I started my weekend a bit early having lunch with my sketching friend Christina. She's still taking her architecture sketching class and wanted to draw a house in my neighborhood, so we headed there after. I'm so enjoying the second hand nudge from her class to sketch more, and it's always delightful to go out with a friend. I did this one with a dip pen and Earl Grey ink by Diamine, continuing my Inktober ink+paint trend recently. Today Henry and I walked over to the Dia de los Muertos festival outside Brooks and hung out with friends watching the whole parade of costumes and humanity go past. Henry discovered that he likes avocado, and I stuck around to do a sketch of the enormous feathered headdresses from a dance troup after my gang had gone on to get their growing preteen some weekend ice cream. I kept it simple and fun, not moving into color and just enjoying my still kind of new Majohn bent nib fountain pen.
I've lost a little steam on Inktober because I FINISHED MY BOOK and formatted and submitted all the files and am now waiting on a proof before I order a stack of them. But here are several I did along the way, and I'm trying to get back to it and finish strong now that the book is done.
I've been taking my sketchbook to the dog park, and sometimes I just visit with friends, but sometimes I manage a sketch. One woman brought her supper in and managed (barely) to eat on the picnic table with all the dogs checking in to see what was going on. In a similar portable food vein, I did a small nocturne of a food truck under the moon at a recent outdoor performance of The Tempest. So fun. Both of those are in black ink with my new bent nib fude pen. Below is a dip pen with Diamine spring green ink and lots of watercolor on top.
My friend Christina is taking a Liz Steel architecture sketching class, and I'm reaping the benefits. Churches were the assignment, and there are two within a couple of blocks of my house, so Henry and I got to go out sketching with a friend. Her class and Inktober both have been keeping me out and sketching more this month, and it's a great pleasure.
For a second time in a row, the church looked deceptively simple to sketch until we really got started. I got the light grey too dark, but it was still fun to do.
The Stanley Brothers had a classic album called Saturday night and Sunday morning of hard living songs and then gospel songs. Here's my take on the same phrase.
I'm doing better with Inktober than I can remember. I missed one day so far, but overall I'm sketching daily, and it feels great. Above is black document ink from DeAtramentis with watercolor on top. Below is more traditional Inktober with just black ink and maybe an ink wash.
Today Henry and I delivered new prints to Elmwood ahead of their big do this weekend. Kim nicely wanted to have some on hand to sell. So we celebrated meeting that deadline with a walk through the cemetery and some sketching. These are two different sketches on the facing pages, but they harmonized really nicely into one composite landscape.
Then I was starving, so we went to Casablanca for lunch on their dog friendly deck. Lunch is my favorite there because they have the best black tea in town (lots of spices and honey plus ginger brewed in), but I can't have it at dinnertime that close to bed. I had half a shwarma platter and a lot of celebratory tea, and I'll add some broccoli tomorrow and have another fantastic meal tomorrow. Leftovers are the bomb for a single woman who doesn't much like to cook.
Later that afternoon, enjoying the beautiful weather, I picked up Henry at daycare, and we walked at the Greenbelt Park along the Mississippi. I love the cottonwood trees that line the river. It's the same black ink. I feel a bit like I'm making a coloring book for myself (and it would probably be a good exercise for me to do paint first and then line), but I also like that the line stays more prominent. It varies from sketch to sketch for me whether I like it or am annoyed. Anyway, it's all good practice, and I had a ball sketching outside this weekend.
It's Inktober, and I've never been good at those daily challenges and have never done a full month of anything every day. I have enough work that is due for various occasions without making sketching homework. But this morning I went walking at Crosstown, and I decided to take an "Inktober break" in my day. The month gave me that mental nudge to take a break and sketch, and I realized that it I frame Inktober (or any challenge) for myself as permission to sketch (and a reminder that I'm happier when I do it) instead of homework, then that challenge framework is a total plus for me. It helps that I have a fun new pen and am also enjoying rediscovering the joy of line plus wash, using a brush pen with a dark grey ink to add tone.
Henry is turning into a great art dog and settled happily while I sketched from the 5th floor or so (I lose track of which level is which if I'm going up and down the stairs for exercise). Afterwards, and here's the down side of going to walk at Crosstown, I decided to treat myself to an iced chai. The pollution in the air is better than it has been, so I also treated myself to sitting outside without a mask for a while to sketch and drink my chai. It was a perfect fall day with a breeze and no humidity, but still warm enough to bask a little.
I used that same invitation mindset to sketch at 2am the other morning when I couldn't sleep and got back up for mint tea and toast (my pavlovian craving when I'm awake through the dark hours of the night). Henry had come downstairs with me and curled up on the couch looking adorable.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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