Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rusty Stuff

Out Urban Sketching today at a wrecking yard with Miz Dee and her #1 son. He likes old rusty stuff, so off we wade into a sea of dilapidated vehicles.

This strange thing was sitting on top of an old van. After we had drawn it we figured out this is actually *two* little drag-behind hay cutter thingies sitting back-to-back. I thought it was awesome as a four-wheeled buggy...very steam punk.

And I have now discovered the secret tractor graveyard where old John Deere equipment goes to die.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Every Day in May 2011

I've got my stamp carved for this year. I am ready to go on the Every Day in May (EDiM) Challenge for 2011.

Last year Liz Steele gathered up a group of folks to work through the Everyday Matters (EDM) challenges, #1 through #31, for each day as part of the EDiM challenge. It was fun drawing the same thing each day as a bunch of other folks. What a hoot!

I didn't quite make that goal last year because I was out of town for 10 days of the month. I drew *something* every day. That's all that's really required for the EDiM challenge in general, but I didn't get all the EDM challenges drawn. Oh well.

Here are the challenges this year. Liz is starting at EDM #101 for May 01 and working down the list to EDM #131.

101 - Draw a bar of soap
102 - Draw a power plug
103 - Draw some exercise equipment - what you use to stay fit.
104 - Draw some salt and pepper shakers
105 - Draw some scissors
106 - Draw something tart or sour
107 - Draw how you get your news - at a newsstand, vending box or on your porch
108 - Draw a light bulb
109 - Draw a clock you have around your house
110 - Draw something with a flame or flames
111 - Draw a bowl
112 - Draw something fresh
113 - Draw or paint a fence
114 - Draw something ugly you love and keep for sentimental reasons. Journal about it, too.
115 - Draw a shopping cart or basket
116 - Draw something green
117 - Draw something round
118 - Draw some hair
119 - Draw some rocks
120 - Draw a flashlight
121 - Draw a coin or some coins and journal about memories about coins from your childhood.
122 - Draw something where shade is a prominent part of the subject
123 - Draw a bell
124 - Draw something yellow
125 - Draw a bird
126 - Draw a sponge
127 - Draw a skyscape
128 - Draw a view through a doorway from one interior room to another.
129 - Draw people doing something.
130 - Draw some school supplies.
131 - Draw a spray bottle

I'm gonna have to ponder on #103 for a while. Oy vey. That's a tough one for an old couch potato like me.

Edited to add:

Liz has started a special Flickr group for the 2011 EDM/EDiM challenges:EDM Every Day in May 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Presents from Nana

Yes, I'm milking this birthday present thing for all it's worth. I don't usually get birthday presents, just cards and phone calls. So this birthday was an exceptionally Woo-Hoo! birthday...the most joyful one in a long, long time.

Journaling (to save your eyesight):
A box full of goodies arrived in the mail from Nana. She said the book [Making Handmade Books, 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms] was on backorder and arrived just in time for her to pack it and ship it to me.

She got to flip through it for just a few minutes before packing it. She said she wanted to keep it for herself. I can understand why. When I opened it I was transfixed for an hour.

The Guardian Angel necklace was cool because I don't have much opportunity to wear her Guardian Angel pins anymore. I can wear the necklace all the time.

I think the cool retro stationery came from a thrift store which, to me, makes it even cooler.

The cat was on the front of the card which read, "In honor of your birthday, Bootsy pulled a piece of yarn out of his butt just for you!"

I have a very strange sister.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter at the Farm

Clan Speck had a gathering at the farm today. There were lots of people to see and lots of roast beast to eat. After my turn on dish detail I escaped outside to be where other people were not.

Curled up on the truck tailgate with my new Pentalic sketchbook and got to sketching. This is the garage of the farmhouse.

A niece came running up with something cupped in her hands. She opened them to reveal this little guy. He was about an inch and a half long:
Me: Oh, what a cute little frog!

Niece: *tsk* It's a TOAD! (eyeroll)

Eyerolling runs in the family apparently.

She put him on the tailgate for me to draw. He sat amazingly still while I sketched.

Niece (looking over my elbow while I'm sketching): Don't forget the breather bumps behind his eyes.

Me: Breather bump things...done!

How did she know those were breather bumps anyway???

I moved my perch from tailgate to overturned bucket to draw this stump hole in a pecan tree. A Virginia Creeper vine (or maybe poison oak) was growing from the hole. Those spiky grass-like plants are supposed to be iris.
The farm doggies like it when I sit on a bucket. I'm at their level and gets lots of *very* helpful slobbers while I'm drawing. Ewwww!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Presents from Dee

Miz Dee, my intrepid sketching partner, got me some cool goodies for my birthday.

First, there's a Strathmore Visual Journal with 90 lb. Mixed Media paper. I think I might use it for the Every Day in May drawing challenge.

Second, gardening gloves with a pansy design because Miz Dee gets all a-twitter when Hubby makes me work in the yard. She says it's good for me. Sigh.

Third, an "artsy" card and bookmark by Marjolein Bastin. The bookmark says, "Nature paints with color... Friends paint with kindness and caring." The card came in an envelope sealed with a matching sticker of a paint tube mooshing out paint. Too cute!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Birthday Gift Bags

Birthday gift bags from Judy and Miz Dee filled with goodies!

I never can get the tissue poufs to look right when I give a gift bag. It always looks tragic.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Birthday Flowers

Hubby bought me flowers for my birthday last week. Thought I should draw them before they whithered and died. They were looking a little crispy on the edges already.

He also got me a ribeye and a steak dinner. He brought home the ribeye to grill the night of my birthday, but I told him I had other plans. He took me out for a steak dinner that night. He cooked the ribeye three days later. His ribeye was better then the restaurant's version.

He bought me a fancy-pants fountain pen too. But he said it wasn't for my birthday but just because he loved me.

I love him realmuch.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Yes, I gave myself a haircut - exactly as shown. I pulled all my hair up in a ponytail holder on the crown of my head and cut just above the band.

Took out the ponytail holder, whacked off a couple of inches around the neckline, trimmed the bangs, then trimmed a line from the bangs to the neck.

Got a perfectly layered, short kicky do for the hot summer.

I was genetically blessed with thick, full-bodied hair, so if I gorf up the cut a little it isn't noticeable. Plus, I own hats.

All my life I've paid people to give me crappy haircuts. I figured I could do it myself for free.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tree Shorthand

For Capt Elaine:

(click to embiggen, twice)

I'm thinking to only paint where the ink marks are. Where they are NOT is supposed to be the brightest highlights or sunlight and can be left white.

Now, if I can just remember this when I'm out sketching.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

1983 Cafe

The last of the sketching adventure sketches. Miz Dee was packing up her stuff just as I started this one, so this is a whip-n-slop kinda sketch.

I usually draw all the little ticky architectural details on buildings because that's what draws my eye to a building in the first place. Instead of drawing each brick in the soldier course here, I just wiggled the pen a little bit. Under that were intricate arches in the brickwork. They ended up being humpy gray blobs. Below that was a dentil detail. Looks like a doctor's signature instead.

Slopped on some paint with a wide waterbrush and called it done.

It looks like a stucco building somewhere in west Texas instead of a historic red brick building in Lower Arkansas.

Oh well. Such is life for the Urban Sketcher.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Royal Phone Booth

From the church to the downtown drinking establishments! Miz Dee and I opted for staying outside to soak up some sunshine and atmosphere.

I've always loved these old-timey phone booths that dot the downtown area. The view I really wanted to draw of this one would have had me sketching in the middle of the street. Phooey. I'm sure the local constabulary would have frowned on that. Plus, I don't have enough life insurance to play in traffic.

Process notes:

I need to find a different method for rendering tree canopies. Mine look like they were drawn by a second-grader. Sigh.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Church Furniture

This is the last of the church sketches. I struggled with what to call this furniture grouping. Different churches have widely varying terms for all the bits and pieces and areas in their services. I could be in religious land mine territory here if I refer to things by the wrong name.

We decided the stand-up thingy with the microphone was a pulpit and not a lectern. I would have called the table thingy an altar, but it was on the floor and not on the stage with the pulpit. Discovered this is a "communion table" for this particular church.

A few phone calls later I had even more names for the same things.


I guess I should just call this "church furniture."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Winged Lion Window

Found this stained glass beauty in the stairwell leading to the balcony of the church. The heavy black leading really made the warm yellow and golden orange colors pop.

The winged lion caught my eye. That's a new bit of Christian iconography for me. I have no idea what it means. Lion angels???

There was a lamb in an upper section of the window. I have a vague notion that the lion and the lamb go together somehow, but the lamb didn't have wings.

Why does the lion have wings? Can someone enlighten me?

Update April 9, 2011

Received a booklet from the church explaining the symbols in this window. The winged lion represents the Gospel of Mark. The dove is actually a winged eagle, representing the Gospel of John. Apparently the lamb did have wings, but he wasn't a lamb, he was a calf or ox representing the Gospel of Luke. Somewhere higher up there was a winged man, representing the Gospel of Matthew.