California Sycamore – Tranquility – Ink Brush Painting

“California Sycamore – Tranquility”
18″ x 18″
SOLD (commission)

This is the matching painting which pairs with the California Live Oak which I posted yesterday. Together, the two frame the dining room door of gentle lady who commissioned their creation. There is always some serendipity with painting. You never know exactly what is going to happen when you put brush to paper, and this is no exception. I knew that I was going to do an ink brush drawing with wash, but when the ink separated on this particular type of paper, the component elements of the black ink separated into shades of gray and taupe … and the taupe is the exact shade of the paint under the wainscoting in her room. I took advantage of this characteristic of the ink to simulate the gray, white and taupe patches which are so characteristic of the California sycamore, but maintaining the feeling of an ink drawing.

Conceptually, the oak tree (seen yesterday) represents strength, stability, fortitude, structure, endurance. I painted the sycamore to represent shelter, grace, resilience and flexibility.

This Saturday night I’m looking forward to going to her Christmas party and seeing them hung in the room, all decked out and lit by candlelight.

California Oak Tree – Strength

18 x 18 ink and ink wash on paper
SOLD (commission)

This painting was done as a commission for a client and I have posted it here to show an example of my work.
Please do not use it without my permission. It is protected by copyright and is not “free” to use as you wish.
If you wish to use it commercially, it may be possible for you to license it.

Hollywood Nights

At the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Avenue, there’s a big shopping complex where jazz concerts are held on warm summer evenings. You can buy a glass of wine and listen to great music, and then stroll around the shops. I didn’t draw it in this view, but the whole center court has a Babylonian motif. No, I’m not kidding …. take a look at: Hollywood and Highland. I think my favorite “faux sculptures” are the two bas-relief Mesopotamian winged creatures that flank the facade of the Victoria’s Secret store. They both have purses or shopping bags in their hands. Gotta love it.

Anyway, while others were facing the musicians, I listened with delight and found a seat behind a potted “kangaroo’s paw” plant and drew the crowd.

LACMA Courtyard

We went to the LA County Museum of Art yesterday, saw some exhibits (not Hockney, we didn’t have enough time for that) but the one on art glass was wonderful. At one point we took a break in the courtyard. Here are some of the people that were sitting close enough to see, but far enough away that I wasn’t caught drawing them. My objective was to see just how few marks I could make to suggest the person and their attitude.

Following this we went to the beach for dinner, then came back home and caught a 10 o clock showing of Disney’s “Cars.” In In spite of the fact that it’s marketed to a family audience (which all too often means witless and watered down) this was one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in quite a while. There are so many sight gags that only people of a certain age would “get” that it was clearly intended as entertainment for all ages. Without giving away the plot, there’s a part of the story that involves a section of Route 66 … a road that I drove with my parents as a child. We will get this on DVD, no doubt, just to be able to see all the jokes we missed. A great movie with a Randy Newman score and CG as only Pixar can do it.

Two guys out for a walk

Seen at a farmer’s market … a man and his lizard. I liked the look of the these two buds, hanging out together, getting some fresh air and a snack. Some days it actually is easy being green.

My artworkbooks

As you can see, I use my journals for a lot of different purposes, not only for sketching pleasure. As I’ve committed myself to doing more painting this year, I find that I’m reaching for it more and more as a practical workbook, not a chronological diary of my days. In fact, I have numerous workbooks with different paper in different sizes. I keep notes of ideas for paintings, I try out color mixtures. I paste in swatches of different kinds of paper and practice different drawing techniques. I work out designs for soft block carving. I carry it with me to museums and make notes about the artists. I even print out and paste in my sketches and paintings done in Photoshop or Painter.

This is my portable personal encyclopedia free of rules and concern about outcomes. The disastrous pages are as valuable as the “good” ones but none of them gets torn out and thrown away. It’s not an artists book destined to look pretty on its own. It’s a workbook – raw, spontaneous and full of scribbles and wrong turns. It’s where I map my “Creative Journey.”

Do you keep an art workbook for experiments and testing paint and such? Write and tell me about it.

Chinese New Year 2006 – Part 2

Lions dance through fields of firecracker debris. Surely good fortune will follow.
Brush pen in my Moleskine … memories of the Chinese New Year parade.

Ripley in my new cahier Moleskine

This afternoon Ripley was sleeping so soundly on the floor of my office that I thought I could probably get a quick drawing of her done before she stirred. She did move her paws around but thankfully kept her head steady most of the time.
This was drawn with the water soluble Kuretake brush pen, which is a most unforgiving and hair-pulling instrument. Still, I like the way I can go from a thick to a thin line without changing pens and breaking the mood.
This was drawn in my new Cahier model Moleskine, which my husband gave me for Christmas. The paper is thin like the basic Moleskine journal, but it is much larger, which allows freer expression. I was hesitant to use juicy watercolor on the paper so I added the background with some Tombow pens, and swished a little water over the top. There’s something about a cream colored dog on a cream colored background that just looks a little vanilla, you know? If I had been thinking I could have painted the background with an acrylic, which would have been less splotchy. Ah well.
The shadows are created by gently softening the black ink line with a Niji waterbrush filled with clear water.

More sketchcrawling

Saturday night, after an afternoon at Descanso Gardens we had a quick sushi stop (yesterday’s scan), had a latte at Starbucks and went to see Memoirs of a Geisha. These are some of the people I saw along the way.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, by the way. I had read the book earlier this year and although much detail had to be left out, it was essentially the way I visualized it. In fact, the author was so descriptive in his prose, and the director so faithful to the book that the scenes were exactly as I had “seen” them when I was reading.