Backyard Flowers

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Day Five found me sketching plants in my back yard. Container plants or free-growers, they are all beautiful this time of year! Can’t wait to try the basil for pesto! I recently got a new hummingbird feeder because the one sketched was leaking. We’ll see how many new hummers we get!

Graduation and Golfers

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Day 3 of my challenge found me at the Woodbury High School graduation sitting on bleachers at Aldrich arena. While waiting for commencement to start, I looked around for things to sketch. The band and orchestras were playing, so I decided to sketch a boy holding a bass on his lap between songs. His posture and the large instrument caught my attention, and I had to sketch, then wait until he finished playing and sat back down. The conductor in his black robe was a challenge, as he kept moving, but I tried to sketch him anyway. I also sketched the vases of flowers that each student was given after their name was called.

Day 4 found me at the Prestwick golf course dropping off my son. I sat in the parking lot for a bit, capturing the high stone retaining wall and the golf carts lined up ready for a tournament. I liked the contrast of their light-colored roofs against the green and blue of trees and sky, as well as the interesting architecture of the club house. Now, on to Sketch #5!


Sketch #2- Golf Dome

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Day 2 of the 30×30 Challenge found me in Maplewood sketching the golf dome and mini-golf area. Gray storm clouds hovered overhead as I sat in my car in the parking lot. I had to roll down my window to catch some details of this scene, as rain droplets on my window interfered with the view. I decided to do a small building with a larger structure as a backdrop. Wheel barrels were propped up against the fence and walls and a lone flower windmill whirred slowly in the breeze. The deserted course will soon be overrun with eager mini-golfers who chose a better day than I did to go out to the course!

Siberian Iris- Day 1 of Challenge

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Today is Day #1 of the “30 x 30” Direct Watercolor Challenge, which you can read about in the image above. It will be fun to see what sketches I do during the month and how my journaling improves. I invite you to watch each day to see what new things are shared!

Pools and Peppers

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Today I am sharing sketches I did while on activities with my teens. On Memorial day it was frightfully hot, so my daughter and I went to the pool. Under the shade of an umbrella, I sketched another brightly colored umbrella and the life guard. Just that same morning, a huge snapping turtle was hanging out in a neighbor’s yard and started across the street. Looking a bit like a mini dinosaur as it walked, hiked up on all fours, it ambled across, but lowered itself as curious kids pulled up in a wagon to watch it. Most turtles scuttle, with their shell close to the ground. This creature stood a good 4+ inches off the ground! I walked quickly home and got my sketch book and hurried back to sketch it. Eventually it sought shade and crept into someone else’s yard. It was huge!

Today I went to lunch with my graduating senior. We went to Cossetta’s in downtown St. Paul. Perched up at a table above the street, we could look out at the traffic and hubbub below. An ambulance screamed by, as well as a noisy motorcycle. I decided to sketch our food while he went off looking for a fork. His sausage sandwich was piled high on red sauce and I had a gorgonzola chopped salad with a red and green pepper. The pepper was a cherry red and when I bit into it, I could feel a little heat, but saw lots of yellow seeds inside. We had a delicious chocolate mousse for dessert, packaged in a pretty white box. I looked over the railing to the building next door, and liked the turrets on top of Patrick McGovern’s pub. So I decided to draw that piece of architecture as well.

Tomorrow I begin a 30 x 30 watercolor challenge—-doing 30 sketches in 30 days. This was a perfect day to get a little sketching done and psych myself up for my next drawing challenge, which I’ll post as well.


Sepia and Milkweed

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Yesterday my family and I sketched at the open sketch time at Wet Paint in St. Paul. They had many types of paints, pencils, inks, pastels, and other mediums to try. I have not used sepia ink and a real ink pen before, so I decided to try that. We had the option of many types of natural items to sketch—rocks, shells, pine cones, leaves, corals, a nest, weeds, and flowers. I chose the milkweed first. I liked the textures, the colors, and the shapes. I liked using the ink pen and dipping it in ink. I could make super thin lines and darker lines if I pushed harder on the nib. It was fun to try and I liked the brown lines, instead of the usual black lines I use with my other pen. I next put down watercolors on the sketch. After trying several milkweed pods, I moved to a large shell with a hole in it. I found the shapes, shadows, and spirals interesting. Crab claws were next. And finally a couple seed pods with spiky covers. The thin lines of the nib worked perfectly for all the spikes. It was a great way to spend some time on a very hot day!


The Turtles

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A few days ago I was biking around the lake near my house. I found a grove of willow trees and decided to sketch the waterline. I parked my bike and found a spot among dead leaves, logs, and snail shells with the willow branches hanging down like a private curtain.

I chose some logs and branches as my subjects and proceeded to sketch in pen. I kept my strokes loose. Around me I heard birds, a red squirrel chirping at me from its perch in the tree, tail batting back and forth, and sounds of bikers and kids on the trail a few feet away.


Using Schminke watercolors and pen on a Moleskine watercolor sketchbook, I worked away under the warm breezes, happy for the shade. I noticed a log in the distance with three turtles sunning themselves. The contrast of lights and darks on their shells grabbed my attention. They were lined up so nicely and I’ve often seen turtles of various sizes on logs along this stretch of shoreline. I knew I had to add them to my sketch as well. It was a beautiful day for a sketch and a secluded beautiful place!