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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lamy Pen hack...more tweaking!

Several people have mentioned that the Lamy pens hurt their hands, as they do mine after a time (what were they THINKING with those sharp edges right where your finger and thumb rest??), so I thought I'd share my solution...

Here's one of the edges that cause a problem...if you could turn the calligraphy nib (this one's a Lamy Joy, their calligraphy pen I like sketching with) that might help, but I couldn't seem to do that. 

So I just took my two-sided nail file and filed that softly rounded...rough side first, then the smoother one.

It looks a little rough here, but I polished it with a rough cloth and it's fine now...AND a lot more comfortable when I'm sketching or writing for a while! (And yes, that IS Pepi fur in the background--he keeps me company!)
This was an easy fix, so I did it to another of my Lamys...before you give up on something that's otherwise satisfactory, see if you can't make it work better for you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The best of times...

I needed a break the other day...and so we went for a ride in the evening. Joseph seemed to know just what I needed, and we went to the tower overlooking Cooley Lake--or after this summer's drought, Cooley NO Lake. Still the view was wonderful and the evening cool and breezy...

He brought my folding stool and I used a big bulldog clip to hold my pages against the wind...this is as far as I got...

I took a quick shot of the clouds as we were leaving--but I could either get the clouds or the trees, not really both, because of the strange exposure...

I tweaked it a bit when we got home, to show the rain at left and add a few branches...a record of a truly delightful evening.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pulling it All Together

Sometimes I just do a page of bits and pieces...here, a quick sketch of my husband at work, the bamboo poles that hold me little fountain over the fish pond (Joseph bolted it to the pot to keep the raccoons from knocking it off, but those metal bolts just didn't get it.) and finally, at the end of the day, a bright colored mechanized para-glider!  I had to really work fast on that one, and a small set of colored pencils were handy to suggest the beautiful rainbow of colors.

And of course the next day that seemed obvious, to tie everything together--color!  A watercolor border and spatters of the same colors made me smile...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Travel Sketching

badlands by windwordwriter
badlands, a photo by windwordwriter on Flickr.

I recently hiked and sketched in the Badlands near Dubois, WY. All of the wondrous towers, hoo doos, and sculpted formations were inspiring to capture on paper but far beyond my ability to do so. The vastness of the land, combined with the rich colors, shapes, and textures of sedimentary rock is almost overwhelming on a visual scale, so I eventually settled on a small formation to sketch, where I could sit in the shade of a cottonwood tree, out of the scorching heat of the day. Pen and ink allowed me to get the details of the structure quicker, and then a light watercolor wash implied the many eons of layered rock. The name "Badlands" was originally given to the semiarid area in South Dakota near the Black Hills, and called "les mauvaises terres a traverser" by the French because it was so difficult to cross. The true artists here are wind, rain, and flash floods--the medium is erosion. My sketch in the journal is a meager attempt at capturing its true beauty and mystery, but when I look at it and the entire aroma of the day there comes pouring in.

New Tool For My Sketch Bag

Click to Enlarge
This page started off to feature the new addition to my plein air supplies, but then the page took on a life of its own :)  I pretty much had to squeeze everything else in!

Often, when painting the full moon, I get frustrated with the drying time of watercolors, especially in the summer months when the humidity and mosquitoes are fierce.  I just don't have the luxury of waiting for paint to dry and often have to finish the page upon returning home.

I've been looking for small fans that would fit in my bag, not weigh too much and have some decent reviews written about them.  The size of this little Coleman personal fan is perfect.  It's 4 inches tall, 1 3/8 inches wide and 3/4 deep. It weighs 4 oz. with 2 AA batteries inserted and puts out quite a breeze!  The reviews were mixed and averaged 3 out of 5 - 5 being excellent. I ordered it on Amazon and since there were already enough items in my cart to qualify for free shipping, I took a chance on the this ever so expensive (ha, ha) $5.27 fan!

Now for the opportunity to try it out!!
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