Monday, June 30, 2008

Solo SketchCrawl at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Srings, Florida

Yesterday afternoon, I headed up to Tarpon Springs' St. Petersburg College Campus, and I visited the Leepa Rattner Museum for a solo SketchCrawl. After three hours, I came away with one spread and three additional drawings, so it felt like a good day.

The first drawing was an abstract compilation I did from impressions I got while spending some time in their Challenge of Modern Art Interactive Gallery. I sketched and painted while my daughter made art out of words and images on their giant magnet wall in there.

Two of the other sketches I did were of works by Abraham Rattner, located in the large gallery in the back of the museum. I am fascinated with the design of the building. In this gallery, there is a window that is ankle-high and runs the length of the room, which gives you a peek of the water outside- very cool.

I sat in the comfortable chairs in that gallery and sketched Abraham Rattner's bronze sculpture, titled Torso, which he completed in 1966. I also sketched an impression of one of his paintings, titled Fairmount Temple (Anshe chesed), 1956.

My daughter and I then headed out to the lobby area of the building, and I had just enough time to draw one of the wooden sculptures by Esther Gentle, titled Painted Figures, before the guard threw us out at closing time.

I have viewed some Modern Art collections that seemed somehow cold or un-relatable, but I find this collection is very approachable and easy to enjoy.

I didn't have enough time to thoroughly look at the fiber exhibit that was going on, because there was a gallery talk going on in there, and I really wanted to draw rather than listen. I will have to go back and check out the rest of the exhibits on another day before it is time to change them.

If you are in the Tampa Bay area and get a chance to go, the Leepa-Rattner is definitely worth a visit!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sisters, Friends and a new art job!

These are just some of the benefits to the last SketchCrawl. I think other benefits will still be coming in. It was so much fun, and I can't wait to plan another one!

I REALLY enjoyed the time I was able to spend with both of my sisters. One sister lives right around the corner from me. but having our other sister come down from Charleston for the crawl made the whole weekend fun. We talked, drew, ate, drew, drank drew, shared plants, drew.... well you get the idea.

My friend, Valri, who drove over from the east coast of Florida was also a lot of fun to hang out with. We met for the first time this weekend, but both felt like we had known each other forever from all of our correspondence as well as a few long phone calls over the past several years.

Valri just sent me copies of her pictures from the Dunedin SketchCrawl yesterday, and I thought you'd enjoy seeing them. Hers were all taken inside Casa Tina, and I was glad that she took them, because I couldn't get the interior settings right on my camera.

As I alluded to in the title, I also picked up some work because of the publicity from the Crawl. Tina, the owner of Casa Tina, liked the style of my sketches that were shown in the newspaper article, and she wants me to draw some of the artwork she has on display in Casa Tina from Mexico with a "key" that explains some information about each of the objects d'art.

One of the areas that I know she wants me to draw is the wall of crosses shown above and some of the Day of the Dead skeletons. Valri sent a good picture of that area, so I can show you what that looks like here.

The drawing I am posting is one I just worked on yesterday, while I was chatting and drawing with my sisters. It is graphite in my Moleskine Sketchbook.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

It Rained, It Poured, But We Drew Anyway!!

Today was our inaugural SketchCrawl event for the area, and I was very happy with how it all went, ESPECIALLY since the weather was not at all cooperative.

Still, even as it rained- (poured actually), we attracted a head count of about 23 very enthusiastic participants, many who asked when we were going to have another one when it was time to go!

Most stayed through lunch until about 2:00, sketching all of the cool memorabilia from Mexico all over Casa Tina Restaurant. Tina was nice enough to give us a 10% discount on all of our food and allow us to come in and sketch even before the restaurant was officially
open. I was very grateful to have a comfortable, interesting place to be while all the rain happened, and with great food to keep us all happy....Who could ask for more?! (Thanks, Tina!)

The photo shown at the top of this post is of part of the group who sketched along the Pinellas Trail near the Historical Society building (which was the old train station back when the Pinellas Trail was railroad track that ran between Clearwater up to Tarpon Springs through Dunedin).

Other participants in the Dunedin SketchCrawl chose to sketch areas near the fountain closer to the Marina park, from the porch of the old Paper Players shop, and several other locations in and around downtown before the downpour started, about an hour and a half into the crawl.

I loved meeting all of the other artists who came for the event. Everyone was so nice, and were genuinely happy, I think, that we could get together and do something like this in the area. Several came over from Tampa, one came from New Port Richey, one even from Homosassa Springs, all after reading about it in the newspaper.

The participants who came the farthest for the event were my sister, Sandy, who came down from Charleston for the weekend and my online friend, Valri, who came over from Melbourne (east coast of Florida) and stayed with me the night before Sketch Crawl. I was so happy to finally meet her, after talking online and on the phone for the past three years.

On the Thursday before the crawl, I was fortunate enough to have a really terrific article run on page 2B of the The St. Petersburg Times. I had sent press releases out to all of the local papers, and got quite a few listings in the event calendars, so that helped stir up interest. For our very first SketchCrawl, I was impressed with the turnout we had, especially on a very ugly day outside. I know that the newspaper coverage was instrumental in helping us muster up the great attendance.

Here are the sketches that I did on the crawl. I know that I wrote that we had 18-20 participants in my sketchbook, but after I tallied up the latecomers and those who didn't make it to lunch, I realized I had left some people out of the total so it was really 23.

It was a really fun day, and I probably could have finished a few more sketches if I wasn't chit-chatting so much, but it was great to talk with everyone and look through their sketchbooks. And of course we had to take some time to enjoy lunch at Casa Tina.

I feel sure that we will be doing more like this again.

Thanks to everyone who came out. I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

SketchCrawl is almost here!!

Hi everyone- just a quick reminder that the crawl begins Saturday morning at Pioneer Park at 9AM (Main Street and Douglas in downtown Dunedin).

Did you check out the article that ran in the St. Pete Times this AM? (Thursday, June 19, page 2B in the Tampa Bay Section)

There is a full post about the crawl here.

See you Saturday!!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

One last version of the portrait- embellished!

Added a few things to the previous drawing- ribbon, metallic foil flakes, Fount India ink (drawn with the dropper) and some acrylic (eyes and ear).

Another version of the portrait

Here is anther version I did of the portrait reference from this weekend's Weekend Drawing Event (WDE) on Wetcanvas.

This one is a modified blind contour drawing (didn't look at my drawing; only the reference, but did look down a few times to put my pen down in a specific spot on the paper). It's Zig Millenium pen , 08 width, on watercolor paper, painted with watercolors.

In case you'd like to see the reference photo, I'll post it here. The poor woman is not going to like what I did to her nose or ear, but hey- it's a blind contour!

It was a heck of a lot more fun to do this one than fight with the Inktense pencil!

Some new work -experiments from the last two weeks

After a long hiatus from Wetcanvas!, I decided to participate this weekend and last in the Weekly Drawing Event (or WDE as it is fondly referred to ) in the All Media Art Events forum there.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this weekly event, every weekend, a member of Wetcanvas! who frequents the All Media Art Events forum hosts, by posting up to 16 reference pictures usually around a theme, and folks from all over the world, who have all different skill levels, tackle these subjects in whatever medium they choose. The idea is to work on their piece for up to two hours and then post a picture at the two-hour point. Of course, additional time can be spent with updates to the post, but by requiring a picture at two hours, everyone gets an idea of what each of the participants can do in a limited time frame.

Last week, a challenge was offered up to make one of the reference pictures into an abstract. I posted a step-by-step work-in-progress about how I like to abstract things, and will post it again here since I am not sure that I can link to that thread and have non-members still be able to view it. The finished painting (acrylic on paper) is shown at the top of this post.

The original reference photo can be seen here, if you'd like to check it out. Basically, here is what I did in each of the steps:
1. A quick gesture drawing, getting the placement of the components to line up in better places.
2. A value drawing in pencil. I referred to the value drawing as much as I did to the reference photo as I painted.
3. A gesture/value underpainting
4. Color added in basic blocky shapes (a color underpainting)
5. The finished painting, with other colors layered and worked in over the base painting.


This week, I tackled a new medium- Inktense pencils- and tried a portrait. I will cut and paste my post so you can hear about my struggles trying to get that medium to work with a portrait. I plan to do a few more takes on the portrait this weekend and will post here again if I do. In case you can get to the link without being a Wetcanvas member, here is my post there. In case it takes you nowhere, here is the copy and past of the post:

"Ay yi yi- did I have soooooo much trouble with this one!

First, a 3/4 view is always challenging, Second- she is a beautiful woman, and at some points in my drawing she was NOT beautiful, Third- I was battling the medium the whole way, which was the new Inktense pencil in black.

About the medium.... I think these Inktense pencils could be very cool for certain things, but IMO were not well suited for portraiture, and I will tell you why. When you add water to the drawing, the black that was created was very intense (duh- like the name I guess!!) and it dried quickly and was very hard to soften. I haven't read much about these, but I think that you can only dissolve them one time- after that, they are waterproof.

Perhaps when I have done 20 portraits in this medium (which will probably not happen!), I could get a better handle on that, but there was too much lack of control in the lights and darks to tackle a portrait, in my opinion.

What I found myself doing was drawing a lot of dry Inktense, as well as another black colored pencil (Polychromos) over the original Inktense (which had been wetted and then dried) to help even out tones and blend. I do like a looser style, but I think the good old WC pencils will still be my choice for a dry-to-wet drawing of a person. More options and control...

After, I also bumped up some of the highlights with a white pastel stick.

I think that is about it.

i like certain things about the drawing, but know that I didn't capture her likeness exactly. I elongated her face in my drawing by accident, made her eyes a little too large, and didn't get the nose and mouth quite right BUT, I do still like the spirit of the work, and was happy to give a new toy- the Intense pencil- a test drive. My attitude with portraits is- If you can't get the exact likeness, try not to overwork it and make the drawing "sing" with linework and values. On that note, I did my best, and that is all I can expect, so I am happy.

I will be using Inktense again, but think it is better suited for landscapes and still life subjects, personally.

Enough banter- Here is the portrait! I will mark this a s MI, because I would like to try something else and add it to the thread. The weekend is still young. Hurrah!!"

To see the reference photo for this portrait, click here.

If you haven't tried out the WDE's, join Wetcanvas! and get your feet wet this weekend. it is really fun!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dunedin Sketchcrawl Event, Saturday, June 21st, 2008

We will be enjoying our first organized Sketchcrawl for the Pinellas County area on Saturday, June 21st in charming downtown Dunedin.

I'll give you the basics here, and if you'd like to explore the whole world of sketchcrawling, be sure to visit
to learn more about the concept and the 19th Worldwide Sketchcrawl, which our event ties into.

What is a sketchcrawl?
It is a gathering of people who like to sketch, who get together for the day in a particular locale. Artists work however they like, either alone or in small groups, drawing whatever interests them. For the Dunedin Sketchcrawl, we will meet at 9:00 AM at the bandshell in Pioneer Park to get a map of the area with highlights of good sketching spots, and then we will have two opportunities to meet-up again for whoever would like to join us (Lunch at noon, afternoon snack/drink at 2:30 PM). Of course, everyone will pay for their own food and drinks.

Artists are welcome to come earlier or stay longer and can come and go as they please- there are really no rules. Whoever would like to meet-up for lunch or a drink can do so. It gives everyone an opportunity to meet each other and share drawings.

There are places both indoors and out to sketch, so you will not need to be out in the heat the whole time.

Here are some of the places of interest: (Click on the links for more photos of the area)
Our Meeting Place: Pioneer Park

Pictures of the Marina Area
First, there is a beautiful little park on the water, complete with a gazebo and view of the marina and its boats in the harbor. The park is a shady spot to sketch, and even in the hot months, a lovely breeze blows in from the Gulf. You can walk to the end of the pier and sketch there as well, where you will often see pelicans, egret and dolphins. If you are hankering for A/C, you can get something to drink inside Bon Appetit restaurant, adjacent to the pier.

People-watch along the Pinellas Trail

Here are some of the cute buildings and shops to sketch.

What should you bring?
Bring a sketchbook and any drawing or painting supplies you would like. Note: If you are planning to sketch indoors, please be respectful of the shop and restaurant owners, as they may not wish for you to have paints out in stores (even watercolors)- just ask first to be sure. Common sense prevails....

Other items to you may wish to bring:
A water bottle, sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, a folding stool (ie. fishing/camp stool), and camera.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to call me
(Lori 727- 365-5575) or contact me (via comment feature on this blog) about the event.

If you arrive after 9:00 AM the day of the event and would still like to meet up with the group for lunch or afternoon get-together, we will be having lunch at Casa Tina Restaurant at noon and meeting up again at 2:30 for a wrap-up drink at Kelly's.

I know this will be a fun and art-filled day, so bring your creativity and c'mon and join us!