Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dog Daze of August

In keeping with the hot weather here in the South Carolina low country I thought I'd literally bring you dogs days.

Here are some sketches of our hounds done with General's Sketch & Wash pencil.  Please pardon the scans.  These sketches are from 2005 when we were still living in NY.  The paper is very wavy and I found if I tried to get the shadows out in photoshop, that I lost a lot of the details.

I made these sketches of Grizz and Dudley  as they lounged on the pontoon boat.

 Here are the little sweeties in the flesh.  They invented the word 'spoiled.'

It's all about comfort, heat, sunshine, food, treats and lots of walks......

And, let's not forget about toys!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pelicans at Fish Haul Creek Park

Pelicans Fish Haul Creek Gazebo
Originally uploaded by PJBee
A real treat today. Rob and I went to Fish Haul Creek Park on HHI, SC. It was a rainy morning but as we made our way there, the sky started to brighten.

We sought shelter at the park's gazebo. To our surprise, a huge flock of pelicans were covering a sandbar in Port Royal Sound. We'd never seen that many brown pelicans grounded before.

This is the view of the sandbar once we walked to the beach.  Luckily the rain didn't last for long. 

 Ah yes, a great place for a home!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Awaiting the Perseids Meteor Show

Spirits were high. Anticipation to see a possible 50 meteors per hour great.  The sunset was divine....

We saw two or three meteors streak the sky at 11 p.m.
Off to bed we went, alarm clock set for 5:15 a.m.

My internal clock woke me before the alarm - excitement is such a wonderful thing.  Out the door I went.  I offered to let Rob stay snug as a bug just incase - no sense 2 of us getting up at this way too early hour :)

Clouds!  All over the place!  What happened to Red Sky at Night, Sailors Delight?  Arughhhhh!  Okay, I'll check again in half an hour.

Amazing what can happen in a half an hour.  Sunrise was scheduled for 6:44.  Out I went just before 6 a.m.
The clouds had moved on, but the sky was way to light.  Sigh.......

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Don't Miss the Perseid Meteor Shower This Week!

Okay all you night owls and early risers.... The night sky has a great show this week and the crescent moon will set early enough so viewing will not be hampered.  Peak activity for the Perseids is August 12th - 13th and peak viewing time is just before dawn with approximately 50 meteors per hour!

For more information on meteor showers check out this great site that gives Tools, Tips and 'Save the Dates' info for viewing the best meteor showers of the year.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Early Morning

In an attempt to beat the heat, sun and golfers, the dogs and I were out just after 7 a.m.

We walked down holes 18 and 17.  Had to have my marsh-in the-morning fix :)

This is the second morning I've seen these wavy tracks running from marsh to pond over the 17th fairway.  Mr. Turtle?

I get sucked right in to morning mist on the marsh.  So why am I not painting this?

Wait and see :)

The dogs are ever so good waiting for me.  I soooooo love my little digital camera :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Evening Dog Walk Delights

The hounds and I picked the perfect time of evening to walk.... the time of the long shadows.

While I really enjoy our walks together I sure was wishing I could be sitting and trying to capture these scenes on paper!!

I soooo love the glow of the Spartina at this time of day.

Along with the Ibis, an adult Yellow-crowned Night Heron and 2 juvies! They are tough to see - talk about blending with your environment!

This is one of my favorite views of the marsh along #17 fairway.

On the way back home, a Barred Owl flew overhead.
Click on the images for a larger view.  

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I've Got A Secret........

Or, I could title this post "I Must Confess."

Last week I added this journal page to my Flickr account and also blogged about it.  Many of my Flickr friends marked it as a favorite - I'm so honored!

But, the image.....  how do I say this?  Oh heck, it wasn't the original rendition!

No matter how I dressed the page up with type and then a yellow background, nothing I did would draw my eyes away from a big ol' design hole right in the center of the page! I had drawn the clippings as they were in the vase, never thinking much about how the bouquet looked. Tsk, tsk!  What to do?

It occurred to me that this little adventure might be helpful to those that come up with page design problems.  Here's what I did.

My sketch is drawn on Canson Edition paper. I used the same paper for my single blossom. Remember now, I was away from my studio and handy, dandy supplies. All that was at hand to stick the flower onto the paper was Magic Scotch tape. I rolled it so the adhesive side was out and proceeded to stick the flower down (saying a prayer that I could easily lift it off later and use archival glue instead). My hat's off to Canson Edition paper. The piece photographed beautifully w/o any shadows from the flower!

Now that I'm home and back with my much loved scanner...... here is the scanned version :)

The center flower appears to jump right out at you, huh?

A happy ending :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Full Buck Moon Eve - 7.24.2010

Friday, July 23rd, Rob and I drove from western NY to home. We left at 6:30 a.m. in the rain. Luckily, it stopped mid-way through PA.  Outside of pit stops for the dogs and us, travel went smoothly until about 5 miles from our connection to Rt. 95 in Fredericksburg, VA.  Ah yes...... traveling on a Friday in the middle of summer - what were we thinking!  Stop, go, stop, go. 45 minutes later, we got to play the same game on 95. The normal 14 hour drive mushroomed to 17 hours!

Needless to say, Saturday we were brain dead!  It felt really good to be home.  We had enough energy to collect 3 weeks of mail at the post office and a quick shop at the grocery store.

We treated ourselves to 99 cents all you care to eat spaghetti at Mickey's - no kidding :)  Meatballs are 75 cents each, italian sausage $1.50 each.  We came home, took the dogs for a walk on the golf course, and on hole 17 saw the loveliest moon rising.  The evening sky was pink and blue, the sun had just gone below the tree line in the west and the landscaped was bathed in a pastel light.

"Wow!  I knew the full moon was getting near, but was it tonight?  What day is it.  Ugh, I've no camera, no sketching supplies"......

When we returned home, I quickly made this sketch from memory.  The next morning, I added the type, even dated it the 25th!  Except it was really drawn on the the 24th :)  Like I said..... brain dead from traveling :)

I added 'Eve' to Full Buck Moon and added the 7/24/10 and the time of the moon's rise at 8:30 p.m. below the original date box.

We went to the same place Sunday evening (7.25) to witness the rise of the actual full moon.  I am soooooo glad I recorded the Eve's moon!  It was so much more dramatic.  By the time the full moon rose it was dark, bugs were biting and quite frankly  it was a let down from the previous nights scene.

Moral:  Brain dead isn't always a bummer :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Foxglove Plus....

Picked my last clipping from our NY home. More on this much love house here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pentel and Prismacolor

 Stopped by 'The Art Store' in Henrietta, NY.  What fun.  So many pens and markers to try.  I came home with Prismacolor Brush Markers in black, blue and sepia.  A Pentel Outliner Marker in silver/blue and a Pentel Hybrid Technica 0.3 mm roller ball pen in black.

I like the various widths I can achieve with the Prismacolor brush markers.  The brush tip is a bit more stable than the Micron Brush tips allowing, to me, more control.  The size is also good for journaling.  Many colors are available.  They are acid-free, light-fast and waterproof.

The Pentel Outline Marker is interesting.  It works best on uncoated paper.  The store offered them in silver with black, blue or green outlines.

The silver is bold and shinny, the blue outline is very fine and medium in color.  The marker bled thru to the back side of paper.  I tested it on Canson Edition paper (pictured) and Strathmore 140# Imperial wc paper.  The bleed wasn't as bad on the latter, but still would make the back side of a journal sheet unusable.

You have to shake the marker like you do with all metallic markers.  I love just tapping the tip to paper.  It makes  great dots :)

The Pentel Hybrid Technica pen is advertised as light-fast, fade-proof and water resistant.  I argue with the latter.  I wrote with it in my Moleskine (regular coated paper) on Canson Edition paper, and Strathmore 140# Imperial wc paper.  I wet the pen lines with a waterbrush immediately and other lines after a few hours.  Both test came up with black ink running.  Not badly, but the paper did get gray.
I do like the way the pen writes.  The .3mm is considered 'extra fine' and it also comes in .4 & .5 mm points.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

View From Van Zandt Road

At last, a chance to paint one of my favorite views.....  Conesus Lake from a farmers field on Van Zant Road in Livonia, NY.

It felt sooooo good to sit in the field and paint the day.  I stopped in at the farm house to ask permission but alas, no one was home.  I did get to pet 2 sweet kitties, and a Rottie jumped against the door when I knocked.  Very good watch dog!

My desire to paint was toooo powerful and it won out over lack of permission.  Hopefully, I'll catch the owners of the farm before we leave and thank them for the use of their field :)  If not, they'll get a surprise print in the mail in the next few weeks :)

Here is where I sat..........

This, my view.........

And, what was behind me.........

A beauty of a day.  Low 80's, no humidity to speak of, a slight breeze on the hill.  I'm glad I brought the golf umbrella though.  I do prefer to sit in the shade as does my pale skin!

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.