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Drawing Illustration Friday Life in general Sketchbook Pages Watercolor

Illustration Friday: Jungle

Leaf Cutter Ants

Leafcutters-at-work
When I was in the rainforest in Costa Rica several years ago I saw what looked like a long green ribbon trailing through the jungle. It turned out to be leaf cutter ants that chew off and carry pieces of leaf that weigh at least 20 times their own body weight–like a human carrying a tractor. Leaf-cutter ants don't eat the leaves–they use the leaves to feed fungus that they cultivate and eat (yum). They live in colonies with three to eight million ant buddies. A friend of mine who lived in a small town in Guatemala for a year had problems with leaf cutter ants coming into their little house and stealing their vegetables piece by piece. Since the jungle had been cleared in their area, the ants had learned to shop for their greens in people's kitchens–made easier since there were no refrigerators and the produce was sitting out on the table. And I thought I had an ant problem! (Ink and watercolor in Moleskine watercolor notebook.)

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Sketchbook Pages

Strong medicine

A week into my birthday month, at a time when I'm normally revelling in being a happy birthday brat, I'm still fighting a month-long evil cough and cold. Therefore, as Queen of the Month of June I hereby declare that being sick is entirely and completely unacceptable any longer and proclaim that upon awakening tomorrow, all signs of illness shall be gone. Also banished shall be all medicine bottles (even that yummy codeine cough syrup), pills, nose sprays, cough drops, kleenex, jars of vap-o-rub, trips to the doctor, antibiotics, herbal remedies, folk remedies, thermometers, and flannel jammies.

Medicine-bottle

I painted this little medicine bottle sitting on the cigar box (the bottle was sitting, not me) I use to hold erasers and prop up my drawing board. The technique for painting the patterns (circles at top and designs on cigar box) is something I learned from Judy Morris–they're first painted with latex house paint matched to the color of my Arches watercolor paper and then painted over with watercolor.

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Sketchbook Pages

Wednesday Laundry

I woke up looking forward to folding laundry this morning. I like waking up with a simple task to start the day…laundry, washing dishes, scooping the cat litter. It gives me a chance to enter the day slowly with purpose rather than jumping up and rushing around. I have this cool gadget (I love gadgets) called a "Flip Folder" that folds shirts into a nice smooth square. I love the way the pile of t-shirts looks afterwards, like a vertical rainbow. Enjoying the aesthetics of a pile of colored shirts reminds me of an art teacher who told me that when she was had a baby and couldn't paint, she made art from her colored dryer lint. I wonder if she washed separate loads for each color so she'd have a nice palette.

Laundryfull
Here's a picture of my "FlipFold". laundry flip

Categories
Drawing Sketchbook Pages Watercolor

Lake Merritt Gooslings

I know it's supposed to be goslings, but I like gooslings better–better describes these little fuzzballs. It's so much nicer to get out for a walk around the lake at lunch instead of sitting in my office looking out the window at the lake and seeing the little ant-like people out there enjoying themselves while I'm working, working, working. 

Gooslings

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Drawing Sketchbook Pages Watercolor

Watercolor and Golf (!?)

I took a watercolor workshop Saturday at the California Watercolor Association's storefront in the luxurious but ghost-town like Blackhawk Mall. Blackhawk is in a very snooty, upscale suburban area, full of pretentious identical McMansions, all with lush landscaping (requiring major irrigation in this hot, dry area) against a backdrop of arid, golden hills. There was an art show on display in the front room and half the paintings had been awarded big green ribbons which made me think of the green golf course lawns and the similarities between golfing and painting in watercolor.

golf-watercolor

Like golf (which I admit I've never played except for peewee golf as a kid) there are skills and techniques and equipment to learn, some body parts