getting started

The hardest thing about blogging is getting started, I think! I’m told I should be blogging because, well, enquiring minds want to know…and since it turns out I want to know too, here we go.

So I’m going to try — at least semi-regularly — to tell you about what I’m working on and share a laugh at the general chaos of juggling the day job, the studio, the self-marketing, the toddler…oh yeah, the man, the friends, the two neglected cats and the even more sadly neglected garden. That made me tired just writing it down. So, where to start?

A blog can’t be an artist’s blog without a picture or two, so here’s what my sketchbook used to look like, back when I had time to haul my studio-in-a-baggie into the backcountry and find a spot to draw for an hour. Whatever you carry in a backpack has to be worth its weight — for me the camera and the drawing tools make the cut, but pared to the bare minimum: paper, pencil, conte, one brush and a couple tubes of paint. I use a plastic lid for a palette & another to hold a tiny dribble of water from my drinking bottle, unless I’ve been smart enough to sit beside a stream.

Do I do this now? No. One doesn’t sit with toddler in tow, and the only day I was blessed with childcare and time and headed for the hills, it rained. Made an appropriately gloomy gouache, which I will share with the recycling bin. Can’t win ’em all.

Yoho Glacier from the Whaleback, sketch, 2004

This was done on a scorching day after a long slog up the Whaleback.  My hiking partner had a nap in the shade of the lone tree but — no view. Sunburned my nose.   Worked very fast.

Mt Assiniboine sketch, 2006

Another scorching day (note to self:  stop backpacking in July!) with lots of bugs.  My hiking partner this time draws too, so we spent most of the day with our feet in the lake, enjoying the breeze off the glacier.  More detail here, thanks to more time.

There’s a lot to be said for working fast with limited tools, I think.   These were very complex views and I think I managed to capture the sense of what it was like to be there, more so than my photos from the same trips do.  I wonder if I could bring the same economy to the studio?

4 thoughts on “getting started

  1. Wilma Rubens

    Way to go Frances. I love these drawings and look forward to remembering how to attach your blog to mine so that whenever you put on something new it goes to the top of the list. Look forward to your entries.


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