Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cactus #23 - #2?

These cacti take me to #24 or #29 depending on how we count them.  After all, there are seven on this page.  Yes, I'm counting those brown sticks over on the left side because they are a desert plant of some kind and are new to me!  I think it is an Ocotillo plant, which goes dormant in winter.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Cactus #22 - En Plein Aire

The other day I hopped on my bike with my journal and watercolor paints to paint "en plein aire".  I found a rather interesting small garden by the side of the road, near an autobody shop where cacti and old metal found a home together.

I learned a couple of things about "en plein aire" which seem obvious in retrospect:  It is hard to paint on your lap, even if you are lucky enough to find a place to sit down.  Sketching is easier and I can add colour back at home.  Without an easel, painting isn't practical for me, but I enjoyed sketching outdoors.  I've done this a few times here while walking around our condominium complex which is nicely landscaped with cacti.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

From Our Window

This is the view from the 2nd bedroom of the condominium we are renting in Palm Springs.  I've painted it for Janice, who asked for mountains.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of you.  My wish for you this day and in 2014 is that you are happy, healthy, and at peace.

This photo of me and my husband was taken at the Southwest Church photo booth last Sunday.  I'm shy about this kind of thing but it seems to be the thing to do.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cactus #18 - What's in a Name?

Today's cactus is actually a succulent.  There are a lot of succulents planted amongst the cactus here at Canyon Sands.

What's the difference?  All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti.  What makes a cactus a cactus is not the spines, as you might think, but something called areoles.  An areole is the little fluffly part that the spine grows from.

So perhaps I need to rename my series "29 Succulents".  "29 Cactus" sounds much better although I now realize that this isn't grammatically correct and should have been "29 Cacti".

Oh well.  What's in a name, anyway?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Guest Artist

Today I have a special treat for you.  I'd like to introduce you to the art of my dear friend Mimi.  (Mimi is the one to blame for all those cacti!)

This is one of Mimi's first journal pages, done for Christmas.  Isn't it beautiful?

Mimi and I are linking this to Drawing Practice The Inner World.  That's where we found the drawing that she colored.  Mimi doesn't have a printer so she copied it.  Well done, Mimi!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Cactus #15

Here's a closer look at the cactus by the pool:

gouache, watercolor pencils, gel pen

Cactus #15 - I'm half way to my goal of 29 cacti!  And my vacation is about half over, so I'm right on track. :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cactus #13 Appeared in Another Resist

This background is a brushed rubber cement resist, with watercolor.  The prickly pear is painted with gouache.  Here he is with his partner on a drizzled rubber cement resist:

And they lived happily ever after.. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cactus #12

I can't get enough of those prickly pear cactus.  And now I'm seeing them everywhere:

I found this one in a drizzled rubber cement and watercolor resist.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cactus #11

I can't get enough of that prickly pear....

And here he is with his friend across the way:

Monday, December 16, 2013

Cactus #10

Cactus #10 is a loose watercolor of my favorite cactus seen from the swimming pool.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Cactus #7, #8, and #9!

A few small sketches get me to #9.  

I'm starting to get tired of green.  Be warned:  the cactus may get abstract.  Or weird, whichever word you prefer.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cactus #5

Facsiated Sagura

Here you've caught me trying out my new gouache.  Even though it is a Reeves starter set it is reasonably well pigmented.  I'm looking forward to trying it out with a dip pen as well.  That will have to wait until I'm home again with my calligraphy supplies.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cactus #4 - "In the Meadow You Can Build a Snowman"

For some reason I want to put a carrot nose on this one.  They're starting to look alive!

It's finally warming up in the desert.  The pool felt less like a bathtub when I got in this morning.  Yay!!  I hope the rest of you are coming out of your deep freeze too.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cactus # 3

This Madagascar Palm is actually a succulent.  It's "trunk" looks is a cactus, the leaves look like palm leaves. DH bought it as our Christmas tree, but "don't expect me to string lights on it."  LOL

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Moorten's Botanical Gardens

The 29 Cactus Project is off to a slow start.  We arrived in Palm Springs on Tuesday, but I haven't drawn a single cactus!  Instead, I've been finishing up a bit of volunteer work - preparing the presbytery budget for next year.

We've been settling in and seeing a few sights, though, and we visited Moorten's Botanical Gardens where I took 112 photos of cactii!  .  Now that the budget is done I should have some time to draw some soon.  

My friend Janice also wants me to tackle those lovely mountains surrounding Palm Springs.  We have the San Bernadino Mountains to the north, the Santa Rosa ountains on the south, and the San Jacinto Mountains to the west.  I'll have to narrow down the assignment first.......

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Silly Scraps Saturday and Journal Update

This is a simple collage made of scraps, done in my Scrap Journal.  I made my Scrap Journal with my Bind-It-All, especially to hold these "warm-up" collages.  When I want to make something but I'm not inspired to do anything specific, I make one of these.  One usually leads to two (or more).  I got the idea from iHanna's "Every Artist Needs a Scrap Notebook" post.

Every Saturday I have been posting one of these simple collages.  And now the Scrap Journal is finished.  I'm leaning towards including these warm-ups in my regular journal  rather than starting a new journal for them.  I feel like I have too many journals and I'd like a bit more of a chronological record of my art journey.  I'd also like to include more writing in my journals.  I'll pause for a bit and decide my journalling future for 2014.

Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope you are enjoying the weekend!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Welcome To Palm Springs!

This 26 foot statue by Seward Johnson, "Forever Marilyn", says it all about Palm Springs.  As it says on the official Palm Springs web site,:

The sculptor, Seward Johnson, age 80 says, “I am very pleased that Marilyn will be on view in Palm Springs. It was, after all, a location of her own choosing, and I assume that she was drawn to the beauty and stillness of the landscape. There is something about her pose; the exuberance for life without inhibition, which is quintessentially American. It expresses an uninhibited sense of our own vibrancy.”

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Get Ready and Be Patient

Today is the first Sunday in Advent, when Christians all over the world revisit the idea of getting ready and being patient all at the same time.  Sort of like getting ready to go on a trip:

I'm anticipating a trip to Palm Springs here.  This drawing in my journal was done with new Gelatos (thanks Dianne!) and watercolour pencils to add the details.  It was inspired by my friend Mimi who suggested I might do 29 cactus drawings while I'm away.  Sort of like 29 Faces, only a different subject.  What a great idea - I am so excited I couldn't wait to get started!