Art Escape Italy challenge

Art Escape Italy recently presented a self-portrait-during-the-lockdown challenge. If you won, you would get a free workshop in Italy in 2021. What’s not to like about that?! I had been to one of their plein air workshops in 2016, so I knew they chose quality instructors and great venues. This was a “stretch goal” for me, to accept the Art Escape Italy challenge, but I figured it was worth it, since the worst that could happen was nothing and the best that could happen was to win a workshop!

It was fun to try, and my first selfie in oils. Although it makes a lot of sense to paint yourself, it doesn’t always feel comfortable as it feels narcissistic or something, so I haven’t done it much. If you don’t want to bother people to sit for even a photograph, much less an actual painting, you yourself are always there…  

They had about 150 entries. I did not win, but was close! The winner was a stand-out and I admire that portrait. Here’s Art Escape Italy’s blog post.

Micaela Marsden self-portrait
selfie 2020
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a graphite portrait

When was the last time I picked up a pencil to draw with??—it might have been about 4 years ago. I’ve been wanting to return to working on the faces project and drawing with graphite just feels fun. My original goal was 500 faces, just because it sounded neat, but is that even possible at this slow pace? Doubtful. This felt difficult, I was not happy with the blending of tones — maybe it was the paper or the pencils, or just how much time had passed. Here is a portrait of a woman I admire.

portrait in pencil

A portrait of a friend’s grandbaby, anonymized to protect the innocent! I still love graphite as a main medium. It’s so malleable that shading is pure fun. Of course, it comes along with it’s smudging capabilities which end up in unwanted places — nothing a coat of paint can’t fix! This will go into the upcoming Pro Arts East Bay Open Studio, June 6&7, and 13&14. http://www.proartsgallery.org/ebos/

The T has a blank in the middle — what should it say?

Baby Armadillo drawing
Baby Armadillo

Vote tomorrow!

Barack Obama makes a point about Mitt Romney’s plan

The Albany Public Library hosted a viewing of the second presidential debate, with commentator George Lakoff. It was great to watch it with a room full of people interested in the future of our country who have a good sense of humor besides. George Lakoff had very enlightening comments on why the deep divisions of today exist, and how they could be changed. He is the author of Don’t Think Of An Elephant! as well as many other books.

People fought hard for our right to vote – so get down to your local polling place tomorrow! Please study the issues, they are often not what they appear to be. Consult with trusted sources to get an understanding of these issues.

Dia de los muertos

Taking Bart, getting out at the Fruitvale station, put us right into the Dia de los muertos celebration on October 28th. This is a day to honor your loved ones who have passed along to another world, and to celebrate life. My two sketching friends and I stayed til the crowds got too thick to be able to draw without getting our elbows bumped!

Dia de los gigantes (Day of the Giants) image from a t-shirt, and a woman dressed and painted for the festivities.