Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pear One

One of 9 done while having a rare couple of hours home alone.  The guys went to play baseball and I stayed home to paint.

Something other than a deck.

Pear 1

This is acrylic on a 6x6 inch deep cradle canvas.

On another note - look for this starting tomorrow:

Grab it and play along, if you like.  If you do, link back here so I'll know if you're playing  Every day in October, draw something, color with your kids,  chalk on the sidewalk or paint a masterpiece.  Post it on your blog and share it with the rest of us.  If you miss a harm, no foul...just do something the next.  Have fun!

Next month is NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and I'll focus more on photography again, like I did last year, so I thought maybe spending a month on drawing and painting would be in order.  November is also National Novel Writing Month.  I participated last year under a pseudonym, but I think I'm ready to try a year under my own name.  Maybe someday I'll even tell you my pseudonym...

But I have to get permission from my pseudofamily...

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I painted ALL day.  Only it was stain.  On a deck.  In my backyard.

And I can't turn my neck anymore.

And it needs another coat.

And I have another deck to do.

Two coats.

Did you see how many pears I drew yesterday?  I think they can count for today, too - don't you?

There's a bottle of ibuprofen and a whirlpool tub in my future.


Saturday, September 27, 2008


I've got it in my head to actually paint something in acrylic, now.  It's been a long...long......long.........time.  I've got a bunch of 6 x 6 inch chunky canvases so I was thinking of doing a series of something that could hang together or separately.  I really wanted to do some pears, but only had apples on hand, so I went over to WetCanvas! and grabbed a few reference photographs.  They all had different lighting situations, so I think, if I decide to paint them, I'll turn them all to have the shadows on the same side.

Pear Studies

Pear Studies

I did these in the sketchbook that Linda gave me for my birthday, with a Mars Lumograph pencil.  It's a large book - 8 1/2 x 11 or so, hardbound with perforated pages of what I think would be cartridge paper, according to what I've read about cartridge paper.  The books were all designed by SCAD students and are sold exclusively at Barnes & Noble.  The paper is nice - a little bit of tooth, and fairly heavyweight - takes a wash of gouache fairly well (Robin was done in the same book.)

IF I actually paint them, I'll post them, but given my record lately, I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Everyday Spatters

Robinator, originally uploaded by diahn.

I sat and looked around me for something to draw. Then I remembered Danny O. Gregory's advice. Draw what's in front of you.

There are a few things always right in front of me. Like Legos. This Lego Robin came in a Happy Meal and was threatening me with his bat hook launching device.

I defused him after I drew him.

Wouldn't want to put an eye out.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Girl at Panera

Girl at Panera, originally uploaded by diahn.

Linda and I met up tonight for a sketching session. We've both had a bit of downtime in drawing from life lately. We haven't drawn anything together in an age - we'll get together and chat, but the last few times we've gone anywhere, I haven't even brought my sketchbook with lame is that?

So - we talked and decided that it was time to change that. We went to Panera and had a sandwich and then actually broke out the books and pencils and pens and commenced to drawing. It felt good, but I was completely rusty and the first couple of drawings I made were just, well...sad.

Then I refilled my coffee cup and sat back down to try again. I managed to capture this woman as she worked at her laptop, and was much more pleased with it than the others. Her hand looks odd, but the way she was holding it made it look half as big as it really was.

Linda threw down the gauntlet and said she was going to draw something every day for the rest of the month (all 6 days that remain) and post them. So - of course - I must promise the same.

One a day.

Like vitamins for the right side of my brain.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008



Another gouache painting of Ben today.  I never could get the colors to scan correctly, but this is fairly close.  The orange in the background, in real life, is clearer.  

I tried using a white china marker as resist on the whiskers here and there, but then applied the gouache too thickly for it to work properly.  So I ended up pulling out the white gouache to put Ben's fantastic white whiskers back in after everything had dried.  It may be time to find a book on gouache.  I keep trying to use it like watercolor, and I don't think I'm using its full potential.

Anybody out there have recommendations?  I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Blue Ben

Blue Ben, originally uploaded by diahn.

Why, yes Linda...Yes I Did.

I tried to stay loose and carefree which hurt my brain a little. But I painted Ben, in complementary blue and orange.

It's a start.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Is it Really Monday Already?

I hate Mondays, originally uploaded by diahn.

Where does the time go? Some weeks it seems that I blink twice and they are gone. I got on to Linda last week about not drawing, and here I have not drawn a thing all week. I've had plans to draw. I've had things I wanted to draw. They just haven't happened.

But today is going to be different. I've got my paper taped off and ready to go. I'm pretty sure I know what I'm going to paint and after the boys are finished with school in another hour or two I'm going to start.


I mean it!

Oh shut up.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Customer. Service?

I don't normally just link to other posts, but who else has had this experience with Comcast (or any other "service provider")?  

It's only hysterically funny because it's OH so true (and wonderfully well written...)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Go. Wash.

I sat down for a while today and finally painted something.  They aren't my best paintings to date, but I look on them as a kind of re-start.  It's been such a long time since I've mixed paints and used real paintbrushes and thought through what the final outcome would be that I'm calling them successes.  Both are from photos I took in San Francisco back in July and they are very different from one another.

This man was sitting in Union Square, watching a troupe of dancers rehearse.  Dr. SmartyPants and I were across the way doing the same thing when I caught sight of him.  He had been looking at his cell phone for most of the time, but suddenly looked up and seemed quite taken with the modern dance.  The painting is a bit muddy and boring, I think - but I like the composition and the solitude.  Maybe he just needs a jaunty red hat to break up all that gray.  I did this in my little Maruman folding watercolor book, and I kind of stretched the paper's ability to handle so much water, I'm afraid.  I would have been much happier on some hot press paper.  Maybe I'll try it again.

San Francisco Onlooker

The seagull was sitting on a piling at Fisherman's Wharf and was not in the least bit concerned with me.  I used black gouache for the bird and I like the contrast in intensity with the cyan background.  I did this in my large watercolor Moleskine, which handled the paint nicely.  

San Francisgull

I have a few ideas floating around that will allow me to incorporate some mixed media elements into some larger pieces, but they are still fairly nebulous at this point.  It all stems from a conversation I had recently with some friends who were giving me a hard time about knitting and embroidery - that it didn't fit my image of pink-haired punk-rocker.  I'm going to have to find a way to show them how very wrong they are...

Friday, September 05, 2008

Have You Seen This?

If you look over there >>> in the sidebar, you'll notice a new item called

(The blog title is courtesy of Junebug - he's a little peeved that I stole it from him.  I've promised to give it back when he's old enough to blog on his own.)

It's a new blog I started recently to compartmentalize my homeschool stuff a little bit.  I really want to keep this blog to art and general ramblings and separate the homeschooling so I don't get too eclectic here.  I'm not sure how long it will last - I'm notoriously an excellent starter, and a frequent fader, but if you're interested in what we do, click over and say hello.  If you're not all that interested in my homeschooling life...stay here.  

You may even see a painting or two.

Monday, September 01, 2008

WHOA, Nellie

The Tunnel of 40, originally uploaded by diahn.

Our life usually moves at a pace that resembles this picture. Fast, furious, and sometimes a little blurry.

Today we took a few minutes to sit around and do nothing important. Dr. SmartyPants watched a Pink Panther movie marathon. I embroidered a few onesies for some brand new babies in town. Doodlebug swam at a friend's house and Junebug played next door.

I hope you all manage to do that sometimes.

I can always catch up on the laundry tomorrow, no?