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Sunday, 26 August 2007
Fall Paintings, Martin Prechtel and Mayans, Van Gogh and Gaugin's
Topic: Life

On Fall watercolors, Marvin Prechtel, a Halloween page, "Lost Mother Moon" story, Van Gogh and Gaugin, from a letter to a fellow blogger from last fall:

Hello dear K,

I've been woefully amiss in my letter writing. I started something below (9/17/06), way back when, and then got stuck on it because I couldn't do it justice. I had also spent quite a long time trying to find the referenced speech online so that I could explain it better. I could not find it and so, let it lay. The original subject line for this draft was: Continuing on.......earning money w. crafts, art,education, school. But I don't think I've touched any of these threads, at least not in the way I had in mind then.

Today I've finally popped by you and Tighe and see I must say a proper hello. Thank you for noticing my fall watercolors. I painted them (now several years ago,) when someone requested something for fall but fall had not yet shown its colors. I had to make it up. I sat in a bagel shop painting these miniature watercolors with fall right on my table while the world bustled around me. It is that feeling of having a world in one's hands that is one of the things I enjoy most about painting. And painting big is the other side - making a world one can step into (remember Mary Poppins and the sidewalk paintings they jumped into?) ..... Your fall leaves hall runner rug is beautiful.

I've been taken up with the halloween page I put on my site. It is not much, not a big deal - the same halloween coloring pages I put on my blog last year, but I included the most interesting halloween links that I could find, to ie. some good origami, some fun craft projects, and a few others. The page (and my regular coloring pages page) got some traffic because somehow it ended up high enough in google search pages for either people or robots to find it. The traffic jumped wildly last weekend as one of the images ended up in google's image search with a higher placement. I find it so fascinating (and quite obsessive) to watch how visitors get to the pages. (I know I have to give this up because it is essentially meaningless.) For all I know though, these are just robots from link farm web sites looking for sites to add to their sites. I also find myself responding to the searches by which visitors come. When I got a few hits for origami, I went looking for good halloween origami myself, and put my findings on the page. I bet a lot of other people do this and eventually perhaps the same bunch of information is found on every site.?

9/17/06 I heard a wonderful interview this morning with Martin Prechtel on New Dimensions Radio . He spoke of many things we've been touching on. Back in hippie days he'd ended up in a Mayan Guatemalan village being an apprentice to the local shaman. He did this for 10 years there, finally taking over the village shaman role when the old man died. During the so-called 'civil war' he came back to USA, and has been working to lead people here to find their own 'indiginous soul' in their own back yards rather than thinking they can find it in another country, another technique. These Mayans believed, or all indigenous people?, that the 'other world' is what gives the physical world, ie people, life. We cannot exist in it without taking from it. We are therefore constantly in debt to it and required to ritualistically repay the debt by rituals of eloquance, creations of beauty, in short, we must feed the other world so it can continue to live and therefore we can continue to live. --- when I write this though it sounds so trite. It can hardly even be set in words....

I got the impression that he believes we have to get back to expressing sacredness a lot more to heal ourselves, our world(s), to make ourselves whole; and that it is because we don't do this that we are so impoverished (spiritually). -----------------------

10/7 again ........... and I'm just coming upon your blog re-post of 9/27 Lost Mother Moon - wonderful story, inspiring interview. .......have just read your blog comment in your Ouspensky (In Search of the Miraculous) post, where we talked of getting at the truth of our ways of being, in that case it was about teaching. You advised 'observing' oneself. I know I try to observe but one hides one's self from one's self! I am fairly sure I teach for the right reasons, but I'm realizing its the context that is not feeling right. I haven't found an appropriate outlet for it yet. I want something more from it. That is what my quest has been, tho not yet fulfilled. And all my talk of how to view the question of money - do not think I have that one solved either! ... My desire is to have this all working in a simple, full, whole.

A book on VanGogh and Gauguin: The Search for Sacred Art, by Deborah Silverman, I bought recently has some photos that echoed something you touched on. It quite surprised me. They each had made some sort of decorative wooden boxes for different purposes. Gauguin's is an allegorical somewhat morbid jewelry box (I hesitate to include it here) and VanGogh's holds balls of colored yarns relating to the weavers he worked around at that time. He also apparently played with color with these yarns. I took pictures to show you quite a while ago, probably should have included text so you could read for yourself: .............I am not one to be tidy with my threads...

Warmest Regards, Catinka

remote Posted by Catinka Knoth at 6:45 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 26 August 2007 8:12 PM EDT
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Thursday, 23 August 2007
Lesson on Drawing Rabbits - Kids Drawing Workshop at the Library
Topic: Drawing Lesson

We drew rabbits at this week's children's drawing workshop, Rockland Public Library. The kids and some adults drew along with me as I demonstrated. See the rabbit drawings by kids and adults. One adult asked, "Why do you always start by drawing the eye and how do you get the right proportions?". I told him sometimes I work by getting proportions down first but I'd learned this 'eye first' thing from Oriental painting. Once the eye is down you have a 'being' on the paper. It is looking back at you. There is life there. From there you can better imagine the proportions. Even if you don't get them right, you still have life in front of you. Just think of caricatures and cartoons. They are often very unnatural in their proportions but because of their definiteness we accept them as they are.

These are my demonstration drawings from the workshop. Click the links for rabbit coloring pages. (Links below the pictures are the same coloring pages of the images.) I hope you'll also try drawing them.

Rabbit faces
Rabbits with a carrot
Rabbit sawing
Rabbit wearing a dress and bow
Rabbit with a push mower

rabbit drawing
Rabbit faces
rabbit drawing
Rabbits with a carrot
rabbit drawing
Rabbit sawing wood, after Garth Williams
rabbit drawing
Rabbit in a dress and bow
rabbit drawing
Rabbit mowing, after Garth Williams

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 8:03 PM EDT
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Thursday, 16 August 2007
Let's Draw Dogs - Children's Drawing Workshop
Topic: Drawing Lesson

This Tuesday's children's workshop at Rockland Public Library was on drawing dogs. The kids (and some parents) did follow-along drawing with my demonstrations. These are my demonstration drawings. The links below each drawing will give you a larger view that you can print out and try your own hand at. The kids' drawings are at the links below this table. The kids put their art up on the white board for gang photos. There are repeats where some drawings were turned over to show the verso and others remained.

dog drawing
Dogs' eyes and faces

We started with practice in drawing eyes, then did a frontal dog face and a profile view. 

dog drawing
Dachshund after Ken Hultgren, silhouette...

This simple line drawing after Ken Hultgren is amazing to see how beautifully the kids can do it. Start with the snout, then a sweep along the back to the curly tail, a front leg, a back leg, and a 'z' for the eye. 

The silhouette we start by scribbling in the head, then the neck and shoulders, the body, the legs and finally the kids had their choice of tails on the left. The ball was just supposed to show the difference between using an outline to draw and just using scribbling. It turned out to also be a ball for the dog! 

dog drawing
Mean bulldog after Ken Hultgren

No one wanted to try this bulldog. They all thought it looked too hard to do. But they gave in and of course they all made good scary dogs. 

dog drawing
after Scooby-Doo

We had brainstormed a list of dog characters the kids knew. Someone happened to have a Scooby Doo book, so we gave it a try. I didn't even know who he is even though I'd heard of him. We started with nose, then the eyes. When I put in the mouth there was a roar of laughter from the kids. I said, "Whaaat?", thinking something had happened that I was unaware of. An adult filled me in, "They like it." Wait til you see their Scooby-Doo's below. 

Click the links below to see the kids' drawings.  Any ideas how to get good photos of pencil drawings (in short time constraints)?
Kids' dog drawings A
Kids' dog drawings B
Kids' dog drawings C
Kids' dog drawings D
Kids' dog drawings D1
after Scooby Doo by GB age 7
after Scooby Doo by CB age 9?

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 7:31 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 16 August 2007 8:01 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 8 August 2007
Let's Draw Cats - Children's Drawing Workshop
Topic: Drawing Lesson
These are the demonstration drawings from my "Let's Draw Cats" workshop at Rockland Public Library this week. The children (and interested parents) draw along with me.  
demonstration drawing of cat
demonstration drawing of cat demonstration drawing of cat
demonstration drawing of cat demonstration drawing of panther
demonstration drawing of tiger

Print out these enlargements to practice drawing from.

Cats eyes

Cat with closed eyes

Fat cat lying down 

Cat silhouette



Kids' Cat Drawings:

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 6:38 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 8 August 2007 7:25 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 31 July 2007
Drawing a Lobsterboat and Dock at Owls Head Harbor
Topic: Art

Today I set up at Owls Head Harbor just to do some drawing or ink wash painting. I started out hoping I could draw directly with brush and ink to make a line painting that could also be a coloring page. Instead I worked first doing a study in tonal grey wash. Then, still with a mind to making a coloring page drawing, I did a pencil tonal drawing. The pattern of negative shapes and shadows were so fascinating though that I didn't get to doing a linear image.

wash painting of harbor
This is the wash painting of the lobsterboat "Quick Step" at the dock. By the time I got to the pencil drawing, the tide was well on its way out. The boat was settling into the ground with its stern in the air above the water. Here is my pencil drawing of the lobsterboat at the dock. The actual drawing is not nearly as dark as this version.

One thing I love when working at a working waterfront is to be able to hear the banter and stories of the guys on the dock. If I heard right, the lobster catch is finally starting to pick up.

I'm usually painting alone or in the company of students. This time I was painting in the vicinity of another artist. When I got out of the car to set up with my gear and put my stool down I was surprised by the sight of another painter down below me on the beach set up with easel and large canvas.  It was very hard not to ply this fellow with questions about his story. I finally had to ask. "Are you part of a workshop, or here painting because you just do it?" We exchanged our brief painters' stories.  You will enjoy the paintings of Colin Page at colinpagepaintings.com.

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 10:00 PM EDT
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