Monday, September 23, 2013

Journaling Daily Practice, where do I begin?

In our class we talk a lot about keeping a daily journal. About writing down some thoughts, insights etc but also about the importance of spending time practicing sketching and painting. These daily trips into our sketchbooks don't need to be a dreaded experience, worrying about what to paint and what to write. At first it may seem forced and awkward but I promise it gets better and easier. It will become more organic and natural to spend time with yourself if you allow it to happen. I thought I would give you a good place to start, at breakfast! Start sketching your breakfast, even if it's just your coffee cup. It's all about practice. Then write down what you had, date the page and comment if it's your favorite etc. 

Here's my breakfast yesterday, gave it a fun background and added dots and a border. I will be putting together a video on starting with your shadows and posting it soon.

- Desiree

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A video for you

Hi everyone,
I was hoping for more comments and activity here. I am posting this for you but it will also be on my blog. If you leave a comment you go to my blog and leave a comment you will be entered to win something.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Check out my blog and leave a comment

Hi you all! Its time to start leaving comments. Its important to let me know you are out there and reading my posts. Please try and make a stab at leaving comments here or on my other blog, I would really appreciate it!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

We're Back! Back together again, so glad that you have decided to join me again!

I was so touched to see everyone at sketch class, I didn't know how it would go after taking the summer off and feeling like it might be time to end the sketch class. But it seems as though you guys are ready to keep going and dive into some new and exciting things like, painting and sketching on fabric and collage techniques etc. I think it will be a fun new year in our sketch group!! 2014 Look out here we come!!

I missed a few of you who I hope to see next month. We had fun creating textured backgrounds with some collage, stamping, acrylic paints etc. Then I had gathered a bunch of my silver serving pieces and some colorful peppers from which everyone had to choose a few of each to sketch. We used gouache to paint over our backgrounds and I think everyone did a great job since it was also a new medium for most. I love the way everyones piece turned out, such fun learning about silver, reflections, textures and we even talked about the importance of journaling! My classes are focused on teaching you to see, to really see and appreciate the simple things. To be more present in your life by being more aware of the beauty that surrounds us. I love the sentence I found in the book "The Writers book of Days " that says to honor the miraculousness of the ordinary! I really love that!

Here is some of the work done at class, these were works in progress, minus Penny's piece, please post yours here Penny!
Karen chose a cake knife and fork along with a few hot peppers

This is mine, I chose a gravy ladle and a fruit fork with two colorful peppers, I need to darken my shadows. 

Christa chose a butter knife and a spoon/fork serving utensil and a hot pepper

Marianne chose two serving spoons and two different hot peppers. I love that she talked about the coolness of the silver in contrast to the heat and warmth of the peppers! Good observations today!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Time marches on

Hi everyone, class this month was small but great as we had a wonderful opportunity to visit and share. We did paint too and went over some compositional things but I want to share something else. I have been really thinking and praying about where we are going in this class. I have been doing this sketch class for several years now and I think that it is time for a break. I am going to look at restructuring the class a bit and see what kind of response I have. I would love to hear from you guys if you are still interested in coming and would like to see more application from sketching to fabric or if you want to keep it the same or do more of a project painting thing. If there is not enough interest then maybe its time to stop it.  I will be taking off July and August for sure, I will be regrouping and restructuring. Look for more info on my website and on my newsletter. I wanted to thank all of you for your support, friendship and all the many hours of fun we have had together.

Monday, June 3, 2013

I'm Back

Hi everyone, wow, so quiet here. I had a great time at market and so glad to be home. It was too long and too much after market to try and do so many vacation things. Then once I sprained my ankle it was even harder. So glad to be home.  I was able to sketch a bit and paint. I found with walking, and hiking and Jenn, the dog, carrying paints etc was not working. Then I hated my palette so I need to make some changes and then start again. What I did find was that I enjoyed just taking paper, or sketchbook and my mechanical pencil and just did some pencil sketches. It is a great way to practice your perception of values,which is critical in art. Here are some of my sketches from vacation.

OH, Note to my monthly group. Sketchclass will be Sat the 15th NOT this Saturday!!!!!

 These first sketches were done in Crater Lake in Oregon, it was so beautiful the day we arrived and then quickly changed to a blizzard. Walking dogs in snow is challenging too! LOL Here is a sketch I did at the dinner table looking out over the hillside during the storm. The snow was blowing horizontally and I think it got down to 14. Side note: we are all from southern California, I even forgot my jacket! LOL

 The first day at Crater Lake was gorgeous, snow but clear and blue skies and cold
Lil Miss Cutie Patooti enjoyed it too!
This was a nice area with rocking chairs and blankets where we could sit and drink hot chocolate and look out at the lake. Notice the other people sitting in the rocking chairs. The next picture is the same rocking chairs less than 24 hours later! LOL

Then the storm hit! Still beautiful but freezing and horizontal snow. Glad we weren't driving in it! 

 Sitting at the dinner table, sketching the craziness outside. 

The next day we headed down the mountain, it was just softly snowing and the plows had cleared the 8" of snow we got the night before. The drive was wonderful, it looked like a winter wonderland! I will be painting more snow pictures now! As we reached the bottom of the mountain the forest changed dramatically and as we got warmer and the snow disappeared the forest floor was awash a greens and ferns and everywhere stood dogwoods. Blooming in the darkness of the forest, being a light in a dark place. Randy stopped to pick me one so I could sketch it as we drove. 

We did make it to Redwood Forest and we had a little house to ourselves. The house was handicap friendly but was not easy. The halls and rooms were so small we had to back Jenn up everywhere since there was nowhere to turn around. We were in the middle of the meadow surrounded by Redwood Forest. There was a resident Elk herd that made there way around the meadow and some had babies! We hiked through the Redwood Forest and thats where I turned my ankle. 

I would sit at the table in the kitchen and look out onto the meadow where everything was green! I hate painting greens, did I ever tell you that. Greens are beautiful to look at but a challenge to paint. When you have scenes that are all green its nice to add other colors even if they aren't really there. I added some blue but needed to add more yellows and reds which I was somehow missing. 

 From there we traveled south to Humboldt to visit our dear friends Pastor Dennis and Linda at Acadia Baptist Church. They are such amazing people and servants. They have found a wonderful home and new church family here in the redwoods and are so happy! They took us to Trinidad, a city along the sea coast for dinner, we had fish and chips!! I know right, meat and fried fish to boot, but it was yummy. Our stomachs are still recovering from our diet change while we were traveling.
Cold but no snow! Windy! From there we traveled to my mom and brothers homes in Philo, close to Mendocino. Beautiful but no sketches since we just visited!
Then off to Yosemite! Our last leg of the trip and another dead spot for wifi and cell phones. It was incredibly beautiful and I loved it. I am always a bit melancholy when I leave my moms, this is such special time. I haven't been to Yosemite since I was a child and I won't share how long ago that was!  While in Yosemite we hiked, walked and just enjoyed the beauty of it all. The weather was perfect and I found that I just loved carrying a pencil and a sketchbook and sketching some of the elements along the trail. I added the hiking trails maps to this page later. 

Randy was our official photographer and as he stopped on the way out to grab some shots I would sketch, the snap a photo and finish later or in the car driving.

Yosemite was a nice mix of lots of different elements and textures. It was beautiful and thankfully not too crowded. We had arrived the day after Memorial and most everyone had gone home. We didn't fight for photos or wait in long lines, it was great. Well enough of my vacation. I am home and working on getting orders out, I am finishing up my final count on entries for the give away basket and doing laundry! Happy Trails! What have all of you been up too and have you been sketching???

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mothers Day Sketchbook Tea Party!!

Oh what a fun class we had today!! Gurutej brought her vintage tea cups and saucers and we had a tea party! The homework was to sketch something that reminded us of our moms and several women brought their sketches and we talked about the memories.
Karens cookies! Yum

I set up the table outside close to the roses in the shade and served cookies from Karen, cake, sandwiches and tea. The weather was nice in the morning but continued to heat up as the day progressed.
One of Gurutej's tea cups
We discussed the challenges of drawing ovals and circles and how your perspective will affect the oval when you are drawing tea cups or jars or anything round like this. It was fun, challenging but everyone did a great job. Penny and Gurutej didn't get theirs finished so I hope to add them later.

What a wonderful time we had, enjoying the day, the food and the company together in the garden. Wish you were here!
Our sketches for the day! 
Lauretta's page!
Karen's page!

my page
I hope to see you next month!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A fun Fabric Giveaway

Hi everyone, I hope your April is going good and you are being creative in any sense of the word. I am having a Marvelous May Market Giveaway on my blog!! You can have a chance to win by commenting on my blog or on Facebook, I hope you will support me in this, I need to try and increase my social media presence and so I would love it if you could spread the word and get your friends to post and follow my blog and or Facebook page. It is my goal to increase my followers and have a better social media presence which is such a struggle for me! Thanks for your help!!!
I have some art quilts being featured in this book available for preorder at Amazon now, check out my blog for more information

Saturday, April 13, 2013

These shoes were made for walking!

Hi everyone, so sorry this is late, I have had a crazy week. Our class last Saturday was amazing! We had a fun, uncomfortable time diving into our inner selves to see how to best use our time to do the things we love and to move into the direction of where we want to be in the future. We talked about the passions and dreams that some of the women have, about different options and classes to help move you toward your dreams. Our sketchbooks are places where we can write down those dreams. You can record them there, in that safe place, and as you work towards them you can visually see your progress. Not everyone wants to have a business, some just want to do more traveling, etc. Whatever your dream, your passion is what "action" are you taking this month to move you closer to fulfilling that dream. Try setting yourself a goal and doing one thing to move towards it.

We also drew our shoes, everyone brought a favorite shoe and we passed them around the table. The object was to think about your composition, how would you fit all the shoes onto the page. It was to turn and paint each shoe in a different direction for interest. It was a little bit about address a problem called foreshortening, when somethings comes at you directly and it is foreshortened. It is a bit of an optical illusion and your brain often struggles with it. I love the shoe idea and we ran out of time since I wanted to have everyone pass their books for one more step but next time! I wrote down everyones name next to their shoe. Marianne brought some cool red pumps, Penny brought her Tennis shoes, Lauretta brought a favorite costume shoe, Gurutej brought her black tap shoes(some of us colored them), I had my crazy stitched flats and Karen brought a beautiful pair of dyed leather shoes. Each shoe was so different and these are the people walking with me in my life. These precious shoes carrying us in this journey of art together! I love it since its a little bit of all of you in my sketchbook. I am sorry the others missed out on our day!  For some reason I don't have two of the sketches, I hope Penny will post her sketches and I don't know who else I am missing?? Karens?
My Shoe page, it says My Journey with Friends, inspiring each other. I noticed I forgot the "h" on with so I had to fix it! I didn't say I could spell, just draw!  LOL

Gurutej's page, she made her tap shoes purple! I love it, can't wait to see it finished

Lauretta's Page, I like how she has lots of angles and her shadow under her shoe helps ground it. By drawing from different angles Lauretta has done a study in shoes, which is cool. Verses some of the others look like we drew a group of shoes. Another way to approach the same subject matter and make it interesting and different. 

Mariannes page, I love the red pump she brought, I love the way she drew it, a bit tilted and stylized!  Great Job!! See how my shoe is smaller and higher,  it looks like my shoe (blue) is farther away than the others? Do you know why? As things move away from us they get smaller and they move up on our page, they also get cooler. The warm colors on the color wheel bring forward, the cool colors help send it back. If you scroll back up and look at the other pages you will notice how the shoes look farther away the higher on the page they are. Just a little painting info for you! 

This month I would like you to find something that reminds you of your mom. It can be an object, a flower, anything that means mom to you. Now take your object and paint it in different positions, angles, colors, zoom in etc. You decide how many times you paint it, sketch it, do you put it in boxes on your page etc. Then next month we will talk about them.  We will also be back out in the garden next month celebrating Mother's Day, I will have a bit of a Tea party theme with Tea and sandwiches for all of us, should be fun!  Everything is blooming and we need to catch it so bring a hat and sunscreen. We will be meeting on May 11, the day before Mother's Day! Bring your "This makes me think of my Mom" paintings and we will share.

Check out my blog for a give-away!!

I am working on sewing projects for Spring Market, if anyone wants to sew give me a call!
Have a great month!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Your Negative Inner Voice! NIV

Well I know from what I have heard from everyone that this has been a hard challenge. I think it makes us have to think and really take a hard look at some of our issues.  I also believe that good things happen when we grow and stretch ourselves both personally and creatively. I want us to really seize our moments, we only have so many. These pages are a beginning, a place to write down some realization about your creative growth. The lists aren't meant to be filled up before class. The pages are designed to be revisited, to be in your journal where you will see them often and be able to reflect on and grow from.  Our journals are a documented journey one step or page at a time, a place to play, explore, grow,document, learn and discover.

   The first was "Free to be Me", a place to record your dreams whatever they may be, travel, personal, physical etc. Second was your "Passions", what are you passionate about, what excites you, gets you moving? Third was "Listening", listen to those around you, what do people say to you?
I started with a box and a wash of yellow

   Now we are moving into you, your inner voice. We all have an inner voice, many times this inner voice is very negative! It is undermining what we want to do and feel led to do. It tries to defeat us before we get out of the gate by planting seeds of doubt, fear and usually stops us before we get started. It will use tricky things like rationalization (I am too busy, I am to tired, I do so much already, I shouldn't take time from this person etc). It often can mask itself in drama.  Drama happens in everyones life, we need to not let it derail us from our creative lives and our goals. Even during these down times you can take time for smaller projects. These negative inner voices and dramas will try and hold you back from moving forward. We will always have to deal with drama, but lets not wallow in it and let it become our La Brea Tar pits (did you know that it only took a few inches of tar to capture and hold down huge Mastodons until they finally died from starvation and became the bones they are digging up today!  Lets not let that be our personal, creative lives. You know what your own individual voice says right, so I don't need to go on, do I? For some of us we may need more pages for this topic sp make as many as you need.
I then outlines my box and started drawing drawing a vine of flowers. Do you notice that my flowers are lips! LOL That is my NIV's lips, with red lipstick! I also made them a vine, representing them crawling into every space of our lives. added some more paint.

Once you recognize this inner voice and write it down, you need to combat it with positive retorts! You are allowed to argue, talk back, and capture this inner negative voice! I find myself talking out loud to myself as I work on things. It is my way of dealing with my inner voice. My husband laughs as he thinks I am always praising myself, little does he know I am at war! I tell myself that looks great,  oh you are doing such a good job, etc. You need to find the way that works best for you so that your NIV (negative inner voice) doesn't stop you from moving forward.  As I make my pages I am thinking about the question so that when the page is done I have some things I can add to it. I hope you will take this next step and we will discuss on Saturday!! Have a creative week!!
I went over areas with pencils and paint and markers etc. Just playing and having fun. I added barbs to my box to represent these negative things are now captive! Make your own page and add my "NIV" text somewhere. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

I have been working on my "Free to be Me" page and also "Passions"...The hardest part is filling in the the blank square. I am really having a hard time figuring out just what makes me free and what my true passions really are!! So for now, I will keep thinking about it.  Two very hard least for me.     

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Listening- Week 3 of our Challenge

IMPORTANT- Next sketch class has been changed to April 6th!!!! Mark your calendars!!!

Hi everyone, well did you get your passions written down?? Was it hard or did they just flow once you started writing? The thing about stopping for a minute in our busy schedule to take a look at some of these things is that it will help us better plan where we want to go and what we want to do. If you're like me you have come to realize that there are only so many hours in the day and you can't possibly do it all. By realizing your passions and what you would like to be free to do you will help you make better decisions on how and what you want to say "Yes" and "No" too in your life.  This week will be harder as I am going to ask you to do something that might seem very uncomfortable. I wouldn't ask you to do it if I didn't think it was important, so I hope you will do it.

As we go about our day we hear things about ourselves, compliments, comments, acknowledgments, affirmations. For example: you look nice today, you are such a good cook, you are so patient, so kind, etc. Immediately what happens when we hear these positive comments is that our negative inner voice begins to work overtime. Attacking the words as they come in, causing us to not believe them, causing us discomfort. Why is it that we feel uncomfortable with people paying us a compliment, because we don't believe it! Our negative inner voice is very loud, and strong and it wouldn't want us to get full of ourselves. It will also take some training to start to hear and believe and learn from what you hear. This week I want you to really listen to what you hear around you. I want you write only the good things you hear since our negative voice is so loud in our heads that we don't need to record anything negative. Really start to listen and write it down! When you hear the comment make sure you thank the person and don't play it down, receive it graciously and happily! Sometimes its nice to repay the compliment with a compliment, "You are so sweet to say so" or something like that. Now start your lists and as you do I want you to hear what your negative inner voice is saying and stop it right away. By recognizing that negative part of ourself we can better know how to combat it. Talk back to it, argue with it, but don't believe it! I think we are far too hard on ourselves and sometimes we can fall into a place where it is easier to say negative things to ourselves than to believe anything positive. If for some reason no one says anything positive to you then we know what the problem is! (You will need to write down the positive things you feel about yourself). For most of us, we will really have to listen, sometimes they come quickly and under the breathe of a passer by. Like, dinner was great, thanks or You make the best desserts. If we want to get compliments we need to give them too. My husband is always saying he loves me, and I have gotten into this really bad habit of responding with, Really, Me? No way! Oh that is so bad, and its almost habit now, that negative voice trying to rip me off. My husband started to call me on it, threatening to not tell me anymore and thats when I started to really see what I was doing. Sometimes its just habit to think we aren't worth loving and it comes to the surface without any thought at all anymore. Just jokingly shaking it off before we can really absorb it.  OK so we are going to stop that! This will be an ongoing list, keep writing as you hear them, carry your journal with you everywhere so you can capture them when they happen. You only hold a thought for 3 minutes, don't let these go.
In your sketchbooks make a page for compliments and start to write them down. I put people on mine but your page can be anything you like. You can call it "My Accolades" "Who I Am" or anything else you like. I can't wait to see what you have come up with!! 

I will be posting a new challenge a bit earlier next week since we are meeting earlier this next month. Go grab your goodies, your accolades, your kudos and write them down. It will be uncomfortable but who cares, get past it and seize the moments!