This is the drawing I worked on last spring. It’s done on Strathmore Bristol Board with Caran D’Ache Supracolor II Watersoluble Pencils and Prismacolor Pencils, and measures 14″ x 23″. The colors are a little washed out, but this is my photograph, not a professional photo. I had purchased this small vase (it measures 2 1/2″ high x 4 1/2″ wide) at a church rummage sale and filled it with tiny white stones, placing on a teal-colored piece of rice paper. When I added water to the vase, the stone on the far left turned this deep ochre color, which I found very interesting! Stones can look dramatically different when wet or dry, which is just one of the ideas I enjoy exploring in these drawings. I wanted the stones to look like they were glowing like a lantern. It’s hard to convey with words what I want to express with this drawing, but I hope it suggests remembrance, peace, and the endurance of the human spirit, much like a chalice.
Meanwhile, I have been to the CPSA Convention in Covington, KY, which was a great time. I had the chance to hang out with several close friends from across the country, make new friends, take a workshop with John Ursillo, and tour a little bit of Cincinnati. Some terrific write-ups of the convention (and accompanying photos) can be found at: Lynda Schumacher’s Blog and Kendra Ferreira’s Blog.
It’s been four plus weeks since I’ve worked on any artwork, which feels like an eternity. I was all set to get back to work yesterday, when I sliced off a part of my right index finger using a mandoline to make ratatouille. Suffice it to say, I needed medical attention, and now have a huge protective bandage on my hand. It’ll be a few days before I can hold a pencil again, and even longer before my finger pad regenerates. I’m a little concerned about my finger recovery and hoping for a quick recovery without complications!
Thanks for reading, Debbi
I have been asked to participate in a series of artists talks sponsored by the Friends of the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens. My talk, which focuses on my journey as an artist, is taking place on Wednesday, May 30th at 7:00 p.m. The flyer for the talk is below, and there are three other lectures scheduled throughout the summer by women artists inspired by nature and doing botanical art. I hope that some of you who live locally can come to my talk! As always, thanks for your interest in my work.
The new issue of “Practique des Arts” is out, and I can finally share both the piece I created as an exclusive for the magazine as well as the article. Auburn Vessel, above, was completed last December after working on it for most of the fall. It measures approximately 18 x 19 inches. The article, below, shows many of the stages, so I won’t go into detail about the working process. It is, unfortunately, difficult to read as is (font is too small) and a bit blurry when enlarged. But it is in french, so unless you can read french, there’s not much lost. And the stages are pretty self-explanatory. If anyone has any questions, I’d be most happy to try and answer them. There is also a link to the article on my website news page, which you can access here. Thanks for reading!
I’m going back to the leaf drawings I enjoyed doing so much, but combining them with stones. I’ve been working on this drawing, Prismacolors over Caran D’Ache Supracolor washes, done on Bristol Board Vellum. I have a couple of new ideas to explore, including a triptych. While this drawing is not complete yet, there is enough here to share. The stone needs more development, as well as many areas of the leaves and shadows.
I am excited to be heading off to Strasbourg and Paris in a few hours. We will be visiting friends in both cities, and I am very eager to see friend and colleague Elizabeth Patterson’s current exhibition of Colored Pencil drawings in Paris at the Galerie Louis Carre. It will also be a great opportunity for my son, who has been studying french for four years, to hear and practice the language. And, to eat!!! Oh, and I suppose to take in some art…..Thanks for reading, and a bientot!
It has been such a long time since I’ve written a blog post, but I have not fallen off of the face of the earth! I have been busy with my art, and finally have a couple of new drawings to share. Continuing with my Stones series, I have a Stones Pile, and a small Stones/bowl. I’ve come to group them into these categories in my mind: Piles, Vases (with and without water), and “zen” studies.
The drawing above is in the Pile category. It’s done on Canson Mi-Tientes paper with Prismacolors and measure approximately 11′ x 17″. The upper right corner of the background is the actual paper without any pencil.
The drawing below is also on Canson Mi-Tientes with Prisamcolor pencils, and measures 8″ x 10 1/2″. It’s a fun little drawing that took only a couple of days to produce. I purposefully kept it looser and less detailed, if one can call my work those things!
I’m excited to share the news that most likely the drawing I did as an exclusive for the French Art Magazine Practique des Artes will be published in their upcoming April issue. At that point in time I can share the image and article here on my blog.
Thanks for reading!
I spent the past two weeks working on these three little stones drawings. It’s always fun to do these smaller pieces and work out some ideas quickly. Well, I suppose quick is a relative term – quick for me!
I have more ideas for little drawings to do in the future, but now I’m on to another larger stones drawing. It’s a piece that is being executed for publication in an art magazine that wants an “exclusive”, so I can’t reveal the image until it’s completed and published. It’s exciting to think about sharing the stages of my drawings in this venue. I would have been doing this piece regardless, but their timing was excellent. It’s going to make me think more clearly about delineating the stages of my more complex drawings. That’s always good practice and helps one to be able to better “present” their art, whether it’s verbally or pictorally.
Thanks for reading!
I have been working so hard on this drawing and it feels like it’s taking forever. I am working uninterrupted now that my spring travels are behind me, but it still feels like such slow going! This drawing is about 22″ x 26″ and there is so much snow and delicate detail to accomplish. I think I’m going to basically execute the entire background and then go back and insert the fine details, such as little bits of debris on the snow, etc. Maybe a touch more blood? There is more blood in my original photograph, but I’m still deciding how much to put in. Meanwhile, it’s a gorgeous spring here with everything in full bloom, the birds are singing, mating, worm hunting. It’s an odd juxtaposition to find myself working on this winter scene.
I was recently interviewed by Paula DeMarco, the host of “Art Beat”, for a local cable station. I’m attaching a link to the interview, which is available on line throughout the month of May. You can access it here: Art Beat interview.
As always, thanks for reading!
“Rock/Candy” – is currently up at the Wellesley Free Library from March 1st through the 31st, 2011. Please click on this link for hours and directions: www.wellesleyfreelibrary.org. This is a two-person show that colleague and friend, Kendra Bidwell-Ferreira and I are hosting together. We are each exhibiting over 20 drawings done in colored pencil. The opening is on Saturday, March 5th from 2 – 4 p.m., and I hope that if you live in the area you’ll stop by and say hi!
Yes, even pencils have a day of their own. Today is National Pencil Day, and I figure that given how much time I spend holding a pencil (colored pencil, graphite pencil, watercolor pencil, and yes, a regular old #2 yellow pencil) I would give it a shout out on my blog. Here’s a fun link, with some activities at the bottom, about the Pencil Day.
National Pencil Day
My colored pencil drawing “Amber Bowl” was awarded First Place in the Graphite, charcoal and colored pencil category of the Artists Magazine’s On-Line All Media competition. I am so honored to receive this recognition for my work, especially as there are so many fine entries for them to judge from. I spoke with Chris McHugh, the Managing Editor of The Artists Magazine, who told me that there were over 1,800 entries this year. You can see all of the first place winners and honorable mention award winners at The Artists Magazine.
In spite of my lack of blog entries lately I have been working hard. I’m planning to post a photograph of my latest drawing, last written about on February 11th, by next Monday. So please check back soon!
I was very excited last week to receive in the mail one of the new Derwent “12 Graphic Soft” pencil tins featuring my commissioned drawing on the cover. I had been waiting until I saw it with my own eyes to officially announce the news on my blog. They’ve also designed all new inserts highlighting their sketching and drawing ranges, and my piece is included in a montage on that cover as well, along with two beautiful drawings of a red fox and a seashell. The new tins will most likely be available in art stores in the US in about one and a half months, as they are currently being shipped.
I also had a small exhibition of colored pencil drawings last night in conjunction with a wonderful concert by the Choir of King’s College London. This was part of the St. Andrew’s Performing Arts Series (SAPAS). More information about upcoming SAPAS events can be found at www.sapas.org.
These college students gave a superb performance of Renaissance and contemporary choral works. The Choir of King’s College London is one of the most acclaimed mixed voice university choirs in England, comprising about 27 undergraduates who are awarded choral scholarships, and in addition to performing Renaissance polyphony, they have an extensive and well-reviewed collection of discography available.
I wanted to include a copy of the program cover, which includes my name in such a prominent way that, had they not put “(colored pencil)” after my name, it looks like I was a star soloist! I found this quite amusing, as it’s the closest I’ll ever get to performing with my voice in public!
As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been working on a little graphite drawing, and here it is. It’s a very simple and zen-like composition. A black stone used in hot stone therapy that was given to me by a masseuse, a small peacock feather, placed upside down atop the stone and some shadows are all that composes the drawing. It’s small – maybe about 7″ x 7″.
I’m eager to move onto the next drawing in my rock series, and plan to try and incorporate water in the drawing. Coincidentally, I’m just back from the 17th Annual Exhibition and Convention of the Colored Pencil Society of America, where I took a workshop with CPSA Artist Pat Averill on the power of water. . . entitled “Unleash the power of water in your drawings”. Below are two photographs from the workshop: one of friends Dee Overly (left) and Mari Kaye Moehl (right) working on one of the four projects we tackled that day, and the other of workshop instructor Pat Averill. I’m not sure that the workshop concepts will transfer to my drawing, but you never know! We worked on the distortion of images in reflected water, drawing moving water (ie – surf), drawing water moving over rocks, and looking at wet sand to dry sand within the context of a seascape.
I’m finally getting back to work in my studio. My younger son is off to camp for three weeks, and I’m recuperating from a minor surgical procedure yesterday on my right leg. My mind finally feels freed up again. I don’t think I realized how preoccupied I was with the surgery as it loomed in front of me – I’m so happy to have it behind me. And since I can’t ice skate or exercise for at least one week, I have plenty of time to catch up on all sorts of things in my studio! I’ve already organized many details that I had let slide – completing a list of unframed and framed drawing sizes; deciding which competitions to enter for the remainder of 2009, those types of things.
Now I am playing with stones in my studio, and toying with the idea of doing a series of 10 drawings and trying to complete them this summer. Working on the Canson Mi-tientes goes a little faster than the Strathmore Paper I usually use, so maybe this is possible? I have all sorts of ideas about combining stones with other simple elements, much like the drawing I just completed – “Rocks and Egg in Vase”. It’s an entirely different thing to see if it works. But I like the idea and am going to try and run with it!
Happy Summer, and if you live in the Northeast, let’s hope the sun comes out soon.
I am posting a photograph of the finished fish tank drawing “Shhhh”. I may end up tweaking it a little, but basically it’s done. It’s an unusual drawing for me, and it took longer than I had anticipated it taking. I am eager to move on to something new!
I also have news to share, which is that my drawing, “Garden, Late Summer” was juried into the Colored Pencil Society of America’s 17th Annual International Exhibition, which will be taking place from July 9 – August 29, 2009 at the Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth, Georgia. The show was juried by Graham C. Boettcher, who is the William Cary Hulsey Curator of American Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama. Approximately 125 works were selected for inclusion in the show. In addition, I will be receiving my “Signature Status” by having had my work juried into three shows within ten years. Also receiving her signature status will be fellow artist, Lynda Schumacher from Michigan. More information about the show can be found by going to the CPSA web site, www.cpsa.org.
My colored pencil landscape of Wellesley Hills in traffic at sunset won “Best in Show” at the 75th Anniversary show of the Wellesley Society of Artists. The opening and awards ceremony was this afternoon, and here’s what the juror had to say about my piece:
- Great value range with wonderful mood. Great sense of late afternoon light. Good division of space. Striking piece!
How sweet is this? Artist friend Lynda Schumacher from Michigan rescued a brown creeper that had injured itself on the side of her house last week. She went outside and found this barely conscious bird on the ground. Taking it indoors and holding it in her hands for ten minutes, the bird slowly came to life and suddenly switched into an “I’m ready to fly in the world mode”. (Lynda, feel free to add anything I may have missed!)
While it has been a quiet time on my blog, my studio life has been anything but slow! I was contacted by someone in product management at Derwent House in the United Kingdom about doing a commission with their graphite sketching pencils. This was an exciting opportunity for me, as for many years I worked exclusively in graphite. It was fun to switch back and try out their pencils, which are very nice to draw with.
They wanted something stark along the lines of the little egg still-life or beach stones piece I’d done; something to show off the tonal range of their graphite collection. I tried combining an egg with several stones, but none of the photos and set-ups had the feel I was looking for, so I switched the composition to only stones. It was strange to work with graphite again at first, but after the first couple of stones, I switched back into a more “black and white” mode and found it refreshing.
Derwent also makes a line of graphite tinted pencils that would lend themselves to drawing these beach stones I’ve collected, and I may well try that out at some point in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, the sharp-shinned hawk drawing is back on the front burner and I’m making wonderful progress with it. I’ll post a photograph of it later this week. (And thanks to everyone who’s given me advice at the Pencil Pushers blog on how to handle the paper smear!) Here’s a photo of the completed commission.
I had a very unique experience today – my son who has his pilot’s license took me up flying for the first time! He’s studying Aviation Technology at Purdue University and home for December break, and we had a lovely day to see the sights around the suburbs just west of Hanscom Air Force Base. We headed west to the Wachusett Reservoir in a Cessna 172, and I have to say he is a very confident and smooth pilot! I’m posting some photographs I took of the ground and a vista of Boston. It was lots of fun. Maybe next time I’ll let him show me how one “stalls” the plane, but for this trip, a tight circular curve, and an “S” curve over Route 495 were just fine for me!
I am very excited to have a new pencil caddy for organizing my colored pencils. At our last colored pencil meeting, I asked several people how they organized their colored pencils for working at their drawing tables, and Gary Ruuska had a great concept that he shared with me. He had taken a lazy susan as a base, and cut 2″ PVC piping into sections, and glued it onto the base to color coordinate his pencils. I passed this information on to my husband, who often helps me out with technical stuff in my studio (putting together furniture from IKEA, installing things, building tables, etc.) and he made me the pencil caddy as pictured below. It is definitely making my life easier at the drafting table. Thank you Gary!
I hope you will take some time to check out the new page at top right entitled: Guest Writer Lynda Schumacher. Lynda has written a wonderful page about her artwork, and four of her pencil and colored pencil drawings are featured. She is a very talented visual artist, and I’m so excited to have her as a guest on my blog.
I will be posting a photograph of my new piece tomorrow – so stay tuned!