Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Wedding Day Walk

A Wedding Day Walk by PJBee
Today,  I happened upon a co-worker with his girl friend.  They were especially dressed up and I just had to ask what was going on :)  "We were just married!!"

Well, I thought a watercolor sketch of where they first walked as husband and wife was in order, so I used this image as the front of a card that was produced through iPhoto on Apple.  Now, I anxiously await delivery of the card so I can give it to them :)  I love surprises!!

























Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Full Owl Moon


I've been tickled for weeks as January's Full Moon falls on my birthday this year :)  How great is that.... a present from the cosmos!

The morning started off with total cloud cover, but the forecast called for clearing. Sure enough, when I took the dogs for their late afternoon walk the sky was beautiful and the temperature in the mid 60s.  I knew the moon would rise over the trees around 6:45 so I happily assured myself of a clear moon rise.

Jumpin' Joe!  Where did all these clouds come from! Geesh, you go inside for dinner and all kinds of things happen outside!

This was the scene when I arrive at 'the chosen spot.' The moon was peeking out behind a  huge pine with nothing but clouds overhead.

But, as I painted, I was rewarded with the most beautiful light show on the clouds.  So, it was a two painting night! As the moon climbed the clouds departed.  I'm very happy for the extra gift of the clouds for my birthday moon :) Not so happy with the mosquitoes that were biting..... in January!!!

The traditional Native American name for January's Full Moon is Full Wolf Moon. Hungry wolves would howl during the snowy, cold nights of January.  Well..... luckily there's no snow here in the lowcountry of South Carolina!  That's why we live here :) And, unfortunately, we don't have any wolves.  I love the whole concept of naming moons after what's happening in nature. January and February are very active months for our owls... Great Horned, Barred and Screech.  They are busy in their territories and it is the time of nesting.  Eagles are also very active.  I was going to call the moon Full Raptor Moon but decided to go with just the owls as they are a big favorite of mine.  What's going on in your neck of the woods?  What would you name the moon?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Birthday Beach Trip

click to enlarge
I love having birthdays. It's a day when I can do anything I want :) Breakfast out is a favorite. Done! Then what does the mind and body feel like?  A trip to the beach!

Today's bonus was a newly washed up tree. The regular beach walkers let us know it just appeared today.  Oh goodie! Another birthday present :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Commission

Now I can share what filled a chunk of my pre-holiday elfin magic :)

This lovely home is located in Colleton River Plantation. The view of the river from the equally large back porch is outstanding.

Thank you Linda and Nancy for the opportunity to surprise your folks this Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bear Tree

I've been walking by this interesting Live Oak for a year and a half, and finally, just the right day arrived to sketch it! I don't know if I achieved the look of a bear face in my drawing, but in real life it really does resemble one :)

The tree stands along a sidewalk in our neighborhood. I had to set my chair right in the middle of the walkway to capture the entire tree.  When I stood in front of the bear face for the close up, a delightful Fox Squirrel peeked from behind the tree. It was quite curious about the human standing there. At one point I thought it was going to leave the tree and inspect me up close!

Our lowcountry weather has been so absolutely balmy this November and December as compared to the last two years.  We really need a freeze. Our early spring wildflowers are thinking it's time to bloom!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy Waxing Moon

I so love it when the Moon smiles in the sky.

No Full Moon painting for me this month. Our sky was socked in with clouds.

I've two more sketches to do of the  convergence of Jupiter and the waxing Moon. Right now they are just hen scratchings on a piece of scrap paper and laying in my 'to do' pile :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The 2012 LowCountry Sketchbook Calendar is Ready!!

Thank you all for your patience.  It sure has been an adventure to publish this calendar. Please click this link to preview and purchase my inaugural LowCountry Sketchbook Calendar.  That's just in case the video link below doesn't work.... ha ha, I'm so confident with my tech skills :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

2012 Calendars Will Be Available Soon!

Greetings!

I've had such a good response to the calendars I made as gifts from Staples, that I'm very busy downloading my most popular journal pages into Lulu.com's calendar publisher.  I hope to have them ready to order by late next week.  The cost is $20 plus any applicable taxes and shipping.

Unfortunately, unless you have them shipped by ground, they won't arrive for Christmas. If you'd like to give this as a Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanzaa gift, let me know and I'll send you an image you can print and put into a card.....  Yes, I've been last minute with gifts before :)  But, I find a preview of what's to come really goes over well.  Sometimes, I've even wrapped the preview in a box... making it real special!  In this case, just blame it on the artist..... she has great ideas but an issue with timing... ha ha!

 Lulu.com offers very high quality printing.  The wall calendar opens to 17 x 11 inches and contains US and Canadian holidays. I've added Full and New Moon dates and other fun celestial events.... what a surprise, huh?

Stay tuned for the release date announcement! I will provide a link directly to my page on Lulu.com.

Back to the studio I go!  This elf is busy, busy :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Moon Convergence with Planet Venus

One of the many reasons I love our dogs is that they have to be walked. So many sights I would have missed if not outside with them.

This is a memory sketch of yesterday's celestial happening. You can see it this evening, too :)
Look in the western sky not too long after sunset. The new Moon is a little over two days old and is only visible for a short time around sunset.

Friday, November 25, 2011

And the Winner Is....

Kate, from Letterplay :)  Congratulations, Kate!!  Please email your snail mail address to pjbartstudio(-at-)hargray.com.

Thank you everyone for inquiring where you can purchase the calendar. I originally made a few up for Christmas presents at our local Staples and decided to offer one here.  I'm now working quickly and will offer 2012 calendars either through Zazzle or Lulu. Please watch for updates!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

2012 Calendar GiveAway

click to enlarge
Oh, what fun! This 11 x 17 inch wall calendar contains all my favorite journal pages :-) It's printed on heavyweight paper with a mat finish that's perfect for writing on.

I've titled it, 'A Low Country Sketchbook', and hope that the lucky winner loves it as much as I do!

Along with traditional holidays that come with the base calendar, I've added Full and New Moon monthly dates as well as other celestial events.  In doing so, I've found that I have a full moon on my birthday! I'm tickled pink :-)

Just leave a comment that you'd like to be entered into the Thanksgiving Day drawing.  The winner will be announced on Black Friday.... shop 'til you drop day :-)

I'm very grateful to all my faithful readers! Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 11, 2011

An 11.11.11 Thank You

Please click to enlarge
This shell will always have a special place on our bookshelves.
It's a memento from my Dad's Basic Training days at Parris Island.

He wrote the date on the shell. I can see him walking the shoreline of Port Royal Sound and finding this treasure as he contemplated his next steps into WWII.

I've been wanting to preserve the shell as a journal sketch for the longest time. I can't think of a better day... a more special day than today... to honor it forever :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Black-crowned Night Heron Juvi

click to enlarge
It was a sunny, crisp morning. The wind kicked up a bit and the dogs were frisky in the cooler temps. On the way back from our morning walk I spotted five Great Egrets and a couple of Black-crowned Night Heron juvi's roosting in the trees along the pond near our home.

I hurried the dogs into the house as I knew I needed to give myself a treat before I spent this beauty of a fall day indoors.... 

Today is the day I get to purge and reorganize  my studio to make way for an elliptical. I'm so looking forward to exercising but really not in the mood to go through my ever growing pile of papers.  I think I inherited the piling syndrome from my Mom. The art of procrastination.... well, I developed that all by myself!

A few minutes later, art bag, bins and chair in tow, I found only a couple of night herons and an Anhinga left in the trees. No matter. Plenty of visual goodies to choose from.

I added the pen work and white feather dots after I moved the furniture around in my studio. Now I'm taking a break from the purge....  a girl has to have some fun :)

Have a great weekend and don't forget to turn your clocks back tonight!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Playing with Watercolor Ground

I've been wanting to try Daniel Smith's Watercolor Ground (DSWG) since it first came out.  My subject.... a cigar box :)  No, I'm not a closet cigar smoker! Gag!

It's all about repurposing, and now that the smell from the little devil's finally faded, I'm quite excited about the possibilities. Tip: if you have a cigar store in your town, check them out. They sell their boxes for very, very little... Our local store asked $1.00 for the cardboard boxes and $2.00 for the wood boxes!

I decided I liked the red cover on this box and chose to tape off the foil stamped illustration and used this area for application of the DSWG. 

Once applied, the DSWG has to cure for 24 to 72 hours before applying watercolor or acrylic.  It can also be thinned up to 10% with water.  You can see in my second image that the ground looks thin in some spots. My intuition was telling me to add a bit more to even out the first coat, but my adventurous side wanted to see if the uneven coating really mattered.  I had several cigar boxes that I applied the DSWG to.  My studio was filled with the essence of gesso..... it was a bit too strong from my nose.

 You can see in the upper and lower left corners where the ground was applied too thinly.  Could I make this work?

Well, yes and no. The lower left corner was a bit too thin and when you view the box in person you can tell.

Painting on the DSWG was similar to the feel of  painting on watercolor canvas. It was necessary to dry each application of paint with a hairdryer. Lifting paint is easy and I didn't see any wear on the surface.  Truth be told, my lifting was more like scrubbing.....

Almost done! I'll let this sit for a couple of days and no doubt tweak the image a bit more. The last step will be to spray it with Golden's MSA Archival Spray Varnish to seal the surface.
This will be home for my Garden Journal - a collection of single watercolor paper sheets... but more on that later :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Current View

In April, I could see out of my right eye better without my current glasses. Now... it's the same with and without glasses....  Sketching has become increasingly difficult and for the last month I've only sketched twice. Haven't bothered to add color.  My left eye is tired. I'm sooooooo looking forward to a better view!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fish Haul Creek Park

At long last a few hours away that made me feel like I've had an entire weekend getaway!

Fish Haul is on Hilton Head Island and borders Port Royal Sound. It's a birder's paradise and an ecological wonder. Every SC Low Country Master Naturalist class gets a field trip here and is warned not to get stuck in the pluff mud.

When Rob and I arrived just before 5 p.m., the tide was on its way out. I set up my chair facing east and reached in my bag for my supplies when I discovered I'd left my travel watercolor palette at home! Luckily the Pentel pocket brush, Micron pen and waterbrushes were there.  A black and white page was not what I had in mind on this beauty of an autumn day, but it did give me a chance to finally play with the Pentel brush. 

We spent about an hour on the beach. The receding tide moved out quickly and shorebirds that had settled on the highest ground at high tide took flight several times, moving farther out into the Sound, landing on newly visible shoals. Pelicans, gulls and skimmers filled the sky! Great Egrets started to collect just past the large rock eddy. They know there's good fishing in shallow tidal pools :)

I love the time of the 'long shadows.' The colors of the marsh grass, ocean and sky were incredible... so many shades of green and blue. But, oh the bugs! AT 5:45 p.m., it was as if someone turned on the bug switch. Boom! They were everywhere. No-seeums, mosquitoes and whatever... Dang.  Driven off by insects.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Signs of Autumn in the Low Country

Spartina alterniflora
Here in the low country of South Carolina, our trees do not rush to change their leaves to the colors of orange, yellow, red, burgundy and purple we so love in Autumn. For that matter, Mother Nature doesn't abruptly turn the temperature down either!

Telltale signs that the hot, humid days of summer are finally going to come to a close revolve around the shortening of daylight, the observation of Hickory and Oak tree's bounty of fruit, Beautyberry and Sparkleberry bush's berry colors changing from green to magenta and black respectively, Devil's Walking Stick tree and Poke Weed fruit formation, and best of all, the color change of the cord grass in the salt marsh.

It seem's like just yesterday the smooth cord grass, Spartina alterniflora, turned it's beautiful, almost electric green. Over the last couple of weeks I've begun to note a plethora of greens and both raw and burnt sienna tones evolving. Altogether a feast for the eyes :)

Now that the Autumnal Equinox is upon us, what changes are you noticing in your neck of the woods?

In the above plein air sketch, I used Derwent watercolor pencils in an AquaBee Super Deluxe Sketchbook. It may have taken all of 10 minutes, but as I painted the below canvas in my studio, I could still feel the warm morning air and recall the smell of the pluff mud where the Great Egrets, Wood Storks and Ibis love to dine.

What's for Breakfast?



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Harvest Moon Eve and 9-11 Anniversary

I listened to the reading of the names of those who lost their lives ten years ago. Like the moon, your light will always shine. You will be remembered.

Thank you to all those who met this attack head on and saved lives.

Thank you to those who worked in the rubble day after day, not thinking of the hazards.

Thank you to all that have rebuilt the holes in our country, that we may feel hope.


Thank you, troops for your sacrifice and courage, that we may remain free, rebuild and keep praying and working toward  harmony for our world.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Harvest Moon and 9/11

Harvest Moon 2010
Sunday, September 11th and Monday, September 12th, one of the most popular lunar events of the year takes place. The Harvest Moon :)

The name "Harvest Moon' is given to the Full Moon that's closest to the Autumnal Equinox. Sometimes it falls in early October. Other names for this moon are Fruit, Corn and Singing (Celtic) Moon.

Interestingly, the Harvest Moon rises closer to the same time on these two nights and right around sunset! Before automation and electric lights, farmers used the brightness of this Full Moon to continue the harvesting of their crops well into the night.

Now, y'all know I've been painting Full Moons for a couple of years. I can't seem to stop, nor do I want to :) I'm fully immersed into my Moon Journey © and am very thankful for discount book buying options. My already full library is in need of culling so I can find a place for these moon book purchases :)

I love reading about moon lore, how different cultures celebrate the moons travels across our sky and most fun of all is learning how ancients lived in harmony with nature and lunar cycles. Yup, I'm immersed :)

This is one of the many reasons I love Nature Journaling. My early artistic creations revolved around painting landscapes. As I sat outside sketching and painting, I began to take note of the vegetation around me, then the birds and insects... on and on, deeper and deeper my art and soul have explored the wonders around me. The connection I feel to the natural world makes my heart sing. I took John Muirs quote to heart and decided I wanted to be in the world... not on it.

Here is the expanded version of John's quote.... "Most people are one the world, not in it - have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them - - undiffused, separate and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate."

Tomorrow, we as a country, and hopefully as a unified world, have the opportunity to pause, say a prayer, fill our hearts with love, peace and a determination to overcome human tendencies that cut and destroy lives, surroundings and our world, while we remember the horrible loss of life and country that happened ten years ago. All week I've watched programs that document 9-11 and the rebuilding of the empty hole left in the ground and in our lives.

Let's use the brightness of this Harvest Moon to celebrate the courage of the men and women that gave their lives helping to save others. Let's dance in the moonlight and celebrate the lives of all who we've lost.  Let's let them know they are not forgotten and promise we will strive to not take one moment of our lives or our freedom for granted. Let's, with our prayers of and for peace, turn the tide of hatred to one of harmony.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Garden Journal Workshop Offering

Are you ready for an Artful Autumn Get-Away?

In conjunction with Coastal Art Supply and The Beaufort Inn
I will be conducting 
A Garden Journal Workshop
October 25, 26 and 27 · 10 am - 3:30 pm 

Images from the May 2011 Garden Journal Workshop

Autumn in the low country of South Carolina.... kiss the humidity goodbye and say hello to perfect Carolina blue skies and temperatures that will sooth your soul. Plan an Artful Autumn Get-Away and visit the delightful destination of Beaufort, South Carolina.

I am excited to join forces with Beaufort County's own Laura Lee Rose, a Clemson Extension horticulture agent and one of the area's foremost advocates of horticulture. She teaches the Master Gardener curriculum, oversees county-wide horticulture projects, speaks to schools and community groups, and has been active in organizing and promoting Beaufort's downtown community garden.

Learn sketching, page design, watercolor, lettering and artful journaling techniques from Pam and valuable plant identification, information and other horticultural goodies from Laura Lee.  

By the end of the workshop you'll experience the joys of keeping a garden journal and discover first hand how it can be utilized to plan your garden and serves as a record of your gardening trials and triumphs.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention.... lunch is provided by Southern Graces... Yum!

For information and registration call Coastal Art Supply at 843-524-2782

For lodging information, please click both the link attached to 
The Beaufort Inn and Beaufort, South Carolina.