Saturday, November 14, 2009

I spent a chunk of the day at Coles Book Store in Cherry Lane Mall signing copies of my book. It was great. I sold a some books, met some great people, and got a little sketching done to boot! If you missed it, I’m there again tomorrow, and at Mosaic Books in Kelowna in early December.

As I’m sitting in Coles Book Store, our Grand Re-Opening of our Chatters Salon is happening next door. We’ve been giving free cuts all day to raise money for a new CT Scan at the hospital here in town. There was a huge line up by the time we opened the doors at nine, and it’s been building ever since. The wait is a couple/few hours, and people are waiting. The stylists have been handling it like champions; quick pace but still doing great work. Lots of happy people (with great new hair!) are walking out of here today. The stylists are coming out into the mall common to catch a quick break. We have 8 chairs at this salon, and 10 stylists today, and they’re in constant motion. Go team! We ended up pulling in over $1,000 in donations.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day 2 of the WSBJ Workshop at the PAG

Today was the 2nd half of my workshop at the Penticton Art Gallery. We went over the successes and challenges of their sketchbook experiences of the week, and then we set loose in and around the gallery. The current exhibit in the main gallery was perfect for sketching - very textural 3 dimensional work in a variety of materials. Between this and the Japanese garden behind the gallery, there was no shortage of complex subject matter! I really enjoyed this whole workshop experience. The group was fun and very keen. Some really great sketches have emerged already, and I think there’s some real interest to keep some kind of sketch group going. Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Eduardo Salavisa talks about sketchbooks

I love what he says about sketchbooks being different from individual drawings. I'm going to show this at my Sketchbook Journaling Workshop today - then head outside, because it's BEAUTIFUL out there today. Drawings to come!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hey, I can see our house from here!

I asked the people in my workshop to keep a sketchbook this week, and I suppose I can’t be the exception! It’s good - it’s reminding me to take a moment out in the middle of a busy time and fill up my creative cup. Side benefit - you can’t think about profit margins when you’re trying to figure out what colour a clump of leaves are. That thing that looks like a giant peach in the left foreground really IS a giant peach. It’s the concession stand at the beach in front of our house.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Virtues of Foot Sketches

As this page reads, I spent a fair amount of time in the workshop talking about the virtues of sketching ones own feet. They are handy subjects: always available, interesting without being too complicated. The view out the window was spectacular, but quickly became overwhelming. I showed them Danny Gregory’s book, and how he started with a line drawing of his medicine cabinet. Keep it simple Shweetheart ;-).

Workshop at the Penticton Art Gallery

After a month of being consumed by business, it was a real pleasure to put it all aside and go teach a workshop at the Penticton Art Gallery on Watercolour Sketchbook Journaling. We had a great group; 8 eager future sketchbook addicts. It was a bit gloomy outside, so we stayed in the tearoom at the gallery, which has no shortage of interesting things to sketch. Lots of people tried sketching the view out the window, which was very complex. I started talking about how to approach simplifying a complex scene, and since there was a sketchbook nearby, it ended up as a little demo. The garden just outside the tearoom is phenomenal. This sketch was about 5-10 minutes. I could spend 5-10 weeks sketching in that garden.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I kept driving past this spot, thinking “That’d be a great place to stop and paint”. I love how the vineyards undulate as they go - It has that great twisted corduroy look to it. This morning we woke up early and we were out of coffee cream. Clearly I HAD to go out. Drive through coffee in hand, I drove up here. I nestled my chair in a the grassy shoulder on a side road, Yogi at my feet, and sketched this. The two towers on the right side are Lakeshore, where we live.

This winery has such a great feel to it. They pipe great 60’s and 70’s music into the vineyards, and are VERY dog friendly. Yogi got treats. So did I - a very nice taste of white - I forget the grape now. See!! That’s why we need to carry wine journals with us! The owner’s name is Prudence (as in Dear) I’ve been humming ‘Ruby Tuesday’ all day. Hey, it IS Tuesday! How fitting. Must have been meant to be.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Ironman Canada Start From Our Balcony

The start of Ironman Canada. It's a 3.8 K swim, 180 K bike, and 42 K run. That's a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26 miles for you non-metric folks. We're usually knee deep in the water, cheering them on, but this year we're in the comfort of our home. It's always a beautiful, emotional moment watching these athletes begin their journey. Love it. Top finishers will be in this afternoon, but the race continues on until midnight. Congrats to all who are here - including the thousands of volunteers who make it all possible!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Life Drawing with Masks and Cape

I recovered from my 'dental assault' enough to make it to life drawing last night.  First time I've made it two weeks in a row since I think before Christmas.  It was good - I felt like I was in the groove.  

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Post Dentist Leer

Post Dentist Leer
Originally uploaded by sketchalina
I'm seriously frozen. My face feels like a catcher's mitt. I'm soooo close to finished putting my book together, but I just can't do it right now. I'm going to bed. I think I'll be done by Friday - then it's just to print!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Almost There!

A couple more pages from my 'On Keeping a Watercolour Sketchbook Journal' project.  It's all done now, except for assembling the examples and a bit of lettering on the final page.  Now I just have to get it all properly scanned and printed.  I also need to get my website set up and functioning, since the  address is in the book.  In ink.  No turning back.

I've asked some of my favorite sketchbook artists to let me use one of their sketches in the example section, and pretty much all of them have come back with a yes!  Thank-you all!  Just seeing what other people are doing in their journals is always motivating, and these particular people and journals are, well you just have to see them.  

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Painting Workshop in Wells

I just got back from an amazing four day oil painting workshop in Wells, BC.  It was with Susan Madsen, who's work can be found at  Yogi came with, as did Rhean (hot pink mohawk life drawing model from earlier post) to puppy sit during the day while I was in class, and to have an adventure.  We took my camper and stayed at the Cariboo Joy Campground.  Interesting spot.  More about that later.  We all had a great time, met lots of wonderful new people, sang around the campfire and roasted marshmallows and weenies.  Here are a couple of the paintings that I did.  I'm now in love with oil paints.  We got back at about 2 in the morning, and I spent my day setting up an oil painting studio in the basement of Greg's building.  I can't say enough about how good the workshop was.  If you paint and you ever get a chance to go to one of Susan's workshops, do it.  It was inspiring, instructive, really well laid out.  Thanks Susan!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Canada Day Air Show and Fireworks

It's Todd's birthday today, but we celebrated yesterday, Canada Day, with a big BBQ at our place.  We had about 18 people for dinner.  Right after we ate, this fantastic little air show appeared right in front of us!  (Just like we planned.  Happy Birthday Todd ;-).  We watched from the deck, then went down to watch the fireworks from the beach.  The people are just starting to gather in this pic.  By the time we went down it was shoulder to shoulder.  Drunk teens, cops, families, jugglers, the entire cast, most with flags or glow in the dark rings around their necks.  The pyrotechnics were a bit weak.  I just kept looking at them thinking 'how would i capture that in my sketchbook?'  At the end Miss Lily (6) looked up and said 'is that it?'  If you can't impress a 6 year old, you're not that impressive.  But, fun was had by all.

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day!
Originally uploaded by sketchalina
I had a great time sketching in Gyro Park on Canada Day.  Yogi was with me, drinking my painting water and standing on my palette (I'm still picking bark mulch out of it), but being good company non the less.  He's still the friendliest puppy in the world.  Everybody loves him (especially me).

Of course right now he's driving me crazy - throwing his tennis ball under the love seat I'm sitting on, then barking for me to retrieve it. 'You're the retriever, Yogi, not me.  Oh, alright, just one more time.'

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dread-Mullet Girl

life drawing june 24 1
Originally uploaded by sketchalinaLife Drawing at the Hermesh House. This model had cool "dread mullet" hair. She had a gypsy, hippie, fruit picker vibe about her that was lovely. I chose watercolour just to push myself to be quicker with it. My mission for the evening was to do more of the drawing in pen rather than pencil, not get all hung up on whether it was 'right' or not, but to be a little more expressive with line. I got a little piece of that, but when we all shared our drawings at the end, I again was blown away by how loose and creative some of the other artists are. Hmmm. I wonder if some of their sketches might just slip into my bag by mistake on the way out the door?! That wouldn't make me a bad person, would it?? ;-)

Seriously, next time? I'm going to loosen up. Promise. More expressive lines, less gripping the pen/brush too tightly. Although, I think there's lots of stuff here that was working for me too. The eyelet was fun. It's always feels good just to be there, playing and in the company of other creative people.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Drawing Demystified

A few pages from the book I'm working on.  The book is called 'On Keeping A Watercolour Sketchbook Journal'.  I'm having great fun making it.  Should be about 20 pages of hand written and illustrated content by the time I'm done.  These three pages make up the section on drawing.  I've just finished the pages on adding colour as well - will upload those sometime soon.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Silver Lake

Our latest camping trip was to a place called Silver Lake that we heard about from John (Greg's son) and his friends.  It's a little off the grid.  There's a Forestry Education camp there, but no commercial campground, plug-ins or showers or anything.  There are a handful of lovely spots nestled in the trees, a little lake with no power boats on it, and that's about it.  We did a little fishing off the pier, and rowed our lovely new yacht, pictured here, all around the lake.  We're getting the van set up just right - there are some good meals coming out of there - the bed set up keeps getting better, and we've figured out how to make coffee possible in the mornings without having to move too much stuff around.  By the end of the summer we'll be vw camping efficiency experts!

Life Drawing with Janice

 Life drawing session last week.  I felt like I kind of missing it all night - mapping things out without really 'seeing'.  Finally got into a groove on this last pose, which I like.  I'm starting to see the lights and shadows a little more simplified, which is good.  

At the end of each session, when I see everyone else's drawings, I'm reminded of how creative we can be.  I always think 'Oh yeah, I could have stepped out of the box a bit more'.  Then, by the time the next session rolls around, I've forgotten I thought that, and I approach it pretty much the same way as before.  If only we could all show our drawings at the START of the night, when they can have some impact.  I know, I know.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bring on the Tie-Dye

Bring on the Tie-Dye
Originally uploaded by sketchalina

I love our new camper van!  I borrowed Mizz Maggie's Pleasureway to take Miguela on her birthday present/surfing trip in April.  We had such a great time, and I loved camping in a van - all the comforts we needed, still small enough to drive comfortably and fit into the cool, smaller campsites.  When I got home, Greg and I discovered we'd both always dreamed of owning a Westy.  The search was on in earnest, and after turning over every stone on the internet, we found our ideal van - a '96 Eurovan, on ly 57,000 k on it, in West Vancouver.  We picked it up a couple of weeks ago, and we've already been on two great camping trips with it.  Everything works great (except I don't have the fridge figured out yet).  It's beautiful, as you can see, and it's fine to drive around town.  Yogi likes it, too!  We've loaded it up with a good BBQ, an inflatable boat, and other essentials like art supplies and good wine.   Love it!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Plein Aire Event at God's Mountain

I went to God's Mountain today as part of a fund raiser for the Penticton Art Gallery. We all (17 artists) painted around town, then got together at the end of the day to see what each other had done. It was a little intimidating at first. There were a lot of really great and well known artists there - people whose work I've been admiring in galleries for a long time - and me. But, I took a deep breath and went along anyways. It was a great experience. The paintings all get donated to the gallery for a big black tie auction on July 4th.

This room is a very cool place. It's called 'The Roofless Room' (no kidding). It's not set up for the season yet, but it's got a great built in bathtub and fireplace, all exposed to the heavens. The room will get draped with gauzy curtains and beautiful furniture, and the big canopy bed will get kitted out with all kinds of lovely linens I'm sure, but with a view like this, it doesn't need much else! There are several others suites around the grounds, a pretty little vineyard complete with a pure white horse standing between the rows, cool breeze blowing in his mane, a gorgeous swimming pool, pond and amazing gardens. The common room here is also spectacular. Great place for an event (and the people are really nice too! Hi Sarah).

If you're tempted to go there for a little b&b experience, the web address is

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Life Drawing with Madhu

Another life drawing session.  Our model was lovely and lively, but didn't really have the 'hold still' concept down.  Made for a good lesson in patience.  I'd start to get all 'grrrr' when I'd begin drawing her mouth line and she'd launch into a story, and then I'd remember 'oh yeah, it doesn't matter.  It's the process, the being here that matters'.  Loved the sari's, and her beautiful black hair and graceful face were fun to try to capture.  

Thursday, March 19, 2009

All About the Boots

Back to life drawing last night. This time our model brought a few props. It was interesting to see how each artist dealt with it - some making them the focal point, some ignoring them altogether. The drawings that (for me) had the biggest impact were the ones where things like boots and hair colour affect the mood of the model, and it's the mood that we're looking at, not the 'stuff'. That's where I'd like to get to. I so love these sessions. Have I mentioned that before?

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rhymes With Ian

I finally made it back to life drawing last night at Michael Hermesh's house.  There was a new model - Rhiann (rhymes with Ian).  The conversation was entertaining as usual, and I left the session inspired on a whole bunch of levels.  This month has been a little crazy with family and health stuff; but I'm glad I made the effort to go 'feed the artist soul'.  

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe

I've been digging through my collection of sketchbooks, looking for images that would make good lino cuts. This one is from a sketch I did in Puerto Vallarta a few years ago. Happy memories - I so remember sitting on the steps up above the street, listening to the music below from the cathedral, the shops and from the passing car stereos. This is one of the things about sketchbooking that sticks with me - memories of a place are so much deeper after observing things closely enough to capture them on paper. I'm happy with the way this cut came out. I still need to figure out how to print them well, but that'll come.