Teaching dilemma number 542 . . . student X misses classes, gets behind the schedule, grade plummeting. Then shows up and gives me this. Two weeks past deadline. I am speechless. Definitely need the backstory here. Remember, this is a beginning, foundational drawing class. I tried my best to not let my amazement and shock show. But, wow . . .
This image is the very beginning of my Caribou Ranch plate, conceived while I was an Artist in Residence there in July. This time I’ve started with watercolor pencils, which is new for me. But it does help to get the core colors down quickly, and I do kinda like using the small brush. Taking baby steps into watercolor! Anyway, this is due to Boulder County January 1 so I really need to get going. Just finished and shipped my Botanical Art Worldwide submission, so the docket is clear for now. Many, many hours to go . . . and yes, I know the composition needs some work!
Just a few examples of student work from my recently concluded foundational drawing class. The assignment was to create a self portrait using everything they learned during the semester, and, to insert something about themselves personally into the drawing.
These were beginning college art students, slightly intimidated at the beginning. VERY impressed by their commitment, creativity and willingness to share parts of themselves. Not bad, not bad at all!!
Long time no post. Just finished up the summer semester teaching two classes and it’s been a whirlwind. Summer went by in the blink of an eye! Anyway, trying to get back into a normal routine but alas, Fall semester starts in one week!
I am currently taking a class on acorns and oak leaves in graphite. Taking a deep dive into the world of oak trees. It’s a pretty deep dive! Above is a sketchbook study of a leaf and acorn from an English oak tree in my neighborhood. Much more work to do in the hopes of completing a finished plate.
More to come . . .
I am fortunate to have two of my pieces included in the upcoming exhibit “The Illustrated Urban Garden” at The Collective in Lafayette, Colorado. The exhibit will be open to the public June 2–June 30, and it will celebrate all things related to neighborhood gardens—from bees to chickens to pollinator plants. I think it will be worth a look!
I was reading a column in the paper early this morning (yes, I still read the paper at 6 am) about aging, that stated having a purpose/plan/passion as you age will extend your life. That and moving around, but I digress.
Then “ping” I get an email inviting me to be an artist in residence this summer up at Caribou Ranch, west of Nederland! WOW! That happened. It took me all of ten seconds to type YES in all caps. And so, I will spend a week up there hunting and drawing wildflowers sometime in July or August—schedule still being decided. Many thanks to the County of Boulder for inviting me, and for having such a cool AIR program in such an incredible location. For those that don’t know, this was a recording studio in the 70’s and 80’s that hosted rock n roll royalty, including Joe Walsh, Elton John, John Lennon, Stephen Stills and Michael Jackson to name just a few! And 2,000 plus acres of pristine landscape loaded with native fauna and flora. There will be a sketchbook and a fly rod involved! I’ll be “glamping” in the barn, with a solar shower and no wifi, but that’s just fine.
After several disappointments —and there are ALWAYS disappointments, this is a major kick in the pants from the Gods telling me to keep going. Keep trying to find my focus. Disappointments are like boulders in your way, you just need to walk over and around them. Now, i need to start planning, planning, planning. More to come.
Here’s an early look at my long planned composite piece, “Burren symphony”. That’s the working title, ha. The idea came to me while I tiptoed through Burren meadows and watched in amazement as dozens of wildflowers—all sizes and colors— waved in the breeze and happily mingled together. It’s quite a sight. Anyway, this is the first rendition, me trying to work out a decent composition. Much more thinking and looking to come. A couple more redraws too. It’s still my favorite part of the process—just a pencil, paper and eraser. The plan is to complete a graphite version and a color pencil/watercolor version. Yeah, this could take awhile. The roster currently includes Mountain Avens, Bloody Cranesbill, Oxeye daisies, Harebells, and a couple of orchids. It will evolve.