Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sunflower Seeds in Snazzy Striped Shells...And Ai WeiWei

14" x 14", Prismacolor colored pencil on Strathmore Vellum Bristol

I was preparing to plant some Mammoth sunflower seeds, but became distracted admiring their snazzy striped shells. Next thing I knew, I was drawing, not planting. 

While researching sunflower seeds for some fun facts to include here–lest anyone think me odd for drawing a few sunflower seeds–I ran across the phenomenal installation at the Tate in London by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in 2010. He and his artisans made and hand-painted millions of ceramic sunflower seeds. I can't even begin to explain it well; you must check it out here. (Suddenly, I felt a bit less odd for drawing nine of them.). 

Let's hope that the squirrels and birds allow these seeds to grow into big, cheerful sunflower faces in my summer garden!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cookbook Classics

I was rearranging my cookbook shelves a couple of weeks ago, and these three classics happened to be sitting together. I loved how they looked—the way the red tied them together—and decided to do a little ink and watercolor piece. (Well, I'd initially thought of doing a detailed colored pencil drawing like this one of my favorite childhood books, but just wasn't feeling patient enough.*)

An Etsy customer recently purchased this print for a "storybook" baby shower and is giving it along with all of the books in the drawing. Isn't that a clever idea? Sadly, the bottom book is out of print and very difficult to find, but I hope she is able to locate one. (Read more about this piece here.)

*The "faster" medium of ink and watercolor gives me an option on the days when my Parkinson's is affecting my ability to concentrate, one of the non-motor cognitive symptoms of PD—which can be a real smorgasbord of fun. The cognitive effects aren't as well-known by most people; if you know someone with Parkinson's, you might want to check out this article and surprise him or her with your newfound knowledge of the many facets of the disease!

Back to the drawing board:  I found a cool sea biscuit—no relation to Seabiscuit—in my closet, and it is just calling to be drawn!