29 October 2013

Autumn's whirlwind

It has been a real whirlwind around here lately. Today I paused to catch my breath and sketch leaves picked up on one of our many walks. Bill is walking as much as he can, slowly getting his strength back following his heart surgery. He is now cleared for traveling, so we plan on visiting our kids in Texas soon. While there, we decided to line up a realtor to look at houses. That led to us deciding to put our home on the market --- being a 1920 apartment building, it's a bit of an unusual listing and we had no idea what to expect trying to sell it.

One day after signing to sell, the sewer backed up. No problem . . . Bill can't do the work at the moment but a plumbing friend could ____ BIG PROBLEM. Turns out the outside line was broken and would need to be dug up and repaired. The sewer here is 20 feet deep and the city locators were no help at all. It was eventually found and repaired 8 hours later; now our backyard parking lot is a mud mountain. Hard to fit all that dirt back in when it had been compacted 93 years.

Meanwhile, we received an offer on the building, we counter-offered, and it was accepted --- sold in less than one week! As part of the deal they offered us 90 days from closing__rent free__to give us time to find a new home and move. Our heads are still spinning from the speed of it all.

09 October 2013

color therapy

I have made many color charts over the past 6 or 7 years, and have a pretty good understanding of what pigments mix into what colors. But sometimes working a gridded color chart can be just plain soothing. Which is the main reason I did these primary palette charts in my new sketchbook.

07 October 2013

here's to new beginnings

My summer sketchbook is finally filled. Packed to the gills with memories both good and bad, from time spent with our eldest granddaughter while her parents vacationed in Scotland to Bill's heart attack and subsequent bypass surgery. I am happily moving on to a brand new sketchbook, this time trying the Stillman & Birn hardbound Beta series sketchbook. I've heard such wonderful things about this brand --- from sketching this first page, I can say that the paper is fabulous!

These are my two current favorite palettes. The one on the left holds every one of my 20 paints for serious sketching. Resting on top are favorite travel brushes which have a separate holder of their own.

The palette on the right holds it's own brushes. I recently put 2 primary triads in it, plus phthalo green and burnt umber. One triad is bright and one is a more muted, earthy set. I don't use phthalo green on it's own and had removed it from my 20 paints. But it makes lovely mixes and I had this leftover pan, so why not?

06 October 2013

Bill's new "main squeeze"

I've been planning to sketch this post-heart surgery pillow all week . . . but it is very hard to catch it out of Bill's arms. He has definitely learned to keep it close at all times, to ease coughing and moving.

Spelling was one of my favorite grade school subjects. So how did I ever spell "squeeze" without a "U"?

04 October 2013

the torture of healing

Getting well following major surgery hurts . . . . sometimes more than the condition requiring surgery. But it is all part of the healing process.

Bill was sent home yesterday, only 3 days after his double bypass. Still finds it hard to move and a good night's sleep eludes him. But moving forward none the same.

This does not look like Bill at all --- I need more practice drawing people. Those we love seem to always be harder to capture. I refilled my Lamy Safari pen with Carbon Black ink (I normally use Noodler's Polar Black). The new ink flows faster, making it difficult to get a really fine line even when turning the nib upside-down. It might work better in my pen with a flexible nib.

01 October 2013

moving on to the healing stage

Bill came through the 3-hour surgery smoothly, with all blockages repaired. Experienced a lot of pain afterwards in the ICU, but that's to be expected. Today he will be moved to a regular room and begin the long road of "rehab".

Knowing I'd be in this waiting room quite a while, I had thought to get in some practice sketching people. But knowing they were each there during a hard time in their lives, I didn't have the heart to draw any of them. One lady even asked if I was drawing her (sounding a bit worried) --- I assured her that I wasn't and even showed her the sketch.

I have felt no problems sketching people in other situations without asking their permission . . . . but somehow in a surgical / ICU waiting room, it seemed like an invasion of privacy.
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