Monday, June 29, 2009

Another Portrait

It's not that I haven't been drawing, I always draw but I don't always "finish" I wasn't all that happy with this and it almost hit the round file but I delayed and then decided I didn't hate it that much, something to keep and work from.

We have been busy, think I mentioned before that the wifes family gathers here on the fourth and she is busy getting the house and yard ready for that which means we are busy getting the house and yard ready. There's a big difference in viewpoints there because to me the house and yard are ready right now for just about anybody to come by but for her it isn't and will never be.

It happens whenever we have something and leads to a period of small arguments, mumbling and grumbling ( by me ), threats and yelling ( by her ) and compromise and grudgingly working together ( by both of us). Eventually the day comes and is suffered through and then is over until the next time. At least we are down to only two events a year and even an antisocial layabout like myself can tolerate that.
It cooled off a lot today which helps and makes me feel easier about what next months electricity bill will look like. It was so hot for awhile that everything in the garden was drooping despite watering but hopefully things will perk up now.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Another pen and ink, this time a lady, also a large one so takes a while to upload. I like pen and ink but need to learn to work even smaller I think.

Also another hot day here. Went to the grandson's next to last ball game for the year, first one they have had under the lights. Somehow it adds a little to it although it didn't help thier play any. I don't think they have won a game this year which ties the record for the last year. If they win the next game ( the last regular season) they make the playoffs. Not sure how that happens if you only win one game but it does. He doesn't seem inclined to return next year which probably doesn't have much to do with the team record. He just isn't the "jock" type and certainly doesn't have baseball in his blood. He's played for three years so at least he gave it a try and that's good enough for me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Another pen and ink, really my favorite thing to do. Actually have another also planned for the next post but wont get ahead of myself.

This is my second attempt at posting this. Lately when I hit publish post I've been getting an error message saying "bad request" but then when I have checked it has always posted anyway, until today anyway where there was nothing. Made me mad as it's a large drawing which takes a long time and I had written a lot besides. Oh well, stuff happens.

It was hot here today, wont say how hot because friends like Mike would probably say " that isn't hot" but for us northlanders it was hot.

The day didn't turn out too bad though, took my wife to get her license renewed which went pretty quick and then shopping at Lowe's ( shopping one of my least favorite activities but it didn't go so bad, pretty short)

A few other stops and on the way home we decided to stop for lunch at Applebee's here in town.

It seemed like a good idea but after going in and finding it was as hot or hotter in there then outiside we weren't so sure. When the waiter came I asked the obvious, was the air out and he said yes, it had gone down that day. The wife and I discussed it and when he came back we said we would like our food to go, not bitching or anything, just better to take it home and eat where our air was working.

I don't think we were bitching anyway but a few minutes later a manager came over and apologized and again we said fine, no problem but still wanted to take it out. Then another manager followed and again apologized. We don't look like anyone important, honest and we go there now and then but not real often. Anyway the first manager returned after the second left and said since we were inconvenienced the meal was on the house. I had thought with the heat it might be nice if they threw the drinks in free but nope, the manager picked up the whole check, $35 worth. (we left a nice tip for the waiter of course) I thought it was pretty nice of them so that why I tell it here but can't guarantee it to be nationwide policy so don't drive around looking for Applebee's with no air conditioning on my word.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pen and Ink Copper

Vintage cop in pen and ink.

We got the barbeque in Saturday, not a drop of rain in sight. I haven't looked up how much but it sure seems like it has rained a lot more then usual this year and comming later then normal. Hope everyone had a good fathers day, I did, spending the day in relative peace and quiet. I've mentioned before my wife has a big family and they get together for most holidays and once a month for the kids birthdays. I look forward to those days as it normally leaves me in the house by myself.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Another Lady

Another lady from an old photo I like.
We turned on the air for the first time this year today. It was raining like heck, flashbacks of monsoon and then just like that season it stopped and got humid all quick. It was bad enough that the wife allowed me to shut the house and turn the air on. (I don't touch the thermostat without permission) Don't make assumptions, I am the man of the house but it's tenuous, its power that needs to be saved for the right battle or it's used up.

I was glad she made the ruling though, I was dragging just going about doing normal activity for a while today. Still I'd rather it be like this then cold and snow, heat is still better. So I get to enjoy the benefit of air conditioning for a month now or a little better, until the wife gets the first electric bill with it's usage on it and has a fit. After that I not only wont have air but will probably be doing my drawing by candlelight.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ink w/ watercolor pencil

If I hit the right file today this is a detail of a slightly larger drawing as often the case from an old photo I just bought. The photo is much better, the look from the girl very cute and appealing but I did my best.

I'm no good at things like carpentry or plumbing, just not in my blood and when I try to do home repairs they end up goofed up bad usually. There is one thing about those kind of jobs that is much easier then art though, that being knowing when the job is done. Build a chair or a table or whatever, fix a leaky faucet and it's a simple thing to knowing when to quit. Even a simple drawing like this and much more a painting and you never are quite sure when to stop. I mention this because there were times in this drawing where I thought I had gone too far and then kept going and figured no, it might be all right. At this point I'm not sure but I am done messing with it.

Oh and I ended up not cooking outside today, rain got bad enough that we just did some of the brats inside and saved the rest for a later day.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Watercolor pencil

Again a detail from a larger drawing but most of it, cut down to save some time posting it. It's mostly watercolor pencil with some ink.OOps, actually I hit the wrong file and you got the whole picture, explains why I have been sitting here for twenty minutes waiting for it to finish.

Without checking the weather I said to the wife today why don't we cook out tommorow and of course she just tells me it's rain for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Always the same when I get that urge, like washing the car or something. Last time I was outside doing the barbeque thing holding a big golf umbrella with one hand and the spatula with the other. It may be the same tommorow as being slightly obstinate I will be cooking outside no matter what. We have a small deck and what we need of course is a roof over it, something with a vent and then it could rain all it wanted. Food just tastes better when its cooked outside, little bit of charcaol dust stuck to it here and there where that hot dog slipped through and I dug it back out and wiped it off because who's going to know? Of course if it's really bad the dog gets a treat.

We bought one of those hanging tomato plants and it seems to be doing pretty good but not enough thought to what it should be hung on. We used a shepards hook but not thick enough as the plant now drags the ground and I have to find something to tie it up to the fence with or a thicker hook which we can't seem to find anywhere.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


This drawing is all ink, used a photo for a model that I found on the web. I use the Faber Castell pens and the paper is Fabriano Acquarello watercolor studio. I don't know if that is a new product or not, just saw it myself recently but you get 75 sheets of 90 lb paper for about 14 or 15 bucks which the way I waste paper isn't bad at all. It also has a nice texture for working with the ink pen.

I realize this all means nothing to most of my listed followers but I see I have a new friend who I welcome and for any other artist types who might visit. After all, aside from my ramblings I did start this as an art blog.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Detail of a larger drawing mostly in shades of gray except for the blood red lips. Hard to believe but according to my dashboard this is post 104. Going to have to go back and look at them sometime, not sure what I posted to reach that many.

Haven't seen the Baltimore Oriole again, too bad as it's a pretty bird. Today though I went out to fill the feeders and scared off a male Mallard who was browsing on the ground with the sparrows. the Mallards aren't that unusuall, we get them every year, normally a pair though, not sure where this guys mate was, mayber guarding the nest.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Similar but different to my last post. I didn't like the last picture much (posted it anyway, I have no pride) so tried it again but with a female subject and so far like this one better.

We have had a new visitor to our backyard recently, a Baltimore Oriole had showed up a week ago one day and was back again yesterday. According to the bird info websites they are common to this area but I had not seen one before. There have been a few other so far unidentified birds this year along with the hawk. Something must be up in thier normal area that is making them stretch out?

This guy yesterday was so wierd. Me sitting in the backroom and heard something at the window and there he was on the ledge looking inside. He went back and forth, hoping more then flying and kept looking inside. The camera was across the room of course and usually if anything moves inside the birds anywhere in the yard fly off but I tried it and moving slowly made my way across the room figuring him gone when I got back but he was still there. I took a few pictures ( maybe post them soon) and he stayed, moving about out there but keeping close and still looking inside. He did finally leave but was back maybe ten mintutes later and we repeated the whole thing except this time I had the camera already. My guess he was begging. The feeders were full but we also put out peanuts and there were none of those so maybe that was what he wanted. The info sites don't list that as food for this guy but sparrows either and they pick at them, not eating them but after the shells I think, maybe for nesting?
Anyway I did put some out and through the day they dissapeared but didn't see who got them and haven't seen the Oriole again. It was all neat though, never seen this kind of behavior from a wild bird.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Black and White

Another detail portion of a larger unfinished drawing that will not get finished but started over instead.

Went with the wife shopping to Home Depot today. I hate shopping with my wife, usually refuse but I knew she was getting some heavy things that would be hard to get into the cart and even I can only be so much of a jerk. Watching my wife shop is like watching a dog wander through a forest. I don't get it but she has to touch everything in the store. Things she doesn't want, has no interest in at all but is driven to leave her scent and maybe check the scent of other women who have come along before. What should be a fifteen minute trip turns into a two hour ordeal and by the time its done I find myself turned into the spoiled little brat she has brought with her, scuffing my feet and muttering nasty things barely under my breath. I know its not just her, I have watched other women do the same thing. Maybe I could get some government grant to do a study on this, ought to be worth a few hundred thousand or so.

Monday, June 1, 2009


This a detail from a drawing, the full thing too large to post here. From a vintage photo in my collection. I think I remember seeing ads like this on barns when I was younger. I say " i think" because I've seen them so many times in pictures that I don't know if I remember or if it's one of those memories you make up. I do remember the old Burma Shave signs along the road. Those were neat and something I haven't seen in a long long time. Driving to Kansas City as a kid (passenger of course) those signs would make the trip so much shorter waiting for the next group to come up. They had some good ones but I don't remember any now, going to have to google it soon as this picture gets loaded.