I’m staying with Joanie Springer in Santa Rosa.  We stay up late sharing ideas about simplifying our lives online and offline.

Joanie Springer's Corner Bookshelf

Joanie Springer’s Corner Bookshelf

Spending less time on my computer is the bottom line for me.  At the moment, I’m posting on five blogs.  Now that my new website is up and running fairly smoothly, I will cut back significantly on the number of  Creative Color Blog posts.  I thought I might eliminate it completely, but I can’t, I enjoy it too much.  What I worry about is sending out far too many emails to my subscribers. As with the Creative Color blog, I’ll post less frequently on Third Time Around.

My intention is to post no more than two times a week on the new blog and once every other week on Third Time Around and Creative Color.  A weekly exercise and current paintings will be posted on the new blog. If you wish to receive these new posts, please visit ChrisCarterArt.com/blog and subscribe.

Another change … I am sending out a monthly newsletter, Chris Carter’s Notes with an art tip and a summary of the previous month’s exercises as well as the workshop and events schedule.  There is a separate mailing list for the newsletter.  You will find the subscribe to box on the sidebar of my website beneath the Blog Subscribe box.

Link to the new website blog:  ChrisCarterArt.com/blog.

Thanks for your patience and your support!

Sketchbook painting:  drawn first in ink with fountain pen, followed by watercolor.

During the late 70’s while attending Massachusetts College, I lived with a wonderful family.  though I wasn’t officially their Nanny, I bonded with Jacob, Matt and Suzie, three unbelievable young children who  captured my heart.  I gave Mike a break and ventured on my own to reconnect with Suzie, Matt and San Francisco.  Last time I was in SF I was fourteen years old, stringing glass beads (I still have them) and going to The Fillmore West to see Chuck Berry (just released from jail) and Jefferson Airplane.

A block from the Cal Train station I found the Zeum Carousel.

Zeum Carousel, San Francisco

Two rides for $3.00.  I couldn’t resist.

Outdoor Shower

After walking to golden Gate Park, drawing and painting along the way, and visiting Loved to Death, I headed to Suzie’s for a fabulous evening of reconnecting and meeting the next generation.  A shower outdoors, in the middle of San Francisco, began my next day, a day of drawing in ink in the rain……

A ride on Suzie’s slide will have to wait for my next trip. I’m packing a sheet of wax paper.

The day ended with a night at the aquarium (California Academy of Science) topped off an incredible two days.  The sea horses are beyond description….. drawings to follow ……

As a thank you, I left a morning painting on Suzie’s table…

Suzie’s Kitchen

I hope to return in January to teach a few more Color Scheme Game Workshops and to play with the bizarre perspective of the streets.

Image:  Suzie’s Kitchen – drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor.

This will be my last post for about a week.  I’m headed south on another road trip.

Coffee and Lollipops, ink line drawing

Before hitting the road with my car packed full of paints I had the wheels of the K-car aligned at Oxford Auto and Tire.  After sketching for about half an hour outside on their park bench I moved inside to warm my chilled bones.  Coffee and lollipops were set out on a counter as a Thank You to their customers.

Sketchbook line drawing:  Drawn with my new Noodler’s Neponset fountain pen filled with their latest in, Rome Burning.

Another sketchbook painting from my recent road trip…

One corner of the kitchen on Pratt Road

I arrived at my brother’s around 6:15 pm. For dinner, Bronwen served the best lasagna I ever tasted.  A piece was packed for me the next morning for my ride to Portland, Maine along with a nice chunk of bread and a banana.  I saved the lasagna to share with Kathleen.  She agreed it was the best lasagna ever! If there’s a recipe, I’ll get it from Bronwen and post it.

My brother is a timber framer.  He built their home as well as the workshop where I sleep when I visit.  Both are open, airy, filled with light and good energy.  Savory aromas waft through the house and the wonderful smell of wood shavings sends me off to dreamland at night .

I was able to dash this drawing off after dinner, but was unable to finish painting it before tea was served and we began playing games.  Tea, games and the laughter that was shared was so much more important than filling the spaces with colors.

Kitchen on Pratt Road: first drawn with fountain pen, followed by watercolor.

A productive weekend ….

Desk Clutter

My one hour painting took seven hours.  The laundry didn’t get washed.  The bathrooms didn’t get scrubbed.  I didn’t touch the pile of paperwork on my desk.  However… the plants got watered, gifts are wrapped, boxed and ready to mail tomorrow morning. Ingredients for our traditional Festive Cookies and Gingerbread are ready for mixing. The star is hung.

After struggling with the small painting of the sunlit interior span of the south side of our house, I took a break and drew the clutter on my desk.  I really need a ten day week.

Sketch:  Drawn first with Waterman Phileas fountain pen filled with black ink, followed by watercolor.

I began the red sketchbook on the day I climbed The Prow at Cathedral Ledge with a Frenchman named Michael.  It was the day before my first leader fall on Pooh, (only a 5.6) falling ten feet into a tree. The date was May 30, 1977.

Gone With The Wind Lamp

It ends, not with a drawing of Tom’s Gone With The Wind lamp and Merlin @Home defibrillator monitor, though that is the final drawing.  It ends with a record of money spent while driving West across the country with my brother and climbing partner, Howard.

June 20, 1977 ….. Carrots and Gum  … $.94

June 22, 1977 …. dinner $1.05 (can’t imagine what we ate that night)

June 23, 1977 …. Mountain Goat Sports, Rapid City …. $20.40 (climbing gear)

The other entries were equally as absurd.  Sketchbooks are marvelous time capsules.

Drawing: Line drawing using Roller Tip Fountain Pen filled with Heart of Darkness Ink

Cool breezes caress bare skin as I sit propped by pillows, sipping hot coffee. I’m learning patience.

Morning views as the sun comes up

At the Blues Jam drawing with pen and ink is an energetic, loose, spontaneous experience.  Drawing in bed walks the fine line between being tedious and meditative.  The Noodler’s Flex pen is responsive and makes these studies somewhat enjoyable.  When I hold the pen gently I achieve a delicate, fine line.  When I press harder, a strong, darker, line appears. My goal is to loosen my death grip on the pen and feel a rhythmic flow of line even when I am doing these rigid studies.  The spirit of John Ruskin sits on my shoulder to encourage me.

I prefer the results of changing direction of line rather than cross-hatching.  To achieve darker values I add more lines going in the same direction.  there is a bit of cross-hatching in the dragon and I don’t think it is effective.

Drawn with Noodler’s Flex Fountain Pen filled with Noodler’s Midnight Blue Ink.

Only one more page left in this sketchbook!

Another drawing from the Asheville 48 Hour Film Festival.

Dylan, Pete and Adam putting it all together

I have a few more drawings from last week that I’ll post during this time of transition from PC to MAC.  It is a painful, slow death for my PC, barely starting up at all.  Fortunately after the nine hours on Thursday and three and a half hours start-up time last night, I was able to copy my Quick Books Pro files for Mac, download a free trial version of Quick Books 2011 onto the Mac and open all three company files.  Whew!!! It took two hours yesterday morning to get the PC to open Quick Books so that I could print out detailed transactions for 2011.  It was all worth the time of waiting now that I have files safely on the Mac.

Drawing: Preppy Roller Pen filled with Noodler’s Heart of Darkness Ink.  The shirt on the back of the chair is my black and white stripe Beetlejuice shirt.

Instead of sipping wine and painting while listening to the Blues I munched on kale, collard greens and turnips while listening to the evening birds outside my window.

Drawing Table and Dinner for a Rabbit

My paperwork has grown to that dangerous stage of multiplying on its own to get attention, very much the same way that laundry multiplies to make up for those socks that vanish leaving a basketful of single socks sitting around for months waiting for the other sock to show up.  Quotidian tasks fight for my precious time.  I would rather be painting the newly bloomed roses, the thriving oxalis plants on the front porch and the musicians at the Tuesday Night Blues Jam.

On a more positive note, I’m enjoying my Noodler’s Flex Pen and the Marine Green Ink.  The weight of the pen is a bit lighter than I like, but the flexibility of the nib is quite satisfactory.  I can achieve both fine line and heavier line depending on the pressure I use.  The heavier line is helpful to bring back a few elements of the drawing after laying in the watercolor washes.  For a $14 fountain pen, it is fabulous!

The collard greens, kale, giant scallions and baby turnips are from Nicole’s garden coop.  I steamed the greens, lightly sauteed the other veggies in olive oil and fresh tarragon, added a bit of salt and black pepper and tossed it all together.  Quite crunchy and delicious.  It required enough serious chewing that I was able to complete this sketch before heading back to my piles of paperwork.

Sketches: Drawn in first with Noodler’s Flex Fountain Pen filled with Noodler’s Green Marine Ink, followed by watercolor washes, followed by heavier ink lines drawn with the same Flex Pen.

The house in Martinsville, NJ is filled with memories of growing up and growing old.

Wooden Elephant Table Beside An Empty Chair. Ink and Watercolor Sketch

I drew the ink drawing while sitting on the couch the morning after a late night gathering with my siblings.  This morning I added watercolor washes.  It bothers me that there is variation of light on the objects yet no shadows are being cast by the objects.  To throw shadows in at this point would alter the shapes significantly.  Reality is not the focus of this sentimental sketch.

Form without Shadows

Odd choice of color for me.  I seem to be a bit stuck on the double complementary colors yellow/purple and red/green.  I have other paintings with this color scheme on my Creative Color Blog.

I feel that time is short to capture the images from my childhood home.