5 cm

Had to get something up here before E enters the world! Again...it's been too long. My excuse this time is going through my last months of pregnancy, trying to get all my design work done, getting ready for E, being a mom to a 3 year old girl experimenting with her independence (along with dealing with her own little feelings of great anticipation at being a big sister), spending time with my husband, cooking, cleaning, living. Now...just waiting. The relief of completing projects. Painting done. Having E's & HM's closet cleaned out — room ready. Soup made. Fridge stocked. House clean (even the laundry room!). Carseat in car. Bag packed. Waiting. Even though November 10 is 2.5 weeks away, we all feel like it could be any minute. 5 cm. Ready for you, E!

Lucile & Airport Way S : blackberries + Ford 750 + Castrol

It was perfect! I had about an hour between dropping HM off at MK's place (last Thursday with her Auntie before her first day of preschool next week!) and getting to the Central Library for a West Coast Paper + Mohawk presentation (not to mention the delicious box lunch provided from Gourmondo — grilled vegetable panini, mixed greens and a powdered sugar-dusted, shallow, muffin-shaped brownie — the last of which I saved to have with my coffee back at the studio).

A couple weeks ago, walking past this scene with M, I mentioned that I wanted to sketch it — this scene...among others still on my "to sketch" list for Georgetown. There was a parking spot right in front. I stood against the car for about an hour for this one. I love the industrial, forgotten, fallen apart, rusty bright colors paired with with on-their-way-out blackberries (the blackberries were better a couple weeks ago). It has the same colors and quality as the stacked up containers I have been meaning to draw for so long — the ones at the Port, along W Marginal Way, Airport Way S, etc.

At first I was going to watercolor it when I got back to the studio. Instead I used colored pencil since I haven't used them in a while. Plus, it was quicker.

Hope to do more of Georgetown soon.

Tip: Did you know that clicking on the sketches (or other images in posts) lets you see them larger?

Lake Kachess camping

I will skip all the excuses I could make for not sketching for almost 2.5 months! Finally, a new one!

Went camping last week for four nights at Lake Kachess. HM's first camping adventure! It was a beautiful spot. A refreshingly cold lake to swim in. Not far from here. Despite a couple nights of rain and a lot of mosquitoes, it was a great time. Will definitely go there again...but next year with a 4 year old and a 9 month old baby boy (how will THAT work out?!)! Discovered that camping with a 3 year old is quite a bit different than when it was just me and M! No long hours of relaxing and reading by the campfire at night, much less time to sketch. HM and I did manage to get in a quick sketching/watercolor session before it started raining one day. I tried to teach HM how to mix colors — different hues and shades. Greens. Blues. How to make pink. I got the sketch done before HM woke up from her nap, but finished is just now with my Winsor & Newton travel watercolor set. The one I took to India almost 10 years ago! I haven't used it in so long — amazing to think that some of those dried up colors on the tray were mixed on the other side of the world in a different lifetime.

Hopefully I can get back into sketching again after too much time off.

Olympic Sculpture Park : Friday afternoon

Stopped in to see if M could have lunch with me. Busy until 2pm, so I got a snack to hold me over and walked down to Olympic Sculpture Park. I envisioned a little painting of the big orange-red sculpture (Alexander Calder's Eagle) set amid the blues and greens of its surroundings. I've given up for now carrying my paints around with me (yesterday the strap on my purse broke from too much stuff...even without my paints). I should carry around that new watercolor pad though to at least get the drawing down, then have the right surface to paint on once I am back at my studio. I painted this one with gouache in my studio — wishing I had done the drawing on watercolor paper. The sketch paper gets so wrinkled — not right for water. I kept debating if I should include a person in the foreground — for the contrast. In the end decided not too. Thought it would be too much the focus. Wanted the bright sculpture to remain the focus. Nice to get outside for this one. (I've always wanted to draw one of those giant barges!)

.18 fl. oz. x 3 : mini mani-pedi

9:30 - 11:45 : Swam 17 laps at YMCA / get ready / HM happy in the kids' room
11:45 - noon : Drive through bank with HM
noon - 12:30 : Giannoni's pizza slices { carmelized onion/sausage slice & Diet Coke for me, pepperoni/pineapple slice & apple juice for HM }
12:30 - 12:50 : Sally Beauty Supply — no luck with hair product so 3 mini Sally Girl nail polishes for HM { she picked them out — buy 2, get 1 free } and one mommy-size one for me
12:50 - 2:10 : Home / teal nails for me / HM nap
2:10 - 3:00 : Multi-colored mini mani-pedi for HM / story while drying
3:00 - 4:00 : Southwest Library { the orange one } / lots of books and movies for HM — a couple movies for me
4:00 - 4:20 : Tony's Market for fresh produce / blueberries for HM on the way to Safeway
4:20 - 5:30 : Roxbury Safeway / HM a little rascal with her pigtails and tiny, colored nails — lounging with flip-flops off and feet up in the kids' car eating rice cakes / no to Curious George fruit snacks / no to Coco Puffs
5:30 - 5:40 : Fill-up at Safeway gas with HM
5:40 - 6:10 : Make salad / HM watches "Big Bird Sings"
6:10 - 6:40 : Dinner with HM, M @ work { fried chicken, salad, rest of blueberries, milk }
6:40 - 7:00 : HM bath
7:00 - 7:40 : Jammies, pull-up, milk, new library stories, snuggle, songs, prayers, sleep

I think we set a record — 8 places together in 1 day! And...up until 12:30am in my studio.

"Daddy will be so surprised at these books!"
"Daddy will be so surprised at my nails!"
"I am putting lipstick on to get ready for my mani-pedi..."

Medium: pen & nail polish { photographed, not scanned }

West Seattle Junction

A bit of time before a meeting at Cupcake Royale and a bit of time after with lunch at Easy Street Records Cafe. I didn't finish the sign sketch because I got the perspective a little off and had to go into a meeting. I was going to do the brick building, windows, etc. too, but at least here's something. Sketching the items at the table while waiting for my Philadelphia Freedom sandwich reminded me of of all the sketching I used to do at restaurants and bars back when I was single — sketching my drinks and cigarettes. Thank God those days are over. Anyway, not too much to say about these.

Columbia Park cherry blossoms

It seems the only time I am finding (or making) to sketch is on Friday mornings between dropping off HM and getting to the Y for my swim class. Columbia City is always right on the way. I was determined to get something done. Speed sketching. I only had about 20 minutes and needed to sit somewhere besides the bakery (did get a double, short latte to go though...no baked items since I made waffles with strawberries this morning for breakfast) — somewhere outside. I barely recognized Columbia Park without the Farmers Market and all the people meandering — the only other time I have been there. I have really been wanting to get the cherry blossom trees down on paper. I love them — so soft, pink and fluffy. I just want to squeeze the little bunches of perfect blossoms — like they are baby cheeks or something.

I thought a pen and colored pencils would do it, but of course...I found I needed to finish with watercolor when I got home. I didn't have them with me or the time to finish at the picnic table anyway. I didn't have my Uni-ball black pen with me, so I used one from my new set — Pigma Micron 02. I can't believe it took me so long to rediscover these. A set of 6 — each with a different line width. From finest to thickest: 005, 01, 02, 03, 05, 08. Archival black ink. Great for detailed pen illustrations. For this sketch, I just used one...but they came in really handy recently for a pen illustration I had to do for another project. Anyway...got the pen and colored pencil sketch done in 20 minutes. Just added the watercolor back at my studio.

Finally, an outdoors sketch! Expect more as spring warms up and into summer.

On a side note...I also rediscovered Crowded House. Love every song on Recurring Dream. I never buy new music and still scrounge through my old case of CDs every now and then to find something.

Rainier Ave. S. & S. Ferdinand St.

Another hour at Columbia City Bakery before my swim class. Finally, a new small sketchbook. Not too much to say. I couldn't do the bread and flowers again, so I sat near the window hoping to find something outside to sketch. Thankfully there was a bike in view — and a few people. Something. Keeping it simple. Just trying to get something up. I need to get outside soon and sketch/paint some cherry blossom trees. Some scenery — spring colors…even though it still doesn't feel like spring. At least it's not freezing out. No snow — some sun.

An hour at Columbia City Bakery

I have to confess — I have not been carrying my sketchbook around with me everywhere. One of those times again where I had no inspiration, felt too busy. My little sketchbook is all filled up. That is part of the problem. I am much less likely to toss my big one in my bag. Need to get a new one.

Today, I finally gave it a try again. Perhaps the sun had something to do with it. A fresh start. A month should not have gone by with no new posts!

Normally I have HM on Fridays, but she's with her little friends today. I had an hour after dropping her off before I had to get to my swim class. Columbia City Bakery was right on the way. A double, short, extra hot latté and an apple morning bun. Yum. The bun was just what I had in mind — like the cinnamon rolls I used to get at The Little Cheerful Café in Bellingham. Flaky, not doughy. If only it had been bigger! I had to keep myself from devouring it while I sketched it. I only had a black pen and a wrinkled, used piece of paper floating around in my bag. I also used the backs of some flyers I found on their shelf. Three quick ones. Added watercolor when I got home. Gouache too since I couldn't get the watercolor intense enough. The paper was the worst for these paints. Super thin, no texture. Better than nothing though!

I will try to keep up my sketching without feeling guilty about the lulls in inspiration. Especially for those of you that check back for new stuff.

First daffodil

I never draw flowers! Now I know why. This was tough. I still don't think I got it quite right — the depth/inner part of the straight-on daffodil contrasting with petals curving out in the foreground. I kept at it though and finally had to stop. HM was getting restless and L woke up. Time for lunch. Used pencil, watercolor pencil and colored pencils. I purposely didn't use a black pen — just to challenge myself since I always use one. Trying to get a softer look for this first bit of spring.