sketchbook time

When I last wrote, I told you about how I've always kept a sketchbook, and the watercolor sketchbook I've recently begun, and how pottery and watercolor were swimming around together in my mind.  Today, finally, I made my first sketchbook cup!

I threw a stoneware tumbler last week (or the week before? I've been working so hard on finishing up orders-in-progress that I haven't had my hands in clay very much this month), trimmed it, and set it aside.  Some time ago I purchased a set of "watercolor" underglazes, in a little pan-set of semi-moist colors rather than the 2-16 oz jars I usually buy, just to play around with.  I made a few delicate paintings on porcelain tiles and have done nothing else with them.

Two weeks ago I did a loose watercolor sketch of bees on my spanish lavender- I love the flag-like petals at the top of each flowerhead.  The bees had really been enjoying the flowers, and I thought that would be a good first painting to use, especially because I thought that I lost my top bar hive last month, but after clearing it out, found it became a happy home to a swarm thrown off of my new langstroth hive a week or so ago.  I adore lavender, and I think bees are just magical. 

One of my favorite parts of watercolor sketches (at least the ones that I do) is the small color palate off to the side of the painting.  It's a big part of the process of painting and thinking about which colors work best and how to mix the colors.  I decided to include that color strip on the cups.  Each cup is a combination of painting, watercolor-style, a little mishima, text, and a date.  Here is the little painting that became a cup:

And of course, I had to make a fast little sketch of my sketchbook cup.  I'll be excited to see how this fires, how the colors hold up (or don't) after a bisque and glaze.  I've really enjoyed the sketchbookery class, and I'm tickled with what I've learned (specifically book-making) and brushed up on (watercolor) and let go of (perfect tight quirky line drawings, which will always be my first love, but doesn't have be be exclusive).

Our school year begins on Monday, and with that beginning, I'll get back to a real work schedule.  While I'd planned to take the month of July off, and while it didn't happen, my daily painting has helped me to feel creatively refreshed.  I'm also feeling more ready to tackle some online work- shooting and writing and listing and finally stocking my own store.  Coming soon!

Have a good week, friends