31 Jul 2005


The evenings are a little cooler now. The sunset was the color of a peach a couple of days ago.

30 Jul 2005


There is a little park at the end of the valley in Rocky Mountain National Park where the Fall River Road begins. We stopped here one day after a day of tourist-driving, checking out places like the Lawn Lake alluvial fan at Horseshoe Park.

We spread a colorful red flower patterned cotton tablecloth over the picnic table and pulled out sandwiches and chips from a soft canvas cooler. There were a few mosquitoes. And just a few feet from the picnic table was the fall river, ice cold, rippling over rocks and stones, making music without ever tiring.

A Stellars Jay hung out with us while we were having our lunch. No doubt, he was waiting for a crumb or a chip to fall from our human munchie table. He was patient. While he sat perched in the young white birch near us, I sketched him, standing up with the sketchbook in one arm, the pen in the other. For something like ten minutes.

Thanks Mr. Blue.

28 Jul 2005

On Drawing, On.

When I was young, I drew all the time, and there were no rules. I drew big, I drew small.

Between 1986 and 1991 (a lifetime ago) I spent time enrolled in art and design classes, eventually graduating with an "art degree." I was 'taught' a lot of rules in that time period, and some of them are good, others just make me squint my eyes and wrinkle my nose the way I might when I walk past a stinky garbage bin.

Then I got married, moved, and started working in a bank. Then came the kiddos, and everything that comes along and consumes a working married mother. Drawing and painting was that thing I 'didn't make time for.' Not because I didn't want to, because I did. When I opened a sketchbook, or set up a canvas, or laid out a large thick cold-press watercolor paper and poured water in an empty jelly jar, and opened a tin box of watercolor half-pans, closing my eyes as the scent of the colors brightened the air.... all that seemed like such a tease. Often the process of drawing and painting became meditative. It caused me to zone out.

The act of sketching - the process of looking and seeing and noticing details and putting this on paper - requires some amount of detachment. Focusing, on one thing. Not impossible to do, but an extremely rare event. Ideas were always streaming in, then sadly disappeared like a loved one, waving as he becomes smaller and smaller on a departing train.

It is still a kind of luxury for me to really indulge in drawing and sketching. The purpose is not to be really good or make stuff that could sell, or always tell a story. I draw because - I like to. When I am drawing or painting, a sensation of well-being comes over me. Freedom of thought. Freedom from rules. Freedom from judgment. NO 'have-to's.' No expectations.

As I mature (haha!) I realize that all things I care about and love must be nurtured, watered. Sometimes, when things seem a little wimpy, I like to add some (organic) fertilizer. Discipline is the fertilizer of art.

Drawing is the precision of thought.
-Henri Matisse

27 Jul 2005

Campground Entertainment

Our camper was parked right by the playground and the adjacent activity center. We were 5 paces away from bingo night, pancake breakfast, and live entertainment.

One night a local estes park man played his gig of John Denver cover songs and a few of his own. While the boys played on the playground (or maybe they were fishing by the stocked pond) I sketched another picture in my sketchbook.

24 Jul 2005

Summertime in the Rocky Mountains

This is the first sketch from my two weeks in the Colorado Mountains. It's my father in-law's coffee pot sitting on a little table outside the RV, plugged into to an outside outlet.

There's a coffee story that goes with this sketch. Long story, short: By the second day, each pot perked was twice as strong as the first pot, because each evening my father-in-law handed the coffee can and coffee scoop to me and asked me to prepare the pot for the morning. Black, coffee should be.

9 Jul 2005

At Last. Vacation.

I'm looking forward to the next 13 or 14 hours riding in the car, listening to the kids ask questions and their always poignant conversations. There will be time to draw, read, and write, and just look out the window. We are going on a road trip. Vacation! VACATION!!!

Maybe some of all that will end up here when we return.

4 Jul 2005

Office Doodles Enhanced

Some time ago when we were at a BigGiantElectronicsMegaStore, looking for some good speakers to plug into the PowerBook, I somehow scored a Wacom tablet that came with wireless mouse, a 'painter' software cd, and a $50 rebate.
It's taken me some time to get used to the tablet. I like it, because it's fun to experiment, but I can't get comfortable with the the control. Yet.

The doodle above was scanned in and then rendered and painted in Photoshop. I found these cool brushes online, I can't remember where, but I recall finding the link somewhere among Rene's flickr pictures.

There hasn't been much drawing going on lately (busy with summer, kids, garden, playing) - so when we finally go on vacation there will (theoretically) be more time for sketching a little more often - at least for longer stretches of time. I am mlooking forward to early early mornings, sitting outside the camper, way up the mountains, drinking a cup of fresh brew, feeling the sun on my face, drawing, thinking, relaxing.