Marina, Sequoyah Park

Marina, Sequoyah Park

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Travel Sketches, Near and Far

I've been here and there this Fall and taking my sketchbook and my camera with me.

The latest adventure was a road trip with Mack to North Georgia and the charming town of Dahlonega. The last time we were there was about 40 years ago and we were both college students at the University of Florida.

This time I was going to take a tapestry workshop with Joan Baxter. To prepare for travel sketching I bought a little 5 x 5 inch Handbook Journal that fit in the back pocket of my purse. From a recent post by Cathy Johnson I had learned about the Pentel Multipen. I took two, one had 8 colored pencil leads and one had red, black and blue ball points, an HB pencil lead, two hi lighters, a red lead and a non copy light blue and along with the refillable Sharpie that always resides in my purse gave me many options. A very light weight sketching kit.

Our first little trip involved taking Laddie to stay with Josh in Kansas and so I tried out my little kit on a sketch of Josh at Panera.

The next day we set out for Georgia and it was rainy and stormy most of the first day. There were lots of things I could have sketched when I was not driving but I chose this gas stop in Alabama. I guess it was the atmosphere.

By the time I was able to do any more sketching we were in Dahlonega. I love college towns! They are always rich with art and music and designed for walking. Even though it was stormy for the first part of our visit we were able to walk everywhere. After a long road trip it is so nice to ditch the car and not enter it again till time to go home.

I was pretty busy during our time there taking a tapestry workshop ( more about that on the Common Threads blog) and didn't do a lot of sketching but do have a few more to share.

This is the Library and Technology Center at the University of North Georgia where we walked to see the tapestry exhibit by Tapestry Weavers South, Woven Together.

On the road trip home we drove from Dahlonega to Gatlinburg, Tennessee the first day. This was a sketch from Cherokee, Tennessee. Very beautiful place and very popular!

I wanted to do a sketch from the Smokey Mountains. It was a beautiful time of year for this drive. Unfortunately my first choice was rainy, cold and with a fog so think we couldn't see anything so I did this quick one at a lower altitude.

All of these were done with my ultra light travel kit and I was pretty pleased how accessible and handy it was.

Once back from the travels I had some photos taken of various locations in Dhalonega and decided to work from the photos while the memories were still fresh.

Here is a drawing done with Copic Multiliners 0.3 and 0.5.

Here it is with some watercolor added. it was early evening when I came upon it.

While we were in Dahlonega it was a short walk every morning to the Picnic Cafe. A very warm and inviting place with good food. They also catered our lunches for the workshop so I wanted to get a sketch. In fact I was pretty spoiled by the end of the workshop having those lovely lunches appear everyday and now that I am back home I miss them

I have a few more sketches I would like to do of scenes in Dahlonega, maybe by the next blog post.

On Saturday october 18 for world wide sketch day a friend and I ventured to a nearer locale for a little plein air sketching. This is my effort from Lake Bixhoma just south of where I live in Bixby, Ok.

It is a very pretty spot, especially now when the Fall colors are coming out but I chose to do this rock gully with a Burnt Sienna Tombow and watercolor. I liked the perspective of the rocks tumbling forward.

I also made many thumbnail value sketches for another painting I would like to do out there.

Not long before the trip to Georgia, I spent the weekend with friends in the country, Wellston, Ok that is.

I don't have the whole group in this one but this year I am in the picture because Gwen took the photo. We are all feasting on homemade pizza night artfully presented by Lynn!

Cheers to good friends and our semi annual retreats!

Another sketch from the Wellston weekend in a meander journal I started filling at our Spring retreat in Lawrence, Kansas. Someday soon I am going to be adding color to these.

With this drawing one whole side of the journal was complete so I headed outside with my sketchbook to capture some of the Wellston countryside.

My first stop was to admire some cows in a field next to the house we were in. They must not be sketching subjects often because they were pretty curious about the activity.

Next a little scene with the sun coming up behind the trees. Now that I think of it, this one came first and then the cows.

The next day a friend and I headed a little further down the road, and I did this ranch. I had to stand to across the road to sketch it because the grass was so high. It was a beautiful day but getting pretty hot by the time this one was finished.

While I was sketching the ranch, a Roadrunner ran right down the road in front of me, and stopped as if to say " sketch me". So I turned the page and made a few quick sketches and then he was gone.

Last sketch of the day standing in the middle of the road that the Roadrunner had scurried down previously. Have to admit, it was hot and I was tired but I liked the loose quality of the line so...

I added some watercolor and dubbed it Roadrunner Lane.

Last, a few studio experiments. Here is a sketch done in a waiting room. I liked it but had gone too far ( a very familiar story) and had some pen work that was very distracting. I decided to add some collage and was pretty happy with the result.

Many times I sketch late at night, especially when I want to get some practice in and have days that are packed with other activities.

This was one of those late night sketch experiments. I decided to do a simple contour drawing of my hands but I would draw my left hand with my right and then my right hand with my left. It was interesting so I tried it again the next night.

Here is the second attempt, right hand with left and left hand with right. it occurred to me that the tapestry I was weaving had influenced my sketches.

This idea of drawing/painting with both hands was intriguing so I tried one last experiment...

I took a toy giraffe and posed it for my right hand. Then I took a pen in each hand and drew it with both hands at once. I discovered that symmetry is pretty easy to achieve this way and then I used a Tombow and water to paint the pattern of the Giraffe. It is much easier to use both hands at once when doing a contour drawing where the pen does not leave the paper than when painting areas that requires picking up your hands and moving them frequently, just saying.  I did discover that my left hand is pretty comfortable with a paintbrush though.

Finally, I just received a new handmade brass paintbox that I am pretty excited about a couple of days ago but I think I will have it in a separate post.  I just filled it with paint and haven't tried it yet. Next time!


  1. I love it! Your sketches tell a story so well, thatI feel like I am there too.
    Sherri S.

    1. Thank you very much Sherri, it is nice to know the stories resonate.