Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Art of a Sketchbook

I think I've mentioned that I try to sketch something each morning as soon as I sit down with my cup of coffee.  Some times I have something in mind before I sit down, other times I just look around my desk until I find something I might want to sketch.  

Last Monday morning when I was ready to sketch I saw the only holiday decoration I took to set upon my table at the Saturday Holiday Bazaar.  A small unadorned fake tree.

I love the this small plain tree sitting in a beautiful sophisticated gold leaf pot.  It's a small statement ...  the top of the unadorned tree to the bottom of the lovely gold pot is only 14" high.  Small yet a touch of sophistication.    

The juxtaposition speaks to me.  Plain and lovely.  I think it made a lovely sketch.

Small Christmas Tree in Gold Pot, Barnes and Nobel Sketchbook, © 2012, Nancy Van Blaricom

Close up -Small Christmas Tree in Gold Pot, Barnes and Nobel Sketchbook, © 2012, Nancy Van Blaricom

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Art of a Sketchbook

 The Art of a Sketchbook

Sketch from a magazine ad 2001 © Nancy Van Blaricom

I wanted to share with you a couple of ideas that you might like to use with your sketchbooks.  

This is a hardbound sketchbook, approximately 11" x 9".  Notice the White Ribbon in the above sketchbook photo?  I am always having a hard time finding the next blank page in my sketchbooks so I glued this white satin ribbon in between the cover and the pages, in the binding to use as a bookmark.  I used Elmer's white glue.   I'm sure and its been in this book since 1999. 

Sketch from a boating trip, 2012 © Nancy Van Blaricom

In the above smaller spiral-bound sketchbook, 9" x 6", I tied a red ribbon to use as a bookmark on the top spiral of the book.  I can untie the ribbon, if I choose, when the sketchbook is filled.  I like the idea of being able to find where I left off sketching last with a built in bookmark.

Pete's Net Shed, sketch, 2012© Nancy Van Blaricom

The the above photo I've glued a small manila envelope to the inside cover of my Sketchbook and use it to place a couple of cut mat boards to use as a view finder, maybe some notes etc.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Holiday House Bazaar

Here it is less than a week away from Holiday House Bazaar and I'm just now letting my followers  know about our local annual Bazaar here on our island.

Original Sea Shell Paintings on Wood Blocks

Original, Affordable, Art
This year I am very excited to show off my newest line of Sea Shell Oil Paintings on small wooden blocks. These Shells are from the beaches around us and look stunning.  The paintings remind us all of our most memorable day on the Beach.   
But the best part of all is that they are extremely affordable.  You'll want to pick up several for the last minute unique gift of Original, Affordable, Art.  

These small Original, Affordable, Art paintings will make wonderful Hostess / Host Gifts for the Holidays and House Warming Gifts.  Also, they are light weight for shipping and easy to pack as a gift in a suitcase for travel.

Along with my beautiful sea shell paintings I will have my lovely oil paintings to share with you and my ever popular note cards with some newest designs as well as my other favorites from my extensive line.

Click photo to enlarge

Please, if you are in the area on Saturday, November 24th stop by the Community Club on the island and say hello.  My booth is always in the Community Hall  (not the fire hall) up on stage right ... its hard to miss me and my art up there.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Art of a Sketchbook

30 Day Grid, pen & watercolor in sketchbook, © 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

Click photo to enlarge
When I was looking through my many sketchbooks to see what would be a good blog post for this Friday I came upon this 2 page spread of 1 inch squares made into a 30 day grid of small daily sketches.

Each day I would find something ... I didn't care what and do a sketch of it.  A stop sign, a tree, a mug,  a salt shaker.  Anything to make sure I could fill a one inch square with a sketch.

It was a great way to get into the habit of sketching as well as fun to look for something to fill the square.

Give it a try and see if you enjoy this self challenge.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Autumn Leaf - Collage

Autumn Leaf Collage, 4"x 4" magazine paper on gallery wrapped canvas, ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

Autumn Leaf Collage from a different angle - sitting on mini easel, ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

Autumn Leaf Collage, from above,  sitting on mini easel, ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

It had been many years since I had tried my hand at collage but when our local Art Talk Group decided to have a different theme for each meeting I decided this would be fun way to capture Autumn for this months theme.

I had the best time ripping apart old magazines ...

Sing along to the song Autumn Leaves sung by Eva Cassidy:

The falling leaves drift by my window
The falling leaves of red and gold
I see your lips the summer kisses
The sunburned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Story Teller

The Story Teller, 6" x 6" oil, © 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

A few years ago, Inquiring Minds  offered our community a lecture given by a native american storyteller for the afternoon.  Her tribe had given her the title of Storyteller and she was excellent in this position.  

I became inspired to paint her when I saw how animated she was in her button blanket cape as she told the stories that had been passed down to her. 

I learn something 
from most of the paintings I do... sometimes it's not so obvious other times like one its very obvious to me.  While working on this painting I learned I don't need a tube of black paint if painting something very dark because you can mix your own very dark, dark gray by mixing red, and blue to make purple then slowly adding small amounts of yellow to make a black that I was happy with.  Whoda thunk?

The Inquiring Mind Speakers Bureau offers libraries, museums, schools and community organizations an opportunity to bring some of Washington’s finest scholars, authors, musicians and actors to local communities for engaging and entertaining educational programs. Since its inception in 1984, it has impacted tens of thousands of Washingtonians in virtually every corner of the state.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Art of a Sketchbook

Bird Sketches from Barnes & Nobel sketchbook, Graphite, ©2012, Nancy Van Blaricom

I think I'm back on track now... and I haven't  forgotten about "Sketchbook Friday". Here are a few bird sketches I've done recently. 

These were all done in my Barnes & Noble sketchbook that I told you about back in September.  I've sketched in this particular sketchbook almost daily since I bought it back in July.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Another try at Orchids

White Orchid, 6" x 6" oil on panel, © 2012, Nancy Van Blaricom

Having not forgotten my attempts at painting an orchid a while back I decided to try it once more.

This time I decided on a 6" x 6" format and cropped my original drawing to eliminate all but a couple of the flowers and focus was on the top one.

Most of the comments I received on the last orchid said I had too much middle value  ....  I think I like this one better because I don't have as much middle value, what do you think?

I'm calling my love affair with the orchid over ... for now.