It’s Been Many Months

I have not made time for my blog in many months…

When last I wrote, I had just moved house. I was working my first summer at our island book store and I was rather busy. I had every intention of returning to blog writing but life had it’s own plans for me. We adopted a darling kitten for my son. Unfortunately, the day after we brought the new fur ball home, my beloved sixteen year old cat, Sarah, fell ill. She struggled with poor health for the rest of the year and died shortly after Christmas. The kitten was devastated at the passing of her companion and I am still in mourning for the loss of one of my best friends. We also endured a Hurricane last year that flooded the island and our home. We were luckier than a lot of people in North Carolina and didn’t lose anything of great value. Winter has been a familiar economic struggle. The perils of life on a southern barrier island.

Despite all this, I have not been entirely unfortunate. I actually managed to be quite productive with photography in the last year. I shot two weddings, an elopement, an engagement, several family groups and I enjoyed some great sessions with friends. My drawing ceased completely but I did paint a portrait in acrylic and I experimented some with paper mache and embroidering directly onto photographs.

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second acrylic painting in 18 years

I have started drawing again in the last few days. As always, I hope I can keep it up ! I have been very active on instagram lately – https://www.instagram.com/carolwoolgar/ . I have discovered that it is the best place to find amazing artistic talent and inspiration is as essential to me as breathing.

 

 

 

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Craft. Work. Books. Life.

Books To Be Red

Ocracoke Island, my home for twelve years, is a spectacular place. Beautiful beaches and wildlife aside, this quaint little village has some of the loveliest gift shops I have ever seen. They are owned and run, almost exclusively, by women, whom I must add, have impeccable taste. At least they cater to my whims and desires  (I know I have impeccable taste ! ) and I can always find something amazing for my loved ones. Anyway, I have had a big lifestyle change recently. I have just started working in my most favorite of all the shops – Books To Be Red. I am so happy. I love books ! you can never have enough books. I get to recommend  good stuff to read and I get lots of visual stimulation from beautiful new book covers, graphic novels and children’s picture books. I love art and this special bookstore has a lot of art supplies ! One of the best things about my new job, however, is getting to apply my artistic sensibilities to my new environment. I was asked to create a spring themed book display on the porch, in this cute little cabinet and a crafty little light bulb lit up ! After finding a great selection of springy books and gifts, I was inspired to jazz it up even more by using gift bags and tissue paper. I cut out tiny little birdies from the gift bags, giving them tissue paper wings, then I made little butterfly cutouts from the tissue paper as well. So simple and so cute !

           This was so much fun, that I was inspired to take a little extra home and make some more cute things. Over the weekend, I made a sweet little jacket for my tatty sketchbook:

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Did anyone else have to do this at school ? When I was at Primary school (Elementary) in Scotland, we had to cover all of our books to protect them. At first my mother did this, then I had to take over the responsibility as I got older.

One the book was covered,  I remembered the butterfly cutouts and made some bigger ones:

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I folded a hand-sized piece of tissue in half, to make it easy to cut out a symmetrical design. This took a few tries as I kept making the bottom wing too big. The first butterfly was made up out of my head. To get inspiration for a slightly different shape,  I googled “butterfly silhouette”. Then, I simply glued each tissue shape onto a piece of gift bag paper and applied some circles cut out of the same gift bag to the top of the tissue. I gently drew some details with fine point markers and a white roller ball pen. I loved doing this ! I could do it all day. I also have a few birdies inside my sketchbook to remind me of how cute they are.

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Keep your gift bags ! re-use them, upcycle them, craft them up into something cute ! The possibilities are endless.

Sketching

Here are a few more recent sketches from my wee Fabriano journal.

This is from a photograph. I used red and black watercolor pencils and a finetip sharpie marker. Her hair was actually pink in the photograph. I wasn’t very happy with the drawing at first. It looks like the subject but her face just isn’t quite right, so I flipped to another page and tried again.1echodraw

This time the sketch was a lot quicker. I used white watercolor pencil on the red background initially but it was too soft so I switched to black  sharpie again and I really think the drawing is better – more accurate :1echodrawb

I drew this lady from I tiny magazine image I have had for years.1girldraw

Mini face studies1minifaces

The next image looks very soft but it’s not an unfocused photograph. I actually made it on computer paper, using the edge of a sponge dipped in some kid ink (Melissa and Doug jumbo stamp pad). I didn’t even know it was going to be a man, it just kind of turned out that way. So…1softface

I added some details with a sharpie marker :1hardface

I really enjoyed this exercise. I have always loved mark making in unconventional ways. When I was in art school, I remember we made “brushes” from sticks and attached different materials to the tips. Before that, when I applied to art school, I had a stone, inherited from my dad’s rock collection, that I used to make marks. I drew my cassette playing stereo, using the stone dipped in blue ink. It was part of my high school portfolio. I haven’t thought about that in such a long time ! Another good thing about using computer paper is that you can dispose of the image easily if you don’t like it.

TTFN ! Ta Ta for now.

 

Sketchy Stories

Recent sketches

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The reason for this tiny, dense journal’s tatty appearance has less to do with it being well used and more to do with it’s age…I have had this little gem for about ten years and I have only just started using it. I have been a hoarder of sketch books and art materials for many years. I have been intimidated by the blank page for far too long.

Lets take a look at what’s inside…

1bookb  1bookc

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watercolor pencil

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pencil – kitties move a lot !  mine always knows when I am drawing her.

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watercolor pencil

1bookh

The dino is inspired by ‘ The Good Dinosaur’ and is mixed media.

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This pencil drawing is my sweet, sleeping child, who moves as much as the cat !

Getting Back To Basics

I have been a photographer for eighteen years but I have always been an artist. I set out to be a painter but self doubt and curiosity led me to an Olympus camera and I stopped drawing and painting. I earned my degree in photography.

Over the years, I have felt like something was missing and I have dabbled with various crafts. I have always had a need to use my hands to physically “make”. I have always felt a failure for not continuing to draw and paint.

Now, however, through the joy of teaching my young son about art, I have rediscovered the missing ingredient. At some point, I stopped drawing because it was fun. I drew only to try and make a masterpiece and I constantly fell short. If there is no fun, there is no point. My child has helped me to rediscover the fun and I am now drawing regularly again. It’s ok to fail. You cannot get better without making mistakes, or as Jake the dog (from ‘Adventure Time’) states : “Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something”.

Here is one of my most recent photographs – 1brookgrassb

My beautiful friend, Brooke German. This and my body of work for the last ten years can be found here – flickr and I am also on Facebook .

Here is a recent excerpt from my sketchbook –

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