21 March 2018

blanketflower . . . and friends

The first explosion of native wildflowers has begun, the first I found up close being the blanket flowers growing on a street corner in Somerville, Texas. Yesterday I stopped to get a closer look at the bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, and tickseed blooming near highway 36 and FM 1948. Washington county will soon be covered in glorious color — this year, the peak bloom time is expected on Easter weekend, though they will continue through next month. And summer varieties will soon follow . . .

20 March 2018

springtime arrives in Washington county

Actually, we’re been having spring-like temperatures for a couple of weeks — a very welcome change from the very cold and overcast winter this year. Much more “winter” than is normal around here! These bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes are just beginning to open up the road from our cabin.

12 March 2018

what . . . another bag?

Some women love shopping for clothes (I prefer “old and comfortable”) and some love shoes (I’d rather go barefoot) . . . But I’m always searching for just the right bag! For times when I wish to carry  a larger selection of sketching tools, my iPad, and several books, a larger bag is needed. I ordered one a couple of years ago from Amazon that seemed functional and had great ratings, but it was sewn of a canvas material that was just too awkward and heavy for me.

I saw a Baggallini at a local hardware store (yes, Ace Hardware in Brenham has a boutique in it!) but it was well over $100 — not my kind of money! So I looked on eBay. And found this extremely lightweight, gently used hobo bag for a mere pittance.

My paternal grandmother may be to blame for my shopping for purses. It seems that she gave me a new one every Christmas! But as I find new ones, I’ll usually give another one or two away; I really don’t need that many choices.

The Lamy Joy fountain pen I used here is fitted with a regular XF nib and filled with a custom sepia ink I made from combining the remains of Noodler’s polar black with Noodler’s polar brown. The redder ink in the coral colored Lamy Safari is my try at a burnt sienna ink, mixing De Atramentis document red with some document black. The ink in both pens is waterproof, allowing watercolor washes over them with no bleeding. The bag is a solid brown with red stitching and red lining, but the burnt sienna ink didn’t show up like I had hoped.

10 March 2018

a mockingbird . . . car?

Yesterday, on two separate occasions, Bill and I heard the dual sound of a car alarm going off. The kind that shrilly sounds if you happen to get too close to the car parked next to yours, that is possibly designed to wake the dead.

But the sound was not coming from any of the neighborhood cars; it was coming from the trees in the woods around us! It was a mockingbird, perfectly imitating the siren of a disturbed car.

07 March 2018

Etsy shop now open!

I finally stopped procrastinating and opened an Etsy shop today. My shop’s officially name is “VickyWilliamsonArt” — not very original, is it? For now, as I learn how this works and if there’s even any interest out there, I am limiting sales to the United States.

06 March 2018

rearranging my Pocket Palette

Confession: I am a thief. On a regular basis I have been known to steal ideas from other online artists. Seriously, there are so many great ideas shared in the online art community!

Though I love using my current palette set up in a slightly larger metal box, sometimes there is only room to carry a Pocket Palette with me. At first, I thought I would only use these new teeny-tiny pans for highly pigmented colors such as phthalo blue (a wee bit of the paint goes a long way!). But after reading a recent blog post on Citizen Sketcher, I agreed with Marc Taro Holmes that they work well as an everyday-carry and are perfect for when you only wish to add a dab of color to a sketch.

I also love the way Marc places related colors together in his palette, applying them side-by-side on the paper to allow the wet paint to mingle together. The way colors interact with each other is part of the magic of playing with watercolor — you’re never sure of exactly how it will turn out! I tend to try to control things too much in my own sketches and would love to do more of this “letting go and let the paint do its thing”.

So I reconfigured my Pocket Palette to hold more colors and added 2 larger pans for mixing. Copying Marc’s idea . . .

05 March 2018


I really should pay more attention to what I’m doing . . .

We were at Lowe’s where Bill was needing to pick up some supplies for an additional storage unit built onto his woodshop. And, as is common, one of their wheeled ladders was blocking his way. So we each grabbed an end to move it out of his way.

Unfortunately I did not see that the ladder was slightly turned toward the display shelves and that there was a fixture return box jutted out behind me. So my hand was pinched between the ladder and box. First reaction, “OUCH!” Second reaction, “I should sketch that.”

(It is fine now, swelling down, and no pain. Just a funny bruise . . . and a silly husband with a tale about me supposedly backhanding him! 🤪)

03 March 2018

a random purchase

While Bill was gathering various supplies at Brenham’s Ace Hardware, I wondered in the “boutique” section of the store. This third of the store has many (most of them very high priced) items of clothing, jewelry, shoes, kitchen and decorator items.

The lids to my salt and pepper set on our stove was rusting; I was using small glass canning jars with nail holes pounded into the flat part of the lids. So when I saw these stainless steel covered glass spice jars, I decided to get them. A bit smaller but we don’t use much anyway, and the lid turns to reveal three different sizes of holes.

I had to laugh when the sales clerk placed them in their own wee paper bag, not in the bag holding Bill’s purchases, and handed the bag to me with a grin.

01 March 2018

the purse Bardie replaced

This is the currently used purse normally stowed in that basket Bardie pilfered. I drew it while listening to the message at church last night. (I follow along on that iPad Mini laying next to the bag.)

That’s my favorite fountain pen, a wee Kaweco Liliput with an extra fine nib. At the moment, it is filled with a mixture of Noodler’s polar black and Noodler’s polar brown — leftover bits that I combined to make a dark gray sketching ink.

28 February 2018

a new Bardie hidey-hole

On the peninsula separating our little kitchen from the main room, there are these odd cubbies near the front door. Too deep and narrow to be of much practical use, I found three narrow baskets at Hobby Lobby that fit — easy to toss my purse or sunglasses into.

Bardie just discovered the middle one when my purse was not put away. He seemed to think we could not see him as he spied on us. So I cleaned out the lowest one for his toys and blankie. I think he will still steal the middle one when my purse is not there.

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