Ketchup!

I am completely behind on Inktober 2019 this year, and not sure if I even feel motivated to continue.  The iron gall ink is proving problematic on some papers I have been using, as have the pens and brushes.  I chose to do about 4 pictures – all of them here – on some really old paper in an apparently antique sketchbook made of really poor quality paper – at least for artwork.  So, with no further ado or commentary, here you will find #8 Frail, #9 Swing, #10 Pattern, and #11 Snow.

#8 Frail
#9 Swing
#10 Pattern
#11 Snow

Inktober 2019: #6 Husky

In American English, “Husky” can also mean big and strong.  Sumo is full of husky men, trained in the traditional art of Sumo, a form of wrestling or martial art with a long history in Japan.  While I don’t really know anything about Sumo, I’ve always rather enjoyed watching it.

Inktober 2019: #5 Build

Today’s post #5 for Inktober 2019 – Build – is a lot easier than yesterday’s was, for whatever reason.  In keeping with my promise to myself, this was drawn with homemade iron gall ink.  I created different shades with diluting the ink with water, letting it dry, and then adding more ink to layer it into darker shades.  It seems to work pretty well.  I also used two different pen nibs for the line work – in iron gall with a dip pen – along with an old paint brush I am willing to sacrifice as iron gall is a higlhy corrosive ink over time.

And, if you operate this critter, please excuse my inaccuracies!

Inktober 2019: #3 Bait

Today’s prompt for Inktober 2019 is “bait” – bait?!  Jail bait.  Cut bait.  Click bait. Take the bait.  Switch and bait.  Crow bait.  All kinds of bait.

I went for the obvious:  a fish lure and a mouse trap.

I also decided that I would use my homemade iron gall ink that I made earlier this year.  Iron gall ink is present in manuscripts, old letters, and the sketchbooks of yore.  It’s something I haven’t done yet, and thought it could be a fun (and very messy) project for the month of Inktober.

So, a fish lure.  I didn’t decide on the iron gall ink until last minute, so the initial drawing was done with a fountain pen and the washes done with the iron gall, sometimes directly applied, other times diluted.  I am using a throwaway brush because iron gall corrodes things, such as pen nibs, so it will most likely do a number on the brush.

A mouse trap with a really generous bit of cheese – and probably an unrealistic amount at that!

So, baited we are.

Old Pine at Whalers’ Cove

Every now and again a place calls you, and you know that your life is changed by what you have seen and heard and smelled – a total sensory experience that nothing will ever equal.  Returning to it may destroy the memory or add to it.  Here, I think returning to the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve will only add to the experience.

We headed out to have a short 3-night vacation up in Monterey, California.  We visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium, probably for our 4th time, as well as Point Lobos for the very first time.  It is unparalleled.  Tall pines, rugged coast, water, rocks and cliffs, pines and cypress, and history all combine to create a world into which it would be so easy to stay immersed in, never to return.  The area of Monterey is stunning, with many beautiful and historical areas to be explored, such as Carmel, the city of Monterey itself, Pacific Grove.  An abundance of parks and preserves are available to all.

I brought my art supplies with me, but couldn’t sit still.  I had to keep exploring, along trails with rocks and roots and staircases, and easy paths lined with views of trees and meadows and plants not found in my neck of SoCal.  In particular, the pines and cypress caught my attention, but so did the rocks and water and cliffs.  I expect there will be a lot to draw from as I took a lot of pictures, most taken with care to composition and color.

Here is an old pine tree standing against the sky.  It’s dying as it’s old, wooden branches attest, and yet it still bears needles and reaches to the sky.  I fall in love with trees such as this – if they could just tell their tales!  I used my home made iron gall ink with a very fine pen nib on Bee watercolor paper.

Garden Sketches

Mad Hatter chili and Young Lemon Grass Leaves on Rhodia Tablet

I’ve been rather busy of late – running here and there, sewing, hanging out with friends, and so on.  As a result, I have not been able to sit down to paint for the past few days.  Today I made the determined effort to do so, and am glad I did.  Instead of working in the studio, I went outside onto my rather warm and sunny patio – 95F / 35C – and moved what I could into the shade of the canopy.  A small table, a chair, some water and paints, my home made iron gall ink and my dip pen all accompanied me.  Pandora and Donna Summer, too!

I pulled out a watercolor sketchbook, and immediately found that the paper has a sizing issue, as well as cannot handle water in any amount.  Wah!  However, for pen and a small amount of color, it will do.  I also used a Rhodia tablet, very smooth and polished, and works very well with a sharp pen nib.  The results are straight above – and captioned!  It worked out quite nicely.

Watercolor sketchbook. Iron gall ink applied first, then watercolor paint. Milkweed in bloom.The watercolor sketchbook, as I said, was disappointing for wet work.  However, for ink and color, it is not too bad.  Here, I did the ink drawing first and then applied the color.  The color rather overwhelmed the lines at time, so I went back and added more ink after the paint dried.  In 95F weather, it dries pretty quickly.

A flowerpot with a dead sunflower (left), oregano in bloom (middle), and the stalk and leaves of milkweed plant. Color applied first, dried, and then iron gall ink drawing.This last picture was an afterthought.  The first drawing found the color overwhelming the ink at times, so I decided to paint first, and then draw.  Artistic experiment!

Anyway, the art bug has been temporarily allayed.  More tomorrow I hope!