This year, my usual late summer gardening has been pre-empted by an enormous and time-consuming illustration assignment. Despite being neglected and left to its own devices while the gardener sits hunched over the drawing table from dawn to dusk, the garden just goes right ahead without me. Things are blooming, whether or not there are witnesses.
The larger beds are cleared, and wait to be spaded and mulched and planted with our winter vegetables. That will happen next week, when my drawing assignment finally comes to its conclusion. But in the smaller beds, an abundant tangle of herbs and flowers shows no sign of slowing down with the end of the season. Here are a few of my late bloomers, in ink and watercolor.
I’ve divided the Builders’ Show posts into three digestible chunks, with sketchbook doodles to accompany each bite. The show is vast (housed in the nation’s second largest meeting venue, the two-million-square-foot Orange County Convention Center) and so we spent hours hiking long miles of elaborate product displays, attending the continuous lectures and seminars, and venturing out into the surrounding county to visit actual concept houses.
Highlights this year included a top-secret sneak preview of Dell‘s new waterproof, smashproof, drive-your-car-over-it-proof “Rugged Laptop.” After seeing it during a lecture by Dell marketing chief Mark Jarvis, we got up close and personal with this new super-tough computer at Dell’s exhibit. It’s heavy. It’s square. It looks like the lovechild of a laptop and a Hummer H2. And, with an estimated price tag around $3,000 it has premium pricing in common with the Hummer. But you really CAN drive your car over it, according to the helpful Dell representative manning the booth.
“In the future, everybody will be world-famous for fifteen minutes.” – Andy Warhol
Today, amazon.com began accepting pre-orders for an upcoming book designed and edited by Dawn DeVries Sokol. The scheduled publication date for 1000 Artist Journal Pages is July 1 of next year, and three pages of the thousand are from my own personal journal. So I guess Mr. Warhol was right.
Here are the pages that were selected for inclusion in the book:
The first and second image were written about travels. The third was a critique of the three coffee houses in the little town where I lived. Inspired by a large accidental coffee ring on the right side of the page spread, it provided a first-second-third ranking with positive marks for quirky clientele and demerits for such unpardonable sins as using Hershey’s syrup to make mochas. Of course, never suspecting that anyone much would ever see the words, I had the local bookstore’s brew trailing the others in last place. Alas, no book signing events for me…
Diane Schuller at the wonderful Sand to Glass, Word Cafe tagged me in my first-ever meme. Its rules are:
· When tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you.
· Then post the rules before your list, and list eight random things about yourself.
· At the end of the post you must tag and link to eight other people.
My tags are:
Charlotte at Casa de Charlotte della Luna
Linda at Sketched Out
Helena at Little Sketches
Robin at Bumblebee Blog
Sonia at The Psychotic Hobbyist
Jolynna at Turkey Creek Lane
Miki at Coffee Cup Club
If you love the rustic look of woodcut prints, you’ll love using botanical rubber stamps you design and make yourself. An envelope made of repurposed brown bag paper– then stamped with your handcarved garden motif — makes the coolest seed packet in the known universe. Here’s a quick tutorial on the process. Fun!
You will need: Some paper, a Magic Rub white rubber eraser, a v-gouge linoleum cutter or X-Acto knife, a 2B pencil or a fine-tipped marker and some nail polish remover. You might need a tablespoon — more on that in a minute. And you’ll need a stamp pad.
1. Sketch or trace a simple design on a small piece of paper… copy paper or tracing paper, anything fairly lightweight. Plan your stamp to fit on the surface of your Magic Rub eraser. Make your lines clean and bold, and avoid tiny details.
2. Now it’s time to transfer your artwork to your white rubber at eraser. There are two ways to accomplish this. Try each, and decide which works best for you. One way is to go over your design in black fine-tip marker, place it face-down over your Magic Rub eraser, and rub the back of the paper with a cotton ball dipped in fingernail polish remover or acetone. (Use good ventilation. Fumes aren’t good for you.) The other method, which I use, is to use a 2B pencil for your design, then simply place it face-down on the white eraser and burnish the back of the paper with a tablespoon. The pencil transfers nicely to the eraser, and you don ‘t have to avoid breathing while accomplishing your goal!
3. Time to carve. Cut away the negative space, leaving the lines of your design in place. Go slowly, and work in good strong light. A v-gouge, made for carving linoleum blocks and available at your local art supply store, will provide smooth and easy cutting. But you can do a very creditable job with an ordinary X-acto knife. You’ll need to cut at an angle, to allow you to remove slices of the eraser. Sacrifice an old eraser for the purpose of practicing this technique before tackling your design.
Hooray! You’re done. Ink your stamp generously on a color stamp pad and start stamping. This activity is highly addictive, and soon you’ll have an entire collection.