We left North Wales a week ago today and I am still under the spell of that gorgeous, compelling landscape. Before I post the drawings and sketches I made there, I have a few other things to share.
In September, I had the great pleasure and honor to be asked to provide illustrations for the menu card of an event celebrating Chef Bill Smith of Crooks' Corner Café. In addition to his wildly successful career as a chef, Bill Smith is universally loved and admired for his kind nature and for a lifetime of good deeds. I thought at first the assignment was to provide food illustrations, so it seemed an easy one to accept and I did. Quickly, I learned that the job required a portrait of the chef himself! Not only is he famous, so if I got him wrong, it would be glaringly apparent to lots of people, but Bill's a friend of mine, too. No pressure there ;D.
After dozens of drafts, I got him! I did! And I used my Magic Pencil, which gave me color subtly, but unmistakeably. It was just right. For the card's border, I painted loose watercolor versions of honeysuckle blossoms and leaves, in honor of honeysuckle sorbet, one of our chef's signature dishes. This made a garland that would frame the portrait without overwhelming it.
Here's the original illustration:
And here's the final product:
A few days ago, an essay I wrote and illustrated on the topic of my garden was published in the Fall 2017 issue of Charleston Style & Design Magazine. I chose a simplified ink and watercolor wash method for this assignment, to match the lighthearted tone of the essay itself. Here are some of the originals:
This is the main illustration of my garden, showing my boxwood topiaries and their allium companions:
And here is one of the garden vignettes. The shapes and sizes and layout of the page where these appear imposed lots of challenges for me! You can see them all and also read my essay by clicking on this link!
Finally, in preparation for a 3-session drawing series I'm teaching at Duke University's Nasher Museum in November, here are a couple of prep sketches I made showing the loosely structured, gestural approach I use. We will focus on and engage with the important Carlo Dolci exhibit now on view at the Nasher. We will draw from live models for half of each two-hour session and spend our other hour in the galleries, drawing from the figures in the Dolci paintings. My approach will be non-dogmatic, non-academic, lively, fun, and, I think, very rewarding! Come join us if you can!! Here's a link with all the info you need to sign up.
Please come back next week and see what happened in North Wales! See you soon!