Hi folks.  It’s time to bring this blog to a permanent close.

Better options are here: the facebook group (search “everyday matters”), the yahoo e-mail group or the flickr group or the group resource wiki.

Thanks to everyone.

May 27, 2010 Lilies bloom today

May27Art, originally uploaded by CaptElaine.

I couldn’t get the color quite right my lilies are a pale almost see through peach color… with dark peach spots and rich purple stamens… they bloomed today, more are on the way, but these are the first.

May26, 2010 Thoughts on Oil spills

May26Art, originally uploaded by CaptElaine.

How long will the oil continue to pour into the gulf of mexico? It’s been doing that for almost a month, 11 people lost their lives, now the marshes and fish, and birds in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida are threatened…
We had a tanker spill in the Charleston Harbor, Ron and I worked on the clean up … it was an experience I hope I never have to repeat…. my heart goes out to the people in the gulf.

OilSpill, originally uploaded by CaptElaine.

That’s me on the left, Ron on the right… our 2002 oil spill in Charleston was a DROP in the bucket compared to the horror show going on in the gulf of Mexico now.

Muse Visit #1

Please check out my new journal page where I listened to some muses that visited..


Lots of Roses but not Many Thorns

Sharpee pen and watercolor in Arches Travel Book

If you want to have a warm and cozy feeling, just look at a goat warming itself in the sun.  Mmmmmm!  Such bliss.  And as you can see the heat reflected off the ground warms the underside.  The chickens like to sort of wallow in a warm spot and spread out their feathers to get maximum body coverage so they look kind of limp and smashed up, but truly they are also stewing in sweet sensory delight.

I don’t think I saw the Colonel get much rest though.  Apparently his job as top rooster is to be on patrol for marauding hawks which could thin out his harem.

At mealtimes (or when curious customers or sketchers want a show) Carole comes out and bangs the metal lid of the can with the feed and her flock comes scooting out to meet her.  I brought some of my Layena pellets, which my chickens adore, thinking I would call an assembly myself.  They came when I banged, but looked around for the food and were disappointed in my choice of cuisine, and ate not one single pellet of my food!  Come to find out that these chicken royalty get fed bird seed with sunflower seeds mixed in.  With that I can’t compete.

Both days of the workshop  some of us ate at the recently opened restaurant across the street from Rose and Thorn. Advertising Cheap and Chic food it is called P30 and I never found out what that stands for.  The food was delicious and the waitresses and decor quite chic, providing a fun interlude in our sketching.  I always make students sketch at the table.  Later I cut up the restaurant’s card and had fun glueing it on my sketch.

A great weekend all told.  We snatched the sunshine right out of this rainy May month, just in time for another downpour today as I write.

If you want to join me on another similar sketch-capade, I’ll be teaching a weekend workshop on Travel Sketchbooking at Gualala Arts Center on the California north coast June 26 and 27.  More information on the Art Center website along with information about accommodations.

-Susan Cornelis

New colored pencils…

Trying out some new products this week. At the recommendation of the nice girl at the art store I bought some Derwent INKTENSE colored pencils.Really a worthwhile purchase! I really like the brightness of the colors and the ease at which they blend, etc… I’m looking forward to spending more time with them. Also, my friend Lindsay hooked me up with a little hand-made leather notepad which I’ve been using in conjunction with a dip pen and acrylic ink. The paper holds up really well with the pen and ink.
Well, enjoy this week’s sketches.
The gallery for the whole week can be found here.

Quick Capture!


How do you capture a hen doing the peck-peck-Mambo, a Silkie doing a tap dance, and a goat enjoying the bliss of a sunbath after too much rain?  Stand and sketch like crazy, pages and pages of pencil sketches until some of all that looking and scratching on the paper starts to make sense.

Barnyard Sketching workshop on Sunday at Rose and Thorn

That’s what I was up to again yesterday morning with another group of avid sketchbookers, and all of us thrilled to have such beautiful sunny weather.  The animlas seemed to share our enthusiasm.

pencil sketch in 9 X 12″ sketchbook

Usually I sketch with my Sharpee pen, but we all needed to warm up for sketching the constant motion of barnyard creatures.  THis little white and black polk dotted Polish rooster looks a little nauseous, but then maybe it was me feeling a bit shook up by following his movements with such concentration.

This was my attempt to sketch the short legged, pot bellied pygmy goats.  You can see here how I’m attempting to learn their “architecture” without the benefit of a pose.

Pardon the backside image here.  I was starting to get some of the aspects of this goat correct, but as always, lost the relative size of the head and body.  Heads always seem to carry more “weight” and it takes a great deal of concentration to counteract that tendency in a drawing.

Sharpee pen and watercolor in Arches Travel Book

Then we switched to pen and added watercolor in the afternoon.  This is Harpo again, the flambouyent rooster with the punk rocker outfit and temperament to match.  It’s actually hard to sketch any other chicken when Harpo is around.  We were focusing on designing the page to have positive and negatively painted shapes, leaving some white paper. I find there’s usually not time for so much paint application when you’re working in a sketchbook and have been drawing and writing.  And I just love the white of the paper.  Harpo is actually black and white, but he comes across as more colorful, so I painted him that way.

Sketchbooking is as much about storytelling as about drawing and painting.  If I write about some details of the day, it helps me to remember the whole sensory experience and this was a day (Saturday here) I would never want to forget!

To be continued . . .

-Susan Cornelis


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