Friday, October 21, 2016

Big Bend

I've lived in Texas for over 50 years, but I'd never been to the Big Bend area until earlier this month. The scenery was astonishingly beautiful and diverse, and I spent my time just gaping at the views rather than drawing. Once I got back home, I did a few small sketches in my journal of some of the things I saw.

Pen & ink with watercolor in a Moleskine watercolor notebook.

Pen & ink, watercolor, gel pens and markers in a Moleskine watercolor notebook.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Accordion Book

Since September of 2014, I've been drawing various small objects from around my studio in a small Moleskine accordion book. The book is finally finished, with the resulting composite of 244 drawings measuring 5 1/2" x 108 1/4". The drawings are done in pen & ink, watercolor, graphite, colored pencil, and various markers and gel pens. Here's the book from cover to cover:

Monday, April 27, 2015

Mowing (and mowing, and mowing . . .)

After several years of drought, we're getting plenty of rain again. The ponds are overflowing, the pastures are green and lush, and all living things are growing as though they are trying to make up for lost time. What's good for the pastures and hayfields, however, has become the bane of my existence. I did my first mowing of the year in January, and have been struggling to keep the yards and driveway cut ever since. First it was the winter grasses and ground cover, and now it's the spring grass. Because of all the rain, I have to try to get things mowed on the rare dry days, and even then, the grass is full of moisture, and sticky, and so it clogs the mower, forcing me to stop and clear it every few yards. As soon as I get things cut, we have more rain, and the process starts all over again. Did I mention I hate mowing?

4" x 6", Pilot Penmanship EF with Platinum Carbon ink, Pentel Pocket brush pen with Platinum Carbon and Iroshizuku kiri-same inks, Derwent Inktense pencils, Faber-Castell Pitt brush pens, and Stabilo point 88 pens on 140 lb Fluid100 hot press watercolor paper, about 45 minutes.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hidden Treasure

I was making some repairs to an old shed on the property when I discovered an old flat-iron stand jammed between the shed's corrugated metal roof and the top of the wall. I had done some work on this shed a couple decades ago, but hadn't noticed the stand at the time. I wonder how long ago the stand was stuck in its hiding place, and who put it there, and why.

5" x 8", Pilot Penmanship EF with Platinum Carbon ink, Derwent watercolor pencils in Moleskine® watercolor notebook, about 30 minutes.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Guinea Nest in the Thistles

Thistle has been very invasive this spring, taking over large areas of the pastures, and forming dense forests of four-foot tall, thick-stalked, spiny plants. I was clearing an area of thistle just outside our fenced yard when I flushed what I thought was our sole remaining guineafowl. When it landed, I realized that it was the guinea that had gone missing a week earlier, and that we presumed had been killed by a raccoon. I also realized that it must have been nesting in the heavy cover of the thistle forest. A few minutes of searching led me to the nest-- 17 eggs hidden between the thick, prickly thistle stalks. While our guineas have occasionally managed a nest long enough for the keets to hatch out, predators usually get to the nest first, or get the keets soon after they hatch. My wife has had good luck incubating the guinea eggs we've found over the years, and raising the keets to adulthood, so I collected these eggs. As I write this, they are now in the incubator, and have a better chance of surviving, as does the hen, who is no longer tied to the nest.

4" x 6", Pilot Penmanship EF with Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor, on W&N cold-press watercolor paper, about 90 minutes.

I did this sketch from memory for a Postcrossing postcard that was sent to the Republic of Belarus.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Talavera Geckos

I'm remodeling our kitchen, and decided to use Talavera tiles on the countertops , backsplashes, and some of the cabinet doors. The tiles are very colorful, and add a nice touch to a background of mostly white, black, gray, and stainless steel. I decided to have a little fun, and mount a few Talavera ceramic geckos on one of the cabinets as a salute to the geckos that hunt on our windows on summer nights. I've sketched several of the Talavera geckos on envelopes to various pen pals, and in my journal. Below is a composite of those sketches.

Composite of 4 drawings of various sizes, Pilot Penmanship EF with Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor on various papers.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Br'er Rabbit

When I first moved to Lavaca county a quarter century ago, I occasionally saw a jack rabbit or a road runner, but they soon disappeared, and I saw neither for two decades. While the roadrunners still remain on the missing list, I first spotted a jack rabbit in a pasture on my way to town about 16 months ago. Then a few months later, I began seeing them in my own pastures, first singly, then in pairs, and finally, one night I saw a group of five or six galloping across the pasture. They disappeared over winter, but reappeared late this past spring.

I walk every day along the same route, and I began seeing a jack rabbit break and run from the shaded side of some shrubbery along my route, from the same place every day. Then one day, I noticed that he remained laying in the shade as I walked by. He's been in the same place nearly every day for several weeks now, just ignoring me as I walk by. One morning, I saw him with his mate out in the pasture several yards away from his shrub, eating grass. As I approached, they moved towards the shrub, and his mate disappeared beneath it while he took up his station on the shady side.

This drawing is made from a photo I took of him as I walked past one day.

3" x 7", Pilot Penmanship EF with Platinum Carbon ink in Aquabee Super Deluxe sketchbook.