Thursday, May 27, 2010

Roxborough State Park


Roxborough State Park
Originally uploaded by csgebhart

While we were in Colorado meeting and picking up our new puppy, we spent some time in a couple of Colorado's state parks. On Thursday, we forgot our camera, but I remembered my art supplies. I quickly sketched a few things with paint and brush only - no pencil first. The rocks don't look like rocks, I know - but I did capture the colors pretty well.

If Laure Ferlita hadn't had a lesson on sketching that way, I'm not sure I ever would have attempted this. Thanks Laure!

Imaginary Trip to England - Telephone Box


Imaginary Trip to England - Telephone Box
Originally uploaded by csgebhart

I couldn't possibly leave England without sketching one of these distinctive red telephone boxes. On our final day we had a bit of free time, so I set off by myself to find one to sketch. This one was located in Whitehall.

I'm not really in England, even though I'd love to be. This is the final page in my travel journal for my imaginary trip with Laure Ferlita.

I painted this from a photo by Stephen Johnson, which can be seen here.

Imaginary Trip to England - Cover


Imaginary Trip to England - Cover
Originally uploaded by csgebhart

The cover to my Imaginary Trip journal.

Queen of Camelot by Nancy McKenzie

I have read many many books about the Arthurian Legend, and this is another one.  This one is written from Guinevere's point of view.  As the book opens, Lancelot comes to Guinevere to tell her that Arthur and Mordred are both dead, and he has had a vision that she should write the story of her life.  So the rest of the book is Guinevere's life story, told in her own words.  It is well written and enjoyable.  I have always liked the legend, which is why I've read so many different versions.  But because I've read so many versions, I was glad when the book was finished.  I think I need to give this story a rest for awhile.  This is my 9th book for the New Author Challenge 2010.  I rate this book 4 out of 5.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Aren't I cute?


Aren't I cute?
Originally uploaded by csgebhart

But I'm a real handful! More energetic than my owners, that's for sure.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Buddy


Buddy
Originally uploaded by csgebhart

We met our new puppy today (Wednesday, May 19). We'll bring him home on Friday. It was hard to choose, but both Glen and I agreed on "Mr. Green" - the one with the green ribbon collar.

Buddy with Glen



Buddy with Cheryl

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Imaginary Trip to England - Scarisbrick Hall


Imaginary Trip to England - Scarisbrick Hall
Originally uploaded by csgebhart

It was a festival day today at Scarisbrick Hall in Lancashire. So not only did we see an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic architecture, including the 100-foot tower that reminded me of Big Ben, but wildflowers and baby animals and secret gardens. It was another fabulous day.

I'm not really in England, even though I wish I was. I'm taking Laure Ferlita's class, An Imaginary Trip to England.

Imaginary Trip to England - A Walk in the Park


Imaginary Trip to England - A Walk in the Park
Originally uploaded by csgebhart

I think this goose was negotiating with the man for his apple!

I'm not really in England, even though I wish I was. I'm taking Laure Ferlita's class, An Imaginary Trip to England.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Friday, May 07, 2010

Home Improvements

When we built our house, we intended to put a deck outside our bedroom, so we put in a door to the outside.  We long ago decided not to build the deck, but we still have the door.  Our house is now 21 years old, and it was a wood door in a wall that faces south, so the door is badly weathered.  We've been needing to replace it for a few years, and finally decided this was the year.  We researched what doors would qualify for the energy tax credit and purchased a  pre-hung door at Lowe's on Sunday.  We decided it would be easier to paint it before we installed it (ourselves), so we've been doing that this week.  Today was the day to install it.  DH got the old door out while I was removing the masking tape from the new door.  It was at this point that he realized we had forgotten one very important detail; when we built our house, we made the outside walls 6 inches instead of 4 inches in order to be more energy efficient.  But we bought a 4 inch door.  So it didn't fit.  We couldn't return it because we'd already painted it.  And the old door was out, so we had to do something today.  DH decided to remove the wood trim that would have been on the outside if we had bought the right size door.  I figured at this point he might as well; the door was worthless to us the way it was and we couldn't return it, so we had nothing to lose.  Amazingly enough, it worked; the door is in.  There is a gap on the outside we're going to have to fill, but the door actually opens and closes.  These kinds of projects ALWAYS take longer than we think they will, but especially when we make a major mistake like this one.  I hope to be able to get back to more fun projects soon; like sewing and/or painting (as in watercolor, not doors!).  But I'm happy to have the door almost finished.  We had so many air leaks around the old door that DH had taped it up a couple of years ago (we rarely used it anyway).  But since we are picking up our puppy in a couple of weeks, we wanted to be able to use the door again; puppies need to go outside often, even through the night.  It will be a lot more convenient to be able to use the bedroom door.

To be continued . . .

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Unwanted by Kien Nguyen

Kien Nguyen is the son of a Vietnamese woman and an American serviceman.  He was 8 years old when he and his family watched the last US helicopter leave Vietnam without them.  The next 10 years of his life were filled with one nightmare after another.  The family had been wealthy before the fall of Saigon, but they lost everything when the Communist regime took over.  And because Kien was Amerasian, he was the target of hatred and bigotry.  Unfortunately I didn't think the book was very well written.  The dialogue in particular wasn't believable.  But the story was certainly compelling and the book was worth reading anyway.  This was my second book for the Vietnam War Reading Challenge and my eighth book for the New Author Challenge 2010.  I rate the book 3 out of 5.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Imaginary Trip to England - European Robins


Imaginary Trip to England - European Robins
Originally uploaded by csgebhart

I sketched these birds and nest with paint and brush only - no pencil, no eraser. I've never done that before, so it sounded pretty scary to me when I learned that was what our assignment was! And we were to spend NO MORE than 5 minutes per bird. We were going after a likeness only, no details. It was great fun - I really enjoyed doing these little sketches.

I'll have to do more - maybe of a puppy and/or kitten in a few weeks. We should be picking up our puppy from the breeder around May 21st. And we've chosen our kitten from the kitten rescue - we'll get him right after we get home with our puppy. I can't wait!

Iris


Iris
Originally uploaded by csgebhart

Never sketch a flower one day and expect to paint it several days later - it won't be there. The day I sketched this iris in pencil, there was one bloom on the stem, and there were 3 buds waiting to bloom. When I returned to paint my sketch, at least there was still a flower blooming - but all the buds were gone. I was lucky that I didn't wait any longer!

I'm wishing now that I had erased a couple of the buds before I started painting, but I didn't, so it is what it is.

Spring Drive


Spring Drive
Originally uploaded by csgebhart

This is a memory sketch; a general impression of the trees we were seeing on our drive, done in our hotel room in the evening.

Writing says: Every year for several years now, we have driven to Tennessee to visit friends. We left today. The trees don't have a lot of leaves yet, but we've seen lots of flowering trees, esp. Bradford Pears and some Redbuds.