Friday, August 31, 2007

Jody's Sammy

I finished a couple of pet portraits for the ATC exchange project. There are 11 of us drawing each others pets and exchanging (ATC size). It is great fun and we get small pictures of our own pets. Some of the participants are doing two for each person. That is what I will try to do. So far I have about 6 done. Two I did in watercolor with no graphite drawing first. I really liked the first one, the second not so much. But I redid it in graphite and am sending both to "Winecountry/Colleen".

Here is the drawing I did of Jody's Sammy. It's my second ATC of Sammy. In the Scavenger Hunt pet portrait thread, I did a close crop of Sammy and sent it to Jody. I love doing ATCs and seeing how much detail I can get in such a little package. Plus I can do crops that are unusual. I just start with whatever part of the animal or scene that appeals to me and "grow" the picture out from there. Whatever fits, that is my crop.

I pretty much do my sketches en plein air the same way. I will start a bit off center with something that catches my eye. Then I start adding things from the scene. I stop when I either feel "finished" or when the time runs out. A lot of the time there is a lot of space around my drawing.

The ladies in the group mentioned that I might do better to make them touch the sides and do a better composition, but that doesn't work for me when en plein air. It works better for me to start with a bit or piece and grow out. That way if I run into something where I am not happy, I can leave and not worry about a "finished" drawing. If they turn out and I like them, I consider them a drawing. If they don't and I consider them practice, they are sketches to me. Most of them stay in my sketchbook. I have one that is strictly used for plein air. I work in a different one for just daily sketching and the scavenger hunts.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Plein air outing

Well today was great. Lots of artists, space, things to look at, and food. A very gracious hostess who provided a wonderful meal of chunky chicken salad over cut romain lettuce and a fresh bowl of cut up fruit. Melon and grapes. Yummy.
The hostess has a resident canine named Freckles. He has his own My Space website here:
I took about 40+ photos today. I also did three different sketches. The first was the nice wooden rocker and footstool. I didn't get the leaning angle or the perspective just right (very bad on the stool). But I had fun doing it. I saw afterward I forgot the left side bottom rocker part.
The second picture I sketched was of one of the other painters. She paints in oils. Both oil painters were painting the swimming pool area. Since a painting artist is a captured model, I decided to sketch her. She was very surprised. She said it looks just like her. Since I didn't add color, you didn't get to see the bright red apron she had on.
The third was a metal watering can that was being used as a vase. It had some cut roses in it. The hostess had arranged that for a still life for us. As I hadn't been sketching for a few days, I didn't go into a lot of detail.
Next week is the Bakersfield Museum of Art. They have a garden area on the side and in the back with a gazebo and different areas with sculpture by artists. The last time I was there, I captured a picture of some ducks sleeping in a small waterpool/fountain. There is a park next door and the ducks are residents from the park. The week after that will be a small lake in a gated community that we visited a couple months ago.

No New Art

I haven't done any art for the last couple days. I have been trying to learn how to run the software for the machine my husband bought. He already has orders for banners and stickers. We were doing some practicing on the actual vinyl tonight. I spent way too much time on that today.
No news about when I might have a knee replacement. The surgeon is concerned with my weight. So I still am on crutches and the knee doesn't get better each day. The surgeon will fax my medical doctor the results and his opinion. I will wait and see what transpires.
Our group outing is tomorrow. At least I will be doing some art tomorrow. We will be visiting a private home and landscaped garden. The hostess will be providing lunch for us. I believe there will be about 10 artists going.
I shopped for mats and frames for my Guild House pictures. I am pretty happy with what I picked. I wanted to frame and mat the two colored ones the same in case someone wants them both together but was unable to get matching frames. I will try to get them finished up after the outing. I am not sure when they will be needed but I want to have them done and not have to rush them.
Hopefully I will get some art posted here tomorrow night. But right now, time for bed.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

ATC for Jeanette

Jeanette Jobson and I agreed to make an ATC exchange. I love Jeanette's work and am looking forward to having a small piece of her artwork. I requested something of her beautiful cat Tripod (which I gave the nickname of Mr. T). I always love reading about his antics on Jeanette's blog and seeing photos of him. He looks at her so adoringly and helps her when she is drawing.
I haven't had a cat in over a decade (I raised 4). But when I had a cat in the family, it was always a necessity to keep anything that would fascinate a cat out of harms way. My first cat ended upin the toilet at the ripe age of 6 weeks. If I hadn't been in the room, I have no doubt he would have drowned. After that the lid was always down in our house. That was Tabby a beautiful orange tabby cat.
Second to come to us was Trouble. She was a calico and very loving. But as her name implies, very into everything. I was always afraid she would stick her paws in the sewing machine. She would be on the table behind the machine, and was totally enjoying the up and down motion of the needle.
Then came the hair pulling pair. Brother and sister Mischief (Missy) and Shadow (black with no other color). We picked Missy out of a litter because she was this little grey ball of fur. So cute. We ended up with Shadow as the family who had the kittens ignored him thinking he was ugly. We just could not leave the little scrawny black guy there. He became the most beautiful cat. Full of sinewy muscle and with the grace of a black leopard. But 2 kittens coming into a household with an existing "Trouble" was asking for more trouble.
I had always heard of cats climbing the drapes. Well with these two pieces of dynamite, I actually saw it. They were only a few inches long but full of fire. Chasing each other they went up the side of the drape, along the top, back to the side and down. All in about a seconds time. I have never seen anything that fast.
Each one was a joy. A very cuddly, loveable joy. But we raised them inside only and 21 years of changing a cat box was all I was willing to do.
Living in a city means many uncontrolled cats roaming and lots of them get hit by cars. Mine lived very comfy lives (I even brought in grass for them to eat). I loved each one dearly but now will just enjoy my dogs (3) and watch the life of Tripod thru the wonder of the internet.
Jeanette is sending me a drawing of her cat, so I decided to give her one of my Friday when she was 6 weeks old (now 7 years).
Thank you Jeanette for the trade.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Art of Doodling

I was web surfing and came across some art doodling sites. This one is particularly good.
I think it would be a very good thing for children to do or even adults when sitting somewhere like the doctor's office.
On another site it said for children, have them each draw a doodle, then exchange them and finish them. That way you get a fresh one. I think it would be a good way to be creative in a looser way. Less structure, more imagination.
I do a form of doodling while listening to the sermon at church. I will draw unusual crosses, stars, flowers. It's something I can do and doesn't need my complete attention.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Free at last

Hubby left this morning for a 4-day camping trip. I was so glad for him to be camping and give me a rest. Lately he has been after me daily to learn the program for the new machine. And that was the one thing he said before he left. Figure out how to ......this and this and this.
I'm feeling a little under the weather. Have been for several days now. Nothing I can put my finger on, just not too perky.
I did do something to make me feel a little better. Ordered art supplies. I use Derwent watercolor pencils the most and really like them. When I use dry colored pencil, I use Prismas. But I have wanted some Derwents. Now I will have them. 72 of them. I got one more thing but can't remember what it was. That was from Cheap Joes. Then I also ordered from Dick Blick. I saw some different waterbrushes on someone's site and they seemed to hold more water. I found them at Dick Blick and they were 3 sizes in a pkg for $4.19. Wow that is cheaper than the ones I get here. Can't wait to get them.
Now I need to get myself in gear and get my Guild House stuff framed. I have a doctor appt on Monday across town so maybe I will go early and stop by Michaels and take a look. Take my sizes with me.
The dogs are antsy tonight. I guess they miss their papa. Tonight and tomorrow night they will bark and react to anything they hear and some they don't. By Sat and Sun, they will be used to him being gone and will settle down.
A photo of a rose and another photo one area of The Crystal Palace.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Buck Owen's Crystal Palace

Our plein air group went to The Crystal Palace today. It was about 100 degrees F so everyone stayed in the shade of the building. That limited what we could draw. Next time we go, hopefully will be a cooler day. That way we can sit facing the building from the parking lot. I concentrated on one of the columns that is outside the grounds on the street and holds the Bakersfield sign.
I planned to go out to the sign and get a straight-on picture of it (the whole street is posted no parking). But I was going to pull over long enough to get the photo. I forgot. The only photo I got was at an angle. I don't want to attempt the letters at an angle so will wait for another photo before doing a finished drawing.
Next week we go to a private home with gardens. There should be plenty to sketch there.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sunday...the start of a new week.

I'm late posting tonight. I just finished my next self portrait. I missed yesterday and just barely squeeked by tonight. This one isn't too bad but I still like the last one better.
Hubby and I were setting up the computer for the machine we will be using to start a business. We will be making peel and stick labels, stickers, car decals, and eventually banners. The machine is a commercial one and will make things about 3 ft with the length only limited by the paper. Since hubby's body is falling apart, his truck driving days may be numbered. We need to get something started before that day comes.
As he can't type and has no computer skills or knowledge, that part is up to me. And the stickers will be printed from a computer program. With repitition hopefully he will learn fast. I don't like missing out on my art time.
He is not the most patient person in the world and is very antsy to get started. He already has some customers lined up. But we ran into a problem tonight while setting it up. An application error. I saved it on the screen and will have to calle the tech support in the morning. They weren't open today. It says help 24 hrs but apparently that is not true for Sunday.
Here's hoping I have more art time tomorrow. I haven't yet started the new scavenger hunt, and I have been missing from several of the forums drawing events for a few weeks now.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Double trouble

Well I did two self portraits last night since I missed the day before. I think they are getting stronger. I don't know how long I am going to continue these but since they are helping me to improve, I will do them for a while longer. I don't have any thread to post them to except the new eye study.
I hope to eventually get started doing the hair in more detail and not just squiggly lines and also get some contour in my face. But first I wanted to get a likeness in my face. I think I am finally accomplishing that. I will stay with this for a tad longer then start trying to add depth. I am getting very familiar with my face. Don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I can almost draw my eyes without looking now. And I have my nose pretty much down. The mouth is at least looking like mine, and I am getting in some wrinkles and jowls. In a way that is scary. Am I just getting used to the flaws in my face? When did the flaws go from looking like a witch to a point where it looks like me?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bad Knee Day

I had errands to do today so the knee is suffering tonight. I took a pain pill earlier but I think that has worn off. I took a late nap and when lying down, when I lifted my leg it felt like the knee stayed. It feels very heavy.
Walking thru the Michaels craft store, I kept wrenching my knee. They had a tile loose and of course my foot found it. I also "tripped" over a screw head that was sticking out of the floor. Can't remember whether that was at Michaels or Officemax. I needed ink cartridges so had to make that stop as well.
Here is the latest self portrait. I haven't done the one for today yet.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Self Portrait 8-14-07

Guild House

Four of my pieces of artwork were accepted by the Arts Council for the silent auction. 2 graphite and two colored pencils. Now they will be given back for me to mat and frame.

I have been offline most of the last two days. I got a computer from my friend Shari and have spent the time trying to get everything situated. There was also a computer cabinet. They live in the mountains, and we didn't get home till about 8:30 Sunday night. I got two monitors, nice speakers, and even a printer all for the same price.

I have an old Packard Bell computer with 3GB that I will give to the neighbor girls along with one of the monitors. That will give them something to use for homework. It is not the fastest or the best, but they don't have any now.

Still no artwork to show except an ATC of a cat. The pet named Puzzle for an exchange with Just Chaos in Wetcanvas. Done in watercolor paint with a waterbrush.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


We went to a barbecue/50th birthday party today. It was fun and nice food. They had steaks, chicken breast and shrimp all barbecued. The cake was scrumptious. From a local candy store called Sweet Surrender. A 2-layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Verrrrrrry rich and with ice cream. Like Heaven.

There was also a very good Broccoli Salad. I got the recipe. I posted it and hope everyone enjoys it. Click on the recipe for a larger view.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Hart Park Drawing

Here is the drawing I did of the Lake and opposite shore (with mountains in the background) at the plein air outing yesterday. We had a good time, the tv station was there and it will be on the news tonight, had lunch, and our critique. And the weather was in the 80s and beautiful. Nice and breezy. Next week we will be back in the 90s and be sweating.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Today's art

Tonight I worked on my self portrait and hand for the day. I like the hand. I think it turned out good. The self portrait I'm not sure of. One thing about today's self portrait is that I can see my brother's face in mine.
I was the oldest of three children. I had two brothers. The younges passed away at 46 yrs old in year 2000. That was Steve and he was the father of the nephew I am always talking about.
The older of my brothers is Randy. Steve and I always looked a lot alike. Same texture of hair, same nose. Randy has a nose like our maternal grandfather. More of a Greek nose. And other than our inherited eyes with the dark circles under them, Randy and I don't look that much alike. As a middle child, and with different looks, he of course thought he was adopted. My mom after 3 days of labor with a breech (rear end first) pregnancy and no medication for the pain will argue that point.
As I was doing this self portrait, right away I was seeing my brother Randy. I couldn't believe it. My husband was surprised too. So this self portrait taught me something that I didn't know about myself. Randy and I are similar in appearance. It just isn't as apparent as Steve and I. As far as dispositions and stubbornness, Randy and I are cut from the same cookie cutter and Steve was more mild.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Self Portrait 8-6-07

Here is my self portrait for today. I used General's Sketch and Wash graphite pencil with a waterbrush to blend. You can't see all the shading. The scan didn't pick it up.

Finally tomorrow I will see the doctor about my knee. Of course I don't expect any results tomorrow. I figure the doctor will have it xrayed and then refer me to a specialist. But at least something will be started. Problem is the knee is getting more and more stressed. I stay on crutches as much as possible, but you can't carry anything with crutches. And life doesn't stop because of a bad knee. I had to go to the pharmacy today (with a cane) and just walking on the knee wears me out. When I got home I was exhausted. Plus I don't like the stress that the knee is probably causing my back and joints. Isn't old age great?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Another self portrait

Here is my self portrait for today.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Hart Park

You can click on the photos for a larger view.
Today I met one of the ladies from the plein air group, Karen, and we took pictures at the park. I took over a hundred photos. I had some cookies with me and fed some ducks. They stood there posing for me. I also got some geese and some peacocks and one far away picture of an egret. Quite a lot of variety there.
I did my second of nine self portraits. Both so far look some like me. The challenge for me is to figure out a variety of poses so I won't get bored. Not my favorite thing to look for long periods at my face. I see all the flaws.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Scavenger Hunt #50

This week is my turn to host the scavenger hunt. It's hard to believe that we are already at #50. One of the challenges this week is a self portrait a day for the 9 days of the hunt. It will really be a challenge for those who are already doing a hand a day for a month. But if they are clever, they can combine the two. And I'm sure I won't do a complete portrait. Maybe like once before I will do pieces like a puzzle.
Last night I did an ATC of the weekly drawing of Tammy's dog Wrinkles. He didn't look too wrinkly to me but looked like a very nice dog. I am waiting for a message from her to see if she wants me to send it to her.
Tomorrow I will go with one of the plein air ladies to the local park. We are going to start some sketches to complete the following week. The local news show will be interviewing us and we want to have more than blank paper to show. They want us there at 6 am, and it would be too early to go earlier that day to get started. Because of the heat this week, we probably won't stay long. Most of the day it is like walking into an oven when you walk outside your house.