Givin me the wild eye

I was vacillating all week about what I was going to do for the “Draw an Eye” challenge for the Everyday Matters group, and I finally decided to paint the excessively large eyes of my American she-bulldog, Ripley. I don’t know if it’s a birth defect or a characteristic of the breed but Ripley’s very large eyes seem to point in two different directions, giving her a decidedly ‘unfocused’ and inattentive look when she gazes straight at me. We noticed this characteristic when she was a puppy, and when she was in a particularly rip-roarious mood her eyes would widen, exposing even more of the whites for a distinctly rabid, mad-dog appearance. We came to call this “giving us the wild eye.” Although it’s not apparent from the angle of this drawing, she really does have ears. Uncut, of course. She’s doesn’t go for any of that west side cosmetic surgery stuff.


Pencil, Portraits, sketch, Watercolor | September 22, 2005 | By

First, some acrylic paint on paper, then a rough sketch with a graphite stick. Later, some whiting from a caran d’ache crayon.

Big Mike is home safely from his European trip. He was supposed to have landed at LAX at the same time that yesterday’s Jet Blue Airbus was making its emergency landing and took over all the runways. However, he was unable to make his connection in Newark due to plane delays so he came in five or six hours later. You should see his journal – it is stuffed to overflowing with text and ephemera, and he has even more stories to write. I am so glad he decided to take it along with him and was so devoted to keeping it up. More about the trip later.

Everyday Matters – Metal (but not new)

This week’s challenge is to draw something metal. I haven’t done a new painting or drawing specifically for the challenge, yet, but in the meantime here’s something from about a year ago.
It was drawn at a Tibetan exhibit at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, Calif. about a year ago, then painted later at home with watercolor, based on color notes I had made. (The museum did not want wet media in their exhibit)
This was painted on watercolor paper in a journal I made.

Everyday Matters Challenge – Draw a Collection

Everyday Matters, sketch, Watercolor | September 12, 2005 | By

Once upon a time I decided to collect copper molds as a decorative touch for my kitchen. I probably have a dozen and a half of them but these are a sample. I have used the fish once or twice for a salmon mousse, and I don’t think any have ever been used for green jello and Cool Whip. Many of the molds are various rounded and domed shapes but among the other interesting ones are a lobster. a nesting hen, a bunch of carrots, strawberries and a cat. Yes, a cat. That one sort of stops me in my tracks because I think if one is going to use a mold it should vaguely relate to the food served. Lobster terrine, chicken pate, carrot torte … cat ??? Shudder. Most of these molds were picked up for pennies at garage sales and flea markets from people, no doubt, who grew tired of polishing them or perhaps the recipes wore out their welcome at many a Thanksgiving or potluck supper. For me they are decor, little more.

I painted these on 140 lb. cold pressed watercolor paper, using three different ‘styles.’ The tarnished fish was painted very slowly and with as much detail as my primitive skills would allow. The chicken was painted more rapidly and loosely with more bright colors indicating reflections from other things in the room, and the rabbit (yes, that’s supposed to be a rabbit) was painted even looser still.

Larger image of just the fish

I suppose this could count for “draw something metal” as well, but I’d rather challenge myself to do something different for that one because it will give me another chance to try something new, to experiment and to grow. For me, it’s not about how many I do or how fast I check them off the list, it’s about the enjoyment of doing.

I don’t have a drawing for this, but I have a vivid picture in my mind

Uncategorized | September 8, 2005 | By

An eyewitness account of being in New Orleans, from an Emergency Medical Technician who was in town for a convention.
Worth a read.

Eyewitness Account of EMT in New Orleans

Illustration Friday – Roots

This is something that I had already drawn last year in the forest near our house, so I couldn’t resist using it.
It was painted in a book I made using 140 lb. watercolor paper, using Caran d’Ache neocolor II watercolor crayons and a Niji waterbrush – very portable for working while sitting on a rock by a stream! I added the text later when I scanned it.

You can find the rest of that week’s paintings here

All the archived journal pages

What I did today – and why you should do it, too

If you found your way here because of my blatant blog-pimping today on the Everyday Matters list, I apologize for the hype.
On second thought: nope, I don’t apologize at all. However you got here, I’m glad that you did, and I hope you’ll read on and start taking action today.

We live in Southern California, prime earthquake territory. There’s a good chance that there will be another big earthquake somewhere in LA in my lifetime, and I, for one, don’t want to die of thirst waiting for help to come if the major pipelines bringing water into LA rupture. Or the reservoirs break. Or both.
I gave up believing that FEMA would come to my rescue long ago; last week’s tragedy just confirmed my concern.

So, every so often — like today — we empty our blue barrel of its water, clean it out, put in the correct amount of bleach and seal ‘er back up again.
We are fortunate to live in a house where we have a place to store a barrel. If you live in an apartment or condominium, you can store water in 5 gallon plastic bottles or rinsed out soft drink bottles and put them in a cool, dry place out of the light. You should also have emergency water, clothing and food in your car; you may not be home if disaster strikes.
Whether your part of the world makes you vulnerable to hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, blizzards or tornadoes, prepare yourself for the unique hazards they represent. Don’t wait.

Even if you are living in one of the rare areas that seems to escape natural disasters, ANY city is vulnerable to a terrorism and having enough water and food to get along until help comes is not just a good idea, it’s essential. If you’re one of those optimistic folks who believes nothing bad will happen, or that the US government (local, state or federal) will come running in and rescue you in time if it does, I have a bridge across Lake Ponchartrain I’d like to sell you. Bottom line: plan to be on your own.

So, here’s what I’d like you to do:

Go to this link FEMA EMERGENCY FOOD AND WATER SUPPLY LIST and print out the information and put it in a safe place. If there’s a disaster and the power’s out or your laptop battery dies, it will be too late.

Print out this link, too: Red Cross Emergency Plan PDF with supply list

Get your emergency supplies together starting today, including some food (remember babies and pets as well as adults/kids) extras of essential medicines and that most crucial supply: water. You can get barrels like this from emergency supply stores as well as from local soft drink bottling companies (they are used for storing soft drink syrup in.)

Have an evacuation plan for you and your loved ones, with an out of state contact for coordination in case you get separated.

Know how to ‘shelter in place’ and protect yourself for the weather or geological hazards in your area. Both those links are filled with life-saving information that you can’t afford to ignore, especially if you have children or dependent elders counting on you.

Stay safe friends, OK? I want to see your drawings for a long, long time.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming of watercolor, Rapidoliners, Moleskines and puppy dogs. And I thank you for your attention.