My Journey Into Art

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Zilker Botanical Garden

I headed out yesterday morning for my planned date to sketch at the botanical garden. It was gray and cloudy and looked like it was going to rain any minute. My hope as I continued to drive down there was that the clouds would have broken up in that area and it would be bright and sunny. A girl could only hope!

I arrived and it was the same weather that I had further north where I live. It was humid and muggy but I was hoping that I would get a few hours in before it started to rain. I had even packed myself a lunch in the hopes of spending the majority of the day there. I ended up with just under two hours before some big drops of rain started to fall on me. Luckily, I wasn't too far from the parking lot when it started.

The botanical garden was pretty busy for a weekday morning. I was really surprised at that. I thought for sure it would be empty. My only issue with the people was that some of them stopped to watch me sketch and that made me really uncomfortable. My goal for this visit was to sketch fast and get as much down as I could in the sketchbook so that I had a variety of things in it. The last time I went on location to sketch, I came away with only one sketch after 4 hours. I didn't want to have the same experience. So when these people stopped to look, I felt as if I was being judged. I was trying to get the form to be a representation of what I was drawing, I wasn't going for a complete detailed replica. Because of this, I felt like they must have thought I was a terrible artist. Of course, no one said anything. In fact, I didn't even look up because I was so uncomfortable with them watching. Now that I think about it as I write this, they probably thought I was rude for not acknowledging their presence. Oops!

In the end, I think it was my own projections of insecurity in what I was doing that made me feel uncomfortable. Overall, I enjoyed myself even though it was too brief and I look forward to sketching on location again soon.









Monday, March 26, 2012


I know I've been missing in action. My kids were off school the week of March 12 for spring break. Having them home all day does put a bit of a crimp in my creative pursuits but that wasn't the reason for my absence. My whole household came down with some kind of virus. I spent the week nursing a bad cold and caring for them. I felt badly for my boys because we weren't up to having any fun spring break adventures. I spent the following week catching up on all the things I couldn't get done the week before; household chores and errands.

I plan to get some art in this week though. I have a date with myself on Wednesday to head to the botanical gardens with my sketchbook, watercolors and camera. I'm hoping the weather will cooperate. I'm sure to find lots of inspiration there. I can't wait!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

5 Minute Sketch

When my boys were younger, I joined a Moms Playgroup for my kids. It was the only way for us to make some friends when we first arrived in Texas. The group has since disbanded now that all the kids are in school. We have a Facebook Group where we still keep in touch. One of the mothers, posted a few photos from when the kids were babies.

I sketched this one baby who is now a beautiful six year old girl. She has the most amazing big, beautiful eyes. This was done in about 5 minutes on a piece of scrap paper. It captures her essence.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Quick Sketch from the Backyard

I went outside to the backyard yesterday to look at one of the blossoming peach trees. There were so many butterflies out there drinking the nectar. I should have brought my good camera out to try to capture them in photo but instead I used my camera phone. I didn't get near the quality of photos that I would have liked. I did get one of a bee in a blossom.

I did this quick sketch in my Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook. It was my first time using it. It does say that it can take light washes so I didn't use my regular watercolors instead I used watercolor pencils. I think I prefer watercolors over the pencils however I didn't want lots of buckling if the paper couldn't handle it. This sketch was done quickly and so I guess the 'sketchy' watercolor pencil marks are fine.

The paper is really nice to draw on. I think I may keep it just for dry media work from now on.

Peach Blossoms

Friday, March 9, 2012

From the Garden

This painting was done from a photo that I took from my garden when I lived in Vermont. I had a very large perennial garden and my most favorite flower in it was the Purple Coneflower. I had a lot of those flowers planted and every year they would propagate and I'd get more. We lived in the migration path of the Monarch butterflies so every fall, we'd have lots of them stopping by on the way to Mexico. At the end of the summer, my daughter and I would walk our property and look for the caterpillars. We had a habitat for them and lots of milkweed in the yard. We'd bring them inside and watch the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly each fall. It was amazing to watch the transformation. Once the butterflies came out, I'd gently place them on a coneflower to wait out the duration while their wings dried so they could fly off.

I think this was my most challenging painting thus far. This is on 8 X 10 Strathmore 500 140 lb cold press paper with M. Graham watercolors.