a different pile of stuff. After even just a few days, it’s like an archeological dig on the floor of my office; the deeper I go into the piles, the further back in my most recent past I can investigate and figure out where the heck my brain was.

I knew I was in trouble this morning when I went digging, thinking, “Now, where are my brushes…”.


You know what I want? I’d really like one job. Maybe two. I have the two, and then freelance, and then the faculty council, and then recruiting, and then the professional design society. I don't want to sound ungrateful or anything, but I’d like to be able to pack my bag with just one, mostly unchanging load of books and ideas, and go about my days. I’d like to be in one place often enough during the weeks to actually have co-workers. That would be really, really great.


Today I need to get back to documenting the stuff I’d compiled from Monday (it was remarkably a good, industrious day, apparently. I’d forgotten), and from the conference, already a couple of weeks ago. Good grief! The conference, for industrial designers, had great talks about design thinking and education and creativity and imagination and all that good stuff. I have lots of scribbles on talks in the little moleskine they gave us in our registration packets. I need to get to transcribing that, because there are really great thoughts to share and to think about. I wish they’d just collect slides from the speakers and publish them. In the meantime, we all have our notes, furiously scribbled in moments of inspiration. Little seeds, waiting to germinate.But right now, I have to take a shower, grab my first coffee in a couple days, and tackle some of this work stuff.

... Want to read about someone doing really tremendous good? Visit Jane.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Chopping chopping chopping. I just love fresh produce.

Leftover onion

... you know, you take what you have on hand, chop it up, saute it, throw it in a pot with organic chicken stock, and let it simmer. You invite weary souls in to share it, warm their bellies and help calm their recent, long dusty days.

With thoughts and prayers to the people who need an extra dose of comfort. You know who you are. If you feel like you need an extra serving, go ahead, there's plenty.

Turkey noodle soup
The unexpected ingredient here was the soy sauce. And I threw in a splash of the white wine that I STILL have in the fridge. Not drinkin' fast enough, I guess. We didn't have enough turkey, so I added roast chicken. Chicken, turkey; by the end of it, it didn't really matter. Yummy. And, yes, soooo good for you.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I’ve been tagged by Desiree. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to do a meme. What’s a meme? Here, try this on for size. I thought it was, you know, like Me-Me (as in “it’s all about ME!”). [shrug]


Seven Random things about me:
Isn’t my whole blog about random everyday things about me? Not trivial, let’s be clear, but random? Scritch, scritch, scritch. Okay, no matter. Here we go, maybe there’s something new to learn.

1. I am a degreed mechanical engineer and worked in aerospace for over ten years. On the Space Shuttle Main Engine and other advanced rockets. So when I roll my eyes and say, “Look people, this is *NOT* rocket science”, know that I say that with authority. Indeed.

2. Karen occasionally asks me, because people are curious and ask her, about my (ethnic) background. My grandparents came from Okinawa, so that makes me Okinawan / Japanese. The “Lee” part is my ex-husband’s, and even then, it’s of the Caucasian variety. You know, like, Irish.

3. "You were married?" Yes. It’s an unusually and exceptionally friendly divorce and I’m thankful for that. That explains the whole dating-at-40 thing, doesn’t it?

4. I’m allergic to cats.

5. I wear by wristwatch on my right hand, but don’t let that fool you: I’m right-handed. I discovered in design school that it’s impossible to draw with my watch on, so if the wristwatch comes off, I’m on a roll and in for the long haul.

6. I love Chinese Almond Cookies. And jello. Cut into little cubes (you have to love food that’s so jiggly in its exuberance, in spite of its seriously geometric form, don’t you think?).

7. I’m a degreed Industrial Designer. What’s industrial design? I have lots of thoughts on that, but for now, this should work. I teach industrial design at two great area colleges and work as a product design consultant. And volunteer a good chunk of time as an advocate for the profession. I know that's not really random, but I don't think I mention exactly what I do very often here. It surprises people, when they find this out, the people who know what product design is...

Okay, so now (rubbing my hands together) ... who do I want to tag, next? I get to pick seven people.

Can I segue this into something even more? I found this collection of "Small is Beautiful" bloggers:

The Small Is Beautiful Manifesto

The first part of their manifesto goes: "We believe stories are valuable, no matter how many people read them...". This is what I love about reading blogs, the little stories of the everyday, often told by creative people. I think that we should get more random insight into some of the bloggy people out there who make the world a richer, cozier, much more intimate place, by sharing their stories and art.

So, I tag these Small/Beautiful blogs:

KarenW is my painting buddy and lends a sympathetic ear and warm heart, too. She just outed herself as a paint and plant geek. But we already knew that, Karen. Tell us something even more random!

Toni Not only is the art wonderful and the lettering so graceful, but Soup Night is an extra yummy bonus.

KarenB Aren't her sketches and stories great? The art is super too.

Kim finds amazing and very distracting links on the web, finds beautiful things to make us pause, creates great self-portraits, shares bits and pieces of life in her photographs.

Ophelia is living life very juicy and shares it; raw, gritty, everything! I confess my unexpected affection for Mr. Pooh!

Pete I don't know how I found Pete, NerdGuru. With a name like that, how could I resist? I teach business practices, for designers, and find that his collection of essays on business practices for engineers strikes a resonant chord with the teacher in me, and his stories and book reports are really fun. I am a nerd, deep down.

MrMominFL My dad was a stay-at-home-Dad (SAHD). Remember, that was 40 years ago. OMG, the stigma. Have things evolved? MrMom will give you an earful. And, although our familiarity with Canada might make us think otherwise, when one moves from Canada to the US and tries to get a job, one is still an ... alien. I forget this detail in MrMom's life, that he's from Canada, 'eh. Dude, hope it's going better. The photos (raw and editorialized) are great and fun, too.

I'm going to sneak a couple more in.

Jen Gray's photos are great. And the stories and thoughts? Oh, just go see.

I admit that I almost left out the other Wendee, because her life is normally SO not ordinary and everyday. She's off, out in the world, writing and photographing. Her adventures of the soul and of the wild are great. A normal suburban Texas mom? I don't think so.

Okay. I've given you plenty of places to go visit. Support the Small and Beautiful bloggers out there and the very wonderful lives and stories that they share. Enjoy. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fire, Ash, and sighs in the wind

It’s hard to feel … impish … when Southern California is burning. I’ve lived in SoCal for 20 years now, making it the longest I’ve lived anywhere. Long enough to have grown roots! When I hear of the canyon road closures – Topanga, Kanan, Malibu Canyon – I used to commute on those roads just a year ago. Long drives up Pacific Coast Highway after days at work, winding through the canyons at night to get home.

That part of stretch of PCH was a soothing ritual, and the thought of it, and so much more of Southern California, burning – it makes my heart a bit heavy and fretful. Fire, ash, dangerous gusts, closed highways... Be safe out there.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I left my heart ...

in San Francisco...

I'm so the SoCal girl. You weren't gonna fall for that, were ya'?

I'm back from a design conference in SF. I might not have left my heart there, but did leave my cold there (yay!). And apparently my luggage felt compelled to stay for an extra day (rolling my eyes and shaking my head). I'm back home, along with my luggage. Lots of great ideas, stories and thoughts from the conference, but for right now, I have to catch up with work and grading papers. More later.

But you can at least check out the photos:

Click here to see the photos.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bits and pieces

From the collage workshop

From my guy! (the flowers, not the image)
More playing with Photoshop.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I went to the Pasadena Art Expo yesterday. I had two workshops; one on exhibiting your work and another on acrylic media collaging. Both very fun. I think the Art Expo is run by a different organization than it had been; the last time I went was probably over 15 years ago. I realize now that not only am I more well-versed in specialized art products, but in the time that’s passed, I’ve found great sources and local shops where I can find my graphic, drafting, modeling and art supplies, and that I’m not shy about stopping by to pick up supplies and indulge in browsing to see what’s new, too. So, seeing all the goodies there at the expo was great, but there wasn't anything there that insisted on coming back home with me.

It’s like going to the See’s store when you’ve already had your fill from the Cheesecake Factory. Or something. Oh yeah, like I wouldn't come home with a chocolated-covered caramel! Pf!

Okay, yeah, right. I did play with some new (? to me) water-soluble pencils from Derwent called Inktense. The pigment might be more intense than the other water-soluble pencils I already have, and, as advertised, the lead seems to be more firm, as well. I would have bought a set of those, but the vendor had chosen to not bring any pencils from that line! Duh! They were letting us take one pencil, free, as a reminder to go buy ‘em, when we find ‘em, though.

Here’s the first from my one, lonely, blue Inktense pencil.

p.s. I added a photo of the soup to the Mexican chicken soup post!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mexican Chicken Soup

Somedays, all I feel like doing (when it comes to the daily sketch) is coloring. Not shading, but coloring. Colorcolorcolor ... oh, darker, darker. As I hum. Is it just me?

You're going to ask me for a photo of the soup. I just know it.

I’m still not 100% but felt ambitious enough to make Chicken Soup. Everyone tells me to drink orange juice, but the acid is just too much of me. Bleh! Why make myself feel worse? I like chicken soup better.

During one of our trips into San Diego, we literally stumbled upon a restaurant called La Especial Norte (604 North Coast Highway 101 at Leucadia Boulevard, in Leucadia).

The food is fantastic. Their Chicken Soup is renown and oh, so yummy. Chicken, avocado, lime and cilantro. Yum. Their chicken mole is really great, too. We’ve made the drive south just to eat there again, at least once (so far). Oh, my eyeballs are starting to roll back in their sockets ... Yummmmmmmmy.

Anyway. I felt like cooking up a pot of something and was thinking about chicken soup, but I didn’t feel like the typical chicken noodle variety. You can get whip some of that up with a can-opener, you know?, if you're really under the weather. No, I wanted yummier. I immediately thought of Mexican Chicken Soup. But, heck, La Especial Norte won’t deliver, as we're easily three or four counties (who's counting?) away and a good 2+ hours north. Imagine! Tsk!

I did a search online and found several recipes for Mexican Chicken Avocado Soup. Isn't the internet great?

I worked mostly from this one, although this one might also do (although the cumin and lime are key).
I left out the tortilla strips and it was fine, although J thinks the tortilla strips would be something good to include. I added two sliced carrots and extra lime juice and water. And a dash of white wine we have languishing away in the fridge. I’m not crazy about the potatoes (J thought they were fine) and noticed that La Especial Norte has rice in their soup. Hmmm.

The verdict: yummy yummy yummy.

Very colorful. And so healthy for you, too. Not that labor-intensive (but, of course, I like chopping fresh produce and herbs). Plus, in case you're wondering about the medicinal benefit: I feel better, ready for a good night's rest.

It’s a keeper.

~ Like this talk of food? Check out Toni Kelly's Soup Nights.

Oh, I see

The tricky thing about drawing glasses is that you usually wish you had them on, to better see the details of what you're drawing...
Sumpthin' like that.

The sinus-infection-sneezy-coughy-thing that I'm afflicted with? Apparently it's going around. Maybe I'm not allergic to my new surroundings after all...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Bananas, everywhere

We've had the tangelo too long! Iick!

Who knows? Still got the bananas and tangelo on my mind, I guess.

I’d like to say that I enjoyed the long weekend (I was one of those lucky ones that got Columbus Day off), drawing and painting and meandering.

But, my whateveritis allergy is threatening to become a full-blown cold (“Oh, maybe it’s a cold!”), complete with that worn-down feeling and a cough.

And my left eye isn’t really liking the new contact lens, even after a couple of months.

So, I’m tired and congested and not seeing things as clearly as I ought to be (what a metaphor, huh?). You might think I’m being cheeky, winking at you, but really, I’m just trying to see if I can get my contact lens to settle in …

So I’m not feeling the ‘drawing and painting and meandering’ so much, at the moment. Going to try and find some hot apple cider and take it easy…


Saturday, October 06, 2007

What's that sound?

What? Hear that? Wait. I hear it again! Wha-?

What IS it?

It sounds like,

like a ...





Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Carbo loading

opaque w/c, M'skine sketchbook

It's still warm here in SoCal, but I think the autumn routines are kicking in. I feel the urge to cook up a big pot of stuff on Sunday nights and have that on hand to keep life easy at the start of the week. By the end of the week, after all, we're heading out for Mexican food and muy grande margaritas... mmmm. Margaritas... And for sure, that makes up for all the PB&J sandwiches I eat; dinner the other nights, on my way to school. Weary sigh.

And it always seems significant when I get the urge to put together italian meat sauce. Something very soothing in the chopping, crumbling up spices, opening all those cans of tomato product, stirring.


Monday, October 01, 2007

See? There I am!

“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.” -Robert Bresson

My guy at Glacier National Park

This was the quote for the day, and I was inspired to go through my photos for a few appropriate ones. You realize that without me, my guy would never have documentation of him taking photographs. The big ol' bear used to roam alone, and that's plenty of roaming. Alone. He has stacks of photographs of these great places, but none of him hiking or setting up to take photos of his landscapes.

My collection of photos of him either hiking ahead or snapping a shot has grown since the Glacier trip, over a year ago (maybe you've noticed). Someone got on my case for not actually being in very many of these photos, but if you think about it, I am in these photos that appear to be just of him, really.

I am there. In all of them.

I was looking through my files and through my Flickr sets and realized that I never posted photos from the second half of our trip to Glacier National Park, last summer (2006). Duh.

Click here
for more!

They're new to you, though, right?
There are a couple of photos of the two of us, even...

A Snapple-y Sunday morning

Opaque w/c on M'skine sketch, wonky ellipses and all...

It might look breezy, but it actually shows how busy we both are – grading papers, creating improved lecture handouts – on the weekends. Kinda wishing for a sluggish, lazy, no-guilt, don’t-hafta-go-anywhere weekend. I get the 8th off from school (Columbus Day), so I’m looking forward to enjoying a little bit of no-guilt play-time in a week.

Between the pan gouache and tube watercolor kits I’ve been using on the new sketchbook, I’ve discovered that I'm starting on more pages that bear the mark of too much water on the side before. You can see it here as a diagonal streak to the left of the papers, in the empty space. Time to start carrying around more watercolor paper with me, huh?

Oh, check this out guys:
"Blogger Play will show you a never-ending stream of images that were just uploaded to public Blogger blogs." Like watching the clouds go by. But better.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Toothpaste pingpong

I'm a Crest kid!

Diving into a new sketchbook without worrying about committing to that perfect first mark on that pristine first page.

I like the format that Karen Blados uses for her daily sketches. And Jane's sketch journals are really nice snippets of her days. Illustrated lives, indeed.

Maybe this way I can get away with spending less time typing, documenting the little daily stories. The blank white block for entering text with the blinking cursor is like that brand new white sheet of drawing paper. I try to find those perfect words for that perfect, pristing new (digital) page... As much as I enjoy the crafting of words, I also need to streamline my days a little bit, when I can.

And besides, some of these daily drawings seem so naked all by themselves on the pages of my sketch book, hanging out there all by their lonesome.

Thursday already? Wuf! Heading into the stretch towards the weekend.. have a good one out there. -w

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Twists and turns

Last night we had meetings at school rather than classes. It was a nice break, to meet colleagues, learn about what’s going on w/the school, be re-energized about teaching and learning. There’s a lot of focus on Student Learning Outcomes at both the schools I teach at: What do we want our students to do, feel, know – at the end of our classes? The focus is less on providing instruction (ie, data dump), and more on encouraging learning. Wouldn't it be great to motivate self-teaching?

I got there early and got to eat dinner and sketch for a little bit along the reflecting pool and added color when I got home. Arty note: Since I have two mini paint sets, I decided to fill one with tube watercolor paint and try working with that, rather than the solid pans. I fight with the pans, I’ll admit. They normally win, not me. So the tube paint in the little wells will dry out enough that you can take the kit with you with little or less fear that it’ll spill out and goop up your art bag and all the precious arty materials in it. The w/c paints will soften with even just a little bit of water. I had heard this and went, “Really? I can use the tube paint? And still be neat?”. Yes, it really does work that way. Cool.

Tube paint in what used to hold solid pans of paint.

I have to say, though, that I was *so* excited by all this pigment that I could finally use so easily, that the intensity of colors here isn’t really what I had envisioned in my mind.

Reflecting pool at PCC

"Ick. Too much.
The blue. It bothers me."

I flipped through my sketchbook, which I finished off this morning. Most of the early sketches from about the past year were in just ink, or graphite pencil. Lots of gnarly trees. Not so much color. So that’s a new thing to play with more and fine-tune.

I wanted to loosen up for some work I need to do today and went out on the patio to sketch the row of plants that J has. I enjoy using this continuous-line quilting approach to drawing; sort of like drawing in script. My intent was to scan this then print out pages and work with the color – lots of nice gradations from green, yellow and red in the broad leaves. I grabbed my brush pen, and went back in for, what? I’m not sure, maybe emphasis. The much thicker lines really changed the character of the line work in a way I’m not sure I wanted. So, realizing this, I did a couple more quick sketches to capture gesture and to try to discern what I thought about the different pen weights, independently and/or used together. I’m going to work on this more, linework, in my work and my ‘play’.

"blah blah blah!" Is anyone still reading? Or are you just watching the sketches go by?

I added blocks of color in photoshop to a scan of the first two-page sketch and the sketch bothers me, well, ... less. [impish shrug]

I’m going to print up some of the b&w line drawings and play with color (paint) more, too. Later.
Because... in the middle of finishing off my sketchbook and quick sketching, I started sneezing. Fall is in the air, and something in that air, on the patio, makes me sneeze and sniffle!

I wouldn’t say that it’s been a discontented last 24 hrs of art, though (well, aside from the itchy nose. That’s pretty distracting). It’s amazing that you can always come back to working with the basics: Lines, color. The journey, like the art, has gesture, twists, stops and starts, splashes of color that you didn’t expect. Working through the process, I have to say, is what makes it really fun for me. And, of course, for me, the play - - very happily - - inspires the work part, too.

So ... dow, I hab to go blow by dose and ged to worg. Have a good one. -w

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Or maybe a

spot of tea?

I was doing some study sketches for a personal project I'm working on and ended up taking some reference photos to make life easier. Then, I found myself taking more photos that I didn't quite think of taking when I started. And then, I found myself playing with Photoshop ...

This falls into the "Oh, I wonder what that does (click!)" method of learning software. Kind of hunt-and-peck; not very efficient, but fun, all the same:

teacup from J's really pretty china set

You're wondering, aren't you, where this project is going? I've been thinking about this for a while. Let me finish and I'll get back to you. Might take a bit. It'll be fun. Promise.

Anyway, and then I sort of got really distracted from the immediate task at hand ...

in the heat of the desert...

And so it goes..