Gallery: Art Connections Gallery 908 Main Street, Bastrop Texas 512 581-1799 http://artconnectionsgallerybastrop.com/

I have small unframed paintings for sale on my website

Friday, July 29, 2016

Grand Forks Sketches

Sorry this is so long, I haven't posted in almost a week.  Yikes!

I sketched in my travel sketchbook with a Micron 02 this morning/afternoon. 

Number 1, drink - wine
Number 2, snack - gluten free animal crackers
Number 3, food - orange and apple
Number 4, appliance - microwave
Number 5, bare foot
Number 6,outdoor scene - out the window
Number 7, indoor scene - in our room

I started this twice using Gene's computer and it went away.  We have been through several states since my last posting.  

We left Canada and made it back to Munising, Michigan,  to take the boat out to Picture Rocks.  Boat excursions were cancelled because of wind.  Because of late arrival there were no affordable rooms to be found.  The only two rooms we found were $240 a night.  Well above our daily budget.  We drove on to Marquette, Michigan, and found a room.  It is about 40 miles on west.

The next day we were back in Munising for the 3 p.m. boat ride.  The girl made a mistake when she wrote the time and said we should get in line at 12:45.  Wrong.  We got in line at 2:45.  They took out two boats, 150 passengers each.  It was a 2.5 hour boat trip.  Not my thing as you know, but it was smooth sailing (double deck boat, not sailboat).  

 Selfie with Gene on the boat.

 The harbor and the back of the second boat on the right.

Scenes of Picture Rocks from the boat.  The second and third attempt to show the boat pulled into one of the big holes/caves.  I did not like being that close to the rocks in my big boat!

 More scenes. 

A lighthouse no longer used.  The story is that it sat out about 1/4 mile farther into the water.  The current washed the land away so it was moved back and continued to function.  The second time it was moved back it was too far back to be seen from the point of the island.  So now a tourist photo op.

Along the way back to Marquette, Michigan.  Beautiful drive, you can see Lake Superior all along the way.  We stayed another night in Marquette.  We had two great meals.  One at the Vierling, http://thevierling.com/wp1/  a pub/fine dining establishment in an old brick building on the wharf.  Reminded us of Baxters in Bastrop a little. 

Gene rode his bike after the boat ride when we got back to Marquette.  The second night we ate in a Cajun restaurant.  The Lagniappe http://marquettecajun.com/ 
It was down a long flight of stairs, again in the old part of town.  It was like stepping into New Orleans and the food was outstanding.  We met a couple of women, Susan and Ellen, who were biking across country.  Well, Ellen was.  Susan was with her from Duluth, MI, to New York.  After a 40 minute or longer wait, wee sat with them because the restaurant was so full. We had so much fun swapping stories and enjoying the evening.  They had known each other since high school and had named their daughters after each other.  Super nice.  Too bad I didn't get photos.

After leaving Marquette next day, it was gloomy and rainy.  I looked at a map and we headed for Duluth, Minnesota, also on Lake Superior.  Our GPS signed us up to go toward Duluth, Georgia, for some unknown reason.  We had left it on without starting a new route and just turned the sound off.  Evidently that confused the computer.  We went about 40 miles out of our way before we decided it was wrong.  We have been on US HWY 2 since we left Sault Ste. Marie, but I figured the GPS knew about construction or something and was detouring us.  I reset it a couple of times for Duluth, MN, which I was pretty sure I did in the beginning.  It was no use, it kept telling us to turn south.  We asked directions to Duluth, MN, at a post office where we stopped and between that and Gene's phone, we finally made it to Duluth.

On the way we stopped to nap and I checked how to reset the GPS.  Did that and now it seems OK.  Luckily I watch our route on a regular map and don't get fooled, right?   We were on HWY 2 leaving SSM and will be on it as we cross ND and get to Montana.  We will miss the simplicity of following one road.  We will not trust the GPS if it tells us to get off HWY 2.  Ha.

Our night in Duluth was not great.  We got a "flea bag" motel for $98.  Grumble.  So we stayed one night only.  It is a tourist place and all the chain hotels were full or over $175 a night.  Our dinner was regular as well.

Next morning was beautiful.  We stopped on the way in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.  The GPS found it and did not send us back to Michigan.  We ate lunch there at the Forest Lake Restaurant  http://forestlakerestaurant.com/   Very good.  Grand Rapids and other spots along the way are lake resort areas where all hotels are full or super expensive.

We are now in Grand Forks, North Dakota, on the edge of the Great Plains.  On the way we passed an old fashioned A&W Root Beer stand and maybe the biggest field of sunflowers we have ever seen.  I took these for Joanna as she loves  A&W and sunflower seeds. 

Grand Forks has a big university and reminds me of Lubbock, Texas.  We will stay a couple of days.  We are in a nice upgraded room.  Gene biked today, I napped and sketched.  I also took a walk.  We will see what we discover for dinner. 

We have decided not to go back into Canada.  We are headed from here to Montana to see my cousin, Helen.  More down the road.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Lost and Found, Sketches and Photos

I found the sketches, wherever.  We went and bought me a battery charger so I can use my point and shoot camera.  It is working for the evening at least.

Number 9, made of glass - headlight
Number 11, made of wood - seat and table top
Bonus, a ship that is a museum, just the front half 

Number 12, plastic - flowers at a mall coffee shop
Number 13, multicolored - hat was about 4 colors on a base of yellow
Number 14, striped - ladies shirt was pink with red stripes (black pants)
 A couple of photos of the bridge from our room came out OK.

The lights on the left are in the USA, red, white and blue.  The lights on the right are the red and white for Canada.  Pretty cool.  The Canada flag in the middle closer is at the train station. 

There are different paintings in our room.  Usually just one big painting.  These are very nice.  Don't know the artist.  Will have to try Google photos.


Sketching on the Road

Since my posting is sporadic, my thoughts are, too.  Maybe you can make some sense of this all.  I'm starting on my iPad but I can only post one photo a day to wetcanvas.com  for some reason so I will finish on Gene's computer.  

I sketched a selfie on my iPad.  Besides not drawing people well, I have a hard time hurrying on the iPad.  I must have spent an hour on this and Gene looked in and said, "That doesn't look like anyone I've ever seen." So I quit and we went to dinner.  :-)

Number 10, Selfie - Brushes and my fingers for Scavenger Hunt 459 
So bad, I am pale and red faced, too.  

Number 1 was in Alpena, Michigan on the east side which would be Lake Huron above the thumb. (Joan asked where Alpena was)   Numbers 2 - 9 were done in Indian River at the top of Michigan. And the others are here in Sault Ste. Marie at the very top of Michigan at the border to Canada.  We are on the Canadian side but can see the bridge and the USA from our window on the sixth floor.  We can also see Walmart so feel at home!

Number 6 and 7, top view and bottom view - of my sneaker
Number 8, made of fabric - Gene's skull cap he wears under his helmet
Number 9, made of glass - headlight on the Expedition
Number 11, made of wood - the top and seat of a table in the park
Number 12, blue - the sky, the water and the sign

The sketches are probably out of order, but you get the idea.

I have more but have to look for the photos.  I took them and they are on my phone, iPad or this computer.  Sigh....

When we left Indian River it was about three hours to Munising, Michigan, where the colored bluffs are.  We stopped in Manistique and did laundry.  Drove leisurely to Munising.  There were about 15 lodging places in the information book and a few others.  Well, Saturday was a marathon, one of their 2  big events of the year.  Not a room to be found at the inn.  We headed for Sault Ste. Marie, thinking we would find a place there. It is a smaller town than I remembered.  No rooms.  We called Choice hotels and got one of the last rooms on the Canada side.  Crossed our fingers hoping Friday evening wouldn't be bad at the border.  We got right through.  We wonder because we have the car crammed full and Gene's trike on the back.

We got the room for one night only, full for weddings on Saturday.  Luckily they had a cancellation and we are staying three nights.

Friday night we ate in the hotel.  It was upscale with a guitar player/singer so was very nice and we didn't have to drive.  Saturday, Gene rode his trike along the waterfront and I sketched and walked.  We walked to a waterfront cafe for dinner.  Great day.  This morning it rained so we haven't been out, maybe we will go east along Lake Huron and find something to do and a place to eat. Who knows what the day will bring?

We ate at a pub on the water, still misty and cool.  We will leave tomorrow.


Sad news from Bastrop.  Our good friend, Mike Henderson, died.  We will miss him.  He was a great artist.  After the fire, he painted a new painting for us to replace one we had bought from him.  It was a nice surprise!  Gene visited with him a few days before we left on our trip and he called a few days ago to tell us he was moving to assisted living in Austin to be near his daughters.  He made his morning coffee and died peacefully they said.

He had been an Austin firefighter.  He was a guitar player/singer.  He painted mostly cowboy scenes.  He usually  went to dinner with us on the night before we left on our trips, the last supper at the Mediterranean Grill.  He didn't feel up to it this time.  Then he would join us for our first night back.  He was married to Janice Senkosky, and we had lots of fun.  We brought them pork chops from Paduka, Kentucky, once as Janice had known about Patty's Settlement and their 2 inch chops.  Surprised them!  Janice died a couple of years ago.  We will miss their love and good times.  RIP, Mike and Janice.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hunting and Photos

I am posting from Gene's computer.  Such a pain to get the photos from my iPhone to here.  But finally made it.  I am not a happy camper without my iMac and it is getting old and I will have to get a new one with all apps.  Not happy about that.  When you are on puny internet it is hard to keep the apps updated. My point and shoot camera is not working now.   Enough griping, here we go.

We are in Indian River, Michigan.  We drove through the tunnel of trees yesterday, at least most of it.  There was a long detour which may have missed the most enclosed part.  Here are a few photos:

The road is pretty narrow for cars and had fresh gravel, no center lines.  We are used to that in ranch country, but not sure how the Michiganers are.  There are many farms in Michigan, which surprised us.

 When the trees thin out you can see Lake Michigan.

 It was an interesting drive. It took a couple of hours.

Gene rode his trike for a couple of hours yesterday and I tried painting.  I got out my acrylics and initiated a little table top easel that Brandon gave me for Christmas.   I painted about an hour and had about half of an 8 x 10 canvas panel going and decided to terminate before it was really bad.  Not the day for acrylics.  I sketched and did some Cryptograms and other puzzles.  It was a beautiful day and I was in the shade at a picnic table.  Nice!! 

For Scavenger Hunt459 in the travel sketchbook with a Micron 02.

Number 2, building - the motel front
Number 3, soft - pillows
Number 4, hard, the metal backboard and pipes of the basketball goal out front

Number 5, landscape - across the street from the motel.  This is what I was painting, but much better than the acrylics.

Today Gene biked again and I walked.  He rode his trike along slowly with me.  Nice guy.  I walked about 40 minutes, he went on his way to a trail and got soaked on the way back.  :-)  There were some gulls on the ground so he made them fly....

He saw this cool mailbox with a drawer for the paper.

These are from Gene's ride yesterday. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hotel Sketching

We started our "on our own" vacation yesterday.  We left our friend, Sue, and headed north.  

We had had chicken wings in Frankenmuth for lunch, so did not have dinner.  If you know me, you know I don't eat chicken normally.  The wings at the Bavarian Inn were excellent a few days before so had them again.  Wow!  More chicken in a couple of days than in the past 5 years.  

We didn't go far.  We made it to Alpena on the eastern shoe, Lake Huron.  Beautiful day.  Old style motel.  We walked across the street, sat on a bench overlooking the lake and had a cup of wine.

Then we finished the wine at the room.  Gene fixed a short in our cooler and I sketched for Hunt 459.

I sketched in the travel journal with a Micron 02.  

Number 1, outdoor bench or seat.  

My set up when painting with Sue.

Sue painting with her oil paints.  

We had a great time.  We went to a life form drawing class, too.  It was fun to meet some other artists and do some quick drawings.  The model was a lanky fellow and my sketches were a bit like old man gloom, so didn't save them.  Ha.

The painting marathon with Sue is always good for us.  We have been doing this since 1994 or so.  Good friends.  We will get together in Texas next time if all goes as planned.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Watercolor Sketching

I sketched with a Micron 02 and some watercolors after I painted the pastel at the park.

This is for the Scavenger Hunt 458.  I lost track on numbering as I was using pastels and two different sketchbooks.  This is a large watercolor sketchbook about typing page size.
Beverage container, crumpled paper, salt shaker and flat (the watercolor box)

The top sketch is just playing with watercolors.  I need much practice.
The bottom is a little iron pot Sue has to make steam when sitting on the wood stove.  It is very cute and I did not come close to doing justice.  Lack of concentration??

We will be on the road again tomorrow...  We will see how it goes.  Heading north, don't know if we will make Canada or not.

It has been a good week with Sue!!
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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 NiƱos. (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