Monday, August 31, 2009

Los Angeles County

The fire season is here and although it is early it seems we have this every year. Some place some where there will be fires in September. The weather is just right for it. Rain in the winter gives all the plants time to green up and grow. Then no rain for months, temps in the 100's, the hills turn brown and dry and then somehow, someone, something causes a spark and we have fires. This is a view from my side of the hill. It looked like a big white fluffy cloud at the top and when the sun started to set it changed the base to an orange glowing base with brown, grays..... well I had to paint it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


This is the eucalyptus that I have painted and sketched many times before and Ivy and I walk by every morning. Today I noticed this huge branch had broken and fallen probably during the night. Euc's do that, drop branches, that is, and when they fall there is a loud crack and then the branch comes crashing down. This particular spot is very good for dogs to sniff for long minutes on end. What if we would have been standing there when it decided to fall?

Thursday, August 27, 2009


This is an interior update. I spent a few more hours on it and it is starting to be carved out of the page. It's interesting to see the places that need to have more work when it is this size.

I like how the door handle looks metallic.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Crepe Myrtle and lamp post

This is the last page of this sketch book. I always look forward to starting a new book with new paper and no bad drawings in it. However opening it for the first time is always a bit of a trauma. I will put this one away on a shelf and never look back. This blog has given me the opportunity of getting these sketches out in the open.
I have been working on a painting of the Crepe Myrtle trees in my area. From a distance they are a mass of color. So I thought I would sketch this one up close. It's a wonderful tree that is completely covered in light pink flowers and a smooth clean trunk. I like the way the lamp post is snuggled into the blooms. I have been Sketchercising (walking and sketching) with Ivy daily for months now and usually she is fine, but today I sat on a bench and while working on this Ivy whined the entire time. I think it was because I was also talking on the phone. I don’t think she approved.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fullerton Police Department

While waiting to get my car repaired I sketched a portion of the police station across the street.

Parking lot

I needed to go grocery shopping yesterday but when I arrived I found that the store wasn’t going to open for another 30 min. So while waiting for it to open I sketched this parking lot. When the store finally opened I continued sketching because I was so into just putting in more and more lines. When I first started there weren't very many cars but as time went on the parking lot became full. This is so California with the palms and all the cars. I find it very difficult to find areas without cars.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


This is an interior that I spent some time on today. This way of drawing is very time consuming and explorative. This is a wonderful way of passing time. When I start to draw the cares of the world dissolve and a Zen calm washes over me and I become absent from the everyday woes. I call it my mind vacation. I hope I get a chance to work on this in the future because there is still a lot of work to do.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


My morning walks take me past this stand of trees. I have painted them many times but they always present a different chanllenge. Today I was working on contrast and depth.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Quick sketch

Ivy (my greyhound) and I walked to the local coffee spot this morning and I had an opportunity to do a few quick sketches. I noticed that few people just walk and look around and listen to the sounds around them. They are busy talking on cell phones, or listening to iPods, or in one case not even looking around because she was texting as she walked. I look at everything when I walk. In fact the things that I see and hear can distract me from a conversation. I guess that is why I sketch. It is a way of seeing better.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Plant shopping

A friend and I went to Roger's Garden to shop for plants. In this sketch she is selecting some plants and I am sitting in the shade at the edge of a fountain sketching. I don't know what I like to do more.....sketch or buy plants. But on this day I could do both. This was a perfect day with the coastal breeze, shade and plenty of people and plants to draw.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Restaurant Dinning

I had another concrete leaf class yesterday. I set up tables on my driveway because there is plenty of shade in the morning. I will be able to turn them over and photograph them tomorrow. Can't wait!

I had the opportunity to go out with my family to a great restaurant last night. It is called Amazon Churrascaria and has an interesting way of serving the entree. The wait staff brings a skewer of meat (beef, chicken, pork, lamb, alligator, turkey, rabbit, etc) to the table so the diner can choose the portion size. The waiter continues bringing selections and choices until they are told to stop. There is plenty of time for talking and sketching. I also got to sit next to my grandson and we sketch together. I have posted our sketches above. He is a great artist and he loves to create visual art like I do.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Brea California

I was sitting in a CoCo’s restaurant eating breakfast and I looked out the window and saw this beautiful view. I have taken out the bank and other buildings because I wanted to see the land without buildings. I could see the distant hills that have been graded and readied for new home construction. At some point there will be houses and no open land. As artists we have the opportunity of changing the landscape as we see it. Some days I record every telephone pole, garage sale signs and trash can. Today I wanted to see the land as it might have been 60 years ago. Of course I would not be eating pancakes with fresh peaches and having someone fill my coffee up and comment on my painting.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hospital Waiting Room

A day in the hospital waiting room gave me an opportunity to do some sketching of unsuspecting models.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bread and Butter

I did my walking exercise yesterday morning and then I had breakfast with friends.
This is a fast sketch of the bread board and butter. I wonder if I walked off these calories.

Dana Point

I sketched for a few hours, just watching the waves until I lost my shade. My camera doesn't do justice to graphite sketches, however, this is one of my favorites because it is so simple and I also like the unfinished line of the cliff.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Dana Point

The clouds have been slow to pull away from the coast in the morning. It has made it a little cooler in the past few days but today and for the rest of the week the heat will increase. The painting is on Yupo. It was windy and there is sand on the painting surface.
I will be spending a few days at the beach till I get a painting that works. I find that I have to be in front of a subject to paint it. The water and wave movement is still a chanllenge to me. I think I will plan a day of drawing. When I draw I slow down and see better. I look, draw, then look what I have drawn comparing it with what I see, then look and draw more. The more time I look and draw, the more I see.

Geranium Society

Our Geranium club met yesterday and the speaker spoke long enough for me to do this rendered sketch of an un-named, as of yet, Ivy Pelargonium. I, of course, brought home more plants and will need to put them in the ground soon. I have been cleaning up the veggie garden as the heat does in some of the cool loving plants and have enough land to plant a few flowering plants. I picked up more scented plants with nutmeg, lime and apple scented leaves that will work nicely in flower arrangements for those winter weddings or if they are slow growing June weddings.
It’s fun to hang with like minded fellow gardeners. After the meeting I visited my friend Clair’s garden and marveled at her clean, well maintained gardening process. Mine is more of a, “I can’t remember the name but it smells (tastes, looks, etc) good, doesn’t it?”, kind of gardening. If it grows it stays and if it dies it gets replaced. I have cantaloupe melons growing right now that came from the worm box. The seeds just came up so I planted them next to my front door and have been watching them take over the pathway making melons since March, I think. We will see if they are any good.

Friday, August 7, 2009


I walked this morning in the same area I always walk and painted the same trees I always paint, but I left out the houses this time. I have been painting this stand of trees for years but it always looks different. This little tree is young yet. Maybe 15 years old, I can't remember when it was planted. After the children were out of the house but before my mother died. That is the way I remember things now. Let’s see, before the knee surgery after the first grandchild was born. I don't seem to remember dates at all, or your birthday or when we met. That gives me the advantage of buying a gift at anytime of the year just because it is something I know would be just what you need.

I have finally purchased a pedometer. I have been trying to use one that is not very accurate. So now I will start keeping track of the steps I take. It also keeps track of heart rate, but doesn’t do dishes. Oh well. I guess I can’t have everything.