Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

(Well! That lettering didn't work out, did it?)

Got a brochure in the mail today for CPE sessions in faraway, warm resort locales. I took one look at this cover and thought, "Ohhh...I want to go there!"

Kudos to the advertising guys for this company. They made me want their product.

It was cold, wet and icky today. I wanted to be anywhere warm. The chill was seeping through all my layers of clothing. I just couldn't get warm enough.

Process notes:
I was tired of the same old title lettering I've been using. It's quick, easy, and brainless so I tend to use it quite a bit. I wanted to experiment with a different kind of lettering. Um, *FAIL*.

I couldn't figure out which parts of the letters should be fat and which should be just single lines. I guess I need to work out the whole alphabet so the letters will at least appear to be from the same font type. I've got a mixture of styles going on here. Not good. But a sketchbook is the place to work through that kinda stuff, right???

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Loot - Returns

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hubby gave me three really cool hoodies and some gloves for Christmas...all the wrong size. He said he was afraid the hoodies would be too large when in fact they were too small.

Bless his heart, in his eyes I'm still that little slip of a girl he married 30 years ago. I so love him for that. He can make that kind of sizing mistake year after year after year.

But he thinks I have gigantic hands.

So tonight we exchanged the three little girly hoodies and big boy gloves for one big boy hoodie and two pairs of little girly gloves and a girly scarf...just exactly what I needed.

He's such a sweetie. I think I'll keep him around for a while longer.

Process notes: Those red bows on the gloves aren't permanent fixtures. That would be waaay too girly-girl for me.

Added bonus of buying stuff today: 60% off after-Christmas sale!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Possum Christmas

Saturday, December 25, 2010 - Christmas Day

Clan Speck gathered at the farm this evening for our Christmas celebration. There were 16 folks this year and food for 50.

The evening was enjoyable and uneventful - until we were about to leave. Hubby was locking up the garage when he saw a nekkid tail disappear around the mower, then into the well pump alcove. He found two teenaged possums huddled there, bedding down for the night.

The alarm was sounded and the whole house emptied to see the critters and to take photos. Much ewwwwing and squealing ensued.

I learned that if you poke a possum with the handle of a leaf rake he will curl up in a ball and "play possum." You can pick him up and tote him away by the tail. Learn something new every day.

The possum pair were relocated to the edge of the woods via tail (by two of the Brothers Speck, not Hubby.)

The farm dogs didn't seem interested in chasing them, didn't even bother to sniff them as they were being toted away. Those farm dogs are worthless as critter chasers! They were probably sharing their dog food with the possums.

The possums will probably find their way back to the doghouse and spend the night there. Good Grief!

Process notes:
The critter drawn here does not resemble an Arkansas possum in the least. Please don't get the impression we have some genetically altered possum species living here.

The title of this entry in my journal reads "POSSOM CHRITMAS." The spellchecker on my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen was broken. Managed to fix Christmas digitally. Gave up on trying to fix all the possoms. I *knew* that didn't look right.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wrapping Paper

Friday, December 24, 2010 - Christmas Eve

Actually it is 3:00 AM Christmas Day. I should go to bed but I'm not at all tired. I've cooked all day for tomorrow's family gathering while Hubby played golf. I was happy not to have him underfoot all day.

He and his golf buddies came in from the course and shed man-smells in my living room for 2-3 hours while making lewd comments* about women golfers on TV. (eyeroll) Why do they revert to junior high locker room mentality when they run in packs???

Realized I hadn't wrapped the gifts for the nieces so I dug out an old but unopened roll of wrapping paper. There's no telling how long I've had this. It had the cutest peeping characters on it. Had to draw.

I have to get up in just a few hours but do I brush my teeth and put on my jammies? No! I pull out the watercolor palette and the waterbrush.

I'll probably pay for the lack of sleep tomorrow.


*"Grrrr...She can grip my club like that any time she wants."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Mailbox

Thursday, December 23, 2010 - Hubby got his mom a new mailbox for Christmas. He worked on getting the post put together and mounting the box on the post.

My job was to get all the stickery bits on the number holder thingy. The white background oval was a reflective sticker and the numbers were peel-n-stick.

When I was finished I trotted it in to show him. I held it up and asked:

Me: "What do you think???"

Him: "Are those her numbers???"

I tipped my head and gave him a look, wondering when it would dawn on him how silly that question was. Yes, of course those are her numbers. I looked up her address to make double-sure before I stuck them on both sides of the thingy.

He seemed earnest in his query and was waiting for an answer, so I gave him one befitting the question.

Me: "Nope, I just picked some random numbers to mess with the mailman's head."


Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - Finally got the house decorated for Christmas today. Better late than never I guess.

I've been wanting to draw these decorations since I pulled them from their box two weeks ago. Yes, I procrastinate.

I love the solemn little snowman. He's my favorite.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Christmas Story

Saturday, December 18, 2010 - Went to see the holiday lights contest at Mr. Hotdog & Cindy Lou's campsite. Took the hayride tour to see the whole campground, ate a processed hamburger, and drank some hot chocolate that really hit the spot.

The light competition was really fierce this year. The most imaginative display was a lighted canoe adrift on a pond of blue lights.

Mr. Hotdog and Cindy Lou had "A Christmas Story" as a theme, complete with the leg lamp and Red Ryder BB gun. They made a perfect fireplace from a cardboard box and even had fortune cookies in a hubcap.

They won third place. Plans are already being made for next year's competition.

Process notes: I drew all this from memory. Last year I tried drawing in the darkness out there and decided *that* was for the birds. I could barely see my sketchbook. This year I merely took copious mental notes and drew when I got home.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Really Tall Piano

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - Sketching with Miz Dee in the lobby of Rehab. We decided to draw the beautiful grand piano and the Christmas tree beyond.

I got the legs on the piano just a *leetle* bit long. LOL! Oh well, it looks kinda like a stand-up bar piano.

Miz Dee says she's bustin' outta Rehab on Saturday come hell or high water. She's ready to be back home in her own bed surrounded by "her own junk."

Update 12/23/2010 - Miz Dee finally did get home on Saturday, Dec. 18th; 38 days from when this whole ordeal first started. Needless to say, she is doing the Pink Bunny Slipper Happy Dance!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Comp Book Covers

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I've been having a ball making composition book covers. This blue one, "Awesomesauce", was my experimental model.

I started with a piece of blue shirting material and Mod Podged it down to both back and front. Next I Mod Podged the maps down, let it dry, then drew on it with metallic gel pens. A final cost of Mod Podge finished it off. The Mod Podge made the cover slick and durable. I can't feel the texture of the background fabric now.

The "Book of Whatever" was filled with my ramblings on pens, inks and journals before I made the cover. It came out so cool I didn't want to pack it away on the shelf. It has a map on the back too, cut from an old atlas I got at the thrift store for $1.00.

What's so cool about Mod Podge is it is stupid-proof. Thick or thin coats dry equally well and equally hard. It can be sanded smooth, so anything coated with Mod Podge can be sanded down (or off) as well. I don't know why it took me so long to discover this great stuff.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Radar Love

EDM #13 - Draw Your Telephone


Hubby called on his way home to say he was picking up steaks for supper and would be home in about 30 minutes.

When I hung up I stared at the phone for a second thinking I surely would like to click the autodial button and talk to Nana for those 30 minutes. I didn't really have anything to say so I really shouldn't call.

As those thoughts were running through my head as I stared at the phone, it suddenly lit up and started playing Nana's ringtone. Yep, it was Nana calling me!

I told her all this and she laughed saying she didn't really have anything to talk about either. She just wanted to natter a few minutes.

The Radar Love between sisters is a magical and wondrous thing.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gut Bug


Spent a lot of time here today in a cold, clammy, drenching sweat with "stuff" coming out both ends. (TMI?)

Laying on a bathmat for a long time is tough on the shoulders.

It was not a good day.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hoarders Marathon


There was and all-day marathon of "Hoarders" on A&E. Watched several episodes from Season 1. Hubby watch a couple with me then got into a cleaning frenzy.

We cleaned up all the stuff sitting around in the dining room. Then we tore apart the living room, bedroom and office, moving furniture from the walls, dusting backs and underneath.

We took pictures off the walls, dusting the backs and behind them. We wiped the baseboards and vacuumed all the rooms. Then we pulled apart the office closet and tossed out a pile of stuff.

The house was sparkling clean after that.

Thank you Hoarders!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Everything Old is New Again

Hubby got out today and worked on refinishing the headlight lenses on his truck. They are plastic and had gotten yellowed and cloudy because of time, heat and sunlight.

When he was finished they looked brand new.

Process notes:
Hubby's truck isn't really that icky color. I was trying an experiment with the watercolors by painting in the shadows first, then the color. It was a big fail. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Taylor Mali - Poet - Teacher

Discovered the joy who is Taylor Mali today. Watch his YouTube videos over and over and got happier at each viewing.

A lawyer once asked him, "Mali, you're a teacher, what do *you* make?" (This was during a conversation about occupations and salaries.)

And Mali replied, "I make a difference. What about you?"

From one of his poems:

"When two boys are fighting, I break it up. When two girls are fighting I wait until that shit's over then drag what's left to the nurse's office."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Funeral Food

Miz Dee brought us supper of three-cheese lasagna, salad with artichoke hearts, and garlic bread with Parmesan cheese.

She said it's customary in the south to bring food when there's been a death in the family.

God bless her!

Monday, December 6, 2010

RIP Smudge

Took Smudge to the vet for the final time today. She did not put up much of a fight.

We buried her under the bridal wreath bush in the backyard next to Molly and Beluga.

Then we cried.

She was a good kitty.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Greetings!

Happy Holidays to you folks out there with shining eyes and rosy cheeks who revel in the holiday spirit. For you I have a holiday wreath:

And for you folks who would rather just skip on over to January, I know how you feel. For you I have a deliciously evil snowman who has watched waaaaay to much Home Shopping Network with jingle bell music:

I was having a little Sharpie moment last night.

Hubby said he didn't think the snowman looked evil. I think he actually looks like a psychotic mass-murderer crackhead snowman, but what do I know??? He's kinda giving me nightmares.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Woot! Sold my first two pieces of artwork! I was more than a little stunned at that turn of events, considering I didn't want to sell them.

Our local arts center had a membership show and competition. Most of my artwork is bound in my visual journal and runs across a 2-page spread. I didn't have anything frameable except the last few Urban Sketches I've done which were bound in a spiral sketchbook.

I did want to support the arts center with the entry fee and some artwork so the gallery walls wouldn't be so nekkid. Support your local arts!

So, with chagrin, I cut the sketches out of my sketchbook, matted and framed them. I tagged them with a price I didn't think anyone would pay for a sketchy-sketch. To my amazement they both sold!

Arrrggghhhh! I actually wanted to keep them. I rillyrilly didn't think they would sell.

The lady at the arts center told me that they could have sold at least 6-8 prints of Elm Street Bakery if they had been available. Oy. I have no idea how to make an arty print.

Here they are, matted and framed:

Elm Street Bakery

Hammond Shed

To the unknown purchasers:

Thank you so much for buying my little sketches and supporting our little local arts center. I hope they bring you much enjoyment.

When visitors look at them, tip their head to one side, and with a puzzled expression say, "They're so......" and struggle for the right word....


Quirky is the word they will be searching for there.

Just trying to be helpful.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Carol Tree Ornaments - The Result

Read the background story here: "Carol Tree Ornaments - The Process Story"

O Holy Night

I thought the snow came out awesome! Thank you Bob Ross and PBS! Happy little trees and happy little snow where happy little bunnies live.

This is the back with a single happy little bunny track:

Ave Maria

I just started painting shapes on this one without an underlaying sketch or nuthin'. Turned it into Mary.

My concept on this one was a Middle Ages Greek Orthodox religious icon box, heavily gilt, with lots of carved doo-dads. Those things have a specific name which escapes me at the moment.

Needless to say portraiture is not my strong suit. She had a big ol' punkin' head. I hid it with the halo. The original halo looked like a huge, glittering sistahgirl afro. Had to break out a compass to fix the circle.

Hubby said she had alien claw hands. True, but I wasn't going to fix 'em. They'll be at least ten feet up a 24-foot tree, so they didn't worry me much. Nana asked if I was going to paint Baby Jesus in her arms. Um, no.

She's supposed to be touching her heart. That heart-touching thing may be post-Crucifixion symbology. I'm not up to speed on religious iconography, so you'll have to cut me some slack here.

The back:

I wanted to paint the back of Mary with her robes hitched up just a little bit to reveal a pair of bright red hightop Converse tennies and white crew socks. Hubby said that would be sacrilegious and that I should just stick to a wood panel look. Dang.

Good King Wenceslas

This is supposed to be a stained glass window. Got one good hand, one shriveled alien claw hand. Progress!

I was running out of steam creatively when I got to this one. I think it may be bordering on Brownie Scout project with all the gold paint pen lines. Oh well, ten feet up the tree no one will notice.

The back, wood panel again:

I thought these came out great considering I was working with unfamiliar materials and under a time crunch. They aren't Great Art and will only be around for this season, then they're going in the dustbin. The folks at the art center were happy with them and I had fun making them. Glad I don't have to do any more though. :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Carol Tree Ornaments - The Process Story

Friday, a call went out throughout the land, "The ornaments for The Big Tree are shot! We need ornaments, and we need them by Tuesday!" This from our little arts center. The theme for the ornaments was Christmas Carols.

So I hied myself down to the arts center and was first in line to pick from the pile of printed carols. Each person was supposed to select just one, but I picked three. That way I could have one that was awesome, one that was OK, and one that sucked. If I had chosen only one, with my luck, it would have sucked. Then I would have been *so* 'shamed.

I got the easy ones: O Holy Night, Good King Wenceslas, and Ave Maria. I don't think Ave Maria is technically a Christmas carol, but hey, it wasn't my project.

Then I was off to the thrift shops to find odds and ends with which to make said ornaments. I was thinking I could sew up some puffy, stuffed doll-like thingies for Mary and King Wenceslas, and perhaps a puffy stuffed star for O Holy Night. I fondled all the bridesmaid dresses, cast-off choir robes, and silky pajamas looking for shiny material on the cheap. Nothing was suiting my vision or my wallet.

I then wandered over to the book section hoping to find reading material to keep Hubby occupied and out of my hair through the Thanksgiving holiday. Spied this tragic little baby board book:

The blanket material bit on the cover was grimy and the lace detached, and obviously the little pig doll was missing. There were more than a few gnaw marks on the edges. It was pitiful and nasty as a child's book, but was perfect for my nefariously creative mind. I loved the shape. It was only 50 cents.

I figured for 50 cents and a slather of gesso, I'd have more than enough materials for some 2-D ornaments. Including the back and cover there were seven boards making up the book. That gave me a little wiggle room in case I messed one up badly. I could start over fresh. I like a little wiggle room.

Since I don't have the art supplies for anything but pen and ink watercolor sketches, I made a stop in the Wally World craft aisle and loaded up: acrylic paints, foam brushes, paint pens, gesso, Mod Podge goo, and some acrylic sealer spray. I didn't know what I would do with all that, but I figured I could make *something.* I stopped short on buying the glitter paint pens. I thought glitter might make them look too much like a Brownie Scout project.

When I got home Hubby broke out the drill for me and I drilled a hole through the top of the book to attach hangers. I had the presence of mind to do this *before* I detached all the pages. Then I cut the pages apart and started sanding them...at my desk. I didn't think it would make that big of a mess. I was mistaken. The book was make in China so now I probably have a lung full of lead-filled Chinese printing ink and page surfacing material. I sanded two and decided that was plenty to work on for an evening.

Sanded and gessoed the rest the next day. I had them dangling on lines strung across the office. It was eerily reminiscent of the scene in "Seven" where the detectives go into a house where little cardboard pine tree air fresheners are hanging everywhere. Creepy.

I stayed up all night painting the first two, O Holy Night and Ave Maria. I fought the acrylics. They are *so* different than watercolors! They dry up oh so fast! The techniques for acrylics are so different too. I had to shift all the mental gears.

The last time I tried painting anything with acrylics LBJ was still in office. Yeah, it's been a while. I ended up doing brushwork that was a cross between Bob Ross' Happy Little Trees and Donna Dewberry's One-Stroke painting. It was interesting to say the least.

But I got them done. I was so excited about how well they turned out! I was hopping around exclaiming, "Awesome! These are awesome! I can't believe *I* painted that!!!"

But I know things look different in the cold light of morning after a good night's sleep. Lack of sleep can make things look awesome when, in fact, they suck. They only look awesome due to sleep deprivation.

The next morning I rolled out of bed and ran in to look at them again. They were still awesome! Squee!

I was running out of inspiration by the time I got to King Wenceslas. I was tired of fighting the acrylics. Decided to revert back to the familiar - sketch with pen, paint with watercolors. Broke out the Sharpie and started drawing:

I intended to take more process photos but I forgot. Sorry. Final results in the next post. This one has gone on long enough if anyone is still reading....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Having a Mandala Moment

My beloved sketching partner Miz Dee is in the hospital having surgery. (I'm sure that's a HIPAA violation of some sort.) She's a gazillion miles away so a quick visit is not an option. I sit in the deafening silence of Not Knowing, waiting for an email from one of her kids to let me know how she's doing.

My brain is not functioning. All I can seem to do is doodle mandalas on every available surface.

This one was done with fountain pens. I started with the basic shape of a wisteria seed pod...and I looked up the proper spelling of "mandala."

This one is a mixture of fountain pens and regular ol' gel writing pens. Again with the wisteria pods.

This one is fountain pens and metallic gel markers. I may not be able to claim this as a mandala because it isn't round. But it started out being round. Does that still count???

I actually broke out the Sharpie collection on this next one. That includes the regular size, the ultra fine, and highlighters. I forgot highlighters don't scan. That strange peachy color is actually a vivid, neon orange.

My soul is vibrating in unison with the wisteria seed pods.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ghost in the Moonlight

STILL I'm in the plague-infested doctor's office waiting room, drawing from my imagination.

However, this is something I had seen the two nights before. It affected me so much I wanted to draw it to remember it...and forget it.

My sister's house is on a steep hill. From her back deck I can see into the neighbor's backyard through a break in the trees. The neighbors have a swimming pool and all the accoutrement that goes along with a pool.

I was out on the deck and saw what looked like a little girl in a hooded robe standing on the edge of the pool. Her left hand was raised as if she were holding a book.

It scared me at first since it was late at night and a child shouldn't have been out there. Danger Will Robinson! I peered intently though the trees trying to get a better focus on her in the moonlight.

She was motionless there by the pool, or was she? It looked as though the book was starting to droop down ever so slightly, or was it? I stared, then looked away. I looked back. She was still there. Is she leaning over the water now? What do I do if she falls in??? There would be no way to get to her in time.

When my logical brain finally vetoed what my eyes were seeing I realized it was just an elaborate play of light and shadow among the pool furniture and pool toys. It just had to be. It still creeped me out in the worst way.

The next morning I went back out on the deck to see what had made such a spectre. Nothing. There was nothing on the pool deck anywhere near the edge of the pool. Perhaps the owners had come out early and moved things around.

The next night she was there again. Dang it! I knew it was just my imagination but she looked so real! I had to draw her to get her out of my head. Otherwise she would haunt my brain like a ghost.

I told my brother-in-law this tale and showed him my sketch. He laughed and said I had an overactive imagination. That may be true, but I drug him out onto the deck for a look-see. He was stunned. He said it did look just like a little girl in a robe, but he saw her holding a basket.

"See! See! I *told* you she was there!" I exclaim. "I'm not making this stuff up!"

He said she was the ghost of little girl who had drowned looking for Easter eggs.

Oh, ha ha, jolly joker.

As we looked at the little Easter egg ghost girl, I was creeped out once again. I couldn't bear to look, but couldn't bear to turn away. She is still stuck in my brain.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Overheard Conversations

I'm sitting in a plague-infested doctor's office waiting room, trying not to touch anything, rubbing Plague-X gel on all exposed body parts... I can feel the germs leaping onto me. Ick.

There's no way I'm picking up a magazine. I don't even want my elbows on the arm rests of the chair.

I put the finishing touches on the Triumph from the parking lot, then look around for something else to draw. It's close quarters in there so sketching people is out of the question. It would be obvious I'm drawing them and I didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable.

I'm sitting back-to-back with a woman on a cell phone. She's having a very (what should be) private conversation in this very public place. I can't help but overhear her conversation.

She was using some very visually interesting phrases so I started to draw her conversation. Apparently her man had done her wrong and she woke up and threw the turdbucket out of the house. She was explaining her moment of clarity to her caller.

I was drawing as fast as she spoke, so these sketches were drawn in no more than three minutes, tops.

I have no idea what a squirrel cage looks like exactly. The only squirrel cages I know are in exhaust fans. I opted for the hamster wheel look.

It was great fun drawing from my imagination instead of from reality. I didn't have to worry about getting things "just right." They could grow and evolve as they wanted. It was also fun to do speed sketching. I need to do more of that.

Wow! I just now realized I really dated myself with that telephone. Ack!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Triumph TR2 and Crazy Eyes Guy

I'm at a doctor's office, waiting on my sister to have blood drawn for some regular test or something. The waiting room is filled with hacking, coughing, plague-infested people so I think waiting outside on a bench is a better idea.

There's not much to draw out in the industrial parking lot but cars. Ugh. I hate drawing cars. I always make the wheels look like cartoony clown cars. I guess I need the practice. Luckily, this Triumph was parked right in front of the bench. At least I don't have to draw a run-of-the-mill SUV.

So, I'm about halfway through the sketch when I see him...a homeless guy, wandering around as if in a daze, talking to himself or nobody in particular. He weaves unsteadily. Drunk? Stoned? I don't know but he makes me uneasy.

I keep an eye on him. I check on him, look at the car, look down, draw. Check on him, look at the car, look down, draw. I'm calculating the speed of his progress across the parking lot against the speed at which I'm drawing. Can I get this finished before he reaches me?

He gets to a large trash can at the end of the building and starts mining for gold. That keeps him busy for a while. I check him, the car, draw. Him, car, draw. I try not to be too obvious with this staring and am thankful I have on dark glasses. I start the final shading. Oh crap! He's headed right for me!

He ambles past as if I didn't exist for which I am eternally thankful. He stops at the ashtray on the far side of the bench, carefully considering the contents. He selects two or three of the most promising looking butts and pockets them. I expect him to continue further on along the front of the building. Apparently this medical complex is part of his daily rounds.

But suddenly he turns and looks right at me, startled by my presence, as if I had just that moment appeared out of thin air. I look up at him. He has Crazy Eyes. Whoops! I'm through drawing now! I toss the sketchbook back in my purse but hang on to the pen. I'm wondering if a Pigma Micron 005 will make an effective weapon against a crazy man.

He asks to bum a cigarette. "Sorry" I say, and stand up, almost sprinting back into the building. He looked like he was about to start up a conversation. The last thing I want to do is get involved in a conversation with a crazy man in a deserted parking lot. I'll suffer heat, bugs, sun, and uncomfortable perches for a sketch, but I draw the line at crazy people.

Back I go to the plague-infested horde in the waiting room.

I might be able to recover from the plague.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Elm Street Bakery

It's after lunch at Elm Street Bakery and Miz Dee and I are in a quandary again about where to sketch. We discuss several possibilities and none seem appealing.

I go outside to look around to see what I can see. Well! The very restaurant we're in is quite lovely from the other side of the street. We won't have to move the car or nuthin'!

Off we trot to take up a position on a planter with nice shade from a crepe myrtle. We don our Crazy Sketcher Lady hats out there in front of God-n-Everbody. We are some serious sketchers doin' some serious sketchin'.

We attract the attention of a photographer from the local newspaper. Oy. It must have been a slow news day. He jumps out of his car, takes a few shots, asks our names. He goes away for a bit and comes back later on and takes a few more. It's a *very* slow news day.

So, Miz Dee and I make the local paper, somewhere in the back pages, right between continuation headlines declaring Murder! and Bedbugs! I thought that was appropriate since we look kinda like bedbug infested mass murderers in the shot.

I got in a heap o' trouble when Hubby saw the picture in the paper. My Crazy Sketcher Lady hat is actually *his* boonie hat. He ordered it special to wear playing golf. It had gone missing since early spring. It was only missing to him, I knew right where it was: in my sketch kit bag.

He made me give it back. (pout)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Main Street Pizza

Downtown, late afternoon, Miz Dee and I are looking for a good sketching location. We prowl around in front of the buildings and back in the alleys, but nothing is catching our eye.

We plop on a bench rather exasperated. Told Dee I was just going to draw what I could see from here. That would be Main Street Pizza.

I was going to leave out the light poles and just draw the building, but the light poles and wires called to my little sketcher's heart. I luvs me some light poles.

Decided to make the poles transparent ala Gabi Campanario, the Seattle Sketcher. I've always thought his transparent people and vehicles sketches were cool.

As we sat and sketched, people in passing cars would honk and wave yelling, "Dee!" I can't take her anywhere and be anonymous. Maybe she really is everybody's third cousin twice removed on the husband's side. I'll have to ask her about that.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hammond Shed

Miz Dee has dragged me out into the middle of nowhere to sketch a barn she spied and wanted to draw. The barn was a bit overwhelming, so I opted for the little shed next to it. I intended to add color to this when I started but got caught up in the visceral pleasure of crosshatching. Decided to just leave it as a pen and inker.

We were out on the old Hammond homeplace. Miz Dee said, "Oh I know these folks! I'll go knock on the door and ask permission to sketch the barn."

She did, but the Hammonds had moved away long ago. Dee started chatting up the current resident and by the end of the conversation Dee had convinced the lady that they were related somehow, third cousins twice removed on her husband's side or something like that.

By the time the poor lady had processed what Dee had told her and realized her husband didn't have any cousins, we were long gone. Dee is crafty like that. I stood back and marveled at the skill of a master. (grin)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

On The Patio

Out on a sketching adventure with Miz Dee today. We were sitting outside the restaurant where we had just eaten lunch and Dee had to make a phone call.

I whipped out the Little Red Emergency Sketchbook while I was waiting and started to draw two ladies lunching on the patio. They, of course, got up and left right in the middle of my sketch. Isn't that always the case when sketching people in the wild???

Harumph! Some people are just so rude! Don't they know they should sit still whilst I'm covertly drawing them without their permission????

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Green Wheel Statues

Sep. 14, 2010 - Continuing the story....

The truck blocking the view of the statue finally left and I set to drawing.

Indian music was blaring from a nearby Italian restaurant's outdoor patio. (Yes, I thought that was odd too.) The high nasal whine was like nails on a chalkboard. Then the restaurant behind us started blaring hip-hop music.

The combined noise was deafening and made me nervous and twitchy. It was very hard to sit still and concentrate.

Dee and I were sitting about three feet apart and couldn't carry on a normal conversation. In fact, we couldn't hear ourselves think.

I yelled at Dee, "Are you a drinkin' woman Dee?"

"No!" she yelled back.

I bellowed, "I'm not either! But if I listen to this much longer I'm gonna need a stiff bourbon and Coke!!!"

Oh, the trials and tribulations of the Urban Sketcher life. Thankfully, the bartender came out to chat, realized the music was too loud and turned it down. Thank you dude, you don't know how much we appreciated that gesture of kindness.

These were the oddest statues. They are two guys dressed in work clothes, both kinda hunched over. They aren't holding anything, aren't looking at anything. They're just two random guys in bronze. Very odd.

I wonder who thought they were worth statutizing???

Process notes:
I goofed up the perspective on the wheel rim. Oh well. There was no eraser on my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.

I couldn't figure out what to do with the background. The actual background was buildings and cars and bushes. That would have been too busy to draw. It would have taken away from the statues. Finally just painted sky down to the ground like a second-grader would have done. I need to work on that.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Light Pole

Sept 14, 2010 - Dee and I were driving around downtown scouting sketching locations. We spied a statue thingy we wanted to draw, so we made the block and parked. By the time we got to our spot, a big ol' work truck had parked right in front of the statue. Dang!

Had to find something else to drawn until the truck left. Our shady spot was fairly small so the options were limited. Turned around and saw this light pole in a small slit of sky between a tree and the side of the building. I liked the tangles of wires and electric lines.

I especially found favor with this light pole because it had such a dichotomy of styles - the uber-modern halogen fixture and the gracefully curvy old-timey streetlamp with the hangy down bulb. It was a succinct history of Our Town all mounted on a pole. What more could an Urban Sketcher ask for in a sketch target?

This is the sketch that needed color fixing that I'm just now getting around to fixing. I had originally painted the wall a solid pale yellow color. That was indeed the actual color of the building in the afternoon sun. However, it didn't look right. Decided darker was better so I made it into a brick wall. Artistic license. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pizza Hut House

Went to play at Miz Dee's house today. I arrived while she was out getting lunch so I sat in her driveway and sketched. Waiting is always an appropriate time to sketch.

I whipped out the little red emergency sketchbook (kept in my purse just for emergent sketching situations) and drew the odd little detached garage across the street. The house has this same roof line. Dee later told me the neighborhood refers to this house as "The Pizza Hut House."

We played in Dee's guest room closet today, cleaning things out in anticipation of swapping her office and guest bedroom. Dee was ripping and snorting, tossing and tossing and tossing. She was ready to be shed of stuff.

She tossed some vintage linens into the yard sale pile, and I, in a rare fit of retentiveness, told her she should probably keep those. Gasp!

Holy Cow! I don't know what came over me. I don't remember ever recommending somebody keep something when they were bound and determined to get rid of it. I must have been getting tired.

I could not, however, convince her to part with the seashell collection or the pile of old curtain rods. Sigh. Ya win some, ya lose some.

Final tally: Almost barren closet, one big bag of trash, HUGE pile to go to a friend's yard sale. Yay!

I started chuckling at one point and Dee asked why. I told her usually you can't beg, borrow or guilt a friend to come over and help clean out closets. I actually *volunteered* to help her do hers and enjoyed every moment immensely.

I ain't right.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Church Window

Last week I was laid low with some kind of fever-inducing microbial critter attack. Was a permanent horizontal fixture on the couch with only enough energy to punch the channel button on the TV remote. Discovered there isn't doodleysquat worth watching on cable TV. Thank goodness for PBS.

Started perking up Sunday night (finally!) and made a sketching date for today with Miz Dee.

The weather was beautiful. A nice breeze was blowing with a heat index less than 100°+. Yay! We found a deep shady spot in a meditation garden beside this fieldstone church. Lots of benches for staring at green stuff. Perhaps green stuff is helpful for meditation, I don't know. I stare at lots of green stuff most days but it doesn't seem to be meditation-inducing, at least not for me.

Anywho, after this sketch I realized I didn't want to draw any more fieldstone. Phew! That's a time eater right there, lemme tell ya what. The green stuff likewise was not attracting my attention, plus I needed to pee (TMI?) and Dee was uncomfortably hot even in the shade with a breeze.

We opted to move locations to downtown where, miraculously, it was much cooler. That doesn't seem logical since it's all asphalt and concrete, but there it was.

Sketched downtown for the next two hours. I need to do some adjusting to those sketches. Went in the weeds with color on both of them - "boffem". Will try to fix and get posted tomorrow.

After we packed it in for the day and were driving home I realized I never did get around to peeing.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

High Rise Urban Sketching

Today Miz Dee and I got to sketch from Our Town's only skyscraper. We were at the nosebleed-inducing altitude of the third floor.

This is a view looking west:
From left to right: the hospital, a lime green apartment building, and the funeral parlor. The street doesn't really go under the hospital's portico, I gorfed the perspective on that. Oh well, I still have happiness for this sketch.

This is Our Town's City Hall:
It's a cool looking art deco building built in 1927. I've always wanted to sneak up and see what's in the tower section.