Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Another Day at Armstrong

Last weekend my friend, Liz, wanted to try her hand at
sketching. I suggest going to our local Armstrong Nursery and sketching there. We had a great time and she really jumped right in. Way to go Liz!

Of course there are always great plants and flowers but there are also lots of interesting architectural items and fun decorations. It is always so colorful.

And don't forget those fun and funky garden ornaments. I really enjoy putting together interesting things on a page. I end up with some wild compositions and the page tells it's own story.

Robert Bateman 5" x 7" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Last Sketches from Mexico

Here is the last posting for my trip to Patcuaro, Mexico. We took a boat ride to Isle Janitzio. Instead of a sketchwalk we did a sketch boat ride. This page is things I saw from the boat. It was a lovely sunny day and a great place to sketch.
Bits and pieces of a day in Patzcuaro. The big copper pot was actually on the side of the street and was full of carnitas in the making. The inside was a beautiful copper and the outside was charred black, it was the best pot, seasoned to perfection. The little couple were leaving with their purchase of flowers.
Cheryl and I were lucky to come across some traditional dancing at the town auditorium one night. There were wonderful murals filling all the walls and so the next day we went back and sat in the cool building and sketched some of the wonderful images.
These two lovely ladies graced the reception desk at our posada. I couldn't leave without them in my sketchbook This was a fabulous trip with a wonderful group of new friends. We had many great experiences and fun times. Great meals, cervezas, taquilla, taxi rides, shopping, exploring, creating, laughing and sharing. Thanks to you all, you added greatly to my trip. Mari and Deek, you are the best!

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor and a little Pastel

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dia de Muertos

While in Patzcuaro, we were able to experience The Day of the Dead. This is a joyous celebration of relatives and ancestors. The street outside our posada (hotel) was where the flower market was set up for 4 days. This truck was over flowing with brilliant purple cockscomb flowers. The flowers just kept coming and coming by the truckloads.
The colors, perfume and amount of flowers was amazing and incredible. I couldn't believe they could all possibly sell but they did. It was overwhelming to think of sketching such a sight, so I fine tuned my eye and zeroed in on smaller aspects of the market.
We visited the panteon (cemetery) in Patzcuaro and boy was it a sight to see! There so much activity as people cleaned and decorated the graves. There was family, music, flowers and laughter. It was beautiful, heart warming and something to remember. This page has bits from 7 different graves.
The next day we visited Tzin Tzun Tzan and the panteon there. There was more activity and candles from the night before. Being overwhelmed again, I concentrated on smaller parts of grave sights and came up with this page. I feel privileged to have been there. Thanks Mari for the opportunity.

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Patzcuaro, Mexico

Just returned from a great trip to Patzcuaro, Mexico. It is in the state of Michoacan. It was another fun filled, wonderful trip with Mari Le Glatin Keis We stayed one night in Morelia and were greeted with music and fireworks, which are put on in the central plaza every Sat. night.

This is my first page done while strolling through the streets of Patzcuaro. Our posada was just across from one of the five or so churches in the town. It had the most interesting, seemingly random bells through out the day. Most times between 24 and 36 bongs!
Lunches we were on our own and we found a great place at La Casita de Rosi. I ate there 5 or 6 times and it was great. A 3 course meal plus dessert for 60 pesos. ($6) Muy rico! I managed to sketch there as well. Rosi was so sweet and liked to practice her English.
A sketch of marigolds with some petals glued right to the page and a colorful clothesline.
We took a boat ride on the Lago de Patzcuaro. We stopped at a small island for a short time and Olive and I stayed on the boat and sketched the shore line.
More to come.
Robert Bateman 6' x 9" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Virtual Sketch for September

I found an interesting site through someone's blog, Virtual Sketch Date . Every month there is a reference photo posted a week before the dealine. You then sign up on comments and post your sketch on your blog on Sat. and Sunday all the entries are posted at Virtual Sketch Date. I started with contour drawings of the petals, continued from there and added watercolor.

This is the reference photo for Sept. I don't usually sketch from photos so this was a little different for me. It is great fun to see how everyone's sketches are the same but different. Wonder what next month will bring.

Robert Bateman 5" x 7" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Washington Sketches

After our trip to Astoria I spent more time with my sisters and mom in WA. Saturday we went to the Vancouver Farmers Market. My sister, newphew and I sketched in the park as well as things in the market. It was a great place to work on sketching people.
One of the booths at the market was filled with wonderful birdhouses. I asked Richard for permission to sketch some of his houses, telling him I was a sketcher not a birdhouse builder. He was very generous and yes. His birch and copper houses are specific for each type of bird. They are beautiful and fun to sketch.
Sunday we went to the Lewisville River Park. First I sketched the river, did a blind contour of Emily and watched as Case and Emily crossed the river. Emily only fell in three times. After a snack the three of us went on a sketchwalk in the rain. Yes, more rain....it is Washington afterall.

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" Sketchbook
Ink and Watercolor

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Little More Astoria

Well, You know me and my grids! I prepped this page with some background color and the grids before we left the B&B for our own sketchwalk down to Pier 39. These were flowers I saw along our way. The purple smear and the blackberries are really the juice of wild blackberries. I also found a few sweet ones to eat.
We stayed at the Benjamin Young Inn with our hostess, Caroline. It was great! Lovely old home, good food and lots of laughs. One morning we had the most delicious scones and she shared the recipe with us. We had our coffee and tea in big china mugs every morning and evening.
We went up to the Column at the top of the hill. You could see down to the water and all around Astoria. It is a beautiful place. We looked through papers and magazines for collaging and I found "Soundings in Fathoms" on an old sea chart. Using a play on words I see it meaning, "Deep Thoughts"
My Sister and I went to Flavel House in town. It is a historical home and museum of Captain Flavel. I walked through the house and sketched things that caught my eye. I am particularly proud of the Mason and Hamlin Organ that stood at the end of the long hall. It was fun sitting on the floor in the middle of the hallway and sketching history.
Robert Bateman Sketchbook 6" x 9"
Ink and Watercolor

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Astoria, Oregon

Another wonderful trip with Mari Le Glatin Keis in Astoria, OR. This time my sister was able to join me and we had a marvelous adventure. We met a great group of women and made new friends and new memories. There was even a great art store we just had to visit, twice. We had some interesting weather, cool and rainy with some sunny breaks, but it is Astoria, 96" of rain a year!
Three of the group lived in Astoria and one of the husbands took us on a motor cruise on his 40' sailboat. It was fun to sketch from the boat for an hour or so. I sketched things from the shore as well as thing on the boat. It was grey, cloudy, blue patches, grey, sun, rain, wind, cloudy, and we sketched away! We never let the weather detour us from our joy of sketching.
His boat was called the Pelican and we had our photo taken as we passed by Pier 39. There is a great little cafe and coffee place on the pier, Coffee Girl, where each group waited while the other cruised. We spend some wonderful times there eating, drinking, sketching and laughing. Their Chai Latte is grand. The old bouy floats were hanging in the corner.
After our motor cruise we met up at another gal's floathouse for our afternoon meet up and appetif. She has a wonderful place with a wrap around covered porch with great sketching opportunities. There was a steady rain so we couldn't sketch the floathouse from the road but we managed things from around the porch. It was quite peacful sketching and hearing the rain on the roof.
Robert Bateman 6" x 9"
Ink and Watercolor

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Week of Sketches

Last Friday I spent the day at the beach with friends. I did this one sketch of the happenings at the shore. It was a good place to work on my sketches of people. It was fun but looks like I need to keep working! The people are actually very small, only about an inch tall.

Wednesday, I went to Irvine Regonial Park with a couple of friends for sketching and lunch. It was another warm beautiful day with a wonderful breeze coming off the small lake. There was a summer camp group there, all wearing black t-shirts with the "Peace Camp" logo.

My friend, Yukon and I sketched a couple of pages of the same area of the park. It was fun to see the difference of style and technique and how we each captured the moment. While looking for one of Yukon's dropped watercolor pans in the grass, of course it was sap green, I found an interesting piece of broken branch.

Today my friend, Penny and I went to our local Armstrong Nursery to do some sketching. It is a great place to sketch and they were happy to have us there, even offering us chairs as we sat on the ground! We just strolled around and stopped to sketch when something caught our eye.

Not only are there beautiful plants and flowers but many interesting and fun things to sketch including exterior and interior decorations. We only sketched for awhile as it was a hot day but we will definately be going back.
Robert Bateman 5" x 7" Sketchbook
Ink and Watercolor

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Balboa Island

Yesterday, I went to Balboa Island with my friend, Dori to meet up with Marj and her group. It was nice and cool and the sun never did burn through the clouds but I still got a little sun. I think there was about ten of us, sketching, pastels and watercolors. This is the Pavillion across the bay. As I was sketching the boat, I looked up and realized that my ship had sailed!
The bay is a great place to sail around in these little sailboats call Sabots. They were stacked all along the beach. The kids take lessons and sail back and forth and around and around. There were lots of kids running up and down the boardwalk and many stopped to see what we were doing and to comment on our work. All good! I couldn't resist the bright geraniums and their crinkley leaves.
Robert Bateman 5" x 7" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Arboretum Sketch Crawl

We enjoyed the Fullerton Arboretum so much last time, we decided to return yesterday for more sketching. There was a bigger group this time. Eight of us! Sketching, photographs, watercolors and Dori played with her pastels. (Played is an understatement.) Another beautiful day spent with friends.
I worked in my 5" x 7" Robert Bateman sketchbook. I threw some watercolor washes on a few pages, added the grids and was off to the flowers and veggies. I was going to put something different in each grid but this is what I ended up with.
Oh, the joy of just letting it happen! I really enjoy sketching the moment.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fullerton Arboretum

Last Wednesday Eula, Yukon and I went to the Fullerton Arboretum for some sketching and painting. My mom was here and went with us with her sudoku book. It was a nice warm day with a cool breeze. We brought sack lunches and had a marvelous time. It's a great place with so many wonderful things to sketch. Architecture, plants, animals, ponds and lots of shade.
There are garden patches with wonderful veggies and flowers. I sketched the rhubarb for my mom, one of her favorites. The Cactus and Century plants were in bloom and were spectacular. They have quite the variety of cacti. We are going back on Weds. the 23rd if you're in the area. See you around 10 a.m. at the Victorian House. Just look for sketchbooks and join the fun!
Robert Bateman Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Road Trip to Carmel

Road Trip! My kids and I took a road trip up to Carmel for a few days. Here, we are enjoying a great brunch at Casanova's. Of course this included Champagne as well as great food. It was a wonderful fun trip with lots of great food, wine, card playing and time spent together.

We also stayed one night right on the beach in Cambria. Here I am with the Harbor Seals. I would like to go back and stay in Cambria. The town and surrounding area is beautiful. More great food and wine, and massages before we started for home.
Wine tasting on Carmel Valley Road, Carmel. This lovely place has a large garden and patio area. Here is where we found the red table wine we drank at La Bicyclette restaurant in Carmel. It was a very nice close to the afternoon of wine tasting, followed by a great dinner at Wickett's.

Of course, we visited Hearst Castle on the way up. It was a nice cool day to tour the castle and grounds. We also hiked around Point Lobos and went to the Monterey Aquarium.
We were so busy having fun I only managed one sketch. I did this over two days at the Edgemere Cottages in Carmel.
We took my Prius and drove 930 miles on less than 25 gal. of gas. As J said on the way home, "The Prius is the perfect car!" Great trip and memories. Thanks guys. I love you!

Monday, June 9, 2008

San Felipe, B.C.

This last weekend I went down to San Felipe, Mexico in Baja California with my friend, Levana to help her with her new house. The first night we had dinner at an outside restaurant in town. We bought some souveniers from the locals. The stylized fish is a painted sand dollar and the little turtle and snail have boogalee heads. The blue fish is from the tile in her bathroom. I would have liked to get a postage stamp from town but too late. Oh well, next time.
This sketch is of the fireplace in their living room that her husband, Kelly designed. The weather was warm with a lovely ocean breeze so I went out on the patio and sketched some of the plants around the house. They have a very nice desert landscape.
The next day we walked down to the beach. As we walked along the shore I collected, sea shells, drift wood, feathers and even some crab legs. San Felipe is known for their seafood. Levana had never seen a sand dollar and I found a group of them left on the sand by the tide. We took the collection back to her house and I layed out a "sea life" still life. A very fun weekend.

Robert Bateman Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Recent Sketches

When I was up visiting my sisters in Washington I did some sketches . I started with the grid and added the made up green vines. The dragon fly, sunflower plaque and bird or in this case the "squirrel" feeder were from her yard. I added the pussy willows to bring the whole design together. Artistic license I guess.
Lynette has some great Christmas cacti which were still blooming in April. It was a fun sketch with all the sections and blossoms. I started on the left side and soon realized I didn't have room for the largest bloom so I decided to add a box and move the bloom into view.
While I was drawing my nephew, Case got out his sketchbook and we worked on some contour drawings to help his skills. It was a pencil drawing so after I got back home I added the grid and then the flowers and beads to fill up the page.
My friend, Nancy and I sat one afternoon to play in our sketchbooks. Nancy sketched some of the plants out of my kitchen windows. I set up a still life with a couple of silk tulips and a ceramic tea pot. It was dark by the time we were finished. Time can pass so quickly when you are having fun with a friend.

Robert Bateman 5" x 7" Sketchbook
Ink and Watercolor