Black Eyed Susans / pastel study


I worked on my sketch in the shade at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden for a while, then came home and worked on it again. It’s for a collage I’m doing for a show titled “Entangled”, happening at the Petersburg Art League, Fri. Oct. 14.

The theme Entangled is a collaborative show with visual artists doing an illustration for an author, and the author writing a poem for a painting. It’s always good for artists and writers to get together and exchange ideas. Artists find a lot of inspiration in in the other art forms.

I’m entered with my daughter, Sarah Hill, a writer. She wrote a book for teenage girls. The story is about a girl who’s mother is like Wonder Woman from another planet, and her dad is a normal human. The daughter has some super powers too, and the scene I’m illustrating is the chapter where the mother teaches the girl to fly. It’s a real fun subject to illustrate. And Sarah is writing a poem for one of my paintings. The poems and the paintings will be hung together.

I need to cut this sketch up into clumps of flowers for my collage, and arrange them in among the trees in their back yard. Then I can work again on my 2 figures floating slowly down to Earth. Doing the figures is kind of like making paper dolls for this collage. Fun stuff!!

If you’re in the area, you should make it to this opening. It will be great. People will be reading poetry and there will also be Latin Jazz and Salsa music.


Strawberry Green at Via Farm / pastel

This was a commissioned drawing.

This was a commissioned drawing.

I drew this freehand without a camera or ruler because I’m challenging myself to improve my drawing skill.

When Barbara asked me to draw her house I wasn’t sure I could do it because the house is big and complicated. The first time I tried to sketch it I stood far back and drew small so I could make it fit on the paper. Barbara showed me some black and white drawings she has of houses. They are done in pen and ink and graphite pencil with the house large and centered. I knew she wanted my drawing to be more about the house and less about the scenery so I moved my easel closer to center front for this drawing. She likes the way it turned out.

It’s nice to hang around on the farm and draw. It’s so peaceful and safe and pretty out there.

5 photos from Rebirthing the Classics opening night at Art6

debriefing follows

debriefing follows

This shot shows the hall looking towards the front door on Broad St. with my work on both sides. The camera shots on the wall show the original masterpieces from the VMFA and Hollywood Cemetery that are the inspiration for each piece. Last Sat. was the day to take our entries to Art6. I loaded up my car in the morning and got there at noon. As I was unloading my work in the gallery Helene talked about putting my smaller pieces in the hall. That meant a bigger showing for me so I drove home and loaded my car again. I also brought 4 landscapes and some things I made up from my imagination. They don’t all fit the theme but it’s ok because they show continuity.

Sunflowers…Sunshine in an envelope

ATC sized Drawing

Seven Sunflowers – Drawing on an ATC

I love sunflowers. I love to plant the seeds and see them grow. I love to drive past fields filled with their golden-yellow brilliance. I love the way their heads follow the sun. I love to collect pictures and photos of sunflowers. Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflower series has always been an inspiration to me. But most of all I love to draw sunflowers.

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to do any drawing. When I was a commercial screen printer, I drew every day. I drew anything from a customer’s product to a cat for my mail order catalogue. It was production of the highest degree.

Of course, before those years there was Art School at the York Academy of Arts. Drawing was our foundation. Your work was only as good as the drawing beneath it…whether the finished piece be a painting, a sculpture, a print. This now applies to digital work. A lack of drawing skills is amplified a hundred fold in the digital realm.

And before that I drew because I loved it.

So in a sense, The Doodle Swap Project has brought me full circle.

The Project is similar to trading ATC’s but the main focus is doodling/drawing/illustration. The size requirement is the same as an ATC. After registration and the cards are complete, you send them off to the list of names and addresses provided. My cards are ready to go to Alabama, Maryland, Utah, Massachusetts, Washington, and Pennsylvania.

The substrate is a standard ATC card. I used a Ranger’s Inkssentials manila card. I drew in pencil. I then used chalk pastels to colour the drawing. The center of the sunflower is Tim Holtz Distress Ink stamped with a piece of fibrefill I found.

As I have had years of production work under my belt, I did each card at the same time…building up the drawings on each card, layer by layer.

I am looking forward to getting my Sunflowers in the mail. I am also looking forward to receiving art in the mail.

Thanks again, Doodle Swap Project. You reminded me how much I really love to draw.

You’re Invited ! Art 6 Opening ! July 5th

Rebirth%20FlierWhen I saw the theme was “Rebirthing the Classics” I decided to enter my figure drawings. I have a lot of work from the 2 years I spent drawing the sad stone angels in Hollywood Cemetery. And I have a lot of figure drawings from sculptures at the VMFA. When I started to get the hang of figure drawing I used the figures in scenes from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.  I’m all over town drawing and painting in plein air ! 😉

A lot of artists will be represented in the show so I’m looking forward to seeing their interpretations of classical subject matter too!

I’ll fill up the 2nd small gallery with my favorite drawings.

Thanks to Art 6 and Helene Ruiz for the great opportunity to show my progress on that path !

Pitcher Plants / a study

charcoal and white pastel

charcoal and white pastel

The Pitcher Plants are fun to draw ! I’ll do another painting of them this summer. I have a few pages of studies that I can arrange with a background into a design. There are many varieties of Pitcher Plants around the pond. Some are variegated and some have delicate veins showing reddish against green. They are in the sun but there’s places on the boardwalk that I can stand in the shade in the morning.  The heat and humidity and chance of storms every afternoon makes me get out earlier to draw in the summer.

The Cow is OK / left / 2003 / pastel

image 18.75 x 26.5

image 18.75 x 26.5

When I was working on these drawings I saw a “Weird News” article in a political magazine that had my daughter, Sarah , and I laughing for days. This is what it said :

In Fla. there was a flooded field and a cow was standing in the water. People driving past it were concerned that the cow was stuck in the mud and 911 got so many calls that DOT put a lighted sign by the road saying “The cow is OK”. Then the cow moved on but the sign was still there. It caused a traffic jam as people slowed down to look for the cow.

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