Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Some Hand Drawing

Since I have been back I have been trying to get back into my routines. Not that easy but it needs to happen for sanity purposes.

I have been doing a lot of hand drawing in my sketchbook. When I was in Tucson all I had was my sketchbook and pens. Drawing while sitting on the lovely, bright porch was an important part of my day. I don't have the porch here, nor the birds singing, nor the light (sad face) but I still need to make the art. My studio is a dark disaster so I have been drawing on my bed. The bedroom is the lightest room in my very dark apartment. My apartment is so dark I need to keep the lights on all the time. I miss the light in Tucson the most.

When I first started painting all those eons ago, my sketchbook was used in a different way. Just a place to jot down quick sketches of plants, buildings etc. Usually in pencil. Sometimes in rapidograph (yes I am that old).  I never thought of it as being a place for completed work. That is until I discovered the sketchbooks of Lisa Congdon.

Lisa is a wonderful illustrator who's work I have been very attracted to lately. This weekend I took a quick online class with her called Sketchbook Explorations on the Creative Bug website. She is a wonderful teacher and she really shows/explains the Zen of drawing. That is what she does really. There is no other way to describe the repeating patterns in her sketchbooks. Over and over and over. The same marks made repeatedly. It takes some getting used to in order to work that way. I usually get impatient and I am ready to move on to the next page! So this is a very good process for me to work on right now. P.A.T.I.E.N.C.E.
Both of these sketchbook pages were done using Derwent Inktense pencils with a waterbrush and Micron pen over it. I had been searching for a pen that will work over color without clogging and the Microns fit the bill!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Back in Boston

Yes, I am back in Boston now. To the freezy cold.....It just won't warm up this year. It was a shock to come back to having the heat on all the time, no birds singing, no morning walks in the shadow of the mountains. It was hard coming back.

I designed this pattern on the plane after my tearful goodbye to my new home. The hardest thing for me was driving to the airport. I just wanted to turn around and go home. That is how I feel now about my new home in the desert foothills. Many friends I know have two homes and seem to adjust perfectly well between coming and going. I am not really the type of person who likes doing that so much. I prefer to just be living in one place. But I had to come back east. My husband is still here.

I do still have much to do here anyway. I am still selling off my book collection on Amazon. This week I sold a $300 book. I could not believe that someone actually paid $300 for a book but they did and I was pleased. I still have a ton of books left though.

And I need to clean out closets and get rid of things I rarely use. I hope to be out in Arizona by October with my husband coming later in the year. I am still not sure how it is all going to play out. I just know I really don't want to have to wait too long to enjoy my new home.

If you are interested in purchasing any of my books here is the link to my Amazon store:  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Sunday, April 26, 2015


One of the features of our lovely porch is this very weird rock configuration. It is my hope that we can find someone to remove the very large rocks and extend the floor of the porch to the outside wall.  At first I thought that someone had a rock garden or something there but apparently when the building was built in the 80's it was a "feature".  Some feature! I was a little afraid that there would be scorpions under there but I found nothing alive! Just some old buried toys!

Today I decided I could at least remove the smaller rocks and so I built a little border around the front walkway.  I think it looks nice although my cactus plants are a bit small. They really need a small table or another pot upside down or something. I will have a look tomorrow and see what I can find. Just trying to make it feel like home and give it some TLC. I really love my new home.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

New Pens!

I couldn't bring too many art supplies with me on the plane to Arizona of course, so I brought my black Sakura Micron pens in an array of point sizes as well as some new pens I am trying by Sakura called Gelly Roll pens. I love these pens so much! Of course the colors in these images are slightly off since I don't have my scanner with me and I am taking photos with my camera.

I have seen many artists use their iPhones for taking pictures of artwork but I have yet to figure it out. I have tried photographing in sunshine and in shade but the pictures have a terrible blue cast or the color is completely blown out.

If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

So there isn't much I miss except my scanner and the rest of my art supplies. Can't go anywhere without those necessities!

In the meantime, I am hiking, swimming and learning my way around my new hood.

I still can't believe I have to leave on Tuesday. I am dreading it and no, this is not just about the weather.

Here are a few more sketches:

That is it for today! Enjoy your day!

Monday, April 20, 2015

We are In!

Last week was completely insane. There were so many ups and downs with the closing that I can't even begin to go into it. I think we live in an age where we get instant gratification all the time. We get used to it. We order something online and it is at our front door the next day. We turn on the TV and we can watch whatever we want to, whenever we want to. Well, I am here to say, home buying just isn't like that. There is no such thing as instant gratification in purchasing a home no matter how good your credit is! There are more things that can go wrong at any given moment that it is mind boggling. There were a couple of days where we thought it just was not going to happen after all. We were on an emotional roller coaster all week. My poor husband was trying to work remotely as well so he was really getting stressed out!

But after all the craziness we did eventually sign the papers and move in. And what a dream come true for us both. First of all the condo is 300 square feet bigger that our condo back in Boston. It has a fabulous porch with ceiling fans. In fact there are ceiling fans in every room! It is so open and airy! Since the weather has been so warm, I have been going swimming every evening at sundown. It is a great time to swim since everyone has left for the day and I get the place to myself.

There are so many varieties of birds and lizards on the property it is quite incredible! Our upstairs neighbor was watering his plants the other day and it was dripping onto our porch. Suddenly there was a humongous Desert Spiny Lizard licking up all the water! It was hilarious! He was so fat! When I lived in Florida we had lizards but they were mostly small and skinny! This guy looked like Godzilla! He was staring at me and I at him. Neither of us moved. Once I was certain he was not a Gila monster I relaxed some!

My husband had to leave on Sunday and I am here alone for another week. And although I do miss him, this is a really great thing for me to be doing. I don't ever get to be alone. Ever. I have spent my entire life taking care of others with very little time to do things by myself. I even cooked lamb burgers for myself tonight since if I cook them at home noses get turned up immediately so that I don't even bother!

I also have an adorable little rental car! Although today I parked it in the grocery store parking lot and when I came out there were about six of them and I couldn't figure out which one was mine! Oh dear!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Warm and Sunny

I still cannot believe that this is my backyard here in Tucson. I have to pinch myself, I really do! This week we attended our very first condo association meeting and I have been meeting some of my very interesting neighbors. One of the reasons we chose this type of condo complex was because we really liked all the amenities but also because it is NOT age restricted. I can't see myself living with people who are all retired. I need the diversity of age groups. Retirees, people who still work, people with kids etc. There are also many vacationers who rent units (which is what we did before we bought). So there are always interesting people coming and going. It is a very unique and interesting mix of people. I like that.

We actually move in tomorrow, so today we are off shopping for a few necessities. Luckily we don't need furniture or anything like that since it came furnished. Although I do need a drawing table and desk for my studio.

My husband leaves on Sunday but I am staying until the week after next. I want to relax and enjoy and get settled in. I really don't want to go back so soon but I already changed my plane ticket once and to do that again would cost too much extra money. As it is I am most likely going to try and come out every few weeks just to check on things and hang out.