Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Before going offline for the holiday I wanted to take the opportunity to wish all of you a Merry Christmas! I hope you spend the day surrounded by people you care about (even if you don't celebrate the holiday!). 

Thank you for visiting my blog throughout the year and spending some time with me.

Happy Holidays!

The image above was created from one of my daily sketches. The original sketch was done in sepia ink. I scanned the sketch, took the image into Photoshop elements and digitally colored it. Foolishly I thought this would be the quickest route to adding color. Turns out, since my Photoshop skills are very lacking, it took me three times longer than if I had used colored pencils instead.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Work (not quite) In Process - Peony

peony painting WIP
watercolor on Aquabord
©2010 Stacy L. Rowan

Here is a work-in-process shot of the peony painting that I was working on this fall. If you are a Facebook fan you may remember me mentioning it there. In particular I mentioned how it always seemed to rain the days I was painting it... maybe the flowers needed water?

I wonder if I worked on it now it would snow? I may have to test that theory soon. My children desperately want some snow to play in. Me - not so much - but I'll do almost anything for my kids.

The reason the title of this post is "Work (not quite) In Process" is because I had to set this painting aside in order to prepare for the juried show I am in in February. It was tough to set it aside. This is the second time I have done that. The first time I stopped working on it because I couldn't get my mind around the puzzle of petals. But this time I was in a flow and really making progress.

I am sharing this in process shot here because I want the accountability to go back to the painting once my work for the juried show is complete. If I know people are out there waiting for an update, I will be more inclined to pick up the brushes and continue putting this puzzle together.

Thanks for your support!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Therapeutic Sketching

sketch of wooden leaves
8" x 11" graphite on paper
©2010 Stacy L. Rowan

Although I've been very busy over the last month or so, one of the things I haven't been doing is exercising. I typically do a combination of walking, running and tap dancing to stay in shape, with the occasional weight lifting, Wii Fit or pilates workout thrown in for good measure.
sketch of bamboo plant
approx 8" x 11" graphite on paper
©2010 Stacy L. Rowan

Around the middle of November I noticed some pain and swelling in my left ankle which I think is tendinitis. The prescribed treatment for tendinitis is rest which translates to no walking, running or tap dancing.

While it is good to have a little extra time in my schedule (i.e. time I would normally spend exercising), I quickly realized that I miss the stress relieving benefits of physical activity.
sketch of mug
approx 4.5" x 4.5" graphite on paper
©2010 Stacy L. Rowan

One night I was feeling pretty restless and frustrated. What's an artist to do if she can't go out and run a mile or two?

I decided to try some therapeutic sketching. For me that meant sketching big (8" x 11" paper instead of my typical 3.5" x 5.5") and loose a without a care for the outcome or likeness. The results of my sketching session are shown throughout this post.

face sketched while watching TV
approx 2" x 1.5" graphite on paper
(this was the fourth sketch and I was back to sketching small)
©2010 Stacy Rowan

Sketching wasn't quite as effective at releasing stress as exercising is, but it did help some and it definitely distracted my mind from chewing on the sources of my frustration.
another face sketched from TV
approx. 1" x 1.5" graphite on paper
©2010 Stacy Rowan

How does sketching compare to other stress relieving activities for you? Do you find sketching relaxing? Is more tension released when you make big loose marks or when you lose yourself in the rich complexity of detail? I'd love to hear about the ways you relieve stress, especially if they don't require the use of your ankle!!

Friday, December 10, 2010


There has been a lot of activity going on here. Paintings being painted, cards being made, sketching, baking, planning... So many different things filling each day.

The new works I am creating are for an upcoming juried show. The show isn't until February, but my inventory needed to be sent in by Monday.

One of the new paintings I recently finished is this pretty purple pepper. I found him at our farmers' market a couple of years ago and fell in love. If you want to add beautiful color to a fresh salad, add some chopped up purple pepper. It tastes essentially the same as a green or red bell pepper, but is more of a feast for the eyes. My daughter, whose favorite color is purple, always asks to buy these when we see them. Another of life's simple joys found at the farmers' market.

My Friends are Green With Envy
8" x 10" watercolor on paper
©2010 Stacy L. Rowan