Santa Barbara

With the Santa Ynez Mountains as a dramatic backdrop on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other Santa Barbara is a sketchers paradise. Everywhere you look there’s a sketching opportunity.

Even on a short short trip I got a lot of sketch time in. As always I’ll start with the views from my window. A few cloudscapes to start with.

And I simply love the perspective of mountainscapes from 35,000ft. It’s totally mesmerizing. I see fractals everywhere!

I’ll follow up with more sketches of the Santa Ynez Mountains, sunset on the beach and downtown Santa Barbara in a later post.

Catching Butterflies

Well figuratively…

Day 27& 28/31 #WorldWatercolorMonthThe meadows are filled with life, birds, bees, butterflies, and rabbits of course! They’re everywhere, enjoying the fruits and flowers and seeds of the land around them. 

I’m spending more time these days seeing, really seeing not just looking, so I can learn the nuances of the subjects before I begin to sketch. For me the best way to see something has always been to sketch it, with whatever tool at hand. I started with the wildflowers, I now know more about the native plants around me here than I ever did before. This year I’ve just managed the few that are currently in bloom, and more are on the way. But then I’ve gotten distracted by the butterflies. It started with the Tiger Swallowtails in mid-June early July and now the Sulfurs, and soon there’ll be Monarchs, dozens and dozens of them fluttering about among the wildflowers. 

The Tiger Swallowtails and the yellow Sulfurs sketches below are from the meadows. The Black Swallowtails have been fluttering about in my garden. Last summer there were four in my backyard and I had hoped they’d be back again. I’ve already spotted five this year! That’s a good sign. 

 

Gardening day

Day 25/31- #WorldWatercolorMonth

Yesterday was gardening day. It was the perfect day, cool (by summer standards), slightly breezy and partly cloudy, and the day after a summer shower! So perfect! Lots of pruning, dead heading, and light weeding.

‘Gardens are not made by sitting in the shade’ said Rudyard Kipling and he was right! But in between the work I did take time out in the Shade – to sketch. I’m rarely in my garden without my sketchbook or pad so I’m never caught off guard when something catches my fancy.

I had some hostas I planted years ago. Interestingly the deer don’t seem to want to eat them and the hummingbirds love them. They have large pale purple flowers and the hummers are always at them, dawn to dusk. So, today was the day for sketching hostas. It was a lovely time, the birds were singing and some were busy scratching for food, the day was cool and sketching was peaceful. ‘How lovely is the silence of growing things’ – unknown.

I spent quite some time studying the dark shadows between the leaves and flowers. Heres one sketch thats all about shadows, while the other two sketches are more about the flowers. The photo doesn’t due justice to the depth of the shadows, but I thought I’d post it anyway.

Giant Pots!

End of my Walk  – Day 24/31 – #WorldWatercolorMonth 

Here’s just one of a multitude of these giant pots lining the walkway to the garden path at Longwood. The lovely bluish-green cupric oxide patina like color is just one aspect of its beauty. The size, the vibrant color hues and shadows on them in sun and shade, and the ever changing contents of the pots keep me coming back for more sketching. While sketchwalking, as I walk toward these they also signal the end of my walk!

 

Swallowtails on the MeadowsΒ 

Day22/31 – #WorldWatercolrMonth

Watching Tiger Swallowtails is exhilarating, following them is exhausting and sketching them live is simply a feat in itself. Saturday afternoon I got a chance to find out. The Monardas are in bloom everywhere on the Meadows and the Swallowtails skirted from bloom to bloom, crossing paths and disappearing into the bushes then re emerging completely elsewhere. It took patience and perseverance and a Saturday afternoon in the sun, but here they are captured in quick brush strokes, my very own Swallowtails!

Oh and have you ever seen the dance of the Swallowtail, it’s quite a sight to watch. When two of them meet at the same bloom they start dancing. What looks like a dance is just two butterflies competing for the nectar on that choice flower and are battling it out till the winner returns and the loser flutters off in search of sweeter grounds.

Poppies in the WindΒ 

The last of the few poppies swaying in the wind as I walked by, turned my head, but it was the numerous seed pods that stood sentinel over them that really caught my eye! As the poppies dropped over from their own weight, the seed pods stood upright,  ready for the next generation to take over! 

πŸ”™Back from a short break πŸ’€

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better – Albert EinsteinOne of my all time favorite quotes! 

Sometimes I just need to take a break from things to quiet the mind and focus πŸ”¬on other stuff. So every so often I take a short break (at times it extends into longer than expected) – a break from social media πŸ“΅. Turn off all external noise and focus on all things not social media! This frees up quite a bit of time⏱. (Ever wonder how much ⏳ we spend on social media 😜!

During these times I “do more things that make me forget to check my πŸ“žπŸ“²βŒšοΈ”

I take that extra time to read πŸ‘“(read stuff not on social media) πŸ“š, or spend time looking, πŸ‘€really lookingπŸ”Ž, and sketching 🎨in nature πŸŒΏπŸŒ»πŸ€πŸ„πŸžπŸπŸ¦‹πŸ , or take time to converse with family and friendsπŸ—£πŸ‘₯(not just txt) πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Over the last four days I did just that. I finished two good books πŸ“š πŸ‘. I did lots of sketches πŸ–πŸ–and studies en plein air πŸ•β›°and quite a bit of gardening πŸƒπŸŽ‹πŸŒΎ- in the coolerπŸ†’ hoursβŒ›οΈ of the day of course ! 

I sketch and paint everyday regardless of whether I post or not. A lot of these sketches never see the light of day πŸŒ• beyond my easel or sketch book. No matter, coz it’s the discipline that counts, right! 

If you haven’t guessed it already today is #WorldEmojiDay. I rarely use emojis! So it’s quite a comeback from a break on social media, wouldn’t you say!

Happy World Emoji Day or πŸ˜ŠπŸŒŽπŸŒπŸŒ•πŸ“† 

Here’s my favorite brushstroke done @hirshhorn of Roy Lichtenstein’s brushstroke!

Tomorrow I’ll post the stuff I’ve been working on over my break! πŸš™ (interesting, that’s the emoji that came up for break- car brake! Hmmm)