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.

05 September 2017

happy in my pen addiction . . .


. . . wonky sketch and all!

I read the quote from Brenda Swenson and wished to jot it down in my journal. Then I grabbed a fountain pen and started to draw some of my pens in mostly continuous line. Very wonky and not as loosely exciting as Brenda's drawing of some of her pens that was posted with the quote on Facebook --- It always amuses me that even when in trying to follow another artist's style, our own personal style always wins through.

02 September 2017

bluebonnet and rocking chairs


Two more sketches for the sale . . . . This being Texas, a bluebonnet is required, right? The inviting rocking chairs are located on the porch of Heritage Sunday House bed and breakfast in Burton, TX. The framed quote hanging behind the chairs sort of describes the innkeeper, Diane. Such an awesome, talented woman!

29 August 2017

a few more random pages


While the east coast of Texas prepared for the onslaught of Hurricane Harvey, Bill and I went to get our hair cut. I sketched the above as Rosie cut Bill's hair. The shop we go to is named "The Best Lil Hair House in Texas".


Later that evening, we ate out with friends at a Chinese restaurant in College Station, where I tried sketching the orange 'bird of paradise' garnish on my plate. The 'wings' had drooped a little. Now, after the storm has passed, the 30-minute drive to College Station would probably take 1 1/2 hours due to flooded roads and bridges washed out.

In the aftermath of the storm, our yard is full of very rubbery-feeling mushrooms and bright rain lilies. We did end up with some damage: where the log ends butted together on the north wall there had been some separation due to an extended dry summer, leaving paper thin gaps in places. Storm winds at one point blew torrential rains sideways . . . right into our bedroom wall. After repeatedly using a wet-vac and fans, we have decided that the Berber carpet is a total loss (we didn't like it anyway) and we will need to pull it up, bleach the subfloor to stop mold, and put in a new floor. Pretty minor stuff in light of the millions of flood victims in Houston and the coastal towns south.

27 August 2017

a few more for the sale


This sketch of the Burton Cotton Gin is a re-do of one I did in a sketchbook a couple of years ago. We had driven to Burton to check out the museum, which was closed, so I sketched the gin from the parking lot. I 'm working on a set of sketches to sell at a special event in Burton in October.


Another historic building in Burton is this train depot, though it is no longer located near the train tracks. All small town depots in our area are painted in this same deep warm yellow and orangey-brown color. This is from the end of the rectangular building.

These other items were from the bed & breakfast we stayed at in Burton, or the antique shop next door. I especially loved this metal cat on the front porch of the inn! One ear is folded; a few days after our stay here, we drove to McKinney, TX to pick up my new Scottish Fold kitten.


When I saw this doll, I had to sketch her --- she reminds me of one my grandmother once said I would someday inherit. When Grandma died, her older sister, not knowing she wished me to have it, took it home to Missouri. A few years later, Aunt Lucile developed dementia and we have no idea where the doll disappeared to.

21 August 2017

random sketchbook pages


As I keep busy making sketches to print and sell in October, my artist journal has been a bit neglected. But every now and again, I just play a bit in it. Here, I threw some unused pans of paint together in a flat mint tin I had just emptied of mints . . . Very bright colors for me! Quinacridone red (these days, I prefer quin. rose), Hansa yellow (I had a half-pan each of light and medium), and cobalt blue dark (a color I once tried but never quite took to) --- plus 3 neutrals and a sponge to clean a waterbrush on.

Then the next day I drew our new bathroom door, an oak barn door Bill made. The room is so tiny anyway, plus our stacked washer / dryer is in there behind where the old door opened, that a sliding door made more sense. And it just looks good in our rustic log cabin.

18 August 2017

a beginning


Well, I've made a beginning in sketches to sell . . . 
I have no idea why I started with flowers. I don't even like drawing flowers except for capturing the many wildflowers around us. I think I could happily sketch Texas wildflowers forever! 

But at least it's a start. I also have several sketches done of various subjects, some still in loose pencil, some already inked in, ready for watercolor. And I found these simple mats on Amazon that come with a backing board and plastic sleeve. Simple to slip prints in and seal, ready to sell in Diane's antique shop. I'm actually working on these for a special sale she is having in October. Still need to find somewhere to have prints made off these originals, but I want to have more art finished before taking them in.

patience


Four years ago, just before Bill's heart attack, bypass surgery, retirement, and our moving to Texas (what can I say? It was a very momentous year!), I took cuttings of a large, very overgrown African violet plant. It had never ceased to bloom for months at a time every winter.

Two of the young starts made the move south with us. And thrived, though without blooming. Until now -- in the very hottest of summer, this one is finally flowering with many more blooms on the way. Patience in all things . . . Eventually things work out for the good.

10 August 2017

new kitchen faucet


Along with remodeling our tiny bathroom to make it more functional (and more rustic to match it being in a log cabin), Bill is re-water-piping the whole cabin. Whoever built it, as well as the jokers who later added central air, didn't really know what they were doing.

As long as he was re-water-piping, we decided to go ahead and replace the kitchen faucet --- we have disliked the old one from Ikea since the day we moved in. It had a high goose-neck and hung close to the back of the sink (more like a bar sink model), causing me backaches as I washed the dishes from leaning too far forward. This new faucet spans closer to the center of each sink compartment; no more backache! Having a pullout sprayer is handy as well since there's no hole for a separate sprayer in the existing farm sink.

Someday we would like to redo the air conditioning ductwork to be more efficient, and possibly give us space for a tiny half-bath in the loft. Right now, the downstairs area stays cool while the loft (my studio) is unbearably hot in the summer. Of course, a new metal roof would also help, reflecting the sun's heat away from the rafters . . . .

09 August 2017

a display that drew my eye


While taking photos at the Heritage Hall antique shop, for possible vignettes to sketch and sell at an October sale the shop is hosting, I came upon this lovely display . . .

08 August 2017

towel hooks & shelf


Bill liked the towel hooks and toilet paper holder he made of pipe fittings so much, he made a shelf to match. That tiny chamber pot on the shelf belonged to his grandmother; we use it to hold fresh bars of soap. The covered pot next to it is a pinch pot made by our daughter in elementary school.

I was trying to decide whether to use a water-soluble Tombow marker on another project, so I drew this to test it. It bled a bit too much for the effect I'm after . . . Glad I did a test first!

29 July 2017

random bits


We are slowly getting our bathroom remodeled; when we bought the cabin 3 1/2 years ago, the very tiny space had a stacked washer / dryer, a ridiculous fake slipper tub, and a humongous vanity the size of a full dresser --- Bill had to step sideways to maneuver the space and I had plenty of hip bruises from running into the corner of that beast! Not to mention the big, ugly "head-knocker" cupboard above the toilet.

We found a source for old barn wood, which Bill built into a new streamlined vanity and recessed medicine cabinet. Leaving space for new towel hooks (there was never enough room to hang towels before). He is making the towel hooks out of pipe fittings; later, we decided he should make a toilet paper holder to match. We are still waiting on the new tub we ordered; the custom tub-shower will have tiles that look like barn wood. The hardware looks like deer antler bits, in keeping with the rustic feel of the log cabin.

new vanity and side cupboard, with a cubby hole for washcloths.

new recessed wall chest

Meanwhile, I also sketched my birthday gift from Bill: a couple of maxi skirts from Kosher Casual, my favorite place for comfortable, well-made clothes. It's a shop in Israel whose original clientele was Orthodox Jews but they found that Arab and Gentile women loved them as well. I laughed upon opening the box and finding that they had sent me a thank you note . . . with a piece of Bazooka Joe gum attached, complete with a comic in Hebrew and Arabic! I don't like gum but had to save the wrapper in my journal.


28 July 2017

testing C-M-Y color palettes


I'm working on small sketches to be printed into note cards or small prints to sell at a local event in October. There will be a small selection of note cards and prints, printed off the original sketches. Since printers use cyan - magenta - yellow primary colors, I thought I would try making a working palette of the same.


Years ago, I purchased some extra paints from Daniel Smith, from a collection they called a "color map" mixing set that is based on the cyan - magenta - yellow triad. I added buff titanium and a mixed gray to round it out. This mixed gray is made up of quinacridone burnt orange and ultramarine blue, squeezed into and stirred in a pan with a toothpick, then allowed to dry.


The other set is based loosely on Russell Stutler's palette, which contains C-M-Y colors as well as the R-G-B colors used in light production. Some of his choices are discontinued; I used the same pigments in my existing supplies.

I'm thinking the first set is a bit more vibrant; what do you think?


Bardie watched most of the process, then tried to straighten up the paper as I took this photo. Or was he trying to eat the paper? That's him in the lower right corner.


"Who, me?"

25 July 2017

Heritage Sunday House


We recently stayed at the Heritage Sunday House, a charming bed & breakfast in Burton, Texas. While getting to know innkeeper Diane, she told me she had been wanting a drawing of the place for a new brochure. So I drew a couple of versions for her to play around with. Actually, I drew three but the first one had too much detail for its size and was drawn with too large of a nib. Which was strange, as I used my Platinum carbon desk pen --- which I had thought was the finest fountain pen nib I owned. Apparently the nib loosened up with much use.

I have given the upper two drawings to Diane, to see what she and the printer can come up with. Meanwhile, I need to get busy on some artwork to make prints off of --- Diane wants to sell them through her shop next door to the B & B.

24 July 2017

eating out with friends


After a very good dinner with friends at a Chinese restaurant in College Station, Bill and Gary bought some Mochi, a Japanese dessert I had never heard of. So I drew the green tea version (Bill had the strawberry one), adding watercolor later at home. I used a Kuretake brush pen filled with de Atramentis document brown ink for the lines.

22 July 2017

a proud lion (?)


This sculpture we drive by in College Station, on the campus of Texas A & M, reminds me of a lion. From some angles, it looks like a simple pile of cut stones. But the two views I drew are more lion-like.

This handbound sketchbook was made by my dear friend Kate (aka Cathy Johnson) and has several types of paper in it. This toned paper is probably Stonehenge. I used a Pentel pocketbrush pen and gouache in the upper sketch, and a purplish brown water-soluble ink I mixed myself in the lower sketches, teasing out a bit of wash with a waterbrush.

The pretty bookmark to the right was also made by Kate: she repurposed a larger sketch by cutting it into bookmarks. I love how the colors repeat in the paper and cover of this journal!

09 July 2017

shadow play


As I looked at Bill's Bible and coffee cup in our discipleship class at church this morning, the multiple-direction shadows caught my eye . . . so I drew the Bible and cup with a Pentel Pocketbrush pen and lightly penciled in the shadows to paint later at home. 

This handbound sketchbook has two tones of paper in this spread, requiring a bit of white gouache. A few years ago I put together this "shadow and highlight" kit, made from an empty proxy-brush container. It holds half-pans of a dark blue (ultramarine or indanthrone?) and burnt umber watercolors, and some white gouache --- handy for just adding a bit of shadow to an ink sketch, or to recover a bit of white highlight to a watercolor. Or for toned paper like this.

05 July 2017

pain free at last!


Since January, Bill has had two neck surgeries --- one from the front to remove two discs blocking the spinal fluid, fusing bone grafts in their place, and a second one from the back, creating more room for the nerve in that area which was being poked by a bone spur. Following the second surgery, he went through many weeks of physical therapy to restore strength and movement to his right arm, which has experienced major pain for 3 1/2 years.

Released from therapy, his arm strength and mobility returning, Bill still had a lot of pain in his arm. So back to the surgeon for more tests . . . They think that the bone spur had poked so long at the nerve (which now has plenty of space away from the spur) that the nerve had been damaged. It can heal __slowly__ so in the meantime, they made an appointment for him with Pain Management. Which would be a nearly two-month wait to get in. So the nurse said "just a minute while I walk down the hall" (where the Pain Management office is). She came back and said "they will see you right NOW."

She must have told them how long he has suffered with this --- and not only evaluated his situation; they went ahead and gave him a spinal injection right then and there! Between that and this new prescription, his nerve should have time to fully heal . . . a Pain Free time! We are praising God for giving Bill favor and relief, and for the doctor and technicians who gave up their lunch hours for him.

04 July 2017

two wee gnomes


Last week I drew two green men who hang on an old live oak tree at the Antique Rose Emporium in Independence, TX. At the base of that same tree lives a village of wee gnomes; here are two of them tending their nasturtiums.

01 July 2017

Lion of Judah


Today I drew this for a close friend . . . He asked me if I would draw one for him around 1 1/2 years ago, after he saw an ink sketch from one of my journals, dated November 2015.


Did I mention how good I can be at procrastinating?

29 June 2017

two green men


These two green men inhabit an ancient live oak tree in the garden of the Antique Rose Emporium in Independence, Texas. And as spell-check just reminded me, I mis-spelled it 'Independance' on the sketchbook page. Oh, well . . .

24 June 2017

Bardie bits


No, Bardie does not hold still for me to sketch him; I drew these from phone snapshots . . .

19 June 2017

random toys


This week we have three grandkids visiting us, meaning there really isn't much focused sketching going on. But I managed to draw a few random toys . . .
(The bluish cast is from taking this photo in afternoon light on our shaded patio. It's actually drawn on one of my favorite papers, Fabriano Artistico soft press, in natural white.)

16 June 2017

a real tea cup and saucer!


As we ate a wonderful breakfast at the Heritage Sunday House bed & breakfast, I laughed because I was finally drinking my morning tea from an actual tea cup and saucer. At home, I drink tea from large mugs. Diane heard me and said we needed to take care of that --- she told me to choose whatever tea cup and saucer I liked in her antique shop, and it would be a wedding anniversary gift to me! I chose this cream-colored set made in England with figures that look like 18th century etchings. Now I can drink my tea in style!

For many years, I have loved other sketchbook artists' sketches of their tea cups -- especially Liz Steel's impressive collection of tea cups! I love how quick and loose Liz's tea cup sketches look! Typical to my own habits, I spent a lot more time on this sketch but I had fun doing it.

15 June 2017

Heritage Sunday House


Nearly 3 weeks ago, after renewing our wedding vows, we went to the Heritage Sunday House, a charming bed & breakfast in Burton, Texas. Built in 1914, the house was once a Sunday Haus, a weekend home for German farmers / ranchers who lived too far from town to drive in for church services. They would travel to town on Saturday, get their shopping done, stay overnight to attend church on Sunday, then take the long drive home.

The innkeeper, Diane, became a friend immediately --- a lovely, gracious lady of German heritage whose family settled in the area. She also found out that I was a sketcher --- she had been wanting to find someone to draw some art for her brochures, as well as for note cards to sell. So apparently I have an art commission! Next door to the house sits an old dance hall, now housing Diane's antique shop. She invited me to sell my work there as well --- I laughed and said I'd have to actually do something outside of my sketchbooks first! But this opportunity has challenged me to move forward with my art. 


09 June 2017

non-photogenic sketching


I have never been photogenic . . . and the same holds true of trying to sketch myself. But I wanted to record a few visual memories of our renewing our wedding vows this year so I drew from photos others took. Not happy with how this turned out -- almost didn't post it -- but time to move on . . .

08 June 2017

Bardie, the artist


Bardie has decided he can draw with me . . . if only he can manage to pick up the pencil.




04 June 2017

Bardie discovered his cat cave today . . .


. . . and he likes it! The big (to someone his size) livingroom can be a scary place; this seems like a safe place to observe it from.

02 June 2017

a new trick learned


Very early this morning, Bardie was chasing his favorite moth toy (bits of rolled-up paper on a steel wire). When it rose above this cat cubicle cubbyhole, he even went inside it, thinking he could catch the "moth" from underneath. Finally, he jumped up on top and caught it! (This had been my goal.)


Before he realized it, he had made the leap onto our VERY HIGH bed . . .

 
and discovered a whole new view.


Then it was back to that pesky "moth".

While I was posting these photos on Instagram, he then jumped from the floor to the bed behind me, without using the cat cubicle as a stepping stone. Success! I had wanted him to learn to get up here without our having to pick him up, so he would not have to meow to be picked up when he gets lonely during the night. I think he still misses his brothers and sister, and his mama cat who was overprotective of her litter. Here is a photo of his mama, Pippi, and his sister:


01 June 2017

settling in


We have two hands-full of loving energy living with us!


Bardie decided it was lunch time . . .


followed up by having a bit of a wash . . . Hard to do while keeping one eye on that flying moth toy . . .

 
so he moved over a bit. But that darn camera was still there . . .


so Bardie was out of there!


That is, until he met up with this handsome cat living in the mirror.
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