Cheerful and Colorful Paintings

Cheerful and Colorful Paintings in Oil, Acrylic, Mixed Media and Collage

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pocket Sketching with Kath Macaulay in Tucson by Texas Daily Painter Nancy Standlee

Tucson Sketch
Day 1, Strathmore Drawing 4 x 6 in.

Kath Macaulay and Nancy
She uses one fanny pack but I felt like I needed two.

KATH Macaulay and Pocket Sketching:

Here are a few sketches (below in the slide show) I made this weekend in Tucson with 6 other students in Kath Macaulay's studio in her Pocket Sketching workshop. It had been in the back of my mind for several years to take her workshop and by chance on Wednesday I found out she was conducting a 3 day workshop in her studio Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I know I've never gotten ready so fast for a workshop and one of the reasons is her supply list. Check out her supply list HERE. It's always an adventure flying into a city never visited and a new workshop.


About 8:00 on Friday night I began to feel a little chill at the hotel and decided I needed help working the heat control because it seemed all my efforts just resulted in more cold air and after calling the front office, I found out this is a green hotel and they had switched over to air conditioning. It is either a/c or heat once you switch in a green hotel so being resourceful I made a blanket sandwich of the "Mister" side of the bed, reconsidered some softer sweaters to double duty as an p.j. under layer and made sure that the shower was good and hot the next morning. (If sometime I hear you say, it looks like you slept in your clothes, well you could be right.) During the days of the workshop the weather was perfect, sunny, no wind and shirt sleeve weather.

I wanted to pack very light, wear jeans, tennis shoes, and take a few tops and do it all in a carry on bag and I haven't traveled this way in a long time because I usually have so many art supplies to take. My bag was searched by a close cropped haircut young man who probably never had to even use a comb and he confiscated my hairspray. He ordered me to the other side of the table and not to touch anything, began to lecture me on my packing and not having all my bottles in one plastic bag. I ducked under the table to tie my shoes and stayed under there as long as possible hoping he didn't throw out my makeup and mascara. He proceeded to tell me he didn't know how I got through with a carry on this tightly packed. (They didn't weight it or check it and I hurried on by is how) and the help of a muscular young man to hoist it in the overhead. So on Saturday morning on way to Kath's (with my beloved Sugar Foot (gps) I had to stop at Walgreens and buy new hairspray and spray out in the parking lot and now I'm wondering if everyone is buying these small trial sizes of hairspray to travel. (Interesting on the way home TUS let me keep said hairspray.)


Kath is an energetic, red headed, no nonsense oil and watercolor painter who has developed a fast sketching technique she calls pocket sketching, easy and quick to do and she had us working most of the day. We would move into an adjacent room for a short demo and critiques but our painting was done around a large table with timed exercises, usually 25 minutes by a timer. She explained how to use the pen with water and some basic watercolor washes. Later we chose some landscape photos to work from. She has designed a fanny pack to carry her supplies so you can be out the door, ready to sketch at a moments notice. This was what I was needing for more courage and inspiration to sketch in public and to organize my supplies. I usually end up with a pencil case filled with pens, several pan palettes and a journal or two, cumbersome and therefore, I don't do sketching as often as I'd like. I should. She has developed her process to a quick easy method and I think you'd enjoy reading her blog. I did. Check it out

DAY TWO: It is exhilarating to wake up and know that after your coffee you can go sketch and learn something new..for a whole day. Sunday's challenges were still life with fresh flowers and then choosing a set up from something in her house. After a delightful lunch in her back yard we were treated to a fun sketch time. Kath dressed up in some outrageous "costumes" to pose for us to get us used to sketching quickly to get an image down. I had dinner at a great Mexican restaurant, El Charro Cafe and it was established in 1922 and it's the nation's oldest Mexican Restaurant in continuous operation by the same family. For their Carne Seca they sun dry beef on the roof.

The class met at
Trail Dust Town to spend the day to become more experienced sketching plein air. The first part of the morning Kath gave us a demo and then told us to scatter and pick us out a spot and she'd be back around checking on us (none of us were ready and wanted to follow her around but we finally did our own thing.) The weather was perfect and it was a delightful day. I flew home on Tues after a trip to the Sabino Canyon and a tram ride through some camera worthy scenery. There were a lot of suntanned, healthy looking older couples on the tram and hiking. Seems Tucson is a great place to spend the colder winter days.

Enjoy the slide show and mouse over for comments and if you get an opportunity take Kath's workshop and learn how to quickly record your surroundings. Check out her materials list to see the items in her fanny pack so she can be out the door in a moments notice.







Connie Michael said...

What a fun post, Nancy. It's clear you had a great time and did good work, too. I'm not at all surprised to see you with TWO fanny packs!

Nancy Standlee said...

You know the CBC CODE.. keep your camera with you at all times and then my phone and some $$ for lunch..some lipstick.. I need a multipocket shirt.

Suzy Pal Powell said...

Great blog post Nancy!!
great sketches...and i agree about the camera, etc.

Suzy Pal Powell said...

Great blog post Nancy!!
great sketches...and i agree about the camera, etc.

Nancy Standlee said...

Thanks Suzy and I'll get your CD to you soon. Blog post a little long but I had a lot to say!!

Eva said...

Nancy, you always have such interesting workshop stories to tell. I feel like I'm right with you having a ball. I know I would if I was.Now I want to dig out my little sketch book and travel wc's. Thanks for sharing and for stopping by my blog.! BTW I loved the slide show too. You are so talented :O)

Nancy Laliberte said...

Very inspiring post Nancy! I think I would need two fanny packs, too, you know for snacks, tissue, cell phone, sunscreen...

Nancy Standlee said...

Since then, Nancy, I've gotten a larger one but then I fill it with so much it's a little like wearing a pillow around your waist.. oh, dear, what can I try next?