Archive for the ‘URBAN SKETCHING 2012’ Category
I was always a sucker for the theme to CHEERS:
” WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME…”
A brew pub has been established in town and with good dinner specials it seems that a local crowd is gathering on a regular basis. So it is nice to revisit a setting that reminds me a bit of the local pub in my hometown.
Coming from a place that had SERIOUS IRISH, the pub atmosphere was a part of life.
SERIOUS IRISH means that:
• There is a brogue in your immediate family.
• Green beer on ST. PATRICK’S DAY is not a possibility.
• You know what the word ‘egit’ means because you were dubbed so more than once for good cause. The time you dropped your brother down the laundry shoot would be one such time, for example.
• TRIFLE is not a small thing but a gelatinous- love it- or- hate it blob.
• When you landed in really hot water, the entire HOLY FAMILY is invoked by name…ending with JOSEPH. Dad’s are always the last to know.
• Your mother has made her own BAILEY’s, with more strange ingredients than a witch’s brew.
• Irish soda bread is a fiercely guarded recipe, committed to heart and rarely written for posterity.
• Stew is a lifestyle.
• Ham is as important as air.
TR’s ALL AMERICAN is the hometown pub in NY. If I showed up there today I would find classmates from grammar and high school. Stories at the bar chase a person from first grade well into middle-age. Nobody ever forgets anything in these places: the room is dark and the memory is long.
The decor has changed little over time. It reminds me of a funeral parlor with forest green wallpaper, lots of wood, and TEDDY ROOSEVELT memorabilia. There will be SERIOUS IRISH there, despite the numerous changes in management and menu.
There is no SERIOUS IRISH here and now in KANNAPOLIS, but I expect by this point I take it as a ‘ TRAVELER’ and bring it along on my own. At least there is a local place than can conjure the ambiance if I squint.
If I could find anything blacker than black, I’d use it.
JOHNNY MERCER PIER in the morning. © 2014 ELLEN WARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Noodlers ink in a LAMY SAFARI , watercolor wash ( lamp black, davy’s gray ).
Sunscreen, umbrella, hat, water, towels, t-shirt, beach book ( THE BEST UNREQUIRED READING edited by Dave Eggers. I give it 4 stars ).
The list is lengthy if you are on the pasty side and heading for the beach.
When I looked at my fully stocked pencil case, the large fistfull of PITT artist markers & the full palette of watercolors, I realized that the experience of “BEING THERE” should be primary and not the experience of ” DRAGGING THERE” all the bits and bobs one might WANT but does not NEED to describe the moment. The length of that sentence describes the feeling perfectly. TOO MUCH.
Doubt Faber-Castell designed the markers to bake on the sand anyway.
I filled 2 LAMY SAFARI pens with NOODLERS BLACK ink, carried a tiny palette with LAMP BLACK /DAVY’S GRAY, and a single flat brush. A paper cup held water for the limited washes on the beach. Less was definitely more.
One toddler was a sand-eater. He seemed to alternate between throwing gobs into the air and filling his mouth. I yelled to his mother “SAND-EATER” and she replied, ” Yeah. He does that.” Can’t stop the tide. Clearly can’t stop a dedicated sand eater. With at least 4 or 5 other boys under her charge, I guess she would know. No doubt a lot of sand has worked its way through them at one time or another. Probably puts ALL-BRAN to shame.
A tour of the harbor was full of facts about the history of Wilmington, but I was more interested in spotting some of the dolphins and sea turtles seen on the earlier trip. At 3 in the afternoon it was incredibly hot, so I wanted to capture the feeling of being in a fully shaded interior with intense daylight outside. Just a pen was enough to commit the experience to memory.
…is often all one needs. This sketch is in a STILLMAN AND BIRN: GAMMA series journal, perfect for an antique look with a light ivory paper. I am using a JUMBO JERRY’S ARTARAMA JET BLACK charcoal and oil infused pencil. The North Carolina Reserach Campus dome looms in the background. The past and the future intermingle all the time.
Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.
JAMES A GARFIELD
Hard crusted European breads ( with soft interiors ) and pastries can be found at Nova Bakery. They converted a small bank into a coffee shop. The vault remains intact but now houses a couch or two for more intimate conversation. The door is propped open but a gander at the lock apparatus has not convinced me that it would not be better to hang out in the main cafe. The cranberry pecan bread is a MUST for THANKSGIVING left-overs….
The PRINCESS DONUT: a mondo cream puff with REAL CUSTARD FILLING
The MARBLE BROWNIE
The MULTIGRAIN BREAD ( toss in the freezer if you will not finish a loaf in a few days…)
Last weekend I had the chance to meet educators and artists at BINDERS ARTFOLIO EVENT. On Friday, I shared the work in my STILLMAN & BIRN MULTIMEDIA SKETCHBOOKS. Still managed to get a rapid sketch done while the catering crew began setting up for the evening. MUSHROOM CAPS were outstanding. Getting a chance to meet so many creatives was a real treat.
On Saturday, BINDERS had a store event where there were workshops and demos. This gal is a bit foggy in the morning and this sketch proves she was in good company. An early riser does not always equal a morning person: I need a hour of mentally swimming through pudding before I can really start the day.
One of the things I like about the STILLMAN & BIRN journals is that the paper is drawing friendly and paint worthy. Usually papers do not have both these qualities in balance. The demonstration showed the use of wet and dry techniques, alternating painting with drawing to create a full image. I used Caran D’Ache Neocolor II wax pastels and Supracolor watercolor pencils to experiment with line and wash.
Working in the time that is available…
Why do a study? It is a good question if you can conjure the ear worm of PINK FLOYD’S THE WALL without hesitation.
Watercolor is a particularly good medium for undertaking studies, especially if you are aiming for a calligraphic approach and not a photographic/tonal effect.
REASONS TO DO WATERCOLOR STUDIES:
1. CALLIGRAPHY TAKES PRACTICE
A good deal of the time, finding meaningful marks creates a sense of depth. This calligraphic approach needs a sense of spontaneity. By figuring out the patterns of marks in an experimental manner, you are more likely to understand the play of light with a natural effect. The area to the lower right shows some of this kind of thinking. I do not really understand this area yet, but the refection of the pier in the wet sand flat is an interesting moment. I will go back and do another study of just this area. I may also do a second summary painting study in gouache.
2. ASK A TUBA PLAYER
Tuba Players warm up before the concert. Go ask one.
3. CHART YOUR PROGRESS
Charting your thoughts visually provides a valuable history. Progress is a real entity in skills that require application of theory. If one is doing exactly the same thing over and over to no good end, well…painting is the same as almost anything else in this regard. The book form gives one the opportunity to assess and change direction, experiment with new ideas, and see the change that gradually develops. A bunch of random sheets of paper in the studio usually fails to achieve this effect in my experience.
4. MAKE THE DAY REAL & REALIZED
Your life is worth visual documentation. If one is going to TWITTER and FACEBOOK and EMAIL- I would suggest that a visual journal will no doubt take the same amount of time and will provide a more meaningful document at the end of the day.
5. MIX IT UP
The first image in on the ivory paper of a DELTA journal. I recently discovered the slight warmth is wonderful for interiors and portraits. The smooth surface of the ZETA journal lends itself to creating little blobs and marks with tidelines just like hot press watercolor paper. If you are working with the same paper all the time (for study and for larger works ) how will you know about different effects based on paper participation?
Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.
Well, for a dude who painted gardens —old Monet was a bit high strung!
Took longer than usual to work on this piece, spending about an hour and change building intensity with the crayons. Beautiful weather…