Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Pen Drawing, Waiting Room Plant with Shiny Black Pot

Plant with Pot, pen on watercolor paper, 3" x 5"

My past two weeks have been a nightmare of living with insufficient pain management. I had one week without any medication, in which I wasn't capable of writing my name intelligibly, then the previous drawing was during the brief time I didn't realize the fill-in prescription from my primary care clinic was for half my standard dose. That left me with less than half function, plus I had to skip a couple of shifts entirely to catch up and still have two pills left to be medicated for my pain clinic appointment.

It's over. My new doctor at the pain clinic is good and I may even get some real improvements in my health over time. I won't go into boring detail about it but the sources of my chronic pain are multiple and a couple of those conditions may be more treatable now than the last time I talked to a doctor about them. It still grates on me that some treatments that could help me a lot are illegal in this state, particularly medical marijuana and its derivatives.

So please, support medical marijuana and marijuana legalization. Prohibition 2.0 has not succeeded any more than the alcohol version did, if anything it's raised the stakes and caused far more violence, crime, public expense and deaths than the first version did. It's ridiculous that even taking dangerous drugs gets worse penalties than murder, rape, robbery and other real crimes. 

Countries that legalized drugs and treat addiction as a medical issue, like Portugal, have seen real, positive results from their policies. Wish my country would come to its senses and follow that good example.

Anyway, I'm back on my meds and the weather's lightening up. I may be able to paint or draw today, cross your fingers on that. It's still better if I do it earlier in the day before nap time and the weather's cooperating. New post if I do get in an artwork. Hopefully will post sooner than last time.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Botanical Pen and Watercolor

Botanical pen and watercolor plus brush pen pine cone

Had a bad week due to problems with chronic conditions, but today went warm and sunny, flare ended or at least down to tolerable levels. My hand was shaky but it's beautiful outside, so I carefully drew and painted an interesting little blooming plant my daughter "Kitten" says is edible. Then finished the page with a pine cone, daring to try using my brush pen despite shaking. That wasn't too bad, I'm getting more familiar with the brush pen.

So here's hoping I can keep this up. Doesn't seem like spring's a good time for me but there were reasons for the flare that aren't weather, so may not be that major of a problem year to year. Stress sets off the fibromyalgia and I'm having moving-in problems getting a new doctor, or rather getting three different ones and a way lot more trouble than I used to just taking care of routine maintenance.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Leaf in Pen and Watercolor

Leaf in Pen and Watercolor, 3" x 5"

Still using the small Strathmore Visual Journal. This morning I had a medical appointment that became very stressful. I noticed a leaf on the ground and brought it in, sketched it in the waiting room.

Had some fun charging color into color on the main leaf. The original was completely dried but I brought back some autumn color into it and then gave it a dry brushed loose background because my first swipe with the brush had broken color. I loved the way that looked and just continued with the same strokes.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Kyra kitten and pen sketches

 Kyra Kitten from life, sepia pen and watercolor, 3 x 5"

 Pen sketches of Capricorn the lamb from life, 3" x 5"

Pen sketch of Kyra Kitten from life in the window, 3" x 5"

Today was a good day for sketching. I penciled those lamb sketches yesterday and inked them today, decided they did need inking. Kyra Kitten in black was my first sketch of her while she sat in the window looking lanky. Then she went to sleep on the box of my art supplies looking adorable so I had a good long time to sketch her in detail, pen and wash the sketch.

I'm getting to know my new kitten and how her features differ from Ari's. She's much more slender, very long and delicate. Her facial structure is different with a tiny, almost pointed muzzle, big ears, lovely big eyes that sometimes look dark but are a very bright blue. Her markings are a little more distinct every week, she has Siamese points broken up by the white blotch pattern that gives her white feet and the white muzzle and flame-face shape. She's adorable and unique, not your standard cat at all!

And I have still more cats to draw and profile, the small black female longhair Toothless formerly Midnight, big plump gray and white China Princess who rules the house. Outside we have three barn cats: gigantic golden Maine Coon Tom Sutekh, lovely small tortie super long hair Sekhmet and the classical brown mackerel tabby Calcifer. All of the barn cats are very affectionate and when I go out for a smoke, I get a lap cat most of the time purring and wanting pets. I love having so many cats here, they're all beautiful.

Plus there's the big flock of assorted chickens, the Muscovy Ducks that look like Tim Burton would put them in Halloween Town, the pregnant goats, two dogs and several horses. I've got so many beautiful subjects that I'd better start doing more than one a day, at least when the weather's good!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Capricorn the Lamb in pen and watercolor

Capricorn the Lamb
3" x 5" pen and watercolor

Still enjoying the small Strathmore Visual Journal. A neighbor lost a mother sheep to drowning in the pond and gave her orphaned male lamb to my granddaughter Sascha. She named him Capricorn and is having a ball playing with him in the yard. He heels like a little dog, follows her around and gets bottle fed hourly. 

So now I have yet another species to paint and draw. Capricorn has an interesting fur texture with lovely well defined Botticelli waves, so I may do some other studies before he's grown and his wool looks woolly. He's very tame and sweet. 

I'm glad to be back to daily painting or drawing and as usual, if I do any more today I'll edit them into this entry.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Kyra Kitten from Life in Pen and Watercolor

Kyra Kitten from Life, pen and watercolor
3" x 5" short hair Siamese cat with white blotches.

Kyra was sound asleep on a chair, so I managed to capture the endlessly moving Bumble Kitten inert just long enough to pencil her - and get her unusual proportions accurately. She is a very long, thin kitten. Muscular rather than bony, she sometimes resembles a leggy, furry snake! Long long neck. Long face. Long legs actually too, she just has that Siamese lanky build. Beautiful blue eyes, white muzzle and white patterns on her body and legs.

When I first met her, she seemed white all over but as she ages, the faint blotches of beige Siamese-colored fur are popping up more intensely. She now shows the unique markings that make her my Siamese Crossed With A Snowpatch!

Instead of pan watercolors, I used 24 Cretacolor Aqua Monolith pencils and washed out the penciling, keeping my colors soft and natural. The blue-green cushion's a bit lighter than life but I did that to keep the painting soft.

Love my Bumble Kitten! She's been good for Ari - she loves him and constantly teases him to play!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Hydrangea in watersoluble crayon

Hydrangea in watersoluble crayon on watercolor paper

Another page in my small Strathmore Visual Journal. The cold press paper has a very strong weave texture almost like Mi-Tientes wove side, but it's good paper and somehow I can get clean lines on it. This one involved some negative drawing and painting. I did it in three passes, with blues, greens and finally the black background with dry green and yellow ochre stems over it.

Had fun with it and may try some other floral subjects with my Neocolor II sticks. They have a great texture, soft and opaque.

EDIT: Later on, I found the watercolor pencils I was looking for and did my Hyacinth again in full bloom. It's very brilliant now in its corner of the garden, this time I brought in the two stones marking the corner of the bed. I love how it blazes there, contrasting the yellow jonquils and bright spring greens.

Purple Hyacinth in full bloom, 3" x 5"
watercolor pencil on watercolor paper, washed and detailed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

White Hen from life

White Hen, watercolor on paper, 3" x 5"

Nothing yesterday, but today I was outside and saw the white hen "Sun" sitting and strolling on a short stone fence around the garden patch in the front. I was going to paint my hyacinth again since it's opened, but Sun grabbed my attention. Had fun mostly negative painting her with loose background greens and browns, then getting the rich shaded soft green moss on the rocks.

Will be doing more tomorrow, I think.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Bradford Pear and Hyacinth from Life

 Bradford Pear flowerng tree watercolor on paper, 3" x 5"

Hyacinth bud about to bloom, watercolor on paper 3" x 5"

Two pages in my little Strathmore Visual Journal today with Sakura Koi pocket box pan watercolors. I did pencil under them but haven't inked. 

I went out to get my prescription, so while waiting painted the Bradford Pear blooming in the parking lot. I left out most of the rest, buildings and cars and asphalt, in favor of a field and some more distant trees or shrubbery. Brightened the sky too using a cobalt blue hue that I suspect is actually Pthalo Blue from its brightness - albeit Red Shade.

Bradford Pears are an invasive ornamental tree. They bloom copious white blossoms in the spring, leaf out bright and green then in the fall become gorgeous again shading from lemon yellow through oranges to red and even a red-violet. They're a bit small for trees or really large for shrubs, tend to be symmetrical and seed themselves easily. The fruits are tiny and bitter, birds eat them and spread them - and of course they are invasive so they may crowd out native shrubs and trees sometimes. But they are beautiful and still sometimes planted on purpose.

Then once I got home I set out my impulse purchase, a $1 hyacinth in a pot. Most of my life I've seen and been tempted by those springtime racks of flowering little plants, some annuals and others perennials. Usually I didn't have a place to plant it. 

Sometimes I got talked out of it in favor of buying seeds instead that somehow I never followed through on planting, if staying with people who have  a yard. But I'm disabled! The more labor intensive type of gardening is not necessarily the best idea for someone with limited physical activity!

So instead of going overboard on them I bought one little hyacinth and I love it. The color's a nice rich violet-blue and I'm sure it will bloom bright. It may even survive  from year to year the way the many jonquils around here do. Kitten helped me plant it in the patch in the front where I usually sit outside, so I'll enjoy its blooming and maybe for years more see it split and expand providing a complement to the bright yellow jonquils.

Even if it doesn't, it made me happy and I painted it.

A chicken pecked it already so we may have a problem later on - though it will be raining for the next few days so I might be doing more indoor stuff from references. Or cats. It's not like I don't have several beautiful models inside!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Jonquil and Rooster from Life

Jonquil and Rooster from Life 3" x 5"
watercolor on paper

They're not to scale, just two watercolor studies on a small Strathmore journal with my Sakura Koi pocket box watercolor set. I didn't use pen on them either, but did pencil the jonquil before painting.

It's been nearly a month since I did anything. I got bronchitis which turned into pneumonia and wound up in the hospital, which was a major bummer. Too weak to do anything, even sketch, I've spent most of the month sleeping or coughing and wishing I could paint this, that or the other thing. Today I felt up to doing so and am getting significantly better every day. The worst is definitely over.

I hate winter, but spring is here early and wonderful. Love the flowers coming up everywhere, jonquils abound around the farm house. Also the flock of gorgeous chickens including Black Marins, my favorites. They do get weird fluffs of feathers on their feet, the rooster in the painting has those fluffs.

Hopefully to be continued...