Studio 1 black and white

Studio 1 inked

Studio 1 inked

This took me two days to ink. Yesterday, I stopped with the foliage about 2/3 done. I hadn’t quite decided how to finish the lower right corner and the background trees and didn’t want to overdo it.

The studio is stuccoed so there won’t be much texture until I color it.  The azaleas were in bloom so there will be lots of red, pink and white flowers.  I am pretty happy with the positive/negative balance, although I may add a small amount more in the lower right quadrant.  I am still up min the air as to whether I will use the watercolors or the pastels.  I have to decide for both studios now, so it is a bigger decision than normal.  The pastels will be a richer, deeper color and the watercolors more light and airy.  Suggestions?

The Artist’s Studio

The Artist's Studio

The Artist’s Studio

Once again we have been out of town for a bit. This time we went to Atlanta to visit a close family friend who is ill.  She is a rather famous Atlanta artist and we have been doing some work on her home off and on since her husband of 60 years passed away last summer, around the same time as my father did.   Many years ago, her husband built two work studios for her printing presses, nestled in their large wooded back yard.  The area is also landscaped so beautifully that at one time it was featured in a magazine.  There are so many different types of plants and flowers that I could never hope to identify them all.  I can recognize the azaleas and the roses, the pines and the crepe myrtles, and the daffodils and wisteria, but that’s about my limit.  There are wonderful brick walkways and concrete patios interspersed with the the plantings.  Any place you might sit has a wonderful view.

I always loved her studios and thought that someday I would draw them.  I guess the time is now, while I have the chance.  I took a bunch of photos when we were there last week.  This one is wood framed and stuccoed, with timbered trusses.  John grew up right next door and actually helped Bob build the structure.  I think that started John’s love of timber framing so many years ago.  I haven’t decided whether I will use watercolors or pastels over the ink yet.  Inking will start tomorrow so I will have a few days to decide.

I am keeping the drawings small scale to reflect the intimacy of the setting.  They are about the same size, sitting side by side in the yard.

More red linocuts

Red Chinese dragon

Red Chinese dragon

After I made the red dogwood linocut, I decided to look through my older blocks and see what might look good in red too.  Most obvious was my Chinese dragon, since they can commonly be seen in red.  I think he looks pretty feistyand dramatic this way

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

Then, as I continued to rifle through the linocut blocks, I found one of the early ones I made.  It hadn’t turn out the way I wanted, but since I have been doing them for a while now, I decided to modify it.  I actually removed t most of the background and made it more of a companion print to the previous dogwood one.  I wish I could change the blossoms a bit, but it’s not bad this way and I salvaged an old block into something more useful.

Red dogwoods

Really red dogwood flowers

Really red dogwood flowers

Thursday, I printed up the dogwood linocut with my red ink. If you remember, I considered adding some white to the red to vary the color. However, that would require that I had some white.  I thought I did, but I did’t.  So much for that idea.  Anyway, I am not unhappy with the solid red.  It is quite vibrant in its own right.  I am thinking of making a companion print for this since I don’t think I’ll make one with the added watercolors.  I’ll have to think about another red flower to use.  Or maybe I’ll print up the dragon in red. Take a peek at my etsy store linocuts and please make a suggestion for a different color for the black ones.

 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ruthsartwork?section_id=12221408&ref=shopsection_leftnav_9

 

Spring flowers

Dogwood block

Dogwood block

In the blush of the first warm temperatures of the season, my daffodils have finally started to bloom.  We are in for a lot of rain over the next couple of days, so I expect that the under story in the woods and  the rest of the wild flowers will burst onto the scene very quickly.  It is already late into spring for most of them to make their appearances.  Right now it is thundering outside  and the rain is sheeting down.  With the droughts of the last several years, I am not going to complain.  Any rain is good rain for us.

I decided to make a dogwood linocut today, in honor of my mangled little red dogwood tree.  One of the deer thought that all of the flower buds on it, except for one, would make for a nice snack.  Alas, it will be next year before I can see the red blooms again.  I have had quite a hard time keeping a red dogwood alive and growing in this particular spot.

I am thinking that I will print this in reds and pinks with the variation directly on the brayer.  I’ve only tried that once before with some green and yellow inks.  This one might be a good one to try it again.  I don’t plan to make one to watercolor then unless I decide a green background would add to it.  I think I need to see it first.

Coyotes and French Bulldogs

Today, shortly before I was going to sit down and write this post, I was on the phone. As I was talking, I glanced out of the window at the pond and I saw a Nat Geo Wild tableau unfolding right before my eyes. We have had bufflehead and Mallard ducks and Canadian geese on the pond all this week, I think hoping for spring just as much as we are. In addition I saw two great blue herons, and then turkeys flew down from some tree branch perches. Lots of activity to see on the shallow end of the pond.  Then, unexpectedly, I saw a coyote wade into the water and head toward one of the herons.  The heron leapt up into the air and flew over to the shoreline in a deeper area of the pond.  The coyote slipped out of the shallow water and raced along the shore to chase after the heron.  It flapped back to the shallow end and the coyote retraced his steps, wading back into the water. He stalked the herons again as the ducks and geese looked on in amusement.  He dashed about in the water, stirring up both of the herons.  One again rose up into the air.  And again the coyote chased it along the shoreline.  Then both were back in the shallow end.   Finally, the coyote tired of the game and just raced himself around in small circles through the grass at the waters edge before heading off into the woods.  I think everyone knew there was no real danger and that the coyote wasn’t really intent on hunting them.  I think he was just having a bit of spring fever fun.

Of course, since I don’t leave the telephoto lens on the camera, it was all over by the time I got ready.  No photos available.  Still, I have to laugh at the poor stately herons.  It seems as if they are the butt of wildlife jokes and amusement.  This reminded me of the deer stalker incident a few years ago, where the doe harassed another heron around the shallow end of the pond for almost half an hour.  Then I did have time to put on the telephoto and got a few pictures.  Here’s a link to that post.  If it doesn’t work, just go to the July 2011 posts and you’ll find it.

http://ruthsartwork.wordpress.com/2011/07/13/the-deer-stalker-when-the-deer-is-the-stalker/

Travelling Trip

Travelling Trip

Now back to Trip, the travelling Frenchie.  I watercolored him over the course of two days.  I had to be careful with the fawn color and not overdo it, over powering the white.  Today pretty much all I did was add to the shadows.  I am pleased with the way it turned out.

And finally, whoo-hoo, tomorrow is opening day for MLB.  I know where I’ll be at 4:00 tomorrow afternoon. Rooting for a White Sox winner. Spring has finally, officially, started for me.

French bulldog portrait

The Frenchie Tripp

The Frenchie Tripp

This little Frenchie belongs to a relative of mine.  As are most Frenchies, he is a very sweet little guy and the most mellow dog around.  He has travelled more of the country than most anyone else I know.  His owners work for a major airline and where they go, he goes.   His coloring is called fawn by the AKC, which is basically a creamy brown and white.  After I let him set for a day, I’ll start the inking.

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