Friday, June 27, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Here are some of my sketches from the Sketch Crawl in downtown Bryan yesterday. There was a lot going on that I would have liked to have seen during the Texas Reds Festival, but the heat just got to be too much.
It took us forever, it seemed, to get to the Frame Gallery because of the streets being blocked off. More than had been planned, we learned. We ended up with my daughter dropping me off and I had to carry my chair, art supplies, and purse to the gallery.
Pat met me at the Frame Gallery after 9 a.m. After a little visit with Pat, Greta, the owner, and Sarah, her beautiful dog, we decided to venture on toward the LaSalle Hotel, where we hoped that others interested in sketching might meet us.
Walking a couple of blocks doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but you must understand that Pat has trouble walking, and I need a new pair of knees, and can't see worth a hoot from a distance due to wet Macular Degeneration and cataracts.
We put my things in her car, which she had parked before the baricades went up, and drove, as we had been directed, thinking we would find close by handicapped parking. We were told that a shuttle or tram would pick us up and take us to where we needed to go.
Since every street had barricades, we drove around the west, south, and finally on the east side of town, we found one volunteer who would move the barricade and showed us where handicapped parking was supposed to be. We found it at the BTU building, and walked to the street to wait for a shuttle. We saw people who were walking with someone in their party who had an electric cart or chair to ride around in. We asked a volunteer about the tram, since it was getting hot even under the shade of a small tree. They had not seen one all morning and didn't think there was a tram. They explained that parking was across town at Blinn college, and buses could be ridden to the festival. That wouldn't have helped us.
Beside the BTU building, a fire truck was parked and a first aid tent was set up. They had golf carts to ride in with their medical supplies. The volunteer asked the EMTs to take us to the LaSalle Hotel in one of their carts. So Pat rode on the back seat, and I rode up front with a very nice young EMT. They explained that, when we got ready to leave, we could ask a volunteer to call them and they would come back and pick us up. They took us to the LaSalle courtyard and we found the coffee shop.,Pat could get her coffee and we could cool off, while looking for other crawlers. We didn't see anyone else who looked like they might be ready to sketch, and, by that time, we were just ready to sit somewhere and cool off!
We sat by a big window of the lovely restored hotel. Outside the window was a long tent with various food items. Behind the hotel, there was smoke from the grills for the cook off. Further down the sidewalk at the Palace Theatre, a stage was set up and there was music playing. Directly across the street at the Carnegie Library, a stage had been set up with bales of hay for seats. The big grape stomp would take place there later.
We took a few photos with Pat's camera. When those come back, I'll post some to show where we were for the crawl.
I did a sketch of the street where we finally got through the barricade and called it "You Can't Get There From Here". I also sketched the area by the door, across from me, in the hotel. By this time, it was already 11:30.
We walked over to the Carnegie to see the George Bush engine, 4141, that was parked on the tracks between the Carnegie and the Bryan city library. There is a shaded area with a little garden between the Masonic Lodge, with a barber shop downstairs, and the Carnegie Library. Concrete seats and low walls provide a nice place to sit among shrubs and pink and white Crepe Myrtles. I thought that this would be a nice place to work, so we picked out a bench with a good view of the engine and the Library and the Childrens Museum, the old City Hall. All kinds of activities were going on in the area of the library and the museum with a rock climbing wall, something to do with bungee cords, etc. Inside the library, there were programs like the chemistry road show. And we could hear music from performers in that area, too.
I pulled out my sketching things and started to draw 4141 among the Crepe Myrtles while Pat decided to take pictures. The heat was bothering her a lot. Roaming mascots like the HEB bag of groceries and a baseball, the mascot for our new baseball team, the Bombers, stopped to have their pictures taken. A very nice young police officer stopped to see what we were doing. I explained about the sketch crawl and gave him information to pass on. As he left, he shook our hands. We all laughed as he said that we had now shaken hands with Buck Rogers. Sure enough, his name was B. Rogers. I wonder if he got teased about that, or if people expected superhero level things of him, when he was growing up.
Pat took a couple of pictures of the back of the library, with a blossom of Crepe Myrtle hanging down, the train, the mascots, etc. I got enough of the train drawn as a sketch so that I can do more with it later. And we agreed that we needed to go somewhere and cool off. I wasn't sure about a restaurant where we could sit down and draw and cool off. I'm sure there was something, but, with my blurry vision, I couldn't find a sign, and, too, the tents in the middle of the street were blocking my view.
We went back to the LaSalle coffee shop and asked a volunteer to call the Fire Department to take us back to the car. They did and the Fire chief arrived in his little golf cart. A young woman was also there with one of those gator things, a golf cart with a pickup bed on the back. Pat rode with the chief since his vehicle had a top and more shade, and I rode with the very nice young woman. There was some discussion between the hotel people and the city people about who was supposed to be providing tram or shuttle service between the handicapped parking and the festival.
We got back to a very hot car, and thought of where we might go. I told Pat to just head down Texas Avenue, and we should see a sign of some place. Whataburger seemed close and had a big sign, so that is where we stopped. We told them that they were lifesavers! Pat had lemonade and I had a sprite. But, what I really wanted to do was to sketch some more.
So, I sketched Buck Rogers, since that was a fun memory. And the cup with the wonderful cold drink!
We decided to go home, and, I thought that I might go out and sketch some around where I live, after it cooled off, later. Pat brought me home and I decided to just sit in the cool and scan my drawings and darken them a bit. You can tell something about our day from my sketches. The scan of 4141 didn't work out so well, though. The paper was too big for the scanner. I guess it let light in, or something. As a result, it has a green tinge on one side of the paper.
It never did get cool, though. When it got dark, it was still 94. I learned on the news that it reached 99, which, of course, gave us a heat index of over 100. Pretty hot, but, as long as there was shade and a little breeze, and something cold to drink, I was okay with it.
I looked at some of the posts on Sketch Crawl http://www.sketchcrawl.com/ as people have been posting their results. When I last checked, there were posts from 12 different countries and 16 states in the U.S. There is some very nice work, much of it much more finished than mine.
I estimate that I must have spent maybe an hour or so actually drawing, but I did get some things down that I could do more from later. It was all pretty quickly and loosely done.
Sweden had some nice work and photos, and it seemed like a great place to be that day. It was cool there!
Barbara sent word that she, Lynn, and Virginia Vaughan were among those doing art during the Sketch Crawl. Virginia did a workshop in Rockport on that day, so they painted the Cove, and trees, the sunrise, etc. You can read her comment under my last post.
I haven't heard if anyone else in this area was doing the sketch crawl.
If you want to be involved in the next one, you can go to the Sketch Crawl website and get more information, register for your area, if you want to. If you are in this area and want to participate, that will be great. We can work as a group, or you can work on your own, start your own group, or whatever you want to do.
I just think that there are an awful lot of things out there that need to be recorded through art.
I sent out information to area newspapers, and Greta was on "Brazos Arts" on KAMUfm, talking about it. I only saw it used in a couple of calendars. And, just try to send anything to the local paper or tv station by e-mail. Doesn't seem to work very well. Boxes are full, e-mails bounce, or there are no sections online where things I am interested in can be found. Online is best for me, these days, since I can't drive, and gas and things like stamps have gone up so much. I guess that I should have just mailed out press releases.
Maybe next time.
The next sketch crawl should be in 2 or 3 months. That would make it August or September.
I would love to hear if you participated in the Sketch Crawl where ever you are! And, if you are in a surrounding area, I would be thrilled if you would start a group in your town or city, to help Draw the Brazos Valley.
To do the sketches above, I used pencil, on the train engine, on watercolor paper. The others were all done on sketching paper using a Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen, superfine. I really like the way that pen works, and it is a permanent india ink pen. They come in a variety of sizes.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
This blog is now one year old, with my first post published on June 4, 2007. One hundred and ninety five posts later, I hope that I have brought you something that you can enjoy, relate to, appreciate the art work, or even have a few laughs.
It has been nice to get the feedback and to know that someone out there is looking at and appreciating my efforts.
I have a lot of people to thank for all their help in getting me started. I won't make an Academy Awards type of speech, though. I just want to mention a few people, without whom, I would never have been able to get started.
Jeremy has to be at the top of my list of those who helped me to get started. Without his encouragement, patience, and technical expertise, I would never have been able to do anything on a computer!
Kevin is one who deserves a great big Thank You, too, for all his encouragement and the example he set for me. Kevin appeared via the internet, just when I was scared to death about getting a shot in my eye, and having that dreaded diagnosis of Macular Degeneration. He was so patient and helpful as I went through that. It always helps to know that others have encountered something and what they went through. And, about the time that I was starting my blog, Kevin started a Google group for those who wanted to discuss things about Cannon County, Tennessee. I would have never known about things like tomato gravy and chocolate gravy, otherwise! He and Virginia were a lot of help when I started my Google Group.
Virginia has also been a big factor in my starting this blog. Her encouragement, ideas, and inspiration have been so helpful to me over this past year. I wish that I were half that creative, energetic, and talented!
Nancy, Mary, and Myrna are just three of the many artists who are so inspiring and generous in sharing what they have learned.
Barbara, with her support of everything from advice to supplies, transportation, and treats, deserves a lot of recognition for her help.
Jami, with all her energy and willingness to help, and words of encouragement, is someone else who has made this blog possible.
All my readers who have offered comments, joined my group, sent e-mails, purchased my work have all made a difference in creating this blog. Without them, sometimes we have to wonder if anyone is even looking at what is written or created.
And, of course, there are those who listened intently to my "little stories" and encouraged me to write them and share them. That includes the car salesman who, although very young, seemed very interested to hear about how things were when I taught in his hometown years ago! I was just killing time, trying to think of something to talk about. I was so surprised when he actually seemed to enjoy what I was saying, and others came over to listen.
The people on various lists who have shared ideas and offered technical support have been very important in my work during the last year.
I have to say a big thank you to all those who have provided me with material, from family to old friends, and classmates, and people who lived around me. And, to those who have sent me information and pictures, and those who jogged my memory with their own stories.
It may take a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to create a whole life-and a book or a blog.
Thank you to you all!
I thought that you might like to see where I like to work, these days. I have a corner of a room set up, with a northwest window, and lots of shade from a Crepe Myrtle and a big, old oak tree. Behind my chair, there is a long work table, more book shelves, a tv set, a couple of tables, another writing desk and, oh yes, a small bed! I can just roll out of bed and start to work, or fall into bed when I get tired. Works out very well.
If I have something very large to work on, I can use a wall, or spread out on the kitchen island, which is also a nice place to work, providing someone doesn't want to cook something!
The big plus is that it is all close to water, the bathroom, food and drink!
I hope that you will continue reading and sharing with others. And that, if you haven't already, you will subscribe to my blog to get updates as they are added. Of course, I would like you to let others know about my blog, too, and ask them to subscribe.
My First Clay Head
This is a photo of my first attempt at sculpting a life sized head from clay. I thought it came out very well, and it did win some awards when I showed it.
This was something that I just taught myself to do, and I really did enjoy it. With more study, I learned quite a bit. At the time of my first efforts, I had no access to a kiln, and didn't know such basic things as the fact that the clay needed to be hollow, dried, and fired. Instead, I used aluminum Sculpt Metal on the outside, in several layers, when the clay was thoroughly dry.
That all worked very nicely, until I was moving and the head got dropped down a flight of stairs onto a concrete sidewalk. No more sculpture. At least I had a couple of photos.
Since then, I have created more heads, and it is one of my favorite things to do. Alas, I do not have access to a kiln again, so I guess my sculpting days are ended. I do have several heads that I did, however. Sometimes, it would be nice to get my hands in some clay again. But, I don't think that I have the strength that it requires, now.
One thing that I learned is that working three dimensionally really helps to achieve that illusion when working in two dimensional techniques.
I'm having a bit of a problem again! I was trying to fill up the extra space at the end of this post, that appeared when I scrolled down to see how much space I had left! LOL! I'm still looking at it as if I'm typing on a typewriter. But, no matter how much I backspace, that empty space at the bottom just gets longer and longer, and my paragraphs are spacing too much. As I go back and backspace to pull them closer together, that bottom space gets bigger and my paragraphs space out more. There must be a logical solution to this problem! This has happened before and I finally just gave up and left the big space!
Scroll on down to see the next post about the Texas Scottish Festival! I promise, it's there, although a bit far down the page!