10 April 2021

an escape artist


Goats are notorious at escaping their fenced-in pastures. Last week Norbert managed to squeeze through TWO fences and join the neighbor’s two goats.

09 April 2021

in remembrance . . .


Yesterday we took a trip to Needville, TX where our granddaughter Jayna’s high school theater group was doing a one-act play of “Hiding in the Open”, about two Polish sisters’ experiences during the Holocaust. 

The performance was open only to participating students’ parents and grandparents, with virus restrictions and social distancing in place.

I was blown away by the quality of both acting and stage production! The story was very moving — After the play ended and the lights came up, it was a bit disconcerting to see the cast acting like normal teenagers. They had been so believably immersed in their roles!

07 April 2021

a mystery


Yesterday Bill found this very unusual black mushroom growing tall between the feed shed and goat pen. I looked in a field guide and did searches online, but I never found anything quite like it. It stood about 10-12” tall on a sturdy black trunk, had a flattened center with a small nub, and delicate “petals”.

Today I went back out to look again — only to find it completely gone. Apparently eaten by one of our silly goats.

05 April 2021

my “studio” set . . . for now


I have mostly been using Pocket Palettes, letting my old plastic pans of watercolor go to waste. So I decided to put together any pans I still have in a Neocolor II crayon tin, matching them to whatever my current Pocket Palette color choices are to keep on my desk, adding metal pans of any colors I don’t already have in plastic pans . . . Eventually the plastic pans will be used up. These metal pans from arttoolkit.com are also available in a larger size that fits big brushes — with these shallower pans, you can load a big brush without ruining the tips digging paint out.

My current palette choices are painted out on these 2 sketchbook pages, including 2 “light gray” mixes that I stirred together directly in the pan with a toothpick. Not sure if I will continue using them or not — just an experiment for now.

04 April 2021

this morning’s breakfast, yesterday’s sketch

Lately I have been distracted from sketching by errands, weekly shopping, and a bad reaction to my second Covid-19 shot . . . I’m now trying to get back in the habit of quick daily drawings.

This morning I walked over to our daughter’s house to “steal” one of their Easter eggs for my breakfast. This one was dyed by our son-in-law Michael — it had fine metallic gold veining over the turquoise color (which bled through to the egg in a few spots) but I’m not sure my gold Gansai paint lines show up in the photo.

Later our daughter Kristen asked me how many eggs I took — only the one, I responded. Apparently sometime during the night their great Pyrenees / golden retriever mix, Bradley, helped himself to some! Now they are finding wee bits of egg shell around their house.

Yesterday’s drawing was done while waiting for our cat, Scottie, to calm down enough to change his flea collar. Neither of our cats mind wearing them and they hold ID tags. But they are not the easiest things to removed after 8 months. Scottie does not like being held for any length of time, though he does love being touched . . . on his terms, of course.

27 March 2021

why I’m foggy lately


Not much sketching going on around here. Yesterday I drew a mugshot of one of the culprits: the live oak trees that line our long drive have been very full of catkins, releasing pollen into the air — and covering our red pickup truck with a fine yellow dust. 

Heavy head and sinus headaches, but Springtime is still gorgeous! I found these photos from the Texas Wildflowers group on Facebook (taken by Paul Nolan Broussard) — bluebonnet time is just beginning (a bit late this year) and I hope to be out there in a week or so to sketch some.

19 March 2021

another wee succulent


This is another of the tiny succulent plants living on my kitchen window sill. I’m not sure what it’s called; the “stripes” are thick ridges and it’s beginning to turn red in the sunlight. The plastic pot it came in is a perfect fit in the enamelware coffee cup.

I jotted down the quote from Corrie Ten Boom after we rewatched The Hiding Place, a true story of her family’s time in Nazi-occupied Holland and later in a concentration camp. In this case, the movie comes close to being as good as the book.

15 March 2021

window gardening


We have a very wide window sill, 3 windows wide, over our kitchen sink giving me a wonderful view of the farm. Even though it faces north, the light is very bright and consistent (except heavy fog mornings like today!) so I’ve put together a wee window garden — succulents, mini cacti, some pinch pots our kids made when they were in grade school, and a few “pet rocks”. I think this fuzzy plant is a vertical leaf senecia. So soft, I caught myself petting the gray-green leaves!

Sketched with a Fude nib pen and turquoise ink in a continuous line.

14 March 2021

waiting for tea to steep


The time it takes for tea to steep is a perfect time to begin a quick sketch. But not enough time to add the watercolor . . .

Loose-leaf teas are my favorite. This one recommended by my daughter is yummy Purple Chocolate from Justea.

I often jot down quotes from one of my favorite books, He Loves Me by Wayne Jacobsen. Wayne has generously made a copy available free-of-charge on his website, lifestream.org — click HERE if you are interested.

13 March 2021

color play

When I fully wake up and it’s still way to early . . .

I brewed myself a mug of tea. Waited for it to get light enough, then went out to take care of the farm animals. Took some mail down to the mailbox for pick-up.

Still too early. So I brewed another mug of tea and played with my paints.

(After posting this, I tried one more mix to replace jadeite: green apatite + ultramarine blue. Turned out a much brighter cool green!)

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