15 October 2017

the colors of autumn

Our oak trees do not wear the glorious yellows, golds, oranges, reds, and purples of the maples and other trees back in Kansas. Those leaves that turn in the autumn simply turn brown; some oak trees around here are actually evergreen (who knew?) and stay a rich green year-round.

If I can't enjoy the colors of autumn outside, I can at least change my watercolor palettes to reflect the season --- Here are my cleaned-up and refilled palettes, full of earthy, granulating pigments. And, typical of me, I made changes after sketching these pages! The earth-red is Jane Blunder's favorite, Indian red: a gorgeous shade but very opaque. I wondered if Daniel Smith's Primatek "garnet genuine" might be a good granulating red while still being more transparent. It arrived yesterday, so I switched out the Indian reds for garnet.

Then, since burnt sienna and transparent red oxide are so close in color, I took the sienna out of my pocket palette and added a cobalt blue. I have been greatly influenced by Jane Blunder's blog and her amazing studies of pigments and what they will do.

Another change: Apple has finally updated their products to where I can no longer post photos to my blog using other devices. The problem is that Blogger refuses to upgrade their apps to the newer Apple systems. I can still post using my ancient iPad 3, but it's camera is not as good as that on my phone. So here I am, posting on my computer instead . . . and realizing how rusty my typing skills have become since relying on iPad, iPod, and iPhone!

14 October 2017

sharing a Zydeco Dancer

Following Bill's spinal tap - CT scan at College Station's Scott & White hospital, we went on a search for a Cajun lunch. There was a Cajun restaurant in Wichita, KS that had really awesome food -- I especially loved their tomato bisque! 

The food we ate at this "Razzoo's" on University Avenue was just average, and they had no bisque. But we shared this very yummy cheesecake dessert that was totally worth the stop here. The strawberries tasted absolutely perfect!

08 October 2017

trouble maker

Last night, I sketched a real trouble-maker. It's been a full year since Bill sought medical help for a reoccurring pain in his right arm. Two surgeries, two rounds of physical therapy, two tries with pain management's steroid injections (the second one actually made it much worse) . . . 

Now we are seeking yet another neurosurgeon's opinion, this time in Temple, TX. New tests on Wednesday, including one where they shocked his nerves, then repeatedly poked him with a needle. And tomorrow he gets a spinal tap injecting dye before another CT scan.

Our trust is in God's healing, as no one else seems to be able to "fix" this.

Temperatures on Wednesday were in the 90s. The technician doing an X-ray on Bill asked if the t-shirt under his shirt was short-sleeve. Bill answered, "No, it's thermal!" Which caused the funniest look on the tech's face! But cold causes an excruciating burning pain in his arm . . . and everywhere is air-conditioned colder than needed.

01 October 2017

a bit of pattern

Hurricane Harvey left our bedroom carpet ruined when freak side-ways blowing rain blew into a couple of vertical gaps between logs --- gaps ironically caused by a very hot, dry summer. In the storm's aftermath, the logs swelled to their customary tightness.

Bill hated that Berber carpet; we decided that stone floors would be more in keeping with a log cabin. We have also been remodeling the bathroom, so we decided to extend the stone in that room as well. The tile guy and his crew came on Monday and we had to sleep elsewhere, the only toilet having been pulled in ready for the new floor. It took three days to bring in the stone, lay it out, grout, and seal it.

Meanwhile, our friends graciously allowed us to stay in their vacant double-wide trailer home. Bardie Mac loved exploring the new space! One morning, I sketched this bit of detail from the footboard of the bed. The library slip was already taped in place on this two-page spread --- I found several of these slips in some used books I read over the summer so I saved them for notes in my journal.

Our new floor is actual pieces of rock, cut into rectangular tiles. The edge texturing reminds me of the seams in a patchwork quilt. Bardie, having a very dense fur coat, loves lying with his belly against the cool tiles.

While picking up last minute remodeling supplies, we decided to replace the light bulbs in our bedroom ceiling fan fixture. The old ones took their own sweet time to warm up to a bright light. We found an LED bulb made by Philips called "Scene Switch". It is one bulb with three color settings: soft white, daylight, and a "warm glow"; the daylight setting works perfectly for taking true-to-life photos to post!

One more bit of pattern . . . A work still in progress, our new shower walls are tiles but they look like old barn wood!

26 September 2017

a hiding Kat

This quick sketch is from Sunday, though I didn't take time to add color until this morning. Sunday evening was our "snack & yack" / movie night at church --- Kathleen (aka "Kat") saw me with my phone camera aimed at her and hid. I had the flash turned off so she thinks I did not take the picture!

This morning Bardie Mac and I are hanging out at our friends' double-wide trailer in the country. The tile guy is putting in a new stone tile floor in our cabin's bedroom and bathroom --- meaning there is no usable bathroom at the moment. And Bardie, being a very curious cat indeed, wanted to be in the middle of the work going on. Our old carpeted floor was ruined during the recent hurricane; we thought a stone floor fits a log cabin better than fancy Berber carpet.

No wi-fi here so I'm using my phone as a hot spot, seeing if it will work to post this from my old iPad 3.

24 September 2017

Autumn allergies . . .

The pastures of Wolf Creek Ranch across the farm road from our cabin are a glorious deep gold, surrounded by deep green oaks. Incredibly lovely to look at . . . and everything to sneeze at! The golden flowers are ragweed. Time for tissues and decongestants.

This two-page spread sort of evolved over a couple weeks as I focused more on sketches for next month's sale. I only added a bit here and there in my journal, mostly neglecting it. I'm hoping to get back to it on a regular basis now.

20 September 2017

Sammy cat, chickens, and friends

These four sketches are for the first set of notecards I sent to the printer's. The Turkish Van kitty is Sammy and yes, that _is_ his outside water dish, sitting on a picnic table! Brewster the rooster used to live at the Heritage Sunday House bed & breakfast --- he loved the innkeeper dearly but didn't like her guests so he's no longer there. The chickens and peacocks _are_ there for guests to enjoy.

2 more to become note cards

I think these two sketches, to be printed into note cards, complete my order for the printer. The sale event isn't until October 14, but I want to allow the printer plenty of time. I may do a few small additional watercolors to be sold as originals, but for now I can get back to normal journal sketching . . . I have neglected my journal these past few weeks.

17 September 2017

a spool coat rack and boots

These are two of the designs I'm using for note cards, to sell at an upcoming event in Burton, TX. Both images greeted us last May as we entered the Heritage Sunday House bed & breakfast; I knew when I saw those colorful boots all lined up that I would someday sketch them!

I also sketched the inn's resident cat Sammie, his peacock pals, the chickens Diane keeps, and Brewster, her old rooster. Brewster no longer lives at the inn, because he loved Diane but disliked her guests, but she sent me a photo of him. All of these were sketched to be printed into note cards but I forgot to take a photo of them --- I left them with the printer.

We tried a printing company in Bryan, TX (on a friend's recommendation) but they didn't get back with me for an estimate. So I looked on line and found Kwik Kopy, a small family-run business in Brenham. They seem to want to work with me . . . and their little shop also sells homemade fudge! Can't go wrong with that, right?

14 September 2017

chasing bubbles

Our pastor mentioned bubbles in a recent sermon . . . . so I thought I would try sketching some. Not as easy as I thought it would be.
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