July 24, 2021

If last week’s post was all about white spaces and white pigment, then this week has been all about studying fine green ink lines and squiggles. I got my new green marine ink (Noodler’s Ink) from The Goulet Pen Company. I sketched creekside at the Descanso Gardens all week—trying out the new color. For me, it is the perfect green that will be a definite asset to my color repertoire. And I really like the effect I got when adding my Inktense pencil colors with the green ink.

Monday, 7/19/2021, was a morning of sketching and mosquitoes. Of course, I didn’t realize they had joined me until I killed a rather large on my ankle. So, I not only began learning about my new ink, but I also learned that I would be wearing long pants, long sleeves and socks for future creekside sketching. Darn! The temperatures for the Descanso looked to be in the 90s all week. However, the realization that I would be rather sweaty while sitting creekside did not dampen my enthusiasm to try out my new ink again and again—all week. 

Tuesday, 7/20/2021, was all about sketching without worrying about the bugs, but also enjoying a conversation with a fellow watercolor painter. For this sketch I moved further down the creek. I hadn’t noticed whether or not the ink was water soluble on Monday, but discovered it Tuesday, when I added water to the creek and the Japanese maple foliage. I like the effect. As for the human company, that was fine too. 

Wednesday, 7/21/2021, started out like the previous mornings. I had moved further down the creek and set to sketching. After I had planned everything out, a turtle floated near. I wondered if he or she would hang around long enough for me to include them in my imagined rendering. Sure enough, they hung around long enough for me to add them. Nice touch, I think. At one point a female mallard paddled quickly by. She was not hanging around and was definitely on a mission to be somewhere else. No chance of including her in this rather tranquil scene. Also, if you have been following my art and stories, you may have noticed a purple shrub just like this one (See ink drawings for 7/10/2021.). It’s called a chaste tree. This one seemed pretty unique to me as it was right at the water’s edge, and not out in an open planting bed, surrounded by roses. 

Thursday, 7/22/2021, turned out to be just as interesting as the three previous days, but not in the way you might in any way predict. I couldn’t find a bench to sit on, so I rolled out my bubble wrap on the wet ground and sat down beside the creek. It was fine, with nothing to distract me from my sketch—no bugs or other critters. And I didn’t have any human encounters either, but heard a group of people just on the other side of the bushes. Once the sketch had dried I packed up and headed up the hill for a hike. At the edge of a grassy area, not particularly close to the water, was a turtle. He or she looked like he or she was trying to back into the grass and maybe get wet from a sprinkler that was watering the lawn. I stood and watched for a moment, wondering if I should do or say something. So, I walked back to the area where I had heard voices while sketching. There was a woman wearing an official Descanso Gardens badge with a number of volunteers pulling weeds, and I guessed she was in charge of the group. I got her attention and told her what I had seen, a turtle that seemed to be a little far from the creek, and maybe in distress. She guessed that the turtle might be laying eggs. Cool! So, we walked back to the turtle spot together and she radioed someone in the garden to take a look. Last I saw, someone had placed an official blue Descanso Gardens’s cone near the turtle action. Still crazy to me that a turtle might lay her eggs in such an open area. But it wasn’t a crazy idea to me that someone else thought it special, and would try to preserve a spot that might erupt with baby turtles in 80 to 100 days. I was comforted with the thought that someone would keep an eye out. And if that turtle, or possibly future baby turtles, needed some help to get to the creek, someone would be there to help out. You better believe I will check on that when I visit there in the future! Wouldn’t you?

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