Every so often I do one of these projects – take a paint brochure and make little drawings for each paint selection, inspired by the name of the color of the paint. This grouping is from December, 2021. The space in which to draw is tiny, and with my eyesight issues which made it hard for me to see details I used a new magnifying glass/lamp to help me. It worked out well and I was grateful.
Yesterday, January 9, I participated in an activity of the Plastic Club, an art organization here in Philadelphia. I’m a new member, though I’ve known of the group for many years – and they have been around for a long time, celebrating their 125th anniversary this year.
What we did on this cold Sunday afternoon was assemble our group over Zoom. The idea was that we would use the site Window Swap (with their permission) and choose window views posted on the site for quick sketches.
Window Swap is a site where people all over the world have submitted a view from a window in a ten-minute video. That’s it. Perfect for what we were doing.
We viewed some windows, picked favorites, and then did a series of 5 minute sketches with a couple of longer sessions of 10 minutes at the end. I used a very fine point black pen and did my drawings small, maybe 4″x4″ more or less. After the session I chose the ones I liked and added a bit of color.
Take a look. I’ve put the location in the upper left corner. The Macao selection was a video taken from a train window, so the scenery moved. I drew the various items I saw as the window moved along. The others were all stationary.
Here is a photo I took of myself in late August, 2021, and a drawing I sketched out, in about a minute, derived from it.
I had been keeping track of my left eye’s progress via selfies (I will spare you the ones in which I look like Ogre Woman). At this stage the infection in my eyelid was improved and swelling was down, though since the cyst was on the underside of the eyelid it’s not surprising that things don’t look too bad here. And of course photos can’t show the damage being done to the functioning of my eyelid and to my cornea, which are the things that translated into loss of sight..
Well, a fuller knowledge all of that is in the future in this photo. But I do think I look a bit worried here. My drawing shows it even more, I think. A view into the state of my mind.
This drawing, done in late September 2021, is from the same trip I’ve mentioned in a couple of other posts – a visit to our son and his family in Washington DC in August 2021.
These houses are down the street from my son’s famiiy home. The neighborhood is block and blocks of similar yet unique houses like these. I could walk around and take photos of plenty of houses to draw and I hope to at some later date. I liked these particular houses because of their porch and front door features.
Once again, I notice that because of my vision problems at the time, the picture slants up to the right. I did not notice this as I was drawing it but only after I had done most of the picture. Once again, I could get smaller areas right but the larger picture wanders. I have found it interesting to see evidence of my vision issues laid out so clearly in my drawings from this time.
Well, on the other hand, I enjoyed communing with these houses as I examined them as best I could to pull out their personality and put some of it on paper. That is enough.
This picture is from the same trip to Washington DC that we made in August 2021 to visit our son and family, and from the same gas station. I loved how the tires were arrayed along the wall.
By the time I drew this picture, my eyesight problems had worsened quite a bit and I had a great deal of difficulty in laying out the lines of the picture. The perspective is out of whack. Double vision in one eye and a wavery spot in the other combined to make the lines all go uphill to the right. I noticed that this was also happening with anything I wrote. I could not see well enough to get a sense of the overall picture, though I could manage smaller individual areas all right.
Well, we keep going no matter what, don’t we. Just because I can’t see what I am drawing, well, then, I should stop? Never!
Focus instead on what you can do and go from there. This picture is a perfect illustration of that idea.
In August 2021 we made a trip to Washington DC to visit our son and his family. Naturally we needed to stop for some gas. Here you see my husband attending to the needs of our little car Jen McGill (Jen is short for Genevieve, just so you know.
Photo, then drawing. The drawing is 8″ x 8″, done in September 2021.
Here is another one of those arrays where I take the name of the paint color and try to draw something to match it.
I did this work in September, 2021. I enjoy doing these little arrays very much, but this one, well, my eyesight problems made it tricky to draw in the tiny squares and I don’t feel it’s my best effort. I do like Painter’s White, though. And that bureau in Antique White is quite snarly-looking, isn’t it? How would you like to meet that fellow in your front hall each day?
I’m not sure if I showed these before or not. If I did, well, here they are again.
Sometimes I like to make note of TV dialogue or things I have heard people saying, or, in more recent times during my eyesight problems, the crazy things my eyes make me think I am reading.
And sometimes, I just…doodle. Here are some tiny pen pictures situated in the midst of my note-taking.
The first one – I drew the figures and the words came from what they seemed to be discussing.
The second one – I did it back in the summer, I think, when I was taking my landscape class at the Woodmere Museum, because I have labeled this drawing a pared-down version of the Victorian building the museum is housed in.
Here you see my dentist’s office in Glenside PA. I took the photo when I went in for a cleaning in June, 2021. No cavities! Fantastic!
Here is the pen drawing I made, in June 2021. It’s in my 8×8 sketchbook.
I have a long history with this little house, which is located not far from where I live and in an area where I often walk. I’ve always liked the look of it.
Way back when I first started doing art, I made house portraits on a commission basis. These were all hand-appliqued and quilted by hand, not too large, maybe in the range of 24″ x 24″. I used a photo of the house to be depicted, made a scale drawing, and worked from that to create the simplified version of the house.
I made some samples to have on hand for people to see at the art fairs where I exhibited, and for the store through which I also sold them to display. This house served as the model for a very early hanging made during this phase of this time in my art life, probably about 1994 or so.
Here is the simple portrait hanging I made from a photo similar to the one I just showed you – the house has not changed in all those years at all, that I can see.
As time went on, I got more skilled and able to depict more detail in fabric, and then I began to sew them on the machine, and then I taught classes in the process and even wrote out a how-to manual that I sold…and then I had had enough of house portrait work and devoted myself to other scenes and eventually other mediums. I don’t know what happened to this particular hanging – maybe I gave it away for a raffle or something like that.
Anyway, in summer 2021, I was walking by this little house and took the photo, for old times’ sake. And then I drew the house in my sketchbook. A really pleasant experience, because it made me remember the very beginnings of my art career, so long ago.
I drew this picture in pen and it’s in my 8″ x 8″ sketchbook, from August 2021.