About Me

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San Jose, California, United States
Some paintings far surpass my expectations and some are scary awful, but it's always fun.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rocky Mountain National Park

We just returned from a 5 day trip to Colorado, where we visited our long-time friends, Melinda and Erick. One day we drove over to Rocky Mountain National Park for a hike and a picnic. I made a quick sketch with sepia pens of varying weights and added watercolor washes when I returned home. Sylvia, one of the Paint Site leaders from SCVWS said that she finds sepia ink to be more pleasing with watercolor than black ink. I was happy with it, too-the contrast isn't so sharp. I bought a new 7"x10" travel sketchbook that has 140 pound paper. While it isn't hot press, it's smoother than the Arches cold press books I had been using and I am MUCH happier with the way the pen goes down on the paper.
I wish there had been more time to draw-it's difficult to fit in when traveling with non-artists!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Travel Journal-the Rialto Market in Venice

I love seeing the outdoor markets. cheese shops, bakeries and even "super mercatos" in Italy. Wandering around the iconic Rialto market in Venice is always a treat. This is my favorite page from the watercolor journal I made of our most recent trip. I have been unhappy with the rough texture of the Arches cold-pressed paper in the books I've been using; medium and fine-tipped pens just don't work on the paper. I bought a new book yesterday that has paper that is heavy enough to stand up to watercolor, but with a much smoother surface, and I will try it out next week on our trip to Colorado. I also bought sepia-toned pens and look forward to trying out my new equipment! I'm not taking any paints along this time-will concentrate on the drawing and add washes, maybe, after I return home. Now that the SCVWS reception and Friday's Art and Chocolate event are over, I can concentrate on painting again. I enjoy being on the board and serving as Hospitality Chairman, but it does take my attention away from making art.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Watercolor journal #2 - Bruges, Belgium

As soon as David saw the film, "In Bruges" with Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes, and Brendan Gleason, he wanted to visit the town. Bruges is touted as the most beautiful medieval town in Europe, and it absolutely is as picturesque as it appears in the film, but from 10 a.m. until about 4:30 p.m. it is overrun with tour groups! Between the cruise ships at nearby Calais and the bus tours out of Brussels, the streets are thronged with people. And, according to locals, we didn't see it at its worst-in summer one can barely move, apparently. In the early morning and the evening, however, it is quiet, peaceful and utterly charming.
We had dinner one night at a tiny restaurant where all of the food is cooked in a small open fireplace. I had perfectly done medium rare lambchops, and marvelled at how the "chef" managed to keep track of the various meats and potatoes cooking on an open fire for 25 people, plus serve wine and deliver checks! No picture of it, alas-I was too mezmerized to get the camera out!

Watercolor Journal #1 Brussels

On our trip to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Venice in May, I kept a watercolor journal again. As usual, I failed to plan ahead-I just jumped in and started drawing. Here are the first few pages. Let's see how the resolution works form scanning them....