Sunday, March 28, 2010

Stavanger Norway

This is a street in Stavanger Norway - not a place I've been to in real life. I used Google maps and the little pegman. There haven't been any posts on this blog for two weeks and I'm blaming this for that.

In my heart of hearts, I very much want to be an urban sketcher. I also know that I am not going to magically wake up one day and be an urban sketcher without any effort on my part. Martha Beck, one of my favorite authors, says that we can all work miracles,and it is significant that the first word of that phrase is work. To that end, I found the website called Virtual Paintout. Each month, they choose a location and participants use Google maps and the pegman to get street views. It's not easy to find a place, I saw a great many warehouses in Stavanger. Secondly, moving the little pegman up and down streets is seriously addictive, and eats up great chunks of time. Thirdly, perpective is ridiculously hard for me which is why I keep procrastinating (and why I'm still not an urban sketcher). I have worked on this small sketch for two weeks! For better or worse, it's done.

Virtual Paintout is here

Sunday, March 14, 2010

St. Martin / St Maarten

This is a hillside on the island of St. Martin/St. Maarten. We took a bus tour from the Dutch side of the island over to Orient Beach on the French side. The whole island is very hilly and steep and the buildings cling precariously to the slope. From the bus, it was not apparent how people got to these houses as the lush vegetation hid all the roads and paths from sight. Most of the houses were white with red or terracotta roof tiles. It was a very pretty sight against the green hillside and the brilliant blue sky. At Orient beach we had barbecued ribs and chicken at Boo Boo Jam's beach side restaurant, and played in the rough surf. Good times.

Watercolor and ink on coldpressed paper.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Monthly Sketch Project - March 2010

Onions and garlic are the perfect marriage. It's lasted a long time, and has been the start of many beautiful dishes. Almost anything can be made to taste rich and complex using these two ingredients as a base. OK, maybe not chocolate cake and lemon meringue pie, but most savory dishes use them. Think of how bland food would be without them.

This blog celebrates the beauty in ordinary things and today I invite you to celebrate the humble garlic and onion. Look at their voluptuous shapes and vibrant yet delicate colors. Onion skins have also made contributions to ink and textile colorings, as well. These two vegetables are often reviled for their strength and aroma, but we still love them.

The original photo is by Gillian. Her website is here:

and other links for VSD is here:

I used watercolor pencils in the Robert Bateman sketchbook.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Happy March

These brilliant red hibiscus flowers were blooming in front of the hotel we stayed at in Fort Lauderdale. We had left Calgary early in the morning and it was -16C. In Fort Lauderdale, it was warm and humid and rainy. And there was green grass and blooming things. It was such a treat for our winter-weary souls. When we returned home, it was again very cold and very foggy. Good riddance to February, I say, time to turn our thoughts to spring and sunshine.