Saturday, August 25, 2007


I came across a photo while searching through my archives today and decided to draw it as another self portrait. I always seem to have some animal attached to me it seems and this is no different. A day old Pekin duckling that I couldn't resist picking up. They of course climb instinctively to the highest point and I hwas trying to keep hold of him to prevent him taking off over my shoulder.

I'll transfer the drawing and see what I can do with it in watercolour I think.

Birds seem to be everywhere lately and a hawk has been around for a few days trying its luck at having duck dinner. The hawk has taken a duck already this year but I was hoping he'd go away. Yesterday he was manoevering and obviously got confused by the living room window and crashed into it.

From the livingroom window you can see through to the dining room window and it sometimes confuses birds who think they can fly right on through. A small bird makes a very loud noise when it hits the window but a hawk hitting it really does get your attention. He hit it so hard that he left scratch marks on the window with his talons or beak. He flew off again zigzagging and likely has a headache today. Perhaps he won't come back for awhile.

The scratches on the window are pretty obvious, I just hope it hasn't broken the seal on the window. Does insurance cover damage by hawks? Ahhhh, country living....

Friday, August 24, 2007


Four Artist Trading Cards - Summer
2.5 x 3.5, coloured pencil on Stonehenge
copyright Jeanette Jobson 2007

How an image appears to the viewer is all in the distance at which you view it.

In close range, especially in tiny images like these ATCs, colours and shapes are distinct strokes or values and the object somehow indistinct. But step back a few feet and everything pops into focus beautifully. This of course works with every drawing or painting. But some people have rituals about how they view a painting and I was trying to assess mine. I think I usually view from a distance, then try to get as close as possible, perhaps to absorb just how the artist as created the image. I want his or her technical secrets!

"What do you do when you look at a painting? I admit, I'd not consciously thought about it until I read Jonathan Jones' latest article The Guardian on a Rembrandt exhibit.

The first thing anyone has to do when looking at a painting is decide where to stand. Personally, I will circle, go away, come back; stand as close as allowed, then far away, then leave the room and return. It's something we never talk about, as if it were an embarrassing or boring distraction from the serious matters of form and content, but it's an important decision."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Artistic license

Each of us is an artist, capable of conceiving and creating a vision from the depths of our being.
(Dorothy Fadiman)

I came across a sketch that I did of my sister a couple of years ago that I later turned into a drawing. The back of the head is rather flat in this drawing, one of the reasons it never made it past the drawing table.

I try to be realistic in my portraits and also flatter the individual as much as possible but I don't know if I always succeed. Then again, the perception we have of ourselves is always different than how others see us.

A friend of mine years ago was a wonderful portrait painter and he loathed two types: middle aged women who still thought mentally that they were 20 and young girls who weren't attractive, but who were so in the eyes of their mothers. Roger was a realistic painter and a good one and he hated to compromise just to soothe someone's ego or flatter unrealistically.

It is difficult to find that easy balance of flattery and realism. There will always be tweaks and adjustments either requested by the sitter or seen through the eyes of the artist. Its a lifelong journey of discovery.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Lillian Jackson Braun:
Cats never strike a pose that isn't photogenic.

This is the face of a killer.

I left the house the other morning and Tripod wasn't in his usual spot waiting to come in, but over by a tree. He acknowledged me with a few meows but still wouldn't come over so I went over to see what he was up to. He had at what at first I thought was the biggest mouse that I'd ever seen.

It wasn't a mouse. It was a rabbit. Or the back half of a rabbit which was turning into breakfast. (it seems the front half was under my car) It was a young rabbit that was perhaps a quarter the size of the cat. I've seen him stalking things in the meadow but didn't actually think he'd be successful, even though he does catch mice in the barn from time to time.

Tripod's hunting instinct are obviously in good form even with his disability of 1.5 front legs.
Living in the wild for a couple of years must have honed his skills.

I'm waiting to see him dragging a moose up the driveway next.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Little things

Red & Purple Plums
Coloured pencil 2.5 x 3.5
copyright Jeanette Jobson 2007

I'm a moderator at Drawspace and try to spend some time there helping others learn and give back a bit to another online community when I can. Part of my role there is to provide projects to get people drawing and I thought an Artist Trading Card swap might fit the bill. It's well received so far and I've been roped into drawing as well - 10 cards in the next 30 days.

I haven't done much in the line of miniature drawings, but I have noticed the upsurge in their popularity, especially the ACEOs which are the same 2.5 x 3.5 cards but up for sale instead of trade. You can go to Ebay and see them by the hundreds in a variety of talents from very good to very bad and everywhere in between.

But these cards aren't for sale, just for trade to get people into the spirit of it. So tonight I've played with plums in coloured pencil in teeny tiny form and it feels strange to concentrate hard to fit an image into such a confined space. Its a start. Now nine more to go....

Monday, August 20, 2007


9 x 12 graphite
copyright Jeanette Jobson 2007

My mother phoned me tonight in a tizzy. She'd found an old diary from 1946 and sat up til 2am last night reading it and recalling the past, which for whatever reason, upset her.

So now she wants me to locate people who she knew in 1946 during the second World War. These were British and Canadian soldiers at the time who spent Christmas with her relatives and she was sent to amuse them or at least give them someone more their age to talk with. The fact that they were in uniform and probably way more interesting than the locals likely never entered into it....

Now thinking of someone you knew 61 years ago and actually FINDING someone you knew 61 years ago, let alone finding someone in a different country is pretty slim. An address in 1946 may now be the car park for a supermarket or hotel or the person may be dead as they would now be older than my mother and she is 83.

But she's not considering these options. Jeanette, Wonder Woman, will stop her life and find these people, as I really have nothing else to do, do I?

So if anyone knows of a David Sidney Gipson, last known address Rosemount, Tenterdon, Kent or a Richard A Bryant, Knowlton, Quebec, let me know. These gentlemen would be in their mid to late 80's if they are still alive.

Make an old woman happy and give me less stress.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Little Harbour East
Oils 5 x 7
copyright Jeanette Jobson

As I promised myself yesterday, I dug out my oil paints and tackled a fairly simple composition. I haven't used oils in nearly 20 years, but like riding a bike, I'm hoping it will come back to me.

I used to use oils extensively in animal and human portraiture but children and animals and lack of space got in the way so they were put in a storage box and didn't see the light of day too often as I used more dry mediums such as graphite or coloured pencil.

I still have some catching up to do with my oils, but loved the buttery texture and smell of them again. I realized too that I also need some new brushes! I managed with the ones I had, but some of those are equally old and a little stiff from lack of use to say the least.

The photo of the painting isn't great. It doesn't show the true colours and values as it looks completely different in real life. I am very frustrated with my camera lately. I think it may be time to invest in a new one. It can't all be my incompetence. Or can it? I hate tweaking images with graphic editors once I have them on the computer. I always think it detracts somewhat from the original.