Monday, March 31, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Days 23-30

Here's a recap of the past 8 days. ( I did 2 on Day 28)  The last row is my attempt at doing a self portrait.  Obviously, I still have a ways to go, because none of these look like me, but I think the last one on the right is getting a little closer.  This is my new challenge.  You will see lots more attempts of self portraits in the future.  Below is all 30 Days.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Darwing Challenge, Day 30

I can' t believe that this is the last day of our drawing challenge by Kathie George.  She asked us to do whatever we wished that would be a gift to her, so that she can make a collage of all of our paintings.  That ended up being one of my hardest challenges, because Kathie is a dear friend, and I wanted to do something great for her!  I looked around my studio and saw my Omi Da statue that I bought years ago, and feel like it brings me good vibes in my studio.  It was made by Vern, who I was told, is a member of the Ojibwa Indian tribe.  Everything on the sculpture has a hidden meaning.  I like to think that the clear ball that he is holding is our world and we are all responsible for protecting our earth and making it better for the next generation.  (This is my own made up story, but I like it!)  Anyway, there is leather, antler, bones, fur, clay, feathers, and a multitude of other textures on this sculpture. Even though the face of this being isn't beautiful, it has such a good spirit overall.  Even my husband really likes this sculpture, and he tends to like realistic artwork.   I wanted to do more shading, but tried to keep this to a simple drawing.  I want to thank Kathie George for hosting this challenge, and for giving such great direction and lessons along the way.  It's been such a fun month!  I really hate for it to end!   

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Day 29

Today's challenge was to draw something from a distance, where you put the subject shape within an imaginary square or rectangle and then draw the negative shapes that happen because of it.  I've always struggled with boat drawings, so I decided to draw Kathie George's reference, but I can honestly say that it was hard for me to see the detail in her photo, so I left it pretty plain.  What I do like is that my boat honestly looks like it is floating, unlike most of my other boat paintings where the boats look like they should have legs.  They never did appear to be floating.  So, I like this drawing for that reason and no other!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Day 28

Today's assignment was to do a gestural drawing.  First we get the main shapes in (like circles, or squares) and then very quickly draw the subject.  I love this way of drawing, and I actually got the size correct and got the whole subject within the page!  Progress!  Kathie George asked us to draw with a pencil and to NOT erase.  I went by the rules. (Those who know me are raising their eyebrows right now, but truly, I did go by the rules. :)  Then afterwards, I used a permanent marker and followed the lines that I liked best.  This only took me about 15 minutes to do.  I also used Kathie's past lesson about extending your arm and measuring things with your thumb, that's how I got the inside of the cup to be the correct elliptical shape.  The rest of the cup was 2 1/2 times the width of the elliptical circle.  The sculpture was given to me by Joye Moon as a hostess gift when she stayed with me years ago.  I really treasure it!  Joye teaches workshops all over the country too.  Check out her website. Love her portraits!

Drawing Challenge, Day 27

These attempts of drawing a self portrait are in order from the top down. The first one was done on Day 26 of my blog.  I liked the shadows on it, but it didn't look like me at all.  So, attempt #2 was done on Day 27, but I truthfully wasn't feeling good, and was babysitting all day, so was out of steam.  I learned a valuable lesson about getting the shadows too dark.  There's no going back from that.  Also, someone told me that my first sketch didn't look like me, because I'm always smiling.  So I tried one with a smile. Wow, that was hard to draw teeth!  So, Attempt #3 as actually done on March 28th but I wanted to post them all together so that you could all see that I didn't give up!  I kept trying and learned from each experience.  On the third attempt, I did a gestural drawing, first by putting in circles, and rectangles to get the right shape.  Then I quickly sketched, looking at relationships between everything and even had a good hairdo to sketch!  :)  I don't think this looks totally like me yet, but it's getting closer.  Thanks for this challenge, Kathie George.  By the way, this collage was put together using the website,  It's a great site!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Day 26

Today's challenge was to draw some part of our body, so I picked my face, looking in the mirror as I did it.  I have a bad cold, so it's not the best time to be doing a self portrait, but I did it anyway.  I've been studying shadows lately, and have found Jan Kunz' book, Painting Watercolor Portraits that Glow, very helpful to remember to connect shadows.  Kathie George told us to do a contour drawing, not lifting our pencil, and that really helped to connect the shadows.  I don't think this looks anything like me, but I do like it as a portrait of someone. 
So, Today was Weigh In Day for those who joined my Healthy Eating Challenge.  How did you do? If you want to, you can report back to me privately OR you can just keep it to yourself.  I honestly ate my yogurt and coffee before remembering to weigh in, so I'll just go by the weight that I was 2 days ago, which was down 1.5 pounds from my starting weight.  I have a bad cold right now, and lately caught myself using that excuse for not exercising.  A couple of years ago, I took a Community Ed class about dieting.  The leader asked us all the reasons why we were there, and wrote them on the blackboard.  I thought to myself, "Finally, I'll get that answer to my problem!"  (My excuse was that I always gained weight on trips and with my teaching schedule picking up, that meant for a lot of roller coaster weigh ins.)  So, there were about 15 excuses, including winter weather, stress, having too much to do, cravings, etc.  The leader then erased all of the excuses and said, "No more excuses!  You either want to do this or you don't!!!!"  Wow, I never forgot that phrase!  So, what's it going to be, fearless group?  Are we done with excuses?  Do this:  Whatever your excuse was that came to mind, find an answer for it, and make this week better than last week.  I sit in front of the TV too much and tend to eat there.  So, this week, no more eating in front of the TV.  There, that excuse is history!!!  Have a great week! :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Day 25

Today's assignment was to draw something in an unusual format.  I chose long and narrow, since my sculpture is tall and thin too.  I ran out of room on my 5" x 7" page, so she's a bit shorter than I wanted.  But you ignited a new series for me, Kathie George!  I think I will do many funky women in this long format on canvases.  I have 3 canvases that are size 30" x 40", but that may not be thin enough.  Food for thought.  The image that I drew today is one of my favorite sculptures by a local Minneapolis artist, Krissy Catt.  I am fortunate to own 2 of her sculptures and I really LOVE them! Below is a photo of the real sculpture.
So, those of you who joined me for the Healthy Food Challenge, Wednesdays are our weigh in day.  Are you ready?  How did you do this past week?  I would rate myself about a C+.  Still ate a couple of protein bars (processed food) and didn't exercise.  BUT, I made pretty good food choices, even with being out of town for 4 days. Make today a good day, everyone!  Take a walk, or just move more in your house, if it's too cold outside.  I like to walk in the Malls too, but that can cost you, if you stop in at a store!  :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Day 24

Our challenge today was to draw a sculpture so that we could put the shading in, where there were shadows.  I have a really cool sculpture of a head, that actually is supposed to hold a beverage, but I never use it for that.  What I'm most please about is that it truly does look like this!!!!  Maybe this drawing every day is truly paying off!  Who knew? Thanks, Kathie George for this incredible journey in drawing! 

Drawing Challenge, Day 23

Today, Kathie George challenged us to use Elegant Writer Pens or some other pencil that smears when it is moistened.  I first learned about Elegant Writer pens from Karlyn Holman, and you can buy them from her website if you want.  I love using them for shading.  This is one of my funky metal sculptures that holds a wine bottle.  Below is the real photo of the art piece. I had such fun drawing this! I love to make the crosshatch design at the top and then wet between the lines of every other one.
So, I promised you that I would have a lesson on commenting on my blog.  Here goes.  If you are on my blog list, you will receive an email that shows my latest post.  You must click on the title of the article, in order to get to the page, where you can add a comment.  For instance, if the title is "Drawing Challenge, Day 23", you would click on that link, and it will lead you to the correct page.  Now, read the blog, and scan to the bottom of the page.  Beyond the 3 little photos (of past blogs) you will see "no comments" and if you hover your mouse over that, it will highlight.  Double click on that, and a box will appear where you can leave a comment.  Once you type your comment, press "Publish" button.  You will have to wait for me to approve it before it will appear on my site, so just wait a few hours, or if you're lucky that I am close to my computer, it may happen right away.  You may need to answer a test to see if you can read the numbers on the screen (That's something that the blog site does to stop hackers.  It's pretty easy.  Just type the letters and numbers, and you should see a message that says that your message will appear as soon as Karen approves it. ) That's it!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Days 19 - 22, Drawing Challenge

I've been out of town, so these are the last 4 drawings that I did.  The top two are supposed to deal with perspective and sizes of things.  The bottom 2 are supposed to deal with getting everything within your imaginary frame, when working from real life.  Since I was out of town, taking a workshop, I'm just happy to get them done, even though they are definitely not my best work!  But I completed the assignment each day!  Sorry I couldn't post them while I was gone.  My laptop has not worked away from it's base lately.  So, again, I have to say that Kathie George is a fantastic blogger, and that you should all be signed up to receive her daily lessons, because you will learn LOTS!!!!  Her Drawing Challenge link is 
So, how are you doing on your healthy living challenge?  Several of you left comments that you would like to join me in the next month!  I actually lost 1.5 pounds in the last 5 days, so I'm very happy.  Remember, the challenge is to eat NO processed foods and to log into MyFitnessPal app each day. I have to confess that since I was out of town, that some days were not perfect for me.  In fact, my friend, Kim Grant, informed me that chocolate candies are definitely processed foods, since she read the back of the package, and there were about 10 things listed, that neither of us could pronounce.  My point is that we are not ever perfect, but we can do our best, and you still should produce good results!  So, keep it up, Healthy Warriors!
Tomorrow, I will have a lesson on making comments on my blog.  Several have been having trouble with that!  :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Drawing Challenge- Days 10 - 18

I love making collages out of these drawings every 9 days.  I used  to do this.  It's a great site! The only thing that bugs me is that the middle drawing got cropped and I couldn't figure out how to solve that.  So, I'm almost 2/3 done with this challenge.  I really thank Kathie George for posting this challenge!

Drawing Challenge, Day 18

Today, we got to draw from a photo that Kathie George had taken.  I loved drawing this, and find it so much easier to draw from a photo than from real life.  Guess I've just got to get better at putting an imaginary box around whatever I'm drawing outdoors.  I started a new challenge for myself today.  I'm going to eat only healthy foods (No processed foods) for the next 30 days and will log onto MyFitnessPal app every day for the next 30 days too. If I go by this, I should lose 1.5 pounds per week, which will be great!   This will be a test to see who actually READS my blogs.  Anyone who joins me must blog below, and will get a free art lesson, sent to their email, so it's important that you send me that email address too.  I'm not going to post this on Facebook, only here on my blog.  How many of you want to join me?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Day 17

Today, I decided to do a drawing of a favorite sculpture of mine.  I've got many friends who all have loved ones that are having health problems, so they are all on my mind.  This sculpture says so much, I think.  It has laughter blanketed around her middle, centering her life.  She's looking up to the heavens, as if to have faith in a higher being, and her arms are wrapped around herself, saying that we need to love ourselves before anyone else can truly love us.  Last of all, I had only one garlic clove that I put at her base, for good luck to ward off evil spirits, just for good measure!  :)  Of course, it looks more like a strawberry than a garlic.  Oh, well!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Day 16

Today's challenge was to pick something with a circular shape.  Kathie George did a fantastic drawing of a motorcycle!  I picked one of my favorite pottery pitchers, and tried Kathie's suggestion of placing dots where the circles will be.  I'm struggling with not being able to pencil in the shapes first, but each day gets a little easier than the last.  We are supposed to use a permanent marker from start to finish.  I added the circular shape in the upper right for a repeat of the circle shapes.  I think that was a good decision.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Day 15

After yesterday's lop sided wine glasses, I made it my goal to draw another vase type container, and decided to draw my cooking utensils.  You might think, "Oh, she's a great cook?"  Not so.  But I recently have been pushing myself a little to try to be a better cook.  I'm trying to make healthy meals, and use all fresh ingredients.  Kind of fun!  Back to the drawing.  I was so impressed with Kathie George's drawing of her cat, that I decided to do something a little more challenging today.  This drawing took me about 40 minutes to do, and I wanted to shade parts of it in, so that you could see through the ladles, which was what attracted me to the subject in the first place.  I love dividing the background into different shapes, like the challenge was today.  Design has always been a fun thing for me. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Day 14

Today, Kathie George posted a wonderful drawing of cupcakes. Since my "candy of choice" is wine, I thought I would do a really simple drawing of my favorite hand painted wine glasses.  Easy???  NOT!!!!  I was using a permanent marker when doing these, and they were so lop sided.  So, I went back and made corrections, but I really need practice with symmetry.  That's what we're here for, right?  If I have time, I'll tackle this subject one more time before bedtime.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Day 13

Our assignment today was to draw a difficult subject.  I looked over at the rocking chair, and thought that would be a good challenge.  I'm reasonably pleased with the results, but my biggest hurdle is judging how much room I will need for the drawing.  I had wanted to get the whole rocker in this drawing! (Really???)  Karlyn Holman taught me years ago, to start with the most important part of the drawing and when you run out of paper, at least you have your center of interest in your painting.  So, I started at the curved handle that is approximately in the center of the page.  I drew mostly a contour drawing, getting the outside shape in first.  Then, when I added the shapes behind, I was forced to add shadows, so you could see which one was in front.   I think this subject deserves many more tries to get it right.  Practice makes perfect!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Day 12

Assignment today was to look outside the windows and draw what we saw.  Paying special attention to the space BETWEEN objects.  However, I had a busy day, and didn't get around to my drawing till 9:30 p.m., when it was dark outside.  So, I drew my hubby in front of the window!  Kathie said that it should be fun, and you know what?  It was fun to do this!  I didn't worry whether it looked like him or not. I just really tried to pay attention to angels, and connections.  And I think it really does kind of look like Dick!  Which reminds me.  I'll have to give him a haircut soon!  I've been cutting Dick's hair since we were in college.  Some (ahem....) years!!!! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Day 11

Today's challenge was to select a subject where we would have both negative and positive shapes.  As I was waiting in the optometrist office, while my eyes were being dilated, I thought it was the perfect time to sketch the fern that was growing in the middle of the room.  Now, this was a CHALLENGE!!!  I got lost so many times, but really did enjoy doing it.  And it was filled with lots of negative shapes as well as positive shapes. I cheated and added some thicker lines on some of the drawing, so that it would look better.  I happen to know that trick.  Variety in lines looks so much better.  Don't tell Kathie George. :)  Be sure to check her website to read all about this challenge.  She's a great writer and really a fantastic teacher too! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

30 Day Drawing Challenge

Sorry I've been missing lately.  I've been teaching in Arizona for 2 weeks, and then, right afterwards, in Florida.  So, one month's time gone just like that!  I loved both workshops, and really made some lasting friendships in both!   More about that later.  Right now, I think I should tell you about the new 30 Day Challenge that I've been doing!  This one was offered from Kathie George, an artist friend who I really respect.  It's a drawing challenge, and I thought maybe that I could keep up with it. She promised it would only take 10 minutes each day.  Kathie, I'm holding you to that!  So far, so good. Kathie's lessons, as well as challenges are very good.  Check it out by clicking on her name link above.  The first thing that she had us do was to draw our shoe.  No instruction, just do it NOW.  So, I looked down at my shoe, while on the plane, and drew it.  Lucky I didn't trip someone as I stuck my foot out in the aisle.  :)  (First drawing on the top left).  All I could think while doing it, was that I wished that I was wearing high heels, or at least prettier shoes.  Then, on Day 2, we did the same shoe again, but this time, using contour drawing.  Much more interesting, I think.  We are now learning how to see negative shapes, and really study the objects before drawing.  I actually think my drawing skills will improve by the end of the 30 days.  I've learned a lot!  These are the first 9 drawings.  I lost one of the first 10, but hoping that it will turn up once I get all unpacked from my Florida trip.  :)


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