September 12, 2021

Most weeks I post my art and story every Saturday. And most times if it goes up on Sunday it’s because something came up on Saturday. Most often it’s because I got busy during the week and even though the art was done, the written part wasn’t. I guess you could say that this week something came up. It had to do with the fact that this week’s Saturday was September 11th. And as you are probably aware, it was not just any September 11th, but the 20th anniversary of that most infamous and maybe indescribable day. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to believe it has been 20 years. If you were in the US on September 11, 2001 you probably remember what you were doing when the three attacks took place. I sure do. So, my planned Saturday post just didn’t happen. But I still had something to say and share this week. 

Here goes…

Last Sunday (9/5), I found myself enjoying a little sketching time at the Descanso Gardens. Lately, I have been bringing my stealth bag with Inktense pencils, fountain pens with fude nib, Canson’s mix media paper, a small jar for water and a watercolor brush. Most times I get all the dry lines of pigment in place, fill the jar with water and brush/scrub/blend the color into place. However, when I had finished this particular rose I started thinking about where I would get some water to add the finishing touches. For some reason, I looked down at my feet and noticed for the first time that the grass was wet. Actually, that’s not exactly true. I had realized earlier that the grass and bench I was was sitting on were both wet. The Descanso gardeners had finished watering the lawn just before I sat down. Thank God for my sheet of bubble wrap. (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I always carry a sheet of bubble wrap and rag in my stealth bag. When I sit on the ground, a rock or a wet bench, I roll out the plastic wrap and sit on it. I use the rag to wipe up wet spots or to control the amount of water I add to a sketch.) But as I looked more thoughtfully at the wet grass, I wondered if I could get my brush wet enough by gently scrubbing the brush around and around in the damp grass. Then I could apply the moisture I had soaked up in the brushes bristles, using it to blend the colors on my paper. I tried it on the spot. OMG! It worked!!! Over and over again, I twirled my brush around and around in the grass. Then I applied the water where I wanted it. The rag came in handy for this newly discovered technique as a way to clean the bits of dirt and grass that collected on the brush. All in all, I was thrilled with the effect. And I got to try out my discovery twice in one sitting. Because, as it turns out I could not only see this rose but also a patch of pink amaryllis was within view of my perch. I tried to get a kind of pink glow around the “naked ladies”—common name for this particular amaryllis. 

Eventually I moved on and captured this sweet little “drip drop” landscape. For this one I used only my Inktense pencils and some watercolor pencils. (I guess I forgot to mention that I sometimes carry them around in my stealth bag as well…) I tried to take a photo of the droplets of water I used to paint. Not sure if it really shows, but if you zoom in, you should be able to see them.

I was at the Descanso Gardens again this morning and did another “drip drop” sketch. I’ll save that one for another time. Stay tuned…

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