Thinking of spring

I enjoyed putting the pastels on this one in.  With the snow finally melting, the drab ground and foliage are coming back out and a bit of color is always welcome.  The lake has a skin of ice on it, but it will be gone soon with temperatures in the 50’s in the next few days and rain predicted.  Perhaps it will wash all of the sand and salt away.  And soon, I will be able to get my car out!

Spring colors

Spring colors

I did go ahead with the pastels because I thought it would look better with the richness of the medium.  I still have play a little bit with the shadows and the greenery, but by and large it is done.  I love the rounded doorway.  I am thinking of adding something more to the ivy on the doorway bump out too.  It seems to me to be hanging out a bit.

I’m baaack…

Entryway pencil

Entryway pencil

Hooray, I got my computer back last night and was able to download my pictures. I worked on a few small watercolors amid the holiday festivities, but I decided I wanted to do a smaller architectural again.  I have liked this Ohio entryway but not gotten around to using it and  I felt like I needed a change of pace from the larger storefront streetscapes.  I love the copper topped bay window and the curved brick of the entry bump out.   And having just seen The Hobbit movie, the  wide boarded, round topped wooden front door reminds me of a hobbit hole entry – though it is not as wide of course.  There are masses of tall flowers in the front along with some well placed shrubs.  Someone cared to make the entryway inviting.

Holiday Snows

Holiday Snows

The sun is finally shining today although the temps are still low (7 overnight, bleck, and not much improvement soon).  Here’s a picture of what we have been seeing with 3 snows in less than a week and over 16″ accumulation.  The snow storm pictures were too blurry to post. This morning I finally saw deer tracks where one pawed through the snow to expose some grass.  Not much of anything else recently, although my son did see coyotes twice, once chasing a doe up into the woods.  I don’t know how that turned out.

Pastel color

Pastel entryway

It was kind of fun getting back to some of my more traditional work. It was odd though because I had to have a slight brain shift from the abstract architecturals and the watercolor/ink animals to the pastel work.  I actually had to think about what I was doing when I started to lay on the color, envisioning the changes of the pastel with the fixatives compared to the watercolor just being what it was.

In general I think this went well. Tomorrow I will put a little bit more shadow under the entryway recess and under the eave.  They don’t seem dark enough yet and it sometimes hard to tell how much the pastels will alter with the fixative.  Also, the brickwork is a bit too even, so I may play with that.

I like to take 2 days with these anyway.  For some reason I can think it all looks great after the first spray and then the next day I will see all of the flaws.

The brick mason went wild

I have started the inking on the new entryway drawing this week and it is progressing slowly.  It took a long time to lay out the crazily angled brick because my eyes kept getting lost in the patterns.  Much of the other brick was fairly easy but that herringbone pattern really was getting my eyes crossed.  I’m so glad there was only a small section of it.  The bricklayer must have been feeling very creative on this house because he mixed and matched the patterns in a rather unconventional way all across the front of the house.  In areas that I have cropped out, particularly on the right gable, the mixed patterns continue with no apparent rhyme or reason.  I’d be interested to know if the homeowner was gone for those decisions or he knew and approved beforehand.

Tudor style

This house also has a ripple in the rake trim board that I haven’t seen elsewhere.  The eave is offset from the house and I wonder if the soffit is open.  I can’t quite tell from the photos, but there is a shadow indicating some depth of overhang in the front.

I would love to see into the foyer.  It would likely be quite lovely with that diamond glass window and the 4 foot wooden door.  It would be interesting to see what kind of lighting was there also because with just that one little window and a solid door, I imagine it is quite dark.  I often get curious as to what the foyers look like in these homes.  I like to think that they are warm and inviting to all who enter.

I have also been thinking about all those in the path of the hurricane this week.  I hope the damage is minimized for all and everyone keeps themselves safe.  I only wish we could have taken some of the rain from them.  The drought continues here unabated and I think will start to have more serious effects on the wildlife and plants as time goes on.  We are already going to have to cut down about a dozen dead trees around the house that succumbed to last year’s drought and the cold, cold winter.  Also, the deer I have seen around the lake lately have very strange-looking coats.  Some of them almost look albino compared to the normal reddish-brown.  I haven’t seem Mr. Turtle lately even though it seemed earlier in the summer that he was living in the front flower beds.  And the butterflies have virtually disappeared.  The butterfly bush that hosted a dozen tiger swallowtails at one time last year, now only seems to feed a few of the more common ones.  I’m dreaming of rain, but there is none in sight.

Ohio entryway, updated.

Well, it finally stopped raining for a few days, so there was some indoor and outdoor work accomplished. I have gotten most of the annuals planted and have started the arduous task of weeding.  Only a few things left to do, including deciding if we are going to buy some more fruit trees.  We can’t determine if we want to keep planting them in the same spot or start over in an area that we would fence.  Easier to decide now before more things go in.  Since we have had so much damage from the deer it is a very real decision.  You’d think they’d respect that we don’t hunt but they just treat my gardens like a cafeteria line. 

An elegant Ohio enrtyway

Anyway after letting the picture sit a few days, I went back and put on the color. It was fairly quick this time as the picture was smaller than the recent ones and I knew pretty much what I wanted to do. I like the fact that the slate roof wasn’t the standard blue/green/grey tiles.  It is a rosy grey that distinguished it from many of the other slate roofed homes in the area and I think quite lovely.  It fits well with the dark red bricks and limestone accents.  I love the architectural detailing that was put on residences in the early part of the century but is generally unaffordable now except in the most expensive of homes.  I let the picture sit for another day and a half before returning to make some minor adjustments and filled in the time with making some more mini tags. Last weekend I sold nine to a friend to use on her weavings and she also wanted to give a few away to her weaving compatriots. It was nice to see her go though my stack and pick out ones she liked for herself and for some to give away. It is always fun to see someone enjoy your work.

The only hang up was a near disaster with the new picture. I always try to spray the fixative outside and then let it dry out there, leaning face in against the wall for about 15 minutes if I can, because the odor is incredibly noxious. My husband had been working on the lawn outside and then started started spraying some bug spray at the various door lintels.  I saw him out of the corner of my eye and ran to my door yelling STOP.  Fortunately I caught him before he got to my inward facing artboard and no damage was done.  He was contrite, but my heart stopped beating there for a second.

Working inside, when the outside is too wet

I’ve been working some on my latest entryway picture. The weather only cleared up today so I have been stuck in the house, unable to plant what I had bought last Friday. This is posted late today because I could finally get out and put the wave petunias in the ground before the rabbits got to them.. Don’t know why, but last year they were eaten in the flats.  I didn’t have a problem once they were planted. Crazy rabbits to go along with the crazy robins, I guess.

Indiana Entryway

In the down time, I have been working on the mini tags.  I punched a few holes and tied a few ribbons today before I took some pictures in the fading light.  There was just enough to give at least the flavor of what they will be like.  They are half the size of the aceo cards and I hope will work well as straight gift tags or artist labels – which someone  had requested of me.  They are just as much fun as making the aceos.  Unfortunately, they take almost as much time.


Mini tags/artist labels I


Mini tags/artist labels II