Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cathy Johnson, Graphics/Fine Arts, Excelsior Springs, Missouri

Cathy Johnson, Graphics/Fine Arts, Excelsior Springs, Missouri

If you are involved in art, or just doodle while on the phone, give Ms Kate's (what friends call her) website and classes a peek. Really. Even if you don't consider yourself an artist or sketcher, but love nature or the Urban-ness of your city. Very inspiring stuff!

She posts photos and scans of her work, along with slideshow demonstrations, prodigiously on Flickr and in several Yahoogroups; her own class Alumni group and other art groups such as Everyday Matters and Botanical Art and Naturalist Illustration.

Her newest online class, Keeping an Artist's Journal, will begin November 16, 2009. Take it with me?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Conga Players - Mill Creek Park

Yesterday was the 24th Worldwide Sketchcrawl! We were a little busy, being the day before my son's 7th Birthday party, but we managed a little time enjoying our city! After dropping R and her friend and mom off at the Plaza theater, we drove around a bit and settled on playing at Mill Creek Park. This 6 block-long park along Broadway/Nichols Parkway on the Eastern border of the Country Club Plaza and is home to the JC Nichols Fountain, a most recognizeable landmark. About half-way up the green, we found a pair of conga-players enjoying their rhythms and the mild air. As an amateur hand-drummer, myself, I could appreciate their complexity, stamina and joy in playing. My son enjoyed them, also, playing nearby and dancing for a while. The painted one was done in Photoshop with my new pen tablet, trying out different paintbrushes and blending modes. The text was "painted" on the page, also, using a calligraphy brush. Wonderful evening!

Cheers to all other sketchers!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Old Westport

Old Westport
Originally uploaded by SideShowMom.
This morning, after putting the kidlets on their bus, I went to the new drive-up coffee shop (there's in/outdoor seating, too) to wait for Blockbuster to open. Coffee and a rich blueberry muffin and some sketching and I was happy! And the pampas grass isn't too awful!

Friday, September 11, 2009

OH BOY!!!!

This post had a photo from Flickr imbedded in it. 
Cowboy, you'd better have that girth and hat on tight, 'cuz this ride's gonna be ... OMG!!!


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A Day Up North


Usually, in our neck of the country, Labor Day is a bit warm and sultry.  What a perfect day it was, 80ish, comfortable, slight breezes, foggy morning to start…perfect!  (Did I mention, perfect?)

The kids & I rode up to Smithville with Grandpa to use the car, but Ron wasn’t ready for us to fetch him, yet.  So, we headed up to the lake for some sketching and play!


We went to the Jerry Litton Visitor’s Center and I settled in at a picnic table to sketch while the kids played with the frisbee and ball they had gotten inside and looked for bugs & interesting things on the ground.  We found lots of “fairy handkerchiefs” and my aging camera caught the occupant of one.  Rianna also managed to find a grasshopper that sat still for her and a toad that they both got to hold!

DSCN9602If you can’t see this master of disguise, click the photo to go to Flickr and I’ll give you a hint!


Some other critters we found…





DSCN9618Next, we headed back into Smithville and played at Rotary Park.  I let the kids climb on the caboose…then saw the words painted on the caboose. “Do not climb or play on caboose.”  Oops!  So we went to the playground.  Playing, being hard work, pleas for food soon followed.

smithvillesquareNext stop, town square.  Fritos and bananas and playing on the stage were good.  Fortunately, it was too early for any of the antique shops to be open!

By then, Ron was ready to be rescued from his laptop, so we fetched him and headed over to Weston.


CottonwoodWeston Bend State Park, scene of many adventures in our family, including the dramatic 3 hour wait for my sister to come up from the city to fetch us when the Weltemobile-at-the-time broke near the beaver pond, set in lush Platte County, was our destination.  For some reason, the playground there has particular appeal to the kids…don’t know why, it’s a typical modern playground.  So, we did that for a while.  Geordan brought me a Cottonwood leaf to draw.  Cranky kids forced a scene change, so we went to explore the tobacco barn.

Tobacco Barn - Weston Bend

Tobacco is still grown in northern Missouri and sold in Weston every year.  Not for the cigarette companies, though, I think for pipe tobacco.  There were a few plants growing next to the barn and the door is open to see the framework inside for hanging the stakes the plants are dried (cured) on.  Someone was busily eating the 4-foot plants and I managed to photograph some eggs under a leaf.Pumpkins & Tobacco at Weston BendTobacco Leaf with Eggs

After a tour ‘round the campground to pick a likely spot for a future trip, we headed back to town. 

Friday, September 04, 2009

EDM #168 - My News

EDM #168 - My News
Originally uploaded by SideShowMom.
I broke down and bought a Watercolor Moleskine - pocket-sized. I was frustrated that I don't have room to tear down full sheets of watercolor paper to make a new sketchbook and missed drawing! So...

Here's where I get my news, KCUR, the local NPR affiliate. I can't stand to watch local news on TV and newsprint makes my hands feel awful. It's not complete local coverage, but it's pretty good! Love Walt Bodine!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Birmingham Child Care Examiner: Share this poem with preschool parents: nothing in my bag today

Birmingham Child Care Examiner: Share this poem with preschool parents: nothing in my bag today

Posted using ShareThis

I have an account on a site called morgueFile that I share my photographs on. A morgue file is a place where publications keep photographs and other related resources they used or may yet use in articles or for publication. The site is a photo-reference bank for artists, authors, journalists and others looking for just the right image without breaking the bank to pay for it. I have about 1,200 photos listed and catalogued there and, someday, I will add the references I've gotten there to my portfolio. It's neat to see my work used to illustrate articles on childcare, charity, women's shelters, books for increasing happiness in your life. I feel useful and like I have contributed to Society with my photographs. This columnist emailed me her article link this morning!

Friday, January 09, 2009

A Bottle of Ink

2009-5My favorite inks are Noodler's Bulletproof Black and Lexington's a love-hate relationship, though.  I bought myself some Lamy Safari fountain pens last year for my birthday (?) and the inks were highly regarded by other sketchers and Moleskine enthusiasts.  They are waterproof on cellulose materials and wash off of others, making them good for mailing addresses, checks, important signatures and pen and ink sketches...if you're patient.  Those who know me know that "patience" isn't my strong suit.  If the conditions are humid, it takes a while to dry enough not to smear or run when painted over.  I love to write and draw with it and the pens, so, I wait.

Lexington GreyAt the top of the label in this tiny sketch, you can see where the ink smeared when I tried to wash a tiny bit of blue over it.  It had been drying for an hour. 

Last night, I got out my bundle of Sakura Pigma Micron pens, my first favorite pens before I got the Lamys.  I'll carry them around for a back-up when I'm out and don't want to wait for the ink to dry.  In the meantime, I'm going to check out my sketchbook papers, maybe the sizing is interfering with the ink absorption?  Maybe some of the paper isn't cellulose?  I used two new types in this sketchbook, made for Utrecht by Canson, I think.  In the process of testing my pens (there were some older ones in the bunch), my kids decided they liked them, too, my daughter wants her own, to buy with her Christmas money.  We'll make a pilgrimage to Utrecht this weekend...and maybe stop off at Creative for a tube of Daniel Smith watercolor along the way!

Monday, January 05, 2009

EDM #7 - Draw a Container From Your Kitchen

EDM #007 - Parsley JarGlass jars are fun to find in different shapes, sizes and colors. I have picked up interesting ones since I started getting allowances. I don't say I collect them, I don't buy them for any particular reason other than they're pretty or I have something that needs a jar...but I do have a few. These (I have four) are just small, 8 oz or so, clear jars with plastic gasketed lids for bulk spices & herbs, this one has parsley, another has thyme. There's a World Market store up the street that carries them for about $1 each.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Art and Trains

We finally got to see Art in the Age of Steam at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art!  Wonderfully represented works in different periods of art and stages of steam travel development!  When my money order finally gets to Flickr, I'll organize my albums a bit and you can see some of the wonders of modern rail equipment that I've captured over the years.  In the meantime, enjoy my rendition in miniature (about 1 1/2 x 1 inch) of Monet's Gare d'Argenteuil in pencil and ink.  After Monet

Claude Monet, French, 1840-1926
Gare d'Argenteuil, 1872

Oil on canvas
Unframed: 18 3/4 x 28 inches (47.63 x 71.12 cm) Framed: 34 3/4 x 36 1/2 x 3 3/8 inches (88.27 x 92.71 x 8.59 cm)

Musée de Luzarches, Conseil Général du Val d'Oise, Cergy-Pontoise, 106.2008

Argenteuil was about eight miles northwest of Paris. By train it was only a short journey from the city center. Monet lived at Argenteuil from 1871 to 1878, and this is the first of several views he made of the station. He painted it not long after dawn, probably in one sitting, and applied the paint in broad and vigorous brushstrokes.

<a href=";theme=Exhibition"></a>

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year


My first drawing of the year!  Let's see if I can get back in the habit!

5 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches, cp wc, 4 x 4 grid, pigma micron &amp; noodler's in my hand-bound sketchbook.


I grew up around rodeos.  My parents kept their horses at and my dad worked at Benjamin Stables in KC.  As a kid, I went to the Kansas City Rodeo, state fairs &amp; the American Royal.  Usually during the event, there would be some cowboy or rodeo clown riding a trained Brahma bull (that's BRAY-mah), similar to riding zebras or other wild animals, completely a novelty.  Brahman cattle, natives of the Indian sub-continent, are used to cross with beef cattle for leaner meat (correct me if this is wrong!) and for their ability to withstand drought conditions.  This fellow (properly, a BRAH-mah) is a Schleich toy, about 3 inches tall at the hump, waiting for his new brown coat on top of my monitor.

Noodler's Lexington Grey in my Lamy Vista on cold-pressed wc paper, gridded.