28 September 2015

no blood moon for us

Last night there was an extremely close "blood moon" event and the best viewing in our area was to coincide with our leaving snacks & movie night at our church. Unfortunately, clouds hid all but the faintest moonlight during the actual eclipse. I painted a facsimile of the moon early this morning since I didn't see the real thing.

Sometimes I don't draw anything at all as I listen in at church, but yesterday I found myself sketching during both Sunday school's discussion about blood moons in prophecy and during the later church service.

26 September 2015

some family dogs in gouache

I love Roz Stendahl's dog portraits painted in gouache. They are so full of life and energy! So I tried something similar using photos of some of our kid's dogs. 

Still a bit tight and I just can't seem to break out of predictable colors -- Roz's color choices are exuberant and lively! But I've learned before that my own personality (or style) will always break through. It's just my personal "signature".

As long as I was experimenting with others' styles, I switched out the paints in a vintage Prang set to a limited palette as recently posted by Cathy Johnson on Facebook. Only she had 3 primaries and 2 convenience colors; I added 2 more convenience colors. Always have to niggle it a bit!

The pocket palette is a bright & earthy primaries set I made out of a metal note pad, using a magnet and metal pans from Expeditionary Art. I drew it on the page just to compare with the Prang box.

25 September 2015

duct tape, chapter 2

Previously I sketched a quick doodle of Ms. BJ's work shoes, broken and held together with duct tape. Alongside a sketch of one of Bill's new work shoes, replacing his broken pair.

Ms. BJ then texted me a photo of her very broken paint brush, held together with duct tape of course, standing next to Bill's roller, also bearing duct tape. Kissing cousins?

24 September 2015

late-night sketching

Recently I was awake late at night praying. Our church has been joining a multitude of Christians across this country for 40 days of prayer for America, and the hour I signed up for is during the nighttime. As I prayed, I mindlessly drew what was sitting next to me: no surprise that it was art tools!

23 September 2015

be a blessing, receive a blessing

Last week our pastor's wife invited several ladies from church to join her in visiting a dear lady in town who is 90 years old and dealing with health issues. We worked together and cleaned her house -- something she is not able to do now. She has blessed and taught so many others through the years, constantly giving of herself to others. Yet she had such a hard time receiving a blessing from others, it even brought thankful tears to her eyes. And we had such fun doing it! 

21 September 2015

Sunday morning sketching

I mindlessly drew a stack of Bibles on a vacant chair yesterday as I listened to the Sunday school lesson. Even joined in the discussion as I continued to draw. Then later jotted down sermon notes.

19 September 2015

duck tape shoes

Bill has been working hard on a remodeling project for our church. His helper in the work is a whirlwind powerhouse in a small package, our pastor's wife Ms. BJ. She loves to "doodle", as she calls it, especially if there are power tools involved. One of the hardest-working helpers Bill has ever worked with!

So hard at work, it seems, that she hasn't taken time to shop for replacement work shoes . . . She just keeps replacing the duct tape holding them together. Last week Bill's old work shoes finally fell apart --- and he went out and bought new ones. Hint, hint, Ms. BJ?

15 September 2015

this morning's walk

I look down a lot while walking the circle where we live. The road is paved with very uneven rocks of all sizes ___easy to trip on___ fire ants move their hills often, and we sometimes see snakes, including the very venomous coral snake. Just last week, one measly fire ant bite and I was loopy for two days with oral and topical antihistamines for the burning itch.

This morning I decided to pick up random objects as I walked to draw later at home. A few rocks and oak leaves, the outer shell of a pecan, a weird chunk of wood, a torn bit of a baseball ___a very sweet German Shepherd seems to enjoy destroying balls___, even a discarded adapter and 12 cents!

14 September 2015

weekend sketches & an art supply blessing

We went to Austin on Saturday to tour one of several area micro-breweries. While the others were sampling the various beers, I sketched a bit and Bill played Uno with two of our grandchildren. I tried drawing directly in ink and all my barrels were wonky!

Then a few notes in church on Sunday, followed by a contour drawing (never lifting the pen from paper) of my hand holding my iPod which holds my Bibles I use in church. The contour drawing was helped by a very loose, rough layout in pencil first, which was erased after the ink dried.

On the way back to our kids' home, we were driving on Interstate 35 when daughter-in-law Misty suggested stopping at Jerry's Artarama; she knew I had been needing paper to bind more journals. I said yes, then Bill said no, we don't need to (he was teasing). So I said no, I don't need to --- Misty said I did and she was driving. While there, she helped me find Fabriano Artistico paper and some new cover papers, then told me about the customer appreciation card that reduced the price to about half. So I am well stocked now -- thank you, Misty!

Recently I have had some doubts as to whether sketching these journals and posting them was of any value. Is this really what God wants me to use this drawing ability for? Or am I wasting my time? Recently I received a message on Facebook from someone who mentioned my journals made her want to return to church; the odd thing is that she was not a contact and did not belong to any of the same groups as I did. So how did she even find me?

God reaching out to her through my simple journals, followed by such low prices for journal binding materials seems like the Lord telling me that yes, I am supposed to be doing this. However He chooses to use these sketches & words, I give it to Him.

10 September 2015

an Amish quilt

My mother quilts. Not just to use as a bedspread but her use of colors and patterns make them works of art.

I have always enjoyed various needle crafts, especially knitting and embroidery. I even used to sew my own clothes. But I HATE quilting as an activity! It just feels tedious.

Drawing quilt patterns can be fun though. The above "doodle" was inspired by a book I read recently titled "The Choice". Some of my favorite lines, I jotted on the left page -- things I'd like to remember. 

The first one was from a conversation on why there was a "mistake" in a quilt, how it was an intentional mark of humility. But I later looked up info regarding this practice only to find that it is a total myth.

08 September 2015

more random doodling

On Friday in a very urban area of NW Houston we saw an enormous Great Blue Heron. The biggest that I have ever seen. There are a lot of creeks in the area designed to carry away heavy rain runoff into the area bayous, and apparently the wildlife take advantage of these natural areas.

I sketched the heron later at home using a photo I took this past spring on the coast. Then added notes and a doodle of my hand writing the notes in church on Sunday.

07 September 2015

renovation zone

In honor of Labor Day . . .

For the past few months Bill has been working on a remodel project for our church, Jubilee Christian Center. We meet in an old downtown building in Somerville, TX, built sometime in the late 1800s. The building next door is being fixed up for additional office and Sunday school space.

I love old buildings and especially like the angles and textures in this ceiling view, even though the sketch is quite wonky.

06 September 2015

random doodles

During listening to last Wednesday evening church's message, I sketched an eagle sculpture randomly. Then later played around with color ideas to carry a second pocket palette in my everyday bag. Mainly to have three convenient greens with me, as well as a couple of larger mixing areas. Still not sure which other colors to include . . .

05 September 2015

Friday's sunset

This is what we viewed as we drove home from Houston last night --- I painted it wet-in-wet from memory later. It was a very l-o-n-g drive, bumper-to-bumper traffic as people go to high school games or escape the city for the weekend. State Highway 290 is congested even on good days due to construction.

We were at our daughter's so I could finish painting the missing pieces in one of Mikala's puzzles. Cats made them disappear; after glueing the completed puzzle together we filled the holes with paper clay, coated them with watercolor ground, then painted in the colors with gouache. Now they will coat it with Modge Podge, frame it (along with two others), and hang it on her bedroom wall.

03 September 2015

practicing sunrises

After a short walk early in the morning, sometimes I go upstairs to our cabin's loft to view the sunrise from the tiny balcony. These are two of this week's views, painted wet-on-wet. My usual wet-on-wet skies tend to look a bit washed out because I can never quite get enough strong pigment in the washes --- the paint dries so much lighter! So I'm practicing . . .

01 September 2015

Blue Bell is back

People around here celebrated ice cream yesterday with the return of Blue Bell to store shelves after several months' absence. The three flavors offered sold out in most if not all locations around Brenham, Houston, and Austin. We did not really need ice cream, as we are both trying to eat a bit healthier, but we joined others in supporting Brenham's largest employer. They have always been good to the community and their employees; local people are now trying to give back to them.
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