Saturday, September 30, 2006

New Watercolor pencil floral

I finished a new watercolor pencil floral picture today. It will be a Christmas present for a friend. I am working on another. I have 4 really close lady friends and want to do a picture for each one for Christmas. The one I just finished, I added a lattice fence behind it. I really like it. I will have to find something like that for another picture.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

George is in the house.

I finished one of the portraits I told about yesterday. The one of my sister-in-law's dad, George. The one who was in WWII and killed in action. Here is the reference picture and the drawing. The reference picture is one of about 4 photos she has of her dad. None of them are clear. But at least she is thankful to have them.

Tuesday 26th Sept

I finished the weekly drawing tonight. It scanned a little lighter than it actually is. I am not too sure I like it, but at least it is done. I also did two more for the hunt; a glove and a squash.

I had tax class today, then shopping. Several stops and I was very tired when finished. Then Bible study tonight. A very long day.

I have a couple more portraits planned with the Derwent drawing pencils. I still haven't finished the one of my cousin and his wife, but it is close to finished. I just need to get going on it.

I will do my friend's two dogs. Probably separate portraits but I'm not sure. Since they belong to 2 different people who are roommates, I may do them separate.

Another portrait I want to do is of my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, Dani. Dani was a WWII war orphan. Her dad joined the fighting before the states was in the battle. He joined thru the RAF and was a pilot of a bomber. He was killed in his second trip out in a plane the 3rd of September 1942. Just 2 months after his daughter was born. I don't know if he even knew she was expected or whether he got to see a picture of her. The photo of the two I will draw from is Dani when she was a little girl.

Dani and I have been doing research on her dad. We have found out some new information. Dani was told very little about her dad. Her mom could not deal with the emotions when she discussed her husband, and Dani learned not to ask. Now about everyone who knew anything at all about that time has passed on.

We have traced his life after he married my mother-in-law, but we cannot find a marriage certificate, death certificate, or birth certifice for him. It's like he just appeared at about 25 yrs old. He would have had to be in the military service here and transferred to the RAF. I know he did some of his training here in Bakersfield. Probably update training. And this is where he met Margaret.

We would really like to find out more about George before he came to this town. Where he graduated, parents names, siblings, etc. An aunt did say he was interested in being a doctor. And we think he was a photographer as he talked about developing his own photos.

It is not so easy to get information. His death was in France and his military information would be in England. Plus he was born in Baltimore, MD which is the opposite coast from where I live. And trying to find information thru the mail is not very productive.

I wrote a poem for Dani while we were researching. Here it is:

War Orphan

A little girl so very sad
Lived her life without a dad

Now that many years have passed
She looks for answers at long last
The trail is cold and most are gone
Taking with them memories undone
Leaving behind a question mark
A lost little girl left in the dark

A little girl so very sad
Lived her life without a dad

Seeking a crumb of the dad she lost
Knowing somehow most things were tossed
Yearning and a sadness lingers
Information just beyond her fingers
Still she seeks and never quits
With hard work and heart that splits

A little girl so very sad
Lived her life without a dad

A step forward and then one back
Information there is a lack
A piece is there, a hint is here
But nothing you can get quite near
Each part she learns is one more piece
The end result, hopefully release

A little girl so very sad
Lived her life without a dad

Now a woman, now a mother
She faces the loss of yet another
Her son is gone, she knows not where
Left her life, without a care
Now a mother so very sad
Lived her life without a dad

Jeanne Grant 6-6-05

Sunday, September 24, 2006

11th WW Sketchcrawl 9-23-06

I went on the worldwide sketchcrawl today. I did all my sketching from my car. Easier to handle supplies, easier on the feet, and comfortable. But after a certain amount of time in the car, nothing was comfortable. All my parts were cramped, and I could barely walk. But I got 4 pages of sketches. To see them, please go here:
I also finished a drawing of a neighborhood teen. I had taken pictures of her and her sister. I did the drawing first of the sister and gave it matted to her. She didn't like it because she didn't like the original photo. But she looked nice in it. I will spray this one and mat before I take it to her. Neither drawing was the best I have ever done but good practice.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Almost over

Well the week is coming to a halt. Hubby is camping, and I am sure having the time of his life. I don't have to cook. That's my vacation.

Today I went to tax class. Did one small sketch but not too impressive. Then tried to concentrate on the lesson. On the way home I decided to get some of the scavenger hunt items out of the way. These 3 I had to go elsewhere to get. So I went to the cemetery for #20 column and #22 a monument bench. We don't have above ground markers here. At least I didn't see any at the one I went to. All markers are embedded in the grass. There are many stone benches with names on them. I found one that Had a couple trees nearby and a rock. Looked very serene.

#3 was a chimney. I stopped along the street and sketched one I saw on a house. I sketched the whole fireplace but didn't take too long with it. I feel a little uncomfortable sitting near someone's house and staring at it. I don't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable like I am up to no good.

Saturday I will go on the 11th Sketchcrawl and will be parking many places to sketch. I will probably do most of my sketching from my car. Easier on me as I don't walk much with a bad ankle. Also won't have to carry supplies and find a place to sit. I will go alone this time. I have jotted down sseveral things I might like to draw.

There is a tree a few miles from here. It is in someone's front yard and is very large and white bark. Nice looking tree. I have wanted to draw it since the firsdt time I saw it. I have never even photographed it but hope to Saturday as well. I will have my trusty camera with me.

Another thing I would like to attempt is the Bakersfield sign. It used to be on the old highway thru town. Then the freeway came to town and that road was not used as much. The town decided to get rid of the sign that spanned 6 lanes of traffic. Buck Owens stepped in and moved the sign to the street in front of his Crystal Palace where he entertained on weekends.

Then I hope to find a couple older houses in town that have character. In fact my doctor has a huge mansion in an older part of town. They had a showcase of it a year or so ago, and I went on the tour. I may find that one and sketch it from the street. It is well off the street in a fenced lot but hopefully I can see enough. If not I will get his front gates which are gorgeous by themselves.

There is or was a grange building not too far away. It used to be an old church. All white but with character. I might try that, but hubby said it may have been removed. I shall at least go see.

Also the town has a mission-like building that is a restaurant. It may have also been a church at one time. Any way that is a few of the things I am tossing around.

I look forward to a day of sketching. I don't know how long I will be out but hope to get a few nice sketches that day.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Busy Tuesday

I had a tax class this morning but she only kept us a little over an hour instead of 3. Didn't hurt my feelings any.

I spent part of the afternoon sketching several of the scavenger hunt items. I think I finished 4. I am on number 19 next.

I also spent this evening doing the weekly drawing. It is way too much perspective. I just eyed it like I do my elipses. They aren't accurate but I am not a technical person and find that part of drawing very boring. I just don't have the patience and have a hard time with the concept of perspective. Not that I wouldn't like to know how to do it. But it just seems to be an elusive maneuver that I can't comprehend.

My husband has asked me before why I can't learn how to do payroll time in tenths. It is something I have tried to learn and just can't get it. He said if I am smart enough to do accounting, I should be able to learn that way of figuring time. I just had my mom make a chart for me when I was having to figure our trucking business pay. It worked just the same and I didn't have to stress. Every so often, hubby will try once again to teach me the basics. But I told him my head is so full of info, if I learn something I am not interested in learning, something I really need might leak out.

I have found in my life that if something is interesting to me, I can learn it fairly easy. I was never interested in math. And I am not good in math. But I am good at accoujnting. And I worked for years in a bank. One day my middle school math teacher happened into the bank. She did a double take and asked the teller if it was me she was seeing. I am pretty sure if she had had an account with the bank, she would have moved it.

Another thing I didn't like learning was history and science. Mainly because they were always making us memorize dates and formulas. My mind just doesn't work that way. But I learned French, shorthand, and was very good with English. And I absolutely loved bookkeeping and accounting. I love troubleshooting and finding missing pennies. I love the process of back tracking and finding the pennies.

And I love research. That is probably why I like the internet so much. There is not much that you can't find on the internet. Sometimes I just type in a word or phrase in Google and go to each site that comes up. I just browse thru the sites and see what is there. I have found some really interesting things that way. Some I would never have found otherwise. Some that I wish I hadn't found also. But that is the internet. And I can spend hours just looking at different sites.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Slow Sunday

Not much going on today. I did sketch one more item for the scavenger hunt. #12 cheese grater.

Tax classes start again tomorrow. More study and less sketching. Unless I sketch in class like last time. Hmmmm.....

Slow Suncay

Not much happening around here. I did one sketch today. #12 for the scavenger hunt. A cheese grater. Hurray tonight Amazing Race starts.. Tomorrow tax classes start again.


Very busy day today. Hubby is going camping in a week, so we spent the day picking up supplies to stock the trailer. The Dollartree got a lot of our business. We found a lot of what he needs. A few more items will finish it off. Hubby is like a little kid. So excited to have the trailer and not have to camp in his pickup. He said he is getting too old to crawl in and out of the camper shell. And trying to dress in there is impossible. Now he will have a bathroom, shower, and lots more luxuries. I'm happy for him. He deserves it for all the hard work he does.

One of my entries for the scavenger hunt tonight was a parcel. I received two of my ebay buys today. One in a priority mail box. That was my #9 parcel.

I tried the ink pens that I received today. I think I am really going to like them. May not get as good as Gibson but hopefully one day....

I also received in the mail today my Derwent Inktense colored pencils. I tried them out too for a bit and they seem to handle really good. They are supposed to look like ink after you wet them. And also they are permanent once they dry and you can use other mediums over them. That should be fun to try out.

Too much walking today and yesterday while we shopped for supplies. I can barely move my foot. Too bad I can still feel it. Hurts a ton. I had to take a pain pill when we got home today and have been on crutches most of the night. I hope it is better tomorrow so that I can go to church. It may not happen tho as I have really strained it this time. Hurts even to put my weight on it.

Perseverence: He who limps is still walking. -Stanislaw J. Lec

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Company for dinner

I posted 4 more items to the Scavenger Hunt tonight. I got the drawings done just under the wire of midnight. I still am drawing something every day and almost let the day slip by.

It was said in another forum that you can't get better with practice. I totally disagree. I know for a fact that I have gotten better in the last 4 months. I am not interested in learning to draw "like" anyone else. The line drawings I do may not be what some call art. But they are what I tend to be drawn to, and I like the work I am doing. I plan to "get better" as time goes by. I can do more detailed drawings but I like getting a likeness with just a minimum of lines.

I haven't really taken many lessons. Most of the ones I did take were for oil painting. In those classes we traced the outline. Then learned to paint and blend our paint. I never really felt like an artist as I was just copying another picture. I had no problem giving those away. In fact I gave so many away that everyone got saturated. I still have many of the paintings on my walls and some stored in closets.

The oil painting I was doing then didn't really give me much satisfaction. When I started to draw, I felt like it was actually coming from inside me. Just like the poetry I write. It is more a part of me.

Most of what I did draw before I found WetCanvas was copies also. But a lot of people who saw my work said they liked my drawings better than the original pictures. The more I accepted that I was an artist, the more I was able to relax and enjoy what I do.

On WetCanvas I have gotten feedback and help from many artists. Each of them has their own way of doing their artwork. On the Sketch of the Week site, some 20 people may draw from the same reference picture. But not one looks alike. All are similar but each has its own unique qualities. And I don't believe any are more perfect than the others. I think each one is the way that person sees the ref. After I figured that out, it was easier for me to post my attempts.
If all you do is read books, study other artists, and wait for perfection, you will never do the actual work. I don't want to be perfect, I want my work to be mine. I want to learn and experiment with what others are doing, but only so that I can create my artwork and make it better.
That said it doesn't mean I don't think you should read books, etc. I think that is necessary and I love taking classes and learning. Just don't let that stop you from actually drawing. It doesn't matter if your stuff doesn't look like what it is supposed to be. At first mine didn't. And with practice, practice, practice most everything I sketch looks similar to what I am attempting. Maybe the perspective is off, maybe it is more line work than molded, but it is as someone said about my work "quirky" and a true representation of me. Look at artwork around you. Do you like it because the person painted a perfect picture? Or do you like it because you like the "style" of that person? I know my answer.
As for the company for dinner heading, the neighbor girls were here for dinner. I ran errands most of the day, and the girls helped me unload my purchases. Then hubby came home shortly after. We all had a nice visit and a good meal and some tv. Nice time had by all.
As Katherine T said in the Sketching from Life Class on WC. Sketch something every day. The more you do, the better you will get.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Number 10

Scavenger Hunt #10 opened today. Hurray. I like that I won't have to wait in between. I still have one more item to finish for #9. But I am ahead of the game on the new one. I have already posted 4 items. Have to keep up with Gibson99. He was first off the blocks.

Hubby is out of town tonight and Penny gave up on me and went to bed. She usually goes to bed with him. And when he isn't home, she waits for me. But not tonight. She had what I call a "running fit". She tears thru this house as fast as she can. Makes quite a few laps until she is exhausted. Then crashes. She ran extra hard tonight so was ready for bed early. My dog groomer said that labs have tons of energy they need to get out of their system. She suggested us going to the dog park and letting her run. But I can't get around that well to go after her if she doesn't want to leave. When she is running and playing, she has no sense of time. Besides it requires a walk down into a ball diamond area and I wouldn't be able to get back out.
My foot doesn't bend that much. It bends down but not up. I would hate to have to back up all the way out of the sunken area. I have had to do that a couple times at theaters, and I am sure it looks quite funny to others. And I probably look quite strange. Not easy to do either.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


This is my Miniature Schnauzer, Ditto. I have been playing with my new Derwent Drawing pencils today. I did a picture of Ditto and one of Penny (Lab). I had already done one of Friday. Now I will have to frame and hang them.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


One of the scavenger hunt items: something I have had since childhood.
Today I had a UPS delivery. My new Derwent Drawing Pencils. They came with a canvas rollup holder. I ordered them on ebay and can't wait to try them out. I have also ordered some Derwent Inktense pencils, and some inkpens. I have seen some really good artwork in the WC forums by Gibson99 using the inkpens. He has really gotten good with them. I will probably never get as good with them as he is but look forward to trying them. Then there are the graphitints I have had over a month now without trying. I need to take one day and use it for trial and error time with all the new pencils.

I watched part of the finale of Big Brother Allstars tonight. I have the first part taped. I will catch up with it tomorrow. It was not as exciting as other BB shows have been. I am a reality show junkie. I watch Survivor, Amazing Race, Project Runway, and even watched the show with the chefs that came on after the second Project Runway finished.
I watch a lot of tv. I don't just sit and stare at it. I have it on 24/7. It is like having a radio playing in the background. I have been that way since I was in school. I even did my homework in front of the tv. Of course I would drag it out so I could stay up late watching. But I got good grades so it didn't harm me.
I probably do more listening than watching. My husband jokes and tells everyone that I have a tv on in every room (which is sometimes true). He doesn't understand that I can then hear what is happening even while I go from room to room doing housework. It's funny but I can't stand having music from a radio playing while I work. Even on the computer, I don't like it when a site has music. I used to keep my speakers off. Now they are down really low.
Bible study tonight was really good. Nice to be with like-minded women and study. It would be nice to have a group I could share my art with. When I used to take an oil painting class, I really enjoyed the comraderie. I could have painted at home, but tended to put it off. But once you pay for the class, you are going to show up and paint. I would like to have someone to get together to do artwork.
I have a friend who has a group she gets together with and quilts. They each take their sewing machines and meet at someones house to sew. But since I quit the art classes years ago, I have lost touch with that world. I don' t have any friends who are artists. And it is hard to get someone to commit to a night a week or whatever since so many are busy with sports, kids, school, etc.
Oh well. My hubby got a camp trailer and eventually he is going to want me to go with him camping. I don't like to camp. Too many bad experiences. But If I do go with him, I will have an opportunity to take photos, and draw. My backyard and house are fast becoming boring subjects for me.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Feeling Better

I haven't felt well for several days. I am feeling better now. I drew a couple items for the scavenger hunt and made an attemp at the weekly ref. The weekly ref is a statue head. I have never done one before. My first attempt was not good.

Today was a day for errands. DMV for transferring the title of our new used camp trailer. Hubby will be using it during his camping trips. And maybe we will be able to take a trip to Oregon next year. Now that we have 3 dogs, we would need some way to take them. Can't move 2 big dogs into someone's house for a week.

I found today that Barnes and Nobles bookstore is now carrying Moleskine sketchbooks, and other Moleskine products. Now I won't have to order them from ebay. I hope they continue to carry them as I will save about $5 on each one. Plus I won't have to wait for it to be delivered. I bought a pocket sized one. Now I have a spare regular one and the new tiny one. I had a cheap tiny book I kept in my purse but during tax class, I filled it up. This one has an elastic band to keep it closed.

I have Bible study tomorrow night and I have not gotten my questions answered. It is designed so that we will do a small portion each night. Well that didn't happen. I will be working on it tonight and tomorrow. At least it will be fresh in my mind.

The puppy is still doing pretty good when I am away from the house. I still have to lock her out of the kitchen and all other rooms. She gets the run of the living room and hall. She usually tears up a dog toy (unstuffs it) and chews up a plastic coke bottle. At least it keeps her busy. She still is lazy about doing her business outside. Even when I take her out several times, she will go inside. And I had it so easy before she came. I could potty both my other dogs on command.

Time to get busy. Another day is on the way. And Christmas is around the corner.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Another Friday night

For some reason it feels like Thursday night. Chores are all done, hubby in bed, dogs fed, and the rest of the night is mine to play.

I did my scavenger hunt drawing of my fist and did it in 3 different positions to take care of Nitsa's seocnd challenge. I was pleased with it. I have only finished my second item so far. But many of them are really interesting. I like the one that says a stack of something. That could be interesting. I am still trying to figure out what I want to stack up for that. I want to do something interesting. Maybe several unrelated items. Just have to find some that will stack and not fall.

My soft drink fix.

I had run out of cokes and had not had one in three days. I also had not been feeling very well in that time. Well time to get my sugar fix. I went to the store and remedied that. I still am not feeling very well but the coke helped. And the cookies I also bought. (Shhh don't tell hubby)

Today I sketched the first item on the new Scavenger Hunt #9. On the list was an outdoor sculpture. Well no sculptures here, so while at the store I bought a small ceramic dog. It is not very big but could be used outdoors, so I drew it. That is the closest I could get to an outdoor sculpture. I didn't want to have to drive around, find one in a yard, and sit in front of their house sketching it. Doing that in this town could get you into trouble. A police visit asking what you are doing. Crime rate makes people really suspicious thinking you are casing their place for a robbery. I don't need that kind of headache. And statuary shops are not close to my home.

A few of the Hunt items will be a challenge. One will be very difficult. We have to do a self-portrait of the back of us. That will require maneuvering of at least 2 mirrors. May have to take some contortionist lessons.

I spent a late morning in bed. Even with that I am still really tired. Can't figure out what is wrong but it is zapping my energy. I can't seem to accomplish even simple household chores the last couple days without weearing me out. But...I can sit and draw. Oh well. Better than sitting and doing nothing.

I heard about some new Derwent pencils at WC. They are Inktense pencils. I went online and ordered a set of 24. So now I have that set coming and a 24 set of the Derwent drawing pencils. I may never run out of practice to do. Can't wait for both to try. Easier to order on ebay and get them sooner than to order from a shop even tho I have to pay more. When the new items come out first they are only offered in the UK. I haven't dared order from there as I am sure the postage would be costly. It's costly enough just here in the U.S. I still haven't taken the time to play with my graphitints so have lots of stuff to keep me busy.

sorrow looks back
worry looks around
faith looks up

Author unknown

Worry ends when faith in God begins. Author unknown

"I love you, Lord; you are my strength." Psalm 18:1 NLT

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Yeah the weekly drawing is finished.

I was not looking forward to doing the weekly sketch this week. It was a waterglobe without the water with flowers and imagined leaves. With purple marbles jumbled around the bottom. I did it in black and white. It's ok but not real good. Glass is just not my thing. I have a very hard time with it. Good practice tho. But I am verrrrry glad it is over.
I typed a message to go with the one titled Full Moon Tonight but when I went to publish it, it disappeared. I decided I was too tired to retype it. And now I haven't a clue what it was that I typed. Must not have been too important.
I didn't feel well today. Not much accomplished. Just puttered. Slept in the evening until hubby got home from work.
Now the trash is at the curb, dinner over, the dogs fed and pottied, and now I get to watch Project Runway.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A full moon tonight.


We went to a barbecue for the holiday. Had a good meal and nice chat with family. I sketched two items while there. I have 3 more things now to do for the scavenger hunt. Here are #22 teapot and #23 ice cream. Too tired to write more. Maybe more tomorrow.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The end of another day.

Here is my scavenger hunt work for today. Loaf of bread and carton of milk. I still have a few left to do. I think I have finished 18 so far. Soon we will get a new weekly reference. I finished this week very early in the week, so the week has been dragging. I will have to start a nice project to keep me busy in between.
I still have to finish the portrait of my two cousins. I have her finished but still need to work on her husband.
We will be at my sister-in-law's house for Labor Day. They are having a barbecue. My husband's brother and wife will be there also. That will make 6 of us. I will take my drawing supplies. At least I will have some new subjects to draw. I am getting tired of sketching things in and out of my house. Many I have done over and over. I probably won't try to do any of the live people there but they have 4 cats. One is way too mean and I don't want to see her. Another is a scardy cat so won't come out. But the two males will wander in and out. I should also take the camera to catch them in some poses also.
Well that's it for today. Nothing inspiring to say, no late-breaking news, nothing really new. Just a very simple day but one without trama so I consider it a good day.
"He who guards his mouth and tongue keeps himself from calamity. Proverbs 21:23