Saturday, February 19, 2011

Breaking through the dry spell...

Remember this bust? I got her in January 2010 and I'm just now getting around to sketching her. I've not been sketching much at all lately--there is always something else that needs my attention, like cleaning or cooking dinner. I know it is nothing but procrastination, but unfortunately, it wins sometimes. No, I'm not proud of that fact, but there it is. Anyway, today was beautiful, in the eighties, sunny. I don't enjoy Texas summers much, so I figured I needed to spend as much time outside as possible before it gets here. I mean, eighties!!... in February!? Since the backyard is in that ugly stage it gets after dealing with a week of hard freezes, I picked the Diana bust off my desk to draw and carried all my supplies outside. This is modified contour in my Lamy Safari fountain pen with watercolor added. Limited palette of cadmium orange and pthalo blue. The colors on the scan aren't quite right, the background being more of a greenish blue.
One thing happened on this sketch that you wouldn't think would make me happy...but did. It has been a long time since I've really gotten into a sketch so much that the outside world fades away. If you look closely at her chin, you'll see a little 'blip' in the ink line. My husband had come through the back door, crossed about twenty feet of the back deck (wood, never quiet!), paused a sec, and then spoke. The noises had barely registered in my brain, so it startled me! Seems strange, perhaps, to be happy about something like that!?


I did this one yesterday and it is fairly obvious that I hadn't been sketching much. I did it for Julia Kay's portrait party. This is "Stacey" of staceysketches on flickr. Again, the scanner didn't quite get the colors right...the background is more of an orange color than pink. I wasn't happy with the results, but considering how rusty I was when I did it, I'll be thankful for what I managed!

This evening we went to Baytown and met up with my first cousin, once removed, who I hadn't seen 1986. I took my sketchbook, intending to draw in the restaurant (there were five of us, total, so the focus wouldn't just be on me). The thing is, I was too embarrassed to do it. It is easier for me to sit alone and sketch in public. If I'm with family, it somehow feels like I'm showing off. Do you sometimes get that? I read so many blogs where the artists do this all the time. Am I just being insecure?



57 comments:

  1. Yippee! Two sketches! You WILL get that sketchbook open more often - you're really talented and we'd all love to see your drawings. I love the diana bust - such lovely shading.

    ReplyDelete
  2. OK Raena - here is where I make you feel real good: Lately I have been having a great deal of trouble with sketching in public. Besides the problem I've been having with adjustment to a larger sketchbook, it just seems that not much comes out any good. Often I have gone to lunch and not done any sketching at all. I have been thinking this particular sketchbook is "cursed" and I may ditch it or use it for something else. I have also decided that maybe the paper is no good. I blame the sketchbook - Hah! I did create an okay sketch the other day, when I was with family (sorry).

    But I haven't totally stopped sketching. Just created mostly crap. I did one good one - well-colored too - from a magazine and am concerned about posting it because of copyright.

    I think all this may be because I am in adjustment mode. I want to do other things besides sketch in public and color those sketches.

    I like your sketches - you are too hard on yourself. Great expression on Stacy's face. And I'm glad you got into the zone.... :)

    Finally, I live in Florida because I love 80's in February! Other folks complain, and I laugh. It is paradise.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really like the bust. You did a great job. I think both sketches are good.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Raena, I think both the bust and the portrait are quite good. I am so happy to see you sketching again.

    I have a hard time sketching in public, and wouldn't dare with my family - they are my worst critics.

    Glad to have you back,

    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lovely, just lovely. What is it with these creative doldrums? They are always nipping at our feet. Whatever you felt about them, your sketches are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  6. So good see you back sketching and painting again, I was wondering what you were up to these days (turns out you have beeen hit with domistica diva duty virus, I got the same bug) And its been driving me totally nutters these past few days (feels like months)... Any how! Glad to see you back, and I really love the colours and highlights of the bust. Really lovely! And for the extra ink on the chin, would not have noticed it if you havent pointed that out, but it works fine. Again, really lovely work!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. And I'm just starting to learn to sketch in public. You mean you can get comfortable doing it and then lose it? I was at a ladies club meeting where everyone knows me well, and I just drew little bits of this and that during the speaker. Felt good to decide I didn't care if someone looked. I think both your drawings are wonderful. I especially like Stacey. She has real personality shining through those eyes.

    ReplyDelete
  8. She (the bust) was well worth the wait for! Great job on jkpp

    ReplyDelete
  9. I like them! =) I am kinda jealous now knowing that you guys are all sketching/drawing with Lamy Safari and Noodler's ink... I want those too =)
    Anyway, great job on the 'bust' and Stacey as well

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've missed you Raena. Nice to see your wonderful sketches once again. I think it's quite OK to take a break, a little time in the spaces between the doing. It's a good thing.
    I love your sketches! I know your standards are pretty high so you see all the "problems" but I think they're great.
    I wish it were the 80's here. It's near 60 and I'm still freezing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Raena, I think the delicate shading on the bust is marvelous and the blue background gives it a dreamy look. The portrait has a lot of personality, so well done on that too. I am pretty used to sketching in public so it doesn't bother me much anymore, but I mostly sit in unobtrusive places. With family or friends, it does often feel awkward to me, but it depends on the situation. On a camping trip or waiting for a concert or movie to start--no problem. But I can't sketch and concentrate on conversation at the same time so I usually don't sketch much at family get-togethers. Glad you are painting again!

    ReplyDelete
  12. There is something really lovely about Stacey. I love that place where we hear nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Two lovely paintings. Take a page and divide it into sections. Fill with pieces parts. The doldrums may go away. I certainly hope so!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love the shadows on the bust, thank you for the colour combinations too...I like to experiment! I always enjoy looking at your work, whatever you paint of sketch.

    ReplyDelete
  15. You have a beautiful 'light' hand when it comes to coloring. I find that I put more time in thinking about what I want to make, than actually doing it. Keeps me going.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Lovely drawings - I really like the bust! As for drawing in public, I get what you mean about feeling like you're showing off. I only draw when I'm out with my fiance alone because he sees me draw all the time!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Raena;
    I love the 'zone' that happens sometimes when we get involved in our work! I also love the little 'blip' in her chin because you have captured a fun moment! LOL!
    I recognized the picture of Stacey from Laura Kay's PP - you did a wonderful job!
    You are so lucky to be able to go outside right now - we are in a cold spell and it is -29 today! BRRRRRR....
    Thanks for sharing your inspirational drawings!
    Hugs and blessings
    Kelly

    ReplyDelete
  18. Fantastic drawings, Raena! You're ver hard on yourself,my friend :)
    I have to practice more with drawings. Yours is very well done!
    Glad to enjoy your drawings again ^^

    ReplyDelete
  19. I agree with Anais - I think you're being way too hard on yourself! These are really, really, nice. As for drawing in public, I can do it by myself, but with friends (except for Vicki, who's drawing too), I don't do it. I'm too self-conscious, which of course, makes drawing way too hard! Glad to see you back in the saddle! nancy

    ReplyDelete
  20. These are both lovely sketches. You have such a fine sense of line and shading. Good luck with the shyness about drawing in public and the lack of interest in drawing at all. I think these things come and go.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Contrasting sketches - a cool, monochrome 'Diana' and a vibrant lady with luscious lips and eyes that radiate warmth!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hello Raena,

    Well I have to say, what wonderful drawings - I love them. So good, I jumped up in the air and bumped my head on the ceiling...ouch (How did I do that? I'm so small and the ceiling is high...Mmm...maybe it was all a dream. Still those drawings are SUPER).

    I have the same problem with sketching in public - I know what you mean about showing off - it's not but that is what you feel everyone is thinking.

    Stew
    elasticunicorn.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Raena, wonderful sketches, I love that each portrays a different mood. The bust is so serene and classic with the calm blue background and the portrait of Stacy is full of life and warmth--great job!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. The sketch of the bust is wonderful and I love that feeling of being so in the zone that the rest of the world disappears. Last Tuesday when we went out sketching I just couldn't get in the zone and it made the evening difficult. Our sketch group has grown to 8 now and so our sketching in public has become quite obvious, especially when we take over half of a cafe. But sketching with family is different--I feel torn by the "shoulds" of being present with family, not having my nose in my sketchbook, and being afraid that if I draw them the sketch might not be flattering and so I end up not sketching, or sketching inanimate objects.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Two lovely portraits Raena - I think you've captured a great deal of personality in Stacy's. The only time I draw members of my family are when they are asleep or driving (so cannot argue) :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. To me both of these drawings look awesome! Strangely I never get the feeling you describe when I'm drawing. Or maybe I'm just not aware of it. I get it when I play on my guitar, though. Then it's the other people present who lose their serenity.
    Glad to see you drawing again! Don't stop! (I'm still waiting for that otter in a swimsuit picture...)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Glad you had a break through Raena.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Glad things are looking up for you! The sketch of your 'Diana' is lovely - she looks so serene.
    I have been looking after my grandchildren for the past ten days - they have only just gone home. I am feeling exhausted and long to draw and paint but just can't seem to get down to it! You have given me a nudge, so thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I really like both of your sketches. I hope to be seeing more! I also like that you got so absorbed in the drawing that you were unaware of everything else around you. I love it when that happens! As for sketching around family, I would be the same way, too intimidated. Oh well.

    ReplyDelete
  30. i really like these! i'm hoping to learn some watercolour techniques as i love the feel/atmosphere one can create...
    and thank you for your comment on my EDM cup and saucer drawing - i'm now back in action having got my laptop fixed *phew*

    ReplyDelete
  31. back and better than ever !

    ReplyDelete
  32. maybe you could sketch the old and new bathroom for us ^^

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love when I enter my own personal twilight zone - that's the best.

    As for sketching in public, I do it all the time, as long as I don't think I'll be noticeable. I couldn't do it while out with family or friends. Sometimes, at a family member's home, I'll pull out the sketchbook and draw a plant or the salt shaker or something, but I'm uncomfortable doing it in front of people.

    Diana is a really pretty watercolor =)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Well, I really like both of them. But expecially the bust, which is not so easy to with watercolor. Great job.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Don't know if the spray on the coasters will hold. They are new. A paint on sealant was suggested. These two sketches look like a antique and modern version of the same woman. Interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Loving both of them as well! Julia Kay's portrait party has really been an amazing project - and can't wait to see how it evolves. Thought you might be interested in this: http://womensvoicesforchange.org/starting-2011-with-julia-kay-part-two-of-our-interview.htm

    ReplyDelete
  37. Raena.. I LOVE both your ladies... and yes I get in the zone, and no I do not sketch at family gatherings or dinner... I think it would be kind of like talking on a phone... not nice to ignore the people you are dining with... I do sketch in meetings (and I go to lots of meetings) where I'm supposed to listen but not expected to actually participate... I think some people think I'm taking notes... others know that I'm drawing them... my problem is my drawing skills aren't that great and some of my people aren't that flattering.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Love the bust drawing - it is so "simple" (in a good way, I don´t know if it is the right expression in english...) and classic! Really great work. Thanks for remembering me by the way :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Raena, I've just been looking back at your posts, and what really strikes me are the watercolour portraits- they have so much life and warmth in them!
    And I know what you mean about it being hard to draw around other people- I find often it's harder with people I know than with randoms because (however much I try not to) I care more about their opinion!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Nice drawings Raena! Miss you!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Nice drawings Raena! Miss you!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Beautiful stuff! I hope that I can do watercolour as well as you someday! :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi, Raena! I just posted a surprise for you on my blog! Hope you like it!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi Raena,
    Oh, sketching around strangers -- not a problem. Sketching around the family? It becomes: "Oh look! She's being creative!" Galling.

    I found this blog through your joining onto my Cupcake Safari. (I believe I've sketched you in the JKPP). Great to connect more!

    ReplyDelete
  45. too bad you're not moving to my town!

    I know I HATE to have someone sketch me and find it extremely intrusive so I don't sketch others "live"...,maybe later from a photo...

    beautiful works in this post from you...winna!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi Raena..really like both of these, but the "sketch" quality of the bust really jumps out at me. I read in EM that you are moving to Idaho. We'll be neighbors as I live in eastern WA..

    ReplyDelete
  47. Nice! Love the colors you dropped in, Ann.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I hope your move is going well and that you'll be back soon :)

    ReplyDelete
  49. I cannot believe that you are moving SO FAR away!! Thing is, it'll be cool and green and fresh!! I have a feeling the change of scenery will bring great energy and a new perspective! Just check in when you can, and know that we are thinking about you as we sweat under the summer sun in Texas!! Have a safe and enjoyable journey!!!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Very nice handling of watercolor on your portraits!
    Continued success!

    ReplyDelete
  51. So glad I found you through the miz kate dot com Artist blog hop!
    I am your newest blog follower. :)
    Looking forward to seeing your upcoming posts!

    I welcome you to check out my art blog, too!

    Best,
    Mary C. Nasser
    http://www.marycnasser.com/blog.html

    ReplyDelete
  52. Good luck with your move Raena! will look forward to seeing your work when you're settled!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Let me know when you arrive!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  54. We're waiting to hear about your new digs!

    ReplyDelete