Sunday, April 29, 2007

Annual BBQ

Friends of ours live in the mountains and have an annual barbecue. Lots of people, food, music, food, talking, food. You get the idea. Several of the attendees play musical instruments. This year there were mostly guitars and a steel guitar. Some years we get a banjo, fiddle, keyboard, or others. This year only about half the people were able to make it.
There are about 12-15 camping rigs of one kind or another. All camped out around on the property. It is on a cattle ranch and my friends live on the ranch and work for the owner. I have made many new friends and only get to see them at these 3-day campout barbecues.
We don't go and camp out. It is only about 30 minutes from our home. We just drive up for Sat and spend the whole day there. Others who are camping out, arrive on Friday and have an enchilada dinner that night. Sunday morning they all get up and have a joint breakfast. I have never gone back for that. All day Sat is about as much fun as I can handle in one weekend.
On Saturday, the music starts fairly early. They all have breakfast in their campers or motor homes, or there are usually donuts and stuff in the house. About noon out come the dips, chips, salami, cheese, vegetables, cut up fruit, crackers, and more. That gets munched on for a couple hours.
Then they start the huge outdoor grill. I think they cooked about a hundred pounds of tri-tip steak. I am not a meat eater so that sight doesn't really do much for me. Now when the table gets filled with salads, beans, watermelon, potato salad, coleslaw, and who knows what else, well that is when I get excited. The hosts provide chili beans, garlic bread, and the meat. Each family brings a salad or main dish and a dessert. You would not believe how many different desserts are there.
Usually after everyone is stuffed to being sick, there is more music, but this time several of the musicians were leaving. It ended up being an early night. We got there about noon and got home about 10pm to 3 very hungry dogs who were anxious to make a stop on the grass. They were all locked inside the house all day. They had slept all day and were ready for some play.
I am glad this only happens once a year. What with Christmas and Thanksgiving and this BBQ, I may be three times my size in a few years.
When I was on the plein air trip Wednesday, above are some of the photos I took. Click on the pictures for a larger view. WetCanvas members have my permission to use these flower photos.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

2nd sketch en plein air

Here is another page of sketches I did at the plein air outing yesterday. this was my first page. First I worked on the skull, but I couldn't see the skull too well. I was too far away to see the details of the horns. I then worked on the topiary tree in graphite. Then came the vine that was on the overhead wooden arbor (?) and then the fountain. I couldn't get the fountain just right and couldn't see the little ceramic frog that was in the water with the rock. So I left him out.

I then decided to add some colored pencil to the topiary and the vine as we were going to be critiqued and all the others had done paintings.

One thing I wish I had done was go around more and see how everyone worked. I couldn't really see very many of the ladies but I could hear snippets of advice. Next time I will have to get closer to the other artists. That means I need to get a hat before the next outing. It will surely be hot by then.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

En Plein Air

I joined my plein air group for my first outing today. It was great fun. I met about 12-15 new people. Quite a large turnout as one brought some family members who were in town for a visit. Luckily they all were painters.

We visited a home with a wonderful garden. Flower lovers would have been so envious. Varieties of poppies, roses, Bird of paradise, and so many others. All in full bloom. Also little areas all over the yard had little groupings that made wonderful "targets". Most of the ladies were doing watercolor. Most of those were doing the huge, beautiful poppies. We were able to take as many photos as we wanted, and use any of the areas for drawing/painting.

Since I work in graphite, my choice was in the shade (weather was 80 degrees F) and I had that area pretty much to myself. Altho I liked the colorful flowers, you don't need color for graphite. This is a yearly visit for this group, and I hope by the next trip I will be doing some form of painting. Either acrylic or watercolor. That is my goal. But if not, I still love graphite.

The next trip is to mountain area where there are old buildings. I won't make that one. But the one in two weeks is a cattle ranch that has an actual dude ranch for visitors. Should be fun.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mary's White Rose

I "borrowed" some roses from the neighbor across the street. She has scads of them. Especially the white ones. I got a couple smaller orangey ones too. It gives me an endless supply of flowers to draw. And they are on the front fence and within easy access. And the neighbor doesn't mind.

The neighbor next to them has some kind of plant that blooms the most beautiful purple blooms. I am watching anxiously for those to bloom. Hopefully they won't mind a loan of one.

Bought a few more drawing props Saturday. I found the cutest little set of about 10 ceramic animals. I bought one of each species that they had. Lucky for me they were at the dollar store. I still haven't found anywhere to display them. Hubby promised to build me a shelf that I can use to set up still life displays. Of course who knows when that will happen. We are in process of changing the furniture in my office/studio, so nothing is in order. In fact it is piled high with stuff all over the floor. Will be nice when all is in order again.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Very productive day

I had a productive day today. I joined the Photo Scavenger Hunt at WC and posted 15 of the items. I took the pictures here in the house. It was fun trying to find things to snap that fit the different categories.

I have been wanting to go to the local mall gallery. It is an Art Association. I wanted to check into joining.

Well today I browsed their website and found they have a plein air group. I talked to the lady who keeps it organized, and I hope to join them next Wednesday. The journey will be at a private home with beautiful gardens. I will go tomorrow and join the organization. It will be nice to be a part of the art community and to have a group to share some art time.

The weekend of the 28th, I will be at a 3-day weekend barbecue. It is an annual get together on a cattle ranch in the mountains. There will be motorhomes, campers, tents (15-20 of them) camping on the property. Musicians, good food, lots of people, more food, and many dogs. I usually take pictures of all the dogs so I can draw them.

We go on the Saturday. We make a whole day of it. That is the day of the potluck. Everyone brings a salad or chip and dips and a dessert. The hosts provide meat, bread, and a pot of beans. Fun is had by all.

There are many musicians who are very good. They sit in and sit out as they have the urge. It will be a sketching and photo opportunity.

In the past I have only taken pictures, but this year I want to do some life drawings. Especially the musicians. They sit for long periods. I hope to find an out-of-the-way spot but will probably have trouble staying out of the way as most people there know that I draw.

Latest items for the scavenger hunt.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More ATCs

Two of my trades for the ATC Exchange have reached their new owners. Both went to states in the U.S. One to Florida and one to Northern California.

I have sent out about 16 so far. Since we have until the end of the year, I am way ahead of schedule. I am trying to slow down and take a little longer, but I am still putting them out pretty fast.
Now that I am finished with work, I am hoping to try a couple cards in acrylic.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Half A Penny

This is an ATC that I made for the exchange project, but since it is of my sweet Penny, I couldn't part with it. I think this is so Penny.

I addressed 7 envelopes and sent out 7 art cards today for the exchange. I think that is 12 I have done so far. I still have a lot to do. Some of the ones I sent today are ones I had already done. But I looked thru my supply, and found some that I thought would be perfect for certain people.

I still haven't done any new medium. I thought about trying some in acrylic paint. I still may. Just have to get thru the last two days of tax season. Then maybe I will have time to experiement.

The two mediums I do now are totally opposite but with the same general tool. A pencil. One has color, the other has none. It gives me room to play with color when I feel in the mood but still do my "comfort zone" graphite.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Scavenger Hunt #36

I did 6 more items for the scavenger hunt tonight. Only 13 more to go. Half done and still 5 days to go. I also did another ATC, and it will go out in the mail as soon as I spray it. It will be going to Petaluma, CA. That will be 5 done and 25 left to go.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

ATC Exchange Project

Two more of my art cards have been received by their new owners. Both of them went to Australia. The one sent to Bigs/Sue is a drawing of her two Daschunds. The one to Bluefrog is a fish I did from a prop I bought. A fish figurine. I like the way it turned out. A little bit of a different look for me.

I did another tonight of some poppies. I liked what I had done except it looked too bare. I tried to add some foliage and now I don't like it. It will probably be sent in a packet with some of my ATC Stinkies. We share them with others who signed up ro receive them. When they get them, they are allowed to rework them, or cut them up for collages, or whatever. It gets rid of unwanted ones, and so far most of the people who receive them think they are great. They keep them with all their others. I have received one or two packets (3 to a packet) and loved them all. I'm keeping them as is.

I have managed to do a few extra trades. One with a lady from England, one from Valri, and now I will trade with Nonny Kor. This one will be a challenge. It can be ATC size, or up to 5x7. We each chose 3 colors, and the other person has to use those 3 colors to do our picture. I still haven't decided how I will do mine. The colors I will be working with are purple, orange, and lime green. She will be using purple, blue, and red. Should be interesting.

Two more days of work. I'm off until Monday. Then those two days will be busy. Last minute walkins mostly.

Tomorrow I think I will go shopping. I want to visit Walmart and get some more of the hard plastic badge holders I found. They are perfect for mailing the ATC cards in. And they are really nice for hanging mine for display. Besides it is time to browse the Michaels store. I need my fix. All those supplies.

Tax Season

Tax season is in full swing this last couple weeks. After spending some slow weeks and filling the time with sketching, we are now pretty busy. No more time for sketches. In fact I had a client almost as soon as I clocked in. But only 3 days left since I am off on Thursday and Friday. I think I can hold out that long.

For the 35th Scavenger Hunt that I provided the list, one item was draw half of your face. I decided to do pieces. Here is my half a face (or my newest self-portrait).

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Monday

Yesterday was a bad day for me. I wasn't feeling weel most of the day. Today I had my medical procedure and everything was fine. My parents took me and brought me home. On the way home we stopped for food. Good old food. And boy was I hungry. But I was so groggy still that I didn't fully appreciate the food.

I had a breaded chicken sandwich, fries, and a coke. Yum. Then home to a 5-hour nap. Finally felt like my old self after the nap. Glad that the medical procedure is over for a few more years. This one just about did me in. I guess I am just getting too old. Any change and my body protests.

Here is an ATC that I traded on the newest ATC/Postcard exchange. It is the first one to be received during this newest project. This one has 33 participants. That will add 32 more cards for me and everyone else on the project. I received my first one today. It was a postcard of a very cute little puppy in colored pencil.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Doggy "Bad Hair Day"

I finished my WDE drawing tonight. It was hosted by Valri. I decided to do an ATC of her dog Mat. He looks like he was having a very happy vacation. She said he had been in the water. Not a good thing for a dog that requires grooming. He looks like he is having a bad hair day. But a very happy day.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Friday at last

I had a busy 2 days. groceries, church for Good Friday Service, bank, post office, and a few other errands. Tomorrow I stay home. Will try to finish some housework and some art.

Sunday will be spent getting ready for the colonoscopy on Monday. Won't be leaving the house on Sunday. Plus I can't have anything to eat but clear liquids. Great since I don't like broth. I will be eating lots of jello and drinking lots of sprite and juice. I will be totally full of sugar.

I have worked lately on my scavenger hunt list. I feel as it is my list, I should finish it. I have 22 items finished. Still have to do half of my face, something a chef would use, something you measure, + something the color of your least favorite color. And I have until the 10th to finish.

I didn't do the WDE or the Weekly last week. I think I needed a break. I will most likely participate this week. I have missed the last couple of colored pencil challenges. But I did get two art cards ready and sent for the newest/3rd Art Card/Postcard exchange. And someone has sent one to me. Can't wait to get it.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

End of Season

I just counted the days I have left to work. 5 more. Yippee! Then more "me" time.
The new card exchange was ok'd last night. It will have 31 participants. In just one day, there are already 28 signed up. It won't be limited to size 2.5 x 3.5. This time you can do up to 5 x 7. It is for those who don't like working as small as the ACEOs. I can imagine that the painters and even the pastel people would have trouble working in that small a format. Now for me, it is great. For both graphite and colored pencil.
Well the new used desk is in place. Just have all those boxes full and no place to put anything. I will have to get a cabinet soon.
Time for bed. I am very tired tonight. Didn't sleep enough last night.