Monday, October 27, 2008

South Empire Mountains, Davidson Canyon, Southern Arizona

It seems that our cooler fall weather has decided not to join us anytime soon. Yesterday we decided to ride, even though the temps here were forecasted to be 90+. Uhg. We hadn't explored this area, a few miles south of where we live. The southern tip of the Empire Mountains, in thru Davidson Canyon. I'm going to have to go find a topo map to give me the exact names.
We loaded up the mules, and off we went. A beautiful clear day that started out cool, but rapidly warmed up, but with a soft breeze at least.

This is Echo. Isn't she cute? I'm ashamed to say that they haven't been ridden out for way to long... and I was a bit hesitant about how she was going to behave. She was a little bit tense at the trailer.
Maybe she just didn't want her picture taken?
Most of these images I'm going to share with you were taken in the saddle, so, excuse them if they are blurry or could have had a better composition hahaha! Sometimes it's not so easy to get a nice steady shot when it's not you that's moving. However after a few miles she agreed with me that a "whoa" was a nice time to just stand and relax, even with the camera clicking away.
This is the view as we left the trailer, a view you can kiss goodbye if the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine passes. This mountain range will be ugly and useless.
This is Daisy. The kids say she's got a face only a mother could love, but they don't know Daisy! She's an awesome trail mule.
Jimmy and Daisy, she's always rearing to go, even after not being out for so long!
Daisy doing what Daisy does best... and she just goes and goes and goes...
Here we were checking out some deer sign. I don't like riding thru the ocotillo thickets ... while the mules are in the clear, the ocotillo branches arch over and can be a real pain if your up high in the saddle.

My usual view lol... Daisy just enjoys working so much, it's like she can't wait to see what's over the next ridge. She walks the legs off my short little Echo, so I always bring up the rear which is fine with Echo and I.
Obviously something is more interesting over there than I was!
Looking north, you can see the Rincon Mts. back there.
Not sure what spring this is, but we came across a few.
We dismounted for awhile at this spring and I spied this kewl dragonfly hanging out down by the water, just asking for it's picture to be taken.
Oh, and this one too!
I should be more careful where I'm walking... I almost missed this large spider while I was taking pictures of the dragonflies. Ewwwww....
But wait.. it has friends and neighbors! Ewwww! See the second one? I *think these may be a type of Orb-weaver spider but I'm not a spider expert. If anyone knows for sure, I'd like to know.
When I was done taking pictures of things by the water I turned to walk back up to the mules, I had to take this picture, I just loved the strong light and shadow,
As we climbed a little higher in elevation there were some Mexican Blue Oaks and Junipers.
The Empires, home is just on the other side.
Sometimes you ride into places that are actually so thick you have two choices. You can get off and walk or you can ride around. We decided to get off and walk. I love the shadows and the quiet feeling here. Really very quiet, just the birds and the soft sound of the mules walking in the sand.
This is where our walk ended at.. a dry water hole surrounded by more Mexican Blue Oaks and Junipers.
Not sure what ranch this is, on the way back out for the day.
This is overlooking Gunsight pass...oh which is another "kiss it good-bye " view if the Rosemont Copper Mine goes in. I say NO MINE!
Will this spring be polluted? What do you think? What about the air... and the noise pollution? No, this will be gone forever if the mine goes in. What a waste. How greedy is Gov. Napolitano? She's very much a spend, spend, spend Governor. Will the importance of this historic/scenic area of Arizona and the people of Arizona and our communtity weigh out against a corporation out of Canada and the money Napolitanos spend thrift ways need?
Earlier I mentioned that Echo was a bit tense at the trailer, and I wasn't sure how she was going to behave. Well, silly me! She was so good. She quickly settled down into work mode, and we even did some gate work, it's been a long time. We didn't push them very hard, because it's been a while since they've been out, but we covered quite a few miles. Here we are at the end of our adventure. Hope you enjoyed exploring with us!
Have a wonderful week!

Friday, October 24, 2008

CPSA DC #212 Fall Exhibition

Sorry no update.. I've been under the weather for the last couple days. Yesterday I finally took some cold medicine, only to have it knock me out for 3 hours! lol.. Not very productive, either sleeping the day away or in a "cold medicine fog". Oh well, it will pass and I'll get back to the studio.

Last Saturday evening was our CPSA District Chapter Fall Exhibition. I submitted "Shootin' the Breeze" and "Chaps and Chevy's".  Both were juried in, but as you know Chaps & Chevy's was lost for a couple weeks. I was able to substitute "Silver and Daisy" instead.

The gallery in Casa Grande was an old historic home, with wood floors and windows. Very cute. There were probably 50 pieces of CP art hanging in the show. It was a very nice size reception, plenty of people and the Casa Grande Art Museum did an outstanding presentation, everything was gorgeous.  At the end of the evening "Chaps and Chevy's" was presented with an honorable mention. Kewl.

This show runs though the middle of November in Casa Grande, if anyone wants to see it. Enjoy!

This is my Silver and Daisy... I know the title stinks but nothing came to mind.
Last Friday and Saturday my Tucson colored pencil group, TCPAA hosted a workshop given by Linda Lucas Hardy. I was unable to attend, but Linda came to the Casa Grande opening. She's a sweetheart, and Linda, thank you, I enjoyed our talk so much, one day we'll have to finish it!
We were making fun of the "myspace" pictures everyone kids seem to have lol...we thought we'd have one of our own ;)
I don't think I'm going to work on the figure piece today, but I'm going to work on something small instead. Cold meds.. blech!!!
Keep those pencils scribbling!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Figuative CP work updated 10/21/08

This is where she was at yesterday, hence the date. I wanted to leave room for another update later tonite. I plan on spending all day in the studio, hopefully making alot of progress!
This figure work has done a little bit of morphing since I last updated it. I needed to build my background values in order to get the values on the figure correct. I do like the lighter background, but thought it was a little tame. I wanted more drama for this one.. so I pushed the values. I'll tweak the background again before I call it done, probably more than once.

Now.. my thoughts for the day : Less is more! lol!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

She's Home, safe and sound!

Fed Ex called and said they needed directions so they could deliver my package today. Instead of giving them directions, I went and picked her up myself! I wasn't taking another chance!

Soooo thank you, all you wonderful friends who crossed your fingers for me this week, sent good wishes, lended me support and those who's shoulders I whined on, it worked!

I cannot thank you enough!

I am so relieved.....


Parker Canyon Lake, Southern Arizona

One day last March, my husband says... Hey! let's take a drive, to somewhere we've never been before!

Hmmm, OK. Sounds like fun.

When all the kids were little, we made it a point to take a "day trip" as a family, once every month or two. We all added a little slip of paper with our day trip "destinations" into a coffee can. Then once a month we'd pull one out, and that's where we'd go. Awww memories! But we've only got one kiddo left at home, and at 16, he prefers NOT to go on many goofy adventures with Mom and Dad.

So, this trip it was just the two of us.

We'd never been to Parker Canyon Lake, which is about 40 miles south of our home, and really really close to to the border of Mexico!

This is the marker for the Arizona Trail. The Arizona Trail is an old historic trail that ran from Mexico up through Arizona into Utah. Many parts of this trail were lost, but it is now being restored for non-motorized use. Lots of equine riders, and hikers use this trail. You can access it at different locations, and it's marked where it's been renovated. We've rode parts of it on the mules, but have yet to ride any sections that are close to us.
Look.... Mexico!!! LOL, this is looking South from the Arizona Trail sign above, which is overlooking the lake.

This is a man made lake, as you can see here by the earthen dam on the far side of the water. The wind was blowing like crazy the day we were here.... but it was a beautiful day!

I know.. it's a bobber blowing in the wind.... but it amused me! lol!

These are Pronghorn Antelope, outside of Sonoita, Arizona

She's a bit scruffy looking isn't she?

I hope you enjoyed the trip!

Guess What? NO FED EX yesterday!


It appears that I will be calling them this morning.... 

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fed Ex Nightmare continued...

Today is Monday the 20th of October. Still no Chaps & Chevy's! They said they delivered it to me on the 8th, but they didn't.


I called Fed Ex right at the 48 hour mark, which was last Thurs. The message I got from Fed Ex was that they had someone call in, and say "hey, we have a package that's not ours.. can you come and get it?" (ohhhhhhhhh that little angel was right! I love it!) They also told me that it was scheduled to be picked up and would be delivered to me, on Friday. Yay!!!

Friday came.... and Friday went..... no Fed Ex package! Arrgggggggggggggggggg!!!!!

I had a message from Fed Ex on Saturday morning.... that my package was not able to be picked up because of a gated community? Hello? They said on Thursday they already had it!? Whats going on??? They said the package would now be delivered on Monday. Today is Monday! I'm not leaving.. the gate is open and I'm impatiently waiting!

I don't want to have to call them again, I just want them to deliver as promised.. and paid for! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fed Ex Nightmare! Is the glass 1/2 full or 1/2 empty?

Chaps and Chevy's

I sit here this morning, in front of my computer screen intending to write something.... but I find myself staring out the window instead, wondering ..


Chaps and Chevy's is the piece of artwork I had hanging in the CPSA International Exhibition in Seattle this summer. This piece represents a year and a half of my life. It's a bit on the larger side for a colored pencil piece somewhere around 20"x24". This is the piece I worked on at the hospital while I sat with my mother before she passed away. This is the piece that was there when my grandson was born. I was distracted so many times during that year and a half I'm surprised it was she was ever finished.

I knew the CPSA Seattle show was due to be taken down, with plenty of time for her to be returned, so I submitted Chaps and Chevy's to our AZ DC212 fall show. I patiently waited... and waited... and then I asked a couple other artists with pieces in the same show; yes they had gotten their pieces back. I contacted the cartage company, to confirm my piece was shipped out. Ugh.. I started getting sick to my stomach. That was last Friday afternoon. When I filled out my return Fed Ex label, I made sure I put tracking on it with a shipping notice. I always do! No tracking shows on my Fed Ex account. Ugh.. not a good feeling. On Monday I was able to substitute another piece for our DC212 show, but I wasn't able to call because I was helping hang that same show. When I got home, I had a return email from the cartage company. Yes, my piece had shipped out on the 3rd of Oct with aprox 40 other piece Fed Ex picked up. Oh no....still no package, but now I was really worried. I called them yesterday only to have them tell me that my piece was picked up on the 3rd of Oct. (remember I had no records on any kind on my FED EX account.. it was blank) and delivered to my address on the 8th of October!! WHAT?!? Yes, the woman said, it was delivered to this address, and left at the front door. Ha. well.. first of all I was home in the studio all last Wed, and secondly there is no way he can leave it at my front door unless I open the gate for him ..which is almost 1/2 mile from my house! Ok, the woman says " we'll have to start tracking it, when the driver comes into the terminal this evening. It'll take 24 to 48 hours before you hear from us."

Ok, if that's what it takes, there isn't much I can do about it. I'll have to wait. But what really bugs me is that they delivered my large airfloat box, with my label on it, my name and phone number inside and outside to the wrong front door.... and NO ONE has called to say "hey, this package isn't ours! come back and get it" But noooooooooooooooooooooo someone has had my package for a week now.. most likely one of my own neighbors! That little angel sitting on my shoulder tells me the glass is half full, maybe they don't use the front door? Maybe the house where it was delivered is just empty? If so, it's by a front door but of course it didn't get rained on last week during our torrential afternoon rainfall! It's not sitting there weathered and damaged! But on the other shoulder is that little devil saying ... the glass is really half empty! Does that mean that where ever Fed Ex left my artwork.. they opened it and said ohhhhhhhhh lets just keep it?

I have no choice at this point except to see what Fed Ex has to say today.

Uhg... I feel a pounding headache coming on.......

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ever feel like your being watched?

This evening as I was walking...... I had the strangest feeling I was being watched, because I was!

A quick color glaze..

Beginning to add a litte color glaze and a better image this time. I'm still buiding and shaping my values..

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Draping the figure....

I've moved onto the drapery on the figure.. sorry about the really pinkish tint. I just grabbed a quick shot instead of taking my time. It certainly washed out my subtle shading on the skin tones lol.

Hope everyone is happily scribbling away!


Figurative CP work updated

While I've changed my palette on this piece, I'm still within my limited palette mode. I like the subtle shifts of color here, and limiting my color has always been my intension.

I'm still adding my underpainting and values, i've yet to add my little touches of color, saving the fun for last!

Keep Scribbling!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

An easel and pencil work...

I work at an easel, which has helped me TONS in the last few years. Not only has my work changed for the better, but a lot of head, neck and backaches have been alleviated at the same time. I rest my pencil hand on a mahl stick, so the pencils are under control still. After all.. colored pencil is about being a control freak, right?
Keep those pencils scribbling!

Monday, October 6, 2008


In case anyone was wondering... these guys DO NOT like it when you use a flash to take their picture! Consider yourself warned lol.

Uart 500!

I've decided, no more Wallis for my Prismacolors! I know.. ya'll can faint now. I've spent the last year working on Uart, and gave a small piece of wallis a go the other day, with sad results! I'm going to have to stick to the sandpaper... even thought it's just as much of a "pencil eater paper" as the Wallis is.

This figurative work I'm doing is on Uart 500, 14x30 with Prismacolors. Here is my final transfer, with my background beginning to take shape .  Rough but it's a shape. I'm using linear strokes for now, holding my pencils as far back as I can, or using an extender if  the pencil is to short to hold that far away. That way I get longer strokes, but you still have to be careful with the application.
here is a closeup... many many more layers to go!
Next... I decided because of the size of this background I would use my Gamsol to dissolve the binder, letting me work the pencil into the sandpaper faster and push the wax color around like paint..
Bonus... my studio companion!  This is the only place I don't trip over her when I'm working. I'm sure there are those of you out there that know exactly what that's like. 
 At this point I decided to let it sit and dry over night.
With my background set (but nowhere near finished) I'm free to move onto the first layers of the figure. This is the fun part!  I managed to work a few hours uninterrupted ...
Forgive the color changes... darn lights. The image above is more correct than the one below;
but then....... well you can see for yourself..... and it was time to call it a day.
Ah.. I'm eager to get back out to my studio tomorrow, such a great feeling to feel inspired.
Thanks for dropping by!