Friday, July 16, 2010

In Honor of Two Trees

Back in March I finally had the opportunity to sketch 2 trees (very dead) that I enjoy keeping track of.

This spring, every time we walked this trail, more and more trees had rotted and fallen due to unnatural standing water.

Poor judgement or lack of care in this housing development turned a Bottom Land Hardwood Forest into a cattail swamp.

I favored the tree formed like a huge sling shot and was always amazed at the dead stump with huge woodpecker holes. Pileated by the looks.

The last time I walked the trail in early June, both had tumbled.

I was just able to finish the type on the page this week. A tad behind in journal keeping!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Conesus Lake


7.11.2010 - Conesus Lake
Originally uploaded by PJBee
Another lovely summer evening on Conesus Lake in western NY. I left out all the docks and boats. I prefer the uncluttered winter look!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Point - A Piece of Joy


The Point - A Piece of Joy
Originally uploaded by PJBee
We are on Conesus Lake again. Old Orchard Point. A true piece of joy. Good to see old friends and visit with family. This place will always remain close to our hearts.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Skullcap and Out of Practice


In April, I discovered my first Skullcap.  A delicate mass of blooms upon a single stem.  I snipped the top off of one stem and took it home to sketch.

I was pleased with the sketch and waited (not patiently) for time to add words.

I am saddened that  last week I did not honor the sketch and take my time with the calligraphy.  My spacing is all wrong and the 'P' is totally lost behind the stem and leaf.

I must put the frustration involved with moving aside and get back to my meditative calligraphic self.  I hate when I dishonor the gift of art.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lake of Fire • Conesus Lake 3rd of July Celebration

Every year on the 3rd of July, the NY towns of Lakeville, Livonia, Conesus & Geneseo gather quite a crowd to watch fireworks and the best...... the Lake of Fire.  Every cottage/home owner along the shore of Conesus Lake buys flares from the Lake Association and sticks them in the ground along the shoreline. At 10 p.m. on the 3rd, the flares are struck and lit.  It is sooooo beautiful.  The homes and trees get an orange glow, people are happy and this little slice of America stands tall and proud.



Fire works show across the lake from us.  Everyone buys their own - Lots of $$ went up in smoke!




During the day, the lake was hoppin' with boats and swimmers.  Perfect weather.  Hot for here, but still a break from the SC heat we left of two days prior :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Full Strawberry Moon


I rebelled from the business of moving long enough to capture the first full moon at our new home.  As it rose over the trees it looked more like the Great Pumpkin.....

June's full moon is named in honor of the Strawberry. The short season and harvesting of this yummy fruit occurs in June.  In Europe it's call the Rose Moon.

Sorry for the blurry image.  We're once again in NY and my scanner's at home.  I'm just now getting time to post.  I've missed my time away from blog land :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Unpacking - New Neighborhood

We moved over Memorial Day Weekend.  Life is one big box for the immediate future.  This is our first short move - just 10 miles!  I think interstate moves are much more efficient.

Here are some views of our new neighborhood.  Can't wait to finish unpacking/organizing so I can get out and paint some of this beauty :)






These photos were taken on one of our golf outings here back in 2008.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Charlie Jay

The dogs and I were blessed again by a visit from Charlie, the Blue Jay.

Out of the woods he flew to a sign post not 3 feet away.  I greeted him warmly and tapped my shoulder to see if he'd perch there.  Charlie tried, but I had a hat on and it fumbled his attempt.

I happened to have my camera with me.  The dogs somehow know when they need to be real quiet.  I managed to get a few pics - even though some are not quite focused properly.

I then held out my hand and up he flew and perched right on my forearm.


I sooooooo wanted a picture of this but would have had to drop the dog's flexi leashes.....Not!   




A couple in a golf cart drove slowly up and stopped to see the fun.  At that time, Charlie took up his post perch.  But when I called him to my hand again, up he flew..... much to the delight of the on lookers :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Adding to an Old Journal Page





In my previous post "Thank you PlantGal" I told of the story about after more than a year since my "Beard- tongue Or? post, I finally received an answer to an ID question!  

Now to finish the journal page with the correct plant name!  

Well, I didn't leave a whole lot of room for any additions!  The page is in an AquaBee Super Deluxe 6 x 9 sketch book.  I didn't want to crowd type on the left side as the wire spine would make the page difficult to scan.
As you can see, I chose to squish the new data onto the right side :) It feels so good to get an answer and finish a page!


Monday, May 17, 2010

Early May Sketches


 On the north end of Hilton Head Island is a lovely place called Jarvis Creek Park.  I like to visit and sketch the pond and it's surroundings.

There is a dock for fishing with big signs saying 'Do not feed the alligators.' In fact, these signs are posted all along the shoreline.  No fresh water swimming in the low country for sure!

I chose to sit on the dock and while making a watercolor pencil sketch of the far shore, a Cormorant flew in and perched about 10 feet to the right.  I love urban wildlife.  They've become used to we humans and know when to trust.

I had to capture the moment and chose a Koh-i-noor Magic pencil.  What fun to have all those colors in one colored pencil!

The day after Jarvis Creek was the 'Day at the Beach' field trip I conducted for past workshop attendees.

We arrived to overcast and foggy conditions.  You could barely make out the far shore across Port Royal Sound.  The top sketch is a demo on how I would handle a bleak, foggy landscape with watercolor pencils.

Eventually, the fog and clouds lifted making for quite a different scene.  I tried to tie to two sketches together with borders and type, but overall I'm disappointed with the page.  Sometime I'm more concerned with the demo itself and not how it relates to the page.  Note to self:  think about all elements first! :)



On the way home I paid a visit to Old South Golf Links.  This is the view from the club house porch.

There are usually lots of Egrets, Herons, Anhinga and Cormants on the shoreline but not today.  The back blur on the left is a grouping of 3 Anhinga that flew in toward the end of my visit.  I did see an Osprey fly over but no Red-shouldered Hawk this time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thank You PlantGal!!

Last April I posted this field sketch entitled Beard-tongue Or ?

I'm happy to say that today I received an answer to my question about the name of this plant.

It has a square stem and the Beard-tongue description almost fit, but not.......

PlantGal hit the mark.  It's...............(drum roll)...........
Lyre-leaved Sage! (Salvia lyrata)  I feel so much better now.  A journal page can be completed :)

It also goes by: Cancer Weed.

Monday, May 3, 2010

May Day 2010


A lovely day in the low country. I spied these blue-flag iris and had to stop and sketch them. The surprise was finding mock strawberries at my feet :) They were quite a good size and it puzzled me at the wild strawberries I'm used to were teeny.

My wildflower guide cleared up the mystery. These plants were actually introduced from India and are not part of the strawberry family. It goes on to say that the fruits appear edible but are actually flat and tasteless. I'm glad I didn't try one. I would have been really bummed.

I painted the flowers plein air then added the calligraphy at home.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Full Pink Moon • Full Fish Moon

Full Fish Moon • Full Pink Moon


This is a memory sketch of April's full moon. The day prior, of and after, I saw this wonderful aura with and without my glasses. Rob didn't see it at all - perhaps for my eyes only?? Did anyone else see the aura?


I used to see lots of wild phlox blooming along the roadsides in western NY. I wonder if it is blooming now? I didn't find any here. The name 'Pink Moon' is in honor of the phlox as it's the most widespread wildflower blooming at this time according to the Farmer's Almanac full moon names.


Fish Moon honors the April moon as the time when Shad would swim upstream to spawn. What is Shad? Had to look this fish up. It's in the Herring family and according to Wikipedia, Shad was an important food source back in the 1700's. Now the rivers and waterways are so polluted that the Shad population has really decreased.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Windmill Palm Sketch

Sketched a friends Windmill Palm yesterday.  It had fruit all over it.

And, on the funny side, this is all that's left to my General's sketch and wash pencil.  Amazing how much a pencil holder helps :)


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Round 3 • Verizon Heritage

4.17.10 Round 3 SnippetsThis was our last day at the golf tournament.  Picture perfect weather and the Saturday crowd was ready to watch golf and unwind from the work week.


Rob and I decided to visit all of our favorite spots.  I wanted to capture a feel of the day and decided to create snippets from each location.


I created the date block first, then worked left to right on the spread. I had no real plan but each vignette seems to belong where it is. Thank you, Lord!


Please click on the image for a larger view.


Round 2 • Verizon Heritage

Oh, look! I actually tried to sketch people!!! Ha! My apologies to Mathew Goggin, Steve Elkington and Rickie Fowler :)  


No.13 Green • Round 2
I sat in the top of the bleachers and sketched the landscape in pencil. Added this group of players, then painted away. Finished up with a Micron pen.


This is the 13th green at Harbour Town. One of our favorite spots to watch golfers as it's so picturesque. I normally sketch the background trees from the 14th green side but decided to live on the wild side and add humanity :)

Round 1 • Verizon Heritage

No.6 green Live OakThis is a teeny, tiny artist trading card. I didn't feel like creating an entire journal page and was happy to find the cards in my sketch bag.

I am enamored with the live oak that watches over the number 6 green on the Harbour Town Golf LInks. I've many sketches of this beautiful being.

This rendition was created with watercolor pencils, no prior pencil sketch.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's Verizon Heritage Golf Tournament Time Again

Tuesday was practice day for the golf pros.  Rob and I arrived late morning and immediately went to one of our favorite spots on the Harbour Town Golf Links - the convergence of #2 green, #3 tee, #6 green and #7 tee.

This year I parked myself behind the #7 tee box and watercolor sketched (no pencil) the par 3 scene. Then I concentrated on getting autographs from favorite golfers :)  I print their names near their signatures because, as you can see, they all write like doctors :)


Today was the Pro Am.  This time we sat near #8 green.  I was just starting this watercolor sketch when Matt Kuchar came along.  He was the first to autograph today.

I love being able to converse with the players.  The atmosphere is so relaxed.

Back again tomorrow - maybe I'll try putting people in my sketches!!  :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bay Street in Beaufort, SC

One point of Bay Street in Beaufort, SC runs along side of the Beaufort River.  The bank has stately Live Oaks and on the other side of the street are beautiful historic homes.  The view is sooooooo darn wonderful  you want to pinch yourself to make sure you're not in a dream.

I was able to take a break here last Wednesday.  The breeze was a tad strong off the river but the air was ever so lovely while I sat perched on my stool trying to capture a small piece of the beauty.  I always feel like I'm home when I drive down this street - I'm just grateful I don't have to pay the mortgage on any one of the historic homes there :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Understanding Water Quality in the Low Country

Those who have followed my blog for a while know that when we moved to South Carolina, I studied to become a Master Naturalist in the low country.  I wanted to know what made this area tick.  Now, one of my joys is sharing the often overlooked natural wonders that surround us here.

Beaufort County is over 50% water!  Visitors to the area want to move here and enjoy this environment.  We all must be stewards to the land and water.  Every little bit we can do, will help.

Here is a great series of short videos produced by our local paper 'The Island Packet.'  Please give it a look, you'll view everyday life differently :)  Water quality in the low country of South Carolina.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sea Pine Forest Preserve Field Trip

Great fun today at the Forest Preserve.  The weather, while not as warm as predicted, was real good.  A bit of a breeze that kept our sweaters on, and high thin clouds that made for cooler temps but, after the unusually cold winter we had it was soooooo nice to see the wild flowers and trees popping.  Yellow pollen is everywhere!  Usually at this time of year, the wild flower field is full of poppies.  We saw only 3 or 4 plants.


Here are some images of our day.  The first is my demo as we sat above the wild flower field. The ink sketch of everyone (thank goodness you don't know any of these people 'cause they don't look like this! :) is at our second location.


Over looking wildflower field, looking toward bridge



Gator sunning along the pine pollen covered shoreline and water


Our second location along Lake Mary shoreline


Pine pollen makes everything yellow this time of year.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Nature Joys

Today  was wildlife day. We had beautiful 80 degree, sunny weather and saw an eagle, red-shouldered hawk, laughing gulls, pie-billed grebe, common moorhen, lots of cardinals and blue birds and..... dragon flies - the first of the season for me.  One was a Saddlebag, the others perhaps Emeralds.

About a month ago, I met a couple on the Cypress Boardwalk, while walking the dogs.  They asked if I'd seen a blue jay hanging around.  Actually, I'd never seen one along the trail.  Apparently, this jay was quite friendly and would visit with them and sit on their shoulders! They called him Charlie.

Tonight, on the sidewalk just before the trail, I heard a load squawk and looked up into a cut-back Crepe Myrtle tree and saw a blue jay!  It kept talking to me and I realized this must be Charlie.  As soon as I said its name he flew to a branch right by my head!  The dogs were good and Charlie and I chatted :)  What a treat!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Full Worm Moon • Full Crow Moon

Just a slight red/orange halo around the full moon this evening.

The Farmer's Almanac had wonderful information about March's full moon.

Besides being know as the Full Worm Moon and the Full Crow Moon, another Native American name is Full Crust Moon as the snow would thaw by day, then freeze overnight forming a crust.

One more name..... Full Sap Moon. Yes! It's time to tap the Maple Trees :) Isn't this a lovely time of year? :)

Early settlers also called it a Lenten Moon, the last full moon of winter.

I tried Canson Edition paper recommended by Ann of Blue Bird Hill.  Thanks, Ann.  I really like the soft feel and it accepts watercolor very well.  I shall be purchasing more for sure.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Look

Blogger has introduced new page designs.  I've been wanting to incorporate my own artwork into the banner design for quite a while.  Why not do both??


Need your input, though.  I'm not sure if the banner is toooooo large now.  Perhaps it's just because I'm used to the older, smaller page design.  I've got a large screen though, so it works on my computer.  How about yours?


Thanks for your input!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Great Blue Heron & Derwent Watercolor Pencils

Great Blue Heron Portrait
I photographed this elegant heron a couple of years ago when visiting Sea Pines Forest Preserve on Hilton Head Island (SC).

I decided to use the photo, a couple of weeks ago, in a Watercolor Pencil Techniques Workshop I gave in Beaufort, SC at Coastal Art Supply.

First, I had everyone take their pencils out for a spin. I too, did a color chart in the latest sketchbook I've been trying out: Pentalic's Nature Sketch.

I love introducing watercolor pencils this way. Not only do the students get to see how many more colors they can get by mixing, but it's also a good way to get used to the Niji Waterbrush.

I demonstrated several techniques, then handed out a variety of photos for the students to chose from.  Big Blue was the one chosen for a demo.  I didn't get a chance to finish this piece in the workshop but did get the head and neck area done.

I am really quite pleased with the Pentalic sketchbook.  The paper, to me, is just as nice as the AquaBee sketchbook that I've enjoyed for many years.  There is a different tooth to the paper and it is a natural white, but still very pleasing.

You can click on the color study for a larger view.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Testing Pentel Sign Pen


Testing Pentel Sign Pen
Originally uploaded by PJBee
Jennifer, at Coastal Art Supply in Beaufort, found a water-soluble felt tip marker for me. It's a Pentel Sign Pen. I took it out for a spin today.

It has a hard tip that's very easy to write with. I like that with just a few marks on the paper, I can get a lot gray to black shades. I see great possibilities for fast sketching.

I also like that when I applied the waterbrush to the lettering, the letters stayed crisp.  Please click on the image for a larger view.

I say this pen gets the yummy award!  The pad is the Pentalic Nature Sketch sketchbook discussed in my previous post.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Watercolor Pencil and Paper Tests - Kimberly and Artist Loft Brand

I have a new sketchbook to test.  It's made by Pentalic and they donate a percentage of the book sales to the American Wildlife Foundation.  Pentalic is based in Beaverton, Oregon.  Locally, you can purchase them at Coastal Art Supply in Beaufort. 843-542-2887, 812 Port Republic Street.

The paper is natural white in color and accepts pencil, charcoal, pen & ink, acrylics, pastels and watercolors.

I have found the 130 lb (212gsm) paper quite nice to work on with watercolor pencils using a waterbrush.

The paper's color is creamy compared to my favorite AquaBee Sketch Book but it really lends a favorable quality to a couple of sketches I'm currently working on.

My favorite thing to do when trying out new paper is a color chart.  Today I tried out a new package of 12 Kimberly wc pencils...... Also, made in the USA!!

I like the Kimberly brand.  They are soft and it's easy to lay down a lot of pigment without the lead breaking. They also sharpen well.  Here is my test page.  I do wish the set included raw sienna.  I'd gladly give up the pink pencil :)
This set of 12 KImberly Watercolor Pencils was reasonably priced at 11.99 in Michael's Art's & Crafts store.  Derwent's brand of wc pencils was offered at $21!

While roaming around Michael's yesterday, I ran across a new brand of art supplies they just started to carry.  I'm not sure if it's their house brand or just a new manufacturer.... Artist's Loft is the name.
There were colored pencils, wax pastels and watercolor pencils.  The wc pencils were offered at $4.99 for a set of 24 pencils!!

Okay, at that price I'll give them a whorl - especially as I had a 40% off-your-entire-purchase coupon :)
I wasn't expecting too much. Good thing.  Sorry Michael's, but I wouldn't recommend these wc pencils to anyone.  The leads broke and they were nearly impossible to sharpen.

Check out the pencils on the left side of the image below.  I didn't use the white pencil.  See how small the yellow, brown and green pencils are - I can't get them sharpened without the leads breaking. The dark green pencil actually split.

Just remember, you do get what you pay for.  Not much pigment, broken leads, split wood.  Way too much frustration even for $4.99!

Please click the images for a larger view.