2 more days

Here’s 2 more days worth of drawing.  It’s taking forever with the short amount of time I have available, and I’m eager to finish now because I want to start work on a yoga pose that recently became available to me after I put out a call for photos.  I was driving by a local private school when I saw another one of these trees- whose name I still don’t know!

The bark is so distinctive- I’ll find a book on trees at the library tonight, why on earth don’t I have one?

The other night I looked at the Terry Winters book I got from the library with my 6 year old daughter.  We were both pretty blown away.  It has me questioning everything, which good art should do.  Speaking of good art, I’ll have to go back and look at the Sylvia Mangold trees in a book I have somewhere.  Perhaps I’ll post!  They succeed in being paintings first and trees second, if you know what I mean.


White Lattice

This is 2 days worth of short drawing sessions.  I’ve never really spent so much time on single drawings before, intending them as finished pieces.  Not sure where I’m going with all this, but it is seductive, this drawing business.  Sunday I was working on the white lattice, which I simplified a bit since it’s really 2 panels side by side.  I had to draw a preparatory sketch to understand how the slats interact.  I also found myself noticing lattice while driving around.  Drawing teaches you how to see, how to look, how to pay attention to your world and see what really is, not what you think you see.

Took a much longer walk in the woods than I intended this afternoon, but lucked out with this photo:

It reminds me of the Escher print I posted a photo a week or two ago:

Hmmm,… perhaps I should look as Escher some more.



Oh boy, it’s slow going at the moment, but the skeleton is transferred.  I’ve taken a few more pictures for reference and begun drawing this metal wall/ barrier.  I have drawn a little every day, but I’ve only had 15 minutes or so at a time.

So it’s at this sort of ugly stage but hopefully it won’t be for long.  It’s going to be tricky figuring out how not to keep smudging everything.  It doesn’t feel quite natural to start in the upper right hand corner with the smaller branches, but I’m left handed and if I start with the trunk I’ll be constantly smudging the pencil with my hand.



I didn’t post yesterday, but it was just the bare bones beginning of this.  This is a tracing that I will use to transfer the drawing to a piece of cotton rag Fabriano paper.  I did the original drawing freehand but the tree is complex enough that I wanted to get the proportions right.  I drove by the tree again today.  There are 2 of them, actually.  I can’t believe I never noticed them before.  From the car, the base of this tree appears large enough at the base that 2 of me probably couldn’t clasp our hands together around the trunk.  There must have been some negotiation between Dunkin Donuts and the town to keep those trees there when the place was built, for they are right on the edge of the property and it must have been difficult to bulldoze and lay pipes around the huge trees and their no doubt enormous root system.  Utterly magnificent.


This is my kitchen table, where I like to work for the light and the comfortable spot.  Also I can more easily let my dog in and out and keep tabs on him.  I share a studio/office space with my husband but it feels cluttered and not as light filled as I would like.



I happen to love this certain kind of tree that looks as if its bark is peeling off.  I’m not sure what it’s called.  I saw one in my hometown from the Dunkin Donut’s drive-up ordering station.

And started a preliminary sketch:

Funny that I thought I’d be so interested in the bark and the branches, and it ends up being the power lines and metal walls that draw my attention.  I also wondered at the back story behind that tree being there at all.  I’ll have to go back and look again.  Tomorrow I’ll start over on a better piece of paper.

By the way, today marks 2 solid weeks of daily drawing and it feels GREAT!



My daughter went to a Zentangle workshop at the J.V. Fletcher Library in Westford, MA.  So we checked out a book and played with zentangles last night.  Here is the one I made:

These are pretty fun.  I’m not sure what they really do for my drawing skills, but I count this as my daily drawing for Saturday anyway.


Idea for the Living Room

So I’m really tired of the painting in my living room.  It dates back to 1997.  Not that it’s been hanging there that long, I dug it out of the basement a year or so ago.  It’s from my senior thesis and it is driving me nuts to look at it.  Today I was walking through the room when I had the idea to make 3 panels for that space.  They would be multimedia renditions of 3 backbends from the second series of Ashtanga yoga, the first of which is Ustrasana, or Camel Pose.

This sketch, done while 2 of my 3 peeps were in gymnastics, is the 2nd pose or Lagu Vajrasana.  I forget what that means.  It is a very difficult quadricep burning backbend.  So the name might mean fire in the quads, but I doubt it.  And once you get your head to the floor, you’re expected to come back up the same way, not collapse to the floor.  Good luck with that.

Here’s a sketch.  This is taken from Beryl Bender Birch’s Power Yoga book, which is really Ashtanga yoga.  The trouble is this.  I love to draw the figure and I love to draw yoga poses, but I don’t just want to do illustrations.  Nothing wrong with illustration, mind you.  But I’m after paintings that make people sweat, that make you dig deep inside yourself for the answer you’ve been looking for.  A painting should rock your world, not be just pretty or well done or match your couch.  You know?  So I’m not sure how to get there, but I’ve just got to get on the bus.

So here’s a thought, and I’ll cross post this to my yoga blog.  If you happen to be proficient at camel pose, laghu vajrasana, and kapotasana, I’m looking for some photographs.  You’d have to give me permission to use the.  You might end up with a sketch or something out it if things go well.


It’s done, or is it?

I added color today, probably too soon.  I see that I should have softened some pencil lines, especially around the floating leaves.  I couldn’t see that though until I added the color.

Here’s my best tip of the day.  If you’re an artist and you haven’t seen Joanne Mattera’s website, click here now.  It’s my homepage.  Look through her history of posts for some of the best information you’ll find anywhere about managing your art career.

Finally, I’d love to hear some of you weigh in.  What makes a drawing a drawing?  What makes a painting a painting?  Is it the medium itself or level of finish?  I’m truly wondering….