Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Public Sketching

"My Favorite Cafe" in Saline, Michigan was our class destination in our practice of public sketching with watercolor.  I actually am becoming more comfortable sketching in public.  It's true that facing your fears, reduces your fears!  I'm now finding that I tend to really pick out challenging subjects or angles to draw - What IS my problem!

Today at "My Favorite Cafe"

Last week at "Brewed Awakenings"

Bored at Sam's Club (water retention pond at the far end of the parking lot)

Today at "My Favorite Cafe"

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

писанка, Pysanka, or Ouă Vopsite


A pysanka  ( Ukrainian: писанка, plural: pysanky ) is a Ukrainian Easter egg, decorated using a wax-resist ( batik) method. The word comes from the verb pysaty, "to write", as the designs are not painted on, but written with beeswax. Many other eastern European ethnic groups, including the Belarusians (пісанка), Bulgarians (писано яйце, pisano yaytse ), Croats ( pisanica), Czechs ( kraslice ), Lithuanians ( margutis ), Poles ( pisanka), Romanians ( ouă vopsite  or incondeiate ), Slovaks ( kraslica ), and Slovenes ( pisanica  or pirh ) decorate eggs in a similar manner for Easter.   (Definition from

Since my camera was stolen several days ago; which was an example of Murphy's Law at it's best - er worst...

"the first time you forget to bring your very expensive camera in from the car, is the night your car gets broken into." 

Simultaneously, I have been reintroduced to Mr. Murphy as -

"The minute you have no camera, there are a million things you need to photograph!"

Of course, I am now craving to post on my blog by the minute, share THE COOLEST things I am doing with my face book friends, and seeing the most amazing sights EVER...because I don't have "Precious" anymore.  I'm certain those who know me well would never describe me as melodramatic or having an exaggeration streak....well, never mind.

I have decided to pull out the old point and shoot and see how creative I can be with a more modest camera.  So in honor of spring (Right. Brrrr) I've decided to post some of the eggs that I have created over the years.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Back to the Basics

I enrolled in a "Travel Journal" class.  I'm not sure if I actually read what the class was about before I signed up.   I think I saw "travel" and "journal" and decided that was for me!   I didn't realize until the first class that we weren't making a journal to use in our travels, but we were going to put journaling into practice.  In public places.  In front of other people. 

Everyone who knows me understands that I am not a shy person...however, I cringe if anyone watches me draw.  I think it is the perfectionist in me; fearful that a judgement will be made before I am properly finished, self critiqued, approved for public opinion, and framed!  Perhaps that's a bit of an exaggeration...  However, I have accidentally put myself outside of my comfort zone by signing up for this class.  I believe this will be a good thing! 

Lately, as I have gotten older I have found that fears creep up.  My antidote has been to not only face them, but to face them over and over again until I am no longer afraid.  First it was driving through tunnels on road trips.  Bridges were fine, but I was certain I was going to crash into the walls while driving through one of those mountain tunnels on our springtime road trips.  So every year I planned the route with the most tunnels.  And it worked!  I no longer get that "itchy" feeling of confinement when I drive through a tunnel.

Pressure canning is a recent fear that I have overcome.  I started slowly by helping my husband while he was at home, in the house, and specifically in the kitchen.  Then I allowed him to go outside while I kept an eye on the canner happily hissing away.  Finally, I completed a batch of soup from start to finish while he was 45 minutes away for 24 hours!  Success! 

I hate power tools, so my first baby step was to take a class to learn to solder.  I realize that a solder gun is far from a power tool....but this fear is so big, I figure I'll need about a million baby steps before I head out to use the chop saw!

Back to the sketching...

We started some basic drawing techniques that I hadn't used since college; basic contour drawing, blind contour drawing, a bit of perspective, and shading.  I had hated contour drawing in college, but really loved it in this class.  I felt it loosen me up and it filled me with excitement to see how much I had missed having a pen/pencil in my hand.  I am also excited that we have homework!  I don't ever remember being excited about homework in the past...