Grandma’s Laundry Sprinkler and Apples

Grandma’s Laundry Sprinkler and Apples, oil on canvas, 9x12 inches

Grandma’s Laundry Sprinkler and Apples, oil on canvas, 9×12 inches. Click Image for Purchase Info

My grandmother ironed everything including underwear and sheets! Doing laundry was a major project. My mother bought her a dryer but she refused to use it, preferring to hang everything out to dry on the backyard clothesline. She dragged her wheeled canvas laundry cart with a big pocket for wooden clothespins (see sketch below) down the stairs and then pinned everything up to dry in the sun.

Before she ironed she sprinkled the stiff, dry laundry with water, using her special sprinkler cork (in painting above) stuffed in a bottle. Steam irons made laundry sprinklers obsolete but I wanted to honor this artifact of my grandma’s life in a painting. A few years ago I also made this sketch of her hanging laundry (below). I always loved playing with the clothespins and hanging out with my sweet grandma on laundry day.

Grandma hanging laundry with her laundry cart, Digital sketch.

Grandma hanging laundry with her laundry cart, Digital sketch.

Here is a photo of the setup (which I painted from life, not from the photo).

Photo of still life set up

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Plums on a White Plate

Plums on a White Plate, oil on canvas, 9x12"

Plums on a White Plate, oil on canvas, 9×12″

Finally I’m back in my studio and painting again after a two-month reconstruction of my backyard that made it impossible to get in there. These sturdy plums waited for me in the studio fridge all that time, then sat on a table by the easel for nearly two weeks during a heat wave. Some days it was just too hot to paint–well over 90 degrees. I was afraid they would have exploded, fermented, or worse. But nope, due to the magic of non-organic, supermarket fruit, they were still holding their own (unlike the beautiful, expensive, organic fruit from my natural grocery that goes squishy and grows fur if not eaten in a day or two) and I could finish the painting.

Below is the value study I did in Procreate on the iPad before starting the painting, my sketch on canvas and a photo of the setup, which I painted from life.

Shower Caps!

Shower Caps! Inspired by a Sktchy photo, created in ProCreate on iPad with Apple Pencil

Shower Caps! And here’s the ph

Inspired by a Sktchy photo, created in ProCreate on iPad with Apple Pencil, when it was too early for bed and I was too tired to go to the studio. Sat the iPad on my knee, looked at photo in Sktchy App on iPhone.  And here’s the inspiration photo:

 

Shower cap inspiration photo on Sktchy by Danith R.

Shower cap inspiration photo on Sktchy by Danith R.

Let me know what you think about shorter posts like this. I’m going to try to post more often to the blog, with more pictures and less words. Sometimes less is more (posts) if I can get stuff posted quickly without long explanations. But don’t worry, there will still be lessons I’m learning in the studio posts too.

Two Very Different Portraits of Very Different Women

Portrait of Cyndy, oil on panel, 8x10"

Portrait of Cyndy, oil on panel, 8×10″

I painted this oil painting from a 2nd generation scan of a difficult photo. The harsh shadows, eyes hidden behind sunglasses, and brilliant fall foliage in the background created a challenge. But this was the photo her husband wanted painted so I did my best. The subject of the painting is a beautiful woman, a brilliant researcher and educator, a terrific hostess and a wonderful mother. It was a pleasure to paint her, even with the technical challenges.

Caricature of Cristina, sketched on iPad in Art Studio

Caricature of Christina Aguilera, sketched on iPad in Art Studio

Like I said, very different portraits, very different women. I sketched this on my iPad while watching The Voice, a singing competition TV show on which Christina Aguilera was a judge. I don’t understand why the women on these shows wear skin-tight clothes and so much make up that they look like cartoon characters, but at least it makes them easy to sketch since they already look like caricatures of themselves.

I’m enjoying Nicki Minaj on American Idol. She goes even further in the makeup, false eyelashes and wigs department, looking even more like a cartoon character…and acts like one too, the way she says absolutely any random crazy thing that goes through her mind. Sometimes she’s really funny.

I guess not just movie stars are wearing false eyelashes now. The receptionist at my eye doctor’s office gets hers glued in at the salon when she has her nails done. I’d rather buy those hairs glued into a handle of a brush to paint with. Much more practical, don’t you think?

Jingle Bells and Other Good Tidings

Jingle Bells, digital sketch done on iPad in ArtStudio app

Jingle Bells, digital sketch done on iPad in ArtStudio app

Happy Holidays to everyone! I made the digital sketch above in a new-to-me iPad app called ArtStudio. I’ve tried all the others and like this one the best. It has all the features of the other programs and more but just works more intuitively for me.

I did the nighttime digital sketch below in SketchbookPro, my previous favorite program. Several of us tried sketching in the dark on iPads on this sketch outing since it lights from within so you can see what you’re drawing.

Tilden Carousel and Christmas Lights, sketched on iPad in Sketchbook Pro

Tilden Carousel and Christmas Lights, sketched on iPad in Sketchbook Pro

The carousel in Tilden Park is beautiful and they have a special Tilden Christmas Fantasy holiday lights and decorations event every year. But every time I try to sketch there I get overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds and have trouble sketching anything I like. My sketch buddies posted some great results: Cathy’s colorful merry-go-round here, Ceiny’s coverage of it all here, Cristina’s bold drawings here, and Micaela’s lifelike digital sketches here.

Photo of Tilden Christmas Fantasy

My photo of Tilden Christmas Fantasy

Not only is the giant tree and field in front of the carousel covered in lights and decorations, but the interior is filled with a hundred or so trees, animals and other items, all decorated with different themes (e.g. there was a Hello Kitty tree and a 49’ers  tree). Plus all the historic carved animals on the Merry-go-Round and the kids riding them whirling around. And Santa and the Elves taking wishes. Plus the merry-go-round music and Christmas soundtrack music being played over loudspeakers, and the smell of popcorn and cocoa from the refreshment stand.

It’s no wonder I get overwhelmed and have trouble settling down when I draw in there! Outdoors I sat on my stool by the restrooms way across the parking lot. It was quiet there.

Best wishes for love, joy and peace (and hopefully a little art)!

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