Inktober 2017 Week One

A fun first week of Inktober.  With so many tempting prompts from different people the imagination is easily distracted in too many directions.  Taking some pointers from veteran participants I have set a few limitations for myself, to see me through the rest of the month.  Nothing too restrictive just a few things like theme, keeping it simple, time limits on drawing and inking, (I can easily get lost in a drawing and forget all about time passing), and the number of prompt lists to look at.  So far I have been following Mr. Jake Parker’s list @Inktober. Everything is open to interpretation and it is a fun challenge to figure out a few concepts and how they fit within a theme.  Of course I tell myself if the mental wheels hit a wall, I can always hop over to someone else’s prompt or just do whatever comes to mind.  Remembering that the whole point of the exercise is to get back to daily drawing and to have fun is important and helps immensely.

So here is my line up for the first week and I must admit, it is nice to have the first few pages of my new sketchbook filled with ink.

Have a great week.

Hello Inktober…October!

Here in the islands summer is not yet giving in to a change of season except for the occasional breeze that brushes past and whispers of cooler nights to come.

When the humidity gets too high, the drying time with my watercolors becomes a sort of guessing game, giving me a good excuse to play with pen and ink instead, and just in time to join in the fun with Inktober started by Mr. Jake Parker (@inktober and @jakeparker).  The idea is to do an ink drawing a day for the 31 days of October, and posting them to Instagram with #inktober and #inktober2017.  There is also an official Inktober prompt list for anyone wanting drawing ideas.

If ever there was a fun way to get back into using the sketchbook on a daily basis this is it.  All one needs is ink and something to draw on.  And with so many other prompts and challenges floating around on Instagram for instance, (including Charlie’s World Watercolor Group’s prompt ideas),  it can feel like being a kid in a candy store of creative inspiration and fun.

To start off October I pulled ideas from a couple challenges and prompt lists and just let imagination wander.  The first one was done in my bullet journal, (part planner, holder of ideas, and playground for doodles).

01 October 2017 Bullet Journal

The second was in a new and inexpensive sketchbook with the hope to get at least the first few pages inked so the rest of the scary blank white pages are not so scary anymore.

01 October 2017 Inktober

 

Happy Inktober everyone!

June Plumeria

It was the best intention, really, to take a few days, a few moments, to wander about the yard, painting and sketching, posting #NatureDoodlewash and joining in with Charlie, (from Doodlewash), and his fun plans for June. Then one thing led to another, a flower reminded me of a painting done last summer which included plumeria blossoms and mangos, it started me wondering if it might be fun to revisit the subject, which took me back inside to the easel, splashing in paint and water, visiting memories and shutting the door on my ‘hiking’ in the yard. Easily distracted it seems.

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A result of my distraction.

Now we are counting the days, minutes even, to July’s debut of National Watercolor Month. All one has to do is visit Facebook to get a sense of the excitement and energy that is building, on an international level, for the start of Charlie’s 31 day National Watercolor Month challenge and fundraising for the Zebra Foundation. To get a feel for it, visit here, watch the video, start getting your painting gear together and join the rest of us as we wait, excitedly and with eager anticipation for the start of July.

In the meantime, there is still June, where have all the days gone? So out the door I go, and with determination not to be distracted I am met again by white plumeria blossoms waving at me brightly under a summer sun. Feels like déjà vu.

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Focus on the flowers…

The Singapore plumeria tree, our Grande Dame of the yard, despite the cat’s opinion, is wearing her summer frock of dark green glossy leaves.  A few months ago a single white flower bloomed on one of the lower branches and was promptly plucked by a howling northerly wind, our rainy season’s final stormy tantrum.

It seemed that the tree did not approve of losing the blossom so early, and as if overnight, with island magic, large bouquets of white plumeria began to flower all over the dark canopy.  The white flower petals easily reflecting the light of sun and moon had become a gleaming defiant crown of heavily scented blossoms for the tree.   Now as ocean trades slip by, the large clusters of flowers, nestled among the dark green leaves, nod and sway gracefully in the breezes, as if dancing to the song of summer.

Plumeria Sketching

Plumeria sketching

Leading Lost Hearts Home

Shisa Companions

Shisa Companions

Started in 2014 and observed every April 23rd, today is National Lost Dog Awareness.

As described at National Calendar Days (continuing with Charlie’s invitation):

“This day was created not only to bring awareness to the dogs that go missing but to also celebrate the reunions.  Through networks of shelters, veterinaries, social media and other media sources, many lost canines are reunited with their loved ones. National Lost Dog Awareness Day is an opportunity to learn more about prevention and networking.”

Positive thoughts and prayers for the lost that they find their way home, for the searching that they find their friends, and for the many in between who help reconnect hearts.

If prayers were bells

All the world would hear ringing

Leading lost hearts home

 

National Pet Day

National Pet Day

National Pet Day

Joining Charlie’s invitation to celebrate a National or International Day with a doodlewash and because it is hard to resist the idea of celebrating National Pet Day, (April 11th), here is a morning doodle. Peace and happiness to all companions great and small and the people who love and care for them.

Friends through the seasons

Faithful in good times and bad

Sharing lives and hearts

Flowers and Birdsong

Flowers and Birdsong

Just another pen and ink sketchbook doodle (in between projects), while thinking about friends, International Women’s Day and the monthly draw a bird day started by Laura at Create art everyday, and of course done while listening to birdsong.

Smiles of true friends lift

Hearts like flowers and birdsong

Clouds tickle the toes

Like A Phoenix

Like A Phoenix

It is a time of transition, in-between creative projects, a time to put aside paint brushes and reach for the pencil and pens. What better place to relax and ponder over new directions than doodling in the sketchbook. I suppose the arrival of a New Moon and Chinese New Year were on my mind, it seemed to be the direction for my drawings and scribbles.  Here in the islands local celebrations include brightly colored decorations, lions dancing in Chinatown streets, and sharing plenty of good food with family and friends. The festivities herald seasonal change while allowing moments of reflection and offering hopes for another new year.

It is a time of transition, … a good time to pause, take a breath, and recharge the batteries before continuing creative journeys, under a shining moon, like a phoenix reborn and filled with possibilities.

Lunar promises

Bloom like a phoenix reborn

Red fire monkey laughs

Draw a Bird Day: Corvus Hawaiiensis

Celebrating Laura’s (Create Art Everyday) Draw a Bird Day, (every 8th day of the month), with a poem and watercolor sketch of the Hawaiian Crow, (‘Alala or Corvus Hawaiiensis).  Working in a sketchbook not really meant for the use of water, the items used were pencil, Ultramarine blue (M. Graham) and Quinacridone burnt scarlet (Daniel Smith) watercolor.

Hawaiian Crow

Before the last pair disappeared from the wilds, conservationists began a captive breeding program with the goal to prevent extinction and eventually reintroduce birds back into their former habitats.  The story is far from over, the program continues and there is growing hope that one day the distinctive call of the Hawaiian crow will again be heard in the forest wilds.

Inspiration Freshly Picked

Morning arrived gray, low clouds hung so heavy with moisture it felt like sitting in a bamboo steamer, minus the tasty dumplings. Thank goodness our trade winds linger, a little shy at times, but always welcomed with grateful sighs of relief.

Last night the rain, envoys from a storm to our south, paid us a visit. Our white plumeria tree must have played host, so many of its blossoms now carpet the ground at its base like abandoned party favors from the late night revelers.

Our summer seems to be winding down in its own subtle way, so it was a pleasant surprise to find a bag of these late bloomers, a gift from a friend’s yard, hanging on my kitchen door.

Freshly picked

Mangoes are the sweetness of summer sunshine wrapped in rainbow hues of blended colors. I carefully pull each rounded fruit from the bag, taking in their scent and turning them gently round and round in my hands, admiring the way the colors dance and blend. The sight of a ripening mango always sings to me of watercolors and it is a challenge not to drop everything, load up the brush, and start painting immediately. I want to memorize the way the colors mingle so subtly from cool greens to vibrant yellow. But these beauties are ripe and smell good enough to eat on the spot.

Playing around with set upThe solution is a few quick set ups taking photos for reference …

A loose sketcha couple of loose sketches, and then back to the kitchen.

As I peel and slice my way through memories of summers past, I cannot help but stare for a moment at my hands, now covered with mango juice…what is that color? Gamboge? Maybe a mix of Orange Lake and Hansa Yellow or even Aureolin? I sift through the discarded peels … Is that a hint of Quinacridone Gold next to Rose Lake? And what a lovely purple, maybe a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Permanent Magenta or even Alizarin Crimson? Alright, this is becoming distracting, time to paint.

Exploring

Exploring

My creative journeys are not always planned and unless there is some sort of deadline involved there is always room to indulge in my penchant for meandering. Case in point, I had been continuing my explorations of waterfalls and simple still-lifes with collage, but now with the arrival of freshly picked inspiration I am excited to wander off the paper trail, maybe explore different styles while playing in pools of color. I will probably linger here for a bit and enjoy the remains of summer, at least until I feel the urge to meander once again.

Remembering summer

Remembering summer