Sunday, December 6, 2015

Goodbye Blogspot

Hi friends,

This is my final post from

But I have a new blog!
If you received an email from me in the last 3 days about the launch of my new website design, you are already on the new blog mailing list. If you did not, and you would like to continue receiving my occasional posts, here is how:

This link will take you to my newly designed website and the new version of my blog: Diary of a Stealth Sketcher.   Scroll down to the sign up form, enter your email, and you will continue to receive news bulletins, comments, and photos of my new work.

In the coming months I will be telling you more about the artist's life and studio practices, along with all the usual things I have been blogging about since June of 2008.

Thank you all for faithfully following, for your encouragement and comments over the years!
Let's keep in touch!

Very best wishes,
Carol Lambert

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sublime to ridiculous

Well, perhaps not ridiculous, but oddly attractive and intriguing. I am referring to the Romanesco Broccoli, which is a popular crop here in Alaska. We grow cruciferous very nicely!

These two are from the South Anchorage Farmers' Market. The medium is silverpoint on a kind of sulphite paper called "Plike". It yields a darker line than traditionally prepared silverpoint ground.

Oddities of the Vegetable Family, silverpoint, 9 x 13.5

And here is the sublime, or at least the Rococo, that we find in Alaska during late summer. Fireweed in June is green, straight, and topped with magenta flowers. Fireweed in September is something else entirely.

September Fireweed, watercolor on paper, 20 x 16

For more information, and to find out about purchasing any of these pieces, please contact me through my website, at the following link:

Monday, August 10, 2015

Goblet, Napkin, and Vine

Going through my inventory, I find that I never posted this one on the blog! I completed it last September, then life must have gotten busy.

The green goblet had been in the studio for a long time, waiting to take center stage in a painting. The drawing behind it is one of a grape vine I did on location in the south of France a few years ago. Now to pour the wine!

Goblet, Napkin, and Vine

11 x 14
Oil on linen panel

For more information, and to find out about purchasing any of these pieces, please contact me at 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

At the cabin, time and materials abound

Highbush Cranberry, watercolor,
12 x 16

It's berry season in the South Central Alaskan woods! This Highbush Cranberry is tart but flavorful, and full of bright red juice. I cut these samples a few hundred yards from my studio cabin.

Rosehips, watercolor, 10 x 7

The rose blossoms are gone, now here is the fruit, with leaves already showing signs of approaching autumn. Another specimen from around the cabin.

Amanita, watercolor and ink, 10 x 7

Here is an Amanita mushroom, with some of the forest richness attached. Not edible unless you want to go through a long process of leaching out the toxins, but a bright note in the forest. Another sign of summer waning, there were several just off the footpaths around the cabin.

Robin's Nest, pastel pencil, charcoal, and graphite, 12 x 16

The robin built her nest in the eaves of the studio cabin. Once the chicks were fledged, we took it down, as it was precariously balanced. The egg turned up on a footpath about 10 minutes away, probably part of a different nest. I love nests. This one has an orderly architecture of mud and dried grasses.

Black Cap Chickadee Nest with Eggs, silverpoint on prepared paper, 9 x 12

This specimen is from outside our house in Anchorage. We found it fallen from a tree, eggs all quite cold and some broken. In order to use them as models, I had to blow out their contents, difficult with an egg the size of the small joint of my little finger, but I managed it. The nest and eggs were delicate and light, perfect for a rendering in silverpoint.

For more information, and to find out about purchasing any of these pieces, please contact me at 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Where There's Smoke . . .

This is a pen and ink drawing of a couple of objects I found at our cabin site. Sometimes two things seems to want to go together. It's a visual pun, I'm sure you will get it! It is currently on view as part of my solo show at Torchon Bistro in Anchorage.

Where There"s Smoke
7.23" x 10.5"

Pen and Ink on Paper

For more information, contact me at 

Friday, July 10, 2015

New Etchings

 In 2013 I began making etchings again, and posted some of my first work on this blog. You may recall the little guy with a sword. He grew up into this character. He may appear again in a different form. In the meantime he has become a kind of doorman.

"The Exit" 6" x 8" etching, monoprint

This character started out as a laughing plaster angel. He appeared in a painting some time ago. Since then he has become interested in geometry. He has both a comical and a serious side. He too may appear again.

"Rational" 4" x 6" etching, limited edition of 15

Here we are in Paradise, with intimations of things to come. Were we ever meant to be so peaceful and relaxed, not to say lazy?

"Before the Fall"  5.5" x 5", etching, limited edition in progress.

Now we learn to fall, possibly having been too prideful. Personally, I prefer this version of the Fall of Man over the one where Eve gets all the blame. 

"The Fall" 6" x 5", etching, limited edition in progress

All but "The Exit" were printed on my new (used) press.  Having a press is an inspiration, there will be more etchings.

You can see all of these right now at my solo show, available through July, at Torchon Bistro, 1921 W Dimond Blvd, Anchorage, AK.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It helps to get out of town!

I spent two long weekends at my cabin studio and got a lot done. I've been experimenting with different drawing media. The Horsetail ferns are done in silverpoint, the bog blueberry branch is ink and pastel pencil, the birch bark is graphite and white chalk, and the nest is ink and watercolor. Can't wait to get out there again, no distractions!

Friday, April 24, 2015

New York Report 3

On one weekend in the city I attended a 3 day still life workshop at Grand Central Atelier.  Even though I have a lot of experience with still life, the instructor, Katie Whipple, caught my interest. In her mid-20's, she is already an accomplished painter and draftswoman. I like the intimacy and simplicity of her work. In the workshop I learned how organized and meticulous she is in the design and execution of those simple pieces.

When she showed us a selection of fruits and vegetables. I picked the Romanesco cauliflower. I have always wanted to paint one. Now that I have tried, I still want to paint one!

This was a preliminary effort. I hope this summer I can snag a nice one, with lots of pretty leaves, at the South Anchorage farmer's market, and give it the full treatment.

Thanks to Katie, I did a passable sketch. She helped me understand what I was looking at, since all the little fractals hypnotized me to the point of near blindness. With her help, I was able to see the essential forms. Then it was possible. Next one will be better!

New York Report 2

In addition to studying at the Art Students League in March, I spent time sketching in the Metropolitan Museum. For some time I have been fascinated by the figure of the Virgin in this stunning Annunciation by Memling (1465 - 75). Her face has a subtle expression of someone listening with utmost calm, unusual in an Annunciation.

After several unsuccessful attempts to draw her face, I sat on the bench in front of the painting and analyzed it geometrically.

 This is the result (still not quite perfect, but close!)

Most faces would not line up this way, but as I looked at other Madonnas, from the earliest icons to the Renaissance, I kept finding these proportions: long oval, long nose, small mouth, delicate chin. This face carries layers of meaning, century after century. Other depictions by other artist gradually became more naturalistic, but, even in this Picasso etching, the woman in the window with the white bird seems a distant echo of the ancient face.
Finally, another famous face. Here is a drawing of Alexander the Great from a Greek bronze bust in the Metropolitan Museum. As I stood drawing this I heard a lot of stories about Alexander. Parents, pastors, docents, teachers, they all had a version. Some were quite fanciful! I love the Greek bronzes, so much more lively than the most of the Roman marble statuary, many of which are copies of Greek bronze originals.

New York Report

I spent all of March, 2015, in New York city, where I immersed myself in studies, including figure drawing, figure painting, and still life painting. I also made several visits to  the Prints and Drawings library of the Metropolitan Museum. Here is just one of the many great drawings I got to see with nothing between me and it but a few centimeters of air. It's by Tiepolo, 18th c.

The librarians are wonderful, and you can request to view any of the thousands of original works they have in safekeeping. I learned so much by getting up close to Rembrandt etchings and drawings, works by Rubens, Tiepolo, Fragonard, Durer, Van Gogh, and Picasso, among others. I will incorporate my memories of those etchings and drawings in my own work from here on.

The weather was really cold! And I got the flu in my first week, with the result that I did not bring anything I started to completion. Perhaps that was as well, since the point of such a trip is to form new skills, not to make masterpieces. My main concentration was on rendering the figure.

If I had the time and energy the image above would have become a painting. However, the opportunity to work with this wonderful model over a few days was a privilege in itself. 
I got going with color on my next effort, below. With the encouragement of my teacher Daniel Thompson, who is known for his daring use of color, I let loose a bit. Sometimes less caution can be helpful, at least in terms of color decisions.  

My approach to color in figure painting moved forward with this piece, I want to do more experimenting.

I worked on the piece below in a class taught by another terrific instructor, Michael Grimaldi. Taking his classes has inspired me to make a serious study of anatomy. To that end, I spent a week last August at the Stanford University dissection lab, in a class taught by Michael Grimaldi and Daniel Thompson. It made a great difference in my perception of the human form, and I want to go back for more.

This drawing looks dark because I toned the paper with charcoal before I began the work. This was never going to be a work of art: it is  an investigation of the figure, its construction, movement, and relation to light. I would have loved to keep working on it for several more days, but I had to fly home. You can see that I was struggling to find the right forms for that left arm! It comes down to more study, more observation. Beside the figure is a drawing of the skeletal substructure to the pose, and another of the lights and darks on the model and in the background, with a dark-to-light scale drawn along the left border.

The models at the Art Students League are extraordinary. This young woman held this pose for 15 hours a week for 4 weeks! ( I'm sad that I only got to draw her for about one week.)

More about my studies in NYC in my next post.