Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Around Deception Pass

Beach Daisies

Spent some time at Deception Pass and Bowman Bay drawing and painting. It was a spectacular day, warm with a light breeze. Got a number of paintings partially finished. I was interrupted by mosquitoes at one spot and loss of daylight at the other. Will have to finish them at home from photos. Here are a couple that I managed to finish. And I saw my first otters ever! Four came running onto the beach 20 yards away and disappeared into the grass. They were very charming!

Bowman Bay

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Put your Rams with your Ewes

Yep, it's that time of year. Put your rams with your ewes in September if you want lambs in the spring. That's what you learn if you hang out in the sheep barn at the Island County Fair like I did, so it's definitely worth the trip to go see. Plus lots of rides and celebrity impersonators such as Elvis. Lots of screams, laughs, livestock and food. It's a blast! Here's a few sketches from Friday...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lilies and Mint, and 'The Talent Code'

It's truly summer today. Did a little sketching this morning in my backyard. I really enjoy brush pen and have several filled with a couple different colored inks. I love red and warm colored line work. It adds zing. In the first sketch I used Noodler's Cayenne ink which is a lovely bright red. It's water soluble so bleeds when I add watercolor. Frustrating to control. In the second drawing I used a waterproof ink with the idea of seeing the difference of more control and maybe improving on the first drawing. Ha! I like it less! I think the looseness and lack of control along with the mistakes makes for a more interesting drawing, as frustrating as it was while drawing it. I was wrapping myelin. Which brings me to this...

Been reading 'The Talent Code' by Daniel Coyle. It's a fascinating read and quite helpful. It gives me some real tools to grasp in my attempts to improve my skills. His study is a confirmation of my beliefs. It's always been my mantra that there's no such thing as talent. I've noticed that over the years in teaching, seeing students grow leaps and bounds, achieve great skills and make amazing art. It's all hard work. Doing it over and over and over with goals in mind. Practicing beyond one's ability, reaching and failing and reaching... and failing, until one finally achieves the desired skill. Daniel Coyle calls it 'deep practice.' It's all about myelin wrapping around neurons and other factors that ignite the desire to attain skills. I highly recommend the book. Read it, practice and grow some myelin!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pine Tree at Whidbey Institute

The Whidbey Island Sketchers and I spent the afternoon at the Whidbey Institute sketching. The grounds are beautiful with some massive, old trees with interesting limbs. Observing and studying this old tree was awe inspiring and humbling. It's rare to see such old growth. I feel honored. Here's my painting...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Concert in the Park

Did some sketching at the Camano Cadillac Band concert that took place in the community park near Langley. They played great country. Some Patsy Cline of course. Here's a few sketches.