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Grace Church Spires, NYC – Watercolor on Arches 300# cold press.  Approximately 18″ x 22″

A number have people have asked where I have been and expressed that they have missed my posts.  And when I say a “number” of people I mean two people.

Hey, two is a number.  🙂

I’m posting today and that is miracle #1.  Miracle #2 is what happened last week…

…when my dog bolted after a bear in our backyard.  She got swatted across the face and sheepishly came back to us.  We were screaming her name, but she was in full protect mode.  The bear whacked her and then turned away.  Luckily poochie came back with only a small cut under one eye, another over the other eye and a cut on her shoulder.  We checked her carefully and cleaned the cuts.  Other than being a bit dazed, she was ok. It could have been so much worse.  She is one lucky dog!   After we took care of her we went on the deck in the backyard to see not only mama bear, but 3 small cubs up our tree.  Turns out, Mama bear was in full protect mode too.  Normally when dogs chase bears out of yards, the bears just run away.  No matter what, I’m happy my dog wasn’t hurt badly and I hope she has learned not to chase bears.

 

Here are two of the three cubs.  Aren’t they cute!  And here’s mama after she and the cubs moved down the mountain from our house to a neighbors house:

I’ve been working on the above Grace Church painting for the past few weeks.  Again, I started with a grisaille in Paynes Gray to get the values and then added local color, ending with some splashing of paint.

I’m still taking the botanical drawing class.  Here’s a peony drawing from last week.

Thanks for visiting.

 

central-park-benchCentral 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.

http://khadi.com/about-khadi-papers/about-the-paper/

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

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.

 

 

red-bud-leavesRed bud leaves in autumn – watercolor in sketchbook

Where have I been? asked no one.  I haven’t posted since July.

Why?  Two words.

                                     SWING STATE.

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!

ppw-and-carroll-street-park-slopeNYC urban sketching  – PPW and Carroll Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

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.

river-oil-sticksRiver landscape – oil sticks

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.

nyc water towersNYC rooftops, WIP – oil painting value study.  Approx 8″ x 11″

Green tulipsGreen tulips – watercolor practice on Strathmore paper

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.

 

3 pots3 pots – watercolor on Strathmore 140# coldpress – approx 8″ x 10″

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.