Sunday, January 1, 2017

The "Art Weekend"

Marlene and I had a 3-day weekend off, with one caveat--we had to cover emergencies at our mobile home park, should any come up. Our maintenance man was in Mexico on vacation, so Marlene and I had to stay near home, just in case. The forecast was for showery and cool, so this seemed a great time to do something fun at home.

So we planned an "art weekend." Thursday after work we went to the craft store and bought colored pencils and acrylics and canvases and sketchpads and added cheese and wine and crackers and chocolates. On Friday we set up a bunch of how-to videos and began a few projects that we worked on through Saturday.

The mail Saturday brought me The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, which was my focus. Marlene completed an acrylic painting following an online You-Tube video that guided her through an ocean sunset.

Marlene's painting.
On Sunday we decided to take advantage of the sunny day and have a field trip to La Jolla to observe waves and clouds and the colors of sea and sky, plus plants and animals for ideas. I'm still too slow and uncertain of making field sketches--and perhaps too self-conscious with the crowds of people, so I took lots of photos. Even the out-of-focus photos worked for posture and proportions and coloring for my drawings done later in the day at home.

Sea Lions, Brandt's Cormorants, and crashing waves set the theme for the day.
Scratching your back on a rock feels so good! Made serpentine movements back and forth, bending at shoulders and hips, as flippers waved in the air.
Sea Lions laying in rows. Each row of Sea Lions all face the same direction! Why?
A large bull sunned himself all alone away from all the other Sea Lions. The fur on the sunny side has a golden halo.
Crashing wave. The flatter parts of the ocean reflects the sky. The waves are darker, but turns green as it thins to break. The foam turns from horizontal to more vertical as it climbs the wave.
The rumbling wave is not just white, but many shades of gray.
Looking toward Scripps Pier. The flatter bottom of the cloud is shadowed a purplish gray. The cloud looks very similar to the wave in the above photo.
It's late December and a few of the Brandt's Cormorants are already gathering nesting material and beginning courtship. Notice the clump of newly-delivered green seaweed.
The purplish and greenish-coppery iridescent scapular feathers are outlined in black. The bird throws its head back and flutters its aqua blue throat pouch and makes a gargling wail as it also flutters its wings with tail raised vertical.
Looking west over Shell Beach to the Childrens Pool.
Even in white the feather tracts around the eye, ear covert, and malar are apparent with lines or subtle shading.
A Peregrine Falcon made several passes along the cliffs exciting the pelicans and gulls into flying off. Why is it wasting effort chasing birds too large to be prey?
Very few of the people even noticed the strafing falcon a few feet over their heads. The peachy breast indicates the anatum subspecies.
An Osprey wings by...
Rock Doves (domestic pigeons) are resident here.
A view of Point La Jolla and La Jolla Cove.
A page from my nature journal. Click for larger view.