Friday, December 28, 2012

Gulf Coast Road Trip

Summer's over in North Texas and the weather is turning a bit nippier. So, who wouldn't jump at the chance to escape the Metroplex for awhile by hopping in the car and heading to the Gulf Coast? Sandy beaches, great sea food, a little coastal birding... and a chance to "test drive" Stillman & Birn's Beta Series sketchbook.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Underwood/Pridmore House, built 1940...restored 2012

The Underwood Home in Lubbock, Texas was designed in 1940 by Hal O. Yoakum, a Dallas Architect.  It had been vacant and neglected for many years until Tim and Melissa Pridmore purchased and restored it in 2012.  I am fortunate to be have been selected to design and implement the landscape enhancements and restoration.  Congratulations to the Pridmores for preserving one of the iconic and historic homes in Lubbock!  (sketched on location in pen and ink/watercolor)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Waiting times.

The long waits at airports, either to catch a flight or waiting for a family member are tedious. Drawing helps me make more enjoyable waiting times.
Waiting the Houston Miami flight Dec10

Barajas-Madrid T4 waiting my wife. Dec16

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Little Cheer on a Gloomy Day

We had a rainy overcast day today and by the afternoon I had a bit of cabin fever so a little sketching seemed in order. This is the Houston City Hall, a lovely Art Moderne style building, with the "city tree" in front. Spending the time sketching cheered me up considerably.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Drive-by sketching?

I've probably driven by Covenant Hospital 1000 times in my life, but this morning I had a few minutes to kill between meetings so I decided park into an adjacent parking lot and sketch it!  My goal was to capture the essence of an architecturally complicated hospital complex and to do it quickly.  I needed to decide what the iconic view of the hospital was, compose and simplify the sketch and then execute the sketch.  Beginning to end...55 minutes.  I'm not sure how successfully I accomplished my goal, but I sure had fun!  I'm trying to get better at seizing opportunities to hone my skills when they come along...

It's official! Barcelona will host the 4th International USk Symposium!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Downtown Fort Worth

No, this isn't a scene from a Frank Capra movie, it's downtown Fort Worth.  A sidewalk table at Razoo's restaurant on Main Street will afford you lots of Christmas spirit, with views of the downtown decorations, strains of Christmas carols from the next block, mobs of teenagers giving "free hugs,'' and plenty of passers-by stopping to say hello.  The red balls in the trees make their appearance on some blocks and not others, in some years and not others, but I appreciate them when they're displayed.  Lots of shops open, come on down...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Duck Dynasty

The Houston Heights is actually a collection of little neighborhoods. The neighborhood adjoining mine, Woodland Heights, began having "Lights in the Heights" many years ago. At first it was just glowing luminaria placed along all the streets and singing a few carols, but over the years it has evolved. Now anything that lights, waves, inflates or glows is fair game. And the festive lighting has become more elaborate. I'm sure the power company is delighted. They still put out the luminaria, but now half of Houston comes to look. This weekend there will be traffic gridlock, so I took a little preview today. I've drawn this house in a previous year when they had Santa waterskiing across the lawn. I thought this year's offering was clever. Luckily I just barely know what Duck Dynasty is. After dark the little blue lights create the "pond" for the flotilla of duck decoys. And this is only a small part of the whole display- a flock of airborn ducks hover over the yard and there's a whole sunrise scene on the other side of the yard. I'm a big fan of 37th Street in Austin, so I love to see someone get creative with their lights.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What's in Your Pen?

More and more of us seem to be using fountain pens in our field sketching. (There's even a little beauty in our photo montage banner.) I do too. But, it wasn't till I received a really nice NOS Eversharp as a gift in early November (and immediately started putting its delicious flex nib to work) that I started wondering how fountain pen inks compare, say, to the microns and dip pen inks we also use.

Since there seems to be a dearth of information on lightfastness and pH levels from the manufacturers I thought I'd take a very short break from sketching, do my on series of tests and articles, and share the results. For anyone interested, I begin the series here this week with a selection of blues.

Happy sketching!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas season culture

My wife has an on-going desire to make me more "cultured and refined."  Thats kind of like trying to turn a skunk into a house cat in my case, but she still tries!  Anyhow, we had an enjoyable time last night at the Lubbock Symphony and Lubbock Chorale production of Handel's Messiah.  It was enjoyable evening with great friends and beautiful music!  Don't be too critical of my sketch please...sketching the human form is very difficult for me and the theater was very dark!