31 March 2017


Today I went to my eye doctor's for a regular 6-month checkup and a laser treatment on my eyes. The waiting room was "standing room only", yet this lady took the last remaining seat in the room for her bag. So I stood right across from her . . . and drew her! She was so absorbed in her electronic reader that she never noticed me.

By the time I had finished adding watercolor, she had left, leaving two chairs available. Dr. Horton's office is in a log cabin __very small waiting room__ and she spends LOTS of time with each patient so there is usually a wait . . . and she is worth it!

I have glaucoma, requiring regular monitoring and daily eye drops, and I had cataracts removed three years ago. The doctor told me at the time that I was young to have cataracts and that there would be some cloudiness later on that would require the laser treatment (removing the back section of the "capsule" holding my implant lens in place). I walked in today with cloudy vision . . . and after about 5 minutes per eye, I'm back to 20/20 vision!

30 March 2017

waiting . . .

A sketch of Scott & White Clinic's uninspiring waiting room as we wait for one more after-surgery follow-up. I forgot how much this water-soluble ink would bleed.

Bill's incision is healing, though the neck muscles are swollen, irritating the nerve that the surgery was supposed to free up. So he is still in pain, though with greatly improved mobility. Hopefully the pain will be gone when the inflammation caused by the surgery calms down.

27 March 2017

a new toy

Last year Bill's cousin Mike gave me a mechanical pencil he had made of bird's eye maple. A few days ago, he surprised me with a clutch pencil to go with it, made of "Arkansas ebony" that Bill had given him, and he even included three color refills to go in it. 

I played with both the graphite and the colored leads . . . I thought the colors were plain colored pencil leads but when I added watercolor I discovered they are water-soluble, like watercolor pencils. The super-fat graphite works great for thumbnail value sketches! Maybe I'll even start doing them before diving right in to a sketch.

22 March 2017

back again . . . and now home

While Bill's neck surgery in January successfully repaired and fused his bulging discs, he still had no relief from the arm pain he has lived with for over three years --- in fact, it increased. After some healing time and physical therapy, they were able to do another MRI and a CT scan. And this time an additional problem was found: a bone spear, actually shaped like a spear-head, was directed straight at the nerve. So back again for a different surgery, this time from the back of his neck.

That was yesterday; it went well and we just got home. Good results showing already with increased arm motion, greatly reduced pain, and less pain in the incision site than expected. Praising the Lord for bringing him through! Just some ongoing therapy to do at home and let the new surgical site heal.

20 March 2017

drawing whatever's before me

. . . which on Sunday morning in our discipleship class amounted to my bag, a large cup of hot tea, and my phone, opened to the Olive Tree Bible app as I followed the discussion. Mindlessly sketching while listening is something I do quite a lot.

16 March 2017

beginning anew . . .

I finished my Epsilon sketchbook journal on Monday, so I grabbed a handbound journal off the shelf. This one is covered with a papyrus type of paper I found at Jerry's Artarama in Austin, and is filled with Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper. The brown print fabric is a leftover smidgen of some bookcloth I made a few years ago.

As usual, I drew a palette on the first page, this time adding the tools currently in my bag. The tin box is a Daler Rowney Aquafine kit -- I removed the plastic insert and student grade paints, and attached two business-card size magnets in the bottom to hold metal pans purchased from Expeditionary Art. The space left over holds a #8 travel brush. I then attached three additional small pans of color to the mixing area on the lid, using rubber cement. Paints are from Daniel Smith.

13 March 2017

a warring angel

Sunday morning in our discipleship class, the conversation turned to angels. Jonathan told us of this Art Deco sculpture by Raoul Josset of a fierce looking angel with a huge sword found in La Grange, TX. So I looked it up on the Internet, then sketched it. Bill and I have driven through La Grange a few times; next time I plan on a side trip to Memorial Park to see the angel in person.

This is the final sketch in this journal; for those interested, the following show how messy the end papers get in my journals!

12 March 2017

bluebonnet time!

Even though it's been cold today, our roadsides are quickly filling up with bluebonnets
 and Indian paintbrush, blanket flower and evening primrose. Bluebonnets have been blooming since the end of February, a full month earlier than usual. And it's looking like this year will be a bumper crop!

08 March 2017

Cheese and Crackers

One day last week we drove out to a friend's home where Bill was checking out a plumbing problem. While he was inside, I went to visit our pastor's donkeys, named Cheese and Crackers. Cheesey loves people and will even "snuggle" with us . . . except when there is barbed wire between us! He is smart enough to stay away from the sharp pricks.

Crackers, on the other hand, is people-shy and stays in the background ignoring me. I took some photos with my iPhone, then drew these from the photos while waiting for Bill as he was in physical therapy. The waiting area is not very interesting to sketch but my donkey pals are.

04 March 2017

NOT doing what I planned

Even when I find free time to do whatever I wish to do, I find myself NOT doing what I had thought that I wanted to do. I've been wanting to answer the letter received in the mail this past week; I've already thought of complete sentences to write, in my head. Just haven't actually written them down.

I also have stacks of books and old art magazines that I've been reading through, a bit at a time. But instead of any of those things, I found myself drawing what was piled on the footstool in front of me.

03 March 2017

drawing to alleviate boredom

Lately we have spent lots of time at the Scott & White clinic in College Station. Yesterday I worked on this while Bill had physical therapy --- the waiting rooms are SO UNINSPIRING! Nothing interesting to draw and very few people waiting.

02 March 2017

something new

Bill is going through some physical therapy in hope that the nerve causing his arm pain will "get loose" from whatever may be pinching it. They also hope to increase his mobility; since his neck surgery, he has had limited range of motion in that arm.

Anyway, we were in College Station, running errands before his appointment and stopping for lunch at Jason's Deli. I love their chicken pot pie but I'm currently avoiding all grains so I ordered BBQ brisket on a baked potato, a common offering in Texas. But this time, I had it on a sweet potato --- and it was good! A bit messy to sketch, with cheddar cheese melted all over the top, but very good.

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