Saturday, December 29, 2007


Coloured pencil on Stonehenge 9 x 12
Copyright Jeanette Jobson

I have come to the end of the commission and the final image is shown here. Now I have a couple of demos to do for classes in January and a lot of organizing to complete.

Tomorrow I will tackle a personal review of 2007 and share some plans for 2008. I just need to put them all on paper first. I like the reality of words on paper sometimes over typed words. There is something comforting about putting pen to paper, no spell check, no delete button. A quiet corner by the fire, a glass a wine and some reflections of the year past and the year to come.

Katherine Tyrrell of Making A Mark blog has awarded her 'Make Me Think' Gong jointly to me and Tracy Helgeson. I'm thrilled to receive recognition from Katherine and honoured to share this with Tracy whose work is energetic and writing always brings me straight into her life.

Katherine says:
Strong contenders in this category - which means people whose blogs I enjoy reading for the narrative as much as the images - are:
All three frequently refer to the wider aspects of how we live our lives, difficulties we have to deal with and approaches which seem to produce good results. They all speak about both everyday matters and bigger concepts in an everyday way. They often make me step back and think about what I'm doing and how I relate to what they are talking about. In other words they take my perspective out for a spin!
Of course no pressure now to write something thought provoking!

On top of that, Katherine also offered the wonderful Tripod up as a contender for "The Moose" Award - Best Animal in an Illustrated Blog. Tripod, my cat, is the character that captured attention both in photographs and drawings in 2007 and earned me a Best of Show as well for this drawing. Contenders for "The Moose" were varied and all excellent artists. Gayle Mason of Fur in the Paint was the winner of this year's award and so well deserved. Her animal drawings are superb.

Recognition from your peers is something that does several things. It provides confirmation that you're heading in the right direction. It provides an ego boost. It makes the hard work worthwhile and it makes the friendships forged in this unnatural environment real. It also removes geographic barriers and allows sharing of thoughts, resources and lives.

Thank you Katherine and to everyone who reads my blog, shares their thoughts and helps me learn. Perhaps we all need to start these end of year awards, based on personal criteria and input from other artists. Lots of creative little banners could pop up on blogs full of 'feel good' emotion and support.


I digressed a little from my commission work and started a portrait. It was more of a doodle to begin with then I got more involved in it. I haven't slept well lately, so early (4am) mornings seem to be a good time for me to draw. Fueled by coffee and a warm fire, I get a few hours of drawing in before daylight strikes the tops of the trees.

I liked the challenge of this image, trying to draw realistically yet sympathetically. I also find the length of this particular commission I am doing a bit monotonous. There are nine pieces, each have a similar shape, but with different expressions and colours. Its good to break away from it now and then and do a sketch or quick drawing.

Yesterday I cocooned on the sofa with chocolates and a movie while a snowstorm raged outside for most of day, dumping 32 cm of the white stuff. Of course, snow here is rarely the picture perfect stuff that falls straight from the sky. No, this stuff is horizontal snow, driven by 100 km an hour winds. It is often mixed with ice or rain so that if you venture out, it feels as if a thousand tiny knives are cutting into you. Hence the hibernation mode on the sofa....

I'm amazed at how quickly my time has gone by. Three more days then I'm back at work again and I haven't accomplished a quarter of what I wanted to. Its funny how I seem to need a deadline at my heels to spur me into action. I'll fill these next three days with some painting and a start of some demos for classes in January. As another 10-15 cm of snow is due tonight and tomorrow, there shouldn't be too many other distractions brewing.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A cat's Christmas

The main event of Christmas is over and done with now, leaving me, among many no doubt, wondering what all the fuss was about. However, there are some good aspects to Christmas and it brings pleasure to some, including Tripod, the cat who thinks he's a dog.

Tripod loves paper of any kind, so Christmas wrappings were his idea of heaven.

He also loved his Christmas present of a bed, even if it is a bit of a tight fit. He has an army of soldiers to watch over him while he sleeps.

While the cat amuses himself, I'm kept busy finalizing a commission which is nearly completed. Then I will have a chance to review my year and make plans for the coming year. Its amazing when you write things down, just how much you have achieved. I'd encourage everyone to jot down some of the highlights of your year and make plans to surpass them in 2008.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Exploring the world

Curiosity, fear, intrigue, belief, wonder, fantasy? Any or all of the above could be present in my 11 month old grand daughter's face at her first encounter with the old gentleman himself. They also need to be present in all of us to create art. Its unfortunate that we often forget to use those same emotions and expression that we had as children. They serve us well as adults and especially well in the creative arts.

You can see the baby explore this person's face with her eyes, absorbing every plane, shape and colour. Its something she has never seen before. Its the same way that an artist explores an object when drawing or painting it. You see it for the first time as you use your eyes and pencil or brush to replicate what is in front of you.

I hope the holidays find you healthy, happy and looking forward to a new year filled with wonder and art. And most of all, I wish that you can rediscover some of your childhood wonder and interest in the world and include it in your next creative challenge.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Handmade paper

Candy canes
Coloured pencil 8 x 5

copyright Jeanette Jobson

Today has passed in a flurry of activity, none of which was really essential and it took time away from drawing and painting which I wanted to start. But there's always another day, but likely not tomorrow as Christmas takes over. But I hope to take some time to play during the day between meals and gifts and people.

I was sorting out my art cupboard today and found a pad of quite expensive St-Armand paper that I bought in Regina last month. It was my splurge at the time and its been sitting in the cupboard ever since while I find something interesting to use it for. Its classed as 'panoramic' size which is 9" x 20". I liked the sizing and thought it would make interesting landscape views. It was also available in a 9 x 10 block format as well. It seems like a fairly strong paper and the salesperson at the store said that it can be used for a variety of mediums, dry and wet. I'll experiment a bit with both and see how it holds up.

I already have some of the St-Armand Canal paper and Sabretooth paper. I love unique, handmade papers and they are a rarity these days, so accessing something when I am off the island is always a treat.

I have made paper myself several times and its an interesting activity. It takes practice to obtain a smooth surface to draw on and most of my efforts have come out as fairly sturdy paper. I often include herbs or flower petals to the paper or essential oils to provide fragrance to the finished product. It is really a summer activity as it involves lots of water and mess, so I do it in the garden on a nice warm sunny day which dries the paper fast on the frames.

For those interested in creating their own paper, there are lots of instructional sites online or contact some of the companies which provides supplies and finished products.

Paper Trail
The Paperwright
La Papeterie

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Good drawing days

1950's Reindeer Ornament
Graphite, 8 x 5
Copyright Jeanette Jobson

You know when you have times of good drawing, when things you try just seem to roll off the pencil or paintbrush without effort? These last few days seem to be like that, so I'm trying to fit in as much as I can while the moment lasts. I know there will come a time soon when I try to draw or paint something and it will not work, no matter what I do.

Its a strange phenomenon as it seems effortless on my behalf . I realize of course that this revelation may be simply subjective on my part and the observer may have a totally different viewpoint. Productivity and willingness combined with time availability may play a role in how drawings or painting progress. Whatever factors come into play, I'm enjoying it.

This morning I tackled one of final pieces that go on my tree. This is an old ornament, almost as old as me, that I had as a child. Its a simple plastic 1950's reindeer that I remember being filled with tiny red and green candies. It was in a box of old ornaments that came from my mother's house and is probably one of the last remaining ones from that era still intact. The plastic is yellowing and brittle with age, but it still goes on the tree each year and now I have captured it on paper. I may add some colour wash to it to give it a bit of life. But its currently in a sketchbook and that means I'd have to transfer it.

That will have to wait while I take advantage of the good drawing fairy's visit first!