Friday, June 29, 2007


Well I tried some watercolor today. Not a good result. Here is a flower I just made up. I noticed when I scanned it that I forgot to finish the inkwork on some petals. Oh well. I still tend to use the paint almost full strength like when using oils. The water part just stumps me. I just don't get it. In person the flower looks almost like velvet. I don't know how that happened but I like the look of it. And as usual when doing any kind of painting, I find the process too messy. Makes me appreciate my graphite and colored pencil.


Tonight I finally did a few of the scavenger hunt items. I also did one of the pets in that thread. Nicholas is a St Bernard and beautiful. This was my second drawing of him. I did an ATC of him as a puppy for the owner for the ATC exchange. It was nice to do a before and after. This one is also an ATC.
I haven't been doing enough drawing. It felt really good to do some tonight. I have been spending too much time trying to get up enough nerve to try watercolor painting. But the supplies just sit there watching me.
Why does it matter to me about the watercolor? It will be nice to have the ability to do it, but it is not my passion. My passion is graphite. I love the feeling of moving graphite around on paper. I love being able to make something come to life with a few lines. I am perfectly happy to do that. If and when I am able to paint with watercolor, that will be a bonus.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Plein Air Inside

Today was plein air day. But I settled for an inside view. Way hot here. I toured the clubhouse and the botanical gardens and took photos. Then made my way back to the house where we started. Took a few more photos around the house and yard. Then zeroed in on a hand sculpture. I found it fascinating. And all my sketches of my own hands in the scavenger hunt paid off.

This house has its own gallery. Nice area and the owner has her watercolor paintings nicely arranged on the walls. No matter where I am, I can always find something to sketch. Another perk of the scavenger hunts.

One lady worked in oils and painted the fountain outside the clubhouse. Another did the front view of the clubhouse. Another did some sketches around and in the clubhouse and then sketched at the house.

This clubhouse has a ballroom, gym, theater, computer room, art and craft room, conference room, library, bistro, beauty shop, tennis courts, huge swimming pool, gazebo, waterfall, and just about anything you could want. If they had a grocery store, they would never have to leave.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ants, Ants, and More Ants

I haven't done any drawing today, but I think the ants are finally slowing down. I didn't see any for about 4 hours today. And when I did, it was one or two and not one or two a second. Maybe the battle is about over. I'm ready. Now just cleaning up the corpses.....
Tomorrow is plein air day. We will be at a private home in a gated community. There is new landscaping, a club house, and botanical garden. I may have mentioned that already. As far as I know, I have never seen a botanical garden. That will be new for me. All I know is more photos. It's just a good thing I use digital. I could never affor to have developed all the pictures I have taken in the last two months.
I have been watching watercolor instruction tapes by Terry Madden. They were loaned to me, and I have watched the 5 I have. I am hoping to take these back and get more tomorrow. Very interesting and informative. Now to practice what I have learned. But not tomorrow. I don't need an audience for my new endeavor, and most of the ladies in the plein air group are watercolor artists, or are able to use several mediums. And there is a watercolor teacher in the group. Not about to have my first trials seen by anyone. But I am getting an itch to try one.
I still need to pack my supplies for tomorrow and make the chicken salad that I will take along with crackers for the potluck lunch.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Here is an ATC I did from one of my photos. Not perfect by any means but I like the view of up close and personal. I used a mechanical pencil and a shading stump. I worked on it a little more this morning...a little more shading. But didn't feel like scanning again. I want to do more drawing, not scanning.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Photos from the nursery

Robby's Nursery

Today was plein air art day. Destination was a local plant nursery. What a dream of a place to sketch. Many little unusual items. A wooden shelf unit with pots of many bright colors, wire forms with plants in them which will form to the wire, many garden frogs, sunbursts, turtles, and statuary. And beautiful blooms.

The main object of the day was to stay in the shade. At noon it was already 94 degrees F. I took photos for about half an hour to forty-five minutes. During the photos, I spotted two things that caught my eye. One was the shelf of multi-colored pots, and the second was a wooden clatted half barrell of ferns. I chose the ferns for my first sketch.

I'm not sure how long that took, but my next stop was a small open front little area with a pebble floor. In there were some plastic-looking (waxy looking) plant leaves. Dark leaves with lighter veins. In this same area I saw a glass-paned door leaning against a wall, several hanging pots with plants, and shelves with I drew for the scavenger hunt.

Next was a few more photos, a stop to chat with the other 4 ladies in our group, and a discussion about lunch.

Back to my sketches, I finished a couple more pages. The last sketch was of a ceramic frog. The frogs were heavy like door stops and battery operated. One wa like the guard dog of the place. Any time someone walked past it, the frog would make croaking noises. I intend to go back there and get one of those cute frogs but will leave out the battery. A little of that noise would go a long way.

All in all I took 154 photos. Way too many of the frogs. We did our art until noon (arrived there 9am), then stopped and drove to a nearby Mexican Restaurant. I had a chicken Tostado which had guacamole and sour cream on top.

It was a very nice outing, lunch, and conversation. Next week will be at one of the ladies' back yard which just had the landscaping completed. And before long we will be visiting the Guild House again. This time we will be inside.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Happy Anniversary

Today is the first anniverary of my blog. And I have managed to post almost every day. It can be said that the reason for my blog is KatherineT. I became aquainted with her on Wetcanvas. I was looking thru her blog ( and wanted to make a comment. Well you can't unless you join blogspot. So voila, my blog.

A few of my firsts in art have been because of Katherine. The first class I participated in was Katherine's Artwork from Life. That led to my first time drawing outside, which led to my first drawing in public (a restaurant and then Barnes and Nobles Bookstore). At that time I was still trying to hide the fact I was drawing. Oh and let's not forget my first drawings from life and without a grid.

Then came my first Sketchcrawl after a heads-up from Katherine. That one was done I believe from sitting in my car, which led to several others including one which I took the two teen girls from across the street with me. (Getting braver)

And now after a year, I am drawing in public once a week. And this is in the company of several women who have been artists for quite some time and some even teachers. At these outings, which are always in public view, we also have a "gentle critique". They were going to hold back on critiquing me, but I told them I am an adult and they were to go for it. I had already cut my teeth on gentle critique and much helpful advice from Wetcanvas. All very much appreciated.

Now that I am a seasoned, daily Wetcanvas and Katherine's blog follower, what lies in my future for next year? More blogging apparently. More colored pencil. Hopefully some painting in watercolor. (one of the plein air ladies has offered to let me borrow her 15 instructional tapes.) And now that I have joined a local art association, more plein air trips, participation in workshops and classes, and involvement in the local art community.

You notice that I did not say more Wetcanvas time ( I don't really think there is more time to spend there). That is because I spend so much time there already that I don't get much artwork done. So I will say less Wetcanvas and more working at art.

So Happy Anniversary to my blog. Thank you Katherine and to all who have helped me along the way.

The above drawing is my latest for the Pet Portrait thread. Buster who owns Wetcanvas' Bigs/Sue. This is an ATC and has been mailed to Sue in Australia. And I had better get busy with the next. Buster's mate Maggie will get jealous if I don't draw her.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Aviator Playing Cards

One of the scavenger hunt items was 3 square or rectangle items stacked. I did three boxes. One was Aviator Playing Cards, then a box of staples, and the third was a sample box of chocolates by Russell Stover. Yum. I bought those yesterday and they lasted about 5 minutes.

I did 3 items for the scavenger hunt. That makes my total for this hunt so far of 5 items. I am moving mighty slow. One person is already half finished.

Tomorrow hubby returns home. He won't like the hot weather. It is much cooler where he is.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Scavenger Hunters Pets Portraits

I finally sketched some of the pets in the new pet portrait thread in the WC Animal and Wildlife forum. A lot of good work in there. So far I have done one bird, one cat and two dogs. I plan to do as many of them as I can. Very good practice, and I so love drawing animals. They are pretty much my favorite subject. Especially dogs. The bird is PJ and is about 5x7, the others are PJ the dog, Hannah the lab, and Kali the one-eyed cat which are all ATCs.
My Ditto went to the groomer today. She doesn't like that. She goes every month and throws a fit each time. There and the vet are the only places she gets to go, so she does not like to go in the car.
The rest of my day has been normal. A little cleaning, a visit to Walmart, a sandwich at home, letting the dogs in and out, and trying to keep cool. We are in the 3 digits weatherwise now. Not sure how long it will last but will be off and on for most of the summer.
My arthritis is acting up today. Shoulders, hands, ankle, and knee are complaining. It is never gone, just sometimes more intense than others. The knee and ankle are from the 1994 motorcycle accident I had. The rest is just age. The wonderful perks of age. But as I have said many times, so far it's better than dead.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Log Cabin Florist Outing

These are some of the sketches I did while on the plein air outing on Wednesday. Tiny little flies were worrying me to death, and I had problems with a few ants. But otherwise the day was nice. I just kept turning to find several items to sketch. The one with the fence, I started on the posts and it just kept spreading. I think they are going to be remodeling soon and from what I heard, the fence will be taken out.
Before I left, I thanked them for letting us sketch in the yard and mentioned we might like to return again. She said to just give them a call. They were very nice and hospitable, even asking if we would like something cold to drink.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pet Portrait Thread

Just Chaos started a new thread in the Animal/Wildlife Forum in Wetcanvas. We were discussing our pets and sharing photos during the scavenger hunt and decided it would be fun to draw our pets. Anyone can post their pets and then we can draw any or all of them that we choose. Some really cute animals are being posted. I have already saved several. There are already a couple drawings posted.
Tomorrow is the plein air outing. We will go to a local florist shop. I think we will just be setting up on the sidewalk outside. Not sure what is there to draw but hopefully something will strike our fancy. I know one other lady will be there but not sure of any others.
Our weather is starting into the triple digits already. I believe there is no shade at this florist shop and we will be sitting in full sun. We are starting a little early as we probably won't be able to last in the sun for very long.
Next week our outing will be at a local plant nursery. That should provide quite a lot of things to draw and paint. And the photo op. I am sure they will have some statuary and fountains as well as many flowers, plants, and trees. Hopefully there will be some shady areas there. Now thru September we will be fighting the sun for all outings.
In the hottest part of our summer, you could probably cook an egg on the sidewalk. Our house does not have air conditioning so when it gets the hottest, you just don't move around much. Those are the days when it is hot all day and night. You sweat all night long. It is probably in the 80s thru the night.
Time to get my gear ready for tomorrow. I will go light this trip. Take only what I really need. I don't see us being there long so don't want to pack and unpack too much.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Guild House Start

Today was not very productive for me. I did go visit the local Michael's store. I was looking for some large pieces of watercolor paper for my Guild House drawing. Here is what I have so far.
I did the drawing on Bristol but the angle of the photo caused me to draw it at an angle. I am afraid it will look too weird when it is framed. So I will transfer my drawing to a different paper before I go on and straighten the house.

I also found some Staedtler Watercolor Crayons. One of the ladies in the plein air group uses Karan D'Ache watercolor crayons. But I think this little set of 12 is new. I tried making some bushes and added water with a waterbrush, and they came out fine. I think I will be able to work with them. Much, much better than Oil Pastels. I can't do a thing with those.

I also received my pocket field sketch box of watercolor paints. I tried them and still not good. I am going to have to practice with a brush. The little field kit will be nice to take along if and when I ever learn how to use them.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Scavenger Hunt #43

I am the host of the latest scavenger hunt. It's the 43rd one. Wow. Can't believe it has lasted this long, but I sure am grateful it has. so much easier to make myself draw each day. As usual I made my list as odd as I could. I like to put many things in that would not be normal. I like people to have to think about what they will draw for each item. Also I like items on the list that can be interpreted in different ways by each person. I like seeing the varied sketches and most of the time the little stories that go with them.

I spent some time today trying to list categories I will need files for when I get my file cabinet. Files and then sub folders. It will be nice finally getting all the files sorted. I have them here and there right now.

We did have 2 old, large, 4-drawer file cabinets in the office here at home. They were way too big for this room. I took the stuff from them and just dumped it all in boxes. I still have to sort thru those. I have a box with files in it and the file drawer from my last desk that is still full. Hopefully I will have everything lined and can start to label so they will be all ready to file away when I get the lateral files.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Plein Air Outing

Well the outing didn't happen today. I had everything ready, lunch in a cold pack, and arrived about a quarter to 9. I waited and waited and watched many people arrive at the museum but no one from my group.
About 9:25 I decided to take a walk thru the grounds and see if anyone was in back working. Nice lovely walk thru the beautiful flowers blooming and some sculpture in the garden. There was also a nice gazebo, but I didn't walk that far. I did capture a photo of a pair of ducks who were wandering around by a small pond. They were asleep when I got there but quickly roused when they heard me.
By the time I got back to my car, my leg had had enough walking. I could have taken my sketchpad and pencil back but didn't have the stamina to make it again. Instead I just came home and worked on my picture for Armin's class. Here are two versions of the picture. I haven't decided if I like the map outline on the picture or not.
No specific plans for tomorrow except more drawing.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Weekly Challenge

I decided to get busy with the Weekly WC Challenge tonight and get it finished before the last minute. I did a crop on it and was satisfied with what I did. I would love to have a soft touch like Jeanette but we each have to be true to our own style. I will have to admire hers from afar.

Tomorrow is our plain air outing. We will be going to the Bakersfield Museum of Art. We will be sketching and painting on the grounds. It is adjacent to Central Park so there are lots of shady trees.

I haven't really been to the museum so don't know what is there to draw. The ladies seemed anxious to go there so there must be lots to see.

Hubby is out of town this week working so I don't have any commitments pulling me in different directions this week. So hopefully I will have time to work on several things. One is my drawing for Armin's class. I did some shading on my husbands portrait but didn't get very far. And I still haven't figured out what to do about the truck.

I also still have to plan and do a painting of the Guild House. I have a couple months but that will pass quickly. So I had better not procrastinate. So much to do and so little time. At least so little time used wisely.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Keene Ranch

More photos from the ranch we visited.