I walked this morning in a new area. Now that I am walking further I am finding new things to see. I have reduced my art bag to a pen and sketch book for now and am posting some of them every few days. Ivy and I stopped at a Starbucks and while I sat outside with my iced decaf no cream artificially sweetened coffee, Ivy fell to the ground with a clunk and then a grown to relax. I think an interesting thing about a greyhound is that the legs are so long and almost deer like.
My on line time has been limited lately. I can log in once a week so this is my chance to post the last few days of drawings.
Better to draw them then to wash them but I did both. I cleaned out by the garage and my small storage area by my barbeque today. I had to organize this area to get ready for the new trash cans we are getting. It seems that the city believes that every house hold should have 3 garbage containers that are 96 gallons each. I don't know where I am going to put them. The dishes were the easy part.
I walked this morning with Ivy and saw this street to sketch. On the way back I stopped and sat on a low wall to sketch this street that's about 1/2 miles from my house. I like all the vertical lines. This is one of those streets that have the purple trees (Jacaranda). I will have to paint the trees next time. The blossoms were everywhere and many, many bees. Ivy doesn't like them. I started with the front curb and stop sign and then just finished the car when the car owner came out of his house and drove away.
This is my front yard. I have been removing more and more lawn over the last few years and finally removed the last part at the end of winter.
I dumped all of my compost in one corner, put in a veggie garden and planted anything that was growing from my wormery. The wormery is a box with earth warms in it that receives my entire kitchen green garden waste like peels, seeds, spoiled fruit or veggies, potato peelings etc. A neighbor contributed a Halloween pumpkin and the seeds started to grow so I put them out in the front yard. The result is this huge mass of green. I have potatoes, tomatoes (looks like all kinds), squash, pumpkin, watermelon, and some stuff I don’t recognize. I have posted some of the squash on an earlier post. I guess when the bees pollinate the flower the seed can be a mix of anything in the area. This pumpkin has become very big and the plant is now growing through the rose arch and onto the sidewalk.
This pumpkin is the exact same color as the squash blossoms.
This area is land that the oil companies have worked and owned. The area is slated for development (houses and probably more stores) and the Save Coyote Hills group is trying to stop the development and the destruction of yet another open wild life area. It is hills of California native shrub, prickly pear cactus, eucalyptus (not native to California) and many animals. I drive there in the early morning, just at sun rise and then Ivy and I walk the area. I have seen opossums, skunks, coyotes, all kinds of raptors (hawks), mice, many kinds of birds, and insects. It's a lovely quiet place.
It is so relaxing to sit and paint while feeling the wind, hearing the waves and the laughter of children playing in the water, the fog horn and the smell of ocean all this while I am trying to get the waves right. When pelicans fly over their shadows follow them along the sand and over the rocks.
During my morning walk I came across this butterfly hanging from this blossom. I of course grabbed for my camera but the memory chip was in my computer at home. I started to sketch it thinking that it would fly away any moment. It seemed to wait for me to finish because it flew away just as I was thinking about doing a better more clear drawing. The entire time I was sketching I kept thinking that I wish I had more time and some colored pencils or pastels. The wing calls out for pastel.
Then after my walk and already thinking of my day, with my house in view a neighbor child stopped to show me this butterfly she had found. I asked if I could sketch it and she allowed me to take it home.
Top of butterfly
Underside of butterfly
Maybe I will get my wish to try colored pencil on this beauty.
This is the sketch for my Sketchercise walk. I walked 2 miles today, up and down hills. I didn't have a garden today so I thought I would challenge myself. Then I got home and had to go to work anyway. Then I had a late night. Oh well, it was a nice plan. I have taken two Tylenol in hopes I can overcome some of the pain. I keep telling myself that the physical labor of gardening is good for me and that it is just the same as going to a gym.
My moring walk started with this Narnia like lamp post.
I walked to the bridle trail with ivy and then found this path to a corral where Ivy always says hi to the horse. Or should I say the horse bends it's big neck down so that Ivy can smell it's nose.
This sketch was in my book from last week so I finished it when I came to this spot. The sun comes through the trees burning out the lights and making the darks darker. The grasses and stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) are really tall now.
The light was making long shadows on the stepping stones where I had set my bottle of water so I took up my garden journal sketchbook and did a quick pencil sketch. I have been gardening constantly, both in other people’s gardens and my own. When I finally find my chair and some shade with an ice cold water bottle in my hand I think that I am finished, through, I will never work again. But after sitting for awhile I start to see that just one more thing needs to be done and then just one more thing and then another. I think without my water bottle and a little sit I wouldn't get anything done.
Sunset after a day of June Gloom. I couldn’t tell what colors I was using but it turned out OK. This is my favorite time to walk. A late summer day, cool and not full of mosquitoes,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, yet!
This is a stand of Eucalyptus that is on a hill. From this hill you can see Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. These trees are so interesting and the way they march up the hill stops me and makes me want to sketch or take a photograph every time. I have walked by these trees for 30 years and still I am sketching them.
OK, So don't laugh. Here is my Plein Air art supplies and how I carry them. Ivy has a back pack and she carries all the little stuff. Small sketch book, paint box, a couple of brushes, a pen, pencil, tissue, her water and dish. I carry my camera, larger paper and/or a larger sketch book and my water. If I am going to be out all day, I have a chair that has a shoulder strap.
Sometimes I have such a hard time getting a get picture of my drawings.
Well I have taken up the Sketchercise challenge taken from Katherine Tyrrell's blog. This is the first day of exercise by walking and then sketching. Ivy doesn't quite understand why we have to stand for a while but I guess she will get the hang of it.
Food was on the top of the list for all. Yesterday was the Greyhound Picnic. Since Ivy is a greyhound I went and had a great time. It is a different experience to see 100's of people with 100's of greyhounds all in the same park. Some people had more than 3 dogs; there were dogs for adoption and dogs with broken legs and dogs with grey noses from age and more. I got a new leash and collar for Ivy. She is styling now.
Rainy day painting. We are having a summer storm moving through Southern California, but I am continuing despite the painting is taking forever to dry. The rain and lightening is sporadic but I am cozy in my car.
It rained today so I did this one from my car. The clouds were here and there and every time it clouded over there would be some rain and maybe lighting and thunder. I didn't have to water but I think my squash plant grew a foot. I wonder why rain is so good for plants since it is washing all the dirt out of the air.
I was helping a friend with her Rummage sale. The first couple of hours we made 25 cents. What do people do when they have time to do nothing? My friend took a nap. She was selling a huge old overstuffed lounge chair. I sketched these steps to the backyard across the street. The air was cool, birds were singing and I could hear the neighbors getting ready for church. I love to just observe nature and experience the morning.