are based on either freestanding watercolors or journal sketches from the summer.
This middle piece was a process photo I took partway through today's session. I'll do a bit more work on the top one tomorrow. The bottom one is now finished.
I'm also enjoying the oil on paper experience. It's smaller and more intimate (at least on the scale I'm working -- Frieda Hamm does them enormous), and I can keep the transparent aspects of watercolor (the sun and cloud trail below are simply the paper showing through) while build up with the lusher colors in the places where I want to do that. It feels like the best of both worlds at the moment. Plus these are much faster than the really intricate print I'm laboring away at, so it's nice to have something that's a little more immediate gratification to balance that project.
I will have two calendars this year, and they're being set up by the printer right now. I'll have some at my fall shows (Paris watercolors at Playhouse on the Square in November/December, at the Pink Palace Crafts fair, and at my open studio show with Melissa Bridgman Dec. 10-11), but I don't order too many extras. If you know for sure you'd like one, your best option is to pre-order online through my Square store so yours gets included in the order to my printer. They're 8.5x11" and $18, just like last year. You can order for shipping or to pick up, but please only use the pick up option if you're planning to come get one at one of my shows or in midtown Memphis. Orders are open right now and will affect how many I order to be printed.
Here is the full set of images (all new and all done on site ) from this year's My Memphis Calendar:
And here are all the Paris images, again all done this year sitting on the sidewalk, or, when I was very lucky, at a cafe table with a little tea.
Park Friends Music Nights have started back again for the fall. We had the Side Street Steppers open the season for us, and Mr. Darcy and I had a night out together. I did a good bit of sketching, as I tend to when I'm listening to live music, and I tested out a new golden brown ink in my favorite fountain pen.
I was kind of low energy, and it was also a little bit low light, so I didn't do any watercolors. Just stuck to line drawings.
Of course I had to draw my date...
The next morning I took my sketching things along for my morning walk to check out that ink in the forest. I really love how it melds with the watercolor.
I also drew my favorite tree (again) on the way home.
My work for the Daily News has given me a leg up on the calendar this year. Here is one of Jerry's SnoCones I did for them over the summer. I'm laying out both Memphis and Paris calendars this week and will have them available for order soon. I'll have a bunch of full page watercolors like this one, but following in last year's footsteps, I'll also include a few more sketchbook feeling pages as well. Here's my musician one for this year. A sketch of Breeze Coyolle's band on top and Le Tumulte Noir on the bottom.
I also think I'm going to be a little self indulgent and include my show from last year at the Dixon. It was such a highlight for me that I want to just keep savoring it a little bit. I'll probably make that one March for my birthday. I'll post the full set of images and get them up for order soon.
I also did a quick sketch at Sunday lunch. It's very, very rapid, but I wanted to mark the occasion and remember the good company. Just a fast sketch in my art journal will bring back good memories later on.
At the top is my batch of color proofs from today. I always hang them up on the door of my print shop to stare at and get some distance from. The middle photo is the first proof I pulled yesterday, and at bottom you can see the bottom layer plus the second block and the journal sketch I was working from.
I tend to say hello to places by sketching them. This is the door where Vincent van Gogh lived with his brother Theo near my "regular" neighborhood in Montmartre. I buy my meusli across the street and always say hello. I went by while I was up in the area and felt the need to sketch it again. This time a sweet older man came out of the door just as I was finishing up. There are always tour groups stopping outside, and the residents must be unbelievably sick of it, but he came to see my sketch and asked if he could take a photo. Then he asked if I'd ever been inside and if I would want to. He so kindly backtracked, opened that magic blue door, and ushered me into the courtyard beyond. It leads to a small alley between two walled gardens, and there are several more buildings that back up together in there. It's this lovely, quiet, secret spot.
We turned around to see the back of the house, and he pointed out Vincent's third floor window with the closed shutters. I wanted to sketch in there too but didn't feel I could ask. It was so kind of him to offer this to one more tourist camped outside his door. I was really touched.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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