Pam and I were hanging out on South Congress earlier this year. While she was wandering around in one of the shops, I stood outside and got in a few sketches. These guys were waiting outside Bird's Barber Shop for their cuts. The town has really grown over the past few years. I remember when SoCo was way more eclectic and less crowded.
We spent an afternoon at one of Pam's favorite places in the Eastern Sierras. Convict Lake was absolutely beautiful. Pam got in some fly fishing while I sketched and took photos. This sketch was done in my Garza Papel sketchbook. The paper is very soft and is great for fountain pen sketching. The water was crystal clear. The surrounding mountains were a visual feast.
I completed the underlying sketch and added watercolor later. We were at the visitor's center which was right next to the lake. I was attracted to the lines created in the sky from rain in the distance. Mono Lake is a saline lake that does not contain fish. It also has limestone formations called tufas. The island in the center of the painting is called Negit Island.
This years birthday trip was to the Eastern Sierras. We spent three days in the town of Lee Vining, California. The town has a population of about 450 people. Mono Lake is located there and tourism is a big part of the town's income. In order to get there we had to go through Yosemite National Park. The landscape in and around the park was jaw dropping. I had three sketchbooks and loose sheets of Khadi watercolor paper to work with. I did some sketching while Pam drove (thank you Pam). This image is from my new Etchr sketchbook. I chose the hot press version because of the ease of sketching in pen. I was inspired by the different trees and the character of the rock formations.
This is another sketch of the interior of Mugs Coffee Shop in Commerce. I was in town for my nephew's graduation. During my off time, I roamed around the downtown area. There was a farmer's market that I also sketched. Mugs has beautiful antique furniture. It offers a nice contrast to the blue collar often eclectic customers. Graduation weekend was packed with celebrations and multiple sketching opportunities.
A few weeks ago Pam and I explored the South Congress (SoCo) area in Austin. With growth, this area has improved but also managed to retain some of its funkiness. The people watching was rich with variety. I took the time to do a few on site sketches on loose Khadi paper. Pam is used to me sketching but, I try to work quickly so as to not bore her. I liked the people so that is the point of this little sketch people appreciation.
When I was last in Commerce, Texas I visited this coffee shop called "Mugs". Great cup of coffee and beautiful little place. Their playing cards were large. It was filled with lots of places to enjoy a coffee and light snack. This group was playing a game of Uno.
The spring flowers have really inspired me this year. During my work day I try to stay mobile and get in as many steps as I can. This is a view of the bluebonnets on a hill near where I work. Yesterday I noticed seed pods were forming. Next years bounty should beautiful too.
A few years ago I joined a group of painters in the Rockport/Fulton area of the Texas coast. I spent the majority of my time painting the activity around the shrimp boats. Last year I revisited some of the video and sketches that I did there. This is a small gouache inspired by the imagery. As I remember it the person on the right was the oldest and the hardest worker.
Who remembers Ninfa's and Katz's Deli? This crane now occupies a bit of where they used to be. I'm using a 6 by 12 format sketch book to document
the ongoing changes around our town. The crane is obviously what drew my attention to the scene. I started the sketch with ink and later added whatever mediums and colors I wanted.
This part of Austin like all has undergone a lot construction. The bulk of it has been condos and mixed use buildings. My gym has recently bought out another gym in Austin. I'm frequently at this intersection in the early morning. I like the reflections and light of early morning.
I don't know the name of the street we were on, but I remember this fountain and the light on the water. That is what I tried to capture in this little study from my sketchbook. One recent goal that I set for myself is to make more complex and challenging paintings. As such, you will be seeing more buildings and hopefully larger plein air pieces. I also want to document the construction and destruction in and around Austin. The location of the study is the Berkeley Hills area in Berkeley, California.
Those of you that know me have heard me complain about the traffic, crowds, etc. in Austin. I'm just getting older and probably cranky. I must admit that I enjoy painting the new buildings and construction. One can get lost in reflections. Its fun to see the old reflected and next to the new.