31 July 2015

simplifying fountain pens & inks

For several months I have been using several colors of ink in my sketching, becoming familiar with how each one works with and without watercolor. I especially love the De Atramentis document inks!

But it was time to refill several of my fountain pens this week. This time I am keeping it a bit simpler --- just using my favorite ink colors. Black, gray, brown, and a sepia I mixed myself.

After sketching this in my wee accordion-fold sketchbook, I played around the edges with this multi-color watercolor pencil I found at Jerry's Artarama in Austin. Just being silly.

30 July 2015

trip to the dentist

Yesterday I had a tooth extracted in preparation for a new bridge --- the dentist was correct when he said it would come out easily because it was loose; he failed to mention how deep those roots reached into my upper cheek!

Anyway, I drew this lead apron hanging within my view as a means to stay calm. It worked.

29 July 2015

a few random little books

Before beginning a new journal, I remembered that this small accordion-fold sketchbook was never finished. The first side was filled in last December, mostly documenting my eye surgeries. But the back side was not used so I might as well do some random sketches in it this week.

Before moving last year, I gave away at least half of our books. Yet I still seem to have stacks of them in every room . . . and that doesn't even count the hundreds of e-books on Kindle and iPad. Since this sketchbook is only 3" square, I chose to draw some books of similar size. 

28 July 2015

from a morning walk & choosing a new sketchbook

A new family recently moved in to our small community in the woods. They soon replaced their plain mailbox with this transformer-box-turned-mailbox. (The father is a lineman.) when the grandkids, dogs, and I took a walk, the boys said this was R2D2. Their father and Scottie dog, Maxwell, have been staying here a few extra days because the electric service at their home is temporarily broken.

This is the final sketch in my current sketchbook. I have not yet purchased paper to bind new ones so I tested the paper on the back page of a Stillman & Birn Epsilon sketchbook in my stash --- Though it takes light applications of watercolor, it is not meant to handle juicy washes. So I think I'll save it for pencil & ink drawing, and use this leather-bound book I bound last year. I originally thought to save it for a special time. It is filled with the last of the Kilimanjaro 140# paper purchased before we moved to Texas.

27 July 2015

met on our walk

Ceilidh and I were walking one morning when we found this Basset had escaped the fenced-in yard he shares with a gorgeous German Shepherd. They had a wee romp, then I opened the gate to let him back in his yard.

24 July 2015

invasion of minions

Along with three grandchildren, our wee cabin has been invaded by big plushy minions. Minions who talk silly when their feet are pressed. They do __not__ inspire sleep at bedtime. But LOTS of giggles!

Jayna also drew two of the creatures with watercolor pencils. 

23 July 2015

painted bunting found!

I knew that there are painted buntings in central Texas but we had never seen one. Until yesterday. I was standing at my kitchen sink when I looked up and there he was at one of our bird feeders. His colors are amazing! I couldn't see him close enough for details so I did the larger sketch from a field guide photo.

21 July 2015

Monday's tea

Three of our grandchildren are visiting this week. Yesterday we had a bit of a tea party, trying out one of the blooming tea buds that came with my glass tea pot. This sketch shows the flower it formed as it brewed.

Today is a painting day. All three chairs are taken so I snuck a photo of them instead of painting with them. Earlier, we had a chocolate breakfast: sourdough toast with chocolate hazelnut butter, strawberries topped with the same, and chocolate milk.

19 July 2015

birthday sketches

There have been a lot of distractions lately so I've been slow at getting this finished and posted. Our daughter gave me this glass teapot with it's own infuser for loose-leaf teas. Giving the tea leaves room to expand makes such a better cup of tea! The pot makes two full mugs (about 4 cups), so I'm now enjoying twice as much tea in the morning. Usually Earl Grey Green but sometimes that varies. The pot came with "blooming flowers" of jasmine green tea that will be fun to try.

We went out to eat with good friends for my birthday -- I love Chinese and Thai food but hadn't found any place near us that serves it. They took us to Pei Wei in College Station and the food was excellent! Actually, I determine if this kind of restaurant is good or not by the hot & sour soup . . . and it was fabulous!

Afterwards, shaved ice dessert at Bahama Buck's --- and a great time was had by all!

16 July 2015

a few more rocks

The rocks scattered over our dirt road make for uneven steps when I walk. They can also be a hazard! Last December the local school bus drove by (very slowly) and threw a random rock --- My head just happened to be in the way. Thankfully I was not hurt. Now we joke that I need to take cover when the bus appears.

Twice in the past 6 months, a random rock that was thrown into grassy areas by vehicles has been picked up and thrown by a weed eater . . . shattering our car's side window. The same window each time. Once by Bill, once by a neighbor across the road. 

I now park in a different spot. And I still like sketching the rocks found on my walks.

15 July 2015

on the road to Somerville

Though our address is a Brenham address, we actually live closer to Somerville, a tiny town on the edge of Lake Somerville. This is where our church family meets, where Bill is hard at work on a church remodel project, and where we run to pick up a grocery item we may have forgotten to buy in Brenham. The drive is lovely with lush greens, curvy roads, and random wild flowers scattered on the side of the road.

At the moment, the lower parts of both areas of greenery in this sketch are covered with water (much below road-level). They are still releasing as much water as possible from the dam but the lake is still in flood stage and closed.

11 July 2015

an old sketching folder, refitted

Years ago I sewed this denim sketch wrap following a design from a library book --- I think it was from one of Claudia Nice's books. I remember using it on my first sketch crawl with Cathy "Kate" Johnson who has since become one of my dearest friends.

This time I filled it with a landscape-shaped pad of watercolor paper plus a watercolor block off my shelf -- the pad is Arches, a paper I don't like, which is why it has stayed on my shelf so long. The block is Fabriano Artistico paper which I love. The palette is a flat-profile tin with half-pans of watercolor attached with rubber cement. I like the extra room for travel brushes. It fits in an outer pocket with Velcro closure; inner pockets hold a mechanical pencil, pens, and larger travel brushes.

10 July 2015

traveling through Missouri

During our recent stay with friends in Arkansas, we drove them to SE Kansas to look at a possible home to purchase. Along the way between Mansfield and Seymour we saw this Amish wagon. Last night I drew this while playing with a few watercolor pencils a friend at church gave me. There was no brown in the small set so I played around with mixing colors for the horse.

Our friends are both dealing with memory problems, one due to possible Alzheimer's and one from a series of "mini-strokes". We are trying to help their daughter in relocating these dearly loved but very stubborn people to living closer to her.

09 July 2015

a favorite bag . . .

. . . sketched during church last night. My Lexington gray ink shows up better on the cream toned paper than the blue.

06 July 2015

Billy's "bouquets"

Some women love when their husbands bring them bunches of flowers. My own dear man knows me well . . . He brings me interesting bits of nature to sketch! On two occasions last week, he found more unusual mushrooms while mowing and brought them to me.

The first one was brilliant yellow with an earthy-red top but I grabbed a pen loaded with water-soluble ink which darkened my first sketch. The second find was extremely fragile and translucent, something very hard for me to capture.

05 July 2015

bottle rockets & firecrackers

My friend B.J. has a delightfully creative imagination --- she and her husband Gary joined our daughter and us yesterday for a Fourth of July dinner. She told us ahead of time that she was bringing the fireworks. Which turned out to be these yummy edible bottle rockets and firecrackers!

04 July 2015

art before breakfast . . .

. . . patriotic-style. Totally unplanned.

I decided to eat some yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast; it wasn't until I mixed it up that I realized it was red, white, and blue!

03 July 2015


Our Arkansas friends have one of the sweetest natured dogs I have ever met. Maggie is part Siberian Husky and part Corgi. While we were there, she shadowed Bill wherever he went. If he and I sat on the couch, she wormed her way between us, often climbing on Bill's lap. 

02 July 2015

me as a high school senior

While visiting old friends in Arkansas last week, I found this old photo -- me as a high school senior. Hated those glasses but loved my waist-length hsir. I looked so much younger than my age!

After high school, I flew to Arizona to marry Bill who's Navy ship was stationed in San Diego. I used to take my Navy dependent's check to the Rosecrans base to cash it. I remember the guy asking me who my father was. I asked why? He isn't in the Navy. So he asked who my guardian was. "Hmmm . . . You mean my husband?"
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...