Monday, March 26, 2012

A Pinecone In a Pear Pine Tree

I love pine trees, so I decided to do a quick sketch of a couple of pine cones. Over the years in my household we've used pine cones for everything, from decorations on our front door at Christmas to fire cracklers in houses we lived in with real fire places. We've painted them, dipped them in glue then glitter, we've even used them as table centerpieces, Christmas tree decorations and gift embellishments. Canadians can get crafty with their pine cones! So, here's my tribute to the versatile pine cone. May our pine trees always be laden.

I've been trying to hone my skills in many new areas lately and this sketch is part of a series I'm doing where I try to capture TEXTURE. I've previously drawn a ball of twine and I'm working on a larger sketch today of a pile of old rope. On my "TO DO" list is to sketch some pears for the smooth texture they have and also a crumpled piece of paper for it's wrinkled & creased planes. I just thought that maybe I'll also do some pebbles, smooth but together also textured and bumpy. What fun, just using a pencil. Although I'm inspired by my friend's newest inked drawing...

Artist: Tracey Fletcher King I'm thinking I'll also break out my newly purchased Sakura Pigma Micron pens. I did a large project last month that used up like a dozen of my Microns! It's amazing how thirsty watercolor paper is with an inking pen. The paper sucked them dry, lol. But I now have 36 new ones, 12 of each 0.1, 0.5 & 0.8 mm nib size. Hopefully they'll last the year.

So, here's my pinecone sketch. 

Title: "Pine Needles & Cones"
I'm off to paint, sketch and draw! But before I do I have a little project to compete. I was tagged by Terrie at Creative Explorer this morning and I'm happily playing along in this whimsical game! Here are the rules...

The Rules

  1. Post the rules for playing along in this game of tag! 
  2. Answer 11 questions the tagger posted for you. 
  3. Create 11 questions to ask the people you tag. 
  4. Tag 11 people who you think would love to participate. 
  5. Let your tagged bloggers know you've tagged them! 

Here are my answers to Terrie's questions:

1.  Favorite season - why? I really love Spring because it's right after a cold winter and it's heralds hope and newness. I also have a wonderful memory from when I lived in Vancouver. I was just coming out of the library, it was mid Spring and the cherry blossom trees were in full bloom. I walked under the two that arched over the entrance to the library and just then a strong warm wind blew through. The delicate pink petals rained down on my like a heavy pink snowstorm! It was magical and I'll remember it forever.
2.  What do you 'need' to have on before venturing out in public? Well underwear comes to mind first! Probably because I forgot my panties one Sunday that dad took me to our weekly Brunch. I was so excited to dress up and wear the long, puffy sleeved dress mom had sewn for me that I forgot my most basic undergarment! I was only 6 but I was SO mortified in the restaurant when I realized my error that I insisted we go home. Dad wasn't thrilled, as a guy, he just didn't understand. ;o)
3.  What do you collect? I'm really careful NOT to collect anything because I'm a notorious aquisitor of pretty things and would have a house full of junk within the year! Then I'd have to go on "Hoarders" and reveal my total lack of self control in the face of a pretty dohicky. LOL. I do have to tell the truth, though. I have about 60 bottles of nail polish (every color under the rainbow) and I LOVE lipgloss. I'm really careful to do the "One in, one out" rule though. Of course, this does NOT apply to art supplies, I mean I'm an artist and ALLOWED to have a hoard of supplies, right??? (she says innocently)

4.  Favorite style of art? OOh, difficult question! I like so many types and actually DO many types too. I'm trying to expand my range at the moment, actually. I'm working on my drawing/sketching skills and my doodling skills. I guess my favorite kind of art though is my base, watercolors. I'm always attracted to other's watercolor work. Although, I do LOVE a great textured oil painting, especially the abstracts! I guess I'm a true artist, I love it ALL.
5.  Symmetrical or asymmetrical? Both, Neither. I love things that are BALANCED. They can be asymmetrical but they have to be balanced on the canvas. I tend to like my backyard gardens to be symmetrical and my artwork asymmetrical but balanced, does that make sense?
6.  What do you find difficult to learn or work with in your chosen medium? With watercolors (since I'm relatively new at it) I find the learning of how water moves the paint and remembering how I achieved something last time the most challenging thing. I'm a perfectionist and I find that I have more control when I use watercolor pencils and add water to the tips of the pencil with brush & water then add it to the painting that way. I find that more accurate. But, I'm slowly grappling up the huge learning curve that is watercolor painting. Someday I'll find my own way, I always do with every other form of art I've tried. (I'm totally self taught in every kind of art I've tried. From Cake decorating to Pysenka, Ukranian painted eggs)
7.  Vacation in cold & snow or hot & sunshine? Vacation in warm sunshine! I tend to overheat easily, I always have and I don't tolerate cold well. So, if I can find a warm or even hot but breezy place that I can bring several good books and an iced tea, I'm a happy camper! Oh, to make me truely happy it's gotta have ocean and mountains and SHOPPING for all those times I'm NOT purchasing anything I DON'T collect, lol.
8.  How do you relax? Reading, I love reading. At the moment I must have hundreds of unread books and excerpts of books on my Kindle. I've been really busy lately so I've been so missing my books but I'm gonna organize my time better as it gets warmer so I can go out onto our lovely patio balcony with a cup of hazelnut coffee and some peanut butter crackers & my trusty Kindle. OOh, I'm getting excited for Summer already!!
9.  What's one of your guilty pleasures? I have one indulgence I allow myself. I'm totally vain about my nails! I keep them long and polished. As I said above, I have like 60 polish colors including at least 10 glitter/sparkly polishes in literally every color of the rainbow. My favorite goto colors are China Glaze MoonPool, Nubar Petunia (glitter), OPI Strawberry Margarita and China Glaze Atlantis (glitter). I tend to like unusual colors like teal, olivy green and bright, in your face pinks. Oh and my vain obsession also applies to my toes, I'm lucky, I have purty feet so I show them off with OPI Flashbulb Fuchsia! Hey, they're nails, aren't they?? Hehehe!
10.  What wakes up your muse?  (or, where do you find your creative inspiration?) Other people's art. I troll blogs and Etsy with giddy pleasure and I collect photos for inspiration. I find seeing other people's beautiful artwork incredibly inspiring. I'm also trying to take a note from several of my friends though, and see the things around me as inspiration. I love art that's just everyday items sketched, drawn or painted. There truly is beauty in everything around us, just a collection of forks can be so interesting with line, form and shadow.
11.  What food do you crave most often? That's a hard one, I can't pick just one because I have two main categories. One is the general cravings everyone has, but then I'm very sensitive to gluten, not Celiac, thank God, but still I get really sick with even a tablespoon of noodles. So my second category consists of the things I just can't have anymore. So, Category One - chocolate! Category Two - toast with butter on regular oaty bread, chicken noodle soup, Campball's Thick & Chunky Clam Chowder  and Wheat Thin crackers.

Ok, so here is my list of bloggers I'm tagging...
  1. Ellen at Card Monkey's Paper Jungle
  2. Diane at The Expressive Palette
  3. Kim at IMGirl Without Wings
  4. Maggie at The Magpie's Nest
  5. Shelly at Pics By Shel
  6. Hettienne at Her Grace Devata
  7. Lisa at Priti Studio
  8. Elizabeth & Bluebeard at Altered Book Lover
  9. Yvonne at VonnyK
  10. Debbie at CraftyMoose
  11. Artangel
Caveat - If you don't want to participate in this game of tag, no worries, or if you can't come up with eleven people you think would like to participate, just tag as many as you want, lol.

Here are my 11 Questions:

  1. Coffee, tea or me - What's your FAVORITE drink?? 
  2. Where does your inspiration come from? 
  3. Where is your favorite place to be? 
  4. Did you have a stuffed animal when you were little that you loved to death? 
  5. What's your weirdest trait? 
  6. Tell me something no one else knows about you but you wish they did! 
  7. If you could buy a new pet right now, what would it be and what would you name it? 
  8. Are you vain about something? 
  9. Have you found your niche, in other words, would people be able to recognize your artwork without your signature? How did you find that comfortable place? 
  10. What style of art do you WISH you could do but don't or can't right now? 
  11. Favorite kind/brand of art supply? 
Take care, don't miss me too much, lol. I'll be back soon with more art etc.
Enjoy your week!

P.S. I would really appreciate my readers signing up and following my blog using my Linky tool. It's looking a little anemic right now, lol. I miss all of your little pictures greeting me when I'm on my blog. Thank you to all who are following, I truly appreciate it. If  you'd like me to follow you back please leave your blog in the comments and I'd be happy to read and follow you back!

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  1. Having grown up in northern Minnesota I love pinecones, too, and use them for holiday decorating. Love your sketch.

  2. I'd love it if you could follow me ♥


  3. So excited that you were inspired... and I have to say I hate using my microns on cold pressed paper because it sucks up too much of the ink, so another reason to be a hot pressed girl... sooo jealous you have 36 of shiny new microns... I would be in a drawing frenzy!!!!
    Great answers and loved your questions... thanks for not tagging me, but I want to answer number 7 anyway because I was just thinking this morning how nice it would be to have a cleaning fairy for a pet... that would be so much more use than the lie around and snore all day mutt that is our current companion...xx

  4. Hello Jenn,
    I'm so excited to find your blog today :D
    I have become a follower as I know I'm going to have such a good time visiting you.
    I'm in a delicate position of only just finding my mojo after 12 years...I have no idea where it went, but I'm so happy it seems to be back.
    I've got a long way to go but I know your going to be such an inspiration. I've also got so much to learn too. All the exquipment, pens, paper etc are like another language to me. I've been living in a cave.
    If you want to take a peek at what I've been up to then I'd be thrilled if you popped in for a cuppa. I think I can write off today with having so much to read and look back on with your posts! :D

  5. Both you and Terrie tagged me, even though I have a tag free blog. I will answer both yours and Terrie's questions, but I can't for a few days. I'm super busy researching my next lesson in my AB class and Blogger is giving me FITS right now, too. Thanks so much for thinking of me. I bet it is Bleubeard who really should answer your questions. I know how much you like him (grin).

  6. Thanks for tagging me! I think these particular tags are fun because we get to know each other a little better. I enjoyed reading your answers, and I'll answer your questions on my blog soon!

  7. Thanks for tagging me Jenn, your questions are interesting, I'll have to have a think!

    Loved reading your answers and finding out a bit more about you - we share a love of cherry blossom and hot buttered toast, but I've long since given up any hope of cultivating glamourous nails lol!

  8. so fun and interesting to read about fellow bloggers!!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.
    I am loving spring too!

  9. Wow - thanks for your in-depth answers to my questions! We all know you a little better now.

  10. I finally went through with it Jenn, and answered all questions.
    I loved your Q&A.
    Fun to see another side of you.


Please leave me a comment, I've sure missed hearing from you!


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