I've been working on two different book projects during my time out west and barely even sketching. Today I went for a walk in my favorite state park out here and took my sketchbook along and enjoyed doing a couple of quirkish sketches. Dip pen with a light green ink and watercolor on top. The line almost disappeared in the paint, but I'm reasonably pleased with both of them, and they were fun to do on a gorgeous day. It's been raining and freezing for a week, so the book projects were perfect for that stretch. Today called for sketching.
The second page is two restaurant patio sketches. The top is in one of my new favorite inks. It's a waterproof fog grey from DeAtramentis. I've had the best time using it for simple sketches with a watercolor marker for some fast tone. I've found that it's dark line that doesn't move at all, though, makes me feel like I'm using a coloring book when I put full paint on top of it. A ton of sketchers do waterproof ink and paint, but I find that I still like an ink that will melt a little and swirl with the paint. The second sketch (as well as the top one) is Diamine's warm, springlike green (either Leaf green or Spring green, I can't remember which), and I'm much happier with that effect.
Vacation is definitely for trying new things, though, so mission accomplished on all fronts!
Heres a small video of that beach and river confluence, just to share the beauty.
Oxford American is on newsstands and in bookstores (Burke's and Novel locally), and my essay is also up on their website. I'm so delighted to see it out in the world!
It was a great pleasure to have a physically small winter project to do through the worst of my long covid. I could be on the sofa, under a fuzzy blanket, with Henry on my feet, and work on the 30 small watercolors while watching British mysteries. It meant so much to have a hopeful, exciting project that was also manageable for me. I'm still not standing up to do oil paintings, but I'm back to doing a bit more print work again. This essay saved me through the worst of being able to do none of my regular, much loved activities.
WKNOfm hosted me to talk about the essay (and to announce my next big project), and that interview is here. They do such a great job supporting a whole range of arts in Memphis.
Here is one more painting from the essay. I had such fun doing a small portrait of Georgia O'Keeffe in her adopted landscape.
I’m in Washington State for a few weeks and away from my scanner. I’m mostly giving myself vacation time, but I’ll post snapshots of my sketches here instead of the cleaner scans I do at home.
First up were the welcome flowers, including some amazing stargazer lilies. (I love that name!) A couple of days later we went to the youth symphony to see Jude’s granddaughter play violin. I always love the juxtaposition of bodies with instruments, so I had fun sketching through the concert. I used my big, fat, water-soluble graphite crayon with a water brush over the top of it for quick, dense shadows. Loose and fun.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
Get occasional studio email updates.