View Full Version : Monthly Scumble October 2011

Shirl Parker
10-04-2011, 12:12 PM
Hi everyone! Welcome to the Scumble, our monthly chat thread where we share the happenings of our everyday lives! I hope you will all chime in and look forward to hearing about them.

Our co-host Robert reminded me to start this thread with his last message in the old one, but I'm sure he has more to say.


10-04-2011, 03:14 PM
Purr thanks for starting a new thread, Shirl!

Happy news today - I don't have to call The Consortium again to get my in home assistance schedule sorted out. There was some confusion about my schedule that I had to sort out on the phone. Then I got a letter saying I'd only get two days in the week. I was worried about it last night. Today my new assistant came and she had a three day schedule on her time card, so I'm back to full levels of help.

Also at last, the three days are spaced out better rather than having two days one right after each other and four days without help every week. So this is going good.

The down side is that the elevator is still out. She's downstairs now doing my laundry but getting the vacuum cleaner wrangled up into my room is too much to ask. I'll be able to get the vacuuming done when they fix the elevator.

CM Neidhofer
10-05-2011, 10:02 PM
Haven't posted here in a long, long time! Just a couple pics of my now 15 month old grandaughter, Saundra! Her mom and dad have waited a long time for her hair to be ready for pretties! lol



10-06-2011, 03:23 AM
She's cute, Christine. You caught her in a sweet mood too. The one where she's reaching up is adorable, that's a perfect gesture. Where she's fascinated with the phone that's hilarious! Gotta start 'em early!

10-08-2011, 10:27 PM

Looks like everyone in the forum has Goals and no one here has a life outside of pasteling. Ah well. I guess that's what happens. It's too much fun getting dusty!

Someone post some news so I'm not posting after myself? Come on, I can't be the only one here with a cat. Here, I'll post a cat picture, maybe that'll bring everyone back to the thread...

Dogs, horses, birds, ferrets, fish, of course other cats are especially welcome. Show off your furkids or the human ones!

10-08-2011, 11:49 PM
I know I can't post this in any other thread here in Pastel, so I thought I would share it here. I've just purchased some Derwent Inktense pencils. I intend to use them for quick daily sketches. I've decided I should start an art journal, or sketchbook. I'm doing two journals, one in color, and and one in graphite. I haven't started them yet, as I just wanted to see if I could figure these pencils out.

Here is my first try, just something teenie tiny, 4"x4" on Arches 140lb rough paper. I love the intensity of the colors, I think they'll be a lot of fun. I do think I would prefer working on cold press, this was a bit too rough.

I don't know why, but photographing watercolors isn't as easy as pastels. I think the white of the paper bounces light all over the place, even though I wasn't using a flash. This was a close as I could get to the original, I don't think it looks quite the same, but close enough I guess.


10-09-2011, 02:22 AM
Chris, this is lovely! What a wonderful idea to post anything that isn't pastels here in the Scumble. I love the way you used the Inktense washes in this one, they do reproduce so much better than watercolor.

My scanner always knocks light blue and any light values to white. My current scanner is a little better than the last one but I still have to play with it in Gimp and if it didn't pick up the hue, then I can't fill it in by darkening. The texture of your Inktense miniature is gorgeous. There's something jolly about watersoluble pencil sketching, it always looks spontaneous and rich.

Going to have to look at my stack of pencils tins to see if I have any Inktense here or if I have to wait till they're sent from Arkansas.

10-09-2011, 03:08 PM
Thanks Robert, they really are a blast to use. You are right, the scanner just bleaches everything out to white. I took a photo of this with no flash, it was the best result I could get. It's close, but not quite the same. I'm gonna try and do a few a week at least, just quick 30 minute sketches in a journal. It's gotta be a great way to 'just sketch'.

10-11-2011, 01:05 AM
ok I will start, here is my little sweet heart Gracie. She is my wonderful little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She is an amazing little character!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Oct-2011/635212-Gracie_and_Tula_002_edit_for_painting.jpg
and Tula our high energy hunting dog

10-11-2011, 01:14 AM
OMG, Gracie is adorable tulabula! She reminds me so much of my Rosie, now gone 11 years. I still miss her, she was the absolute best dog in the world (to me anyway). She was a tricolor Cavalier, with that same adorable face, she looked just like Gracie when she was a puppy (Gracie is a puppy by the look of this pic?). Cavaliers are great dogs, they are in a class by themselves I think. Tula looks like a very determined dog, I'm sure she's a lot of fun too! They must be cute together.

10-11-2011, 02:04 AM
Thanks Chris! Yes Cavs are in a category all their own! Very special dogs! Gracie is now 2 years old but that is the cutest picture I have of her on the computer. Her and Tula have a blast together. We taught Tula to lay down to play with Gracie when she was little and it is so cute to see Gracie on top of Tula "pinning" her by the throat and growling, Too cute!

10-11-2011, 02:29 AM
Aww, Gracie is a cute little dog! She looks like she belongs on a cookie tin. Too cute to be believed, of course in person she's probably a little rascal. Tula is beautiful, she's Hunting Dog Classic. Striking black dog. You have two good looking canines there, Tulabula!

They must be so sweet playing together if big Tula lays down to let Gracie romp on her. I can just imagine that. Those are good references too, you could easily do portraits of them from those photos. Heck, do Gracie from that puppy photo and you could sell the image to Hallmark. I'm not kidding.

Chris, awesome that you'll be doing Inktense sketching regularly. I love those and I'm tempted to pick up a small set just to get by until I get my stuff back from Arkansas. Common sense tells me not to buy any supplies, just send for boxes till I have all of the supplies I own rather than buying duplicates.

I've just completed a happy chore that I procrastinated on for two months. I plead that I was too stressed and busy from moving in to remember to do it. I finally signed up for Blick affiliate status again a few days ago and got that confirmed today in an email. So in addition to a pear study and a blog page, I also spent 2 1/2 hours editing about 100 pages on my oil pastels site to put the Blick ads back.

It's a much happier chore than removing them was. It reminded me that I don't need to live on the street art, just use it to get the means to renew that website and build others.

Somebody must really want me to succeed and be professional again. Just as I finished up all my website editing, Amazon notified me that "Snuff" got delivered to my Kindle by Whispernet. I preordered it. So there's my reward for being responsible and working hard. It's Terry Pratchett's latest novel. I love Pratchett and there's nothing better than one of his silly books to relax with. I swear his prose is a serious pain killer in itself.

10-11-2011, 03:22 AM
Hi all,
I have been doing a great deal of art lately but I took the weekend off and went to Kerrville, in the Texas Hill Country. It was a special tour for about 18 garden club women. Now, before you dismiss this thread entirely, I need to explain that these particular women are floral design obsessives. They are all mostly National Garden Club judges in horticulture and design.

We went to the Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg. It is a Pacific WWII museum donated by Togo to Admiral Nimitz at the end of the war to bring peace together. We were there on Friday and they were getting ready for the weekend festivities for Monday, Oct 10. It was awesome. Each and every war ship from the Pacific arena was listed and their people. Now, that was fascinating but we went for the magnificent Japanese garden that was there too. It was so calm, peaceful and beautiful and manicured just as it should have been.

We went to Benini's Sculpture Ranch. This artist, Benini, is from Italy and has been creating art his entire life. It's very contemporary and he has a website for his ranch. www.benini.com It was really interesting to hear an artist who has been making art his entire adult life and succeeding. In addition, he gives space on his ranch to aspiring artists in the Hill Country and they install their pieces for viewing from one's car. It was fascinating. Some of the women I was with had just done a floral design program interpreting Louise Nevelson and seeing all that sculpture was very inspiring.

The core of the trip was to meet with S J Derby, a floral artist. Probably I could leave out the floral part. She's an artist. She has a show at the Kerr Art Center and had created, what, 50 pieces of art sculpture. We had a private showing and reception on Thursday night. I have pictures which I will post in the morning.

SJ lives on a 3500 acre ranch with other people on acreages. I say that because a fairly large acre ranch here is in the thousands. We had a hay ride through the ranch with a Master Naturalist who gave a great talk on the various flora and fauna. Apparently, exotic deer have escaped and become well represented and are legal for hunting at any time. Whitetail deer are protected and must be hunted only during the season. The drought we have had has been devastating. All fauna are distressed, especially with winter coming on. There is NO food/forage.

The family who gave us the hayride has a purebred Percheron. What a magnificent animal. She pulled an Amish wagon they had. It was definitely a different life. The homes were right out of Frontgate and Grandin Road!

We returned to SJ's and she had arranged her garage/studio for "dumpster diving" for us. She had one side with much floral material, like bamboo, soto, weathered wood, vases which were available for grabbing and the other side which was available for "negotiation". We cleaned her out. She and her friends created a lovely dinner for us on her gracious porch overlooking the Hill Country and several black bucks appeared to graze for us.

The following morning we went to San Antonio to the Botanic Garden. Another outstanding venue and then headed on home. All in all, a dream weekend.

I will post pics later today. And the weather was in the 70's, so great.


10-11-2011, 03:33 AM
Thanks Robert! actually Gracie is not a rascal but the sweetest thing you could ever meet. I have been tempted to get a dog bones tin with her picture on it!
Margaret, sounds like a great weekend, look forward to your pictures, I hear the hill country is beautiful down there.

10-11-2011, 08:43 AM
Cavaliers have a different temperment than most dogs. Even if they are rascals, they do it with such charm and cuteness that they get away with it every time. I swear, they know just how to yank the heart strings. I've had two, and it's really hard to be mad at them for anything, and I mean anything. Sweet just doesn't begin to describe how they are, I used to think my Rosie was part human. Honestly they're just different somehow.

I'm finding I can control the Inktense easier than watercolors, at least it seems that way. The colors are a bit bright, but for sketches that makes them fun. I tried going over the Inkentense with some watercolor, and that did work well. I may do the first layer with Inktense as a start, then go in with watercolors. Some experimenting is in order I think.

You're accomplishing so much Robert, you must feel very excited that things are falling in place, I'm happy for you!

That sounds like a wonderful weekend Margaret. Great fun, and jam packed with things to do!

Dot Hoffman
10-11-2011, 10:30 AM
It's been a long while since I've poked my head in here. Lots of things happening....but now, finally, maybe they'll settle down. It started with my computer dying...completely fried hard disk. So we broke down and bought a Mac. Well, transitioning from a PC was an experience, and it took forever to get the printers to work properly, but that seems to have finally worked out. Then, in the middle of that, we took a trip to Minneapolis to see family and spend time with my 97 yo mom....she's doing amazingly well. Also saw sisters, daughter and fiancÚ, niece, granddaughter and boyfriend, and great-niece. From there a trip home via the Black Hills of SD and all they have to offer...beautiful! Once home, after unpacking and catching up on laundry, etc., it was time for another surgery, this time to correct a problem with my lower eyelids. They are almost healed now. Hopefully, life will settle down to a more manageable level.

Robert, I'm so glad that everything is going so well for you. I am truly happy about that.

Those pups look so adorable....but I guess we'll settle for our two cats. Getting too old to take on another puppy, knowing it's a 10 - 14 year commitment.

It's good to be back!

10-11-2011, 04:44 PM
Dot, sounds like you had a great trip. Congratulations on mastering the new Mac. I sometimes get tempted to get one for a second machine, in case some virus wipes out PCs and doesn't touch Macs. Every time I've borrowed one I had a hard time with the interface though.

Purr, scritch both of your cats for me! Dogs may be cute but cats don't take nearly as much work. My cat takes care of me as much as I take care of him, he's an absolute sweetheart.

10-11-2011, 09:48 PM
nice to read about the personal touches
and experiences .
Margaret - i would have enjoyed being along for that event ;
i'd be wide-eyed behind my foster grants
soaking up as much detail as my brain could handle :D

i'm getting a good sense of community here at WC ,
so i thought to stop by and say hello .

Ed :}

10-11-2011, 11:14 PM
Just checking in here - have been really busy taking care of my Mom. She is in hospice now in her home and we have caregivers pretty much around the clock. But I like to be there and check on things and be with her. Also, I have to give her some of the medications, and we definitely have our ups and downs on the roller-coaster that is hospice. She has cancer in her liver, as well as other places, and so her abdomen fills with fluid that the liver produces just to be ornery, so we went again today to have that drained at the hospital. My Mom is so little - about 5 feet tall and losing weight all the time. Her belly gets distended and she looks like she is pregnant - besides, it is very uncomfortable to have all the pressure on her organs. They took out 3.2 liters today - after only 2 weeks from the last time she was drained. Anyway, the only art thing I am doing is trying to organize my pastels - first in my HueChroVal book from complete sets that I have and can easily do without being in my studio - and then when I get to my studio I can finish with all of the miscellaneous stuff I've picked up in Mystery Boxes and chipped sets and stuff. It feels good to get a handle on the amount of pastels that I have, and figure out where I have holes in my colors. If, after I'm done, I do have holes in my colors!! I think I'm going to have to get one of those huge pastel holders like Phil Bates has in one of the threads on "Talk" and organize things that way. I have a surfeit of riches to be sure in pastels ... now I just need to have the time, and energy, to use them. All in God's time. I'm at peace with things, really. I know Mom will be with Jesus when she passes - and that is a great comfort to me.


10-12-2011, 08:44 AM
Awwww Lyn, such tough times for you. I'm so sorry you and your Mom are going through this. I sure hope hospice is making it easier for you and her. God bless you and your family.

10-12-2011, 11:06 AM
How blessed your mom is to have such a loving, comforting daughter at her side. Bless you and your family for all that you do for her. The Lord comforts us in many ways - He has given you a talent to help comfort you and He has given you the assurance that mom's soul be given up to Jesus.

10-12-2011, 07:12 PM
Thanks all - it is wonderful to see people have real lives, and that sometime my life will get back to that as well. I love the pictures of the babies and the puppies - the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away - blessed be the name of the Lord.


10-12-2011, 07:31 PM
Lynn - Your Mom is lucky to have you. Godbless.

Another puppy picture for you- this is my not so little Charlie. He's at least 60 pounds now. For a Lab Mutt, he's a great retreiver! The water was like glass until he showed up.


10-12-2011, 08:50 PM
Lyn, what you're doing for your mom is priceless. That's something I hope helps sustain you when it gets hard - you're not doing the ordinary, you're doing something extraordinary and good, it's bound to be tiring sometimes. Take care of yourself, you'll take better care of her if you do.

DB, cute swimming dog photo. Must be so much fun taking Charlie to the beach!

I just went to the Paratransit authority today. They paid for my cab fare both directions but the elevator still isn't fixed so I'm a bit out of it right now with pain.

10-12-2011, 11:06 PM
Lynn, the time you spend with your mom right now is priceless. You will look back and remember so many little special moments and stories that will come out. It is a really special but hard time. God will bless you for it.

Dbfarmgirl, your pup looks like a sweetie from the picture. Those labs, mixed or not are amazing retrievers that never quit!

Robert, so sorry to hear you are hurting so, I pray that will ease for you quickly!

10-13-2011, 12:16 PM
Robert, I don't know if some else can chime in on this thought, but as a landlord, doesn't he have a responsibility to be sure that everything is in working order? If not, you are not getting what your rent includes as a disabled person. I would imagine you have the right to withhold rent or at least a portion of that rent until the elevator is fixed. Isn't there someone that you can talk to about this?? I feel for you because of the consequences of having to use stairs. Cali

10-13-2011, 01:18 PM
Cali, you're probably right. I could hold do that. I don't want to because I know the status of the repairs. The manager, Harry, has been pulling strings and phoning the repair service several times a day every time it goes down. The problem is just that the elevator's a century old. Sometimes they need to have parts crafted for it that just aren't made any more.

If he wasn't that helpful and that intense about the repairs I'd probably be mad. I'm not mad at him. I'm mad at my leg.

Yesterday when I came back up the stairs, I had trouble with the first flight of stairs. I got to the second floor landing, took a step and my right leg refused to hold my weight. It just buckled under me and I went down hard. That's the first time that happened.

I did too much and went out too often, walked too far, stood too long, went up and down the stairs or the elevator too many times since I moved in. I've been doing a lot more than usual. Right now I'm hitting the results of everything I did in the process of moving in.

I pay my rent on the first of the month. The elevator repair guys are going to be here this weekend. It'll be resolved, it'll work again and the next time I have to go out is in two weeks, on the 27th. That's the day for my street art screening.

The other thing I have to go out for is to start a bank account, but I might be able to get help with that. At least I can wait till the elevator works again before doing it.

I've got a lot to be happy about here. I just have to deal with what I did to myself in the process of getting it all together. That's going to take time and resting up. I've put off the screening twice already, I want to get that over with before I run out of tries.

It's just hard to put up with what happened after all the moving in stuff. I haven't had this much trouble in a long time. I know the other half is my feeling so much better that I do more day to day. I get up to get something, I run around my room sorting things out, because of how I feel I overestimate it and do that before I'm rested.

I'm going to have to take it easy especially on walking around. That's the hard part but I need to do it. I want to be in shape for the 27th.

10-13-2011, 01:38 PM
Then we're going to hold your feet to the fire and make you promise to stay home and relax till the 27th. Sketch your heart out!! You said once that it's not tiring to paint. So I hope that's all you do till then. Don't forget to post, post, post so we know you're following your own instructions!!:heart: Cali

10-13-2011, 01:42 PM
Will do, Cali, except for the bank trip. That's not just necessary, it's overdue. I need to have one and I have a nasty feeling I have to go in person to start the account.

Though I will try to find out if I can do it by Internet, scan my ID and email everything to them, or do it by phone and Internet. I need one that does Internet banking anyway because there's no way I'm going out every time I need money or using an expensive ATM.

I need that done at least three or four business days before the screening. Hopefully they'll expedite my Paratransit and it won't cost me cab fare for both of those trips. That could get rough.

10-13-2011, 06:59 PM
I'm finding I can control the Inktense easier than watercolors, at least it seems that way. The colors are a bit bright, but for sketches that makes them fun. I tried going over the Inkentense with some watercolor, and that did work well. I may do the first layer with Inktense as a start, then go in with watercolors. Some experimenting is in order I think.

Hi all,

I was at my main local art store today and they were having their 40% off Anniversary Sale. (Rats!) So I got some inktense pencils/pens and some really cool sketch pads with 130lb paper and 93lb paper. I'm ready to start with the inktense and I've worked with watercolor pencils before so I'm thinking it's the same. Right? If I want to do an outdoor sketch and the bark is rough will it smooth out? Guess I have some experimenting to do! Also got some Richeson pastel board and gator board. Any have experience with them?

I'm taking an online class called Sketching for Landscape Artists. It's been really challenging and we're copying some Corot and William Trost Richards. Things like rocks and tree bark and stones. We're using the Ruskin book "Techniques of Drawing" and it's hard. You're not learning to draw a tree, you're learning HOW to draw a tree. Much different. But, boy, is my drawing getting better!

BTW, all my pics are in the megs so I have to learn how to get them smaller to upload here.


10-13-2011, 10:18 PM
Margaret, that sounds so great. I love the Inktense and think you'll really enjoy them. I'm annoyed with myself that I didn't pack them into the packages I mailed first, I would have them at hand now if I did.

Playing with wash techniques over Inktense or watercolor pencils or pastel pencils is trial and error. How much water you use and how heavy the marks are will relate to how much dissolves and how easy it is to see your original marks. It's always possible to go back over it if it dissolves too much.

I seriously recommend Inktense for underpainting with pastels. The strong vibrant colors are fantastic for underpainting and easy to tone down with pastels after they're done.

Made it, did today's daily art. I'll post it as soon as I scan it.

10-17-2011, 03:43 PM
Hey everybody, I'll keep posting after myself until someone else comes into the Scumble. Of course the Goal Post is moving so lively that it might as well be a chat thread. Maybe that's because the Goal Post has a Topic.

So... here's another prompt, something to think about posting into the Scumble. Did you know it was cool to post art that you did in other mediums so you can share it with your Pastel friends? Yep, that's just one of the many cool topics that can come up in the Scumble, the wonderful Off Topic Thread of many cool things.

So here's something just as an example, yesterday's Daily Art.


Who can resist a big hairy cat spread out all over the floor? He was so big he didn't even fit on the page when I turned him diagonal.

Plus I tried gouache and did a landscape. Deborah Secor's gouache landscapes come out as gorgeous as her pastel ones, the medium is very similar to pastels. I had fun with it using some new brushes.


I think I'm going to try this reference again because halfway through, it started to turn into a completely different scene. If I'd followed through and painted what came into my mind, it would've been just as cool. So I need to redo it and chase down the imaginary scene too.

Happy personal news. I stopped taking the drowsy groggy medicine that gave me side effects and finally got the high-energy super-effective medicine that Arkansas denied and California delayed on. Turned out it wasn't as big a deal here as in Arkansas. I'm feeling a thousand times better.

I have to take it easy physically because I wrecked my bad hip and back, have to rest up and not move around much till that heals. But I'm full of emotional energy for painting and drawing and sketching.

I've got a big package of handy wipes right under the chair i'm using as a supply table so I can get dusty whenever I want.

Ari purrs and sheds Cat Hairs of Inspiration on you!

10-17-2011, 03:57 PM
Robert.....I know you use the Inktense pencils for your underpainting but am wondering if you have utilized the Inktense Blocks?.....'blue

10-17-2011, 04:32 PM
Robert.....I know you use the Inktense pencils for your underpainting but am wondering if you have utilized the Inktense Blocks?.....'blue

Hi 'blue,

I just purchased the Inktense blocks, they're pretty neat. What I've done so far is to just leave them in the package, and use them like they are waterecolor pans. I ran a wet brush over them, used a watercolor pallet for mixing if I needed to, and did a little sketch. They wash out smooth like watercolor, you just have to remember that once they dry they're permanent. No scrubbing out, but they're pretty neat, the colors are very intense. I've used watercolor over them, which is also nice. The inks stay put as a first layer because they're permanent, and they're transparent, so you still get that nice glow. I also tried them with a black micro pen, which was fun.

Now, you need to know my watercolor skills aren't that great :eek: , I definitely I need much more practice, but they are fun! I intend to use them in sketchbooks, though I know people do use them for underpaintings with pastel.

10-17-2011, 06:16 PM
Thanks Chris......yes they do look neat.....I was interested in underpainting with them for pastel work and also underpainting for pen and ink top layers.....

appreciate your prompt response......let's see what else we get on the subject.....we are here to help and learn from one another....

'blue.... :wave:

10-17-2011, 06:30 PM
Blue, I have both the Inktense Blocks and the Inktense Pencils in full range sets. Unfortunately, I don't have either of them here in San Francisco. I used to use them a lot for underpaintings because they're so strong and bright. Also there are less lightfastness issues for an underpainting than if I were using them for a painting.

Other than underpaintings, I use them a lot in my sketchbooks. That's something I miss and wish I could send for some of those boxes now that I've sorted out everything that was in the boxes that arrived. Soon though, I might be able to send for one next month!

10-17-2011, 06:32 PM
Robert- Love "Flat Cat". (I currently have 2 flat dogs) I really like the gouache too. IF there was another medium I would like to try I think that would be it. Maybe someday. I hope they get your meds right, that can make a huge difference.

I am posting a picture of an immature bald eagle I took on one of our drives. He (she) landed in a field by the road and almost caused 2 wrecks from the distraction. It was HUGE. The birds in the background are blackbirds- a little larger than a robin. I see eagles often around the farm, but this one was big enough to eat Charlie!


10-17-2011, 07:15 PM
That eagle is worth painting! What a georgous bird, magnificent. The largest bird of prey we see around here are hawks which are beautiful, but nothing like this!

I just did two doodles with the Inktense blocks and a pen. I used them as if they were watercolor pans, running a wet brush over them and using a palette if I wanted to mix. I tend to mix mostly on the paper, so for me the palette is more to get a thinner wash. Great fun, especially for sketchbooks. I did check the lightfast ratings of these on Derwent's site, and it seems that there are some discrepancies between the pencils and the blocks (same colors, different ratings). Poppy Red is rated a 5 in the pencils and a 3 in the blocks? Why? Chili Red is a 3 in the pencils and a 7 in the blocks? Why? Tangerine is a 4 in the pencils and a 7 in the blocks? Why? Fuschia is a 5 in the pencils and a 4 in the blocks? Why? Which one do I believe? Which is why I'm using these in sketchbooks only. And I'll avoid the 3 and 4 ratings whenever I can. You can mix these with watercolors, so I may use a compatible watercolor if I need to.

Anyway, here are my two doodles, size is really small, just 3"x3" each. I did these on Arches rough paper. You can see the colors are fun and vibrant.


10-17-2011, 07:59 PM
Wow Chris......they are bright.......nice little works.....yes, inks have always been 'fugitive' to a certain degree, so underpainting may be fine......

have you tried the new 'acrylic inks'.....they are permanent and flow much like WC......maybe a better material.....

for permanent pencils, Caron d'Ache has a new line 'Luminance'......approved by ASTM standards for permanence....but they are quite expensive......"you only get what you pay for"! The Faber-Castell line called 'Albrecht Durer' are also quite permanent.....


10-17-2011, 08:50 PM
Wow that eagle is awesome!! They are so big you can hardly believe it. Now, we get some pretty big hawks here as we live right near the Forest Preserve - they can be the size of a good chicken. But the eagles are so majestic. We see them when we are up in Michigan along the lakeshore - they often fly over the cottage in the morning and again in the evening when they are feeding. The biggest difference between the hawks and the eagles is that the eagles keep flapping their wings, while the hawks will ride the updrafts. Sometimes from far away, it is the only way to tell the difference, until you see the white head on the mature eagle - then you know for sure. Thanks for sharing that photo!!!


10-17-2011, 09:36 PM
Wow, these are beautiful, Chris! I love the strong color and soft wet in wet transitions. That's exactly what I did when I painted Flat Cat too, I used the palette to get thinner washes for the lighter areas. It's easier to see what I get on a white palette.

DB, wow. Your immature bald eagle is enormous! Thanks for the comment about the size of the blackbirds. I've seen them and that's a gigantic eagle even if it's still adolescent! Gorgeous - but I am so very glad my cat is an indoor cat! It could carry him off!

Lynn, that's so cool you get eagles around where you live.

Back when I was in Arkansas we got hawks sometimes and the big birds were turkey vultures. They got huge but aren't as esthetic as the eagles, given their bald heads vs. white "bald" heads.

10-17-2011, 10:13 PM
Wow Robert, I missed your cat and gouache landscape, beautiful! Ari is especially nice, I love the simplicity of it. Love the gouache too, another nice medium for sketchbooks!

Thanks 'blue. I think I prefer to start with the blocks, then go to the pencils actually, the pencils will come in handy to go over the washes I think. I can hit the pencils with water to blend them where needed. I need to do some more experimenting, I'm not sure about the pen work, we'll see about that. It's probably a good thing I didn't get my sketchbooks yet, it gives me time to work out how to handle these things. Those prices are a bit steep for those sets you mentioned, especially since I'm really only using these for sketchbooks. I think these Inktense products should be fine for that, especially if I just stick to the most lightfast colors. I sure wish I knew what that inconsistency in ratings is all about though.

10-18-2011, 08:53 AM
Chris, I like the sketches alot. keep posting, I enjoy seeing seeing them. I have the 'Albrecht Durer' pencils and like them very much, though I haven't used them as much as I should- you're inspiring me.

Lynn, We have a bunch of different hawks and osprey here too. I never get tired of seeing them, but the first time I saw our now resident eagles, I was stunned. I had never seen an eagle except in captivity and now they are in my own backyard. I love the diverse wildlife here. Even after seeing them for around 8 years, I am still amazed.

Robert- Yes your cat would be in big trouble. If not the eagles, the fox and owls... and I found out coyotees love cat! One of the requirements when we were getting another dog was he had to be big enough so the owls can't eat him!

10-18-2011, 11:49 AM
Thanks Robert for say we can post other mediums here. I also did a painting of Kobi on a 6 x 6 canvas in Acrylic. This one gave me trouble because of his coloring. He also has a mean look yet is a very sweet and cuddly pup. I could use C & C on this one. Cali

By the way, Robert, I love your Flat Cat, although I don't think he's so flat. I get the sense that he is a bit robust! Either that or he just ate!:lol:

10-18-2011, 03:40 PM
spirothet, your little Cav pup is a cutie! I do think his eyes are too pointed on the insides. looking at my girl, the eyes look very round. Now if it is not a Cavalier pup then ignore me :)

I am blessed to see eagles fairly often here in Alaska, they are amazing HUGE birds!

10-18-2011, 05:38 PM
all I see everyday are 'sea gulls'.......but two years ago, black crows, who usually fly by, stayed and are here year round.....the locals don't like them as the feed on the 'sea gulls' eggs.......this is a fly pattern for the N/S migration....so swarms of all types of birds are here for brief periods.....Monarch butterflies were here in droves last week.....no Eagles.....just the Philadelphia Eagles on hats, sweatshirts, etc......this is the dividing line between the New York Giants and Philly Iggles.....half and half....:D

Shirl Parker
10-18-2011, 05:40 PM
We used to have a problem with crows where I worked back in the day. They put fake owls and snakes on the roofs and in the trees and that got rid of the crows.

10-18-2011, 05:54 PM
Aww, Cali, your painting of Kobi looks so cute! LOL - he does look like he's got a tough expression on his little mouth but his big round puppy eyes tell a different story. He's sweet.

DB, you're right! Back when I was in Kansas there was another risk - cougars and bobcats were in the area too along with coyotes. My daughter put the dogs outside because they were big enough not to be prey to the hawks and owls, but we kept both cats strictly indoors.

Ari is eleven years old because he's been a dedicated House Cat all along. He does not like weather, large things that eat cats, aggressive birds (a sparrow once terrorized him flying around inside the apartment in New Orleans) or anything about the outdoors. He likes bird watching and television with programs that have cats in them, or at least animal programs.

LOL about Ari looking fat! I titled it Flat Cat because he's actually rather lean. He's just a big cat in a much larger cat skin, as he gets older his tummy skin sags more. When he stands up to walk away he's rather narrow and when I pet him, I can feel the bumps of his hips and rib cage.

When he was young his skin was more elastic and didn't sag as much, you could see that his tummy was pretty flat. Now when he lays down his middle is only about an inch thick - it's just skin and fur.

Because he has that plump look laying down I've often checked to see if he's getting a little extra padding. He's not. Under all the fluff and loose cat skin, he's still fit, muscular and lively. About once or twice a day he will get up and get seriously rowdy, running all over the room playing and jumping and chasing his toys.

He's mad at me now though because today was the day to put his flea guard stuff on the back of his neck. He's miserably washing all around that spot on his neck he can't reach where I got him wet. Even though he dried out hours ago, he's still washing and washing because he can smell it.

10-18-2011, 07:01 PM
Shirl......we use fake owls to but for another reason.....they are positioned on the top of the house to keep the sea gulls away....they harvest clams, drop them on our roofs to open them.......isn't nature wonderful.......we do have small red foxes in the dunes though.......no coyotes.......:D

10-18-2011, 09:47 PM
Blue, thanks for the great nature stories. I can just imagine laying there trying to sleep in on a Saturday morning with the thump, squawk, crack of seagulls dropping clams on the roof to break them. Foxes are beautiful. I hope you can get some good photos, they're magnificent animals.

10-19-2011, 03:46 PM
One more 6 x 6 painting done for my mini show! I am trying to get at least ten done for this show. This is #3 in Acrylics. I also have 3, possibly 4 pastel paintings that are 8x8 or smaller. So hopefully, I'll get to my goal of 10 to be submitted. Your C & C welcomed. Thanks, Cali

10-19-2011, 05:06 PM
Very cool, Cali! I love that brilliant field of flowers, the colors are wonderful and I think the variety of them is so lively. Cool square composition too.

I did a little acrylic painting last night, took several hours on this tiny thing even though it's only an ACEO and they usually finish fast.

Still Life with Violet Curtain

I tested the SoHo Urban Artist tube acrylics on a SoHo Urban Artist ATC painting board and was happy with the paint, though the boards have an unfinished edge instead of wrapping around like canvas boards. I wound up painting the edges with deep gold gouache to make them look better since it's a thick card.

A few months ago I had some fruit in Arkansas and got some photos of it. Had to spend half an hour just editing the photo to brighten them up to something natural, I had no light back in that room. Once I did, I thought it came out pretty well though and definitely liked how it worked in the painting. I smudged out the background and was about to start with Burnt Sienna when I picked up the violet instead by mistake. So I went ahead and used the blob of violet for the curtains. Waste not, want not. Any dark color would've been cool.

My poor little cat has been through some terrible traumas recently. I started feeding him less at a time to discourage the bugs and try to train him to finish his food when I put it out instead of leaving it to attract bugs. So he was annoyed about that and pesters me every hour or so asking for food.

Then it was also time to put the flea-repellent squirt on the back of his neck. I sneaked up on him while he was sitting on the back of the chair and squirted him before he realized what was happening. Perfect success, I got all of it on him in the one spot he can't wash with his tongue. He's been miserably bathing for about 24 hours trying to get at it.

Then this morning the pest control guy came in so I had put away all my food and dishes into sealed plastic tubs, put his food and water dishes into a sealed tub and stuffed him into his little airline bag. He resisted mightily because he did not see suitcases so he thought he was going to the vet. Pest control guy came in, squirted some safe boric acid here and there, so it was no danger to him anyway. So I let him out.

All is forgiven. I explained to him that all the nasty stuff was over for a while and relented on a full food dish. He ate his usual tiny meal and settled down on the back of the chair right in reach for cat petting again. Poor little guy. He has not had a good week but I'll make it up to him!

10-19-2011, 06:49 PM
Hi Robert,

It may be a tiny aceo, but you did a lovely job on it. I love the choice of colors - that was a good mistake using purple. They may be tiny and yours is certainly smaller than mine is but it still requires detail work that takes time. Well done. Thanks for sharing. Cali

10-20-2011, 08:16 AM
Cali, Robert- great!- I really like seeing the acrylic paintings. I'm not sure I could work in that small a format.

good idea posting other mediums in scumble.

10-20-2011, 09:11 PM
Purr thanks, DB and Cali! It's fun posting other mediums in Scumble.

I am having a really good day. Among other cool things I blogged in Rob's Art Lessons a couple of days early on "Overcome Sales Shyness" and drew what may well be the very best little Ari sketch in brush pen that I've ever done.

He went to sleep on my lap and was snorting, rumbling and making very strange deep little cat sounds, like a lion roaring with the volume turned down to 1 or 2. I think he was dreaming he was a Big Cat. When the sounds seemed like he was angry or scared, I petted him and he didn't wake up but his tone changed.

So I carefully grabbed my ATC card and Pitt Artist Pens gray scale pens. Without moving him or waking him I sketched him, without moving the arm that he was pressing his paws against.

Ari: Lion Dreaming in my Lap
2 1/2" x 3 1/2"
Grayscale Pitt Artist Pens, Brush Tip
Borden & Riley Recycled ATC Sketch Pad

10-21-2011, 01:03 AM
Ok, Blue, we share similar seaside experiences. But, I am on the Left Coast where the gulls are not that clever - it is the crows that use my roof and driveway as a clam cracker. Shells everywhere!

Our baldies are around duing the fall, winter and early spring. They sit atop the big spruce trees on either side of our lot and once in a while, one of the mature white tops flies over my yard eying our red tabby cat while it cries out "here kitty kitty." The cat is a house cat so tough luck for the eagles.

During the summer, we have migrational osprey and Bonapart gulls which are all great fishers. Now, that the chicks have fledged, the belted kingfisher is back on his tree and the Artic seabirds have arrived in Dumas Bay for R and R along the West Coast N/S Flyway. Great bird watching. Oh, and the river otters are the most fun. They like brackish water and we have a salmon habitat creek on our lot (great fishing) that empties into the Sound. Downside - the otters hang out under our little Boston Whaler during the winter - very messy.

As the great Ivar once exclaimed, "Stay clam!" J

10-21-2011, 01:11 AM
Well! I was going to get dusty, but I think that's gotten set aside by today's excitement.

Today Ari and I have had our first pair of earthquakes! Yep, I'm back in California again. They were Ari's very first ever earthquakes. Neither was very big, the one this afternoon was a bit stronger. Both were a lot like the shaking you get if you live right by a highway and a big truck passes.

The early one was a bigger truck and took longer to pass.

Nonetheless, when I went out into the hall I met a few of my neighbors. I wasn't the only one asking "Hey, did you feel that? Did we just get an earthquake? So that was kind of cool. It became a social event for a little while, kind of neat.

When I got the second one I got out Ari's little airline travel bag and took out his harness and leash. I buckled him into his harness and put a piece of masking tape on it for a tag with his name, mine and my phone number in Sharpie on it. Improvised name tag in case anything serious ever happened. I also packed up the messenger bag that I've been taking to appointments with me with my spare netbook, its power cord, my bag of medical records and official social services paperwork and stuff, and a small bag of art supplies.

Of course a Stillman and Birn Beta sketchbook is tucked into the pocket and the little sets of color Conte are in the bag of emergency supplies.

If we ever have one big enough to have to leave the building I would want to be able to get online and also to be able to sketch it. Loaded up my usual pocket contents in the vest too. Switched from sweat pants into jeans. So I'd be a bit more presentable if we needed to say, go down all those stairs and get out in a hurry.

Okay, that little wobble was not an earthquake. That was Ari shaking my chair. Nothing else in the room shook and it was very, very tiny. The chair rocks. 14 pounds of nervous cat can rock it.

10-21-2011, 01:32 AM
Oh Robert, I'm glad you are prepared. Earthquakes seem so scarey to me. Although we lived very near to one of the largest limestone quarries in the world and every afternoon at about 2:30 they would blast and our entire house would shake. You sound like me with my dog Rudy during Tornado season here in the midwest. When we get bad weather I grab my handbag, my computer, my cell phone, Rudy, Rudy's crate, leash and tags and we head down the basement! I don't even think about art supplies!!! But I do think about the baby pictures of my children and other treasures - those would be hard to lose. Be Safe!! No running down those stairs!!


10-21-2011, 02:05 AM
Thanks, Lynn! That's about what it's like. I've lived everywhere in this country and every one of those regions has something. Tornadoes in the middle, hurricanes in New Orleans, floods and tornadoes and storms in the East, blizzards where there were seasons, and here it's earthquakes.

I will usually do something about preparedness and then relax.

There's no way I'm going to rush down those stairs unless I hear someone yelling for evacuation. If I went down both times I would already be in a shape that I wouldn't manage getting back inside the third time. So I'm prepared.

The other reason I'm less worried is that this is a building that survived the big ones in the past. They built well back in those days. I trust the quite old buildings like this and the newest ones to be safer than anything built from about the forties through the seventies and eighties. The "modern" designs are when construction became a good deal flimsier than turn of the 20th century buildings. These old ones are very solid.

I got a look at some of the construction drawings for the painted ladies when I first lived here and I was astonished at the building specs they took for granted, the ways that the studs are closer together and they're bigger pieces of wood and so on, more reinforcements.

At last! Ari calmed down and came out from behind the chair. He ate a little food and wanted to play, he started chasing stuff so I got out the feather wand to play with him. I think he feels better now.

The pictures I have that I'd want to save are unfortunately a bit larger and they're paintings. I would not be able to save those in an emergency, but a lot of them are still in Arkansas anyway. I don't have a photo collection, not of physical photos anyway. My cat photos are all on the computer. The best ones are online.

10-21-2011, 03:08 AM
Ok, Blue, we share similar seaside experiences. But, I am on the Left Coast where the gulls are not that clever - it is the crows that use my roof and driveway as a clam cracker. Shells everywhere!

Our baldies are around duing the fall, winter and early spring. They sit atop the big spruce trees on either side of our lot and once in a while, one of the mature white tops flies over my yard eying our red tabby cat while it cries out "here kitty kitty." The cat is a house cat so tough luck for the eagles.

During the summer, we have migrational osprey and Bonapart gulls which are all great fishers. Now, that the chicks have fledged, the belted kingfisher is back on his tree and the Artic seabirds have arrived in Dumas Bay for R and R along the West Coast N/S Flyway. Great bird watching. Oh, and the river otters are the most fun. They like brackish water and we have a salmon habitat creek on our lot (great fishing) that empties into the Sound. Downside - the otters hang out under our little Boston Whaler during the winter - very messy.

As the great Ivar once exclaimed, "Stay clam!" J

Oh wow! You have got to be having so much fun with photos and wildlife sketching. That sounds so beautiful. Can't wait till I have Paratransit or better, get into wheelchair accessible housing and get my power chair. But even just when my Paratransit is approved, then I could take it down to the beach for a day of sketching. That would be so cool.

I remember seeing gulls and various birds on the beach in San Francisco. I couldn't identify which kinds of gulls they were but there were a lot of them and sometimes more than one kind of water bird.

Agree that sea otters are beautiful and charming, fascinatiing and sometimes adorable cute as when they do that clever backstroke and clam cracking maneuver with the flat rock.

10-21-2011, 08:35 AM
Robert, while reading your post, all I could think was how long it would take you if the quake was serious!! If th is happens a lot, shouldn't you have an emergency bag packed permanently ready to go? Thank God it wasn't serious! Cali

10-21-2011, 08:57 AM
And make sure you have some 'water wings' packed because as SF slides into the Pacific, you can stay afloat.....:lol:

what I know of and having worked for a CA company a number of years, you normally have at least a few small quakes a week, all the time.....it's the major ones that get reported back here .......

but having an emergency bag packed is sound advice....

10-21-2011, 09:54 PM
Cali, thanks. It wasn't serious. It was the kind of little quake that I laughed about a lot when I lived here before. It was just a reminder to me that hey, it would not hurt to have an emergency bag packed.

LOL Blue - that's too funny. There's multiple reasons to keep an emergency bag packed. Though I might repack it lighter since it also serves as the bag I haul along to appointments. Actually will have to repack it completely for the artist program screening to have that paperwork sorted out in its own folder and change out what the supplies in it are for what I'm going to demonstrate.

10-23-2011, 12:29 AM
What a day today.

No sleep last night, so I stayed up rather than miss the start of class. So I got distracted writing something and missed part of class anyway, but none of the beautiful oil painting demo by Johannes. Then he had trouble getting the demo going, so there were video-audio experiments delaying it - it was still great. Then five minutes after that ended, I barely had time to run to the bathroom before Harry showed up to continue a very welcomed short spritz of his home mix in round two of Roach Wars.

Of course Ari got out in the hall while airing out the room. My neighbors across the hall both agree my cat is so beautiful, he amazed them. In home support service lady arrived and she had symptoms - both her dust allergy and mine got set off by deep cleaning in round next of Roach Wars, but there is no untended crumb anywhere nor foodstuff that isn't sealed in its packaging mostly in plastic tubs or its native cans.

I went out to get groceries and she helped me carry them back. I did not fall on the stairs but it was exhausting getting back to my room. I made it, partly thanks to throwing a dollar into the soda machine for an Orange Crush, which gave me some much needed calories. She helped me get all my stuff rearranged so that now I have floor space for mat cutting and get foam board and the big box with the big white mat board out from behind a stack of boxes.

Room spotless, I would have had time for a very quick bath but she said I had no clean shorts, which left me seriously wondering just what happened to my laundry since I thought I had some left. Turned out I did, but when she put away my t-shirts last time, she piled them on top of the side of the drawer I keep my shorts in and didn't see any on top. Arrgh. At least I did find them all and don't need to do laundry till I get my check.

So I washed up with the handi wipes after she left and I am exhausted. The one thing I wanted to do after class was do a tree study, and that I have now done. It's posted in the sketch thread. Art brings inner peace. I painted happy colors to put them back into me and get smiling again.

I'm either dead terrified of the screening and the street art program or excited. Either way it's coming very close and there is no putting it off to be more prepared any more. I'll be going out to do it with what I have and I'd better get it matted and shrink wrapped by Thursday.

Happy news, my Paratransit got approved. Whew! I might still use the bus sometimes but only if I know that the route will not involve my walking farther than I can walk and only if I've got a folding chair with me.

I did think of one thing I might do on a good day when I'm not riding a tight deadline. I might go out the door, get on the Geary bus that stops right there and ride it on a complete loop to see just what's actually on the line - what's visible from that bus route without my having to walk to it once there. The routes are sometimes loops and if that one is, I might find some of the things I need and save up to $3.25 on it. I never will know the bus routes till I try them. I just have to spend a few bucks riding the bus going nowhere and taking notes, to know what businesses are actually that easy to get to.

10-23-2011, 03:11 PM
Wow, sleeping all night makes a big difference. I'm feeling a lot better. Just realized how much got accomplished and how fast the big problem got solved too. Ari is cuddling on my lap after a very rowdy morning. He woke me up to get his breakfast a lot like Simon's Cat, then after he ate he romped around tossing his toys in the air and chasing them.

Here's a video of what happened right before I got up: Simon's Cat "Cat Man Do" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0ffwDYo00Q). There are others, they're hilarious.

Do you have any cool links, funny videos or photos? Post them today. I'm going to keep throwing topics here, it seems to stir things up!

10-23-2011, 04:47 PM
OK I just dropped in to have a look and read your posts Robert. I'm so glad your paratransit was approved and, yes, why not take the bus just to see the route it takes. If it's a loop you could get off somewhere interesting, do some sketching, then get on the next bus to go home! Sounds great! Good luck for the screening too. You'll walk it! (I hope......can't guarantee it as I have no influence!)
I haven't watched the video yet but I've seen some of the Simon's Cat ones before and they are absolutely hilarious!! Surely Ari isn't that demanding?????

10-23-2011, 06:13 PM
Purr thanks Ruthie! Common sense tells me the point of the screening is to identify frauds, so that all the licenses go to real artists and crafters. At the same time, I want to make a good impression on them. Doing the best I can to do that is also 99% of the prep that I need to do in order to go out and sell. It's actually a bit bigger than I might have done on my first go, but preparing for it is giving me a better chance of good sales on my first day out.

I think my art is a ton better than it was fifteen years ago. I've been through so many quantum leaps, sudden changes and discoveries since then. My compositions are no longer random and haphazard. My color harmonies actually make sense now. My observation is better and my work is looser. I am going to relax about it, do my best, go in and do it.

I have to actually sketch something in front of them and between now and Thursday, decide what supplies to bring and how to pack them up.

Clarification of my earlier post.

The reason I don't bathe without my personal assistant's help is that I can't actually stand long enough to take a shower. The stall here is way too small to get my chair into and someone to help, it's designed for an ambulatory person to take a normal shower. But there's a bathtub room that is just right. I do much better with tub baths than showers anyway.

Georgia is the one that sets up the bath. Due to my back problems, bending over that often or staying bent over long enough to get the water right will wreck my back so much that I'll be out of it not just the day I take a bath but up to two or three days later. I also have a problem that once I'm in the hot water, I get dizzy and fall down. This is a big problem in showers. It's less of one in a bath but still dangerous. She helps me in and out of the tub after actually pouring the water and getting the temperature right.

Since she started doing that, taking a bath wasn't something painful that left me debilitated afterwards but something wonderful that relieves my back from the stress of things like feeding my cat and moving around in my room or going out. It's night and day.

Being able to have a real bath three times a week is a joy to me after my getting by with sponge baths all these years. I was so isolated it didn't matter much. The inconvenience of doing a sponge bath in my room this weekend is an inconvenience, not a major problem.

10-24-2011, 05:01 PM
It's getting close! Thursday is my Screening appointment, at 11:00 am. I know the main purpose is just to demonstrate that I actually created all of my art by hand and my prints are just that, prints of my original artworks. Once I'm approved for that, it won't matter whether hand colored prints of line art or original prints done by linoleum cutting count as "art" or "prints."

What I've been doing is preparing for it as if it was going to be a show. As if I was going down to a cool coffee house or restaurant to hang 12 of my works to sell. Or I was getting juried for an art fair. I don't know that they don't jury the applicants and eliminate anyone whose works aren't skilled enough. So I'm erring on the side of quality, which is going to give my first day out a much better display.

After the screening I need to go down to two other offices and pay for the city registration fee of $25 and get the free state seller's registration done. Then return to the same SFAC office with my check for the $166 license fee and show the new paperwork (hopefully going in to their offices will get it just handed to me instead of my waiting for it to be mailed.) I also need to get a new bank account after November 1st, when I have money to make the initial deposit that isn't a third party check. I'll need to have it all taken care of by November 11th.

At that point I can just call Paratransit, pack up my goodies, go out to Fisherman's Wharf at nine in the morning and get in the lottery. There are two categories of locations - Wharf locations and Downtown locations. I may alternate in order to find out where my art sells better and where the locations are.

I have been alternating panic and elation about this for the past four months. Four months because I researched it and sent in my application a month before I arrived. This is fantastic. I've worked very hard to get to this point and today I'm happy about it.

I'm taking a rest before I get going on the next great task: Mat Cutting. I want my art to have a good presentation. It'll also protect my art when they handle it if they pick up any of the pieces. Georgia got out my mat board and foam boards. All I need to do now is get down on the floor and start marking them up to cut them. I also need to get out all the art I'm going to bring and make some final decisions on which dozen pieces best represent my current skills.

This is overwhelmingly loaded for pastels. I've got ten newish pastels that I've done since I got here, all of them are good. I've got one little pen and watercolor postcard painting. Actually that one doesn't need matting. I can put it into one of the postcard size Top Loaders - same archival PVC clear stiff holder that I put my ATCs and ACEOs into to mail them. That saves my cutting one mat.

I also have a gouache ACEO landscape that doesn't need to be matted.

So that cuts the amount of mats I need to cut to nine - my Two Irises is already in a mat because I had one cut for an 8" square painting that I sold and shipped without the mat. All that needs is a back board.

Wow. I can't believe it. I don't need to go into the box of older artworks at all. I can just one by one take down the new pieces from the walls and mat them. Wow. I didn't realize I'd done that.

Of course later on it'd be good to cut more mats and go through that box for decent salable paintings to add to my stock. But I only need the best dozen and these are all current. With the way I've been growing lately, they're my best. I just know that. I don't even need to get out the box to know that.

I'm thrilled. I also need to sit still for a while so I'll go around posting and keep my momentum. LOL - I feel like making art, not matting it, but this needs to be done!

Next time I get mat boards it'll be on the proceeds of my art. I put three of them in my cart at Blick and will be making that order on art proceeds sometime next month. Other things jump in and out of the cart but the mat boards are going to be essential.

10-24-2011, 07:18 PM
I completed two more mini paintings in acrylic 6 x 6 for show in November. The one landscape with trees is the homework assignment for johannes' webinar. Even though I wasn't able to watch it, I tried to follow what the homework said to do. I like how it turned out although I may not have done the assignment correctly. I would love your C & C. Thanks, Cali

10-24-2011, 08:51 PM
Cali, I love your homework. It came out beautiful. I love the mist behind the trees, that really sets them off well. Very cool.

That other painting is gorgeous too! Wow! It's striking and dramatic. So complex and fascinating, my eyes run around through path after path always finding something else intriguing.

I had happy good news today. My mini Blick order shipped, I will have my color Conte on Wednesday. I also got my samples of Canson Mi Tientes Touch, so in a way it's a pity I'll be mat cutting instead of painting today. I've got a big itch to start testing the beautiful papers and boards (possibly to destruction if the sanded coating isn't waterproof or thinner dissolves it.) But I won't wreck large areas with the wetness, no, it's going to mostly go into cool new paintings in different mediums and techniques.

10-24-2011, 10:36 PM
The big 32" x 40" white museum mat board is butchered into strips. At this point I discovered that both ends of the blade on the straight cutter were dull. Fortunately outside edges of a mat go under the frame, it's not as serious as a dull blade on the bevel edge cutter.

So started the mad scramble to look through several miscellaneous boxes of small items, finding enough change to do my laundry tomorrow, a big fat Lyra graphite stick, my mouth atomizer, several still-wrapped kneaded erasers and other useful bits and bobs. Finally I opened the wooden Scribe box... the one that needs to be sorted out and completely cleaned because a couple of loose pieces of charcoal were ground to powder in it by the process of shipping.

One dirty gray bit of folded card looked familiar. I picked it up. An empty pack of Logan mat cutter blades. Aha! Searching in the grimy tray, I found all five new blades neatly stuck together with their packing oil shining bright. Fortunately I saw them before finding them with my fingers on the sharp edge.

Tip for mat cutting - when removing the old blade from a mat cutter head, tape the edge of the dull blade. This will keep you from mistaking it for a new blade if it happens to be clean and wasting your time and effort. It'll also save you from a dull blade neatly slicing the bottom of your trash bag on the way to the dumpster.

Now I'll rest my back again and finish the butchering of the great board. I have more than enough mats, a little flexibility on whether to use white or black on any given artwork. I think that I'll cut 8" x 10" holes in the extra ones, just prepare them all. That way when I do another artwork, if it's 8" x 10" I already have it covered. I could even bring them with when I go out to sell and immediately mat anything I do out at the setup.

Cali, the wagon wheel painting is almost magnetic. I keep glancing at it, see the center of the wheel, then wander out to look at flowers and leaves, then get drawn back to the center. Something about that composition really works.

10-25-2011, 12:10 AM
Mat board successfully butchered. One mat successfully cut. One mat successfully butchered because the blade in the bevel head mat cutter was dull. Note to self, check sharpness of blades on mat scrap before wasting expensive archival mat board. Still have a useful ragged edge 8" x 10" piece from the middle though. Little paintings can go in 8 x 10" mats.

I think I need to do a 4 x 6" pastel before I go, so I can use one of those little mats and have something in that size range. Must buy Logan blades from Blick.

10-25-2011, 03:41 PM
Last night I cut all the mats and at one in the morning, to me that's the same day because I did it before bed, I did Ari gestures. I had a breakthrough. This is the first time I loosened up enough to overlap sketches on a page.

I loved how that looked in Leonardo da Vinci and other master sketches. It was so cool how both images would make sense, or a figure have several limbs exploring variations of the pose. Masters' working drawings fascinate me. Well, because I rushed to get the second gesture I didn't turn the page and I had time to capture his adorable profile - and when I finished I realized that I'd done it right. It looks better than both would look on separate sheets.

Three Cat Gestures
2 1/2" x 3 1/2" ballpoint on paper, from life, model is Ari.

10-25-2011, 04:32 PM
Nice sketches Robert! I especially like the two sitting side by side. I know that both are Ari but they remind me of my dogs when they sit next to each other with overlapping tail and yet totally indifferent to each other. Nice work. Cali

10-25-2011, 09:10 PM
Robert. Really nice sketches. You have something going here!

10-25-2011, 11:56 PM
Purr thank you both! Cali, the more I look at it, the more I need to use this as a composition and just turn one of the Ari's into a different cat. He can dress up as other cats. I can change the markings and colors on one so that they're two cats - it'd be a great cat painting. Probably in pastels.

I've seen cats snuggle together like that, and the tail curling up over the second Ari's back is one of those affectionate moments that just happen and are so cool.

Finished cutting all my back boards tonight but now I've got to rest up, finish up tomorrow by shrink wrapping all of them and pack them up in a bag. Think I'll try to turn in early tonight to make an early start - and stay on a waking up early schedule for Thursday.

10-26-2011, 04:30 AM
Robert ---Hope everything goes well with your screening, sounds like you've been working very hard for this.


10-26-2011, 07:10 AM
woff, woff.......good luck with your screening tomorrow Robert, but don't worry, you're a "shoe in"!......'blue :wave:

10-26-2011, 03:26 PM
Thanks, Dan and Blue! Today I'm tired and I'm going to push it because I need to have exact change for transportation - but this is that last mile. If it was a marathon, this is "The wall" where it takes a lot of effort and will power to keep going. I can rest tomorrow afternoon.

I can come home from it, fall into bed and go to sleep without anything I have to get done. After that I can pace myself. I can rest up thoroughly before I go out again.

There's two or three more outings before I can really call it done. I need to go get the state seller's license papers, free, which will take going to their office. I need to go to the city and pay $25 for a city seller's permit. I also need to go to a credit union and start a San Francisco bank account to deposit the Google check so that I can use that to pay the license fee, I can't pay that with a third party check. But I have enough in that check to cover the fee, so I'm good. I just need to wait till the 1st so I have enough in my account for the basic balance to start the account before depositing.

It'll go faster if I actually go out on the first to get it done than if I mail it in. Then one last visit to the San Francisco Arts Commission building to give them the check and get my photo ID, unless they'll let me mail them the check with a scan of the paperwork from the other two offices. They might, it'd save me $4 if they do. I have 15 days after tomorrow to get it all done, which is tight but not impossibly rushed - no need to worry about whether I can do it all before the deadline without a day or two off in between to rest up.

I found out that if all the spots are occupied, they allow a "buddy system" that someone who has a spot can share it as long as you don't sell each others' goods. So that's awesome too - worst case if I decide to go out, I can ask a jewelry seller to buddy me in and it'll still help them because my vertical display will get attention. Or anyone whose stock isn't very large.

I think that it's not that overpacked though. I'll find out when I go, but it seems almost like they have contingency rules for overload more than really having an overload.

I'm excited now. I keep remembering one thing. Excitement and nerves are the same thing chemically, when I focus on the positive it's energy to go get it done and it does push me past the pain. Today's the day it's starting to catch up with me, but I'm going to do everything I can to get in shape so that tomorrow I'm feeling good and able to give a good presentation.

I am nuts for doing this.

But in a good way. Once this effort is done, it'll never be this hard again. I'll have the safety net that I can trust - knowing that if I run short I can go out and sell some art.

10-26-2011, 08:04 PM
Odds makers in Vegus have it 20-1 that Robert gets his license permit on Thursday :D

if you see a good looking guy down @ Fisherman's Wharf on Sunday peddleing 'cat portraits', you know who it is, so buy some, he needs the money.....Deborah is going to have a hugh 'yard sale' :lol:

10-26-2011, 09:13 PM
Good Luck on tomorrow's screening. I know you'll do well as your art is superb. There is such a variety to it that one cannot help but enjoy it. Don't over stress on the way OVER. Just over stress on the way back!!! Be calm, cool and your own sweet, knowledgeable self and you will win out.

My prayers are with you.


10-26-2011, 09:39 PM

I envy your tenacity for going after what you want! So stay cool tomorrow. Leave yourself plenty of time to get where you are going so that you will have the strength needed to get through your presentation. You've worked hard enough for this so I won't with you luck but God Bless! Cali

10-27-2011, 03:54 AM
Purr thanks! I set my alarm for seven in the morning to have plenty of time to drink coffee, wake up, check last minute details and get it all packed. The screening is the very hardest part. Going in for the state and city paperwork is going to be a lot easier, just an appointment and leave. This is the big one!

LOL Blue! Thank you so much! I even have a cat portrait up in the screening display - the one from Spotlight is packed in the bag ready to go!

Purr, Margaret! I'm done stressing. I got it done and now I just get to go and do it to it, draw something in front of them so that they can see I did all the rest. Going to pack in my color Conte and bring some soft pastels too so they can see me add softer accents afterward. Throw in a few color pencils too in case they question me about the prints, which are all of CP works.

Cali, purries! The presentation will be fun. I know it. Time for me to get some sleep so I'm actually awake tomorrow!

10-27-2011, 08:49 PM
Did it! Full story is in Goal Post. Five minute screening, smoother than anyone else's because I was that prepared. If I change my style I need to get screened again for the new style, so I'll go back in November to add Asian Style Watercolor and the hand colored prints that I haven't produced yet.

But I'm in for everything I showed them samples of! This rocks. I'm now enjoying a well deserved Rum and Coke in celebration after coming home and getting my room cleaned by my substitute helper, since my usual one was supposed to come in the AM and has an afternoon client. I feel so much better! All done!

Also I got my iPhone4 and this is the first sketch I did in Sketchbook Mobile:


Life sketch of one of the judges from behind. Very minimal gesture but it's as easy as ball point and paper gesture sketching. She moved. It was less than a minute gesture. The rest of my time was saving it and figuring out how the program worked before I did it. Deleted several others by accident. lol

Very minimal, it looked good at this point and I stopped even though she moved back more or less into position. The pencil responds to pressure as if it's a real one. I'm now considering digital underpainting - try doing the underpainting in Sketchbook, print it out on watercolor paper, seal it in with Colourfix primer and paint away!

10-28-2011, 02:50 PM
I forgot to mention - it was a tough jury! I watched several of the people ahead of me get disqualified for not following the rules closely enough, so all the preparation I did seriously paid off!

CM Neidhofer
10-28-2011, 04:32 PM
First Denver snow! It's always so pretty! (It can go away now :eek: ) lol




Shirl Parker
10-28-2011, 05:39 PM
It's very pretty, but way too soon. We can feel the cold all the way down here in Brownsville.

10-29-2011, 01:06 AM
Christine, that is so pretty! I'm so happy to be viewing it from California too. lol

Love the photos. You've spotted the prettiest views in that snowfall. Hope it does vanish and give you some weeks of respite before winter stomps in on you.

10-29-2011, 11:17 AM
Christine- we just missed our first snow by a couple of degrees, the snow is melting when it hits the ground- my mother (living not far away) has a couple of inches and she said it is beautiful. I'm with you, wow pretty- now go away!

(a snow plow just went down the road.... it's completely bare, someone must be really bored)

Robert- congratulations, you'll do well!
by the way, the earth isn't supposed to move. We had a little shaking from the earthquake in VA, that was enough for me. once is too much.....

CM Neidhofer
10-29-2011, 01:24 PM
The snow was pretty much all gone the next day. It was like Spring, Fall and Winter all rolled into one day! A little snow left, leaves on the ground and colors still on the trees. Supposed to be a mild week before more snow arrives on Wednesday.

Robert, I would love to be in a wamer, yet still dry climate, but my other half can't stand heat and he starts complaining when the temps hit above 60 degrees! I would still love to move to maybe, New Mexico, but I would have to go by myself. (Not a bad idea, sometimes.....:rolleyes: ) lol Robert, I admire you for grabbing what you want and running with it. One of these days I'll be able to do that again as well. It's so fulfilling to know you can accomplish your heart's desire! GO YOU!! lol

10-29-2011, 01:32 PM
I spoke too soon- we now have a couple inches of snow sticking to the trees.

CM Neidhofer
10-29-2011, 01:40 PM
I spoke too soon- we now have a couple inches of snow sticking to the trees.

Isn't there a Nor'easter over your way? Or heading that way? Maybe more north of you. Just caught a blurb on the news this morning.

10-29-2011, 02:06 PM
look up noaa - a weather tracking and prediction system .
you can get specifics for your zip code area and radar .
- hope that helps .

Ed :}

10-29-2011, 03:30 PM
Christine.......all that beautiful white stuff you had has finally arrived here....it got here quicker than a pastel order from Dakota....:lol:

not on my beach, just rain....don't need the suntan lotion today.....big, big waves .......upstate NY can get 6-12"......

10-29-2011, 05:16 PM
yeah a Nor'easter. looks like it's almost done here, but the eastern part of PA, NJ etc. still look snowy.

the most fun was watching our puppy, Charlie, in the snow for the first time. At first he acted like asteroids were hitting him, ducking is head and running for the porch. Now he thinks it's pretty neat. Wonder what he'll be like when we get a foot or more.

10-29-2011, 06:45 PM
Oh boy! Looks like we're going to see some beautiful snow scenes from life, y'all. Get out there on the porch or sit at a sunny window and get dusty!

Remember what Deborah showed us in "ESP: Snow" - you don't need any white in a beautiful snow scene. Time to have great joy with all those tints and darks!

I made it to class this morning because Ari woke me up meowing for his breakfast. Good Kitty!

10-29-2011, 09:30 PM
Scan of my watercolor from Trees class, painted in my 7" square Stillman & Birn Beta journal, the one with 180lb rough paper. I use it for pastels too and it has beautiful tooth.

Here's a photo of it taken with my iPhone4:

True color is somewhere between them. The light in my room is very yellowish from the cream colored walls and a dirty overhead fixture, so while I adjusted it in Gimp, I wasn't able to get the blue sky right - that's truer in the scan.

It came out better than I thought it would, though I might have pushed the chroma if I wasn't doing it with Johannes's palette.

Shirl Parker
10-29-2011, 10:40 PM
Robert, who is your carrier on your iPhone? Do you know about FaceTime?

10-30-2011, 03:32 AM
Yep, I know about FaceTime. I'm not using it because I haven't got the data plan at AT&T set up yet. I got the phone by someone else buying it for me and both of us need to talk to AT&T sales lady to get that sorted out. Right now it goes online using wifi and my Verizon account, which has been Nearly Maxed Out just like last month.

I don't want to risk rolling it over and raising my Verizon bill till I know who gets billed and how and have the money to handle it if that's me and it's not already covered. She told me she bought an unlimited data plan but I'm not sure yet if that includes me.

One of the cool functions I discovered is so basic though. It has a timer. When I want to time my gesture sketches it'll be very easy - even if the subject isn't one that rolls over on his own every two minutes.

10-30-2011, 05:41 AM
Well living here in Alaska is tough LOL we have yet to see our first real snowfall!
Robert, so glad things are working out for you. Give Ari a scritch for me.
I really like your little painting! Wonderful color!

10-30-2011, 07:11 AM
Purr thank you! I went nuts mixing the hues that Johannes was using - didn't have Raw Sienna but managed to combine English Red with Yellow Ochre to get it, then get Burnt Sienna with Burnt Umber and a touch of English Red... it was fun and crazy and I've got to play with those techniques again.

And if I goof it up, then put some clear pastel ground on it and use it for an underpainting. I feel free with watercolors ever since I got that.

Now that's wild, you live in Alaska and the East Coast is getting snow before you do. Bet you're not looking forward to the shorter days though.

10-30-2011, 06:47 PM
the shorter days are starting already and it is the hardest thing for most people, lack of light can mess with your head. Full spectrum lights help so I just spend more time in my little studio with all my good lights there. That gives me a good excuse to spend my days in there! LOL
-40 is what I am really not looking forward to, hoping for a warm winter!

10-30-2011, 07:18 PM
Robert....I am pretty sure AT&T got rid of their unlimited plans last year unless you were grandfathered in. Now they have $25/2gb or $45/4gb plans. Those are in addition to the regular charge for phone service. And if you buy an iPhone from AT&T they tack on a data plan whether you request it or not.

Belated congrats on the Street Art Program success! You will be a great addition to their program.

Laurie.....I will be happy to send you some of my Arizona sunshine. It was 90 degrees here today and very sunny.

10-30-2011, 10:28 PM
Thank you, Jane! Basically I need to look into it and see where the bill goes and which it is before I use any of the data plan. You're right, it has to have one - unless it didn't get activated because mine is a second phone on the account. I don't know how to access it yet.

It's still better than Verizon's which only has a $40 for 2 gig plan. Sprint is the only one doing unlimited data plan.

Laurie, I hear you about the shorter days. I too suffered from lack of light. One thing that helped me when I was housebound in Kansas and Arkansas was to go sit in a sunny window with as much skin exposed as possible during the brightest part of the day.

Buying a Daylight lamp really helped. I brought the flip-light one with me, the battery operated one is still in the stuff that needs to be sent after I get an apartment. But there are those cheaper daylight bulbs in all the fixtures and my room is very bright, so I'm not as light starved as I would have been.

During the shorter days I make a point of sitting by a sunny window, open if possible, and taking my shirt off. The windows in the bath room and the head (separate rooms) both get good afternoon sun so I'm getting a little every day doing that.

I'm having a lazy Sunday. I should get going on cleaning pastels or something, or at least sketch... maybe I'll do that instead. I've got some pastels in reach so I could do that without getting up. Good day for relaxing and taking it easy, I'll be running around again as soon as November starts.

10-31-2011, 02:53 AM
Take it easy while you can Robert, it sounds like you are going to be busy, a good busy though!
All the full spectrum lights in my studio do help and I get out several times every day even if only to hand feed a few of the birds that live here. I have a few regulars, 2 chick-a-dees and a red breasted nuthatch that is quite the character and now follows me all over the yard, landing on my head and demanding seed. It's great fun!

10-31-2011, 04:08 AM
Laurie, that's awesome! If my window was to the outside instead of the light well, I might try feeding birds at my window too. There's lots of them in the city, though not the variety you get farther out.

Thought I'd post another pretty Ari photo. He is so gorgeous, so irresistible to snap pictures. I have lots more but I'm not going to swamp the thread with them, just post them once in a while to shed Cat Hairs of Inspiration!


He had to head-bump me and get some affection after I took this picture. He likes this new camera a lot more because I don't use flash on it.

10-31-2011, 01:37 PM
Robert , handsome kitty .
have you tried diffusing camera flash w. some folded facial tissue ?
one fold , two folds , etc . - you'd be surprised .

i caught the 12" of the prediction :rolleys: , and that wasn't the worst .
went out four times overnite to shovel b/c the snow was wet .
- my back thanked me (mostly) , but i slept into the afternoon , so no pixs .
power thankfully remained , but cable is back up just now .

there are Lots of trees as well as limbs down all over .
- power co. says 5x worse than the hurricane just a few months ago .

was lucky to get " Inside Job " from the library b4 the storm ,
and watched it many times .
brought my blood near to boil ...

hope other folks are managing as best they can :heart:

Ed :}

10-31-2011, 01:45 PM

This is the last of my paintings for the mini show starting in November. I tried to do Johannes last homework assignment again changing the scene. I know Robert, you have been following his webinar. I tried to show trees in background and also to basically paint using my imagination. It's a lot easier following a color photo than a b & w and guessing. How did I do? C&C wanted!
Thanks, Cali

10-31-2011, 07:12 PM
Robert - Ari is a beauty!! So glad you have such a wonderful friend to share your life as you settle in in your new home. Pets are wonderful!! Rudy is sitting here in his "trick or treat" outfit - waiting for the kids to come for the candy :-)


10-31-2011, 08:23 PM
Purr thanks for the comments on my photogenic cat! Lynn, that's so cool. Get a photo of Rudy in his Halloween costume if you can, that'd be awesome.

Ari's going to be dressed up as a long hair Siamese tonight. He doesn't like costumes. He was born wearing a black mask though, so he's got enough costume elements just in his markings.

Cali, you're doing good! The muted palette is definitely Johannes style, you used his colors. I like the recession, you got many planes into this one. Good shapes on the more prominent trees. Beautiful painterly strokes. You definitely used Jo's palette effectively.

I have only two suggestions. One is to lighten the horizon line till it's only one value step darker than the sky. It reads as distant water behind the last trees, but is so dark it might be the flat surface of a road on top of a hill with no trees behind it. Like asphalt-in-fog instead of water seen through fog. Its straight line flatness suggests water.

My second suggestion is to lighten the sky and eliminate the sky blue hue from it, keep it to variations of purplish-bluish pearly gray. Without cast shadows or strong modeling shadows on the foliage, the painting reads like an overcast day. This is fine, it's a great mood - but the sky isn't consistent with that mood because of the patches of same-value blue sky color. So turn it gray, use subtle color variegation within the gray overcast sky and you will have a gorgeous moody painting of an overcast day.

The path looks great and perspective looks good on that and the trees. The foliage masses look abstract and interesting, loose bold strokes make them lively and solid. They seem three dimensional even without strong modeling shadows because of the strokes and the strong recession between trees, each in its own plane really.

Well done. It's a good painting. I hope those suggestions help, or that if you don't like them they give you an idea for what you like better. Violet against the greens is very effective in the foliage!

Ed, that's an interesting thought. I haven't used the flash on my phone camera yet, but when I get my regular digital camera or figure out how to use flash I might try it. I prefer to avoid flash if I can because I don't like the flat forward lighting that flash gives. If I had a separate flash that I could put off to the side on a subject I'd definitely want to try that, it sounds like it'd help a lot with both how it looks and how much my cat hates flash.

As long as I never use flash on this phone he won't run away from it, so I'll keep doing no-flash cat portraits.

Yikes about your 12" of snow and all that shoveling! Ow ow! Take care of yourself, arnica is good for aching muscles. I'm glad you got your Internet back! Hope folks out in your area are doing okay and if anything went out, that they have it again. What a rotten time to get a bad winter storm!

I did what I had to do today, mostly called Paratransit to set up transportation for tomorrow and Wednesday. I don't think any kids are coming over to the residential hotel full of disabled people and seniors, but if a few of them do I have some small packs of M&Ms and cookies left over from MRE packages. I doubt I'll get so many that my snack packs run out. At most I'll have to open a couple more MREs for their dessert packs.

If I get surprised by kids coming in numbers then I'll be happy about it. But it's four and daylight ends soon, so I doubt they'll come. The lobby is all decorated for Halloween though so there might be a party in the building.

I checked, the decorations are all from the tenant in room 220. Very nice of him to do that, festive and cheery. I hope he does it again for Yuletide.

10-31-2011, 09:36 PM
Thank you Robert! I will make those changes you suggested! I had the sky lighter and with less blue but putst too much and ended out adding the blue. I agree with you about the horizon line. I will correct that as well. I'm tired tonight but will read your comments and look at it again tomorrow with a fresh eye. Thank you so much! Cali

10-31-2011, 09:47 PM
Glad my comments could help. It's a beautiful painting and the depth is gorgeous. I love your misty dramatic recession and the variety of tree shapes.

Tonight I'm gearing up for Nanowrimo with a midnight start. As always, I won't start writing the book till it's midnight, but try to get at least the first scene done before I go to bed. Happily everything I have to do tomorrow is in the afternoon or evening so I don't need to get up early.

I'm drifting into a night schedule anytime I don't have morning appointments, so this is partly jet lag (it's two hours earlier here than I was in Arkansas) and partly a natural tendency to stay up late. I'm just glad my room is so bright that I can paint after sunset.

Shirl Parker
10-31-2011, 11:48 PM
Time for a new chat thread. Click here. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14127477#post14127477)