Thursday, December 17, 2009

Everything Landscape

We had our final critique today in my Experimental Drawing class. One of the assignments was an Everything Landscape. Everyone added an item to a list and we had to incorporate all 29 items into a drawing. I approached it as a large sketchbook page. This is the final outcome. It is 26" x 58" I did the initial drawing in pencil, then added ink lines and watercolor. It was a very interesting assignment.
Can you find the 29 items?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Costa Rica: Last and Favorite Pages

These are my favorite pages from Costa Rica. I had so much fun walking and sketching in the botanical gardens. I really enjoyed overlapping flowers, plants and vines. It was also great fun adding all the lush colors.
This page is from the Corcovado Nat. Park. All the flowers are so interesting and beautiful. The hanging white flowering vines were fascinating. Too bad my camera focused on the trees behind it. Oh well, I guess the sketch will have to do.
In this photo my camera did a great job, focusing on the flower and not the background! It is a type of hanging hibiscus. So delicate. There are so many spectacular plants and flowers.

This is the fruit of the "Lipstick" tree. If you flip the open seed pod over it looks like big old lips. The outside of the pod is spiky but soft not pokey and the inside is hollow with seeds that are full of a red staining liquid. I used it to paint a little in my sketchbook.

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Friday, November 27, 2009

More from Panama and Costa Rica

We spent two days in the Coiba National Park. We walked along a very muddy trail and saw some wonderful plants, birds and animals. We also spent two great afternoons swimming and snorkeling.
My favorite was Islote Granito de Oro; the little grain of gold. It was a very small beautiful little island. There were thousands of hermit crabs and interesting things to sketch. While snorkeling I spotted a silver tipped shark. Sorry, no time for a sketch.
Pieces of the forest on a hike with Roger and Rudy. More mud and more fun! No, the pelicans were not in the forest, I added those later on the beach at Manuel Antonio. As I swam they were diving and feeding all around me. More fun!

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Panama-Embera Village

One of our stops was at the village of the Embera. They welcomed us with music and many smiles. This is a sketch of the shaman's house, he is 105 and looking great! As I worked in my book a little boy came up and was watching me. I gave him the pen and asked him to draw me a flower.
He had just started school and had a little trouble to start but soon got used to the pen and finished his flower. Then I gave him the water brush and my paints. When he finished I had a group of the village children around me so I quickly drew the bar of triangles and circles.
It was interesting that 3 of the 4 children picked the circle to paint but looking at their body paintings I realized most of the designs were lines and geometric shapes so maybe the circles were appealing to them. Unfortunately we had to leave before the page was filled.
I got a band painted on my forearm by one of the village woman and it has faded away after about 12 days and I am sad.

The Embera are a lovely, beautiful, friendly and very happy people. It was an honor to spend the afternoon with them. Something I will remember always.

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Panama and Costa Rica

Just returned from a great time in Panama and Costa Rica. I went on a cruise with Cruise West. It is the second time I have cruised with them and it was so much fun. We stopped at the Miraflores visitor center which is one of the locks of the Panama Canal. One of the rooms had a display of wonderful insects. I wish I'd had more time as they were fabulous.
Our first stop after boarding the ship was in Portobelo. Tons the gold and silver for the King of Spain passed through this tiny port. It has tons of history as well. There is new music school and these guys were added recently. The town also is host to a large vulture population.
The next day we went through the Panama Canal. Wow, what a wonder that is! It took us about 7 1/2 hrs. to transit the canal. We were lucky and got to start the trip in the afternoon so we saw the workings in the daylight and the dark. We were the 24th transit of the day and traveled with the Ulusoy-9 out of Istanbul. What a way to start our adventure!

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Friday, October 9, 2009

A few more from France

Here are the last pages from my trip to France. This first one is a grid of some, just some, of the things I bought in the different villages. Fun things to remind me of a great time.
The second to the last day we went to Gordes and my legs just didn't want to do another hilly village so I made my way to the town square. I decided to work on people and gestures. I was pleased with this page and it was fun.
The very last day a few of us went back to Rousillion for the morning. I tried to work looser and did a few more people. I love looking back in my sketchbook as it puts me right back in the moment. Now where is that ice cream man?

Robert Bateman Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Race for the Cure

Today was the Orange County Race for the Cure in Newport Beach. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Early detection is very important. Have you gotten your mammogram? Here is my number and pink hat. I am a breast cancer survivor, 16 years and going strong.
Here is Liz and myself after the race. We walked the 5K in one hour and were very proud of ourselves. It is amazing to walk with so many others in support of this very important issue. My favorite T-shirt of day?

"Yes they are fake, my real ones were trying to kill me!"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Day with Marta

Lucky me, I got to spend a wonderful day at the beach with Marta. We had a great little lunch and then took our chairs, umbrella, sunscreen and of course our sketchbooks down to the water's edge. The weather was lovely especially as the temp at home was 100 degrees.
It was so nice to relax, chat and sketch on the beach. We munched on frosted animal cookies, a beach staple I am told and even gave our feet and legs a cool dip in the water. Thanks for the invite Marta, it was a fun and refreshing afternoon.

Last week I ventured out to Central Park in Huntington Beach with a group of painter friends. I could only stay for a little while and just did this little sketch. I hope to make a few more Tuesdays with the group, they are a great talented group.

I did this sketch while sitting out by the pool in Ensenada, B.C. Mexico. It was either this or people in their swimsuits and that involved way too much information.

Robert Bateman Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Goult, Saignon and Viens

This windmill complete with it's sails was in Goult, another lovely village. We noticed around town there were sculptures made out of trees that had died. They were very interesting. In one of the houses there was a very modern looking window without shutters and in it was this very interesting collection.

Saignon was another village built on a hill of rocks. The buildings were set at different angles making it challenging but also easier to sketch as the prospective was not the same. I added the vine flower at a cafe in the square and decided the page was finished.
Lucky me, I was invited into another lovely home in Viens. The husband saw me sketching and fetched his wife who is an artist. I got the grand tour of their home to see her paintings. I guess I just must have one of those faces! Don't forget to ask for a postal stamp. I think they add so much to the page.
My profile pic was taken of me sketching this broken down wagon turned into plant station. I know my prospective is off some but it was fairly rickety. It was a longer day in Viens so we had a picnic lunch and one small uninvited but interesting guest.

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More France Sketches

Lucky us, we got to go to four market days. The array of goodies was amazing. Clothes, spices, honey, flowers, books, jewelry, hats, food. The colors, sights and sounds were something to remember. Much better than a mall!
On this day we went to Rousillion where the village is surrounded by ochre. You can walk through excavation sights for 2 euros. Did you know they heat the ochre to get darker colors for pigments? It is a wonderful village with lots to see and sketch and yes, a little shopping too.
This poor old girl was put out to pasture, literally. One day it was cooler as the mistrals and a storm was approaching so I walk down the road a ways to sit and sketch her. It was challenging but fun. She was actually white but well you know it was Provence and lavender time.
Bits and pieces, that's what I call pages like this one. A balcony, the window from the dining room, a metal shop sign, more door handles. I just fill it up with little things I see.

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Friday, August 7, 2009

Provence Sketches

My "ode" to the lavender fields. David took us to the fields where we were able to sit along the lavender and sketch. The rows are very rounded and at harvest time the mowers come and give them a hair cut leaving them with a "green" buzz cut!
I sketched this door in Saint Saturnin on Bastille Day. The door was actually brown but Fran said, "Well, we are in France and it's lavender time." So I painted the door lavender. The metal key is a door knocker that I bought that day at the village's "Clean out your attic day sale", and the metal cricket was on the mantel in my room.
As I sat and sketched this lovely little Citroen, it's owner, Patrice, came by to chat. He gave me his name and address in Paris so I can send him a copy of it. His wife, Katarina, came out and they invited me to see inside their summer house. I would have loved to sketch their little kitchen but alas they were going for a hike.
I can't help myself, I see the details. The little yard sketch was my view from my window. Every morning as I opened my shutters it was breath taking. So peaceful. The door handles around the house were so interesting, I decided to seek out different ones and sketch them. And there's Gloria in her blue chair, sketching in Sault.

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Time in Provence

I just returned from a fabulous trip to the south of France. We were a group of twelve artist and stayed at Les Bassacs in Provence with David and Liz. Check them out if you are looking for a trip involving art. Great hospitality and the food was fantastic. Very organized.
One day they took us out to the lavender fields to
paint and as lovely as they were I was captivated by a grouping of wild flowers and the way they were twisted and woven together. Of course a perfect place to use the all ready prepped grid page.
Saint Saturnin des Apt is the closest village to Les Bassacs. David goes into the village every morning to get our daily supply of fresh breads. This windmill complete with sails sits above the village. The closed window shutters are from the main house at Les Bassacs.
We spent one very warm day in Sault complete with picnic lunch. The village overlooks the splendid lavender and wheat fields. They were a beautiful patchwork of golds and purples. I first drew the hollyhocks and did my interpretation of the hills. We all liked the composition and white hollyhocks so I decided to leave them without color. Lots more to come.

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Friday, June 19, 2009

Samurai Exhibit

Back for a visit to our great little Bowers Museum.  This time I went with Penny to view the Samurai Exhibit.  As you entered there were two cases with the Samurai Armor,  I don't know how they could move let alone ride a horse in all that gear.  It was fun but challenging to sketch one with all the layers and textures.

There were beautiful swords and mountings.  Most of the handles were made of shark skin which were very bumpy. Oh, how I wanted to run my fingers over it!  These beautiful little cases were for medicine, held closed by the cord they had layered compartments. They eventually became fashion statements. 

Robert Bateman Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sketches of Spring

I got a new computer and it took awhile to upload files and photos and then figure out the new scanner but I'm back!

 This first sketch is from Ensanada.  Cactus, aloe, flowers and vines.  The rooster is a metal sculpture that was on the garden wall.

My friend, Liz and I went down to the mission in San Juan Capistrano one fabulous spring day. The sun was out, it was warm and the flowers and cactus were beautiful.  The hand stamp that day was the blue bell so I asked for one in my book and turn it into the El Camino Real bell.

On another beautiful Sunday, my friend, Penny and I went down to Carlsbad to the flower fields.  It is so awesome to see the fields of color.  They also have a sweet pea maze which we stood on the outside and sketched some peas.  The little stamps are from different areas of the fields where kids can stamp their "passport".  We got the maze, the rose garden, art station and of course the runnuculas.

5" x 7" Robert Bateman Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


The semester is almost over in my experi- mental painting class. The third project was Boxes. This was a box with a very rustic finish that I added some mixed media ATCs to the outside and inside of the box and then did some groupings in each of the cubbies.
I found the little aliens in tubes of slime at Target and couldn't resist them. All of the other objects have personal meanings and represent something in my life. The yellow smilely face guy was from an Arby's kid meal about 25 years ago. It was fun to play with all my little momentos.
This "box" is a shrine or collection holder. It is made out of foam core, covered in rice paper, painted and collaged. The idea was from the book, "Crafting Personal Shrines" by Carol Owen. It was great fun to put together and decorate.
The box in the center was a notecard box with a magnetic closure. I added the little shelf.
I was surprised how sturdy it turned out to be. A group of my friends and I are planning a "shrine making workshop this summer". What would you put in your shrine?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Washington DC

Went to Washington DC to visit my son, Jason, for a week. My friend and travel buddy, Dianne, joined me for the trip. We had a fabulous time, saw the sites, ate way too much great food, walked more miles than I want to count and really enjoyed our time together.
It was Cherry Blossom Festival and boy is that a beautiful sight. On the weekend we went to Georgetown and walked around the Dembarton Oaks Garden. It was sunny day and the gardens were lovely even though a lot of the flowers were not in bloom yet.
We made our way to Jason's apartment on Saturday and he made us a delicious lunch and then we walked around his neighborhood and all the great brownstones. We sat outside at a local coffee place and worked in our sketchbooks.
Thanks Jason and Dianne for a great trip!
Robert Bateman 6"x9"Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor