Thursday, January 1, 2015

Ten Minutes

1/1/15 watercolor, Caran d'Ache Museum water-soluble colored pencils, Canson XL 140 lb. paper

Sunshine, clear blue skies and bitter cold greeted the first day of 2015. By mid-afternoon, our outdoor thermometer read 37 (a balmy 43 on my phone app), so we bundled up for a walk up to our neighborhood Maple Leaf Park. As expected, Mt. Rainier was out in its full glory – a rare treat on a typically cloudy January day. At 3:30 p.m., the sun was already near the horizon, casting a pale peach tint to its snow.

Ten minutes were all I could stand even with gloves, but that was all I needed to capture a good omen for the new year.

(Technical note: I’ve mentioned before how much I’ve grown to love water-soluble colored pencils for certain applications. Today when my hands were feeling like they might fall off from the cold, I couldn’t wait even a minute or two for the watercolor paints to dry completely to paint the trees in the foreground. Instead, I used a Caran d’Ache Museum pencil, which is easy to use on wet or dry paper.)


  1. Tina, I've been following your blog for some time, you are an inspiration. However I think this mountain piece is more than a sketch! I would happily hang this on my wall. Do you ever paint larger pieces from your sketches?

  2. Just to add, thank you for your reply to my email, about a year ago, as I was struggling to get started on these blank pages. Although I've not managed a lot of sketches, I have started! Hope to be as disciplined and good as you! Happy New Year

    1. Julie, thank you for your comments! I'm happy to hear you are inspired! Keep going -- however often you can sketch, it's better to sketch than to NOT sketch! No, I never make paintings from my sketches. I don't see sketches as a preliminary step to something else -- they are the end result. For me, sketches are meant to capture the moment. I used to make collages and abstract paintings to hang on the wall (that I enjoyed making while I was making them). They now take up a lot of space in my attic, and they no longer bring me (or anyone else) any pleasure. But looking through my old sketchbooks brings me pleasure all the time, and they take up very little space on my bookshelf. It feels great to have found an art form that suits my lifestyle! :-)

  3. Very nice, Tina. One thing about Quebec is that I don't have to be nudged outdoors and into 37F (marginal) temperatures. When it turns cold here, it's COLD. It's supposed to 'warm up' to 14F here today. No temptation whatever :-)

    Cheers --- Larry


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