Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Autumn Colors

At the tag end of autumn there's a whole different set of colors than those I noticed a month ago. The 'Bloodgood' Japanese Maple in the front bed with its bright red leaves suggests Christmas is just around the corner and the lichen on the vine maple at the front steps is a light but muted sage green. It's all about contrast, just waiting for me to notice. I see so much color here and while I'd love to have the painting skills to render a likeness, I can't, and why would I want to when a photograph captures the moment so well. Perhaps by using these colors from nature and the lines of the trees I could form an abstract collage. If I manage something I'll show you. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

From my Sketchbook ...

by Jo Reimer

I keep a tiny metal alphabet stencil in the back pocket of my sketchbook and use it when I remember. The stenciled letters adds interest to any page. 

 Cannon Beach Oregon is known for incredible flowers. There are planting beds and big pots of flowers and shrubs everywhere with blooms lasting most of the year in the mild climate. The misty ocean air is good for the plants and whoever tends the beds knows just how to keep the soil in tip top shape to stimulate growth. This September the geraniums were at their peak and gave me a good reason to sit on a bench and draw a nearby flower, noticing for the first time how the buds hang from this particular variety.
Calla Lily
 There are calla lilies everywhere, along fence lines, in big pots and beds alongside the sidewalks. In one neighborhood every yard has masses of calla lilies, leading to the suspicion that neighbors are generous with their plant starts.
 The leaves of a vine outside the coffee shop window held their pose for me this morning.

Pink with text
 Sketching is a great activity when one is waiting for something to happen...
Red Japanese Maples
Our son planted about an acre of Japanese maples "Bloodgood" just before he left for the army right out of high school. We sold that place 21 years ago and there are still several dozen of the trees left in the field. Perhaps I should have titled this Nostalgia.  I hate to think about how many farming acres near cities, including this one, are slated to become housing developments. This is where my daughter rode horse, where our son had his first job working for a neighbor on his nursery, where we started our own nursery business, where birds sang and dogs ran free. Yep, Nostalgia. It's bittersweet.

Monday, November 11, 2013

From my sketchbook... another 5

by Jo Reimer
There's not much of interest to draw in a hospital exam room.
 I used a Pentel Pocket Brush pen for this drawing. I like the bold line but I need to warm up with writing or drawing before I tackle a drawing because my hand can be a bit shaky.

The swing on my back  deck
 I love porch swings, had one at my childhood home, one at the farm, and now one hanging from the pergola on my back deck. All my grandkids have grown up sitting on Gramma's lap in the swing or sitting beside me as we see how high we can go. I don't usually look at it from this angle.

Two drawings, two villages
 The upside down umbrellas are from among the many which hang from the ceiling in Marcos Cafe in Multnomah Village. The building is in Cannon Beach, OR.

Anniversary drawing

Using painted book page in my sketchbook
I don't remember that I'm a collage artist when I pull out my sketchbook! Now what's with that? Bits of paper ephemera such as those used here add lots of visual texture and interest to an otherwise dull page. A few years ago I bought a dozen small Japanese novels, at least I think they're novels, at a book sale. I've used them for altered books and for sketch journals, and have painted pages from one  in various colors to put in my compost.

Friday, November 08, 2013


by Jo Reimer
I watched Louis Schwartzberg's TedTalk  about Gratitude yesterday with all his wonderful time lapse photos of the majesty and intricacy of nature and can't help but be filled with gratitude to the One who created it all.
Our Western Oregon landscape is so lush and beautiful at this time of year with the hot colors of the turning leaves and fall blooming plants. Even the dead leaves are leaving their eco prints on the concrete sidewalks. Once again I am in awe of the beauty around me and I recalled a page in a 2009 journal so I dug it out to share with you. I hope each of you has a wonderful weekend and are mindful of the beauty around you and of all we have to be thankful for.
Thank You

Thursday, November 07, 2013

From My Sketchbook, 5 more pages

by Jo Reimer

Caldwell County Courthouse
 We were impressed by this amazing courthouse in the Lockhart, Texas town square. It was built in 1894 of blue sandstone with Pecos red sandstone trim. This day it was shrouded in scaffolding as workers cleaned the surfaces. A quiet Sunday allowed me unobstructed views but my drawing skills weren't quite up to the task. Still, I remember the blue sky and the two young boys who stopped to watch me for a while.

Lunch at the Gristmill
 This was another scene that proved too much for me and my little book. However, one of the wait staff kept looking over my shoulder and finally asked about how to learn to draw. That made my day, and maybe hers, too.
Aerial drawing over Texas farmland
 As we flew in a small plane toward Dallas we were low and slow enough for me to capture some of the roads near a small Texas farm town. The rusty red circles are old buffalo wallows, now cattle ponds. (at least that's what my brother-in-law who knows such things told me.) See how the road circles the ponds?
 One can't really DRAW the sunset.

After Agnes Martin
Agnes Martin was a Canadian-American minimalist painter, an abstract expressionist whose work I first saw in the Agnes Martin Gallery at the Harwood Museum in Taos. The works were soft paintings with almost no color, just atmosphere, covered with lines. Here's a link to a video of the gallery: Agnes Martin at the Harwood.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

From my sketchbook... everyday drawings

by Jo Reimer

I'm reaching the end of a sketchbook and decided to show you some of the pages. I gutted a small 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" Moleskine and replaced the paper I don't like with Fabriano Artistico 90# watercolor paper. This results in fewer pages but the paper is more pleasing.

I love to draw and the more I draw the better I get at it. I'll continue to improve but that doesn't matter to me as much as getting images on paper in order to glue the day into my memory bank. When I look at each page I remember where I was, who was with me, even what the day felt like. That's what's important to me about a drawing practice.

No, I don't manage to draw every day although that's my intention. I simply haven't committed to the practice, no matter what I tell myself.

Mur's Patio 

Gruene, Texas

Zentangle doodle 

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