When I was a kid, my mother drew on envelopes, calendars and letters. I never thought of her as an artist and she never offered to draw with me. She always worked and probably didn't think of herself as an artist. Her sister, Katherine Field, became a well known artist. Mom probably thought that Katy was the artist in the family and let it go at that.
I was not subjected to art in school. In early elementary we would make things out of paper for holidays or have some play time with art supplies. That was about it. I did not try painting until after Gene and I were married. I sent off to an art school that was on a pack of matches as I recall. I paid a good amount money for the course. It was supposed to be finished in a year. It was a good one. I could mail in in a lesson a month. The art teachers would put tracing paper over it and return my artwork with a critique. I was working full time and had two (wonderful) kids and never completed the course. They even extended it for three years with a very small additional payment. The salesman even told me that I wouldn't have time to do, but he still made the sale! I got a lot of use out of the books from that course so in the end it wasn't completely wasted.
I met Sue Modrak at a workshop in Montana many years ago, probably about 1995. She sketches like her sketchpad is just an extension of her memory and hand. We would go in a shop and she would see some painting or piece of art she liked and wanted to try the technique. I would reach for my camera, which at the time was not digital. Really! She would just take out her sketchbook, jot down some notes and sketch. In a couple of minutes she had much more info than what I had on my camera.
Sue encouraged me by buying me a sketchbook. Every time we get together I become the owner of a new sketchbook. I tried sketching on my own. I would sketch when Gene was riding his bicycle and I was waiting for him. I sketched mostly landscapes and nooks and crannies where we were staying. I rarely sketched at home, only when we were traveling. We do travel a lot, but to sketch like Sue, you have to do it all the time.
Sue sketched when waiting in line, sitting in a doctors office, restaurants, etc. She sketches so beautifully and has a likeness or image in a few strokes. She doesn't have a website at this time to share her wonderful work here.
Another wonderful sketcher of people is Susan Carlin http://susancarlin.com in San Antonio. She can get a likeness in thirty seconds. She says she used her allowance money to pay her friends to be models when she was just a kid in elementary school. She has wonderful workshops at her studio/gallery http://www.whistlestopcorner.com/ Susan is a great person and artist. Go to a workshop there, you won't be disappointed.
In 2006, I found wetcanvas.com. At first I was interested in the pastel and plein air forums. After a short while I discovered the Scavenger Hunts. Jamie Williams Grossman http://www.hudsonvalleypainter.com/ was in the plein air forum and she started the Scavenger Hunts. We are on Scavenger Hunt 408 http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1381196 now, so the idea works for other sketchers, too.
Hunting for sketches has been a good thing for me. At first I had to really work at it to make myself sketch so often. Now, like I say, it is ALMOST a habit. One of my goals is to make sketching a habit, just like Sue Modrak. I'm getting there, but sometimes sketching is still like my homework and a bit of a chore. One of these days.........
Number 2, grooved - the rail for the sliding door
More photos from our walk the other day and my walk yesterday on the road. I did not care to ford the waters on my own around the lake.