I must be getting old. By some people’s standards, at 50, I am already old. Little things that didn’t bother me ten years ago now get my blood boiling. My newest pet peeve is people who ‘camp out’ on the circuit machines at my gym. Today, it was a young lady who was more interested in her Facebook feed than her workout. She smiled and giggled as she scrolled through the news feed while I waited for my turn on the adductor machine. I tried the stare, the stink face, the loud sigh, and the attention-getting cough, but nothing could break her concentration once she was connected to her online friends. Yesterday’s camper was a woman who was staring into space for long—and I mean loooong– periods of time between sets. The men do it, too. There are several older men who sit on the machines and chat between sets. Get off!! Let someone else have a turn. At least let me ‘work in’ with you. And yes, I have asked permission to ‘work in’ several times, only to hear, “I’m almost done.” When I go to the gym, it’s to work out. I leave my phone in my locker. I’m not there to socialize, rest, scroll through Facebook, talk on the phone, or check my email. I’m there to work, and I’d like to do it as quickly and efficiently as possible. I’m getting older. My body needs a lot more work than it used to. Just let me finish my workout. Besides, there’s a big bag of organic popcorn waiting for me in the pantry. I need to get home!
“Tents are for Camping”–Ink Pen and Watercolor–From my sketchbook
Any seasoned traveler can perform ‘travel math’ computations. ‘Florida summer weather pattern‘ plus ‘late night flight‘ equals ‘travel delay‘. Luckily, I had my sketchbook and pen with me to help pass the time. While my flight was delayed, I had the opportunity to sketch other people making connections.
Connecting with an iPhone
I am in love with color. Whether I find it in nature, in fashion, or on the tip of my paint brush, color can incite a rush of emotions. From the deepest indigo to the palest pink, the color choices I make in my art are very deliberate. The colors I chose for ‘Joy’ came straight from the rainbow. I hope Mother Nature won’t mind that I took inspiration from her amazing color palette.
“Joy”–Watercolor, Ink Pen, and Swarovski Crystals on Arches Aquarelle
As a resident of Orlando, the theme park capital of the world, I spend more than my fair share of time in lines—long lines, short lines, single file lines, ’every man for himself’ lines, lines of traffic, lines that twist and turn, and lines that go on for hours. Disney refers to their lines as ‘queues’, and while that term might fool the tourists, I know a line when I see one. You can only hope what you find at the end of the line will make you happy that you endured the wait.
Artists spend a great deal of time dealing with lines, too–thin lines, thick lines, broken lines, continuous contour lines. I was going through my old portfolios the other day and I came across some line work from my first drawing class at Valencia. One of my favorite exercises was a ‘blind contour’ study. The goal was to complete a drawing looking only at the subject—not at the paper. Another exercise that was popular in class was the ‘continuous contour’ drawing. I chose a cluttered space—my kitchen pantry– and drew it without lifting my pen from the paper. Those exercises gave me a new appreciation for the line—a seemingly simplistic device that can make or break a drawing. And while I did spend hours dealing with those lines, the ride was definitely worth the wait.
Line work from Drawing l at Valencia College:
contour line drawing
continuous contour drawing
Putting all that line work to use–pastel on paper
Yesterday, I was loitering in the lobby of Valencia’s art building. Armed with my sketchbook and pen, I was prepared to participate in– and record– one of my favorite pastimes—People Watching. There’s nothing I enjoy more than having a roomful of unsuspecting subjects to sketch. The problem arises when one of those subjects realizes he’s being watched. We do the “Glance Dance”. He gives the “What are you looking at?” stare, and I respond with the “I’m looking past you—not at you” glance. His next move is usually the overly-suspicious “Yeah, I knew that” look, followed by my “Time to choose another subject” glimpse as I scan the room for my next victim. It’s an awkward dance, but it must be performed. I realize I could ask permission, but then I would end up with a stiff, self-conscious model who will inevitably want to see the finished drawing. I want to capture the casual, natural model who is at least somewhat oblivious to the fact that he is my subject, and won’t ask to see my quick, gestural sketch. So the next time you get that creepy “Someone’s watching me” vibe from a girl with a sketchbook, don’t bother with the ‘Glance Dance’—just sit back, relax, and try to act natural. It’s all in the name of art.
“Gossip”–pen–from my sketchbook
“Exhausted”–pen–from my sketchbook