08 July 2017

Urban sketching at the bookstore

Today I had a wholly delightful treat—I had the opportunity to reconnect with Lorilyn Parmer, my good friend from high school. Although we are recently Facebook friends, and have kept in long-term tentative contact for all these years, I haven't actually seen her since her wedding day, more than 21 long years ago, on a clifftop in Marin County! She let me know that her husband had to fly into Burbank airport to do some business in neighboring Glendale, and wondered if I would like to meet her for breakfast, since she was accompanying him and then they were going down to Orange County to visit with some friends from their years in Singapore. I said an enthusiastic yes, and when I found out that Allen's business was just a few blocks from Foxy's and the Americana mall, I suggested we meet up there.

We had a wonderful five-hour interlude of playing catch-up and reminiscing, and also sharing some of our dreams and plans for the immediate and long-term future (both involving our artistic expression, interestingly enough). It was cool to have a conversation with someone who has known me since high school—different perspectives. It was not cool, however, in terms of weather (99 degrees in Glendale and 110 at my house in Van Nuys today!), so once we deserted our table at Foxy's and walked over to the mall, we took refuge in Barnes & Noble and shopped, compared reading tastes (including the recent preferences of her son, Quinn), and chatted some more.

While Lorilyn looked for board books for a little Afghan refugee girl she knows, who needs to learn some English, I found a bench by a window and sketched a couple of fellow refugees from the heat. I filled in the background of the store's façade later, and then decided to add the Foxy's sign, since I am always delighted by the "crystal chandeliers" part. It's there because there is a chandelier store across the way in the same strip mall, but the first time I saw it, I thought, "Oooh, fancy coffee shop if they're advertising that they have crystal chandeliers!"

LePen #3 and watercolor.

Quick sketches

Yesterday was a full day of preparing for and running the next-to-last Little Free Library session for our teens at the library. They have finished the drawing stage and are just beginning to paint on the decorations to which they have agreed, which are so full of character and so creative. While watching them work, I pulled out my sketchbook and made a couple of quick drawings. I'm not great at people—I need to do this more often.

I started the first one with LePen, but it ran out of ink, so the rest was done with a Uniball pen from my purse. I didn't know if it would run or not when I watercolored, but blessedly it did not. I might sketch with that more often—it gives a nice, fluid black line.

It's the weekend! Maybe I'll get some more complex work on paper.

06 July 2017

Montrose Car Show

I went to breakfast with Carey and Hubert on Sunday at our favorite place in Montrose (the Black Cow Café) for Hubert's birthday. Montrose always has little surprises on Sundays—there is the weekly farmers' market on the Old Town streets, but sometimes they add a pet adoption day, or a bunch of kiddie rides, and this week the surprise was a six-block-long auto show, with a plethora of cars from the early 1900s to the present! We wandered around reminiscing about cars our parents and grandparents had driven and wondered why we hadn't held onto them, waxed sentimental over the 1973 Corvette driven by our teenage crush or the El Camino that we coveted because that was what all the cool kids were driving in high school, and took some photos.

I drew this yesterday, but ran out of time to paint before work, so I got up a little early and did it today. It took longer than I thought it would, as it usually does, so I may go back and add some more detail later tonight. (I see a few bits I forgot to paint!)

I had a few proportion problems when it came to the cab of the truck, but I think I managed to camouflage them and pull it off pretty well. I aspire to someday draw cars as well as Nina Johannson, but it will take a lot more practice!

Turquoise Pick-up Truck
LePen #3 and watercolor
July 5-6, 2017

04 July 2017

Red, White, and Blue

That was today's prompt. After the past six months, forgive me if I'm not feeling like expressing patriotic feelings towards the government that has betrayed us, the people who voted for an inept, crass, deeply stupid megalomaniac, and the media who enabled it all in the name of ratings.

So, where do you go when you're feeling like this? My answer is usually comfort food, and since making my famous German potato salad is something of a tradition for the 4th of July, I decided to illustrate the "fixins'" for that as my expression of red-white-blue. The potatoes and vinegar are red; the mayonnaise is white; and some of the packaging is blue. Close enough!

"Red, White, and Blue"
LePen #3 and watercolor

(You may have noticed that I already skipped a day. I have a plan. I hope to catch up by doing another painting this afternoon.)

02 July 2017

In the Shade

Today's prompt was "in the shade," which made me look up the meaning of the saying "made in the shade," which led me to this rhyme:
Ice-cold lemonade,
made in the shade,
stirred with a spade,
by an old maid.

Which made me take notice of the empty plastic cup from Lemonade (one of my favorite places to go for a cold beverage on a hot day) discarded on my desk. (There are advantages to being a slob. Such as opportunities for drawing.) Since I didn't have a lot of energy or time today, I did a drawing of that.

There was no lemonade left in it; I guess it was made in the shade, because it was concocted indoors by a Lemonade employee; I have no idea what he stirred it with (probably a blender, since as I recall it was cucumber mint lemonade); and while I am old, I am certainly not a maid. But...close enough. Parenthetically, the phrase "made in the shade" was coined in the 1950s, to mean "being in an excellent or ideal situation." I would consider having another full container of cucumber mint lemonade a proper expression of "made in the shade," so while I had to make do with drawing its empty container, I can look backwards with fondness and forwards with anticipation. (Maybe I will stop by on my way home tomorrow night...)

"In the shade"
LePen #3, watercolor