Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Art of a Sketchbook

The Art of a Sketchbook...

You probably think with all I had going on these last couple of months that I didn't do any sketching. Not true! In fact I have started a new positive habit where when I first come into my studio I do a sketch.  It need not be anything specific, just sketch what ever I want.

Clothes Pins, on 5.5" x 8.5" sketchbook paper, graphite © Nancy Van Blaricom

Some days it's only a sketch of a clothes pin and then repeated the next day.  Occasionally, depending on my mood, I may only do a gesture drawing, taking less than 2 minutes.  But, since July I have almost religiously sketched each day.

Sketchbook purchased at Barnes & Nobel

It feels amazing to have started a positive habit with my art. I love beginning my day this way.  By sketching each morning it gets me excited to go paint.   Give it a try maybe after your first cup of coffee or after breakfast, go grab your sketchbook and just commit to a 5 - 10 minutes sketch a day.  You'll love it.

I also wanted to share with you the latest sketchbook I purchased at Barnes & Nobel.  I found this in with all their Bargain Priced books.  It cost me $4.98 with a suggested retail price of $12.95 and I love it.  The paper size is about 8.5" x 5.5" and there must be at least 200 pages.  The paper seems a little thicker than most sketchbooks which I like so you can't really see through to the back of the page.   They also had different sizes, but I didn't pay attention to sizes or cost.  

So next time you are in the market for a sketchbook look at your local Barnes & Nobel.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Painting more shells

I've really been enjoying painting more of the small shell studies I started earlier this spring. 

Each shell I find on the beach has the potential to become the subject for a small wood block shell
painting.  I started out just painting the half shells that I would find, but, now I have started painting the whole shell and they are a lot of fun to paint.

The muscle shells are a particular favorite of mine and I'm not sure it its because of the intense blues or the lovely smooth shapes. 

Shell Study #11, 3.5" x 3.5", oil on wood, ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

Shell Study #16, #11, & #13,   3.5" x 3.5", oil on wood, ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

November, the week-end after Thanksgiving is our Annual Holiday House here on the Island and I'm planning on selling these little jewels at the bazaar this year.  I love having one main focus each year for this event. While these are small they are priced so people can afford to purchase an original fine art painting not only for themselves but to give as gifts.  They can be hung on the wall in groups or on an easel for a table top.  I think these will be a big hit.

Its been two months since I last posted on my blog....
What is the saying ... If You Want to Make God Laugh, Tell Him Your Plans?
Remember me telling you that I wanted to paint more plain air? do more sketching etc.  Read about my plans here.

Well, things just didn't work out as I planned ... My best friend who I had know since 3rd grade unexpectedly passed away.  We were in contact almost daily for the last 15 years.   It was a huge shock and I miss her tremendously.  

Then as if that wasn't enough my beloved 15 year old Casey passed away.  Still not enough???

Our daughter and her family who lived 3 hours away has now moved 3 days away.
All these events with-in the last two months. Uncle, I give.  No more plans for me.
One day at a time only.

Our beloved Casey
4-23-1997  -  9-2-2012