Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy 09 !

Top: Birthday Cake
9"X 12"
ink and watercolor
Bottom: The End of 70
Self Portrait
9"X 12"
I'm seeing a lot of people who are doing their sketches as journal entries, especially as I read the submissions on Every Day Matters. There are even classes and workshops on journaling. I've been trying to draw daily and to record memories as well as some things that attract my attention or that I think will make an interesting picture. Sometimes, those are the most ordinary things. Things that we take for granted that will always be there, but may, over time, become lost or obsolete.
I've been writing some of my notes or thoughts on my drawings, but separately, usually. Seeing the journal entries, (and some of those are amazing!) I thought I would try my hand at a little lettering, page design, etc. I'm not really into that, yet. It seems to take a lot of time and I feel sure that, those who are doing these wonderful pages, must work very fast. Drawing, painting, writing, all take me a while so I can see that it would take me a really long time to complete really nice pages. So far, I've just recorded a few thoughts and notes on some of my drawings.
You can click on the Every Day Matters logo in my sidebar, and see some nice journals and sketches. I haven't posted anything there, yet. Something to do this new year.
With a new year, there is always a new birthday and age, for me. My ice cream was melting as I drew my piece of birthday cake! Last year, I drew memories of the blue birthday cake I wanted when I was in about 5th grade, I think, and wrote of some memories of birthdays past. This time, I thought I would do a still life of my cake. I hope I don't have bad luck this year because we didn't do candles on the cake, this time!
Bottom I've been watching the self portraits that Myrna Wacknov has been doing. She did several poses on one paper that were her reflections on turning 65. I really like her style, and it is so interesting to read all the processes and experimentation that she does. That one piece of art has won many awards and has been published in magazines, etc. Recently, she said that it has made the cover of an art magazine.
That work made me think of Kathe Kollwitz and all the self portraits that she did, as well as other artists from Rembrandt to Van Gogh, who we can learn more about through their self portraits. As I told my students, you should be able to draw something that you are very familiar with-something you have looked at all your life. And that is, of course, yourself. You look in the mirror to wash your face, brush your teeth, comb your hair, put on make up, or to just study yourself-and have for most of your life. And, in doing self portraits, you also learn to observe and draw other people, learn to do shading and highlights, textures, shape, etc.
I thought, when I first saw Myrna's portraits that I should record that milestone in my own life-being 70. And I did a few little sketches, but didn't get as creative as Myrna. I thought I could do something later, if I had a sketch or two.
The bottom sketch was done the night my birthday approached. I was putting down a puddle pad for Bitsy when I got a glimpse of myself in a mirror. Instead of looking at myself while drawing, I tried to remember what I saw, and drew that while I watched tv later. It isn't exact. And, now that I have scanned it, I see that one eye is darker than the other! It isn't meant to be a finished sketch, but just something that I can use in some way, later.
At midnight that night, Ashton came running into the den to tell me "Happy Birthday". Then he went back to bed. That was the most excitement of the day!
Drawings of turning 71 don't sound as interesting as turning 65, or 70, 80, 90, 100! I guess 75 would be the next milestone year. I will probably do something to record 71, too.
Label your pictures! Last night I found a photo of a cat with kittens. We've been debating how old Bitsy is. I know she is 22, my daughter thinks she is not that old. I'm going by where I was working at the time Bitsy was born, and what happened when my daughter brought the cat to me at work! I thought this picture was of Bitsy and the one litter of kittens that she had when she was 1 year old. If so, and if it had a date on it, that might settle our argument. Of course, it isn't labled. I showed the picture to my daughter and she said that was another cat, Freaky! And, sure enough, it was.
We still are laughing at the contestant on "The Gong Show" on tv (years ago) who came out with a rainbow colored wig and sang, "I'm gonna do something freaky..." . When the calico cat was born, we thought of that contestant and the colorful wig, and named the cat Freaky. She does look a lot like Bitsy, but she had more gray on her where Bitsy is white.
I was hoping that photo offered proof of Bitsy's age. (I know I'm right!)
Plan to join in the 21st World Wide Sketch Crawl Saturday January 10. It's right around the corner! See the website for more information . Or you can click on the logo in my sidebar.
You can join us in Bryan, starting at the LaSalle Hotel at 8:30 a.m., then register at the Frame Gallery when she opens at 10. That's just to get an idea of who is participating and where they want to work.
In Calvert, meet at Mud Creek Pottery beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Other communities can join us, start your own group, or work on your own
FREE !!!
Artists, students, teachers, beginners, advanced, doodlers, sketchers, painters, writers, families, etc. -groups or individuals-work together or by yourself.
Work indoors or outside, or even at home. All day or a few minutes.
In this area, Let's Draw The Brazos Valley!
During the day, sketch your surroundings, then get together at the end of the day, if you want to, at the meeting place to share experiences and work. Work and experiences can be added to the Sketch Crawl Forum online, to places like Picassa or Flickr, and your own blog or website.
The idea is for people all over the world to record their surroundings, all on the same day. There are no hard and fast rules.
I have registered for Bryan/College Station/Calvert/The Brazos Valley on the Forum. So you can add a message there if you would like to join us. Let me know if you have questions.
Just bring your drawing, painting, or writing materials, and anything that you might want to use- like a chair-and yourself and friends, family, students, etc. and join in.
If it is cold, we can always go inside and work.
We have been sketching in downtown Bryan, Calvert, and out on country roads, previously. There is no limit, and we don't have to work together, unless you want to.
There is a cute t-shirt with the Sketch Crawl logo on front and a pencil on the sleeve, available on the Sketch Crawl website, in case you want one. It isn't required, though.
You can contact Greta Watkins at the Frame Gallery in Bryan, Sonny Moss at Mud Creek Pottery in Calvert, or me, at grannyc_54at yahoo dot com for more information.
I hope to see you there, and, if not here, at least to see your work and experiences!
It's also time to sign up for the Plein Aire Painting Workshop in Calvert Saturday Feb. 21, going into Sunday Feb. 22. Go to her website at or . You can contact me at for more information and a supply list.
We would like to have a deposit of $40 to reserve a place in the class by Feb. 1. The balance of $40 is due at the workshop. Make checks payable to Virginia Vaughan. Let me know if you are interested, and I'll send you more information.
Thank you for reading and sharing. Please pass this on to anyone who might be interested.
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Draw, draw, draw! Paint, Paint, Paint! Write, write, write!
And have a Great 2009!

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