Thursday, December 12, 2013

Monday Morning Drawing: Turkish Treasures and Colandars

"Turkish Treasures"
14" x 12" Pastel
"Fall Cooking
14"" x 12" Pastel

Bob brought in this wonderful Turkish pitcher, the colendar, and fruit. This was something of a challenge to do. I had to put a few finishing touches on it at home with soft pastels. 

My Sennelier pastels arrived so I used them to finish "Fall Cooking" which I had started in the previous week's class. I won't be taking this 120 piece set of pastels to class because I have a tendency to fumble them and they land on the floor. That is never a happy experience. Bob tells me that I am turning out some nice pastels. I have finally learned that I do best if I use a dark pastel paper and immediately put in my background and the highlights. Then my values work better for me. One of my biggest challenges in pastels is getting enough chroma. I pick up what looks like the right color and it often lacks enough saturation strength. I'm learning, though.
We have had a cold streak here. I know that most of you live in colder areas than I and will have no sympathy! I would not either if I was in my native Vermont. I am debating my usual bike to gym and have talked myself out of it because it is 32 degrees. Below 32 I definitely drive the car, and its been in the twenties each morning when I leave the house before 6 a.m. We can get ice because the thermometer probably dipped lower.

Time to dig out the Christmas decorations as we have the Southbay Recorder Society, one of Bob's music groups, coming for their holiday party on Friday night. I get to be an audience and a host and look forward to enjoying the music.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Room with a View: Venice Beach

Venice Beach watercolor sketch
"Guesthouse Fireplace"
Venice Beach watercolor sketch
I should really say view of the room. For my birthday, we flew to Los Angeles and stayed for two nights in Venice Beach. We had a lovely time taking in "Lion King" live in Hollywood, strolling the beach and canal areas, and doing a progressive restaurant tasting with a group. We rented a place off, where private folks list rooms and houses for rent. We had the loveliest place. The hosts are wonderful, non-intrusive, but helpful. They left me a birthday card, two bottles of wine, cheese, and crackers, and the place was well stocked with staple items and cosmetics. One day the owner invited me to sit in front of their outdoor fireplace while I painted these two little sketches. He went off on his bike while his wife was working from home. The Venice area is very interesting these days and enjoying a renaissance. I can highly recommend the accommodations!


The evening before going to LA, on my actual birthday, we enjoyed a Christmas party for IBM retirees, where we danced and had a lovely meal.

My Scotsman bought us a corsage and boutonniere.