Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays!

                       "Winter on the Lilly Grounds", Oil 16" x 20", 2010.

This fall has flown by, Christmas is already here, and what a WHITE one it is!  After a very warm and gorgeous fall, December has been constantly cold and beautiful in its whiteness.   I didn't get a chance to paint  as much as I wanted to during the fall because of several trips, including the exciting Twinrocker Retrospective Exhibition opening in Atlanta, but the December snows encouraged everyone to hibernate, and that meant me painting in my studio.   I just finished this landscape of the formal Lilly gardens at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.  The afternoon light raking across the snow seemed to create a captivating glow on the little stone figure.  Can't wait to paint another snowy landscape after the holiday, but now we're looking forward to seeing friends from far away, eating way too much, laughing, and playing lots of music.

I hope you'll be cozy and warm and share your holiday with special people in your life as well.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Twinrocker Handmade Paper: A 40 Year Retrospective Exhibit

Robert C. Williams Paper Museum
Twinrocker: Forty Years of Hand Papermaking
Main Image for Twinrocker
Kathryn With Paper Mould 1983, Todd Matus           
The Robert C. Williams
 Paper Museum
 Georgia Institute of Technology
500 10th Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30332
Opening Reception:
Thursday, September 23, 2010 
 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
September 23,- December 17, 2010 
Add to my calendar
Please join us on September 23rd from 5 to 7pm 
 for the opening reception of :

 Forty Years of Hand Papermaking" 
The exhibition celebrates Twinrocker's 40th anniversary and marks the first time this collection has ever been on public view.  We will be joined by the founders of Twinrocker, Kathryn and Howard Clark.
Twinrocker papers have appeared in the portfolios of some of American's most important artists and fine limited edition book publishers.  The exhibit will include a number of these first edition fine art books, each a work of art in itself.  Among the artists and writers represented in the exhibit are Robert Rauschenberg, Sally Mann, Louise Bourgeois, Jasper Johns, Jim Dine, Chuck Close, Willem de Kooning, Larry Rivers, Octavio Paz, Czeslaw Milosz, Morri Creech, John Ashberry, and others.  A number of photos taken byTodd Matus that document the history of Twinrocker will be included.   
The Robert C. Williams Paper Museum
at Georgia Tech
404 894-6663

Saturday, September 4, 2010

August in Oregon Painting Plein Air

At the end of July, I flew to Eugene, Oregon to visit my twin sister, Peg, who is also an artist.  Our first outing was a trip to the coast in Newport to join a group of Eugene Plein Air Painters.  The coast is so, so beautiful in Oregon with rocky cliffs, coastal pines, pale sandy beaches, and outcroppings of basalt that line the shore--waves crashing, sea lions sunning themselves, sea gulls and of course the beautiful setting sun.  Most of the Oregon coast is wild with few tourists, and every inch of it is public land. Here's my first plein air painting in Newport, near the light house:

"Fog Approaching", alla prima oil on canvas panel, 12" x 9".

In the next few days, I'll post my other Oregon paintings.  On this Labor Day weekend, as the summer comes to a close, I hope the past three months have been all you wished for.  As always, I'd love to hear from you. And please pass this blog along to other you think may enjoy it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

"Summer Play Time at the Lake"

This past weekend, I painted and played at Lake Wawasee & Lake Webster in northern Indiana with about thirty other artists at a paint-out by the Indiana Plein Air Painters.  Nothing says "summer" quite like sunny skies, a warm breeze, water, boats.  This quick, little 6" x 8", alla prima oil is of "Honky Bridge", as the locals call it, since the underpass is only wide enough for one boat at a time.   I caught the morning sun at about 11am, just as it peaked over the top of the bridge.  Yum!  In the afternoon, we found Webster Lake full of party boats, and ski dos, with some of them congregating at this island and jumping overboard for a swim.

"Summer Play Time at the Lake", oil, 9" x 12".   Hope you're finding time to play this summer too!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

"Tyler", painted with the Zorn Palette

I'm finding this limited Zorn palette quite fun! Here is my second portrait using it, painted from a model. Tyler seems quite melancholy, perhaps wishing he was with his sweetie.  This is another 12" x 9" oil.  Hope you enjoy meeting these folks. (This makes me wonder if people ever buy portraits of people they don't know?)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Portraits in Oil using the Zorn Palette

Lately, I've begun to paint portraits in oil which has been quite compelling because I half way feel like I'm creating a new human being.   This is partly because they sometimes don't look quite like the model, i.e. a "new" person, which I find quite fun and intriguing.  Being new to painting portraits, I'm learning with two painter friends.  We've been watching a DVD by Jeffery Watts on "Painting the Gesture Portrait" using the very limited palette of Anders Zorn, who lived near the turn of the century in Sweden.  The portraits are painted with only four pigments: White, Black, Yellow Ochre, and Cadmium Red Light.  His portraits using this limited palette are truly amazing and beautiful!  My goal is both to learn to paint rich paintings with only four pigments (and no blue) as well as to paint with greater gesture in my brushwork--to loosen up!  This is how it works:  Black is very cool and therefore offers a subtle blue;  yellow ochre and black make a green of sorts; cad. red and black make a purple of sorts, yellow ochre and cad. red make an orange; yellow ochre, cad. red and black make a brown. So there you have it.  Now to transform those four pigments into a loose, gestural portrait.  This is my second oil portrait ever and the first with this Zorn palette.  It's "Andrew",  12" x 9", oil, from the model.

Painting is "life-long learning" and learning always adds to much to life.  Remember, I always appreciate your thoughts and comments.  Please forward this to your friends who might be interested.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Painting in a Kiwi Garden

A large group of friends own a communal garden and land in Warren County, IN with some of them living there.  Two weeks ago I joined them on a garden work day.  This 9" x 12" oil is of their Kiwi arbor.   Yes, I was surprised that Kiwis grow in Indiana too, but there is apparently a very hardy variety.   Today is the Friday before the 4th of July, so most of us will probably be heading out into the landscape.  Have a great and relaxing weekend!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

"Day Lilies & Goose-necks"

The perennials keep coming in my garden, and I can barely keep up with them when there are "Paint-Outs" to go to.  A Paint-Out is a community organized event for artists to paint directly from the landscape.  People come from all across Indiana to paint directly from the landscape in one place on a certain day, or sometimes more than one day, and then to display the paintings.  There is always a SALE of the artists' paintings for the public at the end of the event.  That's what I participated in at Noblesville, IN a couple of weeks ago.  Sooo, now I'm home painting Day Lilies, Goose-necks, and Baby's Breath from my garden in an antique glass Arts & Crafts handmade vase.  Yes, the vase barely shows, but it may appear in full view later in another painting.  This oil painting is 14" x 11".  Purchase information is on my web site  If you know others who would enjoy my blogs please forward this to them.  And remember I always enjoy hearing from you.

Monday, June 7, 2010

"Swinging at Forest Park"

This past weekend, the Hamilton County Art Assoc. in Noblesville, IN held their annual three day Paint-Out, with two days of painting and a painting sale and judging, awards, etc. on the third day.  I painted in Forest Park, a dream come true park with just about everything from golf, to horse shoes, swimming, skate boarding, miniature golf, and amazing jungle gyms, swings, etc. As I was happily situated under huge old trees in the shade, I realized it was a great opportunity to paint figures in action on the swings.   There are large, circular disks which are large enough for two youngsters to sit or lye on while swinging.  I'd never included figures in a landscape painting before so thought this was definitely the time to try it.  Here is the result, a 14" x 11" oil which was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Oil category during the awards on the last day.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Burnett's Creek at Dusk"

Even though the temperature was in the high 80's and the humidity higher, I got out of my studio and into nature with a painter friend from Chicago.   Laurie Kennard took the train down to Lafayette, which is near Brookston, and spent the Memorial Day weekend here in the "country".   Along with being a painter, she's a well known milliner.  You can see her unique hats at  We painted on a ledge over looking Burnett's Creek in Battle Ground, IN. (the site of the last major Indian battle east of the Mississippi where Wm Henry Harrison commanded the US. troops, and you know who "won")  Unlike that fateful, bloody day, it was a lazy, hazy, day with little children splashing about catching minnows.  As the sun was setting, my husband Howard, joined us after listening to the 500 mile race on the radio all afternoon.  He brought a guitar, banjo, and picnic basket with wine, cheese,  crackers and apples.  The perfect ending to a perfect plein air day.

If you have friends who would enjoy thee blogs, please forward it to them.  And remember that I always like to hear your comments.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Garden Girl's Reflection"

      "Garden Girl's Reflection" oil on Classen's oil primed linen canvas, 24" x 18".  This is the canvas on which I normally paint.

Diane Tesler's summer studio is in a very old IOOF hall in Kewanna, Indiana, a little old farming town mostly abandoned, on the cross roads of two rarely used state highways in middle north Indiana.  As with many forgotten towns, most of the buildings are abandoned, but the people who live there are a close knit community struggling to survive.  She lives in Alexandria, VA in the winter and teaches at the Torpedo Factory, a beautiful and totally congested part of America.  Years ago, she happened on Kewanna with a friend and fell in love with the old memories lying about in the town and on the surrounding farms.  These abandoned cars and tractors find life in her paintings along with the abandoned farm houses.  You can see her paintings on her web site at  

In this three day workshop, she prepared about ten still life set ups from which the fifteen participants could choose.  I chose this old mirror with a little garden girl and potted plants because it was close to the floor-to-ceiling front window with natural north light.  What did I learn?  hmmmmm  Well, I learned about a couple of synthetic sable brushes that Diane absolutely can't paint without,  the formula for her medium of Damar varnish, Stand oil, and Gum turpentine, and two or three new paints that I want to add to my palette, especially Holbein Rose Gray, and maybe Holbein Gray Green, and Monochrome Warm.  She also told me about a source for "tough as nails" canvas stretchers for large paintings.   Yes, I would like to paint on a large scale occasionally.  Diane's a very encouraging yet truthful teacher who makes comments to each student at that person's own level of expertise, not an easy task.  I suspect it takes a great deal of teaching experience to tactfully cut to the chase with each participant's "baby".

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fleeting May Flowers Picked from My Garden

                  "May Garden Flowers",  oil,  14" x 11"

Goodness!  I wish I could make time stand still in my garden for about three weeks while I paint the peonies, European and Japanese irises, and poppies.  Well, I plunked a few into another vase and painted them in my studio a couple of days ago.   The "in my studio" aspect is in preparation for a workshop I'm taking from Diane Tesler this weekend up in Kewanna, Indiana on painting Still Lifes.  I've painted fewer than five still lifes in oil, unless you count these flowers, so it will be interesting to explore this genre and find out why she likes it.  She also paints large canvases, so I'm looking forward to learning her tricks about stretching large pieces of canvas over wooden stretchers.  Have a good weekend!

Remember I always enjoy your comments, and please forward this blog to others who may enjoy receiving it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More Flowers from my Garden in a Vase

Having never painted flowers much in oil , I decided to paint another Tree Peony, and then the Iris began to bloom so they ended up in a vase too.  Painting in my studio is a more secure environment when there's a spotlight on the flower in a vase rather than the sun moving, changing shadows, etc.  Here are two examples;  tomorrow, or when ever it decides to stop raining and the sun should come out, I'll tackle the flowers in their natural environment---the garden.

If the sun comes out tomorrow, I'll paint from my garden.  Spring perennials are so fleeting and precious.  As soon as their gone, we have to wait a whole year to see them again!  When I paint them, I see them in a whole new way.  And I hope you do too.
Remember, your comments are appreciated.  Welcome to Spring and soon Summer! For purchase information, see my web site,

Friday, May 7, 2010

Flowers from my Spring Garden

Wow, I see it's been almost a month since I created a post to this blog.  Spring gets quite busy for a landscape painter with all the good weather.  I was supposed to spend a week in New Harmony, IN painting in this quaint, historic village at the tip of the boot of Indiana where the Ohio and Wabash Rivers come together.  My husband, Howard, and I rented a lovely house for the week with some other painters, and I had a great time the first three days painting (finished three) until my back muscles spasmed and I had to come home early.  Now at home my body feels less stressed in my studio so I picked some flowers from my garden and plunked them into a vase for still life paintings.

          "Two Parrot Tulips",  14" x 11", oil on linen canvas attached to wooden panel.

                   "April Tree Peony",  14" x 11",  oil on linen canvas attached to wooden panel.

The "Tree Peony" will be a wedding present, but the "Parrot Tulips" are for sale.  You can see these paintings and others with their respective prices on my web site.  Remember, I always like to hear from you.  Now my back is feeling better and I'm itching to venture out into the uneven ground of the landscape with all my painting gear.


Friday, April 9, 2010

"The Yellow Scarf"-- 4th in a Series from a Model

Last Wednesday was the fourth and final life painting session from the model, Sara. After painting three watercolors of her, I decided to paint a 14" x 11" oil during the last session, my first figure painting in oil. After a month of lay-down-the-wash-and-leave-it-alone watercolor, I gradually got the "feel" back for ooey gooey oil.  It was a rocky beginning, and I don't want to remember it, but after the fear of "I don't know what I'm doing." subsided, I found it quite fun!  So far, I've left off the earring on this figure, thinking it might detract.  Do you think I should give her earrings? The fresh air and wonderful weather of spring and summer always pull me out into the landscape during the day, but I think I'll continue to paint the figure in the evening at the art museum's "model" sessions.   ---Enjoy the weather!  Remember, I always like to hear your comments.

You can see all my paintings on my web site and also sign up for a monthly Newsletter of events and exhibits.

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Ralph Mason's Fiddle" which he made in 1925

Recently, I was commissioned to create an oil painting for WBAA, Purdue Public Radio's Spring Fund Raiser April 8th.  This public radio station, like many others, emphasizes music of all types, but especially classical and folk, or "old time", as well as jazz.  They wanted an image that would reflect that interest so I decided to create a portrait of a particular violin which was hand made in Brookston, IN in 1925.  It was made by Ralph Mason, my husband's great grandfather and was played for many years in Indiana.  During his life, he made about sixty fiddles.  He didn't play, but his father, who was in the Civil War, did.  Although I had never painted a musical instrument before, I enjoyed it thoroughly and would be delighted to have other commissions for musical instruments in the future.
The donors to the WBAA Fund Raiser will recieve note cards with this image on them.  So they can have the opportunity to see the original oil painting,  it will be on display at the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette for the month of April and then go into WBAA's collection. I hope you'll be able to visit the Art Museum of Lafayette to see this painting which is 11" x 14" in size.  You can also read about this painting and get the address and phone for the art museum on the "EVENTS" section of my web site "home page".

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Third in the Series of "Girl with the Black Ear Ring"

For the third of four sessions of painting from the model in the same costume, I decided to paint on one of the colored Twinrocker watercolor papers.  They make watercolor paper in White and four colors.  Ilove all the colors, but this is the palest and is called "Pale Dusty Rose" and is exactly that, a pale dusty rose color.  Also with this painting, I wanted to make the figure a little older looking and with a "mature character", i.e. not a twenty year old.  The paper color also made me want to change the color of her scarf and the white bloused to something more dramatic.  I could have painted the blouse with a White Titanium Dioxide, but white was just too close to the value of the paper.  Which figure do you like best and why?

Next week, I'm going to try to paint the same model in oil from a different pose. There are also new paintings on my web site  Have a good week, and remember that I enjoy hearing your comments.  Also, please share this blog with friends who might enjoy it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Another View of the Girl with the Black Ear Ring

A small group of artists are still painting from a model at the art museum in Lafayette, Indiana each week for four weeks, a three hour pose each week.  Everyone is painting in oil except me, as I'm still in my "watercolor month".  It's taking them all four sessions to finish one oil painting, but I'm finishing a watercolor each week.  This is my second "Girl with the Black Ear Ring."

This time I chose a Twinrocker White Watercolor paper with a "Feather Deckle", that is an exaggerated natural deckled edge that is rather decorative.  I think it's beautiful for images that are vignettes because it frames the painting beautifully.  I hope you like the painting as well as the paper.

Please forward this to others whom you think might enjoy the life of this papermaking/painting artist. Remember, you can now receive new posts by e-mail.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Painting the Same Landscape on Twinrocker Watercolor Paper

To warm up and get my watercolor juices flowing, before I painted on one of the three sheets of Fabriano handmade watercolor paper, I painted the landscape "High Creek Bank" on my own Twinrocker watercolor paper.  This was actually the first time I've ever painted the same subject on two different papers.  The two paintings weren't intended to look the same, but to be two individual interpretations of the same subject.

What I found was that the two handmade papers couldn't have been more different.  So let this be a lesson for us---all handmade papers are NOT alike.   The Fabriano watercolor paper was very soft and would not take any erasure of my initial drawing without abrading the paper fibers and making a dark mark when painting a wash on the area.  I actually had to abandon my first sheet and start over with no erasures of the pencil drawing.  The Twinrocker watercolor paper is very hard so it doesn't abrade and is very strong for any erasure or abuse from painting.  It's also very correctable so I could paint and lift paint when I wanted to remove or lighten an area.   And Twinrocker watercolor paper is surface (tub) sized with gelatin so it accepts watercolor washes easily.   However, after working with each paper and getting to know its characteristics, I certainly did enjoy painting on both of them.

If you know a art group or friend who might enjoy seeing these blogs, please forward this to them.  And remember that I always like to hear your comments.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Invitational Italian Watercolor Competition

The people of Fabriano in Italy have been making paper for several hundred years, 1400AD or so.  There were many small paper mills in the town of Fabriano before the Wars (WWI & WWII), but wars kill craftsmen, and so now there is only one mill called Fabriano, after the town itself.  All paper was made by hand before 1800, when the French invented the paper machine.  Today, Fabriano is a huge government/private partnership corporation which is, for the most part, a machine mill using both cotton and wood fibers.  It makes all the currency for Italy and many other countries as well as most of Italy's book papers, art papers, stationery, and on and on. However, to carry on the ancient tradition and craft of making paper by hand,  they have a small team of craftsmen who continue to hand dip a paper mould into a vat of cotton pulp, forming one individual sheet at a time, just as Twinrocker does in Brookston, Indiana.

This year the Paper & Watermark Museum in Fabriano is hosting their Biennial Invitational Watercolor Competition.  I have been invited to compete with twenty-nine other artists from Italy, Great Britain, Holland, Germany, India, and the USA.  We each received three sheets of Fabriano handmade watercolor paper and were asked to paint on the full 22" x 30" sheet, sending one completed watercolor.  I must add that most, if not all, of the Fabriano watercolor paper that's imported to the USA is machine made, and is radically different from their handmade.  

Many years ago, when Howard and I visited Fabriano, they invited me to make some paper at their vat, and it happened to be watercolor paper they were making that day.  The felts, on which they "couch" or transfer the newly formed wet layer of pulp, have been custom woven so that they have wool nubs sticking up in order to create an embossed roughness to the sheet.  This roughness, which is in the pattern of the weaving of the felt, is present in the Coldpressed surface and is unique in handmade papers world wide.   After many years, I now have an occasion to actually paint on that paper. I'm going into some detail about this unusual surface, because it is unique to Fabriano, and I think you can see the rough surface in this photograph.  This is the 30" x 22" image I painted on their paper.  As its title states, it is a "High Creek Bank" on the edge of a woods with many trees whose roots have become exposed from the rushing water of spring rains.
The thirty submitted watercolors will be augmented with some additional Italian watercolors by invited, non-competing artists which will all be exhibited in Italy and then travel to several other countries with a full color catalog.  The lucky winner will get 100 sheets of this paper, a one-person exhibition in Fabriano, and a two-week stay in Fabriano for the opening of the festivities.  One never knows what the future holds.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March Is My Watercolor Month

About two years ago, I got very interested in painting in oil after meeting some local oil painters.  Until then, I had only painted watercolor (which I still love).  So I amerced myself in this new medium (to me), fell in love with it, and didn't paint another watercolor until this month.  A few months ago, I was invited to compete in an international watercolor competition.  Now, all of a sudden, I had to submit the watercolor and I hadn't painted a single watercolor since, well you know...  So, consequently I decided that March would be my watercolor month, everything I painted had to be watercolor.

It's always good to stretch yourself by trying new things, and to also retrying something you haven't done for forty years?  How time flies, doesn't it!  Well, I know it is a good thing to do this, but I'm not sure it's good to put these fresh starts on one's blog.  But I think if blogs are to be a record of an artist's life, then it's good, but the viewer needs to see these visual efforts in the context of artistic stretching.

I did this very thing with my last blog at the Eiteljorg Museum when we painted from the model in Western get-up.  It was the first figure I ever painted, having not even drawn the figure since college until a month ago.  Oh my.  And I had to paint the figure in, you know, watercolor.   The cowboy was my first effort at this, and this portrait from the model is my second watercolor figure painting.  However, in this one, the watercolor juices are beginning to flow again, and I felt more comfortable with it.  It was just the portrait part that was new.  Hope you enjoy it.   Tomorrow I'll show you the painting I submitted to the international invitational competition.   If you'd like to see my watercolors before oil painting came into my life, just click on the link to my web site.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Painting from a Cowboy Model at the Eiteljorg Museum

I am so excited  that I was able to add this new "Receive This Blog by E-mail" feature so you don't have to search for it.  Just type in your e-mail address, and you'll get the newest blog by e-mail when ever I send one.  Then, if you want to see the past postings, you can go to my regular blog address.  I'll continue to show new drawings and paintings as well as share information on both handmade and machinemade artist papers.

After I posted yesterday's sketch of the cowboy at the Eiteljorg Museum of Western Art, I found a couple of photos of the model posing for the painters in the main corridor of the museum.  The visitors to the museum were quite surprised to see this art in action!  but loved it after the initial shock.

Here I am beginning a watercolor of the Black Cowboy model on Twinrocker's colored watercolor paper called "Patriot", which is a tan color.

And here's the finished watercolor:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Drawing & Painting at the Eiteljorg Museum of Western Art

On the last Saturday in February, the Indiana Plein Air Painters Assoc. (IPAPA) sponsored a Paint-IN at the Eiteljorg Museum of Western Art in Indianapolis.  This is a gorgeous museum of sand stone, limestone with huge wooden beams down the main corridor; and the collection of Western paintings is probably the most outstanding east of the Mississippi.   IPAPA members could either paint copies of paintings in the permanent collection or paint from a model dressed in Western costume.  I opted for drawing and painting from the model.  It was great fun with about ten painters crammed together with their easels on 5ft square drop cloths! There was one model in the morning and another in the afternoon.  Having never painted a figure in either oil or watercolor, I decided to ease into it by drawing a sketch of the "white/Anglo" cowboy in the morning and then painted a watercolor of the "black" cowboy in the afternoon.

This sketch is once again on Twinrocker "Yale" handmade text weight paper which I toned with a Raw Sienna watercolor wash.  The pencils are Prismacolor Verithin Black Terra Cotta #745.   The staff and visitors to the Eitlejorg Museum with lots of kids (it was a busy Saturday) absolutely loved watching all the artists painting in about three galleries with some of us and the models in the main corridor.  It was such a success that both IPAPA and the Eiteljorg will do it again.  Tomorrow I'll post my watercolor.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Drawing from the Model

For the past six weeks or so, several artists have been drawing from a model each Friday at the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette.  This is the drawing I did last Friday.  It's drawn with Prisma Verithin pencils as before and on toned Twinrocker "Cream" handmade paper.  The paper was "toned" with a very thin watercolor wash of DaVinci Raw Sienna Deep.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Male Portrait Study

Today's drawing is a little study, 5" x 5", done with  just graphite on an unusual Twinrocker handmade paper.  This paper is made from Abaca plant fiber rather than cotton rag.  Abaca is a type of banana leaf that is grown especially for making paper in the Philippines.  The old fashioned name for it was Manila Hemp because it replaced the use of hemp fiber for making an especially strong paper in Europe when sailing ships no longer used sails (which were made from hemp). Because Manila was the main city in the Philippines where Abaca was from, people commonly called the paper made from Abaca, Manila Hemp.  However, today we try to use the name Abaca because that is the true plant fiber this paper is made of, not hemp.  Other common machine made papers that are made of abaca are tea bags, Manila folders, and some toilet paper.  Because it is such a long, strong fiber, it has great folding and tearing strength even when the paper's very thin.  Microscopically, it also happens to have a very thin, smooth cell wall which can give the paper a slightly slick, surface which can be very nice for some drawing techniques. In the Philippines, the natural fiber is shipped "bleached" to a creamy off white color or in its natural "unbleached" tan color.  This little study was drawn on Twinrocker "Bleached Abaca", without any additional pigment, in the "Text weight" of .006" thick and with a Coldpressed surface.  It was a delight to draw on.  I hope you enjoy seeing it and try drawing on it yourself sometime if you haven't already.  Just go to Twinrocker's web site and call them M-F during the day.  They sell a great labeled Swatch Set of all their papers.

I hope you find these postings enjoyable and informative.  Your thoughts and comments are always appreciated.  Please forward this and tell your friends who might be interested about my blog, and you can see photos of all my paintings on my web site at

Monday, March 1, 2010

Drawing of a Woman----in homage to John Singer Sargent

I was pleased with the way my post uploaded yesterday and hope you enjoyed it.  Unfortunately, the color of the Twinrocker handmade paper seemed to look a bit grey when it actually is a very warm pale tan.  I guess it's difficult to get completely accurate color when I'm photographing a drawing in my studio under day-light fluorescents, even though I did set a custom White Balance on the Nikon 40 camera.

Today, I'm posting another drawing study, 12" x 10".  This time I've created a portrait interpretation of a female figure taken from a painting by John Singer Sargent.  I'm using the same Prismacolor Verithin pencils that I used in yesterday's drawing, but the Twinrocker handmade paper is different.  This drawing is done on Twinrocker "Cream", 100% cotton rag, handmade paper in a Text weight (.005-.007" thick).  I've toned the paper with a very, very dilute Yellow Ochre watercolor wash to create that uneven visual tone and cause the slight amount of shrinking when the paper dries which makes the paper have a beautifully supple surface.  This is the same paper and toning that the well known artist,  Robert Liberace, uses when he draws his figures.   I'll upload the photo and hope that the subtle color of the paper is a little more accurate than yesterday.

I think you can see the slight ripple in the surface of the paper from the shrinking during the drying of the watercolor wash and the irregular color that the toning of the wash adds to the "look" of the drawing.  I'm having fun doing these studies and hope you're enjoying them too.

Remember that I would enjoy your thoughts and comments.  This blog is very new; so if you have friends who might enjoy it, please forward it to them.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A New Commitment to my Blog

As you see, I haven't posted to my Blog since last October.  Trying to control the layout of the blog while also trying to upload several photos of paintings was exceedingly frustrating, so I just let it go and concentrated on other things.   The fall and winter have been very busy with quite a bit of painting and an exhibition at the Lafayette Art Museum, in Lafayette, IN.

In the last month or so, I've also gotten interested in drawing from the figure.  Since I have the most wonderful handmade drawing paper available when ever I want it from Twinrocker, you're probably wondering why I haven't been drawing on a regular basis.  All I can say is that I was so excited to be painting in oil that I didn't even think of spending serious time drawing.  The Lafayette Art Museum offers a Drawing Guild once a week where anyone can draw or paint from a model, and the group shares the model's fee.  I started to do this and am getting "hooked" on the delight in translating the gesture and energy of the model in raking light onto a sensuous handmade paper surface.

I'll post a drawing each day for a few days that I've done during the past month.  This first one was drawn with Prismacolor Verithin pencils, Black #747 and Terre Cuite #745.  The paper is Twinrocker "Yale", 100% cotton rag, Text weight, Coldpressed surface.  I "toned" the surface of the paper with a very,very pale Yellow Ochre watercolor wash in which the pigment is allowed to settle into a lovely irregular pattern as it dries on the paper.  This gives the paper surface a beautiful visual depth and also adds a very slight, sensual ripple to the paper surface (as the paper shrinks slightly from the drying of the watercolor wash), making the paper have a beautiful aliveness to it.  For me, it's much more fun to draw on this type of surface than a completely flat, anonymous one.

Well that's about all for today, I'll post another one tomorrow.  I hope you enjoyed this blog and will share my blog site and forward this blog to friends who might enjoy it also.  I'd appreciate receiving any thoughts you have or comments on this drawing if you'd like to share.  You can see more of my art work on my web site at