Thursday, July 21, 2016

Blue Heron on the Dead River

Today I decided to bring out my Noodler's Creaper flex pen and work this sketch of a Blue Heron along the Dead River.

Working with this flex pen was a reminder it's one of my least favorite pens.  I've really tried to like it but it has a wetter feed than what I really like to work with (and that's without trying to flex the nib).  Using the same ink I normally use (Lexington Grey), it didn't dry very quickly on the paper and I would end up picking up ink on the side of my hand and transferring it back onto the paper as I sketched.  That for me is a frustrating aspect of some fountain pens, nibs, and ink.

Even with that bit of frustration, I still managed to finish this watercolor sketch.  Worked in the Strathmore Visual Watercolor journal.

NOTE:  Same paper I use the same ink with other pens and don't always have this problem with slow drying ink.

Monday, July 18, 2016

My Mother After Last Year's Long Recovery

Last year on Easter Day, my mother ended up in the hospital for months.  I was there the first three weeks just waiting for first signs of life and then for her to be strong enough to sit up and be moved to a step up recovery facility.

She couldn't eat for many weeks and relied on tubes to feed her.  She had to go through physical therapy just to swallow first liquids on her own and then food.  Otherwise it went straight to her lungs.  She also had to go through physical therapy to walk again (with help).  Mom had absolutely no energy to lift an arm let alone do anything else for many weeks.  She suffered Sepsis, Kidney failure, Respiratory failure, and Congestive Heart failure.

Mom was in the hospital or care facility until June 30th.  My brother had taken a photo of her after all those weeks when a hair dresser went to the care facility and fixed her hair.  The photo Gary took is priceless to me as it represents the battle she went through and won and returning to normal ..... smiles and all.

Yesterday I tried my hand at capturing her in graphite.  Bristol 6x6 paper, 2B, 4B, and 8B pencils, rubber eraser for lifting, and tortillion for blending.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Line and Wash - Another Type of Survivor

Our neighbor, Thomas, gave us a cutting from his desert rose plant he's had for some time.  The mother plant is over 30 years old but not looking so good.  He had taken cuttings off the mother plant and replanted which is growing beautifully and loaded with flowers.......white in center with a red edging.

The cutting given to us is a V shape with two stalks.  Not knowing if the stalks will "balloon" out at the base or not, I ordered another via an online nursery.  This particular desert rose should be opposite with mainly red flowers edged in white.

The order came quickly but was horrified at the shape of the box when it arrived.  It was crushed in on one side with the rest of the box bent and corners crumpled and the box had also torn open from the damage.  It was either crushed by other packages or someone could have actually stepped on it.  All I know is the package was mishandled and I was horribly disappointed.

We opened the box fearing the worse.  Fortunately the plant was intact but leaves were mashed up against the base or body of the plant.  A couple of the leaves were broken and fell off.  Dirt spilled out everywhere as we unpacked the plant.

Well so far, it seems to be hanging in there.  The remaining leaves are slowly perking up.  Now if I can just keep it alive.

Strathmore Visual Journal - Bristol paper and Falcon with Lexy Gray ink.

Side note:  The perspective on that pot is WAY off............LOL  Those who know me understand that perspective and I don't quite connect.  :-)

Pen and Ink - Cancer Survivor

Not too long ago my cousin's daughter posted a few pictures where her son and my cousin (grandson and grandma) were both celebrating Cancer Survivor Day/Week.  Both were fighting cancer at the same time and almost five years ago were told their prognosis was not in their favor.  Kaedyn was only a toddler when he was diagnosed with Leukemia and my cousin diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.  Today they are both cancer free. 

One of the photos posted just hit home with me............remembering how he spent all that time in the hospital while other kids were home and playing.  All those days/weeks/months he was hooked up to tubes and dealing with needles and having to wear a mask.  This photo is him being free of all of that and enjoying life like other healthy kids.  And he caught fish this day with his grandpa :-)

Strathmore Visual Journal - Bristol paper and Pilot Falcon pen with Lexington Gray ink.

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