alphabet, fantasy illustration, fonts, Illustrations, kids, Pen and Ink Drawing

Hammock Lazy Days of Summer

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Hopefully, the last version!

I have revised this sketch so many times and I can’t even stop myself.  chuckle, chuckle.  Sorry folks, I am working hard to get to the next step with my drawings and marketing efforts.  I have thought this over for quite a while and last night I decided this alphabet and text series is not for public taste.  It’s not that people don’t actually like this kind of thing, but I think it’s a non-fit for this on-line store venue.  I can see this idea fitting ….where?  Right now I don’t know but I have all the psd files and I can use them at any time.

Being an artist is hard enough but when you go through a deep learning curve, it is nerve-racking.  I am driven to find a solution to this little dilemma and I am confident an answer will put up its weary head and I will end up smiling.  Every day I am learning and every day new doors open. Moving to Mexico has given me the opportunity to work for as many hours per day as I want to without being distracted by life’s problems.  I love it here and celebrate that I can finally draw, paint and click to the world what is going on in my brain.

I have always walked two paths for as long as I can with my art.  Many have told me I am a traditional painter trying to fit into a commercial world.  YES!  They are correct. I guess I like too many things and want to explore too much.

here’s the link to see the latest version of this drawing.

This is the revision of the first hammock sketch I did using the word “Rest”.  I actually changed a lot of things.  I think it’s much better and it is over-all a lot lighter than the old green version.  So your comments are appreciated and I am listening.  I am trying to be super simple but maintain personality.

Here is the first version using a lot of greens and the text is much heavier in the first version.  I like the new above version much  better.   Comments appreciated.

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the 1st version

 

fantasy illustration, Pen and Ink Drawing, people, thoughts behind the work

Dear Aunt Lydia

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If you have ever had an aunt Lydia, you might enjoy this post.  She is a caricature  from my imagination.  I think she could be in anybody’s life at any time if they were lucky.  I never had one of these, but I actually have been her to some people.  I hope you enjoy this character as much as I enjoyed creating her.

This was all drawn with a speedball nib in an old fashioned pen holder.   I use red ink very often and like the kind they still sell in a bottle.  If you are lucky enough to find some, try it. I have three shades of red ink. Art supplies and yarn have always been my go-to collections. I’m done with books after changing countries, but inks and pens are still small enough to fit in a suitcase.

The original work was the separate oval pen and ink –a highly detailed drawing with a crow quill nib.  The center was another oval I left blank.  I scanned the drawing into photoshop and then layered another red ink drawing of the lady that was done with a heavy speedball nib of Miss Lydia.  I put her into the center and then I just played around in photoshop– tweeking the images to present something unique. She makes me laugh.

After being without Adobe for a few years because my life was so insane, I am back on my computer and can’t wait to do more.  It is so much fun.

If you want to see this in print check out my online store.

ice cream, people, Places

Selling ice cream (helado) by the Lake

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This wonderful happy man can be seen in the villlage of Chapala Mexico in the state of Jalisco.  On weekends you can pretty much always find him pushing his tomato red cart.  He sells ice cream, called helado in Spanish.   He has lots of flavors to make you happy.  The atmosphere is pleasant and the malecon (tiled walkway along the water’s edge) and the plaza are just lovely.  The lake is beautiful and cools the air. Right now there has been so much rain that the lake is the highest its been in 50 years.

You can stroll and eat and take in all the sights and sounds.  Very often you can find people dancing in the plaza to the music of local musicians.  Some of the bands will be a collection of guitars, drums, and various brasses including tubas.  Chapala is a great town.  Some may call it a city.  If it sounds like I am selling the place, I’m not really.  I just enjoy it.

In Mexico they churn the ice cream by hand, in huge metal canisters called garrafas. The canisters are filled with the ice cream base and placed inside of wooden barrels full of ice and salt, and then it’s someone’s job to stir the ice cream with a large wooden paddle as it slowly freezes.

This technique gives the ice cream a unique texture. “Mexican ice cream is closer to gelato, as it has less fat and air than American style,”

When I saw this guy, I was immediately attracted to the cart and his infectious smile.  I just had to paint him.  happy   happy   happy.

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If you are interested, click the picture to purchase a print or a textile of this watercolor.

Read more about making Ice Cream in Mexico here:
http://www.tastecooking.com/mexicanicecream

people

Guitar Player

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I painted this in July and forgot to include it in the blog  Better late than never.

Meeting friends in downtown Chapala and  walking the malacon after dinner, I spotted this young man in a crowd, meandering his way through the restaurant umbrellas.  I did not see his face but he had a quick step of happiness in his stride.

Of course, I had to paint him. I loved the way he casually slung the guitar over his back and he was definitely walking with a purpose.  I wondered, “was this before or after a gig?”

It’s a treat to see he wore a pink shirt and straw hat.  Of course!  Thank you kind sir for your happy stride.

prints available here

Ajijic

Man with Panama Hat

I noticed this gentleman in downtown Ajijic, Mexico.  I took his picture early last summer and he struck me as being very distinguished.  He looked serious.  His camera had a very long lens and a sun visor.  He looked at ease and he was definitely not your average person in the square.  I kept looking for a dog but he did not have one.

I did not forget him so six months later, I am painting him.  So what is it about him that makes him so intriguing?  I am guessing that he has a history and it is not Mexico.  I think he has traveled and I think he has seen a lot of the world.  Why do certain images stick in our brain.  I hope he is ok and doing well.

The thing about this watercolor is this…it was painted as a tonal value piece.  Three shades of light, medium and dark painted in paynes grey.  The paper was Fabriano Uno paper, the old version that had little or no sizing on it.  I soaked the paper well and adhered it to a board.  I started by using wet into wet and because the paper was stretched. it was pretty near impossible to get a hard edge.  So I went with it.  Later I learned that stretched paper cannot hold a hard edge, and you do not lose color the way you do with painting on sized paper.  I did not know that.  So everything will have a soft edge. Originally, the pencil drawing on the sheet had detail in his face, in his shoes and his camera bag.  All was lost. But I don’t consider this a bad thing because I learned from it.

When the painting was dry after a whole day, I gently laid layers of transparent colors on certain areas, such as the background foliage, the people and the tiled shiny wall.  Listo.  Reproductions are here:

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