Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Color and Contrast

I'm posting this image for Sherryl. Sorry for taking a week! She created it in Langley, but the exact location is unknown to me. I've watched Sherry sketch since WISk's beginnings. I see this sketch as a merging of her different intents and interests in abstracts, a more realistic drawing approach and love for the dye-like qualities of intense watercolors. It's beautiful. I enjoy the play of complex, patterned areas with the open, unpainted and simply drawn areas. And of course the value contrasts, intense colors and washes. No mud or burnt umber here! (Not to diss burnt umber)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sketching on Second Street

You can't beat a sunny September afternoon strolling around Langley sketching with friends. This time of year, every warm, sunny day in the Northwest is precious and not to be squandered. We made the most of it.
P.S. Suisse Bakery in Langley Village

South Whidbey Commons Garden


Ben and Willie

Dan and I spent a relaxing afternoon visiting with friends Mary and Al at their magnificent Soaring Eagle Lodge on north Whidbey. This place is in the "must see to believe" category, but I ended up sketching their dogs, Ben and Willie.
Beautiful Ben, an elderly Australian Shepherd

Sillly Willie, a playful and energetic Standard Poodle
Willie was one of those energizer-bunny dogs who would bring you his Frisbee to throw over and over until the end of time. Getting it back from him was not for the faint of heart. That was one SLIMY Frisbee! But Mary and Al have trained him to settle down with the command "Time to relax," which had to be employed several times in order for me to finish his sketch.

An Afternoon in Langley

What a fabulous warm, sunny afternoon along 2nd Street in Langley.  Afraid my sketches weren't my best work, but what they lack in quality, the weather and gab with fellow sketchers more than made up for. 

Great line-up of glass garden art at Callahan's Firehouse Glass Studio

Langley Village

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Giddy Up

We lucked out at the M-Bar-C Ranch. The sketchers arrived on the same day the ferrier was there so we had an ongoing parade of horses coming through to have their shoes changed all afternoon. It was great fun listening to the staff and volunteers talk about the horses and their individual personalities. They are reportedly a fat, lazy bunch (the horses, not the staff).The staff was great and made us feel very welcome. Can't wait to go back and sketch the miniature horses, the donkey, mule and buildings!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mariners Report Part 2

The three days we hung on a buoy in Echo Bay on Susia Island
were the calmest we have ever experienced.
I sketched this little guy on the first morning at low tide.
After that it was photos of a lot more great reflections.
We spent most of the days hiking to the other bays.

Watch Out for the Fir Cones

Every autumn the little brown squirrels on the island climb the high limbs on the fir trees and try to collect all the freshly ripened cones by dropping them off the trees. After the cones hit the ground with a thunk, the squirrels try to remember where they all land so they can gather the ripe seeds out of the cones. Most of the time they miss a bunch and vehicles' wheels smash the cones or they just stay on the ground and reseed for next years little starters. It might be safe to wear a hard hat at this time of the year. I did this sketch the other day after almost being hit by one of the cones on my way to the mail box.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Little Ghost Town at the M-Bar-C Ranch

This 'little' town scaled for 'little' cowboys, and cowgirls is a real child's fantasy come true.
Thanks to all the wonderful people who created it and maintain it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mariners Report from the San Juan Islands

With the weather forecast for a week of sun, we used our retirement card, cast off the lines and set sail for the San Juans.

These two sketches of the cabin top under the dodger are actually contour ink (no pencil first).

This cute little tug was right behind us in Reid Harbor on Stuart Island.
We hiked out to the Turn Point Lighthouse the next day.

While we were waiting for slack tide to return to Lagoon Point, we checked out the Wooden Boat Show at Port Townsend.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lovely Afternoon at Sue and Dan's

The weather was perfect. The setting idyllic. The gardens sweet and old fashioned. The sketchers and writers spread themselves out in the landscape. We went to see the sculpture forest at Ivan and Sarah's house. I was so moved. It was an ideal day. Thanks to Sue and Dan  for such a sweet experience. These two sketches are two halves of one....but I'm not so clever as to know how to stitch them together.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Trio Nouveau

Keith Bowers, Guitar
We were excited when we realized Trio Nouveau was setting up right next to our table out on the rooftop deck at Prima. I  LOVE sketching musicians and love the festive atmosphere on Prima's deck.

But once again, I only managed to capture 2/3 of the trio. Someday I'll get all three of them, but probably not at Prima. As soon as they realized we were planning to sketch, the staff politely let us know they didn't want us tying up the table too long. So we tried not to overstay our welcome and vamoosed shortly after we finished dinner. Oh well, we're just gonna have to find more sketcher-friendly venues for sketching musicians.
Troy Chapman, Guitar

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fun with Goats

We came to Sonshine Alpaca Farm to draw alpacas, but the goats turned out to be much better models than alpacas - or chickens for that matter.  Sweet, funny, curious, personable and generally adorable, they really seemed to enjoy the attention.  They also know how to strike a pose and hold it for a while. They nuzzled us, nibbled on us, peered over our shoulder, closely inspected our art supplies and kept us laughing all afternoon. I tried to forget the fact that I saw the term "meat goats" on the website.

Sketching at Sonshine Farm

Another wonderful afternoon spent with the WISkers, this time at Sonshine Garden and Alpaca Farm on Crawford Road.  The sun was warm, it smelled like a farm and there were animal sounds all around me.  Put me right back to my childhood on my cousin's farm in Moscow, Idaho.  The alpacas were great, the goats adorable and they have best, most PEOPLE friendly GIANT Bulgarian Shepherd stockpen guard dog!  Had a truly great time.  And I got a little vignette of some of the residents with which I am really happy.  

I especially got a kick out of the fat little goat who ate IN his feeder, not from it. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Blakely Island

Sorry to have missed sketching with you all at Sue's on Sunday. It was our last day of camping before construction begins later this week on Blakely Island. Pete was sitting in one of the chaises in what will eventually be our great room, looking across Thatcher Pass at Decatur.

A Peaceful Afternoon

Thank you, Sue, for sharing your lovely garden with us. And the delicious munchies. And thanks to Mary and Sherryl for their yummy crab dip. I think I ate most of it. Last but not least, sharing it all with great company. I was filled with ahhhhs.
Here's a couple sketches I did on the deck. To the right is the talented Michelle, our newest member. She sat still for awhile which made her an easy target. I look forward to many sketchings with her.

Below is an experimental sketch done on watercolor canvas board. No absorbency whatsoever, so I'm not sure I like it. Hard to do any glazing because the bottom layers pick up so easily. Great for making changes if one's unhappy with parts or all of it. I was interested in giving it a spin as an alternative to the expense of framing watercolor paintings. Surfaces that accept watercolor are available on mounted wood frames similar to oil panels. Once painted, they can be coated with acrylic to protect the surface from dust.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

On the Deck

Good times partying and sketching chez moi with the Sketchers today (and a few stray members of the Vicious Circle Writers Group).  More partying than sketching in my case. This is a grouping of shade plants and a bird bath on the deck.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ink Ladies

And now the opposite of my previous post, Watercolor Ladies.  Starting with ink - and lots of it - and then just a little watercolor wash.  Which do you like best?  Watercolor/light pencil only or these? 


Orcas Island Focus on Sketching

Creating texture with Sue's black brush pen kept me entertained the 1st day on Orcas Island.

View from the Pottery Garden

Rosario Resort hanging basket

Sue and I collaborated on this piece of "buddy art" in the condo's guest book. We're onto something...it's freeing to pass one piece back and forth...so much more than my vision alone.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Watercolor Ladies

I love to sketch portraits, but after my watercolor class I've been loving using watercolor only (on top of just a little pencil) for a change and new intensity.

Three Sketching Days on Orcas Island

Spent 3 glorious days on Orcas Island sketching with Sherryl and Missy. And by the by, Sherryl did her best work ever. Stay tuned!

Cascade Bay Grill at Rosario Resort
Cascade Bay Grill at Rosario Resort
View from Cascade Bay Grill, Rosario Resort
Rosario Resort Lamp Post
Ferry People - Anacortes to Orcas Island
Bronze Mermaid on the Beach at Lieber Haven Resort, Orcas Island