Friday, December 9, 2011

Sneak Peek

I belong to a little friendship group for Zentangles.  I have named them my ZenFriends.  We meet once a month to catch up, learn a new tangle and enjoy each other's company.  Each of us got an Ensemble Set from Rick and Maria at  The set is a grouping of nine tiles with a preprinted string design.  They are to be completed for our December meeting on the 20th. I am doing mine the "Zentangle" suggested way of doing one tile at a time, putting it away and getting out another tile.  I will not place them all together until the meeting, so we can all be surprised together.  I have four more tiles to where is my 01 micron?  I'll post the completed set after the meeting.

Zentangle 3.5" x 3.5" tiles
Micron 01 Pen

Monday, November 14, 2011

Warriors, Tombs and Temples

There is a new exhibit at Bowers Museum, artifacts from the Qin, Han and Tang Dynasties.  There were the full size terra cotta warriors and some of the smaller smiling warriors. I am drawn to the beauty of the characters so I tried to copy the symbols for the three dynasties.  I really enjoy sketching interesting objects that are over 2000 years old.  Amazing! What a great way to start a brand new sketchbook.

I love the shape of the female attendant and the Buddhas are always so peaceful. The golden dragon was a great study in contour drawing.  The small reliquary was number two in a set of four nesting boxes. My new friend, Kathy and I sketched for about an hour and then had a great lunch at Tangata, the restaurant at the museum.  It was a fun day and I enjoyed getting to know her better.  Thanks Kathy.  Anyone want to join us next time?

Robert Bateman 5" x 7" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to All!

Zentangle Pumpkins were a lot of fun and way less messy!

Mini Pumpkins and a Sharpie

Friday, October 21, 2011

Amy, Bryan and Julio

My niece, Amy got married to Bryan last month in San Diego.  We stayed at the Humphrey's Half Moon Inn. It was a beautiful weekend and a wonderful wedding and reception.  My room had a lanai that faced out to the gardens. This tiki pole was carved out of the trunk of a palm tree still in the ground.  Looks like a blessing of laughter for their marriage to me.
Congrats to the lovely couple!

Robert Bateman 5' x 7" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

I volunteer and work with groups of kids making art.  Last week Julio was in my Zentangle group.  This was his second Zentangle which he did all on his own and proceeded to give it to me.  Wow! Thanks Julio!

3.5" square print paper and ink

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Peru and Machu Picchu

I was lucky enough to spend four days in Peru on my way to the Galapagos.  The smears of color are pigments for dying the wool from llamas and alpacas.  The horizontal line is crushed beetles and the vertical lines of color are made by using different liquids to make the various pigments.

Two of my days in Peru were spend up at Machu Picchu which is magical.  Our first day was rainy and cloudy with wonderful mist coming and going.  The second day was bright and sunny with blue skies. I was able to do some sketching the second day along with more exploring of this fabulous place.

After Machu Picchu we spend a day in Cusco, visiting more sights and some museums. It was great to learn so much about the Inca, an amazing people.  It was a beautiful trip with great sights,  wonderful people and fantastic food.  Very inspirational!

Robert Bateman 6" x 12"
Pen and Watercolor

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Galapagos Islands

I wish everyone could make this trip.  It was fantastic, amazing and a trip of a lifetime.  These are just a few of the sea lions on Espanola Island.

Marine iguanas, albatross, and blue footed boobie.  The post office barrel has been in place since the early 1700's. Now it is leave a letter and take one that you can hand delivery in your area or to a place you are going to.

The giant tortoises are amazing,  400 lbs. and some are over 100 years old.  There is a great program in effect that is raising the populations on the different islands.  Visited the Darwin Center.

I was fascinated with the land iguanas.  There are different kinds, all beautiful in their own way and great posers for some sketches. Sea lions sleeping under a cactus, what can I say?

One more iguana, sea lion and a red footed boobie.  The emblem is for the National Park Marina Reserve.  They say you can leave the islands but the islands never leave you.  A wonderful memory forever.

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tom's and Miss Penny

Look Penny, they are finished!  My dear friend, Penny bought a pair of cream colored Tom's for each us to tangle.  She finished hers way before me but I finally finished mine.
It was a little tricky but we took our time working with the micron pens over the bumpy surface.  Surprisingly enough I had a better time filling in the initial darks with the 01 as it could get the sides of the threads.  Signed and Scotch-guarded of course.

I wore them today for the first time, sadly it was at the memorial gathering to celebrate this cherished woman. Every time I wear them it will be in honor of her spirit which I will gather with me and carry on.  Thank you my friend, I know you are smiling down on me with that approving look from heaven.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Another Visit to Irvine Park

Wow, another beautiful and fun day at Irvine Regional Park. The sun was out and there was a wonderful breeze again today.  After Yukun and I took our little walk, I took my chair over by the Zoo and sat to sketch this scene. I took it back to the group to paint it and picked up some little treasures along the way.  There were seven of us today and we all enjoyed the outdoors and a picnic lunch with each other.

5" x 7" Robert Bateman Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

There was a group of kids at the park with Peace Camp.  Three years ago while sketching at the park a group sat in front of us to eat their lunch.  I loved their logo and sketched it my book.  When I saw another group of Peace Campers today I shared my page from 2008 with them.  One of the camp leaders asked if I could send him a copy which I did.  I took that as a nice compliment!

5" x 7" Robert Bateman Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Sunday, July 31, 2011

More Playing Around

Here's....Tripoli! It was introduced as the new grid in town.  This is as big as I have gotten with the grid as I am having trouble keeping it even.  Beside that little problem it is very fun to play with.  Once you get the grid of triangles you can fill in the triangles with other patterns and get wonderful secondary patterns. I will just have to play more to get the grid pattern down.  Gabby and I figured out the center cluster needs to be even to start.

Pepper is fun, they look like peppermint candies.  I really need to push this one a little more and see where I can take it.  I like flipping the stripes in an elongated area.

Rick's Paradox is a must to play with.  So cool!  When adding an adjacent triangle you have a choice in which direction you start in that triangle.  Go one way you get the first cluster, go the other way and you get the second.  There are six triangles in each cluster.  The square looked really hard but nope it's not.

This is the first one I've done!
skinny, skinny, skinny, fat

9" x 12" Sketchbook

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Playing with Mooka

 My friend, Sharla, recommended to our ZenFriend group to work in a bigger sketchbook to explore tangles.  So I took my 40% off coupon to Michael's and got a new sketchbook just for zentangles.  My first two pages are playing with Mooka, which is a continuous line pattern.

It amazing how just "playing around" can produce some pretty fantastic stuff if I do say so myself.  It really helps to build muscle memory so the pattern becomes easy to do.  When you don't have to think about the way to do the tangle your creativity is unleashed and allowed to run free.

Zentangle Sketchbook
9" x 12"   Pen

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Painters at Irvine Park

Our little summer painting group met up again today.  This time we went to Irvine Regional Park.  It was a most glorious day with sunshine, shade and a great breeze.  Sharon and I started with sketching part of the stone walls and then I found lots of interesting bits and pieces of the park.  The one little insect decided he liked my little paint palette. Ann worked on a upo watercolor and Yukon made up a landscape composed of different elements including Ann! Sack lunches and lots of laughter made for a great day, so much so we are going back to the park in two weeks.

Robert Bateman 5" x 7" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Playing in the Dirt

I try to do a little art everyday.  Well, yesterday I played in the dirt making some dish succulent gardens. A zen kind of art thing, so I thought I would post them.
This silver rimmed crystal cut bowl has a big crack running through it, now it is a new kind of vessel.  I like the juxtapose of the elements.

I received some thank you flowers in this little bowl and thought the shape was nice for another little garden.  I placed a little pine cone from my studio in the middle though I am not sure where I picked it up maybe in Alaska.

Sarah and Pedro gave me this little treasure for Mother's Day but two of the plants grew too big for the orb so I replanted it which was not an easy thing to do.  Thank goodness for chop sticks!  As you can see one of the plants is blooming so I pulled the bloom out the little hole on the top.  Hopefully I won't have to replant it very often.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Painting Group at the Arboretum

It was a very warm day at the Fullerton Arboretum but a few of us braved the heat and humidity for art.  There always seems to be a breeze and lots of shade but silly me, I ventured out to the cactus garden to capture a few of these beauties.  In two weeks on July 20th we are meeting at Irvine Regional Park.

Robert Bateman 5" x 7" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Euhla's Backyard

Summer is here and so our little band of Summer Painters has started our group get togethers.  Last week we all gathered in Euhla's backyard with art supplies in hand.  She has a beautiful garden with lots of interesting things to sketch.  We meet every two weeks and next week we are off to the Fullerton Arboretum, anyone want to come and play?  Weds. July 6th 10:30 a.m. on the grass by the gazebo and Victory Gardens.

Robert Bateman 5" x 7" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ito Jakuchu Exhibit

Friday I went with some friends to our little Bowers museum to see the Ito Jakuchu exhibit. Ito was born in 1715 in Japan, was a monk and did scroll and screen paintings.  It was a great show and only the first half!  It is now closed but the second half opens on June 18th.  Most of his screen paintings had what he called an absence of color.  It was interesting trying to capture the brush strokes with my micron pen.  Yukon actually did a little brush painting of a crane in the lower right corner.

The scroll paintings had lots more color.  Andora wanted me to try the tiger so I did.  He looks a little juvenile even though he was an adult male.  I'm not sure I have the colors right on the lobster but I like him.  The bougainvillea branch was from our flowers at lunch at the museum restaurant, Tangata.  Very yummy lunch, good company and an excellent exhibit, well that equals a great day in my sketchbook.

Robert Bateman 5" x 7" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Monday, June 6, 2011

South Pacific

Bowers Museum had an exhibit from the South Pacific.  It had lots of very interesting, somewhat barbaric but very beautiful things to see.  There was also this wonderful music, drums and sounds of the forest playing as you walked around. I think I walked the exhibit three or four different times.  I'm never disappointed with Bowers.

Robert Bateman Sketckbook 5" x 7"
Pen and Watercolor

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sketching with Kari

 On Sunday my new friend, Kari and I went to Armstrong
Nursery to do some sketching.  It was Kari's first time out and she did just swell.  It was a little cold with some wind but we didn't care and we followed it with a warm lunch.  Thanks Kari for a fun day.

Robert Bateman Sketchbook 5" x 7"
Pen and Watercolor

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ode to Apple!

I haven't been away but my computer has, actually it never came back! Hurray for AppleCare! My LCD screen went partial dark and I took it into Apple to get it fixed on the extended AppleCare program. Fixed the screen but there was a problem with the fans which they couldn't fix. So new computer and an upgrade at that! Buy AppleCare it is well worth it. This other tile is just playing around with tangles.

3.5" zentangle tile and pen

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Zentangle Coasters

My daughter told me I had to make zentangle coasters so here they are! I went to Lowe's and bought a small box of 4" x 4" filled traverine tiles.

Using my 01 micron pen I tangled on the tiles. Then I gave them a few coats of matte spray on front, back and sides. I also bought a roll of cork drawer liner, the peel and stick type. I cut the cork a little larger than the tiles and peeled and stuck them on the back. Next using a sharp box cutter I trimmed the cork backing along the edge of the tile. It was tricky to get a good picture with the finish but they are really cool in person. Drink anyone?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Merci Mari

My dear friend and sketching mentor, Mari Le Glatin Keis, lost her battle with cancer in January. A celebration of her life will be held this weekend in Corvallis, OR. Friends and participants of her many workshops were asked to contribute a page for a sketchbook to be assembled for the family. I took four trips with her and my page represents these great captured moments with Mari. She not only was a great influence on my art and it's process but also how I now live my life everyday. Merci Mari.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Official CZT!

I am now an official "CZT"! A "what" you may ask. I am a Certified Zentangle Teacher. Just returned from the CZT workshop in Boston with Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts.

Zentangles are a meditative, repetitive art form and they are fabulous. There are a lot of tanglers out there but I got to learn from the original tanglers.

You can check out the story of Zentangles and Maria and Rick at

You can also find a CZT in your area. I'm in Orange County, CA if anyone wants to try your hand at this wonderful art form. It is fun, relaxing and beautiful.

Anything is possible, one stroke at a time.

3.5" x 3.5"
Zentangle Tile
Sukura Micro Pen

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Aloha from Hawaii

Yes, my sister Nancy and I were warming our bones in February! We stayed with great friends, Mark and Cristi, in Kailua on Oahu. In ten days I only managed these two pages, but we had a fabulous time.

We swam, snorkeled with dolphins, walked the beach, watched turtles and whales and ate many a fine meal. One day after a storm we drove to the North Shore to see the big waves. We stopped and did a little beach combing and found these interesting seed pods.

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Black and White

These are some more pages from the Sketchbook Project. I thought I would post all black and whites this week. Though the scans have some yellow from the sketchbook pages. A Zentangled Faberge Egg seemed like a good combo.

This one is my version of a beta fish minus the lovely colors.

He needed a little more so I added the bands of Zens.

On this page I traced two of the zentangle 3.5 squares and did the more traditional Zentangle format. These little guys are so fun and you can see I have started breaking the borders which I am so fond of doing.

Pen in Moleskine Sketchbook

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sketchbook Project Finished!

Yes, 30 pages completed! I really enjoyed this project though at times I was a little stressed about it and getting it done. Thought I would share a few more pages. This cork from a special dinner with daughter and her husband is actually stamped with "dedicated to the art" Sarah said I had to keep this one.

Don't remember how this page got started but when you draw one caterpillar you just have to keep going. They are such fascinating little things, destructive I know, but fascinating just the same. I like this page a lot.

A local artist does these Spirit Keeper dolls. I have always loved them and so decided to sketch a few of my own. Maybe someday I will actually construct one. They are always so calm and serene to me. Comforting.

Sketchbook Project
Pen and Watercolor