It’s true that the Universe responds to all requests.  I am busier than ever with travel, workshops, exhibits and painting!  My plants are suffering from the time crunch.  Five months passed before I added a new drawing to my Family Treasures Series.

Plastic, light-up, musical curch

Plastic, light-up, musical church, Family Treasure No. 50

Maintaining three art blogs is a bit overwhelming and unnecessary.  As of late, I’m getting far more spam comments on both my Third Time Around blog and my Creative Color blog.   I’ve decided to stop posting on both of these blogs for at least three months.  I will be posting only on my website blog….

In addition to the website blog, I send out a monthly newsletter with painting travel tips, updates on workshops and events as well as updates on both plein air and studio paintings.  On the website blog sidebar, you can easily subscribe to either or both the blog and the newsletter.

Thanks for your readership!


Family Treasures No. 50 – drawn first in ink with fountain pen, followed by watercolor in coptic bound sketchbook

Hangar One at Moffett Field is one of the world’s largest freestanding structures, covering 8 acres (3.2 ha)

Hangar One at Moffett Field, California

Mike works five blocks from Hangar One.  It was dark when I first saw it looming above me like a giant space station.  Today, I spent the entire afternoon drawing Hangar One.  Vieira da Silva would have loved this structure.

Hangar One, No. 1

Hangar One, No. 2

Hangar One abstractions

As the sun set, the structure began to glow.

Hangar One at sunset

I kept drawing ….

Hangar One, No. 3

To be continued …….

Sketchbook ink drawings: Drawn en plein air with sheaffer fountain pen using a Sheaffer cartridge filled with black ink on BFK Rives paper.

On Monday morning I had an hour and a half to sketch on West Main Street in Salisbury, MD while Anita did errands.

From the corner of Mill and West Main Street, Salisbury, MD

On Thursday, Dave had errands to do, giving me the opportunity to sketch Main Street looking in the opposite direction.

Not quite finished when I had to catch my ride back to Tyaskin

West Main Street, Salisbury, MD detail of left side

West Main Street, Salisbury, MD detail of right side

Unfortunately, West Main Street, a lovely quaint street, is a bit of a ghost town.  A mother and son, waiting for I know not what, provided the opportunity to breathe a bit of life into the drawing.

Mother and Son …. waiting …. for whom?

Looks like I’ll be teaching a couple of multi-day, color scheme game workshops in Salisbury in 2013, most likely in February and again in April.  I’ll keep you posted.

Sketchbook, en plein air drawing: drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Black ink… followed by watercolor and gouache.

The K-car, in preparation for the upcoming road trip, received two new tires, a strut from the junkyard, spark plugs, windshield wipers and an oil change.  I had three hours to kill.

Behind Gibson’s Gym

It’s a short walk from Tony’s Auto to Gibson’s Gym.  An unusual headache made my workout too challenging, forcing me to retreat to the shade of a huge tree along the creek behind the gym.  I set up my fisherman’s stool and distracted myself from the pain by drawing.  It works almost every time.

sketchbook drawing: drawn first with fountain pen followed by Peerless Watercolor applied with waterbrush.

Fountain pens make me smile.  I like looking at them, I like holding them and I love drawing with them …. almost as much as a dip pen with a flexible nib.

Street view of building and signs

The beauty of a fountain pen is that it carries ink safely inside itself.  I can carry a fountain pen in my pocket.  It’s much harder and far messier to carry a dip pen and a bottle of ink in my pocket.  No matter where I am, or how short or long I am there for, I can pull out a sketchbook and pen and explore something of interest in my surroundings.

Studying architecture with a fountain pen is far more fun than with a pencil.  I don’t mind when lines go awry.

Sketchbook drawing:  Drawn while sitting on the sidewalk in Bethlehem during the Art Walk on Saturday evening.  Vintage Sheaffer fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Rome Burning Ink.

I love old barns.  I love the smell, I love the textures of peeled paint and well worn timbers.  I love the feel of the dirt beneath my feet.  I love the sunlight striking them and making great shadow shapes on them.

Sunrise through my bedroom window

I don’t like painting them, nor do I enjoy viewing paintings of red barns.  After revisiting all my little oil sketches, the plein air studies I’ve been doing the last few months, I added all of the “barn” paintings to the pile of not-worth-keeping-paintings.  I will sand them all down this weekend.

Throughout the day I wondered about my reaction to barn paintings.  I like landscape and I like buildings. The abstract nature of a cityscape is pure joy.  I think I don’t like them mixed together.  Mixing linear with organic doesn’t work well for me.  A big red barn interrupts the rhythm of almost any landscape.

What freedom!  Next time I’m confronted with painting a landscape with a barn, I will simply eliminate the barn or I will focus on a blade of grass at my feet instead.

The painting I’ve posted was almost a keeper, maybe because the red paint of the barn doesn’t show.  Almost … but I’m in an all or nothing mood, so it, too, will be sanded down to make a renewed surface for another little oil sketch.

Painting: Oil on wood panel 5″ x 8″, April 2010

An odd day.  The most focused moments were sketching in the car after working out at the gym.

View from the parking lot behind Gibson's Gym

Sorting through old work I decide that everything that doesn’t excite me goes into the dumpster.

The warm weather drove me outside to paint a bit in the afternoon.  I opted for watercolor over oil today.  All three paintings ended up in the trash.  Some days are like that.

Image: drawn first with fountain pen filled with mix of Noodler’s Red and Black inks, followed by color using Water brush and Peerless Watercolor Papers. I love the bleed of the ink into the green letters of the sign.