24 October 2020

the long drive home

 This sketch shows only about half of our driveway, bordered by young live oak trees. When I walk down to get the mail, our outdoor cat Stubby will only go half-way. Then she sits and waits for me next to one of the trees. On the walk back, she plays “tree tag”, tapping each one as we pass.

22 October 2020

sleepy days and paint play


Bill is recovering nicely from his recent spinal surgery, but neither of us are getting much sleep. Body aches, neck braces, and for me, coughing due to high dust / pollen. I have lots of ideas to sketch, just not much motivation or concentration.

But I can _always_ play with my colors! Recently I switched the colors in the Demi Palette I keep in my purse to autumn granulating colors. I tend to keep this larger Art Toolkit filled and easy to grab for “home sketching” away from my desk. So I painted out swatches of granulating paints to keep in it along with some possible additions. At first I had a square pan for mixing in this Demi but I ended up adding a couple more colors. Whenever I get around to sketching, I think I’ll just let the paints mix on the paper instead.

20 October 2020

ERGH!!! More frustration!

 I just tried repeatedly to answer Susan Bronsak’s comments on yesterday’s blog post — even though I AM signed in (proven by the fact that I just posted the previous post), it says I am not signed in when I try to reply. I typed out a long reply and entered my name and info as anyone else would and hit “publish” — and the whole thing just disappeared!

Apparently I can no longer reply to comments on my own blog?!?

OK, it opened on the wrong setting . . .


It appears that Blogger isn’t broken after all — just completely messed up!

At first I thought I must have inadvertently changed a setting on my iPad Pro since it seemed to be in HTML mode. But how could I have accidentally switched the same setting on 3 devices?!? It was the same on my iPad Mini and my iPhone.

After some fiddling with the new design’s tools, I found the pencil with a drop down arrow — giving me the choice of HTML or Compose View (and why would I want HTML in the first place?). No clue why all 3 devices suddenly decided to switch . . .

Someone should shout loud and clear at the powers-that-be behind blog platforms: “IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT!”

Meanwhile, this is the sketch I attempted to post yesterday — a pocket from my favorite pair of jeans in 1973. I was embroidering the heart on the back pocket when Bill grabbed it from me, picked up some new thread, and stitched our initials inside the heart! The jeans are long gone but I kept the pocket.

19 October 2020

has Blogger changed?

I tried to upload some photos to post tonight to this blog and after choosing 2 photos from my iPad, I clicked to add to draft -- all that appeared was computer gobbly-gook! Then I tried to post to Instagram -- and I can no longer do so without going through my photo stash?!? What was so wrong with the old system that the owners had to change it to something NOT user-friendly? All this in only 5 days of not posting . . . Anyone wishing to see my sketching posts, I am on Instagram @billnvicky (or search for Vicky Williamson) and on Facebook as Vicky Williamson. *Weirdly, I left double line spaces between 4 different paragraphs in this post -- and it's all mushed together when posted. i know that Blogger and Apple don't work together well but this is rediculous!

14 October 2020

. . . and Bradley laughs


Our daughter and son-in-law’s dog, Bradley, often visits us in our barn-house — probably because he has full views through the glass in our front and back doors, keeping guard over the property from the air-conditioned comfort of inside. His over-thick Great Pyrenees coat can be a bit much in Texas’ heat (and he does Love his comfort!)

Bradley took one look at Bill wearing his neck brace and seemed to be laughing at him. He recently had to wear a doggy “cone of shame” to prevent his licking and chewing at his skin, probably from nerves. Either our daughter or son-in-law have been staying out here at the farm to help care for the goats while Bill is unable to, and Bradley is having a hard time adjusting to one or the other not being home where he thinks they belong.

Now we call the neck brace Bill’s “cone of shame”.

Bradley with one of his cats, Reeces

08 October 2020

waiting continues . . .

Bill’s surgery is finished, all went well, and now I’m waiting till they let me see him in recovery. 4 hours of sketching, reading, doodling, more reading — but I am so thankful they let me wait here where they come out in person to give me updates. I’ve heard some hospitals make you drop the patient off at the door and tell you to leave!

waiting . . .

About 3 1/2 years ago Bill had neck surgery, repairing 2 bulging discs. This was supposed to correct whatever (pinched nerve?) was causing the severe chronic pain down his right arm.

The pain has continued but our family doctor was able to find a pain reliever that worked. Until this past year when pain again increased and a new dizziness was added. So he was sent to a different neurosurgeon who found that the first surgery didn’t go far enough. So today he is having more surgery, taking care of the discs above and below the previous “fix”. It’s high enough in his spinal column that mobility should not be impacted, and he’s expected to be sent home the same day if he’s feeling up to it.

Meanwhile I sit and wait, thankful that they’ll at least allow one person per patient in the waiting room. I drew the above as they prepped Bill; now in the waiting room where it’s too cold to sketch — I’m going to drink some hot tea instead.

07 October 2020

just another tweaked palette

I’ve had a bit of a struggle focusing on any one project or sketch at the moment — a recent lack of regular sleep may have something to do with my brain wanting to take time off. But I can always play around with my paint palettes, right?

Last year I put together my own version of Jane Blundell’s ultimate sketching palette found on her blog, substituting some of her choices with near colors I had on hand. Then Maria at Art Toolkit offered Jane’s palette for sale (seen HERE), prompting me to dig mine out.

With Autumn’s colors, I thought I would tweak this kit a bit further, switching it to a granulating pigments palette. I kind of like the result.

Now I just need to get back to sketching . . .

06 October 2020

a different sort of grave


Today’s sketch is from a photo remembering one of our last visits to The Antique Rose Emporium in Independence, TX. I’ve been thinking it’s time to go back there to get a vintage rose to plant by the barn — but Bill has surgery this week so it can wait (another surgery on his upper spine; the previous neurosurgeon only did 2 bulging disc repairs when he should have done 3 or 4 — that’s what’s been behind Bill’s continuous pain the past 6 1/2 years).

This funny cemetery plot on the garden grounds is where broken flower pots end up. The “headstone” shovel I drew reads “Rest in Pieces”. Others read “Cracked Up” and “Dead Broke”. One even has an old stone gargoyle for a headstone!

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