Thursday, July 21, 2016

Nature Sketchbook Journaling class -CT Audubon Society

 Join me this Saturday, July 23rd
9:00am 'til noon
at the CT Audubon Society
Grassland Bird Conservation Center
218 Day Road
Pomfret, CT
 for 
Nature Sketchbook Journaling! 
Cost - $5 CAS members, $10 non-members

This is my "give back to community" class, all proceeds go to the CT Audubon Society right there in Pomfret, CT.  It looks like it may be a 'hot one' outside on Saturday. No worries, if it does indeed turn out to be a scorcher, we'll stay inside in the BIG room (in the air-conditioning) and I'll show you how to make a gridded page of "found objects in nature".   
You'll spend time sketching and painting from nature/objects from nature, using pencil, pen and watercolor.  Learn new skills or develop ones you already have. I'll show you how to simplify what you see and teach basic drawing and quick intuitive watercolor techniques.  Enhance your creativity, observe nature, record the day and enjoy the meditative qualities of sketching! 

Materials you'll need to bring:
-pencil, eraser
-permanent, waterproof, black drawing pen (Faber-Castell PITT artist pens, or Pigma Micron pens are good brands) Sharpies tend to bleed through most papers
-watercolors (a travel size or kid's set)
-watercolor brush (you'll want to start with at least 1, choose anything between a size 6 to 10)
-watercolor sketchbook/journal (regular will buckle, make sure it says "watercolor or multi-media" on the label)
-water bottle
-small plastic container for rinsing
-camp chair or stool to sit on outside (if we end up outside!)
-sunscreen, bugspray, a hat with a brim/visor




 The center is in a beautiful, rural part of CT, with inspiring views. Even if we work inside (if it turns out to be hot and muggy), our room has a big spread of windows on 2 sides- great light and views. 

***You may want to bring some 'found objects' of your own, flower heads, seed pods, pine cones, abandoned bird nests, interesting twigs, shells, feathers, leaf stems. There's lots of fun ways to design a page with these little treasures of nature!





Hope to see you on Saturday!!


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Monday, July 11, 2016

Touching Water exhibit - opening

I'm so happy to announce  the opening of 
"Touching Water"
at the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library in Old Lyme, CT 
this Friday, July 15th from 5-7pm
(click image below to enlarge)

 I've spent a good portion of the last year working on these.  My friend Judy Benson (journalist for The Day - our local newspaper) has collaborated with me on yet another series - this time, moving up the coast from Barn Island to the Connecticut River....my latest favorite paintings!  Seventeen new ones from various spots on the river, along with a few from Barn Island that I wanted to share again.  

I've also got several of my sketchbooks in the exhibit as well (though those are not for sale, only the oil paintings are). I'll be talking about some of my techniques during the "Gallery Talk" at 5:30 that evening! 

Looking forward to seeing you there! 

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Garden Sketches - Roses, Lavender, Peonies; all the favorites!


My favorite time of year here in New England - summer, glorious summer! This climbing rose is the most fragrant thing, right by our front door! The little nest had been abandoned, and built within the canes of the rose, mid-way up the pillar! Isn't that a romantic little home? Except for it being in a rather busy spot...and later being blown out by a storm! Now, as for the sketchbook itself, it's made by Nujabi, from India, and is a very soft beautiful handmade paper with a deckled edge. It used to be my favorite paper. But I've found one that I like much, much more! (which I'll talk about in a later post). I've been enjoying using a Lamy Joy fountain pen to draw with, and use a variety of watercolors (Winsor Newton, Daniel Smith, M. Graham). In some areas with finer detail I use a Pitt permanent pen.

The front garden is so inviting! I love being in this area! The fragrances are wonderful, and when one plant goes out of bloom, another is just coming into bloom! The peonies have just gone by, the roses are still hanging in there, and the lavender is just bursting open! Oh the color and fragrance!
We have 2 different varieties of peonies, one is pink and the other white (but do I remember the names?, no, that's what I depend on my garden guru hubby to do for me!...I remember the fragrance and color!).  The white variety in the front garden is heavenly! 
 Just a nice spot to sit for a short while...not to linger very long. But it certainly is inviting to come home to!

The pale pink rose is along the fence, it took a hit from a winter thaw followed by a snow storm. During the thaw, it was just long enough for things to start budding. Froze back most of my hydrangeas, too. The darker pink rose is wonderfully fragrant, and a lovely climber. We've trained it up the pillar on the front porch. 
 One of my lavender varieties, the darker purple Hidcoate is beautiful! I just love the color! It's shorter in height than the lavender grosso variety we are also growing, but the fabulous color certainly makes up for that! What are your favorite garden plants? I have to admit - our gardens have turned out to be so satisfying! The work never ends, but the results are so delightful!


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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Nature Sketchbook Journaling Class at the CT Audubon Center

Are you ready to start your own Nature Journal? There's so many ways to go about it. This Saturday is the second session for my Nature Sketchbook Journaling class at the Grassland Bird Conservation Center/Connecticut Audubon Society in Pomfret, CT.  

Whether you're new to the whole thing of working in a sketchbook, or you've been at it for years, and are looking for some new ideas, or just a beautiful way to connect with nature, then this class is for you. 

You'll spend time outdoors sketching and painting from nature, using pencil, pen, and watercolor. Learn new skills or develop ones you already have. 

I'll show you how to simplify what you see and teach basic drawing and quick intuitive watercolor techniques. Enhance your creativity, observe nature, record the day, and enjoy the meditative qualities of sketching outdoors.  

DATES ARE AS FOLLOWS (you may choose one or all, as your schedule permits this summer):
June 25th, July 23rd, and/or August 20, 9:am-noon

Cost per day: $5CAS members, $10non-members. All fees go to CT Audubon. 

Materials you'll need to bring:
-pencil, eraser
-permanent, waterproof, black drawing pen
-watercolors (a travel size or kid's set)
-watercolor brush
-watercolor sketchbook/journal (regular paper will buckle)
-water bottle
-a small plastic container for rinsing
-Camp chair, or stool to sit on outside.  


I went out on Monday to scout out the area again, and see what wildflowers are currently in bloom (that would be milk weed, just opening up). I went from the fields, to the woods, and back; sketching in each place as I went. There is a beautiful spot along the wooded trail that overlooks a ravine (above). I was experimenting with a bit of layering. 

 I even went to look for places I wanted to avoid! (those with poison ivy....and deer flies!!). That place was hard to stick around for very long, the deer flies ran me off in this one wooded area! 

I'm glad there's lots of great places to sketch here on the grounds of the preserve! Here's their address and phone number:
CT Audubon Society
Grassland Bird Conservation Center
218 Day Road
Pomfret Center, CT 06259
860-928-4948

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Using Sketches as the Basis of Your Oil Paintings - CT River Paintings

"Hey, but you're an oil painter; what are you doing spending so much time making watercolor sketches"? 

http://roxannesteed.com/works/2091863/winter-reflections
 Lately, I'm really enjoying my sketchbooks in a much more meaningful way.  I had kept several sketchbooks going at a time over the last many years. One was for the garden only, going season to season. A different one was for travel and some miscellaneous things, as well as stuffing travels bits & bobs in there (tickets, ephemera, etc). Yet another was to work up larger oil paintings, though only in pencil or marker.  Last of all, I had started a nature journal of sorts...though on larger, nicer paper....and something "clicked".  
It began last autumn as the weather got colder and winter winds kicked in.  We had a relatively "mild winter" last year in CT, meaning - we still had cold spells, but not much snow fall.  So rather than hauling out all my oil painting gear and dealing with cold hands and wind, I found it easier to bring along my sketchbook and small watercolor kit to record these places (as I'm working on a show of CT River paintings).  Set up time and painting time was quicker - after all - it was like I was out there gathering visual notes for a studio painting rather than completing a finished painting in the raw New England winter air. And when it was truly nor'easter type winds, I'd paint in my car. Working in a watercolor sketchbook in my car was so much simpler than the winter I tried oil painting in the front seat of my mini-Cooper! (never again!!). 

http://roxannesteed.com/works/2091874/spring-shadows

http://roxannesteed.com/works/2091904/blueberry-underbrush
http://roxannesteed.com/works/2091912/cove-in-winter
http://roxannesteed.com/works/1970661/december-gold-aka-december-afternoon-watch-rock-preserve-ct-river-old-lyme-ct


So, now you've got a good idea of what I've been up to lately! And you're getting a small preview of my upcoming show at the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library in July!

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Giving Back - Nature Sketchbook Journaling at CT Audubon Society in Pomfret, CT

I've just recently completed the Master Naturalist class offered by the Connecticut Audubon Society in Pomfret, CT. All of my classmates agreed that we've barely scratched the surface.  But we've been fascinated, enchanted, and amazed at the things we have learned each week. Life around us is never boring - there is always something new to learn and wonder about! 

As part of our course, we agree to share what we've learned with others - in the form of volunteer hours.  The facility and grounds in Pomfret offers so much! Our summer programs are beginning this month, and I am offering a series of Nature Sketchbook Journaling (yes, as my form of volunteering!). 

I do hope you'll join us at the Pomfret Center, here's the address so you'll find us on these Saturdays (listed below):
Grassland Bird Conservation Center
218 Day Road
Pomfret Center, CT 06259
(860) 928-4948

 The schedule is as follows: 
Saturdays, June 4, June 25, July 23 or August 20, 
9a.m. to Noon

You'll spend time outdoors sketching and painting from nature, using pencil, pen and watercolor. Learn new skills or develop ones you already have.

I'll show you how to simplify what you see and teach you basic drawing and quick intuitive watercolor techniques. Enhance your creativity, observe nature, record the day and enjoy the meditative qualities of sketching outdoors. 
*Cost per day: $5 CAS members, $10 non-members. (all fees go to CT Audubon)

*Materials you'll need to bring:
-Pencil, eraser
-Permanent, waterproof, black drawing pen
-Watercolors (a travel size or kid's set)
-Watercolor brush (or waterbrush)
-Watercolor Sketchbook or 'multi-media sketchbook' (regular paper will buckle)
-Water Bottle
-Small plastic container for holding water/rinsing
-Camp chair or stool to sit on outside

 Please share this post with friends who may be interested!!

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Saturday, May 28, 2016

China Town in Old Tuscon

Old Tuscon is a place out in the desert ....and an old movie set. Some of your favorites were most likely filmed there! Costumed characters strolled the dusty streets, giving life to the imagination. Painted during Plein Air Convention 2016 in Tuscon, AZ. Price is unframed ($400), but framing is available from the artist - contact me from the web-site for framing possibilities and prices.

   

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