Sunday, January 27, 2013


In my last blog, I was talking about some of the challenges I've given myself in the past.  The idea behind these are to explore, to play, to stimulate my creativity, and mostly to get myself painting more, sometimes every day.  The interesting thing about my 30 day challenges is that even though I am depicting the same scene, or item each day, they always turn out differently.  I should confess that this idea isn't my own; I read about it one of my journaling books.  The idea is that where we are internally, emotionally, or even what's happening in our surroundings affects how we render a subject.

I promised some pictures of my last challenge, to depict the scene out my studio window, which faces north, towards NE 55th St.  The above two were among the first few in the series.  Hazen, my Siamese cat, would often sit next to the window, forcing me to share my small work table with him!  During the time I was doing this series, just about a year ago, we had that great snowstorm!! - And I love to paint snow scenes!!

Towards the end of the series, I had to get a little more creative, or playful, and one time I simply painted the awesome sky!!  Also,  I experimented with different techniques.

SO!  The reason I was talking about challenges is because I have decided to accept another challenge.  And I've finally decided what the subject will be:  a different view out the bedroom window, looking northwest this time.  In fact, I just finished No. 1 ( shown above.)  In this sketch, I used a Lamy Safari pen with a mix of two water-soluble inks.  Thus when I added WATERcolor, I had to work with the color I was picking up from the ink as well.  It was fun, and I want to play with this method some more.  

I hope you will follow along with me as I work on my challenge.  Perhaps you can judge as to whether I am achieving my goals of "loosening up", so that more spontaneity is evident, as well as becoming a faster sketcher.  Often when I am with the Seattle Urban Sketchers, and we have a little over 2 hours to sketch before we rejoin our group, I am barely finishing one scene, while many sketchers have done 2 or more!!  AS is often the case, I have a vision and an idea of how I want something to turn out, but that doesn't often come true!!

Oh, I am now one of the "official correspondents" for, so do go there and check out what I've posted, as well as the excellent work of my fellow Urban Sketchers.  And, stay tuned!!

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