30 June 2010

a bit of gardening . . .

This morning I found wild morning glory trying to strangle my Russian sage, and the basil & dill were trying to flower too soon. I want to harvest them for cooking, not flowers.

As much as I enjoy growing herbs, tomatoes, and flowers in containers and the tiny beds next to our 1920 apt. building, I don't really spend much time at it. Not for lack of energy or time or sunshine . . . but because of this crazy allergy of mine.

No sniffles, no sinus trouble. Just severe rashes from bug bites. One bite can lead to a 3 - 4" swollen mass of itchy, oozy sores. I'd rather not add to those I already have, so I avoid going outside much. Of course, that puts a damper on plein air sketching.

The hens & chicks leaves I brought in are to chill in the refrigerator; the sap inside is very soothing to bug bites and even helps with the itching.

28 June 2010

Alan's hat and Bibles

Alan has visited our church several times now, after just wondering in off the street one day. We like how he feels comfortable jumping right in to discussions --- his love for the Lord is quite obvious.

25 June 2010

books I'm reading

Thursday was spent shopping with my mom in Wichita --- we have a few sewing and knitting projects we want to work on. And I had her help me take in a linen shirt I wanted to fit me better.

But shopping is NOT my favorite activity and it sort of wears me down. Instead of sketching when I got home, I finished reading a book Jason loaned me . . . . and then I sketched the book, along with the next two waiting to be read.

21 June 2010

back to exercises

Things have calmed down somewhat around here; last night I painted another exercise from "30-Minute Landscapes" by Paul Talbot-Greaves.

I'm hoping that doing the exercises in this little workbook will help me paint with more confidence when painting "en plein air".

18 June 2010

new deck of cards

Early in March, Nina Johansson showed a cool idea on her blog. I really liked her idea using scraps of watercolor paper to make blocks to mix and match to find new color combinations.

But making the blocks is a bit time-consuming, as well as needing to find a storage spot. So I made a small deck of cards, about half the size of standard cards, one for each of the paints I currently have. Some are using the very last of half-pans of colors I no longer use; good to keep a record of so I'll remember why I didn't like it.

In the past I have bought some color I liked, then forgot what brand it was after the last of it was squeezed into a pan. So the company's name is added to the top. I like keeping track of the pigments and qualities of what I like, so I added that info on the bottom of each card. Any notes can be added to the back.

I can already see how useful these will be. I've been putting 2 cool reds in most palettes --- it's hard to get a good pink with alizarin crimson quinacridone, so I added permanent rose. But I can see that Daniel Smith's quin. red can cover for both. The Naples yellow that came in my Schmincke set was horrible! But I tried one made by Winsor & Newton and LOVED it. The 2 brands of indigo I tried were too heavy, but I love substituting Lunar Blue.

The 3 greens Daler Rowney sells under Terry Harrison's name are great but too highly priced for tiny tubes. Also, they give NO information on the pigments used or permanence, so I'm trying to find substitutes. I like the first two greens, but am still not sure for the third one.

Anyway, these are fun to play with, comparing and making new combinations. Thanks for the idea, Nina!

12 June 2010

~ no vacancy ~

Early on our 2nd day at Galveston Beach, I excitedly picked up this gorgeous little shell to keep . . . . until I realized the original occupant was still there. So I took a couple of quick photos and let the next wave take him back.

09 June 2010

Galveston, TX

It seems like forever since I sketched or posted anything. My final week in Texas was a real whirlwind of activity and travel!

We drove to San Antonio, picking up Bill who flew in from Kansas, then headed to the Alamo and River Walk. Even with the holiday crowds, we had a fantastic time . . . . Bill and I decided to return to celebrate our 40th anniversary 2 years from now.

Bill and I then drove to Austin for a few days with our son, Matt and his family. Though Misty had to work much of the time, we greatly enjoyed our time with them. Three yr. old Quen and I painted together in my smaller sketchbook; I was NOT happy to find that I forgot the sketchbook when we drove back to Houston. They left the following day on a train trip to Chicago, so it will be a while before they mail it to me.

Our daughter, Kristen, has been so busy on the Galveston hospital job that we took 7-yr. old Mikala with us to Galveston to play and spend time with Kristen. I LOVE Galveston! A large portion of the population has not returned since the hurricane; there are still many buildings boarded up, abandoned. Yet there is also new construction going on. We spent Thursday and Friday at the beach.

Then the L-O-N-G drive home to Kansas, followed by unpacking (after vacuuming up excessive cat hair everywhere), laundry, catching up on bills, depositing rents, updating bookkeeping, etc. I may even have to buy groceries soon . . . .

What a wonderful time I had with kids and grandkids these past 3 months! How blessed to be able to spend time with them all --- now our youngest son, Jeff, is looking at colleges in the Houston area for when his enlistment ends in December. Texas still has quite a draw for us.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...