As if I didn’t have enough to do at this time of year, I had to add fuel to the fire by taking a card making course at Sketchbook Skool. No, it’s not one of those ones where you cut and paste one piece of paper onto another, or stamp the words. It was a two week course on how to use your own art to design and create greeting cards good enough to send out into the world, not just to your friends and family, but maybe even to the card publishers themselves.
I got one week into it, when, of course, someone decided that it would be great if we held a holiday card exchange. About 150 of us sent off our addresses to someone willing to divide us into groups of six, with people scattered throughout the world. The cards have to be in the mail by December 10th in order to be sure they reach some of those destinations. That meant I had to suspend my class and get to work on the cards for this project. I’m sure they would have turned out a lot better if I had been able to finish the class first, but I’m learning new tricks with each one that arrives in the mail. Oh, this is great fun! Everyone has their own style and ideas. I can hardly wait to see what a Christmas card from Australia looks like. They are in the midst of summer there and, as I hear it, often go to the beach for Christmas day. I do hope she doesn’t make me one with a snowman on it!
I was also able to rejoin the art explorations with the group at the library this month, after not being able to attend the past couple of months. This time we learned about portraits and drawing faces in general. We did it in stages. First we were to draw a blind contour. That’s when you look at the picture you are copying, but are not allowed to look at the marks you are making on the paper. You are also not supposed to lift the pen from the paper. It’s easy to get lost and have to backtrack, making all kinds of wonky lines. The results can be rather interesting. After that we had to do a quick sketch, taking just two minutes to get the face onto the paper. Those were our warmup exercises before taking our time to try and draw the face we had chosen. I was introduced to conte pencils and now I want some! Not long ago this sort of exercise in the presence of others would have had me panicking, but one of the other courses I took this fall had me sit really close to someone and stare at them while drawing a big face and then add a little body on whatever space was left on the paper. I got my grandson to “help me with my homework” and he liked the results well enough he wanted to take it home.
Shortly after that I captured the face of a total stranger, at a bit more of a distance. He didn’t know about it until I showed him later.
A friend saw these and wanted in on the action, so she posed for me too. None of these faces are realistic, but they are still faces, and they are recognizably human so I’m happy with that. Besides, they were just fun to do.
Maybe I should try to draw Santa’s face sometime soon. I really do have to get back to that card making course. I still have a week’s worth of lessons to get done. What I’ve learned so far is that you don’t have to be able to draw really well to make beautiful greeting cards. Simple designs and lots of colour work well. I may have to take up calligraphy next though.
Oh, that reminds me. I still have to send cards to the usual people on my Christmas list, and write at least a note to go with several of those. So much to do. So little time. But I’m sure it’s the same with you, even if you aren’t silly enough to add card making classes and extra projects to your chores at the busiest time of year. Let’s take a deep breath and get the work done without adding any more logs to the pile.
Did you enjoy this ramble along with Karen? To read more of Karen’s past rambles visit her blog page right here on Hometown TV12! To read the full archive of Karen’s past adventures visit her blog at www.otherrambles.blogspot.com.