Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy Friday!

Kalimiopsis/Siskiyou Wilderness Spring 2010

This Happy Friday thing is almost too easy. Fridays hold inherent happiness for those of us who are 9 to 5 shlubs. Happy Tuesdays would be a lot more challenging for me. Monday workdays seem to go by pretty fast but Tuesdays draggggggggggg on and on and on. For me this last Tuesday really dragged because I was signed up for a class on Tuesday night that I was super excited about: Pencil Me In taught by Karen O’Brien. Karen's mantra is "I want you to learn to love pencils!". She shared invaluable information about watercolor vs. dry pencils; the uses of clear gesso and absorbent ground and how these mediums affect everything from the strength of the paper to the quality of the color rendition. We learned the difference between H pencils and B pencils in practical application-we made sketches with each type using variable pressures and different drawing styles to test out their possibilities.

Not only am I now a big fan of pencils but I'm a clear gesso convert. I never knew about this wonder product. When I go into an art supply store I'm overwhelmed. There is too much to know, too much to buy. Will I use it? Do I need it? Classes can help clarify these things. Working with materials before running out and spending your life savings on things you may never use again is a good thing. The absorbent ground worked well but clear gesso is worth the cost. And it doesn't really cost that much.

Karen is a great teacher. If you ever get an opportunity to take a class with her, do it. It will be time and money well spent. The class was three hours and just flew by. Why is that work goes so slow but the fun stuff just zooms on by?
It has been a cold and rainy spring here but growth prevails! Here is a skunk cabbage in flower.


  1. It sounds like a wonderful class. I have watercolor pencils and I love them but I cannot find anyone who teaches a class about using them. It is amazing how fast time goes when you are having fun. Have a great week!!!

  2. I hope that you are having a wonderful, happy week! That is a beautiful photo of the skunk cabbage in flower:)