31 May 2012

EDiM #31 - something I'm afraid of

It's stupid, I know. . . . I am afraid of painting finished works. Even when I have my own "studio" set up with several pieces of furniture and tools that Bill has custom-built for me. Sketching in my sketchbook is "safe". It comes easy to me.

Committing to a painting that is to be framed is scary. Maybe because I don't get much encouragement from my family . . . . just one more thing for them to criticize.

Oddly enough, the devotional I read today seemed to fit -- so I included it on the journal spread. It quotes 1 Corinthians 16:9, then goes on to say in part:

". . . . When God opens the door, then go through it. If He does not open the door, then be satisfied to take another direction. But do not let fear trap you in total inactivity. . ."

BTW, rule # 1 in watercolor: learn when to leave it alone!!! I had a fabulous wash for the Formica top of the table easel mixed from cadmium scarlet and cerulean blue. Nice texture . . . except for one little spot. So I tried to fix it. And goobered it completely.
Lesson learned.

28 May 2012

Bill's favorite snack

I have been catching up on the Every Day in May sketch challenges . . . slowly.

I had fun with this one, #26 - ingredients to a recipe, sketched late last night. It isn't really cooking, but it's what I find out on the counter several times a week. Bill is 60 years old and has never lost his love for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches --- I have never liked them myself.

26 May 2012

Mother's Day picnic

My posting the final sketches from our trip has been delayed by an inner ear infection with accompanying vertigo. But I was finally able to upload some today.

We spent Saturday in Austin, visiting Matt & Misty and grandson Quen. Quen and I painted together while Bill helped install a dishwasher. Then Matt cooked some delicious Cajun shrimp for an early mother's day dinner.

That evening, we drove on to Houston, to Kristen & Michael's, where I found a bowl of chocolate strawberries waiting . . . along with a flower pen Mikala made me out of duck tape!

After church on Sunday, we all met our other Houston kids, Jason & Carrie and Jeff, for a picnic. Lots of fun getting to watch our other 4 grandchildren having fun . . . . a relaxing time before the LONG drive home on Monday.

22 May 2012

Mission Concepcion

This mission is the oldest un-restored stone church in the country. The original colorful frescoes, though faded and worn away, can still be seen in part. They used some of the same earth pigments that are still used today. The frescoes were painted using the same technique used by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. Established in 1716, then moved to San Antonio in 1731, the church took 20 years to build and was dedicated in 1755.

Both of the missions we visited are still active churches today. Amazing history.

21 May 2012

views from our hotel room

Now that we are home from our trip, I'm slowly finishing up the sketches done in San Antonio, Austin, and Houston, Texas. This sketch above shows some of what we could see from our room's terrace. I debated a few days over whether to add full color or not --- the San Fernando Cathedral was so lovely to look at, I decided to leave the rest in ink only. At night this cathedral is beautifully lit up.

(BTW, the remains of the fighters at the Alamo are purported to be buried in this church. Also, Santa Ana raised the "no quarter" flag from one of these towers before the battle.)

We explored two missions in the area (besides the Alamo). This first one, Mission San Jose, was nearly fully restored in the 1930's, making it easy to envision life there in the 18th century. The Spanish converted virtually all the hunter-gatherer tribes of Native Americans in the Texas area to Christianity --- these missions were their communities, fields, herds, and protection from the warring tribes. But they used to drive the priests "nuts" because they slept on these hard stone floors instead of on the beds provided!

18 May 2012

random scenes from San Antonio

I did just a bit of sketching while in Texas . . . . and am now posting some each day as I finish them up. I love reliving the memories as I tweak each one!

There was so much we wanted to see in San Antonio and only a couple of days --- we will be returning again someday!

17 May 2012

McNay Art Museum

When we arrived in San Antonio, rain was pouring down -- so we first went to the McNay Art Museum. I had been here once before, researching for a local museum project -- Marion Koogler McNay grew up 3 blocks from where we live and her family's wealth came from the El Dorado oil boom.

Sadly, I found that much of the original interiors of the 1920 home have now been covered up to enable them to display more art. The house itself was as much a piece of art as the collection. The 24-room Spanish Colonial Revival house and it's interior open-air patio are filled with beautiful handmade tiles, stenciled ceiling beams,  and woodwork. Now only the entry way is left as it was, with twin tiled stairs curving up to the second floor -- my favorite spot is to sit in the deep window seats on the upper landing and look out on the patio.

McNay collected 19th and 20th C. art, as well as Southwest art. When she died, she left her home and collection to the city of San Antonio as a modern art museum. My favorite El Greco had been moved upstairs; the Van Gogh and a favorite Georgia O'Keefe were off exhibit. But there was still plenty of great art to view, along with some I don't particularly like (like Picasso).

Bill doesn't like modern art at all but he did like this piece by Edward Hopper and several by Carl Rice Embrey. I bought a small book of postcards featuring other Edward Hopper paintings.

07 May 2012

today is my brother's birthday

Several weeks ago, I was a part of an informal watercolor class meeting each Thursday evening. Our final project was to paint and assemble greeting cards -- my brother's birthday was coming up, so I painted this one for him. He is an avid fisherman / hunter.

06 May 2012

starting a new journal

Just in time for our trip, I finished the journal of Niddigan & toned papers and have begun a new one bound with 140# watercolor paper. As usual, the first page is one of my watercolor palettes -- this one now filled with half-pans contains virtually every color I use; only 2 colors left out and I seldom use them.

Inside the front cover, I wrote down a quote I recently found on Brenda Swenson's blog.

05 May 2012

Every Day in May challenge

I began a bit late, but I'm joining other sketchers across the world doing the Every Day in May challenge this month (not all will be posted here). Participants are posting to a Flickr group site and/or on Facebook.

Day # 3 was "free choice", so of course I drew some of my favorite things! Actually, I've been gathering what sketching supplies to take on an upcoming trip. I'm almost finished with this current sketchbook; the turquoise and brown one above is my next one, hand-bound with 140# watercolor paper.

Last time we went to San Antonio, Bill said he'd like to return and stay on the River Walk for our 40th anniversary. So we're on our way this coming week --- a bit earlier than our actual date (the 26th) but we want to beat the crowds.

Now maybe I should plan what to put in the suitcase . . . .

practice with Pentel Aquash brush pen

I sketched this from a photo in a magazine -- the young girl had such a winsome expression on her face, which I did not capture. The washes didn't work well on this Niddigan paper and I missed the gorgeous radiance of her skin, but I liked how the stone wall turned out.

03 May 2012

ink practice

In recent Friday posts, Roz Stendahl has been giving hints on sketching with the Pentel Pocket Brush pen. Since I don't have a lot of confidence using mine, I decided to do a lot of random sketches with it . . .

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