calligraphy, desert landscapes, odd animal portraits

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Summer 2021 Landscapes

I keep my old iPhone 4 in the Roofing House as a handy little snap-camera to document my daily sketching, and can easily download images to my laptop there.

I have tasked myself with filling my partial sketchbooks. The challenge increased when I was given two small spiral books with tinted paper in olive and mustard. I shouldn’t randomly start a new sketchbook with so many undone, but the colored backgrounds are too tempting.

Haven’t been to the desert in such a long time, I decided to copy a postcard from Mojave National Preserve using caran d’ache watercolor pencils and white Posca pen on mustard sketch paper. Two exposures. I used a waterbrush with a water-black ink mix, pulling dark blue shadow lines from inside the tangles of rocks, cholla, junipers and sage. The photograph loses some of the subtlety of the yucca leaves and shadows.

In mid-June I sketched these little copies of 2 paintings by Andie Thrams, using watercolor, white gouache, and color pencil on olive paper. These shots from my bed in morning light, with the refurbished-iPhone 6 camera.

copy of – ‘pacific wren’ – by andie thrams
copy of – ‘enchantment’ – by andie thrams

This is a painting I did around June 16, from a magazine photo of an installation by Patrick Daugherty. White is posca and signo gel pen, on black sketchbook paper, plus gouache and watercolor. Again, so shocking to see the differnce between the painting and the photo. Like digitised music, so lossy! So unsubtle!

Late June 2021

Mimi’s toys, thrift store acrylic paints on 9″x12″ canvas panel

On the occasion of our second visit, I did a painting of Mimi’s toys as a thank-you gift. Very limited selection of paints, a fun challenge.

June 6, 2021

Some drawings of Reality, drawing from photographs, and portraiture.

I’m still not walking, so I am focused on cementing a near-daily drawing practice.

I did get my boots on, though, and went to town last week to get my new phone set up.

I did these drawings in my bound sketchbook of Art Peterson, Carlos (my portrait sketch teacher), and a profile from the Sketchbook Skool workshop. Wow, really difficult.

Muffin memories

Years ago — I remember Clamity Jen handing me the sticker on the page that says XXXV, so that is the year 2000 — I started a drawing of the big oak tree at the Browns Valley Aerodrome campground, site of the not-quite yearly Memorial Day weekend music party known as Meadow Muffin.. Layers later, it is finally done. Trees are hard! Until you know how.

Started in 1975 as a birthday party/music festival, MM2000/XXXV was the first year I attended. The Cavepainters played, it was 10 years into my relationship with Stevie, I was not in the band then, and he was singing lead but not playing guitar. The recording of this gig (engineered by Matt Parker) was/is the quintessential Cavepainters recording, with Stevie in fine voice, John Havard and Ed Wray trading leads, Rick Purcell on keyboard bass, Scott-T on drums.

Photo, to follow, somehow. I would put a link here to Travels With Stevie, but there are no photos there, either. Somehow I have to get back into my photo flow, archives, old PC, whatever it takes.

Late May 2021

I copied a series of fox and owl studies from my animal character Instructor Kevin W. Marvelous expression of demeanor and life.

I am working at putting together the animal band. There are some jazz cats that live next door when the Brementown Musicians end up moving into a house after a confrontation with some ne’er-do-wells in another town, which is how the story goes. It is a mis-translation, they are actually a singing troupe. I have never seen an indication that they played instruments. However, once they start hanging out in this house there is a porch, and a banjo, and bongos . . . etc. And a white mouserat, with wine. Why not.

May 17-23, 2021

week 3, Santa Rosa, CA

Here I am in bed in the guest room at mimi’s house, resting and drawing; or walker-ing to the bathroom, or the breakfast room, to the couch to watch movies, or out to the garden. Mimi likes to take care of us–and Art gets a break from running up and down the house bringing me things.

Did I mention I got x-rays? oy. Two fractures, minimally displaced. What a shock . . after three weeks in bed.

We are the Wholeness. Love, Beauty, Creativity.

CoQ10, Vitamin C, homeopathy.

I asked Mimi for some toys to draw, so she put them all over my bed. I drew the Japanese porcelain cat, the longy-leggy doll, and the bendy frog with Derwent watercolor pencils, in the messy, wrinkly, spiral bound sketchbook. So fun to draw in..

My Instructor KW suggested the Brementown Stuffies should play instruments, so I drew up Alliger pretending to trumpet like a cartoon elephant, and added watercolor, brush pen, white signo pen.

Kids books have alligators.

Here are some Richard Scarry illustrations from, I think, 1951?

Books and toys from Mimi’s collection, except for Aliger, from my imagination.

may 2021 week 2

Some ideas for a puppy crittur, character development based on Kevin W. sketches, and origami pterosaurs.

Also, a portrait of my new birthday possum, taking umbrage at being asked to play an instruments.

Early May 2021

On Monday April 26 at about 11 AM I lost my balance, pivoted 180 degrees, and fell into a hole, badly spraining my right ankle. Suddenly I am immobile, and more isolated that before. Luckily I was in Canyon- I tried to crawl but couldn’t move. I yelled and yelled until Art heard me, and came out to lift me up and carry me to the house.

I have been laid up in bed, being taken care of, well fed with healthy food; and, obviously, unable to work. Pluto stationing, heading back into my 11th house, Mercury and Venus piled up on my natal sun- Whew, I just narrowly escaped having to plan a 70th covid-tinged birthday gathering.

I am sketching a bit in my (s)crappy sketchbook, and it is really fun and soothing. I just found this little metal case, very handy for a small drawing kit.

April 2021

My sentiments exactly

I have a number of online classes I signed up for and not done much with. There is one that I have found approachable because the instructor’s demeanor is approachable, mild, funny, not at all intimidating . . . creating animal characters for storybooks. I have some critters around that I am drawing- little bigfoot, my stuffed animals as the Brementown Musicians, and some random animals around the studio.

March 2021

I had a lovely hike with my friend the homeopath. We were able to rant and outgas our outrage at the various effects of Stupid19, which seems to have become the new #metoo. Afterward I saw this photograph in a local tabloid and tweaked it a bit. Apologies to George Floyd.

It is astonishing to me how every new mind-control trend sweeps away any and all previous fads, and obliterates discernment in people I once thought anti-corporate and self-autonomous.

The Shattuck Theater re-opened, with re-strictions, so Art and I went downtown and saw a movie- Nomadland. No hot dogs at the concession, and pre-poured, one-size-only popcorn, $6. Here are some items of beauty I found on the street. The chair is what I believe to be in the Eastlake (victorian era) patters, matching the hardware in my house of that period. I intend to reupholster it, sans springs, but saving the horse hair.