Sunday, December 19, 2010

Another winter fruit

Pomegranate in prepared food is delicious, but it has always been something I've stayed away from at the grocery. They're so big and leathery and slightly intimidating; the color is gorgeous, though. Then a few weeks ago, Whole Foods had just the seeds in the cut fruit section. I ended up throwing them in anything I could think of, mostly on top greek yogurt and granola or on a green salad with toasted walnuts and vinaigrette. So good.

The first time I tackled the actual fruit, everything on the counter ended up covered in splashes of deep crimson. Not ideal. Then my mother pointed me in the direction of this tip. So much faster and no juice spray. Plus, no mark-up of buying fruit in the pre-cut section (I always feel like I'm cheating if I do that). Cheers to seasonal fruit!

On an art note, I'm kind of into mixing a 6b pencil in with the watercolor lately. It blends in better than my usual nib & ink but still adds some dark value/depth that it's tough to achieve with certain watercolor shades.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Satsumas from my mother's garden

These still life "props" have been sitting on my desk all week, and now I can finally eat them. A little south Texas vitamin C to combat this cold and sniffles.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Candy-colored things this morning

Picked some Easter Egg radishes from the garden and received an envelope with all these things from Candy Store Collective. LOVE their packaging.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Puffy models

So, I went to the trails near my neighborhood to photograph mockingbirds for a project (I just walk my dog near the area where they nest, sit on a bench with my camera, and wait for them to fly in close to examine me). I got a few shots before my battery died; but when I looked at them on the computer, I saw that they were not going to work. It was about mid-forties outside, and the birds are all puffed out for warmth, without the sleek profile that makes them recognizable. But sort of cuddly. Guess I'll go back when we have a warm, sunny morning. Below are some meadowlarks that were a couple of trees over.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Feels good to have an organized studio

So, I still have some unfiled stacks of papers and reference materials on the tables, but it's a working level of stuff. Recently, my studio clutter hit a critical mass that was stopping me from getting any creative work done. Over the past week, I've been clearing out unused materials from my studio (and the rest of the house), and after several Goodwill visits, full trashbags and recycling bins, and a shifting of paper to a second IKEA white chest of drawers, things are much more organized. Feels so good to just sit down and work without having to clear a spot! So back to work. Later: hanging art.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Tis the season...for a banner change

christmas 2010
Feeling like Christmas is fast approaching, with a chill in the air, lights on the houses...might be time to get a little tree.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

East Austin Studio Tour 2010

Yep, it's that time of year again, our chance to wander through artists' homes and studios, gaze at their work, talk art over chips and hot cider (depending on the venue), and explore new blocks of East Austin. 150 studio stops, many more artists, many, many more pieces of art; all going on this and next weekend. Good stuff.

Red Bluff is one of my favorite blocks of Austin, with semi-secret views of Town Lake. Our first three stops were on this street: a recording studio that used to be an artist's studio with amazing natural light; The Barn, with several artists, including this cut wood sculpture; Dragonfly House has an amazing water view from the back garden.

ARTPOST is a collection of studios. My favorites were the big oxidized metal sculptures and a silver-leafed large metal tree sculpture (unfortunately I don't know the names of the artists). Also, we stopped in one of the studio spaces and I was happy to discover it belonged to Katy Horan, though she was not in at the time. I have one of her prints from Tiny Showcase and had no idea that she lived in Austin.

Fisterra Studio and Caroline Wright are two house/studio combos that are really beautiful, fun places to visit. Both display the work of the owner and a couple other artists, and I've really been drawn to Wright's work since I saw it on the tour a couple of years ago. And I love her studio with that giant easel on casters. These photos don't do justice to the enviable decor of either place, so add them your list if you're in Austin.

And on a non-art East side note, there's a new-to-me food trailer lot on E 6th a couple blocks from I-35 which has awesomely decorated/themed trailers and menus.

For more ideas, the Austinist recommendations. And the official E.A.S.T. site. More photos here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fall foliage

The flame sumacs and crepe myrtles at the park near my house are gorgeous shades of red right now.

I've had garden soil under my nails everyday this week, planting freesia bulbs, winter greens, and wildflowers; but I haven't had watercolor or charcoal on my hands for days. Guess the upside is that there's a limited window to plant seeds or admire the color change of leaves; not so with making art. I've got a garden related project I'll post soon as a "make-up" for all the sketching I haven't been doing this week...

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Subtle Signs of Fall in Austin

These are from this morning's walk. October actually felt more autumnal, but now that the orange pumpkins are gone and the weather's warming up again, you've got to search a little for fall color. The flame leaf sumacs (fourth photo) are the only real burst of red so far, but I love the electric purple of the American beautyberry (second photo).

Monday, November 08, 2010

More November sketching

mockingbird sketches
Working on a project involving mockingbirds, and I'm just getting to know them a little. Most of these guys are from photo reference. Something about that dark mask band around the eye and the downward turn of the beak makes them look very serious. Which is fine, since this piece should have more of an Audubon feel.

Still trying to sketch everyday (this set is from yesterday), but I think I'll just post here once a week, on Friday. And they'll also be here on flickr.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Playing with camera apps on the iphone

The grasses right now make really beautiful photos, especially when you add the instant atmosphere from apps like Hipstamatic (top photo) or CrossProcess (other photos). Just started using CrossProcess, so I'm still figuring out which color filters I want to use, but you can add that nice border like Hipstamatic photos have (at least the ones with Ina's 1969 film). Also, it seems to have a really strong contrast effect in sunlight. Just a nice option for adding a cool factor to on-the-go photos.

November Sketch Challenge...continues

This challenge to sketch and post daily for the month of November is trickier than I expected. Getting back to sketching everyday is good, although I missed Tuesday and Friday (fall gardening has taken over this week). But posting rough sketchbook pages rather than selecting just the 'pretty' ones when they happen is tough to do. However, this is prompting me to do more sketching just to have more material to choose from!
This morning. And I still owe a couple of make-up sketches.