Sunday, February 22, 2015

FDAC -- Day 5: Home Place Barns

FIVE DAY ART CHALLENGE – Day Five: Home Place Barns

Ed and I are rural people and our rural nature is defined by the four barns on the home places where our parents were raised.

All four of the home place barns are still in place – the Eichler barn on Whipple Tree Farm near Pigeon, the Graywood Farm barn (Pauline Geiger Eichler’s home) on Geiger Road south of Pigeon, the Sunnyside Stock Farm barn (Vallanee Rose Luedtke’s home place) on County Road Y near Lomira, Wisconsin, and the Valley Drive Farm barn (Stanley C. F. Hayes’s home place) on County Road K, also near Lomira.

For this last post in the Five Day Art Challenge we will take a look at art work related to the two barns that have been restored.

The Thangles Barn on Sunnyside Farm in Wisconsin is home to Thangles, the quilting notion and publication company owned and operated by my sister and her husband. Two years ago in April, I spent a week with my dad on the farm. During that time I did a little watercolor of the Thangles Barn in my art journal. Dad liked the sketch, but he and I figured that I had the colors a little wonky, so I did a color chart and he chose a color that he liked for another version of this little drawing.

I’m partial to this little piece of artwork since my Dad died within weeks of our conversations about color and the barn, and I have yet to attempt that second watercolor, one that will be informed by Dad’s color choices and made better by my art study.

The Graywood Barn is the subject of the two drawings, one done in ink wash and the second, colored with watercolor. I used a photo of the barn before restoration had begun as the subject matter for both of these pieces.

The color version of this work was my Christmas gift to Ed for 2014 and now resides in his office. I completed this work during a Pen and Ink With Watercolor class last fall.

For this final day of the FDAC I am tagging the photography sisters, Marye Keim Maarsen of The Netherlands and Charleen Keim Neer of Michigan. Born and raised in the Bay Port area, both share a love of photography. Their artistic eye will be a delight, I’m sure.

Thanks for following my Art Challenge posts.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

FDAC -- Day Four: Photos From Switzerland

I am participating in the Five Day Art Challenge on Facebook this week. Here is the entry for Day Four.

FIVE DAY ART CHALLENGE – Day Four: Today my focus turns toward photography, an activity that overwhelms my computer and my brain. I’ve narrowed the selection down to three photos from last May, all taken in Switzerland on the Pipedreams Tour which Ed and I have enjoyed immensely the last three years.

I used a variety of cameras on the trip. I relied on the lasting battery power of an Iphone 5. I used the Iphone’s resident camera and Camera Plus, a tidy app with an excellent stabilizer. I carried my Nikon 1 J3, a small bodied camera with interchangeable lenses. And I tucked my trusty point-and-shoot Sony Cybershot into my bag.

Each night, back at the hotel, I emptied the memory chips of the two cameras. The Iphone photos were transferred several days at a time. Because I was writing a daily blog, the photos had to be identified and catalogue, in a general listing, each day. Otherwise it would have taken hours to decipher them once we returned home.

Today, in honor of photography, I tag Kathy Kent, fellow knitter and photographer from the Thumb. Kathy’s eye for delicate color and great sense of composition will be a delight.

Again, thanks for following the Art Challenge and do take the time to peruse the Five Day Album on FB that accompanies this post.

I like the contrast of the glassy water and the velvet feathers of the swan.
The shadows on the neck and on the body would make this into a good subject for watercolor.

This photo was probably taken through a window on Swiss Rail. It really gives a great sense
of the steep side of the Alps.

Artists and craftspeople have added their talents to churches and cathedrals for centuries.
These grape leaves topped every column in a church and all of them were slightly different.

Friday, February 20, 2015

FDAC -- Day Three: Flowers

I am participating in the Five Day Art Challenge on Facebook this week. Here is the entry for Day Three.

FIVE DAY ART CHALLENGE – Day Three: Welcome back to my art challenge posts. Today’s theme is flowers as interpreted in sketches and watercolor. While I admire the genre of botanical art with its attention to detail very much, I also like doing flowers with a loose hand. All three of these pieces are from my sketchbooks or art journals. The Ruby Throat daylily was drawn from life, as was the dried rose. The peony comes from a photograph taken by LeVan Hawkins, Chicago area writer who is gracious enough to share his words and work with me from time to time.

The peony and the daylily shout “summer” to us in this before-spring-and-gee-but-it-is-cold-up-north month of February. And the dried rose, well, I save roses from almost every special bouquet. They end up in my box of things to sketch where they are a reminder of how even when colors fade and stems dry, the fullness of the rose, its essence, remains.

Today I tag Tamie Dell Cook, a graphic artist and scrapbooker from the Thumb. I used to work with Tamie at the Pigeon Progress Advance, many moons ago. I’m really looking forward to Tamie’s contributions to the Five Day Art Challenge.

In case some of you would rather see my posts and read about the art all at once, I have combined the FDAC Album from Facebook with the posts over on my personal blog, From Under the Willow.

Thanks for following along and be artful in some word or deed today.

Day Three: Flowers
Chloe's Rose is a preliminary sketchbook painting that I did for a framed rose that I
sent to my niece, Chloe Rose, on her 18th birthday. Caran 'd Ache watercolor pencil, micron pen.
Day Three: Flowers
Sketchbook page from August 2013. A single scape of the daylily, Ruby Throat, one of my
favorite daylilies. Sketches/painting done one evening in twilight and finished in the
studio at Cedar Bluff. Caran 'd Ache watercolor pencil, micron pen, Winsor and Newton watercolors.

Day Three: Flowers
From Art Journal #13, the first version of a drawing that is inspired by a photograph from a friend.
I call this "LeVan's Peony," after photographer and friend LeVan Hawkins. There is a second version of
this same flower in another sketchbook. Notice that the sun in the daily cartouche
 has peony petals for its rays.
When I see a photo on Facebook that I want to work with, I contact the photographer for their permission.
LeVan and other are gracious to say "Go ahead! Sketch and paint!" I'm grateful for that permission
since it links their careful eye with my drawing and painting efforts.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

FDAC -- Day Two: Cows

I am participating in the Five Day Art Challenge on Facebook this week. Here is the entry for Day Two.

FIVE DAY ART CHALLENGE – Day Two: Well, quite a few of you are enjoying the FDAC photo gallery and that is very cool. The Art Challenge, a positive way of using social media, helps connect ideas and people.
Today’s theme is “Cows,” with three sketches/paintings of my fledgling approach to bovines. I take photos of cattle whenever I can. I have also been known to sit with a pen and sketchbook at Junior Livestock Shows in the Thumb, as you can see from the rough sketches applied over auction listings. These sketches are from the Huron County Junior Livestock Sale in 2013.

When you sketch animals in the auction ring, you have to work fast. You begin to see the differences in ears and forelocks and heads and height as you sketch. A 1500 pound animal towers above the auction gates; a 900 pounder barely reaches the top rung. Animal by animal, you learn to see each animal as a separate creation.
Today I tag Howard M. Sharper who is a Saginaw photographer with an eye for light and nature. Be sure to look him up on Facebook so you can see his work.

Day Two: Cows. Graphite sketch of one of my grandfather's Herfords
 I used an old slide that my Dad took of this cow as the source photo.

Day Two: Cows. Purple Cow from Art Journal #10, March 5, 2014 entry
 The purple is ultramarine blue mixed with quinacridone red.

My journal shows that I cooked a Melissa Clark shepherd's pie recipe with beef, onions, and potatoes on this day, which goes to show how good old dairy cow (ground beef) can be.

Day Two: Cows: Michael's Cow, named for Michael Barone of Pipedreams fame
 While visiting two pipe organs in the Swiss village of Romainmotier in May of 2014, our tour group paused to hear the bells of a herd of Swiss cows. Michael walked over to the fence and urged their melodic Sunday ringing, hence the name, Michael's Cow. Pen and ink with watercolor on Strathmore mixed media paper.

And just because it is fun to see, here is Michael with the Swiss cows

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

FDAC -- Day One: Mountain Postcards

I am participating in the Five Day Art Challenge on Facebook this week. Here is the entry for Day One.

FIVE DAY ART CHALLENGE -- Day One: I have been challenged to do five days of art posts by Cathy M Winter, my Houston friend and fellow quilter. This first post illustrates my watercolor learning in the classes that I am taking at the Art Institute of the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum here in Tucson. I'm finally getting the hang of washes and glazing.
The Five Day Art Challenge (FDAC) is fairly unstructured. You do five posts on five days (not necessarily contiguous) and you "tag" someone each day so that others who are woodworkers/quilters/artists/scrapbookers get a chance to gather their thoughts and show some of their stuff.
I was "tagged" about two weeks ago and have been getting my "ducks in a row." Today I tag Pat Smith who is an art quilter.
And, as before, the first three people who send me a private message with their name and address will receive one of these three postcards.
I also want to point you to George Covintree on Facebook who is doing an excellent series of black artists for Black History Month. There is a wealth of art in George's daily posts.
And, yes, I am missing my blogging. Hopefully by the time I am through February, I will figure out just how much the blog can reappear. I'm currently enrolled in two classes -- Color Mixing (ton of homework) and Watercolor II (bending my brain again in ways I didn't know I could do.)
Stay warm, all you northern FBers. Spring will come.

DAY ONE: Spiral Sun postcard
 Washes, glazing in watercolor. Pen and ink.

Sent to Cathy Winter

DAY ONE: Road Salt postcard
 Watercolor wash, pen and ink, salt sparkles on landscape.

Sent to Barb Dell

DAY ONE: Four Ridges postcard
 Watercolor washes, blue pen, sponged edges.

Sent to Kathy Kent