Monday, February 27, 2017

Drawing Lessons . . . and Returning Home . . .

Last week was very busy, and rewardingly so. I learned some new techniques in two intense days of drawing classes, but not only that -- the immersion was also inspiring, and I'm fairly confident it's created a momentum I'm going to continue.
I also managed a few good visits with old friends, attended a wonderful piano concert (the Rachmaninoff preludes, marvellous!), became a degree more comfortable with being a visitor to, rather than a resident of, the island I used to call home.
And I drove "down island" through some nasty weather for the lovely reward of lunch with my son and daughter-in-law (at The Empress--I love this venerable old hotel, where we stayed a couple of days on our honeymoon, so long ago) and then an overnight at their new home, with entertainment provided by a very lively Almost-Two.
So when I was waiting for the ferry Saturday morning, it was with some anticipation of getting back home and crashing into beautiful and bountiful solitude. . .
Not to be. The Weaning Project involving another Almost-Two had done some crashing of its own -- right smack dab into the reality of how controlling that Little Guy had found his howls to be in the early morning darkness of a small urban apartment, not at all soundproofed. . . .
So Granddad had rightly offered some respite, and I arrived to find more Almost-Two shenanigans in full swing. Nana and Granddad taught that Little Guy a few things about Sleeping--Through-The-Night and its serious importance to the well-being of the folks he loves, and it worked well enough that we volunteered a second night, just to underscore the point. Without any of the distracting attractions his Momma offers, he eventually succumbed to our reasoning, and we returned him to his family this morning with some patterns chipped at just enough to make a difference, we hope. . . At the very least, a few folks have had a bit more sleep than normal. Granddad and I might not be among them. . . .

So I'm just going to offer you a survey of what I drew in last week's classes, and eschew any commentary for now, if you don't mind.
But I'm very happy to field any questions you might have about anything you see or read here.  . .

And guess what? I looked up, just after I typed that ellipsis above (...), and I see white flakes falling on my terrace. I will grudgingly admit that this is not an unreasonable form of precipitation for February, but it's not what I was hoping for. Still, I suspect it's very temporary, and I will soon be complaining vehemently about the rain. ;-)

28 comments:

  1. Your artistic style is evolving and it must be lovely for you to see the progress. Also love your peacoat from previous post. The colour is very flattering. Mary

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    1. Thanks, Mary. I do think I'm improving.

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  2. I'm thoroughly enjoying your progress with watercolors and pencil. You seem to be more confident in your strokes, and more at ease with the medium overall. Well done!

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    1. Thanks ID! It's reassuring to find that practising does make a difference.

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  3. Hola. It's 26 in Mexico City and there is a fería across the street. I was amazed to hear that it was snowing at home. Your drawing is definitely progressing.

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    1. It's snowing again today! Have a wonderful time soaking up that heat and colour.

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  4. Your drawings are beautiful and inspiring - thank you for sharing them! It is only recently that I have begun to deal with pencil and watercolor in the same picture, and I so enjoy seeing what you have done.

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    1. It's fun, isn't it?! I'm always a bit shy about sharing (embarrassed, really, as I can see my limitations very clearly) -- so I'm glad to hear that you enjoy it.

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  5. Love seeing your skill! "Fast and Loose" is the title of the this week's class on the island. Hoping to make good progress, too!
    Snowing in Seattle. I am a So. Californian weather-wimp but I am determined to drive north to take this class and see some of my Espedaillac classmates from 2016!

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    1. If you're doing the Fast and Loose class, you'll be relieved to know, there's no mountain pass for a S. Cal. driver to navigate. My earlier reference was mistakenly aimed at the Tofino workshop I thought you were going to. Have a wonderful time -- the snow should be very pretty on the island.

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  6. Wow, weaning.....I remember it well. How I would have loved to have someone take over for a couple nights.....

    Please keep the snow in Canada!

    ceci

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    1. Yes, all those early-years sleepless nights really do "take a village."
      More snow here today, but we should be back to our normal rain by tomorrow. . . I'm just as enthusiastic about the white stuff as you are, apparently. ;-)

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  7. I like your drawings very much-it is great that you've decided to spend two days,not only learning, but to be surrounded with other painters (or was it individual? Than even better) sharing experiences.
    Yes,I was thinking about it as a kind of bitter-sweet couple of days,too,with your beach and everything. But,you've broken the ice-it would be more easy next time,no?
    Dottoressa

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    1. There were other students, D, and that made a big difference, yes, although individual would have been good as well. I'm always keen to see what all the different eyes and hands make of the same subject.
      I do think it will be easier the next time, and I can more clearly see the value of a next time as well.

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  8. I so admire your artistic gifts. Sadly, that's not my wheelhouse.
    Your fern leaf is sweet. You made it look easy -- which is what pros do.

    Ann

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    1. I told myself exactly that, Ann, for over 50 years, from whenever I picked up a message via schooling that I "wasn't artistic" until 5 years ago when I decided I could take an Illustrated Journal class because no one else ever had to see what I was doing. . . . Should you ever find yourself wondering "what if". . . a great Beginner class might surprise you. . .

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  9. Massive respect to you for doing the night shift. We see the chronic fatigue and its results at close quarters but have not taken on the task. Although I did succeed in getting the more than two year old to go to sleep from awake in her own cot without lengthy interventions and, as you so aptly put it, shenanigans.

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    1. It's not bad for a night or two, especially with the two of us, both retired and knowing we can catch up within the next few days. I think getting a Two to sleep without umpteen glasses of water and stories and etc., etc. is worth a pat on the back ;-)

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  10. Your art is lovely. I started a Masters in Art Concentration at the age of 57 (graduated at 59.) My first class was drawing. It was an amazing experience because my elementary school teacher used to look at my drawings and sigh & hand them back to me with pursed lips. I took one art class in middle school, one in high school, and one in undergrad. I show my students what can be accomplished with determination and the willingness to learn and to let go of perfection. What I agonized over six years ago, is now fairly easy for me to accomplish. You, too, will get there because I see the determination in your work. The biggest thing is to enjoy the process. Carol

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    1. Your students must love you and your encouraging ways -- thanks so much, Carol! I do my best to enjoy the process, and try not to spend time regretting the years I missed out!

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  11. I love that daffodil sketch. So muscular.

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    1. Poor bedraggled, almost-done yellow tulip -- I keep reading it as daffodil as well. Thank you!

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  12. We avoided any difficulty in weaning by letting each child determine when, and how, to wean. Each did it at different ages and in different ways, but it worked very well. (With the first child, I simply stopped offering the breast one day when she was 18 months old, and she never asked for it again. With the second, it was a slow winding down.) Bravo to you for helping the exhausted parents, and thank you for sharing your beautiful drawings!

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    1. It's lovely when they determine their own weaning at a time that works. So it was with three out of my four, and the same with this fellow's older sister. Not so with this fellow, and the slow winding down has survived many potentially natural stops -- given its coupling now with some sleep/wake habits that are disrupting the health and happiness of the rest of the family, a more adult-determined approach was necessary. . . We've been fortunate being close enough to help. So pleased you enjoy my scratchings -- I do think I'm improving.

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  13. Ah the sleep conundrum. We are in it too... watching a first-time, loving and anxious mother struggle, offering support and advice. It finally took a "sleep consultant" to reassure her and help her with her part. Beautiful drawings!

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    1. It's so tough, isn't it? We can only help so much. . . And this little family doesn't have the resource of space we had when ours were little. . . But he's had three mornings in a row now, back in his own bed, where he's slept as well for Mom and Dad as he did for Nana and Granddad at the weekend, so we're all crossing fingers this might be it. Glad to hear yours have worked it out as well.

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  14. Love your sketches and watching your skills develop. Thank you so much for sharing. I remember the drama unfolding with my grandson, and the frustration of being hundreds of miles away and unable to lend any assistance.

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    1. thanks and you're welcome, Mardel. I know that frustration of being far away and unable to help. We're lucky that we can with this fellow.

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