Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tangerine juice.

Another kitchen magic scene, loving, friendly, nostalgic. I used Pear ink and finished with Noodler's ink. Funny that they so close in color that it is hard to say it apart. I added bits of color with few Kuretake brushes. Paper Hahnemuhle torchon. I should spend a bit more money on good paper, because ink works better on it and it is not buckling  from washes.
It said "Tangerine juice" in Japanese. This cute juicer I bought few years ago on flea market at Coney Island, some vintage piece.

Cook and I chilling on the porch.

Just to sit on the step and unfold my sketching gear, starring at the greens makes life beautiful. Even I hated my sketch and didn't have time for watercolor that day I still have treasured moment in my memory of finishing up cup of coffee, Cookie pressing against my leg, morning, blue mountains and feeling of hope.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Medicine in plastic bag. Pear ink and Kuretake brush pen in Stillman&Birn Alpha sketchbook. I love that sketchbook is big
 8,5"X11". It is not often you can meet big sketchbook in combination with the great paper, capable to withstand extensive washes and rough eraser.

Sketches in Stillman&Birn Delta book.

While waiting in the car I drew this tree in Pear ink, no pencil involved, just ink. Then few raindrops fell, the car was packed and we had to leave.

I was drawing this leaves, branches and thinking how wonderful would be to get lost as a bug in the grass (I actually wrote it in Russian in the drawing), not to think, not to feel, not to be responsible. It brought to mind Kafka's Bug, I loved that story and in my early teaching years I told it in my own words to little kids and they drew illustrations, amazing illustrations from their point of view on this awkward, lonely, unlovable human/bug.

Pear ink is almost over. Really liked that composition with long shadows and intimate conversation of that group of chairs. I will have to finish bigger version of it. With different ink, because this Pear ink sample is gone, used up.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tired. Sketching on the way to Manhattan in Stillman&Birn Delta, Subway.

Blackwing 602 in Stillman&Birn Delta sketchbook.

Sketched on Subway and on the top my newest Ebay treasure: "White Dot" vintage pencil.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Few more details on that mural.

Did broken wall and few more cracks with greens.
For me it is just a big sketch, one time apply brushstroke and run through. Would it ever happen that I will be commissioned to do a mural up to my liking? Have enough to put enough energy to bring closer to completion or life will pass and I won't paint what is burning inside?  And it is OK if it will never happened. Artists are familiar with that feeling having so many ideas and images in your head which won't fit into one's lifetime.
My admired Hokusai learned all his life and was getting ready to create at the age 100.

Here is a quote:
From around the age of six, I had the habit of sketching from life. I became an artist, and from fifty on began producing works that won some reputation, but nothing I did before the age of seventy was worthy of attention. At seventy-three, I began to grasp the structures of birds and beasts, insects and fish, and of the way plants grow. If I go on trying, I will surely understand them still better by the time I am eighty-six, so that by ninety I will have penetrated to their essential nature. At one hundred, I may well have a positively divine understanding of them, while at one hundred and thirty, forty, or more I will have reached the stage where every dot and every stroke I paint will be alive. May Heaven, that grants long life, give me the chance to prove that this is no lie.[1]

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sketches on the train on a rainy day.

I sketched few people on the way to Manhattan, noon, not too many people, paradise. I was trying to draw not labels but angles, negative spaces, train my eye to take it almost abstract. But when I saw that I draw people out of that abstract shapes in relationships with each other it made me happy.
I used Palomino Blackwing 602, what a wonderful pencil, still amazes me.
Today I had interesting view on foreheads, how beautifully and symmetrical, almost mathematically it shaped. When I draw with thinking  I feel tremendous love for  people. Each and every one so special.

Police Horse.

We were parked behind the Horse Police car, surprisingly horse didn't pay attention to cars passing by. I remember my horse riding days, none of them liked cars. They were mostly forest accustomed, retired from sports life, galloping along the river or open paths in the forest.
I tried here Pear ink, present from my daughter. It is more yellow than my previous inks, but I really like it, so positive and smooth, but missing richness of J.Herbin's organic inks. I used couple of Kuretake pens on Bockingford 90 lb paper.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday morning.

Photo to celebrate a beautiful day.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Blooming purple in Stillman&Birn Delta book.

I added quick outline to blooming trees sketch in Stillman&Birn Delta series sketchbook, which was laying for days on the top of my scanner and looking at me with reproachful purple flours, while I was sleeping, eating and breathing cracks and ruins for the mural during past few days.
Little Delta book 6"x8" is so cute and comfortable to drag along, so I sharpen my pencils and hope for some  sketching adventure, with Bijou box, since it takes washes so gracefully.
Here used ink and Kuretake and Tradio pen.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mural in a process.

Unfinished mural, one of the walls. Kept me from drawing in my sketchbooks and trying new inks my daughter bought for me from Goulet Pens.
Still lots to do, more cracks, more definition  in the landscape, more broken architectural elements.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012


We buy this bread at the corner store, it is usually hot, because they bake it at night, and machine can't cut it yet, so we do it ourselves, which is already an adventure. We are using separate bread knife for it, like my friend from Boston said, bread knife should be never washed, just wiped. Even my knife is Japanese ceramic knife, not metal. Store people say they get bread mix from Germany and just bake here, taste amazing, like old world bread.
 I used ink and Kuretake pens on Hahnemuhle torchon paper. I love this bread, it brings me to simplicity and core of life.

Friday, May 11, 2012


It was pretty surprising to hear my childhood songs highlighted by saxophone, while I was drawing trees and brunches for old people.  My father use to collect songs, so I heard many from old times and they dear to my heart.
I outlined the figure of musician and the rest dissolved into the light. I used ink and gold watercolor for saxophone, it doesn't scan well.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sketches in brown sketchbook.

On the way to Manhattan, people, legs, shoes, books.
I sketched in Rockefeller Plaza, people were eating and chatting and no one paid attention to me.  I tried different pencils: Ebony, Blackwing, Blackwing 602, Pitt oil.
Somehow pencils didn't feel right, too thick, too muddy.
Finaly Blackwing 602 felt  the most comfortable on this dry paper, but then it was time to leave. Little white accents added extra dimension. I felt bad to fill out Stillman&Birn with momentarily people sketches, but this brown book is ok for it.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Potato skins.

As much as I was able to finish this drawing, because potato was eaten and a few given to a friend, and many things happened, pretty heart breaking, but life is going on. The recipe was very interesting, from Google somewhere and it was  a pleasure assisting my daughter to make it, it calls "Soft Potato Skins", with fake bacon (my daughter doesn't eat meat) and sour cream.
I used ink and Inktense blocks, it was a present from Bob, from Scotland, really interesting technique. THANK YOU, BOB!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sketches in the hospital.

I spent a day in the hospital with my friend, who undergo very serious operation.  We came at 5 in the morning, so most people in the waiting room fell asleep. I am happy it went well and better than expected and I will have my friend back in better health.
I drew with Palomino Blackwing 602 in Stillman&Birn sketchbook.
Used watercolor Durer pencil here. Some people brought computers or Ipads, but I am still resisting Iphone, trying to devote my time to my only love, drawing.
I add few color accents here and there to pencil sketches with little fat Muji multi color pen. Adorable pen, I first heard about it from Lapin.
Towards the end of the day people felt happier, because they heard good news from the doctors, operations were over, everybody waited for their love ones to wake up in recovery room.

Here drawings on A train, I was standing and it was shaking pretty badly, so lines a little more loose. I decide to put to work "The perfect pencil" by Faber Castell, the plastic version, because obviously I can't afford  Graf Von for $500, which probably has useful sharpener and feels amazing in the hand. I was pretty happy how a bit hard pencil was gliding on juicy Stillman&Birn Gamma sketchbook paper. Union made in heaven. No smudges.
So this how I survived the day which shook me to the core.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Powder room.

My "Potato skins" laying on the scanner unfinished, while I am running around, so while I have a minute before breakfast,  I decided to show pretty powder room in Long Island. Light metallic wash over glazing, to support elegant big tiles imitating tufted fabric.
My opinion,  moulding needs a tiny touch of antiquing in the deep parts to complete transition from the walls to the ceiling. Almost 2 washy lines on the top and bottom crevices.