Thursday, March 27, 2014


Today I did a quick line drawing while waiting to pick up some food.
The books I've been reading say to always have a pen and journal ready for odd moments when you can sketch. I have since added a headline and some commentary.

I've also made another fancy box.  This is a wooden box I found on clearance and gussied up.

I will use the rest of the paper for sketchbook covers- I love the raised design!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Yet another fancy box

Thanks to my coworker for supplying the box! This is the fancy dragon paper in action.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Boxes with fancy papers

Using some mod podge, a shoebox, the aforementioned fancy paper and my lunch hour, I made this fancy paper box.

I should probably visit the craft store and buy some more craft materials to put in it!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Fancy papers

A few weeks ago I wrote about writing letters. When I sat down to write a letter today, I described buying beautiful decorative papers at an art supply store. I will use them to cover sketchbooks and also make boxes for organizing my 9 million art supplies so it no longer looks like a Michaels exploded all over my living room.

Here is my favorite paper:
I also bought this gorgeous one with blue flocking.
Finally, here is how I composed the letter plus some close ups of my depictions of the papers.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


This weekend I visited my great aunt. She lives in an historic house which is huge and beautiful. I made a little sketch for a letter I am sending my friends- it is about 5" x 5" or so.  There is still some snow piled around the house, but thankfully most of it has melted, just in time for spring tomorrow.
I painted a larger version for my aunt years ago that she has hanging in her house.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Time for tea

It's always time for tea as far as I'm concerned.
This weekend I stopped by Bennington Potters. I'd never actually seen the potters at work before, but they were working on Saturday late morning. Today I had my first pot of tea from my teapot and also drew the detail on some plates to commemorate it.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Still finishing my sketchbook from Guatemala

Here are some more small sketches from my book, which is nearing completion.
The first is a Mary from the Mercy Church in Guatemala City.
This is the Calvary Church at Chichicastenango. When I visited it, a shaman was reading fortunes in the lady chapel.  

This is a quick colored pencil sketch of a gift for my great aunt. I bought her a weaving in Chichi with quetzales on it, and sketched it since I was giving it away.
Finally, here's a quick sketch of the famous arch in Antigua.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Finishing my sketchbook from Guatemala

I have one large sketch and one small area left to fill, but in the meantime I thought I'd post the some sketches I added color to recently.

This view is from the roof of the convent attached to Mercy Church.  The bougainvillea in Antgua were gorgeous.
Next up is the view from Sky Cafe of San Francisco el Grande church and a volcano.
The mark in the center is thread where I sewed in an insert. Speaking of inserts, this was a sign I saw.  Apparently this place has the best sandwiches in Antigua!
Judi Betts says to always paint signs in your sketchbooks - I took some liberties with the colors, but knew this one was fun.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Paintings from friends

Tonight I thought I'd share two paintings that were given to me during my recent trip to Guatemala.

The first is from my good friend Juan Carlos Calderon. I met him and his wife just a week or so ago but felt like I'd known them for a long time. He presented me with this beautiful watercolor the night before I left Guatemala.
Our teacher, Frank Francese, very kindly gave me this demo he did during the trip.
Artists make the best friends.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Letter writing

One of my good friends is an archivist, and I remember her sadly saying people don't write letters anymore. She's right for the most part, but one of the best parts of being friends with artists is that they send the best mail.  My friend and teacher Judi Betts decorates the envelopes and sends copies of her sketches to friends.  Here are some sketches I'm sending to my friends.
I went to the opera last weekend and saw Placido Domingo onstage for the first time.  
My family was thrilled to find a photo of my uncle's old Boy Scout troop in a local history book.  I'm sure he will be thrilled that I drew a sketch of it and posted it to my blog.

My last sketch is from a photo I took in Guatemala of a statue of Archangel Raphael.  I love line drawings, mainly for the result you get so quickly.  I saw an exhibit of journals made by one of Norman Rockwell's cousins once.  Everyday she made simple but endearing sketches about her life.  She used pen and just one or two colors, but I clearly recall the pictures of her dancing, cooking something on the stove, or visiting friends. It's a nice way to make sense of a life.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

For people who like books

Trying to get back into more regular postings following my return from Guatemala, so I give you this photo from Panajachel for everyone who loves puns.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Guatemala sketchbook

Three years ago I took an excellent workshop with Bobbi Friedman called Journey Books.  We made our own sketchbooks, mainly accordion style books with pockets and inserts sewn in.  I've filled three, and I started one for Guatemala.
Tonight I thought I'd post some pictures from the smaller inserts.  I also paste interesting tickets and business cards onto these smaller pieces of paper.  This came from the shop of San Francisco el Grande church in Antigua.

I also drew chicken buses, which are old American schoolbuses which are pimped out and used as public transport in Guatemala.  Each one has a name. Here is Camelia:
I love the thunderbolt windshield wipers.  They are almost as nice as the Thundercats decal I saw on a Tuk Tuk.

The last page of this sketchbook is a sketch made for me by my friend Juan Carlos Calderon - it's beautiful.  Stop by my office and ask to see it!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Guatemala paintings

I worked on small paintings during the workshop with Frank Francese.  Here is a painting I made in the forecourt of San Francisco el Grande in Antigua. Also, for anyone watching the news, I am not in the part of Guatemala where the volcano went off today, although I can see plenty from Antigua.
Here is Chichicastenango.

Finally, I finished the scene from Santiago Atitlan.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Antigua, Guatemala

Today after sketching in Antigua all morning, my friend drove us around the small villages at the base of the local volcano.  We saw five churches, had a wine tasting of fruit wines, attended a local party/dance briefly, and drew even more scenes.

This church is in San Juan de Obispo.  The town is named for the Bishop for Central America who used to live here outside Antigua and ride his carriage into town. This sketch is in my travel sketchbook. 

Before driving all around Antigua, we had lunch with the artist and other students at Sky Cafe.  The view of the volcano and the San Francisco el Grande church was fantastic.

Lastly, here is a photo of Antigua's cathedral at night, where I went for a walk after dinner.