I have paintings for sale on my website

and at:

Art Connections Gallery
908 Main Street, Bastrop Texas
512 657-4275

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sketches Hunt 369 and Photos

I managed some sketching for Scavenger Hunt 369, http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=20165046#post20165046 , in the travel sketchbook with the Prismacolor Premier03 pen.  It looks like the ink is getting weak in the pen.  I have used it for a very long time. I'm thinking more than a year??  It has been a good pen.

 Number 1, something above your head.  The curtains and blinds.

Number 2, plant.  These are mullein, herbs for respiratory problems.  I made some tea from the yellow flowers for my cold congestion.  I will see how it works.  They are strange looking plants.  They grow up to 8 feet tall.  We took photos of them in Silver City years ago and one showed up on my screen this morning.  Is my iPhoto related to Google and knows what I've been looking at??  Strange.

These are in the yard here and the tallest is about 4.5 feet tall.  I sketched them through the window.  I forgot to crop out my shadow.  Ugh.

This is Gene's sister, Virginia, walking her little dog, Pia.   She was walking her one morning and somehow walked very near a newborn Bambi.  Pia saw the doe and began barking.  Pia thinks she is a German Shepherd or something and won't back down, the bigger the foe, the better.  Anyway the doe came after Pia.  Virginia was trying to pull the leash to pick up Pia and shut her up while swinging her walking stick at the doe and yelling at her.  Sue heard the ruckus, good thing they were near the house. Sue and Gene went out and were throwing rocks and the deer was distracted enough for Virgina and Pia to escape.  No photos of the event ... it happened too fast.  Ha.  Luckily no animal or person was hurt.

A few hours later we went to town and saw the deer crossing the road.  Such a tiny baby.  These are Mule deer and are much bigger than the deer in the Bastrop area.

 We have had a couple rainy days.  The drops on the pines were beautiful.  Need a better camera to capture them.
 This double rainbow is right at the house a few days ago.  Impressive.

 This is a close up of the purple flowers from the previous post for Joanna.  I'm not sure what they are.

Some of these photos are with my iPhone.  I now have my camera so some of my photos will improve. It is a Casio EX-ZR700.  Very fast on and you can take quick photos then it stores them after.  Very nice.  The Canon I had would work on each photo so I had to wait between shots.  I think this camera is perfect for me.

Art link:

This is an amusing article about commissions and Salvador Dali:


Monday, July 28, 2014

Plein Air with Sue, Day 1 Photos

Our friend and my painting buddy, Sue Modrak, came for a visit.  We have a five day painting marathon every year.  This year Sue visited us in Angel Fire, New Mexico, and we painted out as much as we could.  We also sketch and explore, take photos, relax and get inspired for another year.

Painting outside is good for your "eye".  You see forms, shapes, colors and scenes in a different way.  Shadows have color as opposed to a photo that mainly shows black in the shadows.  The light changes quickly so the artist has to make decisions and put down large shapes of light and shadows.  It is a good idea to limit your shapes and not get too much going on.  Once you get your idea and light down it is best to ignore the changing light.  It is very tempting to keep changing the painting as you go.  When you do this, the light becomes very confusing.

Get the values in the big shapes and add detail at the end of the painting.  Two to two and a half hours is about all the time you have before the scene is completely different.

After I decide where to paint, I walk around to get the feel of the area in every direction.  I use a view finder or my camera to pick the area I am going to paint.  It is easy to get sidetracked and widen the view or add too much in the painting.

Sometimes I do an underpainting with either complements or the basic color of the items.  The paper or surface I choose determines this.  If I use a dark paper, I may only under paint the sky so that the dark color does not peek through causing too much contrast.  When all goes as planned I try to do a quick value sketch, well two or three to pick out my composition and lighting.  Then I roughly sketch in the large shapes.  Then I am ready to paint.

Painting in settings with so much green is a bit intimidating as well.  I try to use purples and oranges to soften the greens and make them more realistic.

Sue was preparing for a couple of paint outs, so was interested in painting wide vistas.  We tried several and had a great time.

The first morning found us near Black Lake.  There is an old house there with a paved area where I can paint in the shade.  That is always a plus for me!

Sue sketches a more complete drawing than I do.  This was her start on the first day.  Of course I didn't take any of my painting in the works.  I will do a complete painting with all the steps soon and post it here.

This is Sue's finished painting.  I call it Sue's Trader House.  Pastel on Colourfix sanded paper, 12 x 9 inches. (We traded paintings at the end and I chose this one for me.  You know I love houses.)

This is my "Houses".  I think it is a bit stiff and will make a couple of minor changes.  The first day was like starting all over again in painting for me.  I am still in a bit of a funk, but I do think painting with Sue helped a lot to get me thinking and trying out some ideas.  Pastel on Colourfix paper, dark rusty color, 12 x 9 inches.

The shady spot where I like to paint.

I painted this one from that spot a few years ago. Horse Pasture,  Acrylics, 9 x 12 inches.

In the afternoon we had a break at the Resort Coffee Shop and went searching for  other locations to paint.  There are many beautiful areas here.  If you have followed my blog, you will remember some of them and have favorites if you have visited here.

 This spot is near Angel Fire, taken in the middle of the day.  So lovely.

 Between Angel Fire and Eagle Nest.  The clouds are more prevalent and beautiful in the afternoon and we painted in the morning.

We had dinner at the Sunset Grill to top off the day.

A visitor near our house on the way home.

I will post more about our painting marathon.  Check back for the continuation.........

As I closed my Safari and was putting my computer to sleep, this photo was on my computer desktop.  The photos randomly change about every 30 minutes.    Do you hear the Twilight Zone music......???

This is Sue and I on another painting marathon in 2006 in Silver City, New Mexico.  This is an open pit copper mine behind us, the Santa Rita Mine if I'm not mistaken.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

AWOL Sketches

Thanks to a couple of new followers.  I hope they haven't given up on me.  It has been ages since I posted.  They say time flies when you are having fun and I guess that is true.  Sue was here and we did plein air and were so busy.  Gene's sisters came, too.  More about that later.

Sue and I sketched in Eagle Nest and old town about 12 miles from Angel Fire, July 20.  One fit in Scavenger Hunt 368, sort of.....

Number 1, flower - the hanging flowers under the awnings.

Number 2, decoration - a faux string of peppers, ristra of chile, about 1.5 foot long.
Number 3, phone

 I sketched a trailer park in Eagle Nest, too, but didn't finish as you see.

Sunset from the house, July 25.

I will post the plein air paintings and stories soon.  Promise!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sketch for 367 and Photos

I sketched earlier with the Micron 05 in the traveling sketchbook.  Probably about 10 minutes.  This is for Hunt 367 http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1355537

Number 13, made of something rare.  This is a real stretch as faux leather is not rare.  It is rare for me to see curtains/drapes made of dark brown faux leather, though.  I imagine it helps in the cold weather here to close them over the blinds and keep in the wood stove fire.

We ate dinner at Zebs.  It is an old family style restaurant with a full bar/saloon.  They have a good crowd always.  The clouds were amazing as we left.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

One Hunt Sketch and Photos

I sketched one item for Scavenger Hunt 367.  http://goo.gl/fLGNIH   This is number 12, wow!  A few more sketches than last Hunt - zero.  I have been sketching on the Hunts since number 2 or 3 in 2006.  This one is in my travel sketchbook with the Micron 05 pen.  I spent 5 - 10 minutes on it probably.

Number 12, sweet - Gene's honey.  The bear looks happier in real life.

We ate at the only New Mexican restaurant in Angel Fire last night.  It is Hatcha's.  They do have posole and menudo so more New Mexican than most. I would give it a 5 on a 1 - 10 scale.  I ordered beef tacos with blue corn tortillas and they made chicken.  I don't like to send food back so picked at it a bit.  My side was posole so that filled me up anyway.  I had a margarita which came in a water glass. (More exercise today!)   Gene had enchiladas and they looked good.  The flour tortillas were nice.  They have grilled avacado with salsa for an appetizer.  I may try that for my meal next time we go.  Nice waitress, Adelita.

We were amused as we went in at the "Watch for Ice, may be slippery" and Gene commented to Adelita that it was a good thing for the sign as he almost slipped.  As we left Gene noticed this sign above his head on the right of the steps.

That was a bit unusual, don't you think?

So here is the other side....

Another weird sign for Joanna!

And sunset on the way back to the house.  The fence on the right is along the golf course.  Nice evening.

Art Link:

I forgot to mention that our photographer son, Larry, took some fabulous photos on our trip to the family reunion in Rodeo, New Mexico.  He has a few posted on his website.  The first 15 in landscapes are from Enchanted Rock in Texas and White Sands in New Mexico.  Super nice and for sale.  :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hunting in Angel Fire and Photos

I sketched yesterday in the house with the Micron 05 in the travel sketchbook for Scavenger Hunt 367  http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1355537  This morning I sketched on the porch about 9:00 a.m. at about 60 degrees in my watercolor sketchbook.  Pretty nice!

Number 8, made of clay - an owl here in the house
Number 9, in a bottle - tequila for margaritas in Rodeo
Number 10, hot - chile petin from Gene's brother, he eats it on pizza and eggs.  Too hot for me!

Number 11, organics - stretching the meaning a bit, but I sketched in watercolor and ink for the practice in my watercolor sketchbook that is about 8 x 10 inches.  I got it in 2006 in Michigan with Sue, who arrives on Saturday.  I have done about 8 sketches in the sketchbook and only about 3 of them are watercolors.  So, you see I need the practice.  I just put on color after I sketch so you can't really call it a watercolor painting.

Last night we ate at the Pub n Grill.  It was good food with good service.  We were on the deck and it started to rain.  We were about ready to leave so we asked the couple at the rail to join us while they waited for their food so they wouldn't get wet.  We chatted a bit.  They are in the Air Force, stationed in San Antonio, Texas.  We appreciate their service to our country.

The deck when we first got there, then it got busy.  The pub is in the building where the Yu Garden, a favorite, was located.  The Yu Garden moved to Taos in 2011.  We ate there once after their move on our way through to Montana a couple of years ago.  We will be eating there in Taos on this trip.  They have a dish called Volcano Shrimp .... so yummy.

This is some road art on the way to Angel Fire from Albuquerque around Pojuaque.

This stretch of road is by Española between Santa Fe and Taos.

Gene back from his ride this morning.  He is really liking his Terratrike.

This was near Hatch when we got back on I-25 the day we were on our way to Albuquerque.  I wonder what made it so wavy??  I had to post this for Joanna.  She is always telling me to stop to take my photos.  These are with my iPhone as my camera is not working/charging.

For the art link:

Check out the Bastrop Art in Public Places website.  They had local artists paint some of the electric boxes/transformers.  You can vote for the People's Choice Award selection.  They are so nice and brighten up downtown Bastrop.  The artists did well, very creative.  The Bastrop Art in Public Places is calling for sculptors now, you can apply on their website.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hunting Sketches 367

Finally sketching on the porch.  Yay!  It has been a bit cool to sit out there in the mornings, 50 degrees F, or so.  It is nice to be cool and wear sweatshirts.  The high so far has been 80 degrees.

I sketched the ground squirrels and rabbits.  Yesterday I saw movement out the corner of my eye and thought it was a squirrel or rabbit.  I looked up and thought, "No, it is a big dog", which I said out loud to Gene.  Then we saw it was a pretty big bear, light brown in color, running like a bat out of hell (strange expression) across the meadow and along the highway.  The bear was running away from town.  We did not see anything chasing it or being chased by it.  There was no time to get a camera.  Gene said there might have been two large cubs as he first saw one running in the other direction and turned.  The one was running on the highway for a bit.

So our sightings are now robins, hawks, ground squirrels, cottontail rabbits, bear, other birds, elk cow, deer doe and lizards and we haven't driven around much.  This is from our house!

I sketched in the travel sketchbook with the Micron 05 pen, free hand and quickly as you can probably tell!  The photos were taken on my iPad.  For Scavenger Hunt 367.

 Number 6, outdoors - the road and trees, sort of where I first saw the bear near the guardrail.

Number 7, something that makes me smile - Gene's Terratrike with his 3 flags, the US Flag, New Mexico Lobos and the Longhorns.  Good thing the wheels are actually round for riding!

We visited the Legend's Grill for a glass of wine our first day here.  http://www.angelfireresort.com/summer/the-lodge/dining    It hasn't changed except for the summer  help, of course.  We had leftovers from Casa de Benevidez in Albuquerque for dinner so didn't eat out.  The next night we went to the Sunset Grill.  That is where we first heard about Wine Doggy Bags.  http://jocastilloartblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/more-sketches-for-hunt-185.html
Oops, just saw a doe and a Bambi right out the window!

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About Me

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Bastrop, Texas, United States
I Grew up in a small town , Magdalena, New Mexico. I enjoy art and the pleasure other people get from my work. I always donate some of my sales and art to charities, especially for children. That started in Bolivia with Para los Niños. (Link on sidebar) "I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." -- Winston Churchill