Month: January 2017

Moleskine: January ’17

It’s good to keep sketching fast, whenever I get a glimpse of inspiration, to just draw rapidamente, faster than I can think of what’s wrong.  It’s good to act despite my fears, to just do without attaching judgments.


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Assorted Stuff

Looking back at all the work since New Year’s Day.  It’s really been more fun than work — fun to look back at scattered things, to see what story they tell.  (Click to enlarge images.)


In Blue Hawaii

Just got back from a quickie across the ocean.


Stayed up on the northwest tip of Kamehameha’s island.


Had a nice room with a patio view of a lush hillside.


Got to spend some time at the beach.



Went to see some touristy historical sites.


Took a hike through a lava-locked pikupa forest.


Checked out the Kohala coast.



Watched Venus rise over palms.


Had to come home much too soon.


Costa del Uruguay

Found an inspiring summer photo on a Uruguayan Tourism website.  Started off with a wash of watercolor pencils.


Once that dried, went in and detailed things with more watercolor pencils.


After adding a bit more blue to the water and sky, plus a few more details on shore, smoothed it all out with a water brush.


With it cold and rainy in San Francisco, doing this sketch makes me want to peel off my clothes and dive head first into the warm summer waters of South America.  Soon enough!

Big Fish


Many thanks to Gyroscope Review for publishing the following poem in their Winter 2017 issue: 

Big Fish

                                         —restaurant & bungalows

Last year, a beach-view balcony

  a midnight breeze brought salt

    thirsty lime juice on our lips


At lunch, cotton-stuffed cushions

  tables tall as crisscrossed knees

    curries spiced with dragon weed


This year, a cold-water room out back

  garden dogs, mosquito verandah

    laptop lines and letters glow


Tonight, back for another sea breeze

  pineapple curry on chicken and rice

    I breathe the freedom absence brings


Your absence, a ghost seated beside me

  stirs her own papaya pleasure

   same same, yes yes, but different


Color Me Whoops!

I’ve seen lots of online watercolorists post paintings of their paint trays, so I thought I’d give it a try as a fun way of testing all my new paints.  Also wanted to experiment with shadowing with color.


One thing I like about watercolor painting is that mistakes highlight the human interaction with the subject of the sketch.  My shadows aren’t all that smooth, and there’s that blotch of a bad dark line on the right.

But errors show the process of learning and, as a teacher by trade, I love the learning process and seeing mistakes that appear along the way.  After all, it’s in the making of mistakes where we learn.

Heck–I learned a lot with this effort.

Happy New Medium

Went to the art store today and bought some stuff to start playing with watercolor.  Watched some videos by Kelly Eddington for instruction.  Here’s what I came up with.

This first one is just an experiment with the new brushes I bought, which were pretty inexpensive, and I could tell when using them.  At some point, I should consider getting some nicer tools to work with.


I added some ink to each of those to see how it would work with the color.  These next two were wash experiments.  In both cases, small hairs from the brush were coming out and winding up in the wet paint.  Once the paint dried, the brush hairs wiped right off the page, but not without first leaving behind small dark lines of color where they sat.


Finally, these next two were were fun to make and to watch how the colors interact with one another.