Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers. My sketching hand is back!!
I promised a fountain with tips about how to do the falling, splashing water. I got a fair sketch at the Lorretto Inn patio, then realized there are more ways to sketch the water, so I’ll do a second sketch and point out everything in both of them to show falling water in the next blog.
Thanks for all the lovely notes wishing and praying for my arm to get well! Rehab on a hand is slow. I can scratch the right side of my head, type on a computer, and do many other gross movements, but fine work is difficult and slow, plus very fatiguing and painful. We are still scheduled to film two seasons for PBS in Grand Rapids beginning July 31. I have done as many as 5 episodes in a day, (usually 3) so I’m now pushing every day to get my hand back. In a week, we should know if this is going to be possible.
Meantime, I get emails from people with problems using my technique, so I’m going to try to give answers. Many people have bought pens in June. Thank you for all the orders: this tells me many people are having fun sketching and that feels great! The common problem is, ‘the line runs.’ That’s exactly what it’s supposed to do! That is how it takes you right into watercolor. You simply need to take advantage of it. It is not a ballpoint or a Micron.
I have sketched some flowers and copied the sketch. Remember you can use the lines for probably up to 10 years. For the colored sketch, here are the steps. Pick the focal point. You want that daisy to ‘pop.’ Pull the outside lines into the background using just water. If it looks good, add color. Then make the color dark and the opposite of the center of the flower. The other daisies are support and shouldn’t compete. You don’t need to bother with the inner petals. Get enough so it works and quit. The sketch with more flowers takes advantage of the shadows in the daisies. It’s very busy, but it’s still fun.
The next session will involve water falling in a fountain, which is also a request. It’s far easier than you imagine. Look on our website calendar for future live workshops.
We went on a vacation, partly to visit my son, Brian, in Punta Gorda, FL, then to Key West for two days. Of course, I took the ‘bag’ along. You never know what will appear.
Because I do palm trees badly, I tried twice. ‘Running’ the pen line makes all the difference between success and ‘blah’. Brian’s community pool provided the other sketches. The architecture was overwhelming. Put in just enough to get the idea. It doesn’t even matter if the parts don’t fit together. You get the idea. It is a gorgeous pool, but I never made it in. The sketching was too much fun. The woman with sunglasses was in a perfect pose until she realized I was sketching her. Then she twisted her left leg into an impossible position and looked pretty hostile. If I’d asked her for cooperation (tell you how in the next blog), she would have probably maintained a great pose. I was running out of time and couldn’t resist catching this one.
We finally have news of the next PBS Pocket Sketching show. Season 3 will be released to stations on May 18th. Please phone your local PBS station to ask for it to be broadcast in your market. The 13 Episodes of PBS Season 1 are available for digital download from our website: www.pocketsketching.com/workshops
Tohono Chul Park in Tucson has just announced the Refresher workshop, April 13, 14, 15. The first day is a great review of the Basic class and the next two days are just plain fun new stuff. Register here: https://tohonochul.org/upcomingevents/classes-lectures-workshops/
The last workshop of this season is the Teacher’s Workshop, April 23 through 28. If you are thinking of teaching, join us. It has everything I know about doing and teaching Pocket Sketching. You won’t believe how rewarding it is to help people learn to be creative and sketch, especially when they thought they could never do this! It’s an experience that has kept me teaching for over 15 years and still loving the reaction of others. For detailed information about all aspects of this workshop visit: https://www.pocketsketching.com/teachers.html
As I’ve been so tied up with my brother’s estate for 13 months, I haven’t lined up any more workshops and probably won’t schedule any until next Fall, at the earliest. We will be filming the next PBS show at WGVU in Grand Rapids, MI during the summer.
New Facebook Page for a New Year
Back from Lake Chapala, Mexico
We got into Tucson at 2:30 AM after 3 plane changes in Dallas because of faulty equipment. I was so lucky! My diarrhea and cold didn’t start until just after we walked in our door. Great break to be home when you feel lousy. The last mango I scarfed down was likely the source. I’ll admit, it was delicious! More about Mexico later.
When you are stuck somewhere, whip out your sketch book and turn a drag into an exciting time. You get to be relaxed and happy in the worst of times. All around you will be a mass of models. The ones with computers or cell phones hold still and are good to start on. Then you notice the ones you just have to sketch. One of these was totally engulfed in long hair. Because of the changes to different parts of the Dallas airport as planes were substituted, I didn’t get long at any one place to sketch. Sketching is far better than just sitting, frustrated!
Pocket Sketching® Season 3
Season Three is going through final approval. We’ve waited a long time for the release. Season Four is scheduled to be filmed in Grand Rapids the week of June 5th. I am hoping for more time outdoors on location as this whole system is designed for travel journaling. I’ve planned episodes and then thought: 'What do you want or need'? Many of you have areas you’d like covered. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with those suggestions. Title your email My PBS Wishes
For Thanksgiving we had the fun of visiting our webmaster, Susane, and her husband Thomas (filmed our wonderful DVDs) in Salida, Colorado. On the way home we stayed at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe. It’s not only marvelously historic, (built 1922), it’s right in the middle of town, with every amenity, but it’s also reasonable! Some of the shops were closed when we were there, but the window displays were great. I wanted to buy two of the bears from Things Finer, so sketched them. They are warm and cuddly and just right. This is our card for 2022.
THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING IN MY SURVEY! We had 49 replies. For reproducing PBS Season One, how would you like to receive it? 26 people chose DVDs, 18 people chose Downloads, 2 people chose a Zoom type link and 3 people chose thumb drive.
We have DVDs being made and downloads are available now. Dale loads thumb drives by hand and we will have some of those (They take a lot of time to load). Check the website “store”: great gifts for yourself and friends or family who may sketch. The real basics are in Season One.
Also, there are finally workshops scheduled. Check the website again. www.pocketsketching.com The first one (Basic) is in my home studio December 9, 10, 11 here in Tucson. As I can have only 7 people, do let me know if you are interested.
We are moving to teaching teachers. If you know someone in your town who is a good teacher (YOU?), recommend they come to the Teacher’s Workshop. It has everything I know from the minute you walk in the room, plus everything I teach. If you teach at all, you’ll recover your investment.
If you live near Tucson, come to the PaperWorks meeting on the 8th of December. I’m the speaker talking about how this whole Pocket Sketching happened and where it should go. This is an exciting club that meets monthly. Guests are totally welcome. If you do anything with paper (write, fold, paint, manufacture, Pinterest, etc. you will meet kindred spirits. They post the meeting speakers on their excellent website: PaperWorks (I Googled it and it came up) You can see me there after the meeting.
What did I learn from the Tony Couch traditional watercolor workshop I just took? You carry tons of equipment, get paint on yourself, have paint under your fingernails, need a table, but it’s exciting. He demonstrates and lectures most of the 4 days…but there is so much to learn!!!! I have far more respect for the ease and portability of Pocket Sketching and still love watercolor too.
It’s almost Thanksgiving: Have a delightful holiday!
I’ve been consumed by the paperwork involved with my brother’s passing for six solid months now and have ignored sketching, teaching..all that fun, exciting stuff I’ve enjoyed for 14 years. I miss the joy of having people get excited over learning to sketch!!! (I miss sketching too but understand when you can’t sketch because life gets in the way.)
My solution? I’ve booked taking a workshop from that very classic teacher, Tony Couch, right here in Tucson. I need the immersion to get back into my life. Since I recommend this to others when they are blocked, I’ll let you know if it works. By the way, I’ve said in the past, “As long as Tony keeps teaching, I will too.” He’s 92 and amazing.
All is not lost. I plan Tucson workshops, the next being December 9, 10, 11 at our home studio in Tucson. The maximum is 7 people. To register, email me at email@example.com or phone 520-318-9291.
There will be more workshops in 2023, including online, Basic, Refresher and Teachers (only in-person). The schedule will be on www.pocketsketching.com soon.
As we are not teaching over-the-road, if you want a workshop in your town, talk to a good local teacher and recommend my Pocket Sketching® Teacher’s Workshop. They are 5 ½ days and loaded with everything I know. It is time to have many teachers, not just me.
One sketch is from the Oregon Coast which was totally in fog. I used a ‘borrow pit’ to get the dilute background. The other one is from my brother’s condo on the Willamette where we saw racing sculls practice every morning. The sketches aren’t that good, but they remind me of everything that was there. That’s the point: when you sketch you record in the computer of your mind everything you saw, and the sketch brings it back. It’s mental immersion, and the camera can’t do that.
We are filming Pocket Sketching Season Four in Grand Rapids the week of October 17th . And I get to
raise $30,000 for Season Three between now and then, plus plan the next 13 Episodes. All of you
sponsored Season Two, so I’m not begging, but you are welcome to contribute. I am looking for
businesses that target the same market, such as retirement companies, travel companies, AARP, etc.
You get the idea. If you have any contact who would like to be seen supporting an art PBS program
aimed at this audience, please let me know. The sponsor’s names are shown with the episode as many
times as it’s played, and we are being played nationally: WOW!
Most of you are sketching: is there a subject you would like covered in Season Four? This is the
I can’t leave without a sketch, so here are two more of my favorites.
Happy sketching! Kath
My brother died May 24th, just before our four Northwest workshops. Teaching the four outstanding workshops was a delightful relief from all the financial and legal mess. Between workshops, and probably through July 30th, we’ve camped in his condo because much of the mess involves accounts in Portland. When I say ’camped’, I mean it. There is one pan and one water kettle in the kitchen. (The condo is on the market.) We carry a camp box on the road. It has 2 glasses, 2 cups, 2 sets of table service, paper plates…you get it. Because there’s nothing to cook with, we’re ‘forced ‘ to go out to dinner: very nice. My day begins before 6:00 AM with paperwork and goes to about 5:00. This is not my forte!!!!
An amusing note: my brother never referred to anyone by name, only description, as in “the woman who lives on the 30th floor” who was a very good friend. Letting his friends know he passed is difficult. No lists with names: only phone numbers. (He knew the names). We have found and met a few of his friends and I wish I had known them earlier: great people. DO GET ALL YOUR PAPERWORK TOGETHER SO YOU DON’T LEAVE A MESS LIKE THIS!
You all spend periods where you can’t sketch. Hopefully at some point frustration brings you back to being creative. Looking back over this time, I have very little to show (or maybe can’t find the sketch books in the loaded car). We’ve been to beautiful places. We’ve had fantastic people as students and they have done marvelously. Terrific way to spend the last over-the-road workshops.
When we leave here, I get to sketch on the way back to Tucson, ignore the computer and the stress. It’s hard to keep working on my brother’s stuff when a break is coming. This is like looking forward to a vacation…for the mind!!! Keep sketching. ENJOY!!!!
PS: Here are two sketches from the trip. Coupeville is typical of the place. The Portland house was a demonstration in Oswego from a difficult setting: parts are moved around to make it work.
A change of pace: finally back to teaching workshops: YEAH!!! First one’s in Salt Lake City June 9, 10 and 11. A great opportunity to get going on sketching. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 801-997-8902. The weather will be perfect and the scenery is awesome!
Next is Oregon Society of Artists in Portland, June 24, 25, 26. This workshop will combine beginning with advanced technique and will be loaded with new material I teach in my ‘refresher’ class. It will take people from beginning to professional in just three days! Contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com 503-228-0706. I rarely combine everything in one workshop and this will be exciting! This workshop will include homework and notes for take-along.
Coupeville, WA is home to the Pacific Northwest Art School, where I’ll teach the Basic workshop July 8, 9, 10. The location couldn’t be more beautiful on Whidbey Island. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or 360-678-3396.
And last for the season and possibly for travel-teaching, is Lake Oswego, Oregon, July 15, 16, 17. This is a Basic workshop and the location is lovely. Contact shelly@lakewood_center.org, 503-635-3901.
Our plans are to not teach on the road again. It’s tough hauling everything, getting it out, teaching a loaded-and-high-energy workshop for three days and haul it to the next place. In the past we did these back-to-back. This year there’s time to see the gorgeous places where we teach. We may become ‘sketching tourists’ in the future, just like you!
And where have we been while not writing blogs?
Like you, things get in the way for us. Christmas Day my brother fell and broke his humerus right below the shoulder. (Would you believe Medicare , with tremendous experience and wisdom, refused to pay for the ambulance because “it wasn’t necessary”? He was 87, had a broken arm and was expected to drive to the emergency room!!!! He wasn’t safe driving before he fell. Where do they get these evaluators?
Surely between now and then I’ve taught and done sketches, but I can’t find them. The last month was spent clearing out my brother’s condo so it could be sold. It’s over the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. Only one morning, between 5:00 and 6:00 AM, did I find time to sketch. It was incredibly gorgeous with fog and subdued colors. Fortunately, sketches bring back memories!
Point of this, he has passed, we’re in Tucson, and last night I tried a sketch at The Lodge on the Desert. It’s pretty bad, but it’s a start. Having started over before, I can say “Put up with the bad ones. Every one is a step to get back to where you were, and it’s the only way you’ll ever get there.” At one time I was very good at sketching and painting animals in motion, live. My life goal is to get back there. Attached is a watercolor done on location, I named “Flies”. (I have a pretty long way to go.) Enjoy the trip!