Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Home sweet home

This is our home. I love our home. This September we will have lived here for three years. My husband found it when we were looking to move our growing family from a tiny townhouse just a few miles away. When he drove me past it for the first time I said, "that could be really good... or really bad."

Turns out it was really good, and just gets better as we make our own updates. It was designed and built in 1965 by the man we bought it from. When our real estate agent brought us to see the house the owner was home and gave us a tour, telling us about his life and the two boys he and his wife raised here.

He was a commercial artist (he designed the Mr. Goodbar wrapper!) and he and his wife both painted. He made a large art studio for himself, but once he got married and had kids, they used that space as a playroom and added two bedrooms onto it. Now it's a perfect space for our two boys.

They then made part of the lower level into a studio, which has a closet with shelves of paper that he left for me, including some old sketchbooks... with drawings in them, I believe done by his wife.
He also gave me his drawing table and his wife's easel.

At first I thought it might feel strange to live in their house and keep so many of their things (we've kept other furniture, lights, books, dishes...), but all of those things just turned out to be part of the house and its story. And they've turned into things I now treasure.

This is my drawing of another package design done by the previous owner of our house. When we went on our last tour of the house with him I asked if he was planning on taking this empty can, because if he didn't want it anymore, I definitely did. He left me two of them.

And... here's a little pile of Mr. Goodbar mini's I drew the other night.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Drawing at Susquehanna State Park

Rock Run Grist Mill - Susquehanna State Park

This past weekend, Molly and I went to Havre de Grace to eat lunch and to do some drawing. As we were eating it started to rain, so we figured we would try to sketch from inside the car. We found a church we were interested in drawing, but we couldn't situate the car so that we had a decent view of the steeple.

Disappointed by the rain we started to head home, planning to make a pitstop at Starbucks to get a coffee and sketch that. At least it would be something!

Five minutes out of Havre de Grace it stopped raining. Of course! But then... a sign... for Susquehanna State Park. Let's go there!

The road ended at the Rock Run Historic Area. This area includes a house, a barn, a spring house, and a grist mill which was built in 1794. We chose to set up our camp chairs on a hill overlooking a piece of the Susquehanna River to draw the mill.

It still looked like it was going to rain, so we figured we'd better do some quick drawing if we wanted to leave with anything. We jumped in with our pens and within minutes were laughing at how "off" our drawings were. But, then the sun came out! And two hours later we had some decent drawings and some new friends:

Two of the tiniest frogs I've ever seen. They had to have been less than an inch long. 

Two black and white striped butterflies that I had never seen before. "They look like zebras," I said. A quick search online: Zebra Swallowtails. How appropriate. I also learned that they live off of the paw paw tree. Apparently I have never been near a paw paw tree in June. In fact, I don't know if I have been near a paw paw tree ever.

We also had a girl stop by after her run. She said that she wanted to have a career in art, but was discouraged because they told her, "there's no money in art until you're dead. Then everyone who bought your work gets rich by selling it." Sigh.

She liked to draw, but since she was encouraged to follow a different path she thought she'd try photography. Same response from them. So she did neither and is currently a bartender. I told her to go get a sketchbook and start drawing! There's plenty of time to get back into it! Molly and I have "real jobs" too. We draw for FUN. She laughed. But as she walked away she said, "you know... you two may have inspired me to bring a sketchbook next time I come here."


And here's a quick watercolor sketch I did right before we left...