Saturday, January 31, 2015


Merced North Bank near New Housing
(before New Housing!)

Merced, just Upstream from Stoneman Bridge,
Old Campground bank...

Rolled out to the Orange Coast College Swap Meet, and too over to the Orange County Fair Swap Meet...and to Michaels and Home Depot...looking at things for ideas....I think I have it what my final prototype frame will look like...for tomorrow...a post up and then a nap for now!...awhile back, in post where I quoted Two Years Before The Mast when Dana heard a 'melancholy owl' on a beach near Santa Barbara, I said I'd like to collect early observations of Wildlife...and too I've wanted to find early drawings and paintings of Fauna and Flora...the Otters and Kelp is one the collection of Italian Old Master Drawings, I found another...see's from a pattern book, and in Medieval times, artists had pattern books, and the ones with just animals were called Bestiaries...and having found that word in my reading, I can now, I think, find a lot of early drawings and paintings of Fauna and Flora by searching: 'bestiary'....there are modern Bestiaries, some from stories, like Lord of the Rings, others from the games, like World of Warcraft...the drawing up has an appeal for me like the Otters and Kelp (see post yesterday)...thought to sketch it today, and maybe this evening...Swap Meet shopping is tiring!...

Friday, January 30, 2015

Otters And Kelp

Charcoal and Sepia

Francisco Preciado 1539


This side okay... one will see this side!

The diary...

The prototype wall...


I thought it's a Garabaldi in the corner,
and that's what sold me...but it's some tropical
species...watercolor paper is floated,
frame over three feet tall...artist went back in
with opaque white, so not a true
transparent water color...on 140lb paper it seems...

Watercolor sketch is at Sugar Pine Bridge...a fine place to picnic, and I believe the Bridge is named for the Old Sugarpine warm cloudy...I retrieved my Portola expedition diary book from my sister's in Bakersfield, and for the months it's been up there, I've been wanting it back for the drawing in it by one of the Spanish Explorer Topographers,...the drawing does what I want to do, it links a Fauna with its this case, California Sea Otters with Giant Kelp...some other pairings might be Koala Bears with Eucalyptus, or Panda Bears with Bamboo...and I just liked the little drawing immediately when I saw it...when the Spanish galleons came from the Philippines, they would keep an eye out for floating seaweed, and heading East as they were on the return, they would immediately turn South when they saw it...they knew the Califonria coast was dangerous, and when they reached it up near San Francisco, they seldom saw it for the Fog, but when bits of seaweed were in the water, they knew land was near...I was making a prototype 8x10 frame, and needed one of my photos or drawings to put in it...and I lost patience looking for something...didn't want to detach anything from the notebooks...and so just sat down and drew the Otters and Kelp, which I've been meaning to do...drew them on paper too slick for charcoal...but I'm going to do more sketches until I get the look I want...and the captions explain the framing!...first part of the day, after Denny's, I went to an estate auction..or I thought it was an auction, but turned out to be an estate sale in a small industrial unit...I thought maybe to find some old framed art and scavenge for the glass, etc...but was taken by the sheer size of some of the framed art, and the bargain prices, considering I'm thinking in terms of prices for framing...and asked about the Whale watercolor, already lowered from $150 to $125...'75 dollars'...'oh'...rummaged through wallet...'here's eighty...for the tax'...a smile by both of us...I discovered the local estate auction web page last night...there's a lot of them...I once had the thought to find art at auctions, and try and re-sell fact, I went to the auction of a framing shop in an industrial shop, but only had enough cash to come home with four warehouse size metal racks filled with mat boards that had been cut out of, but saved the middles...all kinds of little trailer could hardly roll for the flat tires...I had enough mat board to last like forever...all, racks and mats, for one hundred dollars!...auctions for some, like me, are a magnetic field to be avoided!!!...donated the racks,  mats, and the trailer, to a charity eventually, during the move to Rainbow from GG...much fun making the little 8x10 frame...I used yard stick for edges, and now thinking to get my own custom printed yardsticks... Nature Rules Art And Photography...:) yardstick makes one 8x10 frame, and is already marked for cutting and drill holes!...I can't find the Whale watercolor artist...painting is signed B.Murphy (and this might be him, as gallery history includes wildlife shows)...oh..I used one piece of rope to wind through for the gap between glass and drawing, and for the decorative border on top of the plexi...the plex I purchased after not having a glass cutter for the glass from a dollar store 8x10 frame (it wasn't 8x10!)...plexi was by the glass cutters at Home Depot, and expensive, but non reflective just for framing (Plaskolite non-glare)(oh!...this site looks to sell it for under a dollar: MisterArt)...the rope had those fibers in the middle, and not to be used again!...need solid rope...if I used a mat, there would be just one wrap around...rope eliminated the glazing points, as it holds the glass down...hmmph...second pic down, the drawing, is reversed...

Thursday, January 29, 2015

By Chapel Bridge

About midway on the Merced's North Bank, between Sentinel Bridge Parking and Chapel Bridge, on the Use Path, there are some Cottonwoods, and one old misshapen snag that goes out over the Water...I sat there and did the watercolor of Chapel Bridge, and sat on the opposite side of the River to paint where I sat!...I started a kinda routine at Palomar, I would do a watercolor scene, and in a corner, a thumbnail of me where I was sitting...I have those in another sketchbook...for sometime...cloudy warm...see yesterday's post for what the following pics are about!...
Miter saw on Miter stand...

Drilled pilot holes so wood wouldn't splinter...

24"x18" newsprint charcoal drawing...

Glazing points...edges aren't screwed down tight yet, as plexi little off
in size with stripping is stuck under plexi along edges...

Forgot to sign drawing, so signed back...

I took thick black yarn and wove it around double, going through the
slots at the corners where miters weren't tight...


Contemplating what went wrong what went right (and weeds), while sipping smoothie
from Target...that, and picture frame hangers, put me eight dollars over budget,
if I had stuck to budget...frame is a prototype, I'd say, and there were
cost over runs!

I reached, like I explained yesterday, that point where I didn't have a notion how to put a decorative edge over the weather stripping...I have had many ideas, and got some black yarn from Michaels to possibly use, though I couldn't think how to attach it, setting as it would be on top of the plexi or glass...what I've always wanted to use, is the colorful rope that rock climbers use, for this edge...and looking at the corner slots where I miss judged the miters, (impossible to judge really with the soft cedar bender boards...the miters could never be perfectly tight...tight miters is like the standard for professional framing, and is very very difficult to do as it takes elaborate equipment)...anyway, I was looking at the slots, and thinking of the yarn, and just took the yarn and wove it around a few times, and it makes for a nice decorative look, and covers the weather stripping and glazing points, and makes the corner  miter gap slots look like they serve a purpose!!!...and!...and I can see now, by deliberately using the slots, I can weave that colorful rope around for the between glass and art gap (the glass will rest on this first rope), and then weave another colorful rope, probably large enough to reach up to the cedar wood edge, over the glass through the corner slots...I'll have to attach some little rings on the back that I can loop the ropes through...hmmph...Doe's right (my right!) ear was drawn too close to the edge, one corner of paper winkled, another has a crease (before I started, and reason for starting)...I didn't like the weather stripping part, and hope the ropes will work on the next frame, and that they'll be okay going through the corner slot gaps...a clean look there would be a really big deal!...the end of mitered corners!!!!...and!!!...there's glowinthedarkrope...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Spring Yosemite Falls

For sometime, I must relate all the ways I puzzled out how to stretch watercolor paper...good watercolor paper comes in blocks, one sheet glued at the edges with rubber cement to the one below, and theoretically, one can do wet into wet watercolor on these blocks...but one would need a very light most, I puddle water, and it wrinkles the paper, and colors go all over willy-nilly...for sometime...and for now, let me explain my framing obsession...the first day of Palomar watercolor class, the instructor, Chuck Rouse, showed us one of his San Diego Fair winning large watercolors of do people big on watercolor paper is like the ultimate...and we learned how he did that painting...but, while he explained that he had a favorite framer, and how important the presentation was for his entries, it, framing our watercolors, was beyond us...beyond our means to afford!...a good frame for a large watercolor is like 400 dollars...oil paintings are easy to frame, and second hand frames are all about...canvases even come with wrapped edges--no frame needed, though the Yosemite oils I did in class didn't make the student show because they were unframed (but wrapped!...hmmph...still an annoyance)...anyway, my framing obsession has set me the task of framing a large work on paper; photograph, watercolor, charcoal, pastel, etc., for under ten dollars...and have it look nice, be durable, and so forth...I know for that price anything I do will look unorthodox, of the homemade, diy, schools, but wth, collectors can afford to have things re-framed to their liking...most just want to purchase something they can hang on a wall for a reasonable price!, so, after backs and forths for awhile, many today, this is where things stand...I can use paint canvases as the major component...set the paper work on the newsprint pad is 18x24, and a canvas that size is five or six dollars...old ones at swap meets, good will, like a dollar or two...simplest way to attach is to staple the very edges...paper has to expand and contract, so I don't know how that might go...if it's yet to be painted on watercolor paper, this can be soaked, stapled, dried, and so stretched, and the painting done right then, no puddle wrinkles!...and leave the paper on the canvas for framing...for the frame edges I can get thin cedar strips in the garden section of Home Depot...enough for a 18x24 like a dollar fifty...small nails or screws to attach to canvas hold glass ($$??), or plexiglass in place, window glazing pins...same things one uses to replace windows...between the glass and the paper...I spent all day trying to picture what can go there...between the glass and paper, my lastest thought, is black foam rubber weather stripping, like one half inch, by three eighths...for pastels and charcoal, there needs to be a big gap...such works shed chalk and charcoal which accumulates at the bottom...or so I've read! the thickness of the weather stripping will work, and it has one sticky side to go on the glass...and being soft, I should be able to compress the glass down a little when I put in the glazing pins, making everything tight...tomorromorrow I'll see if this all works!!!...oh...I bought a Ryobi miter saw for a hundred dollars...started to assemble, but saw I needed table...first bought a piece of plywood, but then saw the Ryobi miter table for miter saws in the tools displayed, and got that for another hundred dollars!...both for assembly tomorrowmorrow!...I didn't have to pay extra for insurance on the White Truck, so splurged on the saw and table!...cloudy hazy cool...Spring Falls watercolor sketch, Spring 2004, was to have todays charcoal sketch posted with it, but when I reached for the newsprint pad, and about to turn the page with Doe, I thought, I need to frame Doe now for safe keeping, and so off and about back and forth all day!!!...oh, there should be a cloud of spray to the left of the bottom of the Falls, which would have taken some ingenuity using just the transparent watercolors! some point one has to shrug, and just leave something out...or buy a frame!...oh, and there will need to be some decorative touch to cover the glazing pins, and too over the weather stripping...have to see how that looks...I've left out mats, what's usually used between glass and paper...mats would be over budget!
...and...oh!...this is really annoying, and why I never thought of this...Cheap Joes (I did a google image search of 'stretching water color paper') has the simplest and most elegant way!...just soak the paper (sketch pencil drawing on it already), let it set and absorb, then take paper towels and get as much excess water out...and there you are...brush strokes won't run willy-nilly...wet in wet is possible too...and as the paper dries, real hard edge details can be put in, and I imagine dark darks...drying can be hurried along with hair dryer...and of course, once too dry, it can't be gone back into wet in some ingenuity in order going from start to finish with no wet in wet back steps!...see link:
actually, I remember doing a watercolor like this...a special evening at the Art Activity Center as invited by friend running that show then to do paintings with Osamu who came by to show can see in his painting this technique...and it's useful for sales, as quick to do...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Half Dome is always there...

Watercolor pen and ink sketch is Half Dome from Stoneman Meadow...I didn't sign and date it, but it was December 2003...wish I'd annotated with an anecdote or two of the day...the collage postcard pics are the oils I did in class in Spring 2003 at Palomar...and made each into a single postcard...I've posted them up to the blog before years back...the phrase, 'Half Dome is always there...' was a takeoff I think on a tv commercial or some such of the time...clear diverted by art books in the GG Library, and then by the stuff in the boxes in the garage, my old art class projects...I tossed most things back then, but what remains is a bit much! of the library books was about old time artists and their sketch books...seems they got attached to stuff too! along with the old house projects, and the old poems, I have the old art stuff...hmmph...oh...there was local election office...voted with no problem...:)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tehachapi Oaks

Watercolor sketch with pen and ink was at Stoneman Meadow after a control burn, one of two in the Meadows over the time I was in the Valley...Meadow was scorched black in places, under light snow covering...I kinda charred the sky too!...Cabin neighbor Dan on seeing the sketch, said, 'be sure to keep that!'...cloudy light sprinkles hereabout...two trips back and forth to Bakersfield, from there a rollabout to Fresno...visited with grand nephew thereabout and his wife and nine month old boy...haven't seen a new kid in the family for awhile, missed diaper time of my nephew in Texas two youngsters, but got to see them on Texas visit...always a treat...and then from Bakersfield a rollabout to Bear Valley in Tehachapi where my niece has bought two and one half acres of country property...a kinda dream of everyone, I'd say!...a fine day, sunny blue blue...Bird on the Oak Branches looks to be Wren...but need to id (White Breasted Nuthatch!...sheesh...I should know...)...being in Fresno, I almost entered the magnetic field of the Valley!!!...Redshoulder Hawks, and Bluebird, on the Bluffs nearabout my sister's house...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bobcat Meadow

Well, I missed a couple days' sketches...had a string going from 1/1...but I'm back and forth to Bakersfield to retrieve things...more boxes!...even another car...the White Truck (a mid size niece acquired a giant new red pic-up to haul hay for her horses from my nephew) no new sketches, pic up is a pen and ink watercolor...if not out with the Art Activity Class, I'd go out on my own, and with more time, I could do sketches with more information...the purpose of a sketch is to gather things for a full on painting...but this pen and ink, and the ones to follow, stand alone, I think!...I was sitting by the Woodpecker Tree on one of the Fallen Log Branches....classes sit there often (now on the Fallen Woodpecker Tree too, I suppose), and Coyote would walk right by everyone often!...between here and Bakersfield cloudy hazy foggy warm cool and finally sunny this afternoon...tomorrow the train/bus back to Bakersfield...hopefully with the pick-up I can get more work done around the house, and maybe too go to Craft Fairs, Swap Meets, and such with my paintings...Silver is still in Bakersfield, and likely miffed that the White Truck is in the driveway...remarkable how much cars mean to ones sense of oneself!...the White Truck remained with my relatives when I was in the Valley, but I had driven it for years my own self while in Rainbow...a 1995('93!) chevy s3, 184,000 miles, and rolls along fine!

Monday, January 19, 2015


I had the charcoal's  pic in the post edit ready to go, but could see I hadn't worked out Doe's left eye, so fussed, and took another pic, the top pic up...the left shoulder isn't even supposed to be there, see photo of photo, but I forgot what I was about and  extended it out, which gives Doe a whole another dimension! is a favorite photo of mine, though I can't get a print to match how it looks on line (posted before) always look better on the web...I happened on Doe sleeping in the Meadow across from the Chapel, Coop's Meadow, and the Sun going down backlighting everything thereabout as it does in the Fall...I don't know if there is anything I can do to capture what Doe looked like then, everything bright, and the Sun kinda in my eyes too...sunny clear warm...went round and round with att in chat...first over a five dollar increase in internet, which I got lowered by 15 dollars!...then over my cell and home phones, and I got them lowered by 32 dollars!!!...took all afternoon, used the computer and both phones back and forth...they must know me by India I imagine!...the two watercolor sketches are of the Merced, top upstream from Stoneman Bridge looking across towards Stoneman Meadow beyond the Trees...second is Housekeeping Bridge...will believe the new billings when I see them!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pine and Artist

One class instructor wore an old timey hat with brim like one sees in movies from the 30's and 40's...that's him too in the Chapel Sentinel watercolor posted yesterday...the Pine in the watercolor is maybe too tall, the roots too big, the bridge, Stoneman, too small, and the artist tiny...but I like the way the tree limbs reach out, and the disproportionate sizes!...and tried to capture those notions in the charcoal sketch...sunny blue warm...rolled over to Michaels...three packets of charcoal sticks, black, white, sepia... a whole bunch of kneaded erasers (only way to get generals was to buy the whole packet of like 12 little ones), artists soap, 10 10/8 wrapped canvases (to mount watercolor paper on), and a Farmer's Almanac (saw it waiting in line)....64 dollars!...I know it has to do with rent and employees, and valued shelf slots...and at Denny's, looking out the window...premium gas $2.51 a gallon!!...and that's fracking!!!...I don't capture the way the light is falling very well, but did have shadow under the artist, and tried to include....but...well, a sketch from a sketch is like that game where one whispers something in another's ear, and to another and to another, and when the whisper comes back around, it's entirely different!

Saturday, January 17, 2015


In the first Chapel and Sentinel watercolor sketch, I did just use a squared off brush stroke to represent the streaking on the, I had that idea once before! odd...anyway, Goose charcoal sketch is from pic at Edinger Park...when I studied the pic, I thought it might lend itself to charcoal because of the lighting, but hesitated to try it as I haven't drawn many critters yet!...the critics in books I read yesterday went over just when does a drawing become a painting...there are a lot of painterly things one can do to a drawing, and I'm thinking when one leaves off from just the charcoal stick, and uses the kneaded eraser, chamois, and ones fingers to manipulate the charcoal, a drawing might be regarded as a least the texture, grain, will be very different...I used the eraser to try and correct the bill, but drew back, and thought, 'stop'...I like the feet...just the nature of the stick being twisted gave a representation!...early afternoon still, blue warm...time for a nap!...