I have so much to post today that I've had to make two separate posts. (See below.) I'm still left with two unrelated topics, so I did what I could with a subject yoking the two. Poor young writers---I don't mean to cast aspersions on your wonderful selves. On Wednesday, my lovely friend Jeffery Beam and I took our duet act on the road again. He reads his poems to creative writing classes, I make drawings. This time we went to the Duke Young Writers' Camp, where he performed in his usual vivid and engaging way. Also this week, I finished another water and rocks painting.
Rocky Point, near Carmel, California
acrylic on board
11" x 14"
Thank you, Jeffery, for another fun jaunt, and thank you, Kim Arrington and students, for letting me come and draw you!
Two of my best cyberbuddies (Katherine of Making a Mark and Robyn of Have Dogs, Will Travel, to be precise) have asked me to tell more about the brushpens I used in my little portraits of the king and queen. Their wishes are my commands. First, I had so much fun with Barbara and Ferdinand, I decided to add Queen Maria Amelia (after Mengs) to their numbers and here she is:
This shows how juicy and brash and fun my new pens are. I use Schmincke paints normally and they are bright and saturated , but, wow, look at that cheek color! And though I normally paint pretty loosely, these pens encourage even more looseness, as you can see. The pens are Akashiya Sai Watercolor pens. I got the 20 pen set from Jetpens. Click on this link and you'll find lots of great information about them, with many illustrations, too. Jetpens is a fabulous company with the widest array of drawing pens that I've seen anywhere. Their prices are among the lowest, too. Here's my set:
I made three quick sketches of the same subjects using Pentel Colorbrush pens, Tombow brushpens, and Sai watercolor pens. You may not be able to tell the differences among them ( I had to severely limit my palette because I have very few Pentel colorbrushes), but there are big differences. Sai pens have a very flexible nib, resulting in lovely fluid lines. Pentel have that same flexibility, but the nibs are longer and wider, so it's a bit harder to get really delicate lines. Tombow nibs are more rigid. The resulting drawings, both in terms of line quality and color, look more like those done with traditional markers. Pentels are filled with watersoluble ink (as are Tombows.) You can get decent washes with both, though Pentels are more saturated. Sai are filled with watercolor paint, so there's the possibility for greater subtlety and the flow quality is off the charts. I drew each pen with its own type of pen, so you could get some idea of how they perform dry.
I don't know about the lightfastness of the pigments in Sai pens. If you're interested you can email the nice people at Jetpens. So, Katherine and Robyn, there you are!
I had my new Japanese watercolor brushpens, my new watercolor paper and I had King Ferdinand and Queen Barbara, whose portraits by Van Loo are featured in my new book about Spain. The inevitable happened.
Testing my new Lanaquarelle 300lb rough watercolor paper, I painted vegies, too. Their numbers, as you've gathered, are legion around here in the summertime.
Every once in a while, I can't get good clear images of my sketches and paintings to post, no matter how hard I try. Today is such a day. So there we are.
Whatever happened to the lazy days of summer? In the midst of a July full of work, unexpected obligation, and event-going, most of it fun, I felt I had to snatch a few minutes to record some of yesterday's gleanings from our local farmers' market. So here you have them: flowers, eggplants, tomatoes. Plunked. Painted. (As always, you may click on images for enlargements.)
I'm in the Water issue of the fantastic online literary magazine Qarrtsilunitoday! Please click on the link to find a whole month's worth of poems, prose, photography and two paintings (!) on the Water theme---how serendipitous! It's my favorite theme, as you know, this year.
I tried to post the whole page, but I couldn't. So here's the introductory text on Qarrtsiluni's homepage, followed by today's issue, my painting. This is my second appearance on Qarrtsiluni and I'm thrilled to have been selected again. I hope you'll check out their past issues. There's some truly exquisite work being published by this group.
This is an experiment in online literary and artistic collaboration. The title comes from an Iñupiaq word that means "sitting together in the darkness, waiting for something to burst."
Keep up with the latest news about the magazine, including updates about past contributors, here (via Twitter).
Editors: Lucy Kempton and Katherine Durham Oldmixon
That's what we call this view from our bedroom window. It's our cat Pearl's favorite film. She watches it several times a day, from her front row seat on the window ledge. This sketch is done for the International Moleskine Exchange group Moly x_9_, which I participate in with some lovely people and fantastic artists, including Joan Y, whose contribution you can partially see in the lefthand side of the final image below. Get out the popcorn. It's movie time!
What place on this earth is very like Hawaii, yet almost completely different? What place perfectly fulfills my In Search of Water quest for this year, the theme of most of my paintings and many of my sketches?
What is an island formed by volcanic activity, as the Hawaiian Islands were, making both among the youngest land masses on the planet? (We're talking geologic time here, folks, so Hawaii is 70 million years old, while Mystery Place is a mere babe in arms at 20 million years old.)
What is Night, metaphorically speaking, to Hawaii's Day?
Added: Guessed correctly by dear reader Rachel! We have a winner and we have credit lines for the two photos of.... Iceland!
Dear readers, please hurry and guess, because I've got to credit these two wonderfully gifted photographers, who've given me permission to reproduce their works here! As soon as the first person answers correctly (it's dead easy!), I'll publish credit lines. If I did it now, you could link to the source and that would be a give away. Speaking of give aways---I'll give a watercolor sketch from my trip to the first person who guesses correctly! You'll have to wait, but look how long I've had to wait to announce this trip, which will take place in late August!