Saturday, November 26, 2011

the fountain at dos salsas . . .

Dos Salsas (translation: two sauces . . . roja and verde or red and green) is the premier Tex-Mex restaurant in Georgetown. As a matter of fact, according to Urban Spoon, it is the most popular restaurant in town. It certainly gets my vote! Pretty much on a weekly basis. . . usually for enchiladas suizas . . .

I arrived early for dinner with a friend the day I sketched the fountain (tucked into a corner of the parking lot, between the Dos Salsas catering truck and a loooong bench for the usual customer overflow . . . not a lot of space for landscaping . . . this used to be a Dairy Queen!). The water was turned off, but the steady stream of birds (mostly grackles) seemed to be enjoying it immensely. As a matter of fact, even though it was a little chilly and getting on to evening, one brave grackle helped himself to a serious bath . . . a whole lot of "splishing and splashing" went on!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fort Barrancas Cannon

Another view of one of the old cannons at the fort. 

I'm a sucker for any scene with a flag in it!
Hastily sketched on location, tidied up and watercolor back home.

Old Ft. Barrancas at the entrance to Pensacola Bay, Florida

Fort Barrancas is a historic United States military fort in the area of Pensacola, Florida, located physically on Naval Air Station Pensacola.  The hill-top fort, connected to a sea-level water battery, overlooks Pensacola Bay, from what is now Naval Air Station Pensacola.  Spanning a multi-century history, the U.S. Army deactivated Fort Barrancas on April 15, 1947.  Designated a National Historic Site  in 1960, control of the site was transferred to the National Park Service in 1971. After extensive restoration during 1971-1980, Fort Barrancas was opened to the public.  The site was first occupied as a fort in 1698 by the Spanish.  It has been

occupied and rebuilt by five different governments; Spanish, French, British, Confederate and finally, American.

During the American and Confederate years the fort was home to 19 cannons like the one I've sketched here.   If you're ever in the neighborhood, it is well worth a visit!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A formal introduction.....

 Well...I guess it is my turn to formally introduce myself.  My name is Tim Oliver and I am one of the seven current contributing correspondents for Urban Sketchers-Texas.  I am a native Texan, born and currently living on the plains of West Texas in Lubbock.  I am a graduate of Texas Tech University, a licensed landscape architect and own a design/build practice here in Lubbock.  I have an exceptionally beautiful and patient wife as well as three wonderfully above average children!  My wife is the love of my life as well as my biggest fan and supporter.  My oldest son currently serves in the US Navy, my daughter is employed in an architecture firm in Houston and my youngest boy is a senior in High School, headed to Tech next fall. 
I've always loved to draw and sketch but really discovered my passion a few years ago when I attended a "Sketching on Location" workshop by landscape architect and illustrator Richard Scott in Pasadena, California.  It was there that I became familiar with the incredible worldwide group of location sketchers known as Urban Sketchers.  I am extremely pleased to be a part of USK-Texas and hope to faithfully fufill the manifesto of Urban Sketchers by showing you Lubbock and West Texas "one sketch at a time!"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TX Pow Wow

Every November in an arena at a local Trader's Village (a sort of flea market) a Native American Pow Wow is held. I took S and one of his buddies a couple of years and ago and knew I needed to go back this year to sketch it. There were Pawnee, Cherokee, Alabama Coushatta and many other groups from around the U.S.
Otto on the left is from here in Texas and Chuck on the right came all the way from California.
In the center of the arena under a shade canopy is a large drum with drummers seated around it, also to the side of the arena is another drum circle. An announcer would call out the competitions, like Grass Dancers and the dancers would enter the arena, the drumming would start and they would dance. They were judged and a winner was declared. During some dances you could enter the ring and drop donations or buy raffle tickets for blankets and the money raised was awarded to the winners. There were dances for children, women and even audience participation.
On these sketches I put most of the color on the page before I left the house, (technique from Lining Over Color workshop in Lisbon) drew with a pigma pen and added more color with watercolor and Inktense watercolor pencils.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's me, TXsketcher.

Hi, I am Judith Dollar, one of the correspondents here at USK-Texas. I am a native Texan, living just north of Houston. I am a graphic designer and have worked for large printing companies, ad agencies/mkt. firms, and am now self-employed. I've got a lovely husband and teen son, who are very patient with me when I have to stop for a sketch.
I discovered Urban Sketchers a couple of years ago, before the Portland Conference. Wishing I could have attended I made sure to make it to Lisbon this year after stalking the website for the last year. Lisbon was a fantastic experience, so many people just as enamored with sketching as I have come to be.
I have sporadically carried a sketchbook or art supplies with me when I travel, but now it is part of everyday life. Probably the thing appearing in my sketchbook most frequently is my cup of coffee. I tend to draw people more than architecture and struggle with trees. I know that when I look back at my sketchbooks I remember more of the details of place and time than I do with photos. I am looking forward to meeting all the other Texas sketchers some time soon.

Thank You to those who serve!

An annual Veteran's Day project at my son's jr. high school honors veteran's with this display. Each 8th grader interviews and makes a poster about a veteran they know personally. All the posters are laminated and hung on "clotheslines" running between the trees in front of their school. The display hangs for a week. There are hundreds of them. I spent some time this morning reading the posters, it really brings home the fact that we all have a link to the armed forces who serve for our benefit. It is a touching tribute. While there were plenty of grandfathers, and a few grandmas, there are a large number of men and women who are currently serving. God bless them all. This sketch is just a small portion of the display.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bugs in the 'hood

Well, I've been swamped at work and life so I've pulled a sketch from the archives, from this summer. A retirement home just around the corner had a vintage VW show one weekend out in their front drive. I've always like bugs and even considered a convertible one, who knows maybe one day a nice restored one. With the addition of air conditioning since I don't think those early ones had it. Getting the open door on this drawing to look right just didn't happen for me here. It looks like the whole thing is falling apart. But you just can't mistake that bug profile.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Georgetown's Old Masonic Building

. . . and its "onion dome." The Old Masonic Building, constructed in 1900, has quite a history. In addition to its intended purpose, it has served as a post office, and most recently the lower floors have housed restaurants (first Chinese, then two different Italian, and finally a restaurant and bar. . . the space is now sadly vacant), while the upper floors are used as offices.

The building is on the square, on the corner, with lovely views from the second story balcony (just beyond the trees). The dome is quite iconic!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

From the driver's seat

Well, here in Texas we love our cars. Frankly I wish we had mass transit like some of the cities I've visited but out here in the suburbs, things are to spread out to hoof it. So, here I am in the car line at school. Once a week I leave the office early to pick up S and take him to percussion lessons. As you can see SUVs are the family bus around here, not for me though. Don't need to bring the living room, tv and family pet with me, just a couple of seats and off we go. This line gave me enough time to draw and paint this sketch. Gotta love the water brush. Discovered it in Lisbon and have been using it ever since.

Pensacola, Florida looking north from Pensacola Beach

It was quite a challenge, as well as a step out of my comfort zone, to sketch this panorama of Pensacola.  At this scale things had to be dramatically simplified.  A lot of fun!
This sketch was done in Pen and Ink, on location, watercolor added back home.

A hastily sketched view of Pensacola Beach, Florida

My wife and I made a quick weekend trip to Pensacola, Florida to see our oldest son who is stationed at Naval Air Station Pensacola.  It was a very busy weekend, but I was able to sneak in a few sketches.  This one is from our hotel on the beach.  Not at all pleased with the result, but I'm posting it anyway!  I only had a brief time before breakfast and was interrupted numerous times by curious onlookers(which adds to the fun)!  Capturing beaches, oceans, palms and boardwalks are definately a new thing for this "dry-land, high plains, west Texas sketcher!"  More Pensacola sketches to follow.   (pen and Ink w/ watercolor, sketched on location)