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I am an illustrator, designer, and all around artist. My dream job would to get paid to read as many books as I want. I am married to a wonderful Colorado man who is a video editor.
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I took a road trip to my old stomping grounds in Arizona to visit my Mom for mother’s day. Saturday, we spent the afternoon down at Tempe Town Lake, enjoying the sunshine (translate=getting sunburn), throwing ketchup packets at pigeons (they were trying to steal my fries!), and just relaxing.
I recently lost my beloved fountain pen (waaaah!), so I had to find a replacement for her. I bought a new one at Aaron brothers, but ended up with a much broader nib that I like. But I thought I’d try and see if I can make it work. I did a sketch of the Mill Ave bridge that crossed over Tempe Lake. The results were…interesting. Not in love with it, but it is a different look than my normal sketches. Also, the ink is NOT waterproof, so that means no watercolors over it.
On the way home to California, since I was by myself, and in no major rush to get home, I stopped at a rest area about 50 miles from the border to do some more sketching. It was reeeally windy, and I must have looked pretty funny perched on the top of a fence post, with my sketchbook and watercolors in my lap. I wouldn’t have been surprised to have been blown off the post, it was so gusty. But I manged to get a quick painting of the Kola mountain range before climbing down.
There were so many times on the drive home, that I wished I could pull over on the side of the highway, and sit and paint for a while. But alas…the little voice of common sense in my head (that unsurprisingly sounds a lot like my mother) told me it would not be a good idea. So instead I tried to capture some really good mental images to store for later paintings.
A few weekends ago, Clint and I drove down to Coronado to attend a friend’s wedding. It was a beautiful day, absolutely gorgeous, and just perfect for getting married outside. I had some time to kill before the wedding started, so I pulled out the trusty sketchbook. I love the way the sun was making the red roof of the hotel just light up a fiery red.
I must have looked a little odd, all dressed up, and standing there with my sketchbook. I had another wedding guest wander over and stand behind me to watch over my shoulder. “Don’t mind me…I just wanted to see what you were doing.” Its a good thing I’ve gotten over my fear of having strangers watch me draw.
Last weekend, my mother-in-law came to visit, and on a wet and rainy evening, we happened to drive past a Krispy Kreme.
“Look! The ‘Hot Now!’ sign is lit!” she exclaimed in delight. Well, of course we stopped and went in.
As I was sitting at the table waiting for my husband and his Mom to come back with their coffee and donuts, I noticed a man standing at the counter. A rather large man, his shirt straining to keep all those beefy muscles under wraps. His arms were crossed in a very “Don’t come near me or I might eat you” attitude. And it just struck me as hilarious, because…well…he was waiting for a doughnut. You can put out all the tough guy attitude you want, but dude, you’re in a Krispy Kreme…buying a doughnut. It makes it a little harder to take you seriously as you lick glaze off your fingers.
Note, that I did not say any of this to face (nor show him his pretty drawing), cause I was fairly certain he could kick my ass and hang onto his fresh doughnut without breaking a sweat. Stupid I am not.
A quick sketch I did for this week’s theme at IF: Warning. Inspired by the Mouse Guard series which I am loving. Pencils, only 15 minutes (wanted to see how much I could do in that short time). Colorized in Photoshop.
I’m not sure if he is warning them from going that way, or telling them that they shouldn’t continue on their current path. Either way, I think I would listen to him.
Let me begin by saying…I love my husband. So very much. No one is more supportive of me and my art. He is usually the first person I show my art to, and the one whose opinion usually matters the most.
Being married to an artist is not always easy. Or should I say, being married to me can be a real pain in the butt some times. I’m an artist, a geek, a girl, and often times…a four year old who wants her way NOW.
One of the “fun” benefits of being married to me is being subject to my artistic whims. Which means if you happen to be sitting across the table, couch, or room from me when I decide to draw, you must sit there and be drawn. You cannot escape me. (Strangely, I’ve started to notice my friends and family refusing to sitting in my line of sight when I have the sketchbook out. Whats up with that…?)
Over the years, Clint has been the victim *cough* subject of many sketches. I have a giant life sized drawing of Clint on purple paper, as my final project in figure drawing class in college. I have drawings of Clint playing video games. I have ugly drawings of Clint that looking nothing like him at all, and pictures drawn in crayon. I even have a picture of the SHAPE (just the shape) of Clint’s head…drawn on a napkin, at a wedding, after a few glasses of champagne. I was trying to make a point. (LOOK! YOU HAVE A UNIQUE SHAPED HEAD! ISN’T THAT COOL?) Anywhoo…
Clint has gotten used to me drawing around him over the years. The embarrassment has worn off for the most part. Take your wife to a sports bar pizza joint to watch the game, and what does she do? Cheer for the wrong team? No. Spill beer all over some one? No. She pulls out her watercolors and starts drawing the bald guy sitting in front of her. Sigh.
Picture it for a moment. Our evenings out go something like this: We arrive at a lovely English pub, and get seated a our booth. Clint pulls out the menu to decide what beer he wants. I pull out my sketchbook and pen. Clint looks up from the menu to find me staring at him intently…in a really creepy way…while drawing furiously in the book.
“Really?” he says with a sigh.
“But…the red wall behind you! Its sooo red!”
Now one of two things happens. He will either decide to ignore me and return to the menu, OR he will start making funny faces and wiggling around in his seat. I prefer to be ignored, though the funny faces make for a more entertaining picture.
After a while, I will put down the pen. Usually around the time our food arrives.
“So, do I get my wife back now?”
“Yes,” I say grumpily (see comment earlier about a four year old).
Now he wants to see the drawing I just completed of him. I hand it over for inspection.
He starts laughing.
“What is this? I look like some french dude. Posing for one of those weird french paintings!”
“Hey!” I grab the book back from him in a huff. “You do not!”*
He laughs and starts making weird…french…noises. “Ah-huh-huh. Oh chante! I should be drinking a cappuccino!” And proceeds to make sipping motions with his hand while holding his pinkie in the air.
This is when the ev
The new movie Red Riding Hood is coming out next month. I’ve seen the trailers, and don’t hold out much hope for the quality of the movie itself. But I have to admit that I am drawn in by the visuals. I’ve always loved the imagery of little Red and her hood, traveling through the woods to grandmas. So in honor of that intrepid young girl, I thought I would I though I would gather together some art inspired by this girl, her red hood, and a close encounter with a wolf.
by Jessie Wilcox Smith
Illustration by Beatriz Martin Vidal
“Hello Mr. Wolf” by Nancy Zhang
by Warwick Goble
The Wolfman by Bluefooted
by Becca Thorne
by Manuel Moura
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I have been a big fan of Dan dos Santos art for a few years. I started noticing his work on the covers of some of my favorite fantasy books. His art has an amazing quality to it. Realistic, yet fantastical at the same time. Not stiff, but dynamic and dramatic. He paints most of his work with traditional mediums, oils and acrylics.
He website has lots of yummy goodies, including some walk-throughs on how he created a few of the book covers. Go there, and spend an hour or two drooling over his lovely work. You won’t be sorry.
Dan’s work spans a variety of genres, including novels, comics and film. He has worked for clients such as Disney, Universal Studios, Boeing Aircraft, Saatchi & Saatchi, Scholastic Books, The Greenwich Workshop, Penguin Books, Random House, Tor books, UpperDeck, Wizards of the Coast, and DC Comics.
Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson)
Fires of Heaven (Wheel of Time Series)
Poison of Sleep
This weekend, i decided to do some longer acrylic paintings on canvas. I just checked out a book on the artist Robert Bateman, and was inspired to do some painting of animals in the wild. I have some favorite animals. Elephants. Wolves. Lions. Tigers, oh my. No, but really.
I pulled out the sketches I did a few weeks ago while at the Natural History Museum, and used them as references. Elephants are so interesting to me. They are all wrinkly and alien looking, with their big ears and long noses.
Each painting is 9×12, on unstretched canvas. I might stretch them, or just put them into frames.
Rapunzel has always been one of my favorite fairy tales. A woman with beautiful and awesomely long hair, who can heal with her tears–what’s not to love?
I was excited a few years ago when I heard that Disney was going to make a Rapunzel movie. But when I finally saw the trailers for it…I was very underwhelmed. I had no desire to see it. The trailers made the movie seem very silly. I wasn’t interested in seeing a movie with a girl with hair that seems to have a mind of its own (I have enough problems with my OWN thank you very much). Disappointed, I didn’t plan on seeing the movie when I came out.
But then my friends started watching it. And raving about it. All of them. And I thought, well…maybe I should see it.
I was totally blown away with how awesome it was. The trailers…they sucked. Big time. But the movie was so much better than I had dared to hope. The visuals in the movie took my breath away. And the story was amazing. The characters very well written.
I immediately went home and started looking up the concept art from the movie. There is some really beautiful art from this movie. I particularly fell in love with the art of Claire Keane, who designed the look of Rapunzel.
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January 22 was the 30th World Wide Sketch crawl. The Los Angeles group decided to visit the Natural History Museum. I’d never visited before, so I was particularly excited to go. [Interesting side note: I've discovered over the last year or two that I have really high expectations when it comes to museums/aquariums/etc. This unfortunately(fortunately?) comes from having grown up near some really awesome museums during my formative years (The Smithsonian in DC, the Aquarium at the Harbor, Science Center). In my head, I've just thought that ALL museums were this awesome. You can understand my disappointment when I started giving other locations as an adult and realized how lucky I had been.]
The NHM was a really neat place to go and draw. There was a pretty large turn out of other artist from the area. It was a hoot to see a large gaggle of artist, huddled around the dinosaur display, sketchpads out. Watching the other visitors was even cooler, as they tried to figure out what was going on.
I kept to myself for the most part, since this trip was supposed to be my Artist Date for the week (Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way). I wanted to feel the complete freedom to go where I wanted, and linger as long as I wanted.
I loved the animal exhibits. Drawing animals is sooo much easier knowing that they won’t be moving on you. You know, being dead and stuffed an all.
A few nights before this, I had a typical “Crazy Megan” dream (as my husband calls them) involving a cabin in the woods, aliens, and a weird looking animal–a strange mixture between a zebra and giraffe. I wrote this the next morning after I woke up: “Last night I dreamed up this giraffe like creature, but with tan and brown stripes like, a zebra’s. Maybe my giraffe-thingy lives in the jungle. It would have have short fir because of the humidity. Not a long neck, cause he can’t reach the tree tops. So maybe he grazes, like a deer. I’ll try and draw it later.” I wish I HAD drawn it, but I didn’t. And now I have no pictorial proof of my awesome idea.
And then, while drawing in one of the animal exhibits at the NHM… There it was.
My Giraffe-thingy. It was REAL.
I stood there in complete shock, reading the description on the plaque: “Okapis are the only living relatives of the the giraffe. Despite their large size, they were weren’t discovered until 1901. The have foot-long blue tongues that they use to strip leaves and buds from trees, and also to clean their eyelids and ears!”
All I could think was this: MY BRAIN IS AWESOME. I IMAGINED IT AND IT CAME TO LIFE!! Well, not really life, since this particular giraffe-thingy was very dead. And stuffed. But still.
Too bad I wasn’t actually alive in 1901 to claim the credit that I was due.
This past Saturday, I got to spend the day at Disneyland with my sister Christy and my mom, to celebrate Mom’s 65th birthday.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day in southern California. Not too hot, the sun was shinning, the sky was blue… We spend ALL day at the park. For Christy, it was almost 20 years since the last time she’s been to Disneyland. It always amazes me how many things in the park change…and how many stay the same. The park has such a timeless quality to it that I love.
I didn’t do very much sketching since we were running around all day, but I did get these two quick drawings done. One just outside Thunder Mountain Railroad, and one of Christy while we were eating some ice cream in the Gibson Girl Parlor.
This was was a rough year in the Stringfellow household, full of a lot of emotional ups and downs. But its given me a chance to experience a new side of creating art. For most of my life, making art has been about getting images that are in my brain OUT onto paper for others to enjoy as well. But this year, I’ve learn that art can also help bring you to a place of healing.
2010 started off with finding out that my husband was losing his full time job which came as an unwelcome shock to us. But March came rolling in with a wonderful present: after 9 months of struggling to start our family, I was finally pregnant! We were on cloud nine for the next several weeks, getting to see our tiny bean on the ultrasound, hearing the heartbeat, and starting to realize that our lives as a young easy-going couple were over. I spent almost the entire time living on the couch, exhausted every day, lacking the energy or the creativity to do anything artistic (let alone the dishes or laundry). But I told myself it was okay, all of my creative energy was currently being used for something much more important.
And then very suddenly…it was over. Just before the first trimester was over, I went to the doctor for some unusual bleeding. And found out our baby’s heart had stopped beating.
We were devastated. I wandered around in a daze, not able to understand how I had gone from being pregnant to not. It ended so quickly. Some days, it felt like a dream to me. Had I really been pregnant? I would cling to the ultrasound pictures, to reassure myself that I hadn’t imagined the whole thing. There really had been a tiny life inside me.
But yet, I had nothing left. Nothing to show the world that there had indeed existed a special person, who was now missing from our lives. I couldn’t stop wondering what our little Samuel was doing. I knew he was happy…but was he lonely? Did he miss us? Was he having fun? Getting to play? And then one night, I found myself sitting in bed, with a sketch pad and pencil. And I drew, putting him down on paper. I needed to create a world for him, filled with some of my favorite toys growing up, a playmate to show him around (sweet Hannah, the baby my sister-in-law had lost a year before), pets for him to play with…I had to see it for myself, in the only way I knew how. So I drew.
I broke down when I got to his little toes.
But when I was all done, I felt a peace. Was I still in pain, and sad, and mad, and grieving? Yes. But I knew I could stop worrying about him. He was being taken care of by the best Babysitter in the universe.
Four months later, I was starting to feel human again. Finding balance again. And pregnant again. The joy was there, but also great fear. We could no longer be naive and carefree. We breathed a little easier after our first ultrasound, and heard the heartbeat. But when I started spotting a few weeks later, we knew what was happe
I have always been fascinated with Mary. What kind of woman would be trusted to raise the Son of God? Jesus was completely human while still being completely God, so I imagine his birth was like any other. It hurt like heck, was tiring and messy. And yet, knowing that the baby you were giving birth to was also a Savior–what an odd and fascinating combination of circumstances.
I image that she was more than just a little awed and terrified on that first Christmas morning. A first time mother, not to just any baby, but to the SON of GOD. It must have been just a tab overwhelming.
This is why I’ve tried drawing her a few times over the years. I’ve wanted to try and capture that strange tension that must have been her life…joy…fear…wonder…stress.
The pencil drawing is from around 2000. I wanted to try and capture her, moments before labor begins. She and Joseph have arrived in Bethlehem, and she is exhausted from the journey.
The painting at the top is from my sketchbook. I put some watercolors over a quick ink drawing, inspired mainly by a baby I was observing during church. Joseph is in the background. Now THERE is another fascinating person I’d love to have a cup of tea with some day. How many more times can I say fascinating in this post?
This image popped into my mind this weekend at church. I was very down and tired and just emotionally drained. As I was praying that God would give me the strength to get through the day, this image came to me.
I sketched it in ArtRage with the pencil tool in about an hour and a half. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to just leave it as is, or to add color. I really liked how the sketch turned out, but I decided to go ahead and color it.
The sketch was done on a top layer, so I just started to lay the oils down underneath it to add the background. I used the big roller brush to lay down a lot of color, and then smoothed out the rough parts using the palette knife. Then I used the square oil brush. Since I liked the sketch so much, I decided just to leave it visible as the top layer.
Here is the finished colored version. I still can’t decide which one I like the best.
The theme this week for Illustration Friday was “Star Gazing.” Starry skies are high on my list of things I love to draw, so how could I resist doing this one? So I painted Norton, and a friend out at night looking up at the sky. Maybe they are wondering if the rumors about the moon being made of cheese is real. In my mind the second mouse is Molly, but she doesn’t look very white is this picture. Maybe she got a little dirty on her climb up the hill.
Watercolors, with details finished in acrylics and color pencil. 5×7 on watercolor paper, close to 2 hours.
Friday evening after work, Clint and I met some friends at the Olde Ship, in Fullerton. It was really busy in downtown Fullerton because of the monthly art walk. We had to wait a while for a table, the place was packed. I was able to do a very quick sketch of Sean, the bartender. It was hard really to capture him with how much he was moving around, making drinks.
After an hour or so, we got a booth in the corner. My two favorite things at the Olde Ship are the clam chowder, and the fruit of the forest pie (warm!) with ice cream. Wouldn’t recommend having them together at the same time, but both are sooo delicious. It was nice just to chill out with friends and enjoy good company.
On Saturday, we went to a BBQ over at Crock’s (from Zeitronix) in Long Beach. The smoked ribs were to die for, and as it got dark outside, I did a sketch of the backyard and the colorful chinese lanterns. I think over all, Clint had a great birthday!
I’ve had ArtRage 2.6 for a while now, but just yesterday downloaded the 30 day trail of ArtRage 3.0 to try it out. I was impressed with the new features, and really excited about the new watercolor brush. But first, I played with the oils, testing out the new options. Just to give you an idea of the changes, here is a side by side comparison of the screen from 2.6 and 3.0:
With version 2.6, I never really was able to get the hang of the way the oil paints blended together. Whether this was user error, or a difficulty with the program, I keep me from using it for any full scale paintings. I had fun using it for sketches and speed painting, but not for elaborate illustrations. The fairy on the right was painted this way, in 2007.
I found that with the new settings in 3.0, it was much easier to create the effect I wanted with the oils. Each brush comes with four presets that were helpful. The palette knife also I has a lot of new nifty presets. I really enjoyed working in the program. I spend 2.5 hours on each of the small paintings below, and am really happy with the level of detail I was able to achieve.
I thought I just share the process I go through when putting together a storybook illustration for in my sketchbook. The subject of this particular painting is Norton, the mouse. And a few of his friends. The drawing size is aprox 3.5 x 5 inches.
1. I start with a pencil drawing to work out the perspective, layout and details of the picture. Once I’m happy, I go over it with ink, to refine the lines. I might add some hatching for the shadows.
2. To get started on the painting, I usually lay down a wash of a solid color over the whole drawing. In this case, a brown wash. When it is almost dry, but not quite, I work in some of the major color blocks, and some of the shadows. The paint bleeds slightly into the background in a nice way because its not completely dry. Things are still very lose at this point, allowing for “happy” accidents that make for interesting paintings.
3. I continue to add more colors, and start working in the shadows to add more depth to the picture. My brush is getting smaller and smaller as I work from big shapes to more details. The painting looks very flat to me at this point. I need to add some deeper shadows to make certain areas pop more.
4. I decided darkened the top of the painting to give it more depth, and darkened the shadows using a bluish green wash. Everything was looking just a little TOO brown. The darker background helps the book stand out. When after all the painting was done, I went back over some of the lines that disappeared under the paint with my pen.
This is Boxes, an adventurous goldfish that lives in the same library as Norton. He gets pulled into the adventures with Norton. And of course, his bowl always comes with him, complete with his pet snail and treasure chest, filled with useful items.
Decided to use Boxes for the “Caged” theme, since the bowl is a type a cage, just a more roundy see-throughy cage. That comes with a pet snail.
Boxes is having a good time, even if he is flying through the air in the middle of a pirate battle. Maybe he hopes to make his escape into the ocean. Or maybe he just wants to be a pirate himself. Watercolors and ink drawing, 2 hrs.
This is Mrs. Thornapple, the Library’s resident (sleepy) cat. Really she is harmless, and Norton has no reason to fear her. She is much more interested in napping in sun spots than chasing mice.
I need to get some more practice in drawing cats. They, unsurprisingly (since I am very allergic to them) are my least favorite thing to draw. I love chasing them out of my garden, but that is another story altogether.
“When the rain came down in buckets, Norton would take a walk in the cornfield and pay a visit to Mr. Scarecrow. While he was very good at scaring off the crows, Mr. Scarecrow was terrified of lightning. So all through the storm, Norton sat by him, so that he wouldn’t be afraid.”
The scarecrow is the artificial aspect of this drawing. I sketched them out with pencil first, and then went back and added in the details with my ink pen. I used masking for the rain drops, and then put down a wash of blue. Then I started working in the browns and yellows in layers. When it was all dry, I flicked in some white acrylic paint for more rainy effect. Time to complete, around two hours.
On Saturday, I participated in my first sketch crawl. (A sketch crawl is day/time set aside for drawing, usually at a specific locale.) I joined the Los Angeles group at Hollywood and Highlands, and had a delightful time! We met around the fountain, and stayed in that area for most of the late morning. It was great to meet a bunch of new folks, and share in the experience with them. I loved watching other people’s reactions as they walked by us. Particularly the kids, who seemed to be drawn (ha!) to the artistic energy. I watched one little boy stand over Ivan’s shoulder for a good five minutes…leave, and then come back again. He was completely fascinated by what was going on, but couldn’t seem to work up the courage to ask any questions.
I stayed with the group until lunch, and then had to duck out to meet up with my husband and his folks, who were in town visiting for the weekend. I didn’t get as many drawings done as I thought I would, but I had so much fun. I think I will be back next time it rolls around. Note to self: next time, bring a hat.
Here are some of my sketches from the day:
Other sketchers: http://www.sketchcrawl.com/forum/viewtopic.ph
Last night Clint and I finally went in and had dinner at a place that I’ve driven by a hundred times. And almost every time, I think to myself: I HAVE to go in there. The name itself is enough to draw me in: “The Cat and the Custard Cup.” Add the ivy covered English front, and hand-painted-looking sign, and how could I resist? The inside of the place exceeded my expectations. It was decorated with old English furniture and fabrics. I felt like I was stepping into an classy English pub. In the middle of La Habra?! I felt a little weird pulling out my pen and sketchbook, but I couldn’t resist with so much eye candy to look at. But I was able to get most of the details drawn before our food arrived. I took a quick picture with Clint’s camera for color reference, though I ended up painting from memory. Will definitely have to go back for more.
This weeks theme at Illustration Friday is “Double.” The double part of this sketch is, of course, the reflections in the puddle. Making copies of Norton and the tree.
“When it rained, Norton would venture outside to clean his whiskers and fur. He splashed in the puddles, and splished in the raindrops, until he was squeaky clean.”
Sketched with pencil and ink, and then painted over with watercolors. I started with a blueish/green wash, and then built up the browns and greens. I went back over with the pen and a gray marker when I was done to work in a few more details and shadows. Total time, maybe an hour and a half.
Illustration Friday is a weekly creative outlet/participatory art exhibit for illustrators and artists of all skill levels.
A month ago, I spent a week down in San Jose del Cabo with my husband Clint and his family. We had a direct flight out of LAX, to San Jose.
I love traveling with my husband, we rarely fight or get too stress. We’ve pretty much mastered the techniques for getting through security as painlessly as possible, EVEN when we get selected for secondary screening, which happens often since we are often flying standby. While waiting to board our flight, I did a quick sketch of the boarding area. I think the gentlemen in the blue shirt got a little suspicious of what I was doing. He kept staring at me for most of the time I was drawing. Most likely, he was trying to figure out what I was doing. Hopefully he wasn’t a mob boss, and was planning on having me wacked for capturing his likeness.
On the flight, I got to enjoy a refreshing “Mexi-coke.” The Coke bottled in Mexico is made using real sugar, instead of corn syrup like we do in the states. As a result, I believe it takes slightly better than our Coke in the US. Most likely, it is all in my head. But it was fun to see the World Cup hype in Spanish. The flight from LA to del Cabo is about three hours. Just long enough to get started on a good book, or watch a movie.
Our flight arrived before Clint’s folks. So we relaxed in the small airport bar. The NBA finals were playing on the TV (Boston vs Orlando). San Jose del Cabo airport it a tiny place, with two baggage carousals, but the moment you walk out the door into the terminal, you are bombarded by men trying to sell you rental cars, and have you sign up to visit their time shares. We’ve had to walk this gauntlet every time we’ve landed in Cabo. I’ve always imagined that there were always there, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting tourist just off the plane. But what I never considered was the small number of flights that arrive in this tiny airport on a daily basis. There might be one every few hours. Max. So what do these eager salesmen do while they are waiting for the next flight of fresh meat to come in? They sit at the bar, drink beer, and watch the NBA finals.
We stayed at the Grand Mayan Resort. The Grand Mayan in San Jose is not as large as the one in Puerto Vallarta, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in style and comfort. To enter the hotel, you first have to pass through a dark, vaulted, marble room. As you look up, and up, at two very large statues of a Mayan man and woman, you hear drums and
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I flew out to Maryland to visit friends and family for a long weekend. I flew on a standby pass, so I had some time to kill while waiting in the airport for a flight. I pulled out my sketchbook and trusty fountain pen, and had enough time to capture some of the other passengers waiting to board their flight.
It was unusually hot for the east coast, but I didn’t mind at all. The humidity was actually a nice change from California’s predicable dry nice weather. I really enjoyed the thunderstorm that rolled in Saturday evening. We very rarely get genuine thunderstorms in southern California, and I forgot just how much I missed them.
From the airport, I had lunch with my family at a great place in Eldersburg called Habbi’s Kabobs. Its a little hole in the wall, but has great Persian food. Waiting for our food to arrive, which took quite a while, I entertained the family with my drawing. It has become a joke among those who hang out around me for too long, that you never sit directly across from me, or in my line of sight, or you just might end up as the star of a sketch.
One of the things I love about the east coast, is just how green it is, even during a dry spell. The foliage around Dad’s house was in full swing, and I couldn’t resist getting out the watercolors and doing a quick painting of the house. I love this house, love the English country feeling of it. Love sitting on the porch, with a cup of tea, listening to the birds, or watching the fireflies come out as the sun sets. Debbie’s gardening just adds to the feel of the place. A perfect combination of planning, and wildness, that fits perfectly in the quiet wooded house. I wish I could say that I have even half as much success with planting. But my small garden is very sad in comparison.
Far too soon, it was time to head home. The trip back to California took far longer than the trip out. I have realized that flying standby in and out of BWI on United is hit or miss, since there are so few flights going to and from LAX. I spend the day on Monday, starting bright and early waiting to get out on the limited non-stop flights. Sadly, I had to spend an extra night in Carol County (oh, sniff sniff), before I was able to fly out on Tuesday. I was fortunate to get on a flight to Denver, and then on to LA. As much as I love Maryland, I was very happy to get back to Clint, and my own comfy bed.
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