Monday, June 30, 2008

Elephant craving

I was so bummed that I didn't draw an elephant this weekend that I resorted to looking at a photo (which I know is ok, but it always feels like cheating) to satiate my craving to draw an elephant.

Hair today, gone tomorrow

I got my hair cut this weekend. I had been growing it out to donate to Locks of Love. It seems like it took forever to get it long enough to cut and leave me with enough so my hair wouldn't be super short. But finally it was long enough to donate and I scheduled an appointment with Ginger my favorite stylist. It was weird getting that much hair cut off and seeing the disembodied ponytail was a bit freaky. I thought I would draw the ponytail in my sketchbook before I sent it in. So to immortalized my dismembered hair, here is a drawing.

Finally a still animal

I found probably the most still animal in all of the zoo. He was in the kid's petting area and was sitting on a bench (yes, that was a bit weird to see) and he was enormous! Kids kept coming over to pet him and take his picture but he never moved. He must a very deep sleeper. Here is the drawing I did of him.

Addressing weaknesses

My brother-in-law Matt likes to say to "address your weaknesses". So while at the zoo I made a first attempt to draw some people. There was a grandfather and his grandson sitting in front of me and since they were being relatively still I took a shot at drawing them. Fortunately I couldn't see their faces, so it made it less intimidating. I don't really like this drawing, but I figure it is a first step in getting better at people drawing.

Fast moving things

Being back from Greece, I miss having things I am dying to draw. So in an effort to find new inspiration I went to the zoo on Saturday. I thought it might be fun to try an draw some animals (other than Olive). I really wanted to draw the elephants, so I went right when the zoo opened, but to my surprise it was already very crowded. It was really hard to find a good spot where I would be out of the way and the elephants were out of the question because it was a mob scene around them. So I eventually found the one animal that no one seemed interested in, the Southern Ground Hornbill. I sat down to draw it and noticed it was in constant motion. I have never tried drawing a moving animal before. It was very tricky. I tried to just visually memorize part of the bird when it walked by, first the beak, then the head, then the wing, etc. After awhile it didn't seem so bad, but I still prefer drawing still things. After the Hornbill I looked around for more to draw.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My favorite drawing from Greece

There were a couple of things I really wanted to draw while I was in Greece, one of them was to draw some of the balconies in Athens. The city is loaded with them. People put all sorts of stuff on them and really use them as another room. So you get all these neat peaks into people's lives based on what they have on their balcony. The last night we were in Athens I had some time and a great view of a building. This is my favorite drawing from my time in Greece.

Hotel in Kalampaka

There was a beautiful cluster of canna lilies near the pool at our hotel in Kalampaka. They were the most amazing coral or peachy color. I didn't have time to do a full watercolor so you'll have to just imagine it.

Monasteries of Meteroa

Meteroa is probably one of the coolest places on earth. It is in central Greece and has these crazy rock formations. Around the 11th century monks started living in holes in the rocks and around the 14th century they constructed monasteries way up high on top of the rocks. The only way to get to them was by being pulled up on ropes, this was definitely not for any fear of heights travelers! Today only one of the monasteries is reachable by road. This is a drawing of that one, St. Stephen's monastery (see Jack sitting on the wall looking out at the great view). The monastery was closed on mondays so we went to another one Great Meteoron which is accessible by a lot of stairs.

Aegean ocean

I drew this on the little beach on Patmos. The harbor was so charming, little boats tied onto the shore. I really wanted to draw a boat and finally found a good spot. The tricky part was that the boats kept moving around and it took me awhile to figure out why what I was drawing kept looking different each time I looked up.

Greek food

I wasn't very familiar with greek food before the trip, but I loved it! I didn't have one bad meal. Everything was so incredibly wonderful. My favorite was this greek salad at a little taverna on Patmos. Real greek salad dosen't have lettuce, it is just tomatoes, olives, cucumbers and feta. This was a drawing of our table while waiting for our food. Since it was so hot, we went through a lot of bottles of water.

A little bit of paradise

We took an overnight ferry ride to the island of Patmos. This was our hotel on the island for a couple of nights. It was so beautiful! The building was covered with a magenta bouganvillea and was right by the little harbor of Skala. Just writing about it makes me miss it!


Wow Athens was incredible! It was so neat to see things in person I hadn't seen since art history class. The Parthenon was amazing, but boy was it crowed and very hot! I did a quick sketch, because I didn't really have enough time to do a good long drawing. So here is the quick one I did. The first night in Athens we had dinner under the stars on top of a taverna in the old area of Athens. The roof top was in view of the Acropolis and had live traditional greek music. It was such an amazing night!

Plane to Paris

To fly to Greece, we had a stop over in Paris. I had a middle seat and it was so cramped. Not much to draw from a middle seat on an airplane, so here is the view of the back of the row in front of me.

Getting ready for Greece

I drew this while waiting at a Starbuck's across the street from the art store. I needed to buy another notebook and I wanted to check out some new watercolor paints. While I was drawing this I was sitting next to a couple meeting with a wedding planner. The soon-to-be groom was telling the wedding planner he had a good friend, someone that he had know for years that he wanted to give a toast. But he also said he was real worried the guy would say something crazy when he got the microphone. Man what I wouldn't give to find out how it went!

Five questions, part 5

Q: What is on your to do list?

A: Way too much. I have a ton of stuff I have to do before I leave for Greece. Pack, water plants, get Olive's stuff together, call neighbors to pick up my mail and buy a couple more moleskine watercolor notebooks.

Five questions, part 4

Q: What is your favorite snack food

A: I love the little vanilla starbuck's frappucinos. I also thought about saying "fleur de sel" salt because everything taste good when you add it, especially tomatoes, yum yum. Coffee and fancy salt are two foods I adopted after a trip to France. C'est la vie!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Five questions, part 3

Q: What five things would I do if I was a billionaire?

A: I don't think I would want to be a billionaire (well maybe if I earned it). I think I would just prefer to be a moderate-onaire. I have heard that lottery winners don't fare so good in the long term happiness department. But if I came into a bit more extra money here are some things I would love to do (after having shared the wealth with those more needy, friends and family of course!). I would buy the wooded lot beside my house and extend my garden. I would redo my kitchen. I would make a studio space above my garage. I would buy art from artist I love (Gabriela Ibarra, Darren Waterston, Jo Self) and I would get a nice wrought iron fence for my front yard so Olive could run around while I garden. In contrast, this drawing shows how much money I actually have in my purse, one wrinkly dollar.

Five questions, part 2

Q: Where was I ten years ago?

A: I was in grad school and had the summer off so I got an internship at WGBH in Boston. I would stay with my cousins and uncle during the week and drive back to New Haven on the weekends. My friends and I would sometimes go to lunch at the Harvard business school cafeteria, which was very impressive for a university cafeteria! or we would go out to Harvard square. This is a drawing of Harvard square in Boston which was not too terribly far from WGBH. I did it from a photo, which was taken apparently in the winter because everyone is wearing big coats. This is my first attempt to try and draw some people. Drawing them small with hats and coats on made it soooo much less intimidating!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Five questions, part 1

My friend and coworker, Dawn tagged me for a meme (which originated from another friend and coworker Laura) . I thought I would respond to her five questions and use them as drawing inspirations. So here goes question no.1 (actually it is question four on her list, but I'm going to do them out of order):

Q: What places have I lived?

A: Charleston, SC (where I was born), Bethesda MD, back to Charleston SC, Providence RI (college), Boston MA, New Haven CT (grad school), and now Atlanta GA. In Atlanta I have lived in four different places. My first house I owned was in Cabbagetown. This is a drawing of that house. It was a little shotgun house originally built in 1886 for the mill workers at the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill. Cabbagetown was in the news recently because it was hit by a tornado in march, but luckily I didn't live there anymore and the little house made it through unharmed.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Uptight drawer

One of the things I have always struggled with in drawings is being to fussy about details. I remember my college professors telling me to loosen up my drawings. I couldn't ever really get the fast sketching and preferred to fixate on small details rather than the big bold gestures. This is still something I am working on, but I did find an avenue of drawing that relishes in attention to detail. I took a botanical illustration class a couple of years ago and I loved it. Since then I have done some volunteer work for the Atlanta Botanical Garden doing drawings of various orchid species for the Fuqua Orchid Center. My favorite part of orchids to draw isn't the flowers, it is the thick leaves, roots and pseudobulbs.

The cool of the evening

After the sun goes down, it is very pleasant in my backyard (well more pleasant than when the sun is up and it is 100F) so I sat outside to do some drawings. I did some drawings of a couple of seashells and a one of a watering can that didn't turn out so good. But this drawing of my neighbor's house finally was working. I liked drawing the leaves of the pecan tree and the little shoots of a plant that I pruned back that are now sneaking back over the fence.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My lunch

A couple of cherry tomatoes on my kitchen counter.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Leftovers from a meeting

We had a meeting this morning and I took the leftover bottom half of a poppy seed bagel to draw. I have run out of treats at work to give Olive, so when she laid down on her bed in my office, I tore off a little bit to give her.