Tuesday, June 19, 2012

With Judith in Madrid

Visit of Judith and her husband  David to Spain. During his stay in Madrid, we shared with them a few hours sitting on a terrace in Las Vistillas, with a beautiful view of the Almudena Cathedral. 

María,Judith,Ursula, me and Joaquín.

My document

Friday, June 15, 2012

Old Gold

For the past two days I've been stuck at my local Apple Store with an uncooperative laptop. Fortunately, the folks at the Genius Bar were both very knowledgeable AND helpful, and I am once again "on the grid." (Best of all, they got me up and running without charging me a penny. Thanks again fellas!)

To celebrate I'm launching a new series entitled "Old Gold" on my blog. (Installment #1 is "Roma") And this series will run in alternating installments with a series on technical issues and product reviews, and regular posts "from the field." If you'd care to join me for a stroll down memory lane, click on the link below and, afterward, please let me know what you think.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Skate Park

One of the nice things about living in a big city is discovering new places that you never knew existed. The city has been trying to upgrade Buffalo Bayou by putting in walking trails and paved bike paths and shelters and little pockets of interest all along both the north and south bank. Today I rounded the corner onto the Sabine Street bridge and lo and behold there was a brand new skate park. Didn't take the skaters any time at all to find this. The place was jammed even in the heat.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Texans in South America

Our 3-week sketch/study trip in South America with my old friend Professor Max Conrad and many of the usual suspects begins Saturday.  Patti and I will fly from Fort Worth to Miami, then on to Belo Horizonte in Brazil.  We'll make our way along the southeastern coast through Ocuro Preto, Petropolis, Rio de Janeiro, Paratay, Ilhabela and Sao Paulo.  While in Sao Paulo we will stay with my old friend and fellow LSU lanscape architect Sergio Santana.  Then off to Peru to experience Lima, an ecotourism lodge at the Reserva Amazonica, Machu Picchu and Cuzco before heading back to Texas. My goal is to produce between 40 and 50 watercolors during the trip.
We've visited 36 countries since 1999, but this is our first trip to South America to see what they know. It's overdue, and we're really jazzed.  High adventure indeed!

Introducing Earnest Ward

Hi! When I heard that Texas was getting its own USK chapter a few months ago I was thrilled -- after all, there are hundreds of sketching enthusiasts scattered across our great state and USK is a fantastic way for us to meet and share our mutual interest. And then when I was asked to become a contributing correspondent I was honored. For those of you who don't already know me tho', a brief introduction might be in order.

I was born into a family of intrepid travelers. Every summer, growing up, my folks would pack us into the car and we would camp our way across whichever continent we were living on at the time. And, by the time I graduated from high school I'd lived in Britain (twice), Germany, and Taiwan, and visited numerous other countries. Along the way I discovered a passion for recording the world about me in drawings, paintings, and printmaking -- but most of all in sketchbooks and journals.

Along the way I met and married my soulmate and fellow adventurer. And when our two beautiful children came along it seemed perfectly natural to us to continue the family tradition with them -- including regular voyages of discovery here in Texas and across the U.S., a two-month "slow travel" sketch crawl across Europe and, most recently a stint as Artists-in-Residence at North Cascades National Park.

My personal motivation for sketching is to "see" more of the world around me. (Nothing goes into a sketch that the artist hasn't first consciously perceived. The same can't always be said of photography or video.) And my personal focus tends to be the natural and cultural history -- past AND present -- of the places I visit.

So, I'd like to thank Jim for inviting me to join ya'll and I look forward to, hopefully, meeting each of you in upcoming sketch crawls. In the meantime, "Happy sketching!"

Puerta Grande - Madrid

To be carried high on the shoulders of aficionados out through the Grand and Moorish Puerta de Madrid, is the ultimate dream of any torero (bullfighher).

Puerta Grande o Puerta de Madrid.

The Plaza de Toros de las Ventas ( Often known as las Ventas) is a classic example of the Neo-Mudejar stile, it was opened in 1931, and hosted its first corrida (bullfight) three years later.
25.000 spectators, evoke more sense os a theatre than a sports stadium : it also hosts concerts.
The area where the Plaza de Toros is located os known as Las Ventas because , in times gone by, several wayside taverns (ventas) along with houses of ill repute, were to be found there.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ducros House, Thibodeaux LA

This weekend found me road-tripping from Fort Worth to Houston to Thibodeaux, Louisiana and back.  I sketched this amazing Greek Revival house on the edge of Thibodeaux while my daughter attended a friend's wedding festivities there.  I later found out it's the Ducros plantation house, built between 1830 and 1850.  It's on the National Register and is currently undergoing restoration to see new life as a bed and breakfast.  I loved the fact that the road sign across from the house said, "Devil's Swamp Road;" sounds like something from a screenplay.