New book

Well I finished the Valentine’s book and I am on to the next holiday. I don’t know if St Patrick’s Day is technically a holiday but my mom will like the Irish post cards.

Although I am part Irish, I don’t understand the need to party and get wasted on St Patrick’s Day, which seems to have escalated from a day of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, Irish Soda bread and Irish potatoes to a month long celebration of partying and parades. Living in Florida, it can be a looooonngggg March with the revelers, then piling partying snowbirds and spring breakers on top of that. We pretty much sit back and watch the show.

This month’s sketchbook will lean toward the “green,” but I will probably mix things up a bit with the subject matter and I will experiment with some varied media and techniques.

The sketchbook page was damaged during the process of creating this page. The background is watercolor but I had to use acrylic to “seal” the torn spots which actually gave it texture.

This little guy is from my morning pages. The color pattern was derived from the random shapes on the page.

Randy is Shamrock Eater. He thinks that 4 leafed clovers are especially tasty. He’ll also eat asparagus and spinach. He likes gardens….for dinner.

Accidental people

This is an assignment from a Carla Sonheim class. This was my first one of this project and I have some postcards cut to do more when I am sitting by the TV. I am actually trying to get OUT of the studio more, believe it or not. This assignment is all random and you really don’t plan it, you just go with it and use what ever you have on hand.

Little dog & Owls

I started to play with drawing bulldogs but this little guy happened instead. The whole drawing was “accidental.” Sometimes the pencil has a mind of its own.

Our screech owls are back and the palm tree they used last January fell over during the summer. It was dead for a while but we didn’t remove it because the owls were using it.

John made the owls an nesting box and put it in a safer tree for them. Now we wait to see if they use it. We called the wildlife folks to ask where the best spot was and this is what they suggested. Keeping fingers crossed. I can hear them outside right now.

PS…it is “winter” in Florida right now and this tree loses it leaves every year. They don’t change color, they just fall off.

Hyacinth

This was drawn from life and is in that same 5×5 homemade toned paper sketchbook that I have used the past few days. I picked up this hyacinth at the local market. With all the beautiful flowers and plants that grow in my part of Florida, these do not and hyacinths have always been a favorite of mine. So for a short time, I will have this pretty pink (eventually) hyacinth growing in the house…

I have been limiting my sketches in this book to 25 min. These are raw and are untouched by any digital process but could be used at a later time for something.

Enjoy this taste of Spring

Parsley

Here’s another sketch of an item I usually don’t consider high on my list of subject matter to draw or paint. Sketched with an opaque watercolor and ink on toned Stonehenge paper in my homemade sketchbook. The sketch hasn’t been retouched digitally…..yet.

Parsley.

Parsley is one of the herbs that I have growing in pots on my lanai. We tried planting it in a garden in the yard, but it seems that we have super slugs down here that can obliterate a plant over night. HA! They can’t get in the screen house though, and now that the screech owls are back for another nesting season, the slugs are high on the gourmet snack list. Poetic justice. Good birdies!

How do I know that the screech owls are back? The snitches. The feathered blue tattle tales with the big mouths. Aka Blue Jays. Nothing is safe from the preying eyes of these feathered informants. One of the screech owls was sleeping in one of our palms and the Blue Vigilantes raised quite a ruckus which of course alerted the Red Squad, aka Cardinals, along with a few mockingbirds. They let up a bit when I went out there to walk the perimeter of the yard, found the poor abused owl and when I went back in the house, they flew away and let him sleep. I could hear his mate trilling gently from another tree. I guess the fact that I didn’t react sent the birds off to harass the other raptors in the neighborhood (and we have plenty.)

A little while later, another hit squad showed up, the Palm Warblers, aka ELVES WITH ATTITUDE. I could hear them while I was cooking, And they were doing everything BUT warbling. They were just about taunting him, hopping from branch to branch almost like they were playing “chicken”. Hootie had moved and was hiding his face in a different palm, trying to catch some Zzzz’s. If he had a pillow it would have been pulled over his head. I thought the Tiny Hit Squad had some nerve because they would have been an entree for the owls. I promised Hootie that we would build him an owl box this week to replace their palm that fell down from rot.

I noticed that the lizard population seems to be slightly dented. I haven’t seen as many hanging out on the screens but now that the owls are back, I realized the herd is being culled. It’s nice to hear the owls at night. They trill, then look at you like, “I didn’t do it and if I did I wouldn’t admit it.” They hang out in our yard and poach whatever moves. They like the frogs, too. Last year a slug did get in the screen house on one evening, and I tossed it in the air towards the nest. It got snapped outta the air before it hit the ground! That’ll learn the slugs! I was impressed.

This whole post about owls from a sprig of parsley…..

Merry Christmas 2020!

Well we made it to Christmas! It has been a tough year, for sure, but we are all making the best of the situation. I get to meet my new Grandkitty today.

Today’s post is the stocking that was supposed to be posted on the 11, but John and I liked it so much that it became our Christmas Card. Thanks to Vistaprint, I received them by the 18th and they went out on the same afternoon. That’s the beauty of printing out labels.

My homemade Christmas card started years ago when I was working for a telecomm company and I wanted to give everyone a gift and the best way to do that was to make a Christmas card. Recipients liked them so much that they hung them in cubicles or framed them. It grew from there.

To cut expenses this year, I went the postcard route, which is less expensive and easier to frame. This year’s card started as a pen & ink sketch and then I added the color with Procreate. I started to get a little carried away.

The stocking is based on the one we got from Pier 1 many moons ago and I changed the colors and pattern a bit. We still have the stocking, but no fire place so it is hanging from a side table in our dining area. The fireplace is actually the one we had when we lived on LI based on many photos and sketches that I have of it. I miss having a fireplace.

I don’t usually post my holiday cards but since it was done for the challenge and I have run out of time to do another, I am posting this holiday treat for you.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Season’s Greetings and here’s wishing for Peace on Earth and Goodwill to EVERYONE.

Christmas Art Countdown – Day 22

I don’t know why it is but this time of year, especially since I have gotten older, I crave things with peppermint. I take my supplements, especially in the winter, but I can’t seem to get enough of the minty stuff around Christmas. I am fond of mint chocolate chip ice cream year round, though, but at Christmas I want peppermint in anything desserty. I should probably look it up. There’s probably a health benefit to peppermint and why it is my body craves it, especially in the winter.

The only problem with commercial food is they use too much sugar. I am not really a big fan of sugary things so I like it when I can make my own stuff and downplay the sugar and really bring out the mint. That’s why I usually won’t eat candy canes unless they taste more like mint and less like sugar. I ate a candy cane stick yesterday and I was like “where’s the mint?!” Blech!

Both of my kids like minty things this time of year, as well. When they were little, candy canes would slowly disappear from the tree. Nowadays they like Andes mints and peppermint bark. Whoever thought of mint and chocolate together needs to be canonized a saint.

I am glad that with only 3 days to Christmas, today’s prompt is “candy cane.”

Enjoy!

Christmas Art Countdown – Day 20

I had all sorts of ideas that I wanted to do for the word “cabin.”

Backtracking a bit, it is very important for artists to have sketchbooks or paintings with lots of subject matter. (And to catalog said sketchbooks, of which I have not done yet, so you know where to find stuff…) I have over 100 sketchbooks, and when I did manage to count, I had over 600 paintings (no, they aren’t all masterpieces nor are they framed.)

The importance of all of these works and sketches is to have material to draw from to create all new work.

Coming back to the prompt of “cabin.” I had a painting of a cabin I did many years ago and I did a sketch earlier this year (before the pandemic) of a winter nocturnal. From those two I created the image below…And I had a lot of fun doing it.