Today, John and I decided to get out of the house. I have been working on some ornaments over the past couple of days and John installed some sun shades yesterday for our patio. We really didn’t veg out too much yesterday so this morning we just sat outside and enjoyed our morning coffee. We try to leave the weekends open to just relax and, gasp! do absolutely nothing. After coffee and breakfast, we decided to get out of the house. We had no plan in mind until we drove past a new local coffee shop, just a few minutes from the house. After deciding to pop in to see if it was open yet, we were surprised to find that it was open! Apparently the shop is open every day from 7-1 every day and I was ecstatic because now we have two local shops to go to for coffee that are both in Jensen Beach and within biking distance.
After getting two iced coffees, we found a table in the shade. (Almost all the tables are under trees and in the shade, which is nice.) This shop is just across the road from the Indian River Lagoon, and beyond that, Hutchinson’s Island and the Atlantic Ocean. We couldn’t see any of the above because of all of the vegetation but we did enjoy the benefits of a lovely sea breeze.
I have been trying to get out of the studio and back in the habit of outdoor sketching so this seemed like a great opportunity for that. I love Bismarck palm trees with their blue green leaves, so I chose to do the one at the edge of the property, which had lights hanging from it. I pulled out a mechanical pencil and my trusty Lamy Safari sketched the scene. Then I added watercolor. I didn’t have a water container with me but I had water brushes. Unfortunately they chose today to make things difficult. The watercolors I used were a gift from a friend plus I also had use my mini palette, which has colors that I just can’t do without when painting anything green. The brushes were annoying but I managed to get by. (I’ll probably pull them apart after this to see why the water wasn’t flowing down to the brush from the barrel.)
This sketch is the end result of sitting outside drinking an iced coffee and dodging a rain sprinkle or two. It was a nice relaxing morning and John and I had a nice chat while I sketched.
It’s October….again….and that must mean it’s Inktober! The month where thousands of artists post mostly inky art to the internet and social media. Inktober started as a challenge for illustrators to take a break from creating digital art, by getting back to their inky roots and inky fingers or other traditional media. Going back to traditional media helps with the creative flow and inspiration. Choosing ink makes the challenge harder because you can’t erase ink when you make a mistake. There’s no “undo” button with ink, so it forces you to think on your feet and deal with what is in front of you.
Inktober has grown over the years and many copycat challenges have sprung up along with it until October is one hot mess of art on the internet. The Official Inktober Prompt List can be found on Instagram at @Inktober, the official Inktober account. If you aren’t into ink, there’s so many other lists out there to choose from like Mabs Drawlloween @mabgraves on Instagram. Mabs does a lot of her art in pencil so she prefers a drawing challenge instead of an Inky Challenge. All you have to do is search for October Art Challenges and you will find a lot of ideas.
Today’s Inktober prompt is “Gargoyle.” Looking at my gargoyle, whose name is “Larry,” I see a vague resemblance to one of the family’s grand dogs. Sorry Charlie, you’re a gargoyle model. (Charlie is a pit bull mix who’s at the mercy of one very bossy cat and a hissy kitty. Two for the price of one.)
Larry is just hanging out. The rest of his kind are usually attached as downspouts on the sides of structures, like Notre Dame Cathedral, or other Churches and buildings. Gargoyles were originally used as gutters to move rain water away from structures to keep mortar and other materials from eroding away. Larry found himself a nice perch in the park and if he stays still, people think he’s a statue. Except for the drool that occasionally comes out his mouth…..those french fries cooking on the food trucks in the park smell so good……
Amy Maricle of https://mindfulartstudio.com hosts an online Challenge called the Inchie Challenge. Inchies are small 2×2 Art that are a mindful way to get focused and relaxed. They are great warmups for helping creatives to show up at the desk and focus on creating. A 2×2 inch square is not very intimidating and you can create tiny art in a very short time from just about anywhere. I like doing Inchies because they help me switch gears from left to right brain very quickly. If you are an Urban Sketcher or Plein Air painter, Inchies are perfect for clearing your mind of clutter so you can quickly focus on painting or drawing. You could even use them as thumbnail sketches for the larger art. They are so tiny they fit in your pocket.
Another reason I like doing these is because they can lead to ideas for other work. And if I am stuck, I can play with an Inchie and then one thing leads to another and all of a sudden, I am in the middle of a project. They are wonderful for creative inspiration
This is my Inchie for today, Day 1. “Leaf” You can see the size from my cutting mat on my desk.
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.