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Ajijic, Odd Little Stories, Places, thoughts behind the work

Early Days of Wire Collecting in Mexico

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When I first arrived in Mexico I did a hell of a lot of walking.  I walked every day, up and down steep hills, and over broken streets with potholes and cobblestones.

When  you do this kind of walking, it’s very important to look down.  If you don’t look down, and look at the surroundings all the time, surely you will stumble and fall.  I believe the majority of seniors here walk with canes.  I walk with a cane now too but only when I’m going to wild places and very old parts of town like Ajijic.  |My vertigo has gotten much better as I work at it all the time.  The sidewalks are extremely narrow as are many of the roads.  The cobblestones are worn and bumpy and some stones are popping up, which can catch you off guard if you foolishly wear sandals instead of good walking shoes.

The most dangerous part aside from crossing streets is my depth perception problem.  I have a hard time trying to judge the distance from the sidewalk to the street.  Sometimes it can be very steep and that is really hard if you don’t have a cane; especially with a week leg, or if both legs are not strong.

When I moved to San Antonio my life got immediately better.  Before my infamous tumble when I injured by knee, I used to collect wires I found in the streets.  There is always lots of construction going on around here.  People are building all the time.  When construction is in full swing, the combination of chain link fencing, cement trucks, flatbed trucks of bricks and wire towers seem to be everywhere you look.

The vehicles run over everything and smash anything soft into the cobblestones, changing the poor victims into unrecognizable shapes.  Wires are my favorite things.  Although I dearly love the disappearing metal soup and soda can lids.  I find them pretty nice when they are rusted into oblivion and are full of holes, leaving them wafer thin like some sort of ancient ceremonial disc.

When wires are run over many times, it really improve their shape when the cement trucks do their damage.  I got to the point where I was actually looking for them. I just could not help myself from this new compulsion.  That can be dangerous.  I’ve had lovely friends collect some for me too.  They have left them for me on my patio table.  How fun is that?  I have kept these smashed treasures  from my travels and someday I will create a few works of art from them.  Until that day, I want to catalog my precious collection here so I won’t forget my early days in this amazing place.

animals, fantasy illustration, Illustrations, kids

Baby Elephant and snail

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This is my first full drawing complete on the Cintiq 24″ drawing tablet drawn and edited at the same time in Photoshop cc.  I am happy that |I was able to complete it.  It just started from a little black ink on white zentangle paper and it went from there.  I had to add the snail for storytelling and the yellow light and green background light look very similar.  But I had to move forward because this little guy only has 2 legs so he is a total fantasy.

This is fun and I am learning every day.  I am using a new very tiny separate keyboard which fits under the tablet and that is also a new learning curve for me.  |It is challenging and learning a new language is always difficult.  But of course, it’s fun too.  The cintiq has its own keyboard but it takes a little time to access it.  Also this keyboard is one I can type in spanish with.  I will have to practice to find all the special digits and strokes.

I can see where this little drawing and this series of drawings can be turned into many treatments.  Here is the original sketch in pen and ink along with other zentangle sketches.  The other drawings are waiting to be edited and turned into colored and finished artworks.  Thanks for looking.

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animals, dogs, horses, cats, people

Horseshoeing Day

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When the farrier comes to the ranch, it’s a happy day.  This watercolor tells the story of one such hard working shoer who tends to his horses and does the job well.  The horses like the attention and very often, they seem to feel better with a nice trim.  The owners are happy because it’s the healthy thing to do and they know they are fending off problems with their animals and keeping them healthy and happy.
Drawing and painting horses and complete story-telling scenes is a lifelong challenge.  Whenever I do one, it feels good but at the same time it makes me a little tired.  Painting single images, like an apple or a tree is an exercise I view as a quick challenge to get the information down with feeling and as quickly as possible.  After it is done, I always ask myself, “was this a clear image?”  “could I have done this better,  and was it worth the effort, etc. etc.  Well, I think there is a little conclusion to this that makes sense to me and it’s this:   I think storytelling images need to be big.  I don’t think they read well when they are small and intimate.  Well, onward and I won’t belabor it.

 

 

 

animals, dogs, horses, cats, Illustrations

Horseshoeing Day is Here

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When the farrier comes it’s a happy day.  Horses are happy because they get a nice trim and love the attention.  Horse owners are happy because all the problems will be taken care of and it feels so good to have a nice trim.  The farrier is happy because he gets paid. It’s a win-win for everybody.

This is a watercolor that I did partly from a photo and partly from life.  Painting horses is always a challenge but it’s also rewarding.

Here’s the work in my online store.

animals, dogs, horses, cats, Illustrations

2 cats, best buddies, version 3

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Here is the 3rd and most likely the last version of the 2 cats, best buddies. I have been dreaming about doing charcoal.  This one is on watercolor paper and it had too many peaks and valleys in the texture to be good for vine charcoal.  I now have a charcoal pad and I will be playing more with the medium.

So here are the 3 altogether.  I think it is fascinating to draw and paint the same subject from different points of view.  The background of course was made up on the spot and I got a kick out of doing it.  I love the moon as you can probably tell.  It’s in so much of my art.feline-buddies-web

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Here is the charcoal version on a bed blanket

dogs, horses, cats, fantasy illustration, Illustrations, kids

Two Cats are Best Buddies, version 2

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Here is another version of Two Cats Buds.  This one is done in india ink using a speedball nib and colored in watercolor pencils.  I enjoy playing with doing the same art in many variations.  It is a great treat to be able to enjoy these disciplines.

                                   Here is the version #1

Here is the link to see version #2 on product.

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fantasy illustration, kids, simple photoshop, thoughts behind the work

Mischievous Green Critter

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He was born on a piece of  toned paper, drawn quickly with nu pastels which are a kind of hard pastel sticks.  Very messy.  So he decided to clean up his act and become a 1/2 hand drawn, 1/2 digital critter.  Perfect for him since he never obeyed any rules in the first place.

He works as an undercover green spy and here he is hiding as silly fun.

So as usual, what started out to be a quick little thing, ended up being a project.  That’s ok because it is giving me a chance to use my old Wacom Intuos Pro and improve my photoshop skills,  And I am getting better as saving my png files, using transform tools, brushes and adjustment layers.

Here’s what he looked like when first born….  He needed work obviously but as long as the idea was there, he was a candidate for surgery. ha ha ha

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