Sunday, October 31, 2010

Animal expressions

Ziggy the Cat, 7 x 5" pastel and carbon pencil on paper, by Tracie Thompson

This is one of many reasons it's intriguing to me, drawing and painting animals. They have this quiet dignity about them. Ziggy, finished last night, is a great example.

This drawing was done on commission. Ziggy's human emailed me a few photos; I picked one as a basis for the portrait. For these small pieces I ship them in a pretty, soft white archival mat, so they fit a standard 8 x 10" frame.

Monday, October 25, 2010

What to do when stranded

Stranded, in the sense of being at Hawkins Automotive while they made several long-overdue repairs to my '96 Ford truck (and if you're wondering? Really good experience w/those guys; I'd recommend them).

Late October on Nicollet, pencils on brown paper, 9.5 x 6.5", by Tracie Thompson
When you've got "enforced down time," drawing beats reading old issues of Car & Driver or Entertainment Weekly. It prevents boredom and frustration, and gets people to talk to you when they otherwise might not. In all, it was a very good afternoon, repair bill notwithstanding.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

St. Paul Skyline

A view out the window at Old Town Artists, where I have my studio space:

Skyline from the Studio Window, oil on panel, 9 x 12", by Tracie Thompson
Sometimes, it's worth just stopping to notice the way sunlight falls on buildings.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Last Chance Bouquet, or How to Get Free Flowers

Last Chance Bouquet, by Tracie Thompson. 12 x 12" oil on panel.
These came from the intersection of Highway 52 and Plato, in St. Paul. There was a convenient empty parking lot right across the way from where the wild sunflowers, little white asters, and tiny purple thistle-like blooms were waving in the wind.

If you can find the few moments and the place to pull off the road, this is one of those unexpected happy-making things life has to offer. The flowers feel like taffeta, smell a little like honey, light and sweet. The ordinary jar you put them in becomes charming in an instant. And it feels fun and subversive, gathering flowers while other people zip by in their cars.  Be safe, of course, in traffic, but if you get the chance -- why not?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kitty, Kitty

Gracie Asleep. Sepia pencil, carbon pencil, wash; 7 x 11", by Tracie Thompson

Sketch based on Gracie. Ballpoint and watercolor, 8 x 11", by Tracie Thompson
This, for me, is one of the joys of tending my friends' animals: I get to use them for art models. Gracie's human isn't home yet, and I can't wait for her to see these, particularly the pencil/wash drawing at top, which (unlike the ballpoint sketch) truly looks and feels like delicate little Gracie.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Into the Great Wide Open (with a sketch book)

That's today's plan. I am not sure where I'll end up. Gonna spend a couple hours drawing, then get back to studio to pick up a commission I need to finish.

Whatever comes of the drawing session, I'll post the results tomorrow.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ace the Quarter Horse at the Extreme Cowboy Race

Drawing of Ace, 9" x 11" sanguine pencil on paper, by Tracie Thompson. Oct. 16, 2010
Ace belongs to my friend Jerusha Steinert, who is a remarkably effective, insightful trainer of horses people. This drawing was begun from life and finished from memory today (I had to move along when it was only half complete) at Equifest, just before Jerusha and Ace competed in the Extreme Cowboy Race.

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Season of Drawing Classes

The Bone I Found, and What I Made of It. Mixed media on paper, 13" x 10", by Tracie Thompson
"Beyond Beginning Drawing" is my Wednesday evening class at Bloomington Art Center. If you've got a little skill and want to push it further, come play! Bring your own objects for still life; use mixed media; combine photos with reality -- I'll help you clarify what's in your head. (I have beginner classes, too). Wednesdays, Oct 27 - Dec 8, no class Nov. 24, 6:30 - 8:30 pm.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Show News, Classes, and Railroads, oh my!

As part of my prep for some large paintings I have planned, I went sketching & photographing freight cars today.

Hopkins Freight Cars, 9" x 12" pencils and watercolor, by Tracie Thompson. Oct. 11, 2010

This is prep work for my upcoming show at Robbin Gallery in January 2011.

My drawing classes at Bloomington Art Center begin again on Oct. 27th! I have both introductory and intermediate classes available. 

Meanwhile, finishing a few animal portrait commissions and taking on a small custom finishing job for Mary Mackmiller at Mackmiller Design + Build.  Oh, and drinking plenty of espresso, because Art Crawl was so much fun it wore me out! I finished four paintings in those three days.

Anyone who wants to see work in progress should plan to come out for the Spring Art Crawl, when I'll be doing the same thing, working and chatting with everyone.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Off to the CRAWL (with Greyhound drawings)

Among other things, three of these sketches, which I matted up this morning to fit 11" x 14" frames:

These are drawn from life -- hurriedly, since the lounging dogs do move. The dogs belong to my friends, Kelly and Glenn Williams, and they are pure, lazy love.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fresh Sketches for the Art Crawl

Stairway Landscape and Draft Horse at Noon (drawn from life at the Draft Horse Classic).  These are both 9" x 12" mixed pencils and watercolor on archival cotton rag paper.  Available unmatted at $45 each.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Quick California Drawings Post

These are some of the things I'll have at the Art Crawl this weekend. All mixed media on cotton rag paper, sizes about 7" x 8" to 8" x 11".

I am BACK!

And there was much rejoicing.

... um ... there was much rejoicing, wasn't there? Guys?

I want to write a long post because I went to California and had an amazing time and made lots of drawings, including the Quiet Clydesdale sketch above -- done from life at the Draft Horse Classic in Grass Valley.   But I don't have time because ...


You can find me at Old Town Artists on the 4th floor of the ACVR Warehouse, 106 W. Water Street, St. Paul.

So I have to go prepare! Lots of stuff to show and sell.