Drawing on Holidays

I was travelling from Nov 11 until December 26th last year.  My husband and I visited family in Jasper, AB,  Revelstoke, Vancouver, Vernon, BC and Portland Oregon, USA, and we drove to Northern California to see the Redwood trees.

I love trees, especially really big old trees and the Redwoods were incredible.  Some of the trees we saw were 2000 years old!  The weather was a bit rainy and cool but it really didn’t stop us from hiking and sightseeing, and of course it was great to see our children, who for some reason have all moved far from home…

imageI felt very small and insignificant among these giants, and very fortunate to be able to stand among them.


I had my drawing stuff with me but it was difficult making time for art on this trip, the main focus was visiting family.  I did manage to attend a life drawing session in Portland at Hipbone Studio, hipbonestudio.com, which is a great life drawing studio.  Jeff, the director, replied promptly to my email inquiries and welcomed me to the studio when I arrived.  I will definitely try to attend a few more sessions the next time I am in Portland. Here are a some drawings from that session.



I am still playing around with water colour and pencil gestures, some are more successful than others but they are fun and help me loosen up.  These were two minute poses, so one minute for the watercolour and one minute for the drawing.  The drawing  below was a 30 minute pose.


We spent a week in Seattle and I was able to attend life drawing there as well. The internet is an invaluable tool for locating these sessions in a new city.  I really don’t know how I would have found them otherwise.  Even with internet assistance it is still a challenge finding classes that fit our holiday schedule and aren’t too far from where we are.  I do think that it is definitely worth the effort though.  I tried to attend a session Saturday morning but after getting up very early, and walking forty minutes to get to the gallery I was met with a note on the door that the session was cancelled. That was very disappointing, but I came back the next morning, as the organizer for that day had replied to my email inquiry, confirming that there was indeed a session and that I would be welcome to attend. It was held in the basement of at a the Art/Not Terminal Gallery and was a great facility, with lots of room, lights, and easels.

http://www.meetup.com/SeattleFigureDrawing/events/219784514/   Some of the regulars made a point of coming over to say hello which was really nice. There were a lot of very good artists here, and I saw some really interesting work.  Unfortunately my drawings weren’t all that great.  I struggled with proportion with most of the poses. Funny how some days it is just harder than others.  This is about the best of the bunch.

Seattle scans

And my New Year’s Challenge?  Well, so far I have managed to draw every day.  I did miss a couple days, but I did double the next day so I think that counts.  I am attending Monday life drawing at Harcourt House and I have found two very useful resources on the internet.  The Croquis Cafe, http://www.onairvideo.com/croquis-cafe.html and New Masters Academy, http://www.newmastersacademy.org/ both offer free online life drawing sessions.  Check them out if you want a great life drawing resource.  It is not quite the same as having a live model but it is almost as good.  I bought a little gizmo that hooks my Ipad up to the TV so the images are quite large and it is easy to draw from them..

So What’s Next?

It is hard to believe that it has been almost three months since I was in Paris and last posted anything.  Because I tried to cram as much as I could into the last few days in Paris I was pretty tired by the time I boarded the plane home.  Then once back home it took at least two weeks to adjust to ‘real life’.  I have to admit I missed Paris and I especially missed drawing every day, having the luxury of so much time to myself, and being able to do whatever I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it.  Being in such an amazingly beautiful city that celebrates history and art was a wonderful experience, one that I hope I will be able to repeat someday soon.

So what’s next?  I need to find a way to incorporate a bit of my ‘Paris life’ into my life at home.  Finding balance in one’s life is a challenge many, or perhaps most people face.  I have a wonderful family and friends and I want to have time for them but I need to carve out space and time for being creative on a regular basis, time for myself.  Ideally I would be working on making art every day, or at least most days.

I started that process by attending life drawing sessions twice a week after I came home. We have a great artist organization In Edmonton called Harcourt House that offers life drawing sessions three times a week.  harcourthouse.ab.ca/  I would like to continue attending two or three times a week.  Two of the sessions are from 7:00 to 10:00 pm which is kind of late for me, but I am going to do my best.

Here are some drawings from my Harcourt House life drawing sessions.  I decided to try drawing in pen and ink to change things up a bit.   I used a fountain pen with black ink for the first three drawings.

DSC04585 A 15 minute pose,

DSC04586 and a 20 minute pose.


This pose was only 10 minutes which is a bit of a challenge with two models.

DSC04588This 30 minute pose was drawn with a Bic Black ball point pen, which gives a completely different mark than the fountain pen.  It is almost like drawing with a pencil, changing pressure while drawing varies the darkness and width of the line. It is great inexpensive drawing tool.  A box of 12 pens is less than three dollars.

I also want to post regularly on this blog, probably not daily, but perhaps once or twice a week.  I think it will morph into more of an art blog, with occasional travels included. I am  not sure exactly how I feel about keeping a blog, still struggling with the idea of putting myself ‘out there’ but I have had such positive feedback from so many people that it has encouraged me to continue, at least for now.

I have fallen behind responding to comments, but I will get that taken care of in the next couple of days, so take a look if you have left a comment.  I do love it when people  comment on the posts and I do my best to respond to all of them.  Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to leave their thoughts.

It is the beginning of a new year, with all the promise and possibilities that brings and you may be wondering if I made any New Year’s Resolutions?  I did – my resolution is to draw everyday.  Yesterday I was about to go to bed when I realized I had forgotten all about drawing, and on the very first day!  So at 11:30 I sat down and did a half hour of drawing but I must admit it was a real struggle.  I haven’t been drawing very much the last two months with travelling (more on that later) and it showed.  It didn’t take long to lose the facility and confidence that I was starting to feel while I was drawing daily in Paris.

Did anyone else make a New Year’s resolution?  Was it art related?


All the Best in 2015!