Saturday, June 4, 2016

Colored Pencil on Bristol Board

I wear so many hats in my life I sometimes forget that besides the author/writer cap I also once wore an artists's beret.

Last night Kelly asked me if I would draw her a trolley car for her 25th birthday. Volunteering at the Connecticut Trolley Museum ahs been her hobby for the past four years. Her personal project there is restoring their 1894 Brooklyn Rapid Transit trolley car, the oldest car there. She's been working on it off an on for a year now. I asked her for a picture of it and she provided me one.

Today was the Art Walk featuring local artists downtown. My friend was unable to make it, so I waited to go while John finished painting the house. I worked on editing the current novel-in-progress and decided while reading it and editing that I needed to trash it and rewrite it so that it was darker. I was also suffering self-doubt about drawing. It had been a long time since I did art.

In the 1970's I worked in pen and ink. I also painted a mural on a child's bedroom wall in acrylics. Pen and ink was my preferred medium and I drew a lot, decorating my bedroom, and later my dorm room at college. I continued writing and doing some drawing into the 1990's-early 2000's. The last thing of any consequence I drew was a nautilus shell for Kelly in pencil that I hand colored. It's still hanging on her wall. After that I concentrated more on writing and didn't think I'd pick up a pencil or pen again because of the rheumatoid and osteoarthritis I have.

So, John and I went downtown and walked around admiring all the art on display. I saw some people I'd met at Articulture back at the end of April. I bought a different rooster print from the same artist I got my beautiful blue and green rooster print from (Steven Jones- Warrior's Art Room). On the drive home I psyched myself up.

From the art supply drawer I grabbed a piece of Bristol board. From the coloring container I grabbed all our colored pencils and then I sat down at the kitchen table and sketched the trolley car. It was pretty crude, but it looked like a trolley car. I used the black colored pencil to fine tune the somewhat wavering lines, straightening them out, giving them definition. Then I drew in windows and other details. What I couldn't figure out was the trolley truck under the car. It's not something I'm familiar with.

By the time Kelly came home from the museum I had the majority of the car colored in but not yet completely shaded and detailed. I let her see her present because I needed a better idea of what it is that is underneath the trolley. She found me a better picture and I was able to finish the truck.

After a break for dinner I decided to just go ahead and finish the picture, so out came the pencils again and I did all the shading and finer detailing, plus worked in the background of trees and sky, a telephone pole and a partial building (signal house). Overall, I spent less than four hours on the drawing and if the smile on her face when she saw the finished product is any indication- she loves her birthday picture!

I'm a medical secretary, a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend...but I'm also an author and still an artists, too, apparently! I wear a lot of hats in my life...but it's the smiles I get from doing the things I love best that make my heart the happiest.

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