Saturday, May 31, 2008

En Plein Air

Wednesday our plein air group goes back to Pioneer Village. There is a possibility that we will have a spot on the news. So in preparation for that, we are all taking a piece of framed/matted art that we have done en plein air.

I am taking the picture that I worked on the last trip there. It was of the old jail. I did the backside of it since there was a very nice bench for me to sit on. it. That trip the weather was cold. This trip should be hot. I will be looking for a shade as well as a bench or seat this time.

I matted and framed my picture today. I didn't want to wait until the last minute to do so. I didn't really like the picture when I was working on it but it wasn't quite finished. I worked on it a little more today, and tho not happy with it, I can live with it. It's not the best thing I have done nor the worst.

I believe it is about 9 x 13 on Bristol Smooth paper. Some watercolor and watercolor and dry pencil. The mat is 11x14. I sometimes forget to state the size and medium. I'm trying to get better at that. The black mat is wider but this is all that would fit on the scanner. I have better luck with the scanner than the camera especially with black.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Life Today

I went to the post office today to make sure I had enough postage on an envelope bound for New Zealand. I am sure glad I checked. I can't imagine how embarrassed I'd have been if they had to pay postage on something I mailed, or it came back and I had to pay the same postage plus some again. Better safe than sorry. Since the recipients are a husband and wife who are both artists and both in 2 of my exchanges, I mailed them each two postcards in the same envelope. That way I only have to wait while one envelope makes its way and hopefully reaches New Zealand safely.

I worked on two more postcards for the Spring Fling exchange. I took about 70 photos at my sister-in-law's house yesterday. I did a Verigated Canna plant and a Coleus plant. She had both on her patio in pots. I sketched them on the cards while I was there, then finished the canna one last night after we got home. First thing this morning I went to work on the coleus. I really like how they turned out.

A couple of weeks ago, I told a lady who works the register at the local pharmacy that I would do a drawing for her. Well today I did it, and I will hopefully take it by to her after my plein air outing tomorrow. I used a photo taken Monday at my sister-in-laws and drew and "painted" it in colored pencils. It is of another of her patio plants. A geranium. Here is that one.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I worked on some postcards today for my projects at WC. But can't show them yet until they are received. In fact I got three finished.

My neighbor brought me a pot with a blooming Morning Glory in it. It is so pretty. And the vines have just started to stretch. I love looking at it. She gave me one last year and it was beautiful but it hasn't started growing back yet. I can't wait until I get across the street to see how many she already has going. She had tons in her back yard last year and one that completely covered her mail box post.

I keep looking around to see what I will draw next for the Everyday Items Project. For that one, there are so many opportunities. How could you ever run out of everyday items. Pretty much everything fits into that category. Even the dogs.

It's after midnight. Today is an American holiday. We will go to hubby's sister's house for a barbecue. Hopefully it will be a little warmer. Today it was colder and overcast after rain the night before. If it was a little warmer, we would take our lab Penny with us so she could swim in the pool. She loved it the time we took her. It's really fun to watch a dog experience something for the first time. She was immediately in love. After the first dip, we couldn't keep her out of the water.

Now Friday is another thing. You would think being a Golden Retriever she would like the water. Not our girl. If you are holding a water hose and twirling the water around, she likes to chase it. But you get near her for a bath or try to get her into a pool, she heads for cover. She thinks we would throw her in. She hides behind her mama. I guess she trusts me more than hubby.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

More Photos from CALM

These are more of the photos I took at CALM on the plein air outing. I ended up taking over 130 photos. These are some white poppies.

Click the photos to see them larger.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Birthday Poem

I find that poking fun at myself on my birthday helps me deal with the fact that I am getting older. I figure getting older is better than dead, at least so far, but I still need a little humor on these days.

May 21, 2008

Yesterday has come and gone
Now I feel I weigh a ton
Birthday cake and ice cream too
French bread spread with buttery goo
Then time for dinner, I should say no
But in my mouth and not so slow
Bedtime comes and one more bite
Or 2 or 3 with such delight
From thin to plump to fluffy and tight
You'd think some day, I’d get it right
But the years keep coming and bring more cake
How many more birthdays can my body take?

Yikes! I'm 59 and still in shock.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Well today is my birthday. I had a good birthday. My plein air outing was fun. Hubby brought home chocolate cake and Cherry Chocolate Chip ice cream. Yummy. But oh so fattening. But it didn't stop me from eating it. He also brought home a nice fresh still warm loaf of french bread.

The painting outing was very nice. Not too hot but a little windy. There were five of us, and we were scattered over the place. Met again just about 11:30 for lunch and were on our way home by noon.

I took a long walk around the place and tonight my ankle is burning. Will take a couple days to recoup. But I got some really nice photos. One was an in your face of the face of a roadrunner. He took a liking to me and stayed near. Even brought me a rock. Followed me to the next window and to the cage outside when I went there. They said he gets on their shoulders when they work in the pen. He as standing on a turtle or tortoise once but by the time I clicked the camera, he had moved.

I also went to the outside petting zoo. There were 2 goats, 3 sheep, and a mule/donkey. I was impressed by the mule. It does its business in the same spot every time. Keeps his pen clean. I told the keeper I wish my dogs were so considerate.

The sheep were not impressed with me, but the 2 goats came over wanting some attention. They kept getting closer and closer. I was leaning on the fence but decided they deserved a little scratching. That was what they wanted. Right up around where the horn pieces were. I loved being with them.

Then I wandered to the ponds where all the waterfowl were. Many ducks. Not as many as the time before. I swear that time there were thousands. Wall to wall so to speak. We are in the migration area so they come and go. That is the one area where the animals are free. The others in the refuge are unable to be put back into the wild. I got photos of the ducks bobbing for food (bottoms up).

I saw a mink (nasty looking like a badger). The two bald eagles...very regal. They know they are grand. A couple deer, a kangaroo rat who stayed right against the glass eating while I took a flash shot with the camera. He didn't even flinch. I even went inside the reptile house. Creeped me out. Didn't stay long and hardly looked at the lizard things and snakes. That area is where the rat was. I don't like them either but couldn't pass up his pose. And I was about 4 ft away from a bear with a glass window between us. I wonder how strong the glass is. Got some nice photos of the two bears but the windows are really dirty so.... The windows of the eagle pen are really dirty too and covered with one way film. Makes it almost impossible to get a good picture. And outside you have the problem with the wire cage.

Anyway it was a nice way to spend my birthday. Usually I write a funny poem for my birthday. I haven't yet but will get to it in the next day or too.

Click the photos to see a larger version.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Scavenger Hunt #86

I am hosting the scavenger hunt. It is #86. I am doing pretty good getting my sketches done. Here is the last page of items I did tonight. Not great but at least I'm sketching.

Instead of Pioneer Village, this weeks plein air trek will be at the animal preserve and museum CALM. I have been there once before and was able to take photos of two large birds held by docents. I like when I can get photos without a cage showing. I was within 2 ft of a Kestral and a red-tailed hawk. It was awesome.

This time I may wander into the reptile room. It is a concrete partially underground building with glass windows. I'm not sure that glass is enough to make me feel comfy enough to wander there. I passed on it last time. I did try to see the turtles. but they were small and not close to the window.

The bald eagle was also in a similar situation but the windows were so dirty and distorted, I couldn't see them thru the glass. But I did see them thru the cage. All the owls were quite high and trying to hide. But the foliage and landscaping is great. Also a couple really giant cacti. I'm looking forward to Wednesday.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mister T

Here is my version of Tripod for the virtual drawing date. I liked it in graphite but it was so soft that it didn't scan very good. So I went to work putting the graphite in darker and adding colored pencil.

My scanner doesn't do a good job when there is a combination of graphite and color. It makes the graphite look brown which in turn looks dirty. I used the picture program to lighten the color a little which helped the graphite.

Tripod (or Mr. T which I call him) is one of my favorite cats. I love hearing about his escapades at Jeanette's blog Illustrated Life. You can take a look at her blog from the link at the left. I can't wait to see the versions from all the others in the drawing date. Rose Welty has hers up and said we ended up with 10 participants. Here are the participants: Jeanette, Rose, Jeanne, Stacy, Belinda, Jennifer, Gayle, Teresa, Katherine and Paulette. Please stop by each blog and see what each artist has done. Rose has posted Teresa's as Teresa doesn't have a blog.

Now I am ready for the next one.

Friday, May 16, 2008

2nd Patriotic Picture

Here is the second patriotic picture that I did and entered. This one was inspired by the plate. I found it in the Goodwill store, then started looking for other things. I found only the flag. Then at home I started scrounging for other things and this is what I ended up with.

I have some squares of an appliqued quilt I am making. One of those blocks was done with appliqued hearts in red, white, blue fabrics some of which had stripes and/or stars. I used that to design my background. The quilt blocks are in blue background but that washed out my other things. So I chose a gold colored background color and tucked some appliqued hearts among the items.

This one is about 11x14 done with colored pencils on watercolor paper. The eagle is just a bit smaller and done with colored pencils on Bristol smooth paper. Click on the image to see it larger.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Patriotic Show

This picture was taken by another artist at the Patriotic competition and show at the Bakersfield Art Association. I had two pieces entered. The piece that won was a photograph of some jets doing a flyby. It was done by a gentleman who shows his work in the BAA gallery. Photos seemed to take quite a few of the ribbons. There were about 30 pieces at the show and a wide variety of subjects and styles.

This is me and one of my pieces. I was given permission to make copies so I am posting it here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Full Steam Ahead

I sent out 2 postcards yesterday, two today, and two will go out tomorrow. I have only 3 more to do for the Masters exchange. And one is already sketched. I did that one as I sat outside this evening with the dogs. I also did one for the Everyday Items exchange. I will be sending both the Spring Fling and the Everyday Items cards together to the ones in both exchanges. The last two everyday items I have done went out to two people who are only in that exchange. It's harder to get two for the same person done at the same time. But if it will save some postage, I need to do that. The pitfalls of doing too many projects at one time. But I love it.

Tomorrow is the plein air outing. I haven't decided if I will go or not. The particular place they will be going is not one that I mind missing. It is a theater in the down town area that also houses a cafe. Most will be sitting out on the sidewalk. With the heat, that will not be comfortable.

Now next week we are going again to Pioneer Village. There is always something there to paint or draw. It's hard on my ankle, and I will pay for it the next day or two. But the unlimited subjects is too good to pass up. The place is divided into streets. I have been twice before so should have to take many photos this time. But I may go to the farthest street as I didn't last time.

Wetcanvas has been down all day. Part of it came back up for just a few minutes but went down again. I was able to send a couple of pms but that was all. Now I wait for it to come back again. I need my Wetcanvas fix.

Virtual Drawing Date

I am in a virtual drawing date with 4 other artists. The plan is to do a drawing of a picture provided by one of the artists (Jeanette). She chose her wonderful cat Tripod.

I have fallen in love with Tripod, and Jeanette could not have chosen a better subject for me. I have already started my drawing in graphite. My hubby asked if I would add color, but that hasn't been decided yet. I really like it the way it is turning out. I still have almost a week to finish. It is supposed to be posted here on my blog next Sunday.

It is not a competition, it is a drawing event that we can share with each other by way of a computer. Each artist will do a drawing of the same photo. We will share them with each other by way of our websites. We will be able to see each artist's approach to the same subject. This not only gets us to drawing, but also helps each person learn from the others different ways of working.

Learning new ways is very important. Not that you have to follow someone else's way of working. There is no right or wrong way of working. Just different ways. But in learning and trying different things, we learn what is right for us. It is up to each person to develop a style that suits them. That learning process continues and never stops.

Just like in life. We have changes to adjust to. Some we like, some we don't. Some we adapt too, some we don't. But the changes still come around. It is up to us to utilize them or not.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Scavenger Hunt #85

The scavenger hunt this week is being hosted by EP. My turn comes again next. I have been working on my list. I am always working on a list. Then when hosting time comes, I can't find it. I am always starting lists, notes, etc in tablets. Most of the time they are the shorthand notebooks we used in shorthand class in high school. Wire bound at the top and the pages divided by a vertical line. I have filled many of these with shorthand many many years ago.

Now I fill the shorthand notebooks with notes, lists, doodles, and anything else that happens to come out of my head to my fingers. And I have many, many of these notebooks scattered throughout my house. Most of them partially filled. Some with just a few pages scattered thru the book, others that have had pages pulled out until they only have a few pages left.

Well my last list is lost in the abyss of my lost notebooks. But I really like the list I made tonight. It is kind of generic. It will provide a wide range of interpretations. That is the part I like best about the lists. The different interpretations. Sometimes mine are kind of quirky. I confess to looking for the unusual. The normal is not for me. I have even gone so far as to "Google" the definition of a word and looked at synonyms. Anything to find an unusual "take" on a certain object on the scavenger list.

I not only want to "find" the items on the list, I want to find the most unusual one. It just brings more fun to the hunt for me. So I not only learn to sketch quickly and from life, I learn different meanings for words. It seems I am playing my own little game with myself. Now to hold on to this notebook until the 17th when I host. Where is a safe place I can "hide" it.

Here are my first 4 items for the current scavenger hunt. EP has provided a really good list. I really like a list that has ideas for items jumping out at me as I read the list.

If you are an artist, and you would like some sketching from life practice, come join us in the hunts. We get a new list of 26 items and some challenges every 9 days.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

My first Spring Fling Entry

One of my Spring Fling Exchange postcards has been received in Thailand. This one went to Ai. One of the things we see here in spring are honey bees. When the flowers start to bloom and the fruit trees get their blossoms, bees are everywhere doing their pollinating work.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Everyday Items Project

I started an Everyday Items Project in Wetcanvas. It has 24 people signed up. I pm'd the names and addresses to the participants today. Now we can get started making and mailing art.

It is a postcard/ATC exchange. We have people from the UK, Thailand, India, Canada, Australia New Zealand, France and about 8 different states in the US. It's such a privilege to send and receive original art from all these places. And what a joy to share. Sharing and making new friends is one of the perks. Plus I learn something from the cards I receive as well as the ones I produce and send out. I love doing these exchanges and meeting new people and keeping in touch with people I have already met. Plus having a goal keeps me making art.

I am still in the Master's exchange. I have only a few of those left to do. And now two new postcard/ATC exchanges to keep me busy. One is Spring Fling and one is Everyday Items. That will give me a great variety of items to put into my postcards. The spring fling will give me incentive to do postcards while I am out with my art group. And everyday items will keep me busy when I am at home. And before too long another will be started, and I will surely join that one too.

I will be posting these cards here but not until they are received at their new homes. I already have two cards on their way. One to Thailand and one to Australia so hopefully it won't be long before I will have a couple to post. Now to get busy and start my other (about 50) cards.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Colored Pencil Challenge

Every month on Wetcanvas in the Colored Pencil Forum, they have a challenge. Several photos are provided for you to choose from. I chose to do Penelope the bassett hound. The photo was from Artmutt. This colored pencil piece is done on watercolor paper. It is postcard size 4x6.

Friday, May 02, 2008

WDE 5-2-08

I very seldom participate in the WDE on Wetcanvas any more. No particular reason. I still go look at the photos and really like many. But I just never do get around to the drawing. Today I did.

This is a picture of Poco. He belongs to Cheryl T who provided the photos this week. She has a never ending supply of photo ops. She has 4 feathered babies. I liked the photo of Poco because it is up close and personal. Just my type of photo. I even cropped it a little more than her photo. I don't do that on purpose. I just start with some part and work out. Whatever fits on the paper, is what gets on the paper.

Colored pencil on watercolor paper. Postcard size 4x6. On this one I started with the sketching the curve of the beak. I wanted to get that part right or he would have looked funny. I really like doing birds in colored pencil. Birds come in so many brilliant colors. Just made for colored pencil.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Van Gogh

My latest version of a Master's painting was a Van Gogh. It is Scheveningen Woman Sewing. The original is in muted colors. I decided to do mine in graphite. I was somewhat fascinated by the shape of the lady's face and head covering. The head covering looks like a dogs head to me. Don't ask me why. It's just what I see. I don't know if in the original there was thread in the lady's needle or not, but I think I should have put some there. ATC size.

Another one has arrived in England. It is Harvesters at Pont-Aven by Emile Bernard. I liked the simplicity of the original and the vibrant colors. Mine was done in colored pencil and pen and ink.