Pandemic sketchbook: what’s blooming now?

The flowering trees were beautiful in April and May. I am using my sketchbook to try different mediums and styles. The top painting is a close-up of a dogwood blossom in wet on wet watercolor. The sketch below is done in oil pastels, applied thickly in layers, blended and scratched through with a palette knife .

Dogwood blossom, watercolor painting
Dogwood blossom, watercolor
Tulips and lilac blossoms, oil pastel painting
Tulips and lilacs, oil pastel

Pandemic Sketchbook: talking to birds

Robin eating a worm, water color painting
Robin, watercolor

The robins in my yard are very friendly and not shy of humans. A rather plump robin visits me every day, or maybe he just likes the well-stocked buffet of earthworms in my backyard. We often have lunch together…or at least at the same time. I chat with him (her?) and he seems to pause to consider.

Pandemic Sketchbook: cooking, gardening, puzzles and other pastimes

With people sheltering in place at home, something had to take the place of going out to socialize, eat, work, work out and other daily activities. Cooking, doing jigsaw puzzles and gardening became really popular. I’m a terrible baker because I don’t follow directions. When I made scones, the flour in my cupboard smelled funny, so I texted a friend who said to throw it out. After digging deeper in my baking supplies, I found a small bag of flour, so I made a small batch of scones. They tasted bland and were hard, so I painted a still life of the scones in the style of a Mexican bark painting that hangs in my studio.

Tea and scones, watercolor

When the weather warmed up, I cleaned up my garden to get ready for spring planting. It has been a cold, but beautiful spring in New Jersey, but the herbs seemed to be growing already in early April.

Herb garden, pen and ink

Puzzles are really in demand. Luckily I found two in my coat closet. It turns out, I’m not a very patient puzzle person, so again, I drew the picture instead of sorting the pieces the first day. A month after this painting, the puzzle is only half done!

Starting a jigsaw puzzle, watercolor

Pandemic Sketchbook: still life with mask

Still life with mask, charcoal pencil
Still life with mask, charcoal pencil

Grocery shopping during the pandemic requires a mask in New Jersey. Store shelves are often empty and some things are almost impossible to find. But this week, I found a bag of dried peas and the prize: a roll of toilet paper! I tried to draw this still life with a dramatic, raking light and very dark and light values.