30 November 2011

how I spent Thanksgiving day

Bill has now been "on-call" for 5 Thanksgiving days in a row. (It's just how the calendar schedule comes up on a 4-day rotation; his boss doesn't see any reason to change it.) When he is "on-call", he can't leave town in case someone needs propane (he's the service-tech, not a deliveryman, technically making him "on-call" 24/7 anyway --- too bad he isn't paid doctor's rates! He doesn't even get overtime if called out on holidays because it counts as fewer than 40 hours for the week).

Enough griping . . .

All of our family is out-of-town, so we make no plans on Thanksgiving day, knowing Bill will probably be called out at any moment. I've now developed a habit of watching the Westminster Kennel Club dog show every year. This year Ceilidh watched with me. Really, she did! She actually stood up for a closer view like this at one point, though it was when the Great Dane was shown, not the Scottie.

26 November 2011

limited palette, late 19th C.

* I replaced the first photo of this page after using a wet brush to tease out a wash
from each color. It is easier to see how these would work in a painting now.

My version, that is . . .

I've been going through a huge stack of past issues of Watercolor Artist magazine, trying to weed out those I probably won't read again. I will either save a few copies intact that have multiple articles I want to keep, or perhaps create a subject file of clipped articles.

Meanwhile, I found one article that featured a brand of watercolors marketed as pigments used by artists of the late 19th century. Those in the brand are ground of natural pigments; instead of looking for that brand on-line, I compared colors I currently have and came up with this basic matching set, placing the full pans and one half pan in my bijou box. Then I added 3 extra "convenience" colors to fill the empty spaces. I'm going to have some fun playing with this set -- I used them for everything but the bright red in the previous post.

I do wonder, though, if old masters' works just appear dark because of aging?


The greens in the previous post looked a bit dull. I found that Cathy 'Kate" Johnson had the same red and yellow in her muted palette, but chose indigo as her blue. I have no indigo, but I had Indanthrone blue, so I tried that. Much better greens now, which is seen better in person than on my computer screen,

I have put together similar primary triads before, but only played around a bit with them. This time, I'd like to try actually painting with them.

a new toy for a blustery day

OK, I admit it. They suckered me in. As I was waiting in line to pay for some purchases last week, I saw this wee snow globe. And HAD to buy it. Another impulse item . . .

20 November 2011

Sketchcrawl, 19 November

It was a windy, blustery kind of day in Excelsior Springs, driving those of us meeting together for sketchcrawl inside Redmond's, a local furniture-antiques shop. The shop has two floors plus two balcony areas overlooking the first floor, all filled with interesting displays of furnishings and antiques. So much to sketch, so little time . . . .

This old stove caught my eye right away, looking so much like the one we had in the first house we bought. LOVE the design of these old appliances! This one still had a perfect cooking chart on the inside oven door.

18 November 2011

random sketches & notes

Believe it or not, I actually went several days without sketching. But I did write a few notes down in my journal, leaving room for possibly adding sketches later.

While in Texas, Mikala introduced me to this new game --- and I won, even when her mom joined her against me! Now, winning a crossword game against an 8 year old might seem a walk-in-the-park to some, but this particular 8 year old is VERY smart and VERY competitive and beats everyone in nearly every game played with her.

Here are two more random sketches on pages of note-taking.
Click on any image to see larger.

 My friend, Ginger, is such a creative home decorator! Their artificial Christmas tree fell apart last year, so this year, she drug home large bits of a dead tree, propping them up in containers on her front porch and in one corner inside --- and added crab-apple cuttings and bows. For Christmas, she is going to hang her ornament collection on them instead.

The vase of sticks was added last night at Church of the Savior, while waiting for my drawing class to begin. It is part of a display of items made by the youth department, for sale to support missions. There were wee pottery ornaments hanging on the twigs.

17 November 2011

"Trunk or Treat" in Texas

I forgot to post the last sketches from our trip to Texas the end of October. Our daughter's church holds a "Trunk or Treat" neighborhood outreach every year as a safe mode for trick-or-treating. Everyone lines up their car trunks, filled with goodies, in the parking lot. Son-in-law Michael held a putting green; hit a hole in one and win an extra piece of candy.

Mikala made her own costume this year: "It's Raining Cats and Dogs". Her umbrella had black felt dogs and cats "dripping" off, each glistening with sparkly "raindrops".

These are a few of the neighborhood kids who passed by.

11 November 2011

2 more from Texas

Bill carved Mikala's pumpkin, while Kristen saved out the seeds for roasting. And Mikala? She wasn't coming anywhere near Papa when his hands were covered with pumpkin guts! (for good reason . . . . he threatened to goop her nose with it!)

Mikala helped blanch the pumpkin seeds before roasting them.

07 November 2011

more Texas sketches

At Bill's birthday party in Houston, Josiah happily carried any number of balls around with him. Meanwhile, we watched the K-State game . . . . but they lost to Oklahoma.

(click on pictures to see larger)

Later at Kristen's home, the girls asked me to paint this stuffed kitty while they painted postcards. At first Mikala said the cat had no name . . . . but after I wrote the heading, she quickly gave it one, giggling the whole time. I had made up this travel watercolor set for grandkids from a Sucrets box and some Cotman half-pans. Two come-apart Koi waterbrushes fit inside also. Add some watercolor postcards and they are ready to make art.

06 November 2011

some Texas sketches

We drove to Houston to celebrate Bill's 60th birthday with our kids and grandkids last weekend. Only Misty and Quen didn't make it, having already made plans to spend Holloween in Kansas City with her family. First we drove to Jason's for a short visit, where we met grandchild # 5, Judah. Later, we headed north to Kristen's.

Bill's birthday party was held at Kristen's church, Jersey Village Baptist, in their youth's "Warehouse". Catered fajitas from Los Cucos, playtime with the grandchildren, and watching the K-State game (3 kids are alumni). Too bad they lost.

04 November 2011

my two Scotties

Maxwell was my Scottie until I took him on an extended stay to our son's home SW of Houston last year. Our granddaughter, Jayna, asked if he could stay and be her dog. Maxwell really wanted children in his life (children were the only people who gave him attention in the puppy mill he was rescued from) so it was easy to leave him.

My new Scottie, Ceilidh, has adjusted well to living in an apartment without children . . . . but she LOVES visiting Maxwell and running free in his backyard. It seems Maxwell has befriended the rottweiler on the other side of the privacy fence. He sticks his nose through the broken board in greeting.

After leaving Jason's, we headed for Kristen's home in NW Houston . . . . and a basset-beagle named Peaches.

03 November 2011

on the road for Bill's 60th birthday

We just got back from a quick trip to Texas --- Bill requested a birthday party and that means going where all our kids have moved. Usually we make the drive all in one day; this time we left after Bill got off work Thursday, driving only part-way and getting a motel room overnight.

Because her legs are so short, we don't let Ceilidh jump on beds. A vet once told us that jumping off could hurt her back. So she claimed the overstuffed chair in the room as hers, until bedtime when we still kennel her. She's still a puppy, after all.

We prefer driving back-roads when we can --- nearing Jason's, we pass this grain elevator in Richmond. I've always wanted to sketch it. This is not accurate at all (drawn in ink without pencil first) but it was fun. Maybe I'll try again later.
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