Saturday, December 30, 2017

Which to do first?

So, the question of "which comes first" (NOT the chicken or the egg) but the INK or the WATERCOLOR, came up again in a group to which I belong.
My answer - "This is exactly what happens (to ME, at least), when I start with ink first. My work leaves the roundhouse as a nice ink sketch and takes off, but when it pulls into the station it has gone way past sketch, roared past painting, and arrives with bell and whistle as a full blown illustration. And, for me, it NEVER fails to do this. If I want a nice, fast, easy, loose sketch, I stick with areas of watercolor FIRST, then ink."
I started this at the Christmas party table at Cynthia's house yesterday. These are a trio of her holiday decorative matroyskas from her tree and her shelves (and, of course, some of her mushrooms). I did all the ink work there, and then finished at home. The nice, loose, fresh one is from last year, started watercolor first.
I rest my case.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Peter and the Starcatcher

A front row seat at WICA's fun production of "Peter and the Starcatcher" (the prequel to Peter Pan) gave me all the leg room I could ask for AND a prime position for sketching the fabulous costumes. Tiger Lily's costume and attitude were fierce, but she didn't stay still long enough to get much of a sketch. Alas, tonight is the final night.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Santa at Debra's

Ho!  Ho!  Ho!  We're almost at the Winter Solstice, and it seemed that today got very dark very early. We're nearing the shortest day of the year! Thank you, Debra, for welcoming us into your gorgeous home.  Your sparkly lights and Christmas decorations were magical!  I loved sketching with everybody and appreciated gathering "trade secrets."  Felt like gifts all around.  The spirit of Christmas was everywhere!  I was an excited kid brimming over with the Christmas spirit.  Thank you for turning that on in me... inspired me to twinkle up my home.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Chapala Again

Some sketches from my last trip to Chapala. I've been working in on cheap brown paper lately, for psychological reasons.
A view from the Beer Garden on the Chapala Malecon -a great spot for guacamole and people watching.

Las Mananitas entrance
Cactus in QQ gardens. I see a gargoyle.

Pots in QQ garden

A sketch meet of the Lakeside Sketchers (really just me and Phyllis)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

I loved trying to draw Bunny. Such a happy and busy little girl! Sweet personalities seem to run in the family.

Bunny finished her meal before I finished my sketch. Oh, well. I got what I got.

At Paula's on 12/1 - my first post on the blog!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

At Paula's House

While everyone else at Sketchers was exceptionally brave yesterday, sketching Paula's adorably beautiful blue-eyed grandbaby, I chickened out on the challenge (once again) of tackling a live subject matter. Instead "went shopping" for subject matter in her kitchen. First thing I found was a blue, metal elephant. From there my still life grew into a rosemal painted chopping block, another wooden elephant, some cinnamon sticks and a jar of Garam masala. I'm happy to draw things that don't move. Or giggle. No matter how cute.

Paula's Grandbaby, "Bunny"

What a sweet afternoon it was with Paula's family ... the star of the show being her grandbaby, "Bunny."  Bunny was born on Easter 2017.  She is the most beautiful little delightful girl.  She was a very agreeable model, all dressed up in red for the holidays.  We had quite the turnout, too .. a house filled with warmth, merriment, and quite a spread of food contributions.  OH... I should add the Christmas cake I made 'cause I'm quite proud of it's cuteness.  It's a two-layer classic carrot cake with Whidbey carrots, cinnamon, dates and walnuts - recipe from the Grayston Bakery Cookbook, a Christmas gift from fellow grad students in 1988!  If you're in need of a great carrot cake recipe, ask me!

Whidbey Doughnuts

On November 24th, we (ummm... actually I was the only Sketcher to show up on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving!!!) had a table reserved at Whidbey Doughnuts, the new food place at Bayview.  I sketched a Christmas sprinkled blueberry doughnut and then ate it.  The place was quite busy - a social gathering place - with folks eating in and also carrying out.  It's a doughnut shop but with an extensive menu of all sorts of breakfast and lunch delights, even a salad which I'll try next time being the veggie nut that I am.  For me, an extra delightful bonus was meeting the owners, Scott and Sean (and their sweet nephew who's name escapes me ... sorry!).  They were lovely, gracious & great conversationalists (we talked mostly about films).  I highly recommend everyone plan a Whidbey Doughnuts breakfast, brunch or lunch!  Sorry about the quality of this image ... this paper is too thin for my purposes.  Next week I'll use better paper and you'll see what I mean.
Yesterday was a great mashup of wonderful artists, beautiful scenery and of course, a cuddly baby girl, all dressed up in her finest. Paula is a welcoming host and happy hour was really happy hours! So glad to be a part of this group.
Marg Tollefson

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sketching a Library Book at the Freeland Library

We met today in the meeting room of the Freeland Library - a very comfortable way to sketch and socialize. Just inside are the stacks, and all the reference information we could want to paint a "forgery", find a gorgeous photo, or, in my case, happen on the terrific book by John M. Marzluff, illustrated by Tony Angell, from the University of Washington, which has everything you've ever wanted to know about Crows and Ravens. A definitive work about a definitive study of the cultural of these amazing birds. Fascinating!
I cribbed some of the foliage outside for a colorful still life, just because I could. 

My hat choice at HATS at PAT'S

The days we dress up to sketch each other are just the BEST. We gathered at Sketcher Pat's house, and brought with us many and varied hats, which we sketched and wore. This is a vintage Coal Miner's hat with a brass, coal oil lamp, with its own flint and steel striker. FANTASTIC!!!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Freeland Library

We met at the Freeland Library today ... they graciously gave us a wonderful conference room with lots of tables, a sink, and natural light.  Works for us!  I chose a book from the library ... animal lover that I am ... by Traer Scott, Finding Home - Shelter Dogs & Their Stories.  The book was a series of photos of shelter dogs, all shot with black backgrounds.  ALL of the animals had soulful eyes.  So, I took on the challenge of doing a water color sketch with a black background.  Fell in love with Gabriel.

Hats! Hats! Hats!

What fun it was to gather at Pat's with all sort of hats, and to sketch each other in our outfits.  There was a bit of Halloween in the air, as well as residual energy from Phyllis' 80th birthday.  Looking at my sketch of Phyllis as a witch, it kinda looks like she grew a beard!  I guess witches will do that.  And Judi ... her flowery hat and flowery outfit looked like Monet to me... and Marilyn .. I love her Annie Hall glasses and her cool vest.  What artist does that remind me of?  Hmmmm....

Walnut Ink - Hats at Pats

Guess who!
Witch Phyllis
I split the display to keep it all on one page.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Jerry Wennstrom Studio

A Sketch from the Whidbey Island Sketcher's visit to the secluded studio of sculptor and artist Jerry Wennstrom by sketcher Rindy. An exercise in drawing all of the tons of curly red hair. on the life-sized wooden totem/sculpture.

Sketching at Jerry Wennstrom's Studio

A Sketch from the Whidbey Island Sketcher's visit to the secluded studio of sculptor and artist Jerry Wennstrom. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Sculpture within and without..

I love going to Jerry's  display studio, his work is so unique!  Open the door and you have a totally different sculpture. A sculpture within and the one you see on the outside.
This time I tried concentrating on the faces within and planned to just sketch with the Walnut ink.  So much for that idea.  The pen decided to say it was low and the temptation to add a bit of color overwhelming.  I tried to concentrate on the details without worrying about exact measurements.
Kemble peeking out

I called this Moonface

Saturday, October 28, 2017


Another terrific trip to Whidbey Island artist JERRY WENNSTROM'S studio in the deep woods in Clinton. There is just no way to describe the beautiful, eerie, moving sculptures and art he creates. These interactive totems just blow the viewer right away with their artistry, their strangeness, their storytelling power. Amazing art. These are masks high on a wall, and totally in keeping with the "spirit" of the season, I think. 


YIKES! I didn't date this one and can't for the life of me remember when we were there. The 6th? The 13? I am obviously a little behind on my "bookkeeping". Anyway, it was a lovely day there, as always. Pumpkins and cornstalks and chrysanthemums all around. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Colors of October

I am dazzled by the luscious colors of October.

Autumn bouquet from the yard

Bouquet at Flying Bear Flower Farm
Still life on the purple bench by my kitchen door
A blaze of glory in my backyard

Saturday, September 30, 2017


A few sketches from my latest trip to visit Phyllis in Lake Chapala, Mexico, earlier this month.
Bougainvillea in the QQ gardens

In the gardens at the QQ
Palm tree with carved initials

One of the privately owned homes in the QQ compound

On the Malecon
Christiana Park, Lake Chapala