Sketch for Kitty Kitty Cowboyed Up

Sketch for Kitty Kitty Cowboyed Up, ink on paper, 11 x 8.5 inches, 2010 by Sarah Atlee.

I worked on this sketch while my mother was in the hospital with a broken leg. Nothing like the solitude and boredom of waiting in the ER all day to drive my mind to creative distraction.

The finished piece:

Kitty Kitty Cowboyed Up, acrylic on canvas, 16 x 14 inches, 2011 by Sarah Atlee.

Back to the Figure Drawing Board

Mary (Figure Study), ink on paper, July 2009. Some rights reserved.Mary (Figure Study), ink on paper, July 2009. Some rights reserved.

I just signed up for Glen Thomas' Figure Drawing class at City Arts Center, which starts in late July. I'm so excited.

I've been a regular and loving attendee of Dr. Sketchy's Anti Art School over the last several years. Lately I've wanted to temper that experience with some traditional figure drawing, which I haven't done since I finished school in 2006. Last year I had a wonderful time in Bert Seabourn's acrylic painting class at CAC. I got reacquainted with some basic techniques and experimented outside my normal painting style. I'm eager to take this approach to learning and re-learning the figure.

City Arts Center, located on the Oklahoma State Fair Grounds in OKC, offers a wide variety of art classes for kids and for adults. Visit their website to read about course offerings and enroll. I guarantee you'll enjoy it.

My Rock - My Mom

Sarah Drawing a Picture, ink on paper by Emmy Ezzell, circa 1984. Sarah Drawing a Picture, ink on paper by Emmy Ezzell, circa 1984. Click here to see more drawings from this session.

My Mom was the first person who knew I was an artist, and who never ever told me I couldn't be one.

There are thousands of things she has done along the way to make sure I followed my dreams - too many to list here. The most important thing she does, by far, is love me.

Thank you, Mom. You make it possible.

Flat Stanley, Cheap Markers

Clement Gets Abstract, ink on paper, 2008 by Sarah Atlee. Some rights reserved. Clement Gets Abstract, ink on paper, 2008 by Sarah Atlee. Some rights reserved.

In which I discover that cheap markers are just as useful as the expensive ones.

A poor carpenter blames his tools, right? I often draw with Prismacolor markers, known for their vast chromatic range and luscious blendability. And I've been known to paint with a W&N Series 7. But I also love tools and supplies I find for cheap or free. It's all in how you use them.

In 2008, on a whim, I picked up a 36-pack of thin markers from the kids' aisle at Hobby Lobby. They turned out to be some of the best pens I've ever used. These off-brand beauties had soft tips, a variety of colors (that tended toward the magenta end of the spectrum), and showed surprising versatility. Not long after I began using them, they dried out and began acting more like colored pencils. Suddenly I could layer, layer, layer. Just like using washes of acrylic paint.

Alas, Hobby Lobby changed their off-brand-brand of cheap markers (the newer ones have chiseled tips that don't play well) and I haven't found another set of these since then.

Clement Gets Abstract was created in July 2008 as part of a community journal project about Flat Stanley.