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Central Park Bench – watercolor 16″ x 11 3/4″ on Khadi paper. Based on a reference photo by Randi Klein. (Thanks Randi!)
My sister’s golden retriever, Gus, gets to run freely around outside because of an invisible fence which keeps him safely inside the property. Recently, however, the invisible fence broke and now Gus keeps running off the property and into the road. My brother-in-law said that he was going to build a wall and make Gus pay for it. We laughed and laughed.
The above painting was done on Khadi paper. This is an interesting watercolor paper to use. It’s made in India, is 100% cotton rag made from old tee shirts.
I found it a little harder to use than Arches because I was unfamiliar with the way the paper reacted to the water and pigment. One interesting thing about this paper is that you can abuse it and it doesn’t fall apart. However it can ball up if you try to scrub the image. It worked well on this snowy scene.
Sunflower past its prime – colored pencils in notebook
Another drawing above from my Nature’s Notebook class. I’m still enjoying the class and this City girl is learning more than she could have imagined about the flora in local gardens.
I try to keep my blog apolitical. All I’ll say is so far we are three weeks in and I’m ready to build a wall around myself. I will happily pay for it.
Thanks for visiting.
Where have I been? asked no one. I haven’t posted since July.
Why? Two words.
Since I’ve previously only lived in NYC, which is decidedly democratic, the experience of living in a swing state with the non-stop barrage of political ads left me in a fetal position and under the covers. And now that the campaign is over I can share an experience or two with you.
As a result of a car accident, The Husband has symptoms of something called meniere’s disease which can cause temporary deafness in one ear. As I sat on the sofa watching TV one night and he at the dining room table listening to the TV, I noticed him shaking his head and rubbing his ear. He kept losing his hearing and couldn’t figue out why the meniere’s was so bad that night. Finally he realized that I was was muting the TV every time a political ad came on. He thought his meniere’s was really bad that night and he couldn’t figure out why his hearing kept coming and going!
My friend’s husband, John, has lived here for over 20 years but never became a citizen. He finally became one this year and was so exited to cast his vote for president for the first time. In an ironic turn of events, he got home that night to discover he got his first Jury Duty notice.
The top watercolor was done in a sketchbook for a class I’m taking called Nature’s Notebook. We hear lectures on plants and then draw and paint everything flora.
The building was done in a sketchbook with the NYC Urban Sketchers in Brooklyn, NY. They are a wonderful group and if you’re in NYC check them out. Anyone can meet up with them and all levels are welcome.
Finally I recently tried oil sticks. A little different than oil pastels. They are fun to work with and dry within a few days. They are made by an artist named Paul DeMarrais.\, http://www.pauldemarrais.com/westminster/index.html
Back to my fetal position for the next 4 years. Thanks for reading.
The Husband and I are taking beginner Spanish classes. Again. We’ve tried this once or twice but don’t keep up with it and forget everything. This time we say we will stick with it. We’ll see.
Last week a student in class asked the teacher what the difference was between “usted” which is formal, singular “you”, and “ustedes” which is formal, plural “you”.
The teacher explained it this way: “Usted” is “you”. “Ustedes” is “Y’all”.
Only in the South…. 🙂
I’m still struggling with oil painting so I’m staying with using only one color and white and doing value studies. One of these days I’ll graduate to color. The above oil is of some of the rooftops and water towers in NYC. The next is a fun little watercolor of some tulips for #worldwatercolormonth.
Hasta luego, Y’all. Thanks for visiting.
The bears have been very active lately. Two nights ago we came out to walk the dog. As we got to the top of the driveway there was a black bear standing in the road. We stared at each other for a few moments. And then it went into a neighbor’s yard and stayed there while we walked the dog. It was still there as we returned, behind the trees, looking at us with someone’s white trash bag next to it. Looking very guilty. LOL.
Yesterday there were two bears walking around our house. One in the morning and one at night. They are always out there. When we are out in the front, in the back, chatting with neighbors, walking the dog. They are there. Mostly we don’t see them. I’m torn between thinking this is very cool and being over bears. I remember the days in NYC when we had neighborhood crime watches. Now the neighborhood watch consists of texting neighbors to alert them of bear activity. I kinda miss the criminals. OK, not really.
Here’s a little painting of 3 terracotta pots for #worldwatercolormonth. Have a wonderful day.
Begonia leaf – graphite and colored pencil in sketchbook
The Husband and I recently went to see the band Kansas at the Thomas Wolfe arena in Asheville. As we were driving to the venue we ran into some friends.
US: We are going to see Kansas.
Them: Asheville gets the best bands…40 years later.
I wasn’t expecting much, but Kansas was actually pretty good. As we left the Husband said “They sounded as good as they did on my 8 track cassettes!”
I’m still taking the “nature’s notebook” botanical drawing class. I just started an oil painting class. I haven’t touched oil paint since the mid seventies which is interesting because I was only a toddler in the mid-seventies. 🙂
We did our first painting, above, as an exercise in looking at values. We used one color and white. I used burnt umber and copied a still life from Chardin, suggested by the teacher who is big into the old masters and which auto-correct wants to change to chardonnay. Perhaps if I had some chardonnay while painting, it would have been easier, but I am not entirely displeased with the result.
I have not been neglecting my watercolors. Above is a picture of Miss Lucy from St. Croix with a reference kindly supplied by Bonnie Luria, formerly of St. Croix and now comfortably settled into Asheveille, NC.
Happy 4th of July everyone. (And even if you don’t celebrate it as a holiday, it’s still the 4th of July and I hope it’s happy for you.) Thanks for looking.
Did you ever say anything and as the words exited your mouth you thought “never in a million years would I ever think I would say that”?
It happened to me two days ago. As The Husband and I were preparing to leave the house to go pick up friends we saw a mama bear and cub in a neighbor’s yard and continued to watch them as they proceeded across our road, down our driveway and around our car. It was then that I realized we would be late.
ME texting friend: We will be late because there are bears in our driveway.
FRIEND who lives around the corner and knows about bears: HA!
I guess this is our new normal. They are cuter than NYC rats and about the same size. 🙂
The Brother, sister-in-law and two nephews were in town last week. We had a great time but despite all of our talk about bears they didn’t see a one. What they did do is sing a song that I now can’t get out of my head. It’s called: It’s raining tacos and it’s very catchy. Have a listen. You’ll be singing along with me.
The above painting is based on the two slices I got on a recent trip to NYC. Nestled between the 8th Ave. subway entrance at 40th street and a homeless shelter was a hole-in-the-wall pizza place and the pizza was yummy. And just as much fun to paint.
I’ve always wondered this? I guess I am too old to write “U” for “you” and “Ur” for “your”. Unless you’re on Twitter, why would you write this way? WHY? Or should I ask “Y”???
On a completely unrelated note, Mexican food in Western North Carolina (“WNC”) is a sad state. (And don’t even get me started about pizza, which, for the most part, is just vile here.) There’s a restaurant not far from our house where we go to sometimes. It makes me crazy that they offer rice OR beans with their meals. RICE OR BEANS ? EVERYONE knows that it’s Rice AND Beans. They go together. Like cookies and milk, peanut butter & jelly, wine & cheese.
Ugh! Rice OR Beans! Makes me crazy. I give them a lecture whenever I’m there. Like they care.
Waiter thought bubble: “Shut up crazy gringo lady. You want rice AND beans, order the rice and get beans on the side and get over it.”
OK, I’m over it. In Maine where my old dog walking buddy Charlie and his wife Liz now live they have a Mexican restaurant called El El Frijole (LL Bean). I laughed and laughed when I heard this. Maybe they can’t cook Mexican food well in Maine, but at least they have a sense of humor about it.
Finally, the bears have returned. We saw a mama and cub crossing the road on the late dog walk about 2 weeks ago. Seeing them announced the arrival of spring and also had us quietly but quickly backtracking back to the house. As soon as we saw them, we noticed the trees started blooming and the daffodils and crocus have come up. Groundhog Schmoundhog. We got bears!
The above painting was one I posted sometime last year but it wasn’t quite finished, but now it is. And for no reason here’s a painting of an Asheville fire hydrant:
It looks a little drunk but it was fun to paint.
Thank U for visiting.
Why are emojis so damn small? People text me with emojis all the time and I have no idea what they are sending. I need to know if someone is sending me a picture of a dog, a monkey, or a martini?
TEXTER: Want to come over? I’m doing the laundry *martini emoji*
ME: Nah, I’ll pass (thinking “that sounds really boring.”)
However, If there were martinis involved with said laundry, I might rush right over to help!
I was pondering this emoji issue last week when comedian and talk show host Stephen Colbert discussed this same problem. He couldn’t distinguish between the “crying” emoji and the “laughing so hard you are crying” emoji. He accidentally sent the latter when a friend’s pet died which caused some problems. I’m just gonna stick to the old fashioned colon dash parenthesis : -) face so as not to screw things up.
I’m also working on a new Mac computer after years of working on PCs. Insert very frustrated emoji face here.
And I’m still getting used to this new place. Sometimes I feel like this:
Green Acres But I never lived on Park Avenue with a penthouse view.
Insert sad emoji here.
The above painting is a view of one of the buildings in Asheville glimpsed while driving by on Interstate 240.
Sea shells for Inktober in a 5.5″ x 8.5″ Strathmore mixed media sketchbook.
Lest you think I was swallowed up by a Western North Carolina black bear, I assure you I’m still here and finding my way in a new place. I miss NYC. The Husband, not one bit. However, We already have lots of friends and great neighbors and I’m amazed by the beauty here. We just had a spectacular showing of fall foliage. Interesting fact: I read that in Europe the trees only turn yellow. When Europeans saw an 18th century American landscape showing fall foliage in glorious reds, oranges and golds, they thought it was “artistic license”. (Europeans? What say you?)
This is the last day of October/Inktober. Now it’s on to Napvember.
WNC (Western North Carolina) fall foliage – oil pastel in Strathmore mixed media 5.5″ x 8.5″ sketchbook
Today is also Halloween. We got some bags of candy in case any kids come by. But if they don’t the bags have to go away tomorrow. The candy is “fun size” but if I eat it all I won’t be. Any candy left tomorrow will go with my neighbor to his office.
On a ride north of Asheville we came upon these guys. Wonder what they are? Anyone know? I don’t think they are native to NC.
“you lookin’ at me?”
“What are you lookin’ at?”
Same Inktober leaves – Pilot ball point pen with oil pastel color on top of the ink
I just found out it was Inktober. Who knew? Teresa, for one. She, along with others, have been featuring Inktober on their blogs. One does an ink drawing each day in October. Well, that’s not gonna happen here. I got boxes to unpack. Lots and lots of boxes. But a break in unpacking is always nice so I figured I would join in the Inktober fun. I can procrastinate with the best of them!
During a dog walk I found these beautiful autumn leaves which was my Inktober inspiration. Not being able to find any real art implements I used a pilot ball point pen for the drawing. Then added some color using some kid’s oil pastel crayons I found. Each day holds new surprises in box opening.
When I was packing up the apartment, everyone was talking about the book “the life changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo. I thought I did quite a bit of life changing tidying up. But not enough. My sister sent me this cartoon today which made me laugh.
While laughing I went on Amazon and bought the book. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I hope I actually read it and not put it on a shelf with all the other self help or informational books that I buy and don’t read thinking that if I own it, the information will magically transfer to me. I realize now that’s not how it works.
But there’s always a first time!