©2012 Carolyn A Pappas, Ashtrays. Graphite, colored pencil and marker in 8.5 x 11 inch sketchbook.
I found this ashtray at Papou’s house, and I took it home and put it on my nightstand to hold hair clips. I love the bright red inside. I enjoy pottery with white on the outside and bright colors on the inside, like these tripod dishes
I sketched it twice. The sketch on the left was first and I was off quite a bit. I came closer to the actual object on my second sketch (right). Elipses were never my cup of tea (whose are they, anyway?). I could fill up a sketchbook of practice sketches and still be improving.
Image at left: ©2009 Carolyn A Pappas, Norway Maple. Colored pencil, 20 x 16 inches.
I stayed with my grandfather (Papou) when I was in college and for a few years afterward. He passed away this past year, and his house was recently sold. I’ve always loved his house. It was a simple ranch, but it was nicely decorated with lots of original art.
The landscaping was impeccable. He had mini palm, orange and fig trees out on the patio in the summer and kept them in his heated garage in the winter. He had lovely, mature Japanese maple trees.
Even though I will miss him more than any thing, I will truly miss his house. It was always there and available for me to stop in any time. If I ever build my own house someday, I think I will build a replica of his house.
I went through my old drawings and put together a flickr set of some of the drawings that I made at Papou’s house over the years.
©1994 Carolyn A Pappas, Seashore. Watercolor and watercolor pencils, 6 x 4 inches.
I’ve been scanning a box of photos so I can throw out the originals and declutter my space. Recently, I found this small seascape, painted in 1994. Back then, I usually copied from photos in magazines, but I made up this scene in my head.
At the time, I remember being so proud of myself because this was the first watercolor that turned out the way I wanted. I’ve kept it around all these years as a memento of that feeling. Now I’ve thrown out the original, but I still have the memory.
©2011 Carolyn A. Pappas, Baby Cate. Graphite in sketchbook.
©2011 Carolyn A. Pappas, Cate Sleeping. Graphite in sketchbook.
©2011 Carolyn A. Pappas, Right Hand. Graphite in sketchbook.
Baby Cate arrived last week and I’m finally getting into the swing of things enough to make some sketches while she naps. I am no expert on baby portraits, but I will definitely get a lot of practice over the next few months as I’ll want to do plenty of sketches of my precious baby girl. I am so lucky!
©2011 Carolyn A. Pappas, Privacy Curtain. Ink in large handbook sketchbook.
©2011 Carolyn A. Pappas, Skyline. Ink in large handbook sketchbook.
I was always suspicious when I heard women say that childbirth was their most creative act. In my case, the only creativity involved was making some sketches from my hospital bed while waiting for the contractions to set in.
Hurricane (tropical storm) Irene proved to be a real non-event for my family other than our power going out for one hour. There was a gentle, steady rain with almost no wind. I’ve seen the lake more choppy on a sunny day in fact. It was generally just a gray, yucky day. Thankfully, I baked up some tasty whole wheat blueberry-oat scones that morning.
©2011 Carolyn A. Pappas, 8-28-11 Sketchbook (Hurricane Irene). Watercolor in large watercolor moleskine.
Unfortunately, my friends in Franklin County didn’t fare so well. I was so sad to hear about the covered bridge on the Green River and the flooding in Shelburne Falls, including the idyllic Bridge of Flowers.
Below is a watercolor I made last year of the Deerfield River as seen from the Bridge of Flowers. It is so sad to think of it as such a destructive force. I still have some reference photos of the bridge itself from that trip and I’ve been thinking of making a painting to remember it like it used to be. I’m sure they will fix it all up at some point, but it will be a long time and will take a lot of money.
©2010 Carolyn A. Pappas, Deerfield River. Watercolor, 5 x 7 inches.
©2011 Carolyn A. Pappas, Katie by the Firepit.
I hope all my American readers have a wonderful Independence Day celebration. Yesterday we had a great time on the lake with lots of fireworks and fires. Katie had an especially good time and she got a lot of exercise by running in and out of the lake to catch her ball. Today I am relaxing at home.
©2011 Carolyn A. Pappas, Bonfire on the Lake.
©2010 Carolyn A. Pappas, Kolkata Rooftops #1. Ink and marker in large handbook sketchbook.
A few months ago, when undertaking my massive organizational project, I found some photos in an album that I thought I threw away a few years ago. I debated chucking them right then and there, but decided to hold onto some of the photos in case I can develop them into later works.
This drawing was a great opportunity to practice some perspective skills. I snapped the photo from a huge window in a Kolkata shopping mall. I was then rudely interrupted by one of their many security guards. Kolkata is filled with Victorian style buildings with a lot of character and architectural detail, but an unfortunate lack of maintainance. If someone powerwashed all the mildew off and repainted the city, it wouldn’t look nearly as bad. All the decay is more interesting to draw though.
©2010 Carolyn A. Pappas, Drinking Glass (1 hour sketching). Graphite in 9 x 12 inch sketchbook.
Today is Blog Action Day 2010, which is an online event where bloggers all write on the same topic on one particular day. This year’s theme is Water. I’m not usually the type to discuss “issues” on my blog. It’s not that I don’t have opinions, but I usually just keep things related to my artwork here. However, I thought this was a good opportunity to tell you one of my most memorable travel memories.
I never really worried about the quality of my drinking water until I went to India in 2008. I was warned beforehand not to drink the water unless it was bottled, or boiled as in coffee or soup. I couldn’t even open my mouth in the shower, for fear of some water seeping in and giving me amoebic dysentery or something pretty scary. After a few days I grew to hate carrying around bottles of water everywhere I went, thinking of it as a huge hassle. That is, until I saw people drinking muddy water pumped out of stagnant, slime-covered ponds. The idea of drinking that stuff makes my stomach turn and it’s hard to think that a lot of people have no other options available. For most people in the US, the most pressing concern is usually that they don’t enjoy the taste of their water or if it is fluoridated or not. We really have a lot to be thankful for.
Day to day, I usually think about water as it relates to my artwork. The above sketch was just a practice exercise but it was a lot of fun. I have done other drawings of drinking glasses before (click here for an example). There is lot of information out there about drawing and painting water. I love the blog Watermarks which is a group blog that features water as a subject and as an art material. Gurney Journey also has done some interesting posts relating to water (Water by Three Masters, Color in Mountain Streams, and Reflections of Masts in Rippled Water). Enjoy.
©2010 Carolyn A. Pappas, Ocean Sketch. Pitt pen in large handbook sketchbook.
This is a sketch I made of the ocean at low tide when I was visiting Ogunquit, Maine a few weeks ago. It was a nice mid week mini-trip and I took lots of reference photos. I will most likely start working from these when I finish the big drawing that I am working on (more on that later this week) and get everything else settled down.
I am very busy these days, but also very excited. In a few weeks, I will have a new studio to show you all! The walls are purple, which is not my first choice, but I am still very excited. I never had a separate space all to myself for my artwork so this is an excellent development for me. Right now everything is all a shambles and I don’t have my supplies organized yet, so I will be making sketches with ball point pens for the next few days.