Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Sunday was my birthday but my kids took me to dinner on Saturday. We had a great meal at Bayside in Newport Beach and then went back to my daughter and her husband's place for surprises! Instead of a cake, they got yummy cupcakes from Sprinkles. There was a variety of flavors so we picked four, cut them in quarters and enjoyed a sampling paired with pink champagne.

The apartment was glowing with all the lights and decorations for Christmas. It all made for a very fun, tasty, and might I add classy celebration. Those kids are so clever.

A champagne toast with Jason.
He gave me a very stylish water decanter and glass for my bedroom. Another way to go green, no more plastic bottles on the nightstand.

Cuddles with Sarah and Pedro.
They bought me a new game, "In a Pickle", which we played after the cupcakes. It was lots of fun and we shared many laughs.
A fun birthday night. Thanks guys, I love you.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sketching at the Zoo

Nathan and Matthew, my eight year old twin nephews, came for a two day visit. It was an art trip to play in my studio. On the second day we decided to venture out and sketch at the Santa Ana Zoo. Now I thought, "Okay, this is good for maybe an hour." The boys really enjoyed sketching at the zoo and we were there for over two hours. Good job, guys!

It was fun but those critters are not easy to sketch when they are on the move! I think I need a little more practice on animal body shapes.

One of the things the boys were excited about was the fact that I was sketching them while they were sketching. I have heard they have continued sketching. Next time they are over I will have to share some of their drawings. It was great to see their enthusiasm for sketching.
Robert Bateman Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Graber Olive House with Tania

I got an email from Tania about a sketching day and of course I was in! Tania teaches botanical drawing and is putting together artists and gardeners in wonderful settings. You can check out the happenings at Saturday we all met in Ontario, CA at the Graber Olive House for a tour of the packing plant and then some sketching. Someone said they thought this was an old olive press. I don't know I just thought it was a big cool rusty thing.

There were some great old pieces of equipment, wagons, bells and stuff around the place. When we first got there at 10:00 a.m. Dori didn't think there was too much to draw and we would be done early, well.......our little group of four didn't leave until 4:00 p.m.
There is nothing like a rusty bell....except for maybe an old broken down wagon......or maybe.....

After the tour and lunch I went on a little sketchwalk. Just strolling around and sketching what ever caught my eye. On the sun dial were the words, "Count only the sunny hours", now I think this has something to do with how one reads the sun dial but what a great philosophy! Another great day with Tania. Thanks to Dori, Kamillia and Levana for following my lead and coming along.
Robert Bateman Sketchbook with pen and watercolor.

Monday, October 29, 2007

More Sketches from Provence

These are sketches around the domaine on the first day. All the shutters on the doors and windows were this lovely shade of turquoise. I am a real sucker for water pumps.
I still love those grids. They are such a fun way to add those little interesting stippets of the day.
And another waterpump.
The caveau is where you can buy some of that great French wine.
This page is a sketchwalk around the domaine. A sketchwalk is walking around an area with your sketchbook and and doing a quick drawing and then move onto the next interesting thing that catches your eye. No sitting down on this one.

Oh Look! Another waterpump. This one was made into a water fountain. The niche is on the walk of the chartruese. The wall was covered with lots of old vines.
The vines covering these doorways were actually very old grape vines. Another metal sign for a caveau. I couldn't leave France without sketching the vinyard. These were some very old vines outside the chartruese. The colors of the leaves were starting to change.
This is my sketch of a rusty old barge on the Rhone River on the way into town. We walked past this on our way to and from town. On one of the last days I notice the "no anchoring" sign, but I guess it's okay to run aground.
All of these are in my 6" x 9" Robert Bateman Sketchbook with pen and watercolor on prepped pages.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sketch Trip to Provence, France

My first trip to France was wonderful and I am so glad it was a sketching trip with Mari. We stayed at the Domaine de la Baume in Pont Saint Espirt in Provence. This page was done on the first day. After prepping pages, the group walked into town together, sketching along the way and of course we got our stamp from the post office in town.
Saturday was market day and what a spectacular feast for the senses. We walked up and down the whole market buying goodies to take home and things to eat along the way. We met up for a little refreshment and to sketch the people as they went by. This was a great exercise in sketching people very quickly.
We visited a beautiful garden of 1001 flowers that is the home of a Swiss couple. It was a wonderful place to sketch a great memory. A local paper sent a reporter to interview Mari and take pictures. We were in the next edition and when we went to buy copies we were recognized as "les Americans". Not too many Americans make it to Pont Saint Esprit. The article mentioned how our visit to the gardens was without photographic equipment. How cool is that?
This sketch was done across the river looking up to the village of Aigueze. It sets at the end of a gorge. I was having trouble with all the vegetation and then remembered Mari's suggestion of doing contour drawings. It really helped a lot with all those bushes and trees. I was happy with the outcome.
These are some sketches of the village of Aigueze, which was named one of the most beautiful villages in all of France. Lovely cobble stone narrow streets and stone archways. It was so quiet and beautiful . We sat down on the doorsteps of homes to sketch across the way. After I sketched the archway I found a postcard of that street and archway. I guess I have a good eye!
This composit page is a day in Villeneuve Les Avignon, another enchanting village. The gang had a great lunch in the town square where a quartet was playing. My drawings of buildings and architecture of the city and the chartreuse have become jumbled into one drawing. Mari made us a lovely dinner. What a wonderful little group we were.

All of these are in my 6" x 9" Robert Bateman sketchbook with pen and watercolor on prepped pages.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

San Juan Capistrano Mission

Last Wednesday my friends, Ginger, Penny and Susan and I met at the Mission for a sketch crawl. It was a beautiful day, sunny, warm but with the most wonderful breeze. When we got to the mission we made a bee line for the center courtyard and didn't crawl very far as there was lots to sketch. After a few hours we left for lunch but Ginger and I returned for one more sketch.

I like to do composite pages of things that catch my eye but sometimes a funny secondary picture appears. Here the brick chimney looks like a cactus birdhouse. Isn't serendipity grand! It is fun filling the page with little bits of the day.

This is a section of the archways that go around the hole courtyard. My sketch is a little wocky and looks like a good old Santa Ana Wind would knock it all down but this mission is not going anywhere! The mission is famous for the return of the swallows each spring. The little blue swallow is the hand stamp for re-entry. When I saw the swallow on my hand we asked for one in our books as well. My ode to Mari, get a stamp whenever available!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

More from Summer Lake with Mari

Here are some more sketches from my Summer Lake, Oregon trip with Mari and our band of happy sketchers. We really had just too much fun though we all grew individually as people and artist. What a wonderful way to discover the world around us.

The texture of these tree trunks was too good to not sketch. The little bird houses are for the Tree Swallows. There were mom and dad swallows who would time it perfectly and one would leave just as the other would swoop in to watch over the little ones.

The museum at Fort Rock was actually a group of structures which included the doctor's house, church, school and three or four other houses. We could open cupboards and drawers and handle the items in the houses. Just leave them as you found them, how fun is that, you could touch things.

One day is was very cold and windy and Karen and I decided there was quite a lot we could sketch around the lodge. We could sketch outside and then go back inside to sketch and get warm. We were expecting weather in the 80's. The sun was out but the wind was soooo cold that day.

The next day we spent some time at the hot springs and camp grounds. We took a dip in the hot springs to warm our bones and then sketched around the camp before heading into Paisley and then up along the ridge. The hot springs are inside the old barn and the stalls have been made into changing rooms. A slight smell of sulfur but, oh so relaxing!

When our stay at Summer Lake was over I drove back to Covallis with Karen and Janet. We stopped in Silver Lake to sketch and get one more postal stamp.
We stopped in the Klamath Marsh Wildlife Refuge where the marshes and water lillies were amazing. Standing there on the side of the road I was surrounded by the beautiful mountains. Who could pass up one more time to sketch a memory.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Summer Lake with Mari

I spent a marvelous time in Summer Lake, OR on a five day sketching trip. Our leader was Mari Le Glatin Keis, who is just great! She takes care of the lodging, food and plans for the daily outings. I have linked her web site here on my blog. Check her out, she also does trips to Spain, France and Mexico and she has a book coming out in July.

The wildlife in the refuge was amazing. There are 254 species of birds in the area. Sometimes it was like they were posing for us and other times we were actually sketching on the fly.

Views of the trails, marshes and around the grounds of the lodge. I really like these little grids and the small memories they can give you.

These are all in my 5" x 7" Robert Bateman sketchbook and are ink and watercolor. Mari had us prep pages each morning before setting out for sketch walks. I had never done this before and was greatly suprised to find that when it came time to sketch, the pages were almost perfect. I did add some extra color on top of the prepped pages.

Little framed windows are also a great way to sketch a postcard of the moment. The plants and foliage were also very beautiful. There were wonderful, large irises around the lodge in great colors.

We stopped at the small local post offices each day and ask for a cancel stamp to date our pages. I also added the population of the area on the page. Fort Rock was a whopping 34! We walked part of the Medicine Man's trail, visited Fort Rock, went in the hot springs, sketched in the wildlife refuge and shared our books and many laughs over wine and snacks every afternoon.
I can't wait for Provence in October!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Hortense Miller Gardens

Yesterday, I met up with a new group of gals at the Hortense Miller Gardens in Laguna, CA. The day was set up by Tania from ArtPlantae as a botanical sketching class. First, we got a tour of the gardens and after a quick "get to know ya" lunch we were off sketching.

These hanging garden ornaments were made by Hortense, who is now in her 90's. They caught my eye as soon as we rounded the first corner on our tour.

I was the only non-gardener in the group so I don't know the names of many of the plants but I do know a begonia when I see it. The stringy stuff in the top corner is my poor attempt at Spanish Moss.

As you can see I did make a stop in the potting shed where I also took some photographs of the eclectic shelves.

I should have ask someone the name of this plant. These are not peppers but the buds (I think) of the plant. None of them were open so I am not really sure.

It was a beautiful and fun day with a great group.
Thanks Tania!

All of these are in my Robert Bateman Sketchbook with pen and watercolor.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Flowers and Bowers

EDM Challenge #76 Flowers

This are my Mother's Day Flowers. The beautiful hydrangea will be planted in my tea garden. The peonys are gorgeous and huge! The flowers are six inches across and a very deep burgandy color, which I had trouble mixing the same color. I thought the grid was a great layout for the flowers.

Pen and Watercolor
Robert Bateman Sketchbook

Bowers Museum
Santa Ana, CA

I met two friends at Bowers Museum for a day of art, lunch and sketching. These are from the Shanghai Exhibit. There were pieces from 5000 years of China history. The pieces were beautiful, detailed and in amazing shape for their ages.
Pen and Watercolor
Robert Bateman Sketchbook

Ansel Adams Exhibit

There was also a great exhibit of Ansel Adams photographs. We took our time looking closely at all the photos and even managed to do some sketching. This is my ode to Ansel.

Water Soluable Graphite Pencil
Robert Bateman Sketchbook

There is also a wonderful Egyptian Exhibit at the museum but we spent so much time on lunch and the other two that we ran out of time. We didn't make it to the gift shop either but the up side is we get to go back!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Aquarium of the Pacific

My mom was visiting this last week and we took a drive to Long Beach to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific. It is a great place to view the wonders of the sea. I managed to sketch a few interesting bits here and there. This turtle was resting in a corner and posed for me the whole time I was sketching him.
Sea Dragons are the weirdest but coolest little guys. The Weedy Sea Dragon looks like twigs and brown leaves. The Leafy Sea Dragon just looks like a bundle of green leaves. They move around like sea horses, almost a floating dance. Jelly fish are always a favorite, as long as you are not in the water with them. I love watching the beautiful ballet they perform.
Pen and Watercolor
Robert Bateman Sketchbook

EDM challenge # 7
Tins or bottles from the kitchen.
I chose some tins from the pantry and although I liked the drawing it looked a little plain so I poured out some of the mulling spices to give it a more finished look.
Pen and Watercolor
Robert Bateman Sketchbook

Sunday, April 22, 2007

EDM Challenges 3 and 35

Here are a couple more EDM challenges.

I was hoping to catch up but I seem to be falling more and more behind. I guess that's okay as I will always have something to draw. The rusty tricycle is in the art room at the college and looked interesting. I then added the gear/sprocket of a bike.

Pen and Watercolor
This is my favorite ever red leather wallet from Brighton. It is a great little size and can hold a lot.

Pen and Watercolor

The Kokeshi dolls are from an exhibit at the Riverside Metropolitan Museum. They are a form of traditional folk art dating back to about 1830.
Pen and Watercolor
Robert Bateman Sketchbook

Friday, April 6, 2007

Recent Monoprints

Here are a couple of monoprints I have done recently.
The train image is titled, "Midnight Express. This print is the result of inking and printing the plate and then manipulating it and printing again without cleaning it and manipulating and printing a third time. The train, leaves and furrows were cut from file folder and then inked and moved around with each printing.

The flower plate was painted with water based inks. I let it dry completely and then painted it again in different colors. I painted it a total of five times. As prints are pulled from the plate the colors come off in layers, giving me a variety of colors and textures.