The 'VIRTUAL PAINTOUT' (http://virtualpaintout.blogspot.com/) was over in Belfast Ireland. There was so much green and the country is beautiful, lush and rural. I enjoyed my visit and appreciate Bill Guffey's blog site and the work he does to pull this off every month. If you haven't tried it you are missing a fun challenge.
Fullerton buildings along the train tracks.
Ivy and I walked to the Fullerton Train Station to sketch today, because I had stopped near this area a few days ago and wanted to come back to do more sketching. These buildings are so textural and I am continuing to use the art set with crayon, pencil, oil pastel and felt pens. It’s a bit of a challenge using unfamiliar tools.
I stopped along the railroad tracks to take a break and sketch this group of buildings. All I had in the car were crayons. I don't know what the people were doing in these businesses but there was a lot of yelling going on. I could hear them even from my, across the railroad tracks, 2 streets and a field away, parked car.
The Fullerton Arboretum is a wonderful place to walk and commune with nature. I walked the grounds looking at everything and then found this shady place to sit and sketch. I could easily spend another few hours on this but life calls.
The weather is cool in the mornings now. When I got up this morning it was about 57 F and when I started walking it was dark!! Sooooo, I left the sketch book at home and when I got home I walked back out to catch this lamp post. The time will change soon, let's see spring forward fall back. I don't like dark mornings. I like to wake to the light streaming in through the windows and birds singing.
Let me introduce you to Miles and his people. When Ivy and I walk we meet many dogs and their people. The dogs greet the dogs, the people greet the people and the people greet the dogs and the dogs greet the people. Not always in that order.
Practicing is what skill is all about. You practice until it becomes second nature and you don't have to think about what you are seeing, it just comes out of your hand. Like driving a car. You don't think ....Ok, now I need to put on the turn light to signal that I am going to turn. You see what is up ahead and your hand turns on the signal and your other hand stays on the wheel (while your head cradles the cell phone, and you tell the kids to sit down and be quiet, being careful not to spill your hot coffee between you knees) while your eyes search in all directions to see if it is safe. Creating art is like that. You don't think....Ok now I am going to make this line straight until it curves to look like an arm. At first you think those thoughts but after practicing forever your eye sees arm and your hand creates the line that represents arm in a way you have done it before that looks like an arm.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because, I was practicing sketching yesterday by drawing from the TV. Here are just two pages of the many pages of sketches I did while watching the gymnastic competition on television.
The Muckenthaler Cultural Center is an Italian Renaissance-style structure in Fullerton built on eight acres located atop a hill in Fullerton. This little outdoor room has been a forte to many a child growing up in this neighborhood as well as a beautiful back drop for a wedding picture or a glass of wine. Ivy and I walk by here often and today I sketched it with my new pen. I loooooove my new pen!
I attended the Art Expo in Pasadena, Califronia, this afternoon, expressly to find a fountain pen that would be refillable, resist drying out or clogging when I sketch out in nature and was reasonably priced. Well, I found it is a Lamy with a refill adapter and it’s wonderful. The nib is not too thick, soft and flowing on any paper and the ink is water proof so I can watercolor wash over it.
The ink is India Black with No-Shellac so it won't clog the pen.
I was also able to replenish my palette and got some disposable drawing pens. I am posting the test results of the colors and disposable pens. I should be good for awhile.
I also found a small flat brush for my paint box. Very cute!!!
Well the rain came and went. Yesterday evening, after my walk, I found the sun setting while the sky was filled with dark clouds. It was just to good to pass up a painting like this so I dashed home and got my paint box just to see if I could capture just a hint of the dramatic view. The sun was setting and some of the light rays highlighted just a few trees making them glow while being accented by the dark as night back drop.
This painting is done while sitting on a hill in Fullerton looking toward the San Bernardino Mountains and San Gorgonio Mountains. The weather man has predicted rain tomorrow. Only a 1/4 inch but rain just the same. We will see.
Well this photo is going to take a little explaining.
Sunday a friend stopped by to show me her honey bees that she had in a glass display box with 'the works' honey comb, bees and very loud buzzing. Well, Ivy is a rescue Greyhound and I have to assume that her first 5 years (while spending her time in her crate) her favorite thing was to catch flies. When she came to live at her forever home (my house) she found that I had flies that would bite back. BEES! In fact the only time she has ever barked was on the occasion that she finds a bee. When the bee box was brought in and Ivy could see them bustling about inside and she heard the very loud bee sound coming from the vicinity of the box, she became very distressed, curious but distressed.
Ok the picture came later after everyone including the bees had left. Ivy just needed some comfort as we would all have needed after a particularly difficult and stressful day. She went outside and got her big juicy, greasy fresh bone and wanted to bring it inside (not allowed). You can see by her pleading eyes that she fully expected to be let in with that bloody bone. Look at those eyes. I went out and sat with her, for a while, so she could feel the comfort of sitting with a friend and having a gnaw on something gooey.
We all have ways of self soothing and I certainly am one for gnawing on something gooey after a stressful day.
This is a lovely walking trail. New smells for Ivy and new views for me. Very little shade though so this is a walk for cooler days. I know it will warm up again but for now it seems like autumn and winter is coming. This ink sketch is looking toward the cities of Anaheim with a view of the Honda Center and Angel Stadium, Orange and Santa Ana.
The house is too cold now so I have been taking refuge in a nice warm place on a chair in the back patio to sit for a fast sketch while enjoying a break from everyday activities. Behind this chair is the tomato plant that has given me tomatoes all summer. Now, with the shortening of the daylight, the tomato blooms are setting less fruit so these may be the last tomatoes of summer.
I pulled out a piece of Yupo last night and this is what happened. I love working with it. I have been using Yupo for a few years and love the way it takes watercolor pigment and stays unaffected by multiple applications of color. I use it mostly for my ocean scenes, you can see one here. I have to paint flat because until the paint dries it will move. I have had paintings run off the paper while carrying them back to the car. Also while camping at the Grand Canyon during a rainy night my painting became damp again and stuck to other papers. What I like about it is that you can continue to add color without the paper being affected by scrubbing or reworking and the paint continues to stay fresh and transparent. I love that the paint does its own thing and find it very entertaining to continue to work like sculpting till I find a visual result I like.
The wind is blowing in from the desert so I had to sketch the movement of the trees. The humidity drops and the heat skyrockets with these winds. I tried to paint outdoors but I couldn't get enough water on the paper and a few times I loaded my brush with luscious color and by the time my brush touched the paper it had dried hard as a stick.
I have been walking every morning trying to increase my endurance. My goal is to walk to Laguna Lake and back some day. It's a 9 mile walk and I am not up to it yet but soon. Today I drove to the lake and was able to sketch for a little while enjoying the trees, water reflections and the clear sky.