17 October 2014

tiny houses of Independence, TX


I love visiting the tiny community of Independence, TX, once the center of the Republic of Texas and original home of Baylor University. Not much there anymore except some old homes, historic sites, and the beautiful Rose Emporium, but a lovely day-trip destination just the same.

These are a few of the very tiny houses in the town. These make our small cabin seem huge! The one in the upper left was known as the Adobe house and now houses the information center. The old stone structure once stored cotton after harvest.

15 October 2014

late summer / early autumn wildflowers

In the spring I began filling this wee sketchbook (under 3" square) with Texas wildflowers found near our new home. Then throughout the hot, humid summer, I sort of ignored it . . . . There weren't as many wildflowers seen then anyway.

But now lots of new ones have filled the local pastures, mostly yellow. So I added them this past week.





K's new kitchen & iPod tech



The past week we have been staying at our daughter's home, tearing out her old kitchen cupboards and installing the new ones Bill made. I'm also trying to figure out how to use the camera on my new iPod . . . and how to post the pictures to Facebook (that was easy) and this blog (not so easy).

The nearest I've come is to post first on Facebook, save the photo to my Kindle, and post to my blog from the Kindle. Still not sure how to post directly from the iPod.

For future travels, I would like to be able to keep up my sketching (and posting) with a minimum of devices.

07 October 2014

an alternate kit for my purse

I was recently reorganizing my art tool chest and came across this little case I once made to carry shortened-handle paint brushes to sketch crawls.

Now I use travel brushes that have their own protective covers so I no longer use this. But I looked at it awhile . . . . and thought that it would make a handy sketch kit to fit in any purse or pocket.

The bit of plastic behind the tools was placed there to keep brush tips safe from bending, the kit being sewn of a soft suede. The sides fold inwards, the lower flap folds up, and the upper flap's velcro seals it shut.



There is just enough room for a tiny paintbox (the travel brush, closed, fits inside), spray bottle of water to refresh paints, and a couple of shortened pencils.

Just add a folded paper towel and carry a small container of water and I have all that's needed. Even an extra glass of water and napkin at a restaurant would work.

I think this small metal watercolor box is from Daler-Rowney; I've had it for several years. Only quarter-sized bits of paint but sometimes that's all that's needed to add some color to a sketch.


06 October 2014

another mystery tree


On our property there are 9 of these unknown trees, 3 more mature than the others that were probably planted just a year or so ago.  Bare in the winter, they are full of white flowers before any leaves appear. Now a few leaves are turning color and falling; when we made an offer on the cabin last November, we saw tiny fruit on the branches. Have no clue as to what it is.

The largest one near our patio, usually filled with birds, seems confused as to what season it is: it recently popped out with a few more flowers, giving me a chance to add that to my sketch.

Browsing in a tree guide, my nearest guess is a Mexican Plum or Rusty Blackhaw.

05 October 2014

one cool hot-rod


We usually arrive at church early. While waiting this morning, I drew Kenneth and Karla's cool hot-rod from photos I found on their Facebook page. Then added some sermon notes. After coming home, I added some watercolor.

The car is really very stylish, as are the couple who own her. I found one photo of them dressed in vintage style standing next to the car. Fun!

new iPod . . . stuff to learn yet

Last week I upgraded to a new iPod after my original one (generation 2) was no longer able to run some programs. It didn't sinc with my computer anymore either . . . not since an upgrade to iTunes on my computer.

This one has a camera and I am determined to learn to use it for posting pictures of my sketches instead of taking a separate camera along with me. I already posted a picture of this sketch on Facebook --- that was easy. But I have not yet learned how to post a picture straight to my blog from the iPod camera.

I tried but just the words posted, not the photo. Surely there is a way; I just haven't figured it out yet.

02 October 2014

I now have a Mini-Cooper!


Okay, it's only a Lego Mini. But it's in the right colors!

I drive a P. T. Cruiser and love it. It's boxy, bright blue, and feels "bigger on the inside" --- hence, it's nickname, The T.A.R.D.I.S. But my "dream car" would be a Mini Cooper. Our son Jason just gave me this wee Lego Mini last week. I drew it just for fun, including some of the downtown buildings of Brenham.

01 October 2014

random Friday sketching

 We spent Friday with our son Jason and his family. The Fort Bend County Fair was opening and schools were out for the day. Granddaughter Jayna had a piece of art entered so we planned on going to see it (she won a blue ribbon!).

Before heading to the fair, we went to First Colony Mall in Sugarland --- I bought a new iPod and daughter-in-law Carrie took my photo while I sketched for possible use in Cathy 'Kate' Johnson's upcoming book, tentatively titled "Sketching on the Go". I hate having my picture taken and seldom end up with a good one, but Carrie has a very good "eye" for photos.

Kate's new book is on sketching "on the spot" and, like her last published book, "Artists' Journal Workshop" (which my sketches are also in), she has invited several sketchers to contribute art.

me sketching at the First Colony Mall, Sugarland

28 September 2014

2 trees + a wee tree house


These two trees are in the east corner of our lot, a cedar tree and a very tall, very old pine. I have counted 38 or 39 trees in our yard. Compare that to only one original tree left in our Kansas yard plus two trees we planted. This cedar tree was crammed full of cedar wax wing birds in the spring.

Several of the trees are an unknown variety newly planted by the previous owners and I am counting the three crepe myrtles which are technically shrubs but in Texas they grow into trees. But there are so many older oaks and pines as well!

This wee tree house was here when we bought the property, though too small for our grandchildren. Bill and our grandson Quen did a bit of work on it, taking off the roof so everyone can fit now. The fox squirrels seem to think it is their domain; their babies are so cute sitting on the ladder step!
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