Sketchbook "Sunday" #9

Yup, it's Thursday really... but I like the sound of Sketchbook Sunday and I do have every intention of posting from my sketchbooks every Sunday... yet, sometimes life runs away with me, or maybe I run away with life?  I'm trying to be on top of things yet a few things were put off...which I do not like to do.  Well, here we are.

On my end, I've been dreaming and scheming.  An adventure including study and travel is in the making and I'm taken away with all of the planning.  Things are becoming clearer and coming together but I will wait to share my news until I am certain I will do what I intend to do.

My Polish Folk Art class came to a close last evening.  I really enjoyed the time there with the other women and the teacher.  There is somethings wonderful about being in an art class with other eager and enthusiastic students.  It brings me back to the best days in school from Kindergarten through University, which for me was art class day. 

Art class = learning, the imagination, creativity, the smell of paper, glue, paint, tables clean but stained with various art supplies, quiet attention, quiet chit-chat, time flying, looking at your friend's work, experimentation, interesting teachers, the rest of the world fades into the background, time stands still (but still flies while it appears to stop), possibilities loom, growing, happiness.

What does art class mean to you?  Do you have any memories or experiences to share?

Sketchbook Sunday #8

It's a sunny day outside which makes for a sunny palette in my studio.  

I'm in Boston visiting a dear friend this weekend.  It is always inspiring hanging out with her so I know there will be a post or two coming this week about my time spent in the city with Kate.  We make great art museum companions and love to talk about the details found in most anything and everything.  She is a very, very talented artist so I hope to take some pictures or her in her studio with her work.  Keep posted for more to come...

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Sketchbook Sunday #7: ...on a Wednesday

8 1/2" x 8 1/2"
gouache on watercolor paper

Spring is on my mind.  Some rain (and snow here in New England) falls.  The sap is flowing.  Trees and bushes are showing their buds.  The energy in the seeds and in the bulbs fire up for the push of growth that is coming.

I'm still testing materials.  I like the liquid gouache that I used here and the way it opaquely covers the paper in even color however I miss a semi glossy reflection or shine.  I'm on a quest for the paint and surface that will work best with my bold, graphic, colorful and tightly patterned designs.

Sketchbook Sunday #5

I continue to be super inspired by central and eastern European folk art and folk design.  For this painting I worked up a sketch from my sketch book onto a bigger piece of Bristol board and used my gouache paints to add vibrant color.

This process of digging deep and creating new work has been so rich and interesting for me because after, what my friend and mentor, Valerianna over at Ravenwood calls, "stirring the cauldron" or searching within for months and wondering what my next line of work would be, inspiration hit. 

Now that I have, what Twyla Tharp in her book "The Creative Habit Learn It And Use It For Life" calls,  a "spine" to my work I can follow ideas and play with inspirations that trace back to my Hungarian and Polish ancestry and love of this particular aesthetic.  The spine provides support and allows me the creative freedom to build from a foundational idea.

The best part for me is that despite having this new direction I see lines of connection in the way I've been developing as an artist all along.  Lines, shapes and symbols are coming out in my newer work that hark back to ideas and creations of the past.  This is a good sign to me because there is a creative thread being expressed that means I am truly being myself.

Sketchbook Sunday # 4

I spent the better part of yesterday trying out my new gouache paints here at my work table.  I'm drawing designs inspired by Hungarian folk embroidery and needed a bright pigment that had less variation and unpredictability then watercolor.  So far I like the results I got with the new opaque paints because the color more evenly saturates the mixed media paper in my sketchbook.  The black pens worked well over the color.  This week's goal is to continue designing these images and to practice a confidant line.

Sketchbook Sunday #3

A few weeks ago I was at Forbes Library and this book by Bobbie Sumberg caught my eye.  It is called "Textiles:  Collection Of The Museum of International Folk Art."  While standing in the library paging through the book the above Hungarian ensembles and shoes mesmerized me and struck a deep chord of resonance.  Needless to say, the book came home with me. 

I love the organic, floral patterns and shapes which were hand embroidered on home spun fabrics.  Feelings of romance, story and familiarity come to me from the way these clothes are put together, designed and decorated.  How did these people wear the clothes?  How did they dance together at their wedding?  Are the flower patterns blooming on their garments mirroring the flowers that were blooming in their village gardens at the time?

These images have become a point of inspiration for me personally and artistically on many different levels .  I am of Eastern European descent on my father's side.  My grandfather was born in Ha'rsku't Hungary and my grandmother was born in Krosno, Polland.

The patterns and colors feel so right, so attractive, so lovely, so full of story.  I am becoming deeply curious about my ancestors, their life, art, song, story.  I want to draw and sketch patterns that are inspired from the folk arts of Hungary and Poland.  So I am doing this now, working in line with a rooted feeling of inspiration.  Here are some very recent doodles and sketches the seed of which comes from Eastern European design, yet I look forward to letting the patterns flow and become something personal and rooted to who I am now.  I'll be taking an art class at the Springfield Museum School on the folk arts of Poland starting in March.  I believe there will be lots of digging and learning happening in the coming months...traveling through books, music and stories and maybe planning a real adventure, traveling back to Eastern Europe, only this time spending time in Poland.  I am dreaming of inspiration and adventure.

Sketchbook Sunday #2

In keeping with my goal to publish posts from my sketchbooks on Sunday... here are two recent pen, ink and watercolor sketches made in January.  

Yes, it is Monday but I can pretend it is Sunday, right?  The weekend got away from me and this amazing winter weather we are having here in New England is making time flow in it's own particular way.  So for these moments, before I head off to bed, I can steal away on the computer with my blog and imagine it's Sunday.

This winter I continue to be fascinated with imagery of openings...doorways opening and beckoning, light streaming through clouds in the sky,  a river covered with layers of snow and ice occasionally opening to show the dark, cold, fast moving current beneath the still, sparkly, crust of white on top.

These doorways draw me to their threshold, through to another room, another idea, another experience, another creative thread, another moment.

Sketchbook Sunday

...hope you enjoy these excerpts from my sketchbook which were done over the past 6 months.  I was inspired to start a regular post called "Sketchbook Sundays" this week after visiting a blog where the artist posts images from her sketchbooks every Sunday.  I think it's a great idea to post recent work regularly.   The past six months I've been drawn to work more with pen, india ink and watercolor.  This creative thread started with these drawings and  quick sketches late last summer/early fall.  The quick sketches on the newsprint divided in quadrants came first then the india ink drawings.  Look for more from my sketchbooks every sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!