About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fun Monday - Pastimes

The Fun Monday topic for May 10 is "Pastimes". Our host for this week is Joangee and she wants to know what we enjoy doing for entertainment, diversion, or just plain fun. Joangee also is looking for photos of our pastimes.

Everyone needs a bit of fun and games these days, but I'll admit that being retired, which I am, makes it a lot easier to seriously pursue these pastimes. For those of you who read this blog you know that this painting represents two of my main passions--dogs and books. Last week I told you about Willie and every Tuesday I write about a current favorite read. And if there's a film based on the book, I'll share it too. Seeing a good drama, on television or the big screen, is a great pleasure also.

One pastime that I haven't written about is painting and sketching. It's not an ongoing thing like caring for dogs or reading, but I'm always interested. I read art magazines regularly, check out galleries and exhibitions on my travels, and have a drafting table and plenty of art supplies set up in my office, always ready when the mood strikes.

I've taken watercolor classes, workshops, and tours with three different teachers over the last ten years. Here's a little sampling of my work. Don't laugh now, remember it's just for fun. This painting is an example of wet on wet. The paper is really wet and then I just dropped the color onto the wet canvas, letting the paints run into each other and "bloom". Before the watercolors dried I took the end of a brush and made some cuts in the paper to represent a rather abstract landscape.

This was an early effort at watercolor landscapes--not that the later ones got any better!

Here's a still life of some apples and a wine bottle that I did as a class painting. Thought I did a pretty good job with the apples, but the wine bottle. . .

Here are two examples of pen and ink with watercolor washes. In the village scene I did the drawing first and then applied just the barest wash of color at different spots on the painting. In the sunflower painting I laid down the color first and then squiggled in the flower shape with pen and ink.

I also enjoy working with colored pencils, especially the soft Prismacolors or graphite tints, as for these fall pumpkins and bittersweet vines:
Sometimes I like creating small thumbnail sketches in pen and ink, drawing for 10 minutes every day for several weeks. When you display them together you can see what consistent practice can do:

Often a book that I enjoy will contain sketches or simple botanical illustrations. I try to copy them. In The Places in Between, this is a copy of the drawing Rory Stewart made of the great warrior dog Babur who accompanied him on his walk across Afghanistan.

So, there you have some examples of a pastime that I don't spend time on consistently, but when I do get out the watercolors, pens, pencils and brushes I enjoy that little spurt of creativity. Be sure and go over to Joangees's place to see what kind of fun all the other Fun Monday participants are getting into.

(Image credit: Rory Stewart and Babur from The Places in Between)


joangee said...

Thank you ever so much for playing FM.
I admire people who are artistic. What lovely paintings!
Many thanks for sharing them with us (smile)

Ari_1965 said...

I've always wanted to be able to paint in watercolors.

My post it up: http://beyondmyslab.blogspot.com/2010/05/fun-monday.html

P.S. Your link to Joangee is messed up.

Jan n Jer said...

Wow Faye..those are really good...you have a very artistic talent.

The Church Lady said...

Wow Faye - those are all fantastic! I didn't realize you had a hidden talent. The first water color reminds me of snow on the ground with brown trees and blue sky. I tend to favor water color.

I used to like to paint and draw, but somehow it left me. Now, my daughter is the artistic one in the family.

Sayre said...

I love watercolors! Let me clarify - I love to LOOK at watercolors, especially done by people who understand the mechanics of it. I try it from time to time, but find I am absolutely hopeless at it.

I have been trying my hand at being more artistic, though I still find that concept difficult. I painted my son's room with animals, and recently made a hand-drawn depiction of Sesame Street with a photo compilation of a co-worker enjoying life on Sesame Street. It was her going-away present. A rather hilarious effort, actually.

Your stuff is just lovely.

Jan said...

It's always good to work the other side of your brain. Your sketches and watercolors are really good. My husband took up watercolor, when he retired. Our home and the homes of our daughters are well decorated.

Lane said...

I think your work has a real flair and I love the village drawing.
Like you, dogs writing and books come first but I still like to dabble.
There was a wonderful BBC doc about Matisse last night and they said that he really didn't feel he painted as his 'true self' until he was in his late 70's. I really like the idea that you older you get, the freer you are with paint:-)

Debs said...

What beautiful paintings/sketches. I'd love to be remotely talented at sketching, but am hopeless.

Anonymous said...

These are wonderful my friend. You did a good job. I so cannot paint let alone draw. I have problems with stick figures. Excellent. Have a great week ahead :)

m (the misanthrope) said...

Beautiful work, my friend! Yet another hobby that we have in common :-) Thank you so much for sharing!

Debs said...

You do wonderful artwork. I wish I was this creative.

怡婷 said...

enjoy your artical, thank you .............................................

Lady Q said...

I think they all look wonderful! I'm glad I discovered your blog. I'm a follower now and looking forward to more from you!

Pamela said...

your first water color -- I see it as a bunch of honeybees -- not a landscape at all.

these are really fun -- I love 'em.

I haven't played for a couple of week. just so much going on in my life, hard to get myself organized.