It has come to my attention that no one except Phyllis and Judi posted their sketches from our day at 2nd Street Salon. So I just found a couple that I did that day, added some color and scanned them. A very belated thank you to Bristol and the girls for allowing us to sketch and sip as we got beautified. And a very belated "Post your sketches!" to my fellow sketchers.
Here's one that I did ages ago of Chava as I waited for my highlights to materialize.
The rhododendron "Mavis Davis" was in her full glory at Meerkerk Gardens a couple of weeks ago. Basking in the sunshine in shades of apricot, pink and gold, she seemed to be holding court as we gathered round and paid homage to her charms. This is my version.
We Sketchers get to do wonderful things, like spending an afternoon at the incredible home of Anne Ferry and Patrick Brennan, and Gloria Ferry-Brennan; a compound sort of 1/2 hobbit house, half gypsy caravan, tucked deep in the woods in Freeland, and blooming with color all around. After a walk through a forest trail, we emerged into a sunlit glade where our host and hostess showered us with warm hospitality, fed us hot-out-of-the-oven pizza, freshly baked chocolate cake and let us sketch anywhere we wanted in their colorful, eclectic fairy-lighted home! I felt like I had been transported into the pages of a children's book! Lucky little girl, Gloria, growing up there. It is no wonder she is stepping onto the world stage with her violin. She and it are covered with pixie dust from growing up in the magic!
Got this much done on site (between slices of pizza). Phyllis and I decided it was definitely whimpy and needed punching.
So this morning I punched it aggressively, with layers of wash (and one fairly obnoxious, staining green). Better, though.
Well, one sketch of the day done. This one, the Laburnum Arch at Bayview Farm & Garden. I forgot to leave room for detail insets, so I improvised. Actually, I rather like the idea of audience participation art.
Sketch - before. I forgot that I wanted to put in detail insets.
Sketch, after. Well, that fixed it. And it is always fun to open flaps.
Today it was as though we had travelled to the French countryside to an enchanted garden. Goddess' everywhere were splashing paint and scribbling away attempting to capture the magic. Several little buildings were scattered about the landscape, each one a place for making art of some kind. Our hostess, Anne, quietly produced delicious handmade pizzas and chocolate cake from her oven and served it in the garden near the inviting fire. Meanwhile host Patrick engaged us with conversation of beings so amazing that no one could even believe in them! And the inevitability of it all, and how the past and future create our present moment. The day was rich and vibrant, and I consider the WISks to be a bunch of Lucky Ducks. We get to visit such amazing environments and people while we do the thing we love to do......sketch! Thank you Anne and Patrick!
The famous Laburnum Arbor at Bayview Farm and Garden is so magnificent, it is humbling. Kind of makes you want to stand there under the arbor and belt out Ave Maria or something, assuming you could actually sing. Which I can't. It's now a major tourist attraction, featured in national magazines. I tried to capture just a small section of it with the intertwined climbing roses, while trying to stay out of the way of tourists getting their pictures taken under the arbor and nursery workers wheeling carts down the aisles. Hats off to owner Maureen Murphy, an amazing artist of the garden.
At the end of a memorable afternoon in the Ferry Brennan garden of astonishing art and whimsy, the final few sketchers sat around the fire basking in Anne and Patrick's warm hospitality. We dined on Anne's home made pizza and chocolate cake, drank wine, laughed, and talked of many things, including the future, the past, the Goddess, being seen, and the inevitability of it all. I've never drawn a fire before - it was exhilarating! A really beautiful experience. Thank you again, Anne and Patrick.
To our most gracious magical and loving hosts, Anne & Patrick, a hearty "thank you!" A fine Friday afternoon sketching with us all scattered about the Ferry-Brennan expansive gardens and buildings. Such a fun day ... the creativity abounds. This sketch is too large for my printer, so I had to chop it in half ... but it's a riff off their home, the mountains, clouds, sea painted on their home ... and a chicken I found in the green house, a painting I found in Patrick's studio ... all combined in a comic book Dali kind of a way. Being around these creative folks, I just didn't want to draw a straight line. You'd understand.
Why Did the Chickens Cross the Road?
"Talk to the Hand"
I didn't intend this sketch to have the "Talk of the Hand" motif, but it just turned out that way! Go figure!
The day felt like a day of sketching, wining and enjoying Anne's home made pizza and chocolate cake in a French countryside villa. Oh joyous day!
Yes, I usually seek a quiet location to sketch. Listening to the buzz of the bees and the whisper of the wind is part of the plein air process.
But looking through my sketchbook today makes me realize that sometimes my subject matter is dictated by a lively conversation that I am "drawn" to. I'm likely to sit near a fun person or an interesting conversation, then find that there's always something lovely to sketch. But the other sketchers - oh, they are the loveliest of all.
Out laundry sketches become a marker in time and place in our little world - kind of like Van Gogh and Gauguin at the yellow house in Arles.
Our afternoon at Meerkerk Gardens was blissfully peaceful. The air was the perfect temperature, a whisper of a tiny breeze, bees buzzing, birds chirping, and beauty in every direction. My first sketch was a communion with Mavis Davis, an outrageous salmon/orange rhodie. It felt like we were having an intimate conversation as my eyes followed her contours and my hand attempted to follow. My second sketch was a broader scene, in which not only was I lost in the landscape, but I was also trying to practice not drawing every little leaf. These sketches help me recall the peaceful bliss of the day.
It probably gets tiresome hearing us say "another great day of sketching and partying with great friends" week after week after week, but it's the truth. That's what Fridays have become. Whidbey Island Sketchers has become a family - the kind of family that nourishes your spirit and that you're always glad to see. This Friday we gathered at Pat's place. There is beauty and whimsy everywhere, thanks to Pat's vision, creativity and years of hard work. But many of us drew her laundry on the line. How othen do you get to draw clotheslines? I think she hung it especially for our drawing pleasure. Cause that's what family does, eh? Thanks, Pat, for creating such a beautiful space. We will miss it when you move, but I'm confident the next place will be even better.
Linens on the Line
Barb was dressed for a fancy garden party that she was going to later in the afternoon. She was looking rather regal as she listened to Kim's coaching on matters of the heart. Barb's long neck and fun head gear always makes her an attractive sketching subject to me.
Barb: Woman in Gold
I pulled out the sketchbook again at dinner at Portico, our new Latin bistro.
Okay! It's time for me to catch up on posting images. I'm working in a small sketchbook these days, so the images are both small and span over two pages. It's fun to do small tho this paper is thin and wrinkly. The best part about these sketches, I must say, was the experience of being with such a fabulous friendly group of talented women. I painted Pat's Clothesline because other sketchers did and I thought it would be fun to see how each of us do it differently.
Spent the day with the Sketchers in Pat Brookes lovely back yard. Last time (?) before they turn it over to the new owners. Very pleasant, and groomed so beautifully. I came home and looked at my yard with a highly critical eye, and the sinking feeling that I am losing the battle rapidly. I MUST GET GARDENING HELP!!!!!!!
Finally figured out how to sign-in and post so here is a way overdue set of paintings from my last 3 excursions with the sketchers. I love sketching with all of you! What a wonderful way to spend a Friday afternoon.
Lots of laughter at the alpaca farm with these huge animals almost sitting in our laps.
Never knew a hair salon could be so much fun.
Meerkerk Gardens is gorgeous. So wonderful to sit in the sun and paint with all the sketchers.
Fifteen Whidbey Island Sketchers enjoying the day in the brilliant sunshine, birds singing, a warm breeze, high on the bluff overlooking Saratoga Passage, Baby Island, the Cascade Mountains, and acres of rhododendrons in bloom. All colors, from dark purple through gold, white pink, red and coral. Heavenly!!