Thursday, August 14, 2014

 'after henry' ~ watercolors and pencil in zecchi wat, 3 1/2" x 5  1/2"

this post is in support of Erwin Lian Cherngzhi's  kickstarter campaign...   Erwin is a sketcher who wants to create The Perfect Sketchbook.   his perfect sketchbook is 3 1/2" x 5 1/2", contains 60 pages of 140# saunders waterford 100% cotton coldpressed watercolor paper, and lays perfectly flat when open.   it also has lots of other great features that you can read about on The Perfect Sketchbook website.

as of today there are six days left in his kickstarter campaign, and i'd like to see him meet his goal because i want to paint in The Perfect Sketchbook!  

the pics in this post were not painted in one of erwin's perfect sketchbooks, but  in a 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" watercolor book that was given to me last spring.

i've had a blast painting in it and only have six blank pages left.  these are some of my favorite pages...

most of the paintings are *not* realistic,

but some are.  i feel like i've learned a lot about painting outside; i have increased respect for those who paint 'en plein air'!  for instance a strong wind always seems to come up when you decide to paint wet on wet, and i am amazed at how fast water dries on paper.

i wanted to make juliette a little less serious, but nope.  all of the sudden mosquitoes were bearing down on me, so serious she stayed!   i only paint in this book when i'm outside, and i always leave the paintings as they were when i shut the book.  i don't fix them up at home...

probably my favorite thing is smearing paint around in the background, and i can get way too carried away with this.  but it's so much fun.

lately i've been doing paintings like this...  whoa!  really fun!

this little book was given to me by kathy dorfer, who brought it back from italy for me.   thank you, kathy...

everything i use (except the pencil)...   it's a cotman watercolor set that i took the paints out of years ago, and replaced with daniel smith watercolors.  the brush is an isabey travel brush.

but back to erwin's kickstarter campaign!   if you think he's on the right track with his sketchbook i hope you'll consider supporting him.   a $25 pledge means that you'll receive a sketchbook sometime in december,  but you can contribute as little as $1...

*  *  *

When Van Gogh was a young man in his early twenties, he was in London studying to be a clergyman. He had no thought of being an artist at all. He sat in his cheap little room writing a letter to his younger brother in Holland, whom he loved very much. He looked out his window at a watery twilight, a thin lampost, a star, and he said in his letter something like this: “it is so beautiful I must show you how it looks.” And then on his cheap ruled note paper, he made the most beautiful, tender, little drawing of it. 

 When I read this letter of Van Gogh’s it comforted me very much and seemed to throw a clear light on the whole road of Art. Before, I thought that to produce a work of painting or literature, you scowled and thought long and ponderously and weighed everything solemnly and learned everything that all artists had ever done aforetime, and what their influences and schools were, and you were extremely careful about *design* and *balance* and getting *interesting planes* into your painting, and avoided, with the most astringent severity, showing the faintest *academical* tendency, and were strictly modern. And so on and so on. 

But the moment I read Van Gogh’s letter I knew what art was, and the creative impulse. It is a feeling of love and enthusiasm for something, and in a direct, simple, passionate and true way, you try to show this beauty in things to others, by drawing it. 

And Van Gogh’s little drawing on the cheap note paper was a work of art because he loved the sky and the frail lamppost against it so seriously that he made the drawing with the most exquisite conscientiousness and care. 

~ Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit  (via tumblr)


  1. Another lovely post,Lynne.I so love your delicate paintings especially your Juliette.

  2. I really love your sketches Lynne. And now I want to go paint wildflowers a perfect sketchbook.


  3. Brenda Ueland, isn't she something. I read her years ago, as a writer, before I fell into art Van Gogh style, doing it for the joy of it. And smooshing paint all over the background !! xoxo

  4. ok ... i guess i am going back to Italy ! ( :
    stellar post girlfriend !

  5. Just love EVERYTHING in this post. You are very inspirational with what you paint and write.
    Getting my sketchbook out right now...or maybe I should go over to the Perfect Sketchbook first

  6. Hello my friend what a lovely thing you are doing for your friend...I love the variety of work you have shared so eclectic and inspiring ,and to work so small ,your talent never ceases to amaze me ...hope you are enjoying your wanderings and alters ....
    Luv ya

  7. hello dear Lynne,

    such a joy to see into your sketchbook, thank you for sharing.
    wind and watercolors.... now that is a dance. I have been using the heat of summer days to dry my paintings before i do on to the next stage. in winter i take them up into the loft where the wood stove heat dries them faster for me ;-)
    thank you for sharing the perfect sketchbook. wishing you lovely summer days and nights as we lean towards the next season.

  8. Hi sweetie woman, I love all your paintings, each and every one, full of love and joy even the serious ones :-). Good luck to Erwin on his sketchbook.
    Love this story about Vincent.

  9. Lynne, I think After Henry is a wonder; I would love to have one of these books,
    I see a day down a long windy lane now that I can maybe start to do this; learn how to journal and experiment and even take an online class which I'd love to do . Have you ever considered it? (maybe you have and I wasn't aware, ?)

  10. Hey, Lynne, I really love your 'plein aire' paintings; I definitely have respect for anyone who does that. I've only tried it a few times, and it was difficult. I hope Erwin makes his kickstarter goal! xox

  11. Brenda ueland quote, sounds so simple beautiful. To ignite the passion--

    A mosquito. Oh no! Juliette hears them coming. She is listening.

    Hope your weather is good and lots of walking.

  12. Oh sweet Lynne, again, you've captured the best parts that a creative voice gives us, a way to play that is all inclusive even *if* someone never touches a paintbrush, that sharing creatively is just as vital as the doing of it. I'm grateful that I am someone who lives daily to create but I'm also grateful for those who look and if nothing else allows them to at least think that maybe they want to try it themselves one day. Your paintings and drawings always make me smile and of course your explanations and ponderings are delightful and thoughtful. You keep me coming back. Life has been so crazy busy around here these past few weeks, I've been behind the eight ball keeping up with friends blogs and pleased when I get some down time to take my daily blog walk. You gave me sunshine today. xxooxxx

  13. i heard he got his project... yea... and that story about Van Gogh is wonderful... and smearing paint around in the background is highly underrated... xoxox

  14. Oh Lynne, what a wonderful post. The story about Van Gogh is so sweet, so filled with love. And, I especially related to the paragraph about all the education seemingly required to be an artist. It is so limiting to feel the need for "proper" instruction and credentials. I am finally giving myself permission to go on without them! Thanks again for your wisdom.

  15. AWESOME works...I like the look of the face!

  16. I love these sketches Lynne :) They are beautiful tender little drawings, just as it says in the passage about Van Gogh. :)
    Jess x

  17. Your drawings are wonderful on any paper Lynne ! Very inspiring…. and so 'YOU' !

  18. As always, you inspire me to get back to using sketchbooks, doing little paintings on-the-go.

  19. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!


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