Saturday, September 27, 2008

September Virtual Sketch Date

I really struggled this month with the photo. I am not happy with my results, but after adding the background, I can live with it. I didn't plan to do a background but found it needed one. Thank you to Sharon for providing the reference.

Please visit the Virtual Sketch Date link on the side to browse thru all the other blogs and artists who participated this month.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I haven't been able to get online to Wetcanvas for most of the evening. I keep getting the database error message like before. I hope it is just a short down time. I was hoping all the kinks were getting worked out.

I haven't done any art today but I did receive two ATCs in the mail today. Just like Christmas. One from Australia, one from Escondido, CA, and one from New Zealand. Beautiful cards. Totally different, but all beautiful.

After too much running around this week, I am resting my ankle for a few days. I still have to do the Virtual Sketch Date piece. Haven't started it yet. But tomorrow is reveal date so I need to get busy. Yikes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Plein air Day

Tomorrow is plein air day. We are going to a small plant nursery. Those always have a few things to use as subjects. I have never been to this one so am looking forward to seeing what it has to offer. It is still pretty warm here and we are still looking for shady spots. Hopefully I will find some at the nursery.

In the future weeks, we will be going to several new places as well as some previous places. One is the local mission. I'm looking forward to what the plein air outings will bring.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Plein Air Photos

Here are a few of the photos from Wednesday's outing.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Holtby House for Norma

This is for a trade with one of my plein air group members. Some of us have decided to trade artwork. This is the second one I have done for the trade with our group. I don't know how many I need to do as we didn't have a firm count of who will be in the trade.

This gate was in front of the house we visited yesterday. A beautiful house on Holtby Street in downtown Bakersfield. The owners have only been there 4 years but have done a lot of renovations. They have a beautiful mix of the old and the new. Stainless refrigerator and new radio system mounted under the counter, and an old bread box and many other antiques scattered around. A combination that doesn't really detract from the old glamour of the house.

We were allowed to roam thru the two floors and it was amazing to see. Old hat boxes, old children's clothes and toys thruout. But the necessary flat screen tv on the very narrow mantle of an old beautiful fireplace. It did feel like going back in time. An old quilt draped on the stair rail, butter churns sitting on the kitchen floor, an old cleaning machine that looked like a really cumbersome Bissell floor sweeper. So many things to look at and hard to take it all in. Inside and out made for an artist.

In the next few days I will be posting some of the photos I took during our outing at the house. I hope you will enjoy looking as much as I did.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Plein Air Trade

Some of the women in our plein air group have decided to do a postcard exchange within our group. One of the ladies who has been with the group the whole 5 years they have been together, is always bringing extra food to our potlucks and taking photos and sharing them with us. I decided to use one of her photos to do a postcard for her. I'm not sure if she was one who wanted to trade, but if not, I will give it to her as a thank you. I call it "Betty's Trade".

The photo was taken possibly a year ago at the local University (Cal State Bakersfield). They have a program called FACT that takes in wild birds that have been injured or abandoned and rehabilitate them for release back into the wild.

There are beautiful trees, birds in cages, a pond, lots of greenery, and a cactus garden. This photo was taken in the cactus garden.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bookmarker Exchange

This is a bookmark I did for an exchange on the Toad Hollow Drawing Club forum. I did my bookmark on both sides and decided to make it in a similar way. Here is what I cam up with.


Yellow labs (and probably all the labs) are extremely loyal. We have one that we got at 9 months old. She lived in a home with a lady for most of her life. Then she was abandoned at the SPCA. Being a thoroughbred, she was only there for a few days. As soon as she went up for adoption, she was adopted. A man got her for his brother who didn't want her. Then the dog went to his sister who decided not to keep her. She ended up at his house for a few days but he had a large rottweiler and didn't want another.

That man has another brother who lives across the street from me. Our neighbor told his brother he had the perfect home for her. We went to see her and felt so bad for her being shuffled that we said she deserved a permanent home. Can you imagine living with someone for 9 months and then just tossing her out like the trash. Yes she gave her to the SPCA. But while there another dog attacked her. She had several scars on her when we got her. One is a permanent one over her eye. Trauma from being abandoned, getting chewed up, moved about to several houses in just a week or so. Well she came with baggage.

She had separation anxiety. But she came to the perfect house. My hubby and I have much patience with dogs. We already had two. A mini schnauzer and a red golden retrieve (who came at 8 weeks old with her own baggage--hyperactivity that lasted about 8 years). I was too old for a hyper dog. And then along came Penny.

The next day my hubby had to leave town for several days for his job. Well in Penny's eyes, abandoned again. So she became a velcro dog. In and out about every 5 minutes to make sure I was still here. When I left to do errands, the first day I locked the two big dogs outside. She was gone when I got back. Pushed herself thru a wooden fence and chewed thru the wooden slats in a chain link gate. Both were locked.

As I got home, she came running. At least she hadn't gone far. Just in a panic but so glad to see me. And velcro dog became more clingy.

Next errand day, she was locked inside. Bad choice even tho it was my only choice. I came home to a living room that looked like a tornado went thru it. Everything she could find and reach, she chewed up. I took photos and while I took the photos, she was in my hubby's recliner upside down and totally relaxed.

I had to really work with her. It took several months. She still welcomes me home as if I have been gone a month. They are both locked inside with all doors to other rooms closed, a baby gate across the kitchen door, and anything that looks tempting out of reach.

For a couple years, I have had to take both big dogs to the vet when one had to go. I couldn't leave one at home not knowing what would happen. Thank God that part is over. I still have to sneak Friday outside when Penny isn't looking but I come back to a chewed free house.

Well back to the subject of loyalty. Penny is the most loyal dog. She is so happy now. You would never know she didn't start her life without us. It took her awhile to realize she was staying and feel part of the family, and she is still so totally jealous that she won't share toys and doesn't like to share her people. But the dog is wonderful and we can't imagine not having her. We shudder to think how she would have turned out if left in the situation she was in for much longer. And every night just like the first one here, she sleeps against my feet. And once an animal is in our home, they stay till death. You don't give back your kids if you get a bad one. And anyone who takes an animal should realize that the animal is their responsibility for life. They are not tossaway items.

This isn't my Penny. It is a photo from the Wetcanvas RIL. An ATC (2.5x3.5) for a trade.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Oregon

Postcard size. Graphite and colored pencil.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


This will not be a surprise. I joined another new project on Wetcanvas. Another ATC/Postcard trade. This one is titled "Anything Goes". IrishRose started this one. I'm so glad someone besides me started this one. And I am looking forward to it.

I am almost finished with my Vacation/Holiday Dreams exchange. I think I have 6 cards left to do. I have been putting them out about one a day. I am still happy with the cards I have done. Sometimes the last cards done on a project are a little rushed. But with this one I haven't run out of steam. Still enjoying it a lot.

I am hoping a Christmas card exchange will be started. One was already filled. But I would like to do one of originals. This one was to do one card and make copies. I would rather put out originals to each person even if it means less recipients.

On Drawspace forum we are going to have a trade of "Under the Sea" ATCs. I have already started thinking about what I will do for those. Last year we had a Halloween one, but not sure if we did Christmas. And for the Toad Hollow Drawing Club I still need to do an ATC and a bookmarker for trades. Not sure when those have to be done.

With all these to do, I don't have a problem staying busy. Housework? What's that? I do art, not housework. I have my priorities in order. How about you?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Secret Art Trade

I was recently in a 5x7 colored pencil secret pal original art trade. Some of the final photos are still coming in. When different countries are involved, there is never a way to get everyone's picture to them at the same time. This trade was in Wetcanvas Colored Pencil forum. After joining, we were given the mailing address of our recipient.

I mailed mine on the Friday before the end of the month. The post office attempted to deliver on Tuesday or Wed but the recipient was not home. She had to wait a few added days for it to be redelivered. She has now gotten it and seems happy with it. She is Brattgirl.

I received my painting from artsy. She lives in Pennsylvania, Amish Country, and sent me a picture of an Amish buggy driving down a shaded country lane. It is beautiful as well as very serene. As with most colored pencil work, I have to touch. I have to put my fingers on the picture and feel the color. When I do colored pencil, it is usually thick on the paper. Hers was just like it was one layer. Every time I see one like that, it amazes me and I have to run my fingers over it.

I used a photo from the Wetcanvas RIL provided by ARTMUTT. It is her Basset hound named Penelope. She is the most gorgeous Bassett. And ARTMUTT has provided lots of photos of her for us to use. I am also doing a postcard in graphite of Penelope in another pose. This one is the third that I have used her photo to produce.

I did take a photo while I was working on Penelope. Here is that photo and the final.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Kern County Museum/Pioneer Village

Our plein air group had our outing at the Kern Co. Museum. It used to be called Pioneer Village. There are so many houses and buildings and other things from the past there to look at, photo, and paint.

I started at an old gas station. I found the perfect spot. In front of some nice big bushes that gave me nice shade. Next to me was a tin warehouse-type building with an overhang. That overhang had misters all along the front edge. So I had shade and the gentle misting of water to keep me comfortable while I drew my quick sketch of the station.

I then moved along the little path/road to an old corral and barn. But you couldn't see the barn. They are having an event at the Museum this weekend, and they had put up a tent and bleachers in front of the barn.

I moved along a little farther and did a quick sketch of a couple of trees for the sketch trees thread at Wetcanvas. And drew a postcard-sized sketch of a train caboose.

Later I found myself next to an adobe house that had succulents and a cactus along the side. I concentrated on the cactus. It was unusual as some of the "arms" had broken off, but were still alive and probably growing on the ground.

I arrived at the outdoor museum at 9 am. About 11:30, our usual time for packing up, I got my gear together and went along to the picnic table where the others agreed to meet up. We had lunch and our critique, and I was home by 12:30. Very nice time sketching today. I had missed it after a month off.

If you click on the photos, you can see them larger.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Drawspace Safari ATC Exchange

Here are my cards that I sent for the Drawspace Safari ATC Exchange. I just posted these on the forum even though they have not all arrived.