Here are some recent sketches from my D.C trip and of more mundane subjects at home. I always like drawing interesting shapes and value patterns that catch my eye. It's also nice to sketch specific subjects and to think of my sketchbook as a visual journey; this is why I almost always date my drawings and include a little description.
What I enjoy about sketching is just the complete freedom of it. I like the fact that it's such a simple pastime which requires just pencil and paper. It just feels good to move the pencil on the paper and not to worry about the final results. Sketching also allows me to observe the world around me and to find the beauty in simple things. I could go on for ages about what sketching means to me.
My fall semester of teaching is nearing completion so I'll be sketching and painting more as the winter sets in.
I wrote a post a little while ago about my early November trip to see the Sargent and Spain show at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. I shared a bunch of images, but only of Sargent. So I figured I'd share some other goodies here (and maybe one more Sargent..)
The photos are all captioned with where and what they are. The Vermeers were stunning, the Zorn was great and I'm always a big fan of Cecilia Beaux. Definitely check out these works if you're in D.C. And I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving if I don't write in the meantime.
I was recently in need of a paint box and decided to go with a vintage Jullian box. The box was constructed back when the company still was made in France so I knew the quality would be great. And as an added bonus, it came with the original solid wood palette, which is another rarity these days.
I've been collecting and using vintage supplies for a long time now and the quality of these items never ceases to impress me. It's sad that the majority of artist's tools (and pretty much everything) made nowadays is disposable. I bought a new Jullian Rexy watercolor easel a while ago and the quality is terrible; the wood is cheap and it doesn't even fit into the carrying case properly. It's clear to me that the quality between the old Jullian easels and the new ones is night and day.
I know that I'm fighting against the modern tide, but using these quality tools bring me joy. And it's not just painting, but everything involved with general day-to-day living. Even the way we communicate with one another is low-quality. It's hard to describe the feeling, but I'm often left with a hollow feeling when my friends text me instead of calling me or writing me a letter. And I have this same hollow feeling when I use cheap quality materials to create my paintings. However, I see glimmers of a resurgence in handmade items and I'll keep doing my best to promote quality craftsmanship. In the meantime, I'll keep buying vintage.
I paint en plein air all year round, but it's definitely tougher when I feel the air getting colder as we approach winter. Cold weather and watercolor don't mix because it doesn't dry on the paper and it also freezes on the palette.
I started today by painting a beautiful grave monument at Valleau. My other painting is of a salt storage area; I pass by the structure a lot and always think it would be cool to paint. The huge mound of salt looks like a mini dessert. There were some guys working at the salt storage and they came over to see my painting; it's always fun to talk to people while I'm en plein air.