25 February 2017

The Cat That God Sent

For the last spread in this Field Notes memo book, I jotted down a quote from a little e-book I just began reading: "The Cat That God Sent" by Jim Kraus. When it was offered as a daily free book for the Kindle app, I downloaded it purely on the title. Then never got around to reading it . . . until now. Turns out to be quite entertaining!

The title captured my attention because God literally _did_ send me a cat! In 1978,I really wanted to adopt a cat but I am allergic to them. So I actually prayed for a cat that would not cause a reaction. Then forgot about it as I found out we were expecting our gorgeous son Matthew.

When Matt was 6 months old, a February snowfall soon developed into a blizzard. Through the howling winds, I kept hearing a strange noise on our front porch. Finally I walked over and opened the door, holding it against the strong winds and blowing snow. And in strutted a big cream-colored cat, right over to baby Matt laying on a blanket. He proceeded to wipe snow all over Matt's face --- Matt has been a cat-lover ever since!

We ran an ad to find the owner and found him; the cat had crossed a busy road and couldn't get back, being afraid of the traffic. The owner had two brother cats but they didn't get along so he said we could keep him. They were from an aunt who raised this particular breed. I later learned that he was a Maine Coon. He looked full-grown when he first walked through our door, but he was only six months old . . . and he grew and grew, with his coat getting long and forming what looked like a lion's mane around his neck, pantaloons on his hind legs and a fat raccoon-like tail.

And I was _not_ allergic to him! That's when I remembered asking God for a cat. Kippy was our first of this special breed, followed eventually by black and white Dali, then our classic blue tabby Bearcat. Our grown kids also adopted Maine Coons and Maine Coon mixes through the years. Amazing creatures!

22 February 2017

saying goodbye . . .

. . . to the best cat I've ever known. After a prolonged period of loosing weight and trying various foods, our Maine Coon, Beorn Bearcat, finally stopped eating or drinking, except the drips he loved to catch from the bathroom vanity. A tumor was found to be growing in his abdomen; at 14 1/2 years of age, with a history of bad reaction to anesthesia, we decided it was time to say goodbye.

Typically, Bear purred right up till the end.

21 February 2017

breakfast with friends

As we gathered at a local diner for breakfast a few mornings ago, I drew my husband's hands. The quote in the upper left had been jotted down several days earlier from a book I'm reading. After adding gouache to the fountain pen sketch, it dawned on me that they sort of go together --- like God Himself is sitting down to share a cup of coffee (or tea, in my case) with us. Our God delights in personal relationships with His children!

18 February 2017

more mini-sketches on-the-go

Ink sketches done quickly while out and about . . . 

Sometimes I add a bit of gouache, but I didn't paint the plaid pattern on my key so I drew it in ink later.

Some days we wear short sleeves and no coats; other days require warm jackets.

Bill should know better than to leave interesting objects lying around. Before he could loan this basin wrench to a friend, I drew it.

This is my orange-red Field Notes notebook made of cardstock. It lives in my purse, ready to grab quickly for whatever happens to appear within my sketching view. These were drawn with a combination of De Atramentis document black ink in a Lamy Safari, Noodler's Lexington gray in a Kuretake brush pen,  a Pentel Pocketbrush pen, and a white Uniball Signo gel pen.

15 February 2017

revisiting my potted plants

I had planned on adding watercolor to this sketch, especially since I love mingled colors on terra cotta pots. But after a comment on Facebook about the drawing's "clean lines", I decided to leave it just ink. . . . . but niggled it a bit anyway by adding some of the quilted cloth's pattern and darkening the dirt.

09 February 2017

yesterday, I sketched!

Lately, as Bill goes through convalescence from surgery, still with severe pain down his arm (the surgery was supposed to fix that), I have not felt like sketching as often. Bill's surgeon is mystified about the pain but the discs have to completely fuse together before another MRI can be done. 

But yesterday I managed to sketch the plants on the table, in my new "burnt sienna" ink mix. Messed up a bit with the quilted cloth pattern underneath since I was drawing directly in ink, no pencil. I will probably add watercolor later.

Then I drew my shoe during church, barely hanging on my foot. It reached 85° daytime high -- and my car's air conditioner is broken. Got a bit sticky-hot. Drawn with a Pentel Pocketbrush pen, gouache added later at home.

06 February 2017

more from Field Notes

With a name like Field Notes notebook, one would think that I would fill this wee purse-or-pocket sized sketchbooks with sketches of the pastures and cotton fields around us. But I tend to just grab them to draw in wherever I happen to end up sitting, whether that be church, a doctor's office, or whatever.

The above is drawn from a recent photo I took. Amazingly, butterflies are still with us through the winter even though it's been colder than normal at times.

I chose to draw my cross necklace here to go with the Scripture verse at church. It's called a "grafted in" cross, representing believers in Messiah Jesus being grafted in to the vine of Israel. God is not finished with His ancient people and His promises hold!

And then there is always a random sketch of my bag or shoe during church . . .

01 February 2017

in search of a burnt sienna ink

I love the burnt sienna color of my Tombow dual tip pen but it is water-soluble, meaning that I can't add watercolor unless I want it to 'bleed'. So following some of Jane Blundell's charts for mixing De Atramentis document inks, I tried mixing a burnt sienna using document red and document black. I think it may need a touch of yellow added, but I don't have a bottle of that.

I recently bought a bottle of the document red from Goulet Pens . . . and as usual, they sent a mini Tootsie Pop with the ink. Here, I tried varying amounts of ink in some empty sample bottles.

I'm also trying out a new Lamy Safari limited edition coral pen. It came with a "M" nib but doesn't yet write smoothly. I've had some Lamy pens in the past that seemed a bit unresponsive at first --- using them over and over eventually breaks them in. Or I can easily replace the nib with one of my extras if this one persists in being stubborn.
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