World Watercolor month

There is a challenge going on called World Watercolor Month. There is a list of prompts and all that but you aren’t required to use the list. I haven’t done this challenge in previous years but since I am in the middle of working on a project that is a mix of watercolor and gouache, I figured I would post these for the Watercolor month.

I like to do self inflicted challenges. They are good for keeping me in the creative mode. The latest is going back to my roots and creating some horses. I used to draw and paint horses all of the time when I was young. I had a little handbag I would carry with me that had my “herd” in it. I can’t believe I shlepped my tiny Breyer stablemates and other horses around with me and they are still Live Show Quality to this day. The reason why I stopped drawing horses and segued into plein air and other art is because I didn’t want to be pigeon holed doing one thing. I never regretted that decision and the many, many years of painting plein air and sketching on location has made me a much more diverse and versatile artist.

I am not sure I’ll be posting horses every day. These take a while, but I will be posting something with watercolor, even if I am out “guerrilla” sketching.

Today’s horse is a Morgan. The first one I did in my sketchbook. I picked the Morgan Horse since it is the first breed of horse that was created in the United States. The Morgan Horse breed came from one stallion, “Figure,” or “Justin Morgan’s horse. From that one stallion, we have horses like the Standardbred, American Saddlebred and other American breeds. You can read a story about this horse in a book by Marguerite Henry called “Justin Morgan had a Horse.” It’s a children’s book with wonderful illustrations by Wesley Dennis. I still have my original book.

Horse Morgan Bay Watercolor Mixed Media

Uh oh Frog

On my Zoom call today with Mike Lowery, we had to decide on what prompt to draw. Someone suggested a frog. We have frogs all over the place, here. When my husband and I go for our morning walk, we have to dodge these tiny little frogs. You can barely see them. One morning there were hundreds of them and my husband remarked about the quantity. I said it was just logical, there needed to be so many babies because of how many get eaten or suffer some other ill fate.

So of course, my idea of “frog” is “egret chow.” The egrets (herons and ibis) stroll around the neighborhood, scarfing up frogs and lizards, and whatever else they find edible.

My sketch of frog was more of an egret and a frog hiding from the egret.

Pens and ink sketch of  frog hiding from an egret in a marsh.
Egret and frog sketch

I pulled the sketch into Procreate and then tweaked it:

Egret and frog in a marsh.  digital black and white
Digital version of Frog and Egret

The frog needs to find a better hiding spot.

Found

Hubby and I were out walking and came upon a tree that looked like it had washed out avocados hanging from it. Turns out, it was a mahogany tree. We were awed at the beauty of the tree and the rarity of its wood.

An older woman gave us cuttings from the tree and told us to root them. She told us how old her tree was. I secretly thanked the tree for the cuttings.

I found one of the pods on the ground and it popped open this afternoon, seeds spilling out.

I’ll try planting the seeds, as well.

Absence

Absence 

You were the last thing

we wanted

You came to us

on a warm summer evening

Tiny and sick

dark as the night

We took you in

and you grew on us

You thought you were

a chihuahua

You ingratiated yourself

into our hearts

Soft and silky

svelte and lanky

A queen in your own right

Gardening with your company

Birds and mice brought

into the house 

There were those times

we pulled our hair out

You ate almost  

 a whole cake

But we loved you

You went to Florida 

with Erin

a companion and

a friend 

We enjoyed your company

during lockdown

Then one tragic day

you fell ill

No vet could save you

You were only five

We didn’t want you 

to go

But we had to let you

We feel your loss

every day.

Witch

The fourth prompt is “witch” and it happens to be one of my favorites. Usually for Inktober, I work on my “Little Witch” series, which started back in 2018 as a desperate need to find ideas for postcards to mail to my mom.

(Mom was placed in Assisted Living back in 2018 for memory care. I mailed her postcards to give her something to look forward to and help her settle in.)

This year I did the “TheyDrawtober’s Cook” list and that’s what I sent my mom this year. I thought the food art would give her some memory triggers. I haven’t seen her since December 2019, thanks to CoVID 19 but occasionally my sister is able to FaceTime with us.

I have to admit it’s been hard to keep up the daily practice. She likes cats and always dressed as a witch for Halloween, so that’s where the idea for the “Little Witch” series came from. I do enjoy doing the “Little Witch” series and Inktober made it fun to use the prompts for the character.

Here is the Little Witch as a pre-schooler….as I mentioned yesterday, I might switch to watercolor; I actually used watercolor and the Arteza brush pens together.

“witch”

Haunted

I am still trailing the other October lists for now. As I write this, I have one of the Hallmark channels on TV to help with the holiday transition, even though I don’t want to transition yet. I’d love to wallow some more in post-Halloween, pre-Thanksgiving vibes and enjoy November for November.

It’s hard to transition in the State of “endless” summer. Autumn creeps slowly into my part of Florida. The overnight temps creep downward and daytime temps are around 80, for now. We actually do have autumn here and trees will lose their leaves. It’s very comical. One day the trees have leaves, and the next, they drop them like PJ’s dropped on the floor before a shower.

Today’s prompt is “Haunted.” I am trying to use the Arteza brush pens that I normally use for Inktober, but they aren’t performing very well on the textured Arches paper. I’ll probably switch over to watercolor on the next one.

Monster Self Portrait

This is another sketch in my “skull” sketchbook. I love this refillable journal. It’s black Italian leather and it was made by Innovative Journaling. It comes with two refills of Arches Text Wove paper. The nice thing about this refillable journal is that I can use the paper that comes with it, or make my own refill from paper that I choose. I love the black leather with skull beads. Perfect for my Halloween themed sketches.

Today’s sketch is based on my interpretation of last month’s Drawlloween list. The first day was “Monster Self Portrait” which, I think the intention was to make a monster self portrait of ourselves, but that light bulb came on and I remembered the Norman Rockwell self portrait. I recently did a sketch of Cary Grant and I laughed thinking about Frankenstein painting his self portrait but it looking like Cary.

Now that I look at this, I should have made Cary green, too. It Frankie more flesh toned. I don’t know why Frankie is depicted as green anyway. I like the version from “Penny Dreadful.”

This is just a sketch and hasn’t been polished digitally. But this is where a lot of my ideas start.

Frankie paints his self portrait…”
My Halloween Journal