Monday, September 28, 2009

Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden

Last Friday, we visited The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield. Massachusetts. Theodore Seuss Geisel was born in Springfield in 1904. Sculptor, Lark Grey Dimond-Cates, who is also Geisel's step daughter, created the sculpture for the Springfield Library and Museums Association, located in the heart of the city. Springfield is in Western Massachusetts on the Connecticut River.

This was really fun!

The Cat in the Hat.

The Grinch and his dog Max.

Horton the Elephant.

I think I know how she feels.

Thudwink the Big-Hearted Moose

Thing one and Thing two.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Coquille Board

I've been doing some pieces with Coquille Board lately. The piece above is a detail of a work in progress. Coquille Board is a type of board (paper) that has a very unique, textured surface. One big advantage of Coquille Board is that it makes pencil rendering go much faster and also lends itself to strong, rich, dark areas without a lot of layers. The surface is a very uniform pepply texture. I had tried Coquille Board years ago but was using colored pencil. I found that I preferred other papers for color - papers that I could apply an underpainting to. It wasn't until fairly recently that I became interested in building a few portfolio pieces in black and white. Not just black line, as I'd done a lot of in the past, but more atmospheric rendered pieces. My pal Judith Moffatt suggested Coquille Board. I'd actually sort of forgotten about it! But, immediately decided that I should give it another try!

Here's a swatch to give you a closer look at the texture. When I decided I wanted to give Coquille Board another try, I discovered that it was a bit hard to find. I now buy it from Hyatt's. They are really nice, they ship very quickly and --- they have a store in the town where I grew up, Clarence, NY! Glad to give them my business.
This little swatch was done with an ebony pencil, but most of the time, I have been using Faber-Castell pencils.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This is a finished piece on Coquille Board. I wanted to challenge myself with something fairly complex and with a strong light source.
After I finish a few pieces like this, my next challenge will be to do something simple! And to try and get looser with my color work. Trying to stretch in both directions, but in both cases trying to stay focused on atmosphere. (amongst other things!)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I Love My Little Studio Home

It's small. It's cluttered. But, I really love this place. My husband, Paul, is a genious at utilizing space and he's built most everything here. Some of it has just evolved, but most was very carefully planned to use almost every inch. I love him, I love this room.
He put in the big bow window in front of my desk too.

I can keep an eye on what the neighbors are up to.

One of my favorite things in my studio is the pencil shelf that Paul built. I'd wanted something like this for a long time. But, as usual, he not only made the idea a reality, he made my original plan much better! It's about 8 inches down from the ceiling and is less than 4 inches deep. It starts here.....

...continues across this wall....

goes round the bend.....

.....and over another bulletin board.

The pencil shelf ends here. (Way up top.) This is the area that Paul calls...... the cockpit! Hi, Arianna!

Did you notice this little guy?

He's a book! HAH!

In case you think I don't have enough pencils, here's a nice set that my sister gave me.

But, they are kind of small.

Another look at one of my bulletin boards. The painting in the center/top is a color sketch by David McPhail. There's a lovely card from Brian Lies. A couple of "Thank You" cards from President Obama. A press photo of Tomie dePaola. (long story!) The picture of the white dog is from a calender. It looks exactly like our first dog, except that she was a Wheaten colored Cairn Terrier. So, I figure, that picture is her as an angel in Dog Heaven. She's wearing pearls.

My BIG ol' Epson. It was a challenge figuring out where to put this baby! Luckily, I'm tall, so this works just fine. And there's room to lift the lid of the scanner - after I move all the stuff off of it. And room to stash a few more books next to it! HAH!

Books. And a bit of bulletin board. When you run out of bulletin board, there's always the wall.

More books.

And more books! And stuff! Did I really need to show all of this? YES!!!!

On the shelf.....Things could always be worse.

But sometimes they are pretty good!

My very clever husband made some secret drawers for me. See the trim under the table top?

Tah dah!! It's also a drawer! So clever, my Paul!
(continued in older posts)

Looks like trim...... it's a drawer! Tah dah!

My customized, ergonomic brushes. Good for tendonitis! I'm cured!

My little studio home is a place where I am free to express my beliefs.

My heartfelt belief that we are ALL equal. And, that dogs rule! That picture of the Bassett Hound with a bone hanging, just out of reach, is a card that says, "Wish we were closer." I love these cards by Avanti. (And I love cats too, and horses and cows, and mice and.....)

I wish I'd bought two of these lamps! I got it at some dumb big box store. I did go back to find a second one, but no luck. This lamp has two bulbs. One is for the task light that is very adjustable - the part with the arm. The other is on top - for ambient light. It's the best work lamp that I've ever had.

Little creatures that live under my interesting lamp.

My soap collection. Mostly Italian, but some French. There is a store near me that had such a deal on these! I'd find a new one every week or so. The Italian ones come from Florence. I've been to Florence, but only for one day. Such a tease! So, these are a lovely reminder of that beautiful city. They feel like an extension of my time there. I may actually use some of them someday. We'll see.....In the meantime, I open a box every once in a while - the fragrance is amazing! Subtle and exquisite. Aroma therapy and nostalgia.

These things are so beautiful, I thought they deserved their own close-up.