Saturday, December 13, 2014

week one

Week one in Jane's class was "designs from the garden". Not much left alive in my garden in December, but I found a rhododendron that was still green. I worked with an 8x magnifying loupe and had great fun looking and drawing.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sketchbook designs

Here are 3 more pages from this weeks lesson. Combine realistic and stylized drawings on page. This week's theme is "from the mountains" but I found most of my objects in my yard and walking around my neighborhood. I have also experimented a bit with stamps and simple prints from pine trees.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Online Course

I've been too busy drawing to post. Working in my sketchbook, with online course by Jane Lafazio called "Designs from Life". We draw a variety of objects from life and then experiment with simplifying into design motifs. True enjoyment... focus, slow, details, bold, imagine, draw. I'll post some pages over the next few days.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

more from sketchbook skool

I just finished my sketchbook skull "beginnings" class. It was a great 6 weeks. It really pushed me to keep drawing, and to try new things. One week between new lessons barely felt like enough time to explore the learnings and then I was off to something new. Even though I was eager to see the next lesson, I think I would have enjoyed having two weeks to explore and draw between the lessons. Here are a few more views from my lessons.

this is the clutter corner in my kitchen!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Palm Leaf Poetry Books--a classroom project

I've already written about the squash-fold hanging poetry books here and here and here. Those were done in a joint project with 2nd and 6th grade classrooms (working in mixed-age pairs). Here's another classroom project I did with the same pair of teachers, two years earlier. Again, it was part of their poetry writing unit. I wrote about it briefly once before, but am updating it to include instructions.

Based on the palm-leaf books of SE Asia, our hanging books had 4 "pages" with mat-board covers top and bottom. We first discussed possible layouts of text and illustrations, and then made draft pages on copy paper sheets in pencil. Second grade students used pages with lines for their text; sixth graders used blank pages. Books were woven together with waxed linen thread leaving a long tail with a button at the top, both for hanging and to wrap around the folded pages when closed. Pages were made from white tag board; covers were cut from colored mat-board. All covers and pages were cut and pre-punched at my local printers. Labels were designed by the students, usually a title on one cover, their name on the other.

Want to try this project in your own classroom? Download instructions, draft sheets and printing sheets here.

Here are some examples of students' books:

Here is a hand-out I made that shows possible layouts of text and illustration.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sketchbook Skool

I've been taking the "beginnings" course from Sketchbook Skool. The first of 3 current offerings. I'm in week 4, and am really enjoying it. It's a six-week online course, and each week features a different teacher that uses a sketchbook in their own creative practice. I love the diversity of approaches, and am learning lots of helpful tips about sketching on the go. It's a nice change to be drawing from life (outside, buildings, natural objects, household items etc) instead of creating from my imagination. Check out their website:

Here are a few of my sketches from the homework assignments:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Etsy Shop Update

New notecards and archival prints now available in my Etsy shop. All images from my Pilgrimage series of watercolor paintings of the Baha'i gardens in Haifa Israel.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

tea houses

I am trying to revive my blog by posting more often, so you can catch up with all my sketchbook fun from the summer...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lara's garden

My neighbor moved away, but I still get to enjoy the flowers she planted in our yard.

from my sketchbook.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Museum Book Instructions

Someone recently asked me to share instructions for making the Museum Book. Click here to download my new instruction sheet. The book has 4 "galleries", each telling part of the story. The floor of each gallery folds up. A ribbon-tie can be added under each cover so the book can be tied closed, or open. I also added pop-up figures on the sides.

You can also see a photo of me learning how to use a Guatemalan back strap loom, like the one in my book.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

repeat patterns

Playing with repeat patterns from my watercolor flower drawings. The spacing in the blue pattern is more balanced because the original drawing was more square-shaped. The original pink design was more rectangular-shaped. It took forever, but I learned a lot.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

Friday, January 3, 2014


As the world turns white, my drawings are turning decidedly green...