Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Catching up on posting . . . .

 This is my sketch from this weeks meet-up at the Lavender Wind Farm in Coupeville, with the Anacortes Sketchers. A lovely time in a lovely place.  I wish I could identify all the songs and calls of the birds I heard yesterday - the tweets and chirps were probably sparrows and swallows. Then there were mourning doves, crows (of course), eagles, and red-wing blackbirds, and a happily crowing rooster. Of course, there were many others I recognized but couldn't identify. The tall bright red flowers in the garden were attracting crowds of hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. Other sounds - a bell in a marker buoy WAY down in the channel clanging in gentle rhythm with the waves, the thrum of passing freighter engines, and the sighing of wind in the trees and grass. And then there were the FRAGRANCES - of newly cut hay and lavender, newly distilled lavender oil and fresh air and the sea. My God, what a beautiful day to be alive and place to be alive in!
 — at Lavender Wind Farm.

Last week we met at the Sherman farm, also in Coupeville. Peaceful and pastoral also, but fragrant in another way. Here the smells were the aromas of the farm - cows, manure, pasture. And silage. Not as pleasant as the others, but the smell of a hard working, real farm. 

And here is my sketch of Fran and Ed's wonderful home, surrounded by gardens, and wide open to Whidbey Island's natural surroundings. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sunny Afternoon at the Lavender Farm

Today some of the Anacortes Sketchers came to Whidbey.  Several Whidbey Island Sketchers joined in the fun to sketch at the gorgeous Lavender Wind Farm outside Coupeville. 

They were distilling harvested lavender into lavender oil in the still shown on left below.  A glorious, sunny day for sketching with a wonderful lavender scent filling the air.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Buffy and Bruce's Place!

Buffy and Bruce's house is an installation! Elegant, quirky, inviting, 
creative in every way, everywhere... and just fun! So appreciated  
the opportunity to sketch on a sunny Whidbey afternoon. 
Thank you!

            Yard sculpture...I didn't see the daisies inside until later.

Laughing and Sketching! That's what we do!

We finished the afternoon at Baily's Corner Store, more laughter, some eating 
and drinking and some detritus.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bruce and Buffy's Garden

I'm not sure what it was yesterday, but the Sketcher's were definitely in high spirits as we gathered in groups and singly around the wondrous environs of artists Buffy Cribbs and Bruce Morrow. There was giggling and laughing by the vegetable garden, quiet contemplation under the large shade tree, hushed conversations around the back door of the artist's home. I was drawn, as usual, to old, well used, rusting things. This car grille and bumper fit perfectly into the garden and looked for all the world like a well placed sculpture. This shed, obviously a staging place for maintenance and yard work, couldn't pass my notice. My favorite comment of the day came from Bruce Morrow when he arrived home to find his property filled with Sketchers: "Oh my gosh! I didn't expect so many! I thought there would be 3 or 4 of you." I hope it was a happy surprise. Some of us continued for Happy Hour at Bailey's Corner....all I can say is that the hilarity escalated. What a great Summer day with The Sketchers!

Greenbank Farm

There's something for everybody at Greenbank Farm. Being lazy and comfort seeking, I just drew what I could see from the picnic table out front where I was enjoying an al fresco lunch from the Whidbey Pies Cafe. We got in trouble for feeding the ducks, but it served the purpose of keeping them hanging about posing for sketches. This colorful mallard had a white ring around his neck, but I lost it in the frenzy of trying to capture a duck in motion. The flower bed next to the restaurant is called "Margaret's Garden".  I  don't know who Margaret is, but apparently she has taken on the job of maintaining this cutting garden for use in weddings at the farm. I think the purple flowers I drew were Campanulas, aka bellflowers.

Chilling at Bailey's Corner Store

Bailey's Corner Store is quintessential Whidbey Island. Quirky, earthy, a little rough around the edges, festooned with voluptuous hanging begonias everywhere and serving up some of the island's best burgers. But mostly it's just an old country store with a gas station, a machine repair shop, the oddest, tiniest bar you've ever seen, and a covered front porch and patio where everyone hangs out, including the begonias.  Last night we needed a cork screw to open our bottle of wine and their only cork screw was broken. So the friendly young proprietress sent one of her kids over to Grandma's to borrow one. Only on Whidbey. As one loyal patron who came to celebrate her twenty-first birthday told us, it's the best place to chill on Whidbey Island.


Ukelele Player and Singer


Sketcher Barb capturing the action

Hanging Begonia

Opening Night at the Taproom at Bayview Corner

We just happened to stumble on the Taproom at Bayview Corner for post sketching happy hour on their opening night a few weeks ago. The place was hopping and overflowing with great sketchable characters and I got a few. If opening night was any indication, it looks like it will be a great success!

Fran's Garden

It was a hot, sunny day in Fran's garden, so my sketches were determined by what I could see from a my comfy spots in the shade. I found a nice shady spot overlooking the pond but very little of the pond made it into the sketch. I was also attracted to the architectural structure and anticipation of the lily about to open just outside the vegetable garden.

Orange Lily in Bud
The Edge of the Pond

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fredley Home

On a hot, virtually windless, sultry sunny Summer sketching date, what's a sketcher to do? Find the shadiest, coolest spot possible, with a chance of a little breeze. That's what. Kathy Lull and I found such a spot on a covered upper deck looking down into the garden and garden shed of this wonderfully creative home on Grace Lane known as The Fredley Home. It was fun and interesting sitting next to Kathy and watching her process. While mine is fast and loose, hers is planned, well thought out and beautifully layered. We both had a great time getting lost in our sketching, and thoroughly enjoyed the cooling breezes. Looking down into the garden afforded an opportunity for a different perspective. Thanks to our hosts for letting us have our way with their awesome home and environs. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Nearby - La Conner & Anacortes

Summer is a terrific time to take a watercolor sketching on location workshop - fabulous warm weather, great water views and sunny skies.  Three of us from the Whidbey Island Sketchers joined a few from the Anacortes Sketchers and a few sketchers from Samish Island for a 4 day workshop taught by Montreal sketcher/painter Shari Blaukopf
Below = my workshop work on (top to bottom):  1) simplifying, 2) boats, and 3) foliage.  Still MUCH to learn and practice but it was a glorious 4 days!
Mt. Baker and La Conner across the channel from the Swinomish shores.

Learning basic boat shapes at Cap Sante, Anacortes, WA

Focusing on foliage at Causland Park, Anacortes, WA

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Grace Lane

Phyllis and I painted on the breezy, cool upstairs patio at a unique & beautiful Langley home. Here's a birds-eye view of the garden and greenhouse. On the right is the initial value study in brown watercolor pencil.  On the left is watercolor over the value study, and finally ink on top.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Cultus Bay Nursery

Another beautiful afternoon at Cultus Bay Nursery, Cynthia Winzenried