February 26, 2008

Trinidad Bay

I took a drive down to Eureka today with the sole intent of taking pictures and sketching in Trinidad. Once I got there, I started to get intimidated by the scene a bit but went ahead and pulled out the ole paper and paints anyway. Once I was done I felt fairly good about the sketch, it looked fairly accurate and I didn't duck out on drawing that pier (LOL). The one blue boat looks a bit like a sub but all in all not too bad, after all, it's a SKETCH... I had my lines fairly straight, but when I took the photo, the pad was on a bit of an angle so it appears to have one of my signature lilts to it. While I was painting this, a dense fog bank was hanging just off shore but I wanted to keep the closeness of the feeling of the bay so didn't include the skyline.
Trinidad was, and still is, a fishing village. It contains beautiful old houses gathered like anxious wives along the crest of the bay. In the past few decades, it has moved to include a bit of an artsy fartsy flavor but not to the point of being snobbish. The village has kept it's smallness with one main street covering about two to three blocks of local businesses and a small gathering of homes.

February 24, 2008

Wonky is Good

I wasn't going to finish this or post it when I realized how slanted my building was but since I am always saying that I like wonky and funky drawings, I kept going. In real life given the age and amount of rain and fog we get up here, it probably does lean to one side or the other. I love the glow in the window of the "open" sign especially on rainy days along with the trail of smoke puffing out of the chimney. It always looks so welcoming. The driveway is actually asphalt but I liked the idea of a dirt drive better and Hey, it's my picture...

February 23, 2008

Sketches from the Harbor

I was up in Crescent City today and did some quick sketches while looking at the harbor. Although I have stopped there lots of times, I've been too intimidated to do any sketches. My boats could surely use some help (LOL), but it's all in the name of learning. The black and white birds were really pretty small, I was painting them so that I could look them up later and figure out what they are. They aren't a type of duck, I don't think, as their beaks are very small. They reminded me of wind up toys because they move forward really fast and the the same time bob their heads up and down very quickly. Funny little things.
I found out that the local Art Gallery has a group of painters, both oil and watercolor, that get together on Saturday mornings and paint with coaching if you feel like you need it. They also have demos once a month from some of the local artists; these are video taped and if you are a member you can check them out at no cost. Also available is a library of workshop tapes from outside artists that you can watch there at the Gallery. I was pretty excited to find out about it as I can't seem to find any classes in the area to save my soul.

February 21, 2008


Beachcombers come in all shapes and sizes. I was sitting in my car by the beach this afternoon watching this older couple taking pictures and looking for "stuff" on the beach. It was windy and stormy but neither the couple nor the birds seemed to mind the weather.

February 17, 2008

Mike's Smoke House

When I step out on the back porch I can see across the fence into my neighbors yard. He has a small smoke house in his back yard for smoking salmon, as do a lot of the folks that live up here. Along with that, he has a large shed with windows on the back side. Not sure what it was originally built for, but some how I like the way you can see out beyond it. He has a low, but large old apple tree (I didn't get the grass dark enough in the back ground to make it stands out), it's silvery bark and gnarled branches, along with it's supporting "cane" please me. The tall green reeds add to the feeling of mystery also.

February 06, 2008

Life in the country

I was going to the post office to get the mail and ran across this scene at the end of our road. My neighbor obviously was not happy that the pig from the farm behind us had escaped and was laying waste to her flower bed. The pig didn't seem to be very bothered by the whacks from the broom either. By the time I returned the pig was gone and the farmer was attempting to repair the escape hole in his fence; peace was once again reigning in the Glen.
I tried to stay loose painting this. Things were going along fine while painting the pig but when I got to the woman...well suffice it to say, "she was fiddled with way too much". It would have helped if I'd done even some stick figure drawings to get her posture and the angle of the broom right, her hands are choked too far up on the handle,but it is what it is... My original plan was to have the house real sketchy and barley discernible in the background but her face and the house were almost the same tone so I had to go back in and fiddle with house to darken it enough to make her face stand out so the house got fiddly and became part of the subjects...

February 01, 2008

Young Whale

When I got close to the beach on the way to Crescent City this morning, I noticed a large gathering of folks. My first thought was that they must be holding some kind of surfing or kayaking class. But as I got along side the group, I could see that they were all gathered around something very large. Being of a naturally curious nature, I pulled over and could see what I thought was a whale. I got out of the car and walked down to get a closer look, snapped a few pictures so I could get his body angle right and left. The lab folks were already on the scene working on the far side of him with the intent of figuring out how he died since he/she was a fairly young sperm whale (this I was told by one of the audience). The whale was approximately 15' long, I probably should have included the crowd of folks standing on the other side of it, as it would give a sense of scale. I appreciated who ever placed the flowers at his tail, it kind of reflected how I felt. One can't help but be awed by an animal so large and intelligent. May he be breaching happily in whaley heaven even as I'm typing this.