One of my fondest childhood memories brings me back to time spent getting lost in the pages of a set of old hardcover books that sat upon my grandfather’s bookshelf.

My grandfather was a serious, stoic man… hardened by the life he led…almost always gruff and slow to smile. I was often fearful of him; his voice stern and his words, sharp. Our paths crossed very little,  except when I would get up the nerve to ask permission to enter his library and look through his collections of books.

His library was sacred space. A man of little means, he deeply valued his books and he spent his lifetime amassing a formidable collection. I was drawn to the space and learned early on that this was the way to his heart…he always allowed me to enter and choose a pile of books to quietly sit and sift through.  He had one particular collection that always caught my eye…There were about 20 books. They were big, heavy, dusty…with cobalt blue hardcovers, each containing pages and pages of stardust swept stories of far off places;  fairies in patterned petaled dresses and beautiful gossamer draped forest nymphs dripping with flowers and ocean waves tumbling with starfish and and seashells covered with glitter and always, always there were the most glorious mermaids with long flowing hair, it seemed. The illustrations were simply magical and they must have struck a deep chord with me as I sometimes catch myself adding, to the art I create all these years later, intricately detailed elements, not unlike those from the pages of those magical books .

This quick sketch from yesterday began, inspired by a photograph of a dancer that floated past me in the stream. As is my way for figurative sketches, I used the photo as a quick visual reference for shape but allowed my imagination and the free flow of ink to fill in the rest of the details. In the end, there is a joyful, illustrative quality that shines through in the lines of her … It brings me back and there is just something so lovely about that, I think ~

Presence, Felt ~

Presence, Felt ~

Snow fell and the world quieted down. A day to paint…

Solitary…but never alone. Presence, felt…encouraging the brush to dip yet again in water, the hand to slide so that the water flows. I reach for the pen…I want to make lines dance. Silence, all but for breath which makes its own gentle rhythm. I glance up…smile…notice the snowflakes falling slowly… and then refocus on the watercolor at hand. It might be all about technique one minute, or play or color, the next. It might never be used in a collection…or offered for sale, or shown in exhibition. All I know is that when the lines and flow of paint feel right to my eye, it brings profound joy. If I get the colors right too…well, then, that’s a banner day;)

A lovely way to spend a few hours on a quiet snowy day ~

Original ink and watercolor ©Michelle Rummel

Anchored In a Daydream ~

Anchored In a Daydream ~

A wistful photograph floated my way on Pinterest and I was instantly drawn to it, the feel of the image…the mood created. And of course, it’s only natural considering how I feel about the sea and ocean rocks and all things pulled by tide and time. Inspired, I sketched her quickly in pencil, added detail in ink and let the watercolor flow as it does best. I like that there is a sense of contentment in the pose…of being one with saltwater, anchored in a daydream…at peace with the waiting ~

Original Pencil, Ink and Watercolor ©Michelle Rummel

Botanical Sketch~

Botanical Sketch~

This week’s play…an experiment of sorts. There have been a few ideas and techniques I’ve been wanting to explore.

Time is precious these days…my design work often leaves little time for play like this. Recently, since sleep has been eluding me, I’ve found myself sitting at my desk late into the night trying to fill the creative parts of me that ache to sketch and paint like this.

I like what’s emerging…There is possibility here. To my surprise, this little botanical sketch made my twitter stream explode ~ As of this writing, I am still gathering energy to make my way back there to thank so many for their kindness. It is always so curious to me, the paintings that seem to resonate the most with others.

Original Ink and Watercolor ©Michelle Rummel