Thursday, January 31, 2008

Santa Elena Canyon

At Big Bend, we drove down to the Rio Grande
to this spot. I set up my paints and did this
watercolor of the scene.

Where the rocks split is Santa Elena canyon,
by far the most beautiful place we saw.
The river flows through this deep canyon, and
it is quite narrow in places. We hiked the trail
that leads across the river (but still on the U. S.
side!) up the side of the hill, and all the way
back into the canyon. We met several other
groups along the trail. I even met a couple from
Boerne, Texas, the same town I did the Christmas
poster for...neat.

Santa Elena Canyon original watercolor 11 x 14

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

On the Rocks

What a view! That is me sketching the mountains
and rocks in Big Bend. There is nothing like getting
away, and being an artist full-time. I absolutely
love these precious opportunities. I am grateful
that my husband lets me travel, and takes care of
things while I am away. He totally understands my
need to wander.

These are the people that share my passion for wandering.

The woman right in front of me is Mary Tam, a widow

in her 70's that loves art and enjoys traveling. Linda Loe,

to her left, has taken my painting classes for years, and

has gone with me on all my trips. Next to me is Mary Lee

Coles, Linda's room mate from college (that's how long they
have known each other). She is passionate about learning

all she can; loves art, and has traveled all over the world.

Our trip to Alaska last summer, was her final state; she

has made all 50. I love all these
women; they are such good friends, and we have had some

great times together.

While we were hiking in the canyons and on the trails, I kept
singing the hymn that says, "He hideth my soul in the cleft of
the rock, that shadows a dry thirsty land..." I thought it was so
appropriate for the landscape. This is a sketch of some of those

The other song I hummed a lot was "Jesus is a Rock in a weary land...a shelter in the time of storm". And I know He is... I sketched these rocks with the lyrics written with them.

I thank God for the beautiful scenery, and the chance to get to appreciate it.

"Not all who wander are lost."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Along the Way

On the way to Big Bend, we drove through lots of small towns.
I just love old rusting trucks. We found lots of them in Sanderson,
Texas, a dumpy little place between Del Rio and Marathon.
We took lots of pictures of them. This is a watercolor sketch
that is in my journal. I hope to do some more finished paintings
from some of the photos.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Big Bend Trip

I just got back from our week long trip to Big Bend and back.
It was fabulous! We drove to Del Rio the first night. Marathon
Texas the second night. Stayed in the park at the Chisos Mountain
lodge third night. 2 nights in Terlingua, and then back on the
road: one night in Ft. Stockton and beyond.
We loved the park. So much variety and awesome scenery.
I did some painting and kept my sketchbook journal. I will
be posting some of the work in the next few days.
This is a sketch of Judge Roy Bean's building in Langtry, Tx.
We stopped here on our way, and learned all about him and his
"law west of the Pecos".
The second sketch is from the park once we were inside.
More tomorrow. Now for a good night's sleep!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Big Bend

I am leaving in the morning to go paint in the
desert. Three of my travel painting buddies and
I are doing the "road trip" thing all the way across
Texas to the Big Bend park. We will be there all
week, and will keep a sketchbook journal, and paint
on location with watercolor. We have checked the
weather, and it is supposed to be great. I will post
some of our efforts when we return. Adios!

Discerning Eye

I read a quote tonight by an artist about the art of drawing:
"Much of what we usually regard as the mysterious element
of "talent" is really more accurately described as a combination
of a practiced hand and a discerning eye" Diane Brown
I tend to agree with this statement, though not entirely. As an
art teacher for more than 20 years, I saw students of all
abilities or "talents". There were several of my students that
were just gifted naturally, by God I believe, with an ability to
draw. And then there were a lot that I taught to draw, as I
believe most people can be instructed. I always said that
drawing was a skill, to be learned and practiced just like a
musical instrument. And I could teach them to do that. But
I couldn't teach them to be creative, to have that "discerning
eye" that made them an artist.
I took this photograph while I was exhibiting at an art show
in Denton, Texas. I was on a break from my booth, and
happened to have my camera as I crossed the bridge over
this little creek. This little fellow was having the best time
in the water. I used to do the same thing in a creek long ago
near my home. I would like to draw this, and I have posted
the cropped version to show how I would like the drawing to
be. Will start soon.
for information on drawing/painting classes: click on workshops

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Logged On"

There is a certain feeling of satisfaction when you finally
finish a piece of artwork, especially one that you have
been working on a long time.

I started this colored pencil about a year ago. I took the
photograph at the Audubon zoo in New Orleans, where the
turtles are very tame, and won't immediately jump off the log!
I had the photograph for several years, and knew I wanted
to draw it one day.

I worked on just the turtles first, and almost finished them.
Then the drawing was put aside in order to work on more
pressing things, mainly portrait commissions, with the water
and the log, and most of the details still to be done. I have
been working on it the last few nights, and I believe it is
finished now. I will enter it in the CPSA show this year.
And I am satisfied.

"Logged On" colored pencil 22 x 30 $950.00

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Featured Artist Reception

Last Friday night I attended the reception hosted
by the Natchitoches Art Guild Gallery for me, the
featured artist for the month of January. It was a
nice affair.
I used to belong to this co-op gallery, an eclectic
group of artists mostly from north Louisiana.
Natchitoches is quite a tourist destination. It is
the oldest town in the Louisiana Purchase, and they
have done a wonderful job of preserving their history.
The gallery is located in a restored downtown hotel,
and they get a good bit of foot traffic.
The show will be on display during the month of January.

I am currently working on the turtles again, trying to
get them finished for the CPSA juried show.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The wonder of it all

This is the finished drawing of Hannah. I took this photo in
the backyard of our first little house on Park Street. She was
watching some birds in the tree, and she has that wonderful
expression of innocent wonder. The wind was blowing her
hair, and the light was just right.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Another pencil drawing

This is another pencil drawing I have started of my
daughter, Hannah, when she was about 2 years old.
I am not finished with it, and I will work on it some
I am the featured artist at the gallery in Natchitoches
and the reception is Friday night. So I will get to meet
and greet a lot of people (i hope) who are interested
in my work.

Information on children's portraits:

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

LSU Tigers-#1

I just got back from the BCS Bowl Championship game,
and our Tigers are #1. It was so much fun. We have
season tickets to the games, and were able to get 4 tickets.
I took some girl friends, and we went down Monday (it's
a 4-5 hour drive to New Orleans from here). It was a great
game, and we are very proud of our team. The only sad
thing was my daughter, the LSU alumni, was not able
to come from her home in Florida. But she was there in
spirit, and I will send her a championship t-shirt!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Grandma and Turtles

This is the finished portrait of Derrick's grandmother.
It is done in just pencil, and I think it captures her
spirit. I may enter this drawing in an upcoming
The turtles on the log are done in colored pencil, and
I started them a long time ago, and had to put them
aside. I am now able to start on them again, and
hopefully finish them. I am a signature member of
the Colored Pencil Society of America, and their annual
juried show is coming up. I will probably enter this
piece (if I finish it!) I want to title it: "Logged On".
You can check out the CPSA website, pretty cool:

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Profile in pencil

When I was still teaching high school students, we did
a unit on photography every year. I would take my
students all over town to take photos. This is the
grandmother of one of my students at the time. He
wanted to go by her house, and she happened to be
sitting on the porch. I took this photo of her, and have
had it for many years. I thought it would look nice in
pencil. There is such wisdom and peace in her face.
I will continue this drawing tomorrow. Please leave
a comment; I would love to hear from you.