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Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Life in general Other Art Blogs I Read Outdoors/Landscape Painting People Photos Plein Air Sketchbook Pages Watercolor

Sketching with Martha & Shirley (St. Patrick’s San Francisco)

St. Patrick's Church, ink & watercolor 8x6"
St. Patrick's Church, San Francisco, ink & watercolor 8x6"

Shirley (Paper and Threads) was visiting San Francisco this week and Martha (Trumpetvine) and I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon sketching with her in the park. Poor St. Patrick’s Catholic Church isn’t really falling over despite the many earthquakes it has weathered over the years. It’s just my usual wonky drawing. Martha and Shirley will post their drawings on their own blogs eventually but here is a snapshot of our work lined up together.

Shirley's, Jana's and Martha's sketches
Shirley's, Jana's and Martha's sketches

And here we are lined up, with me a head taller and trying to take a photo and holding my iPhone at arm’s length.

Jana, Martha and Shirley
Jana, Martha and Shirley

We were joined virtually on our little art blogger sketchcrawl by phone  from Lisa in Texas and via Facebook (where I posted an update and photo while we were sketching) by Marta (MARTa’s Art) and EJ (Rose-Anglais) .

After sitting on cold concrete steps to sketch we were ready to warm up. We walked back to Shirley’s hotel, and she treated us to a glass of wine on the 39th floor of the Mariott Hotel (also known as the “Jukebox” building because of its unique architecture). Here’s the view from the bar just before sunset.

View from the hotel bar
View from the Marriott Hotel bar

It was such a treat to spend a Friday afternoon with these two very talented and beautiful women.  After the sun set in golds and pinks, and the lights of the city came on, I had to leave while they went off in search of dinner.  I BARTed to Oakland for the monthly Friday night “Art Murmur” gallery walk where my sister and niece had pieces in a show. Walking from BART I passed the grand old Paramount Theatre and set my camera to “burst” mode so I could capture the changing lights of the neon marquis.

Paramount 5
Paramount 1
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Paramount 2
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Paramount 2
Paramount 4
Categories
Ink and watercolor wash Painting Plein Air Still Life Watercolor

Bananas in a Debbie Meyer Green Bag

Bananas in a Bag, Watercolor & acrylic on hot press paper, 6x8
Bananas in a Bag, Watercolor & acrylic on hot press paper, 6x8"

I’m usually skeptical of anything that says “As Seen on TV” on the label, but I heard someone raving about how “Debbie Meyer Green Bags” keep fruit fresh longer and decided to give them a try. They actually do work. I used them during the summer with tomatoes from my garden and very few of them went rotten. They seemed to last for weeks without putting them in the refrigerator. I used the bags successfully with bananas and peaches too.

They supposedly can be reused 8 to 10 times but I’ve found that each time you reuse the bags they seem to have less potency.  The package says they are “made with a “a natural mineral ‘Oya’ that absorbs and removes the ethylene gases that cause normal deterioration.” Oya is made from zeolite, a kind of clay found in Japanese caves.

You do have to keep the contents of the bags dry and I found putting them in the refrigerator means they get moisture inside and you have to keep wiping the inside of the bag. I hope I don’t find out later

About the watercolor:

I wanted to use masking fluid to preserve the white highlights and shiny spots on the bag but when I opened my bottle of masking fluid I found it had turned into a solid lump of white rubber. So I tried using a white colored pencil as a resist on the white areas, but when I painted over it it didn’t repel the paint. I could have drawn the whole thing out really, really carefully and saved the white areas by painting around them, but I didn’t have the time tonight.

So I just painted, planning to use my white gel pen for the highlights but discovered it too had dried up.  In the end I made the highlights with liquid Golden acrylic, drawing straight from the little squirt bottle of paint, blobs and all.

Debbie Meyer Green Bags
Debbie Meyer Green Bags

P.S. WordPress rolled out it’s new version today with a beautiful, pwerful and simple new user interface that makes blogging a joy! Yay WordPress!

Categories
Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Other Art Blogs I Read Outdoors/Landscape Painting People Plein Air Sketchbook Pages Watercolor

Sketching at Martinez Waterfront Park

Martinez Hot Dog Depot, Ink & watercolor
Martinez Waterfront Park, Ink & watercolor in watercolor Moleskine, 5x7"

I arrived late and lazy (due to my efforts to decaffeinate myself) for our paint out at Martinez Waterfront Park today and decided to sketch in ink and watercolor instead of setting up my easel and oil paints. It’s a great park, with a marina full of boats on the bay, fields, trees, ponds, an historic train station and old train (pictured above), a nearby river and marshlands and much more. It’s right on the edge of the older part of town and the Amtrak train station is just outside the entrance to the park.

I sat on a very hard stone bench at the old train station about 20 feet from the tracks.  On the sketch above, I drew without much of a plan, just picking things I saw that interested me and sticking them somewhere on the page, drawing in ink and hoping it would all fit together somehow. I added the watercolor on site.

The two artists in the sketch were standing between the west and east Amtrak tracks. Every 15 minutes a train would roar by about 2 feet of where they were standing, sounding it’s horn so loudly it was painful, but they stood their ground like the dedicated plein air painters that they are.

Martinez Hot Dog Depot, Ink & watercolor
Martinez Hot Dog Depot, Ink & watercolor in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook, 5x7"

I turneda bit to the left at the end of the day and quickly sketched this wonky old Hot Dog Depot (named because it’s adjacent to the train depot. The perspective is all wonky but so was the building. It has a weird corner section where that second smaller window is. So the building isn’t a rectangle, it’s a pentagon (5-sided). I didn’t have time to worry about perspective as the group was convening for a critique and I had to hurry to finish this at all.