Currently Browsing: June 2009 32 articles


Billy Mays Dies at 50

Right: Billy Mays, television pitchman. (Image from Wikipedia Commons). If you have ever been up late (I mean really late!) or been up early on a Sunday morning (I mean really early) chances are you've seen this face. It's Billy Mays, TV pitchman, who died at the age of 50, on June 28, at his […]

Nature Sketching in the Dry Forests of South America

Donna McMenamin wrote in to give me a heads up about Ten Days to Paint the Forest on Terra. When I was still in Project Art for Nature we tried showing this DVD at one of our meetings but there was equipment failure. I never heard what was going on in the sound track and […]


More Commercially Made Sketchbooks


Above: More commercially manufactured sketchbook/journals, I've not discussed on the blog before (with one exception). In the text below I discuss them by "letter-label." Click on the image to view the enlargement.

On a recent trip to Wet Paint (where I’m happy to report they have all three sizes of the Fabriano Venezia hardcovered journal if you enjoy working in that book) I picked up a couple more sketchbooks to test out. (I can’t help myself. I am aware that at some point I will not be able to bind my own books any more and I want to be prepared with alternatives—at least that’s what I always tell myself.)

Gigagpan Revisited

I ended up "joining" the Gigapan site so I could take snapshots and make comments. If you visit Roz's Studio  1 and Roz's Studio 2 at Tom Nelson's gigapan site there are now several "annotations" from me about my environment. That's all. Oh, someone from Britain has also posted snap shots and noticed some fun […]


Trying Out some Watercolors from Daniel Smith



Above: color test swatches of three new Daniel Smith watercolor paints I purchased: Serpentine Genuine, Rhodonite Genuine, Transparent Red Oxide. Click on the image to view an enlargement. (Tab in gutter: when I start a journal I remove pages throughout it immediately, to allow space for collage.)

Note: Daniel Smith Watercolors are my preferred brand, the brand I use the most frequently, enjoy using the most, find the most vibrant and consistently well-made, etc. While I use a fairly limited number of colors in my typical travel palette I often look at additional colors to use for expanded palette situations, or as replacements.

The other day I stopped by Wet Paint in St. Paul and picked up a couple Daniel Smith watercolors I hadn’t tried before. I had been reading a lot about the Rhodonite, was curious about the Transparent Red Oxide, and, well when I saw the Serpentine Genuine I just had to have a tube (and I do not like green paint!)


Gigapan-tastic: Roz Gets Gigapanned and Take a Virtual Visit to Axman


Above: a "static" view inside the St. Paul Ax-Man store, ©2009 Tom Nelson. Use the link below to Nelson's gigapan site to view the full interactive image!

Yesterday photographer Tom Nelson came over and gigapanned part of my studio. If you wonder what type of environment I work in, what surrounds me when I talk to you on the phone, or what type of brushes and easel I use (the image is that detailed) you can now check it out at Tom's gigapan site. Getting directly to the views of my studio by following the first link, and then visiting the link below to a second view.



No More Drawing Adam Goldberg on Wednesday Nights


Above: Journal sketch of actor Adam Goldberg on the “Unusuals,” a cancelled 10-episode cop show on ABC this spring. Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and gouache. (Journal approx. 8 x 8 inches square.) Click on the image to view an enlargement.

NOTE: Keep on reading this post until you get to a detail of Goldberg's Chin! Typepad wasn't cooperating when I tried to stack images so there are some large gaps (at least in the preview of this post). Stick with it because I think the detail of the final sketch of his chin is worth it if you like watersoluble colored pencil.

I didn’t discover the “Unusuals” until it had already been canceled. In a way I guess that’s good. I couldn’t get too attached. In a way that’s bad: I watched it anyway and got too attached. The show followed several members of a NYC police department, focusing on cases, but mostly on the characters. I liked that; the friend who suggested I watch it thought that I would like that. Too bad not enough viewers did.

Then on May 27 while I was watching the show I noticed something. There were an awful lot of interesting closeups on actor Adam Goldberg.


More on the Hennepin County Fair

SpinArtSerious Left: Roz approaches Spin Art with great seriousness. Here at the county fair she practices for the State Fair. Click on the image to view an enlargement. (Photo from a friend.)

In my post on the piglets at the fair on Friday I mentioned that I would describe my County Fair experience more fully. Where better than to start at the making of Spin Art. This is however, the LAST thing you do at the fair (any fair) so that you don't have to carry the finished piece around with you while you try and sketch and do other fair activities.

True to form, as we were leaving, after 4 hours, my friend and I stopped at the small Spin Art "Lite" booth near the entrance/exit to the fair grounds. These weren't the deep-welled, permanent structures with push-button control you see at the State Fair. I think these spin art devices are actually available for home purchase, and the paints we were supplied were less opaque and glossy than those used at the State Fair. But the fun quotient is every bit as high (and I reached around the display and toggled the spin on and off to get the desired results). Where else can you have so much fun for $2.50!? (Finished spin art appears at the end of this post.)

The Greens of Summers

This morning when I set out for my bike ride at 8 a.m. I had already made a deal with myself. Just get on the bike, just go 14 miles (it’s my shortest route); just get through it. It was already 77 degrees F. with 70 % humidity. This is not the Minnesota I love, green or not. This is the Minnesota my parents smugly dismiss on phone calls from Arizona where they have “dry heat.”

It was one of those mornings when drivers of mommy vans, already dehydrated from their morning coffee and giddy from the car air conditioning hug too closely to the bike lane. You can either hop the curb to avoid them or use your finger—to leave them notes in the dust on their car. That’s how close they are.

What makes cycling in these stifling conditions doable is the shade on River Road (and Mississippi Blvd.)—green, green, green, dappling the road with oasis after oasis of shade. My body sends signals of relief the moment I enter the zone, and flags in despair when I leave one. But I keep peddling. There is no sound except the rush of air in my ears and the silence of the gears moving, moving, moving.

The Sketchbook Project 4

The following is NOT AN ENDORSEMENT, but only an announcement. I do not know anyone involved in this project; I don't have any additional information; I'm posting this because it might be of interest to some of my blog readers. My friend Karen (Atlanta Karen, not Minnesota Karen) sent me a link to the Sketchbook […]

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