Thursday, August 6, 2015

Satchel for Sketching in real life.

Pretty: Artwork

       Trying to rekindle my art, I read a biography of E. H. Shepard, who drew the original pictures for the Winnie the Pooh books. I was struck by Shepard's life long practice of drawing all the time!  He just drew everywhere!  On whatever he had! On both sides of all kinds of scraps of paper! All the people and exciting happenings and characters around him!

 I'm trying to make my art fit my real life rather than changing my life to accomodate art. 
So---I pulled together my art essentials to make this old satchel a grabbable art kit! The leather bag is military surplus from somewhere in Europe. I've had it since high school.  It's beginning to crack, but I'll use it as long as I can.  The stamp is too faded to read.

All that stuff fits into the satchel, (9.5x8x2.5") which has a shoulder strap.  Pencil, ink, paint; plein art, illustration; I'm ready. 

I've started working more on real watercolor paper.  I don't really want all my sketches to be on the edges of church bulletins and crowded round about with notes about other things.  This sketching is all the art I have time for!  I might as well set myself up to do it in a way that will be satisfying.  This way, if I get a drawing I like, I don't have to tear or cut it out of something, or leave it cloistered in a notebook, or sacrifice whatever is on the back of the page.  I can put it up on the wall, give it away, ink it or paint it.

At the moment, I'm working on a little booklet that will have recipes and instructions for baking bread.  It's for a little class coming up where I pretend I'm a live cooking show for a few friends. 

Happy: a clear work space!
This is my secretary, a piece of furniture that I mildly hate.  It is about as big as our refrigerator, though much less useful. I have thought about painting it.  Fie on faux wood panelling! Most of it is oak, varnished and slightly spattered with stain.  Was the natural oak grain not grainy enough? It's a little too high to actually work at, so I mostly just pile things on it.

I have lately, however, been keeping it straight more of the time! This is a miraculously tiny amount of stuff for this space! There are bottles of ink in that little box.  My parents shop at Trader Joe's a lot, and they just have the best packaging.  I begged the box off of them when they'd finished the chocolate that came in it.

Unfortunately, the second picture of the secretary is the after. When people come over, I panic and pile and stuff.  It was our day to have the whole beautiful little pile of children at our house, and I haven't undone from that.  I did, however, manage to keep up with dishes through the day, and that is something to celebrate!
The whole area is waay better than it used to be. 
See the pencil sharpener?  I screwed it right on to the secretary.  It was mounted in a closet when we bought the house!  What a deal, right?  I'd been looking for one just like this for a long time, and it's great! It sharpens any size pencil.  It does not sharpen crayons.

Gibbie caught us a whole walleye dinner in June, fishing on the St. Croix. We fried them up, for our family plus a couple guests, and were able to offer some seconds!

Funny: The kids love to make a huge mound of bubbles when they do the dishes.  I think Ezra is about to do them here.  That's why he's so happy.  William is mad, even though all he has to do is straighten shoes, the easiest job in the world.   Some people, not mentioning any names, like to blow the bubbles all over the kitchen.

Real: Can't find the kids?  Look up. This is a pear tree, climbed to avoid picking cherries last month.

 I've noticed quite a few people basically don't want kids to climb trees much.  As in, see a kid in a tree, tell them to get down. I'm not sure whether the concern is for the children or the tree, but it doesn't bother me too much.  We do try to avoid trees that are very small!  If the branches are bending down when climbed, let that tree get bigger!
Anyhow, happy summer!