Sketching in St. Ives, UK - Part One

Sketching in St. Ives, UK - Part one

Posted: February 14, 2019

As a sneak preview of the techniques I'll be teaching in May of 2019 at Chapel Cottage Studio in Abergavenny. I'm posting examples from my travels in Bristol, London, Abergavenny, Swansea, St. Ives and the little stops between. I'm looking forward to expanding my community of friends and artists during my stay this spring.  I'll be traveling to Liverpool and several other new places as well as returning to cities, towns and villages I've visited before. 

During my 2018 trip:

My first glimpse of St. Ives was from a small parking lot high above an expansive beach populated with bright swim suits, cabanas, umbrellas and towels.  I couldn't resist a quick sketch, using the stone wall as a plein air studio table.

The ink sketch in the upper left corner was done on the train from London to Newport.

 Direct watercolour technique is great for quick sketches and for capturing the essence of the...

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Sketchbook Story Time - No. 2

sketchbook story time Feb 12, 2019

Sketchbook Story Time No. 2 - May 25, 2012 to June 2, 2012

A few more glimpses into my heart and mind ...

The stories behind the drawings and paintings in my sketchbooks

a few pages at a time.

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Packing Light - Sleeping Gear

packing light travel Feb 11, 2019

February 11, 2019 - Packing Light - Sleeping Gear

Whether hiking, exploring a city or spending a month or two across the ocean, I am know to be a minimalist packer ... until it's time to return home and I find that the books I've acquired don't fit into my carry on luggage. I haven't mastered talking myself out of purchasing art books, exhibition catalogs and brochures containing details and history of the places I visit. Perhaps one of you can make a few suggestions that I might try to curb my indulgence.

Several years ago I posted information on my compact, lightweight gear.  It's time to update that information.  I'll start with my sleeping gear.  This information hasn't changed.  I haven't discovered anything that works better than my original equipment.  It's fantastic. The only item I might change is my mummy sleeping bag.  I would get the exact same bag except that I would order it to be made with the hood rather than without the hood.  The...

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Sketchbook Story Time - No. 1

sketchbook story time Feb 05, 2019

When viewing paintings on walls of museums, galleries and homes, we see only the artist's resolution of the painting ... the final layer.  What is hidden is the process, the sequence of decisions, corrections and moments of inspired risks. I love seeing the final resolution hung boldly upon a wall for all to see.  Even more, I love seeing inside of the artist's mind through the artist's sketchbooks and journals. 

As a young artist in my twenties, I was unable to recognize the strokes, lines and patterns that would continue to appear in my work in spite of my attempts to banish them.  I saw them as weaknesses, not the strengths that would fuel my determination to continue my journey as an artist.  

Recently, when reorganizing my studio, I took the time to glance through several of my older sketchbooks and I saw the story of my spiral path, returning always to the very core of what inspires me and drives me to learn new skills and hone the skills I...

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Sketching on the train to New York City


January 30, 2019

Yesterday I treated myself to meditative sketching instead of drawing train seats, tops of a heads bent over cell phones and luggage rails.

My destination in NYC was the Mapplethorpe exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum.  Fortunately, the Hilma af Klint exhibition is still on. I was thrilled by her work once again.

Mapplethorpe's photographs, large gelatin silver prints, took my breath away. His composition and design is impeccable and his complex interweaving of story, documentation, views on society and religion inspired me to dig so much deeper into my own thoughts, visions and attitudes.

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What is Dala Art?

dala art design Dec 30, 2018

Dala Art is art designed within a circle that has been divided into segments by one continuous line that may or may not cross over itself.  It can be of any size, in any medium, either abstract or representational.  The objects or patterns that fill each segment may be confined within the boundaries of each segment or spill out of the segment boundaries and the circumference of the circle.

In 2013, to make my color workshop more fun, I used the format of a mandala to create color wheels. Back in my studio I became obsessed with altering the geometry of the mandalas and playing with variations of color shapes that still resembled a color wheel.

One thing led to another and I began to draw objects into the shapes and to go beyond color wheels to experiment with color schemes. The Color Scheme Game was born. 

I shared several of the circular paintings with other artists in a color workshop I was teaching in Maryland.  Several of them asked if I also created...

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Painting in the dark with dip pen and watercolor

ink pub painting watercolor Dec 12, 2018

December 12, 2018

The above clip is from a documentary filmed and edited by my daughter, Nicole, in 2005.  The rest of the documentary is not soooo dark; it's filmed in my studio and in one of the galleries where I had a solo exhibit in 2005.

In 2004, Pat Sonne and I began working together to bring the process of creating art into the public eye during open mic sessions in local pubs.  Aside from it being incredibly fun, our goal was to inspire the inner artist within people who might not step foot into a gallery or museum, as well as to dispel the notion that an artist creates art only while standing at an easel wearing a beret. Pat, a life drawing model, moved to the music while I sketched her movements. We were "working the pubs" three to four nights a week for about two years.

Ladd Hoover filming at the Todd Wolfe Blues Jam in Easton, PA

Feeling the urge to expand the concept of painting movement in public venues, I set out on my own and painted during yoga...

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Muted Hues

Uncategorized Nov 12, 2018

November 12, 2018 

Many years ago a photo was taken of me holding my daughter, Alexis.  I'd just gotten out of the shower and Alexis was wearing an undershirt on her head.  Upon seeing the photo, my sister-in-law stated that it looked like the cover of a magazine that might be called Bizarre Horizons.  And so, Bizarre Horizons was born, if only in my own mind.  It became an imaginary magazine for artists, writers, inventors and philosophers.  The closest it has ever come to reality is a blog that my brother and I started and have allowed to lie dormant.  I'm now using it as a gallery of sorts.  This is where I began posting some of my favorite photos that I've taken while traveling and painting.  Taking photos as I explore keeps me looking keenly at the world around me and I notice more details and nuances of color.

 link: Muted Hues Gallery

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Uncategorized Nov 07, 2018

November 12, 2018

A blog post from three years ago: December 31, 2015

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DIY Watercolor Art Pocket Palette

I use three different magnetic Pocket Painter Palettes.  To see other Watercolor Travel palettes click here.

Nine-Well Watercolor Art Pocket Palette:

Nine-Well Magnetic Watercolor Art Pocket Palette

I love that I can see through the lid so that I know which primaries I'm taking with me and when I need to refill the wells.  I only need six pigments, a warm and cool of each primary.  I use the three little wells in the middle to keep my mixes clean.  Thanks to the deep lid, I can paint sketches that require larger areas of a wash while still keeping three separate color mixes clean (in the little wells).  The magnetic square on the bottom keeps the wells in place and allows for easy removal of each pan for cleaning and refilling.

My Standard Six Pigment Palette

My standard six-pigment palette is Gamboge, Aureolin, Joe's Blue (phthalo), Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Red Light.  I arrange them (as shown above) as they would...

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