Saturday, May 28, 2016


Today was a boring day at work.
I had plenty of time to draw, but I couldn't really concentrate.

There are all kinds of pens and pencils around the office.
Today I found a very heavy pen made out of steel, and I wondered what it's supposed to be good for, because it didn't write any better than the cheap pens.
I looked up different kinds of writing pens on the internet, and learned about a form of martial arts called Kubotan.

I tore up some paper to make a collage on one page of my journal.
I didn't have any paint with me.
I don't know what it's supposed to be.

I started to draw the flowers on my desk. I used a gray watercolor pencil.

I added some violet, gold, tan and orange Neocolor (water-soluble crayon)


Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Today I went to visit my friend the mechanic and worked on one of my cars.
Actually it was a lot of watching and less doing.

At home I cut down the big sunflower "tree."
It had developed a fungus, so the flowers were not turning into seeds for the birds.

I planted some more seeds I bought last week.
I noticed it takes between 70 and 90 days for them to bloom!
I wonder if they will come up at all this year?

At work today I didn't draw much but I used a wet paintbrush on the drawing I made yesterday:

Some people at church are starting a choir that sings only 4 times a year.
I wasn't going to audition because I didn't think I would be able to attend their practices, because they are usually held on weeknights, when I am at work.
Also the songs will be in Spanish and I don't know them very well.
But when they came by to make copies, they said many of the people who signed up today only had free time on Sundays, like me.

So I auditioned.
I used to sing in high school, and I learned to read music. But I was really rusty!
I don't even remember singing in the shower or along with the radio ONCE this year.
Or at church.
When I sang a scale for the audition, I think I had a range of 10 notes total!
We'll see what happens...

I told my co-worker that I did the audition just for fun, like riding a roller coaster for the thrills.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Today I got up early. A passing cloud dropped some rain.
I'm glad it hasn't gotten hot yet, like last year.

My sunflower is finished.

 I bought more seeds. I wonder if it's too late to start a new batch?

At work, I sneaked in some drawing while everyone was busy in a meeting.

Things have been awfully stressful at work!
Last week, some one broke into the church and stole the sound system (a mixer and two huge speakers.)
The next day, we noticed the outgoing mail, (that had been sitting in a mail tray on the counter overnight) had been ripped open and scattered.
We weren't sure when it happened or how. Did someone do it quickly, while one of us left the front desk? We have some suspects, but not enough surveillance cameras to catch anyone.

Over the weekend, the same thing with the mail happened again.
I suddenly remembered that there were envelopes with money in a file cabinet and sure enough, when I looked it was gone.
When I looked closer, there were envelopes through the whole office that had been torn open!

We called the police, but once again they said they were too busy and to file the report online, and if they had some time, they would send some one...

(It took several days to investigate the theft of the speakers. When we offered a cell phone found at the scene, they said they couldn't do anything because we had touched it.)

The scary thing is that somebody didn't just grab the envelopes and leave.
They had plenty of time to search the cabinets and rip open the envelopes.

On the other hand, Mom is doing OK.
Last week she gave a bone marrow sample, and she will meet with the doctors Thursday, to hopefully begin chemo.

Her speech has been improving every day but her walking is still not good.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday stuff

This week I didn't have much time to draw or paint the flowers on my desk.

Mom had a full body scan this week, to make sure there isn't any more cancer in her body, (besides the brain tumor.)
She also had to get her eyes examined, and Monday she will have her bone marrow tested.
Every test takes hours.
Once they are done, then the doctors will begin chemotherapy.

I did write about a lot of interesting dreams in my journal, but I didn't have time to draw them either.

A few days ago, I dreamed about a science fiction book or movie.
In the story, there is a large corporation that builds huge buildings with artificial intelligence.
The buildings become sentient and grow legs and march around Godzilla style.

I decided to challenge myself and try to make this in Photoshop.

It has been many years since I have used Photoshop, so it's kind of crude.
(Somebody gave me a bootleg copy, and I have it on my desktop at work, but I can't find the disk anywhere!)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Biopsy results, more flowers

Yesterday was a long day.
We went to the hospital to get the results of Mom's biopsy.
They officially called it non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
This was not a shock, because we already knew it was cancer.
However, this allows the doctors to schedule treatment, which will be a very rigorous chemotherapy.
First she will go through more scans next week, just to be sure there isn't any more cancer.

This week I had much more spare time and I was able to make a few drawings of flowers.

At work I found some small magnolia trees and picked a blossom.
I had never noticed blossoms on these trees, and this was the first time I tried drawing one.

It turned very brown the next day, before I had a chance to draw it.

(I guess I could use the photo of before it turned brown as a reference, but I just like to draw flowers from life.)

I liked the second drawing better:

Somebody left these huge, scented roses on the counter.
I don't like drawing very large roses.

No matter how hard I try, I can't imagine them smaller, so they don't fit on the page.
Also, this day I didn't have the right shade of cool red.
I think I even used an orange highlighter.

Today I picked some two-tone roses and drew them, although I wasn't feeling like it.

At least I got to do a little drawing this week.
It will be a while before I feel as though I have caught up with all the days I didn't make any art.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Wire things

Today I got up early, despite having a bad cold, and spent the time before work making jewelry.

After thinking about it, I made a nice necklace on a wire with greenish turquoise and almost real-looking pearls.

After that I looked at many beads, until I found some that seemed to fit together.
I ended up with these gothic-looking stretchy bracelets.

I haven't made anything with wire lately.
I made some spirals out of wire and hammered on them to make them flat.
Two of them looked similar and I put them aside to make earrings.
The other ones were irregular. I stretched them out to see what that looked like and made a spring.

I got an idea to put a big glass marble in the two stretched-out wire pieces,
and make a hanging outdoor decoration, like the kind they sell at the fair.

It didn't quite work out.
Maybe I should have looked at a picture first!
I started over with a thicker wire and made a regular spiral.

I hung it up on an old wind spinner ornament in a tree.

I spent another hour taking pictures of everything that was growing in my yard.
Maybe I'll do something else with all those pictures...

It was overcast but I still got a tan.
I can't believe it's almost the middle of May.

May 10 is also the day people celebrate Mother's day in Mexico.
Mom isn't doing any worse.
I've been trying to stay at a distance, hoping she won't get my cold.
We haven't gotten any results from the biopsy.

Saturday, May 7, 2016


Today I have a cold.
I forgot to bring my favorite drawing tools to use at work, during the slow time.

I took pictures of the clouds yesterday.

I have a lot of cloud pictures.
Maybe 50% of the pictures on my camera are puffy clouds!
I keep saying I'm going to use them in an artwork someday...

Yesterday I saw a small rainbow in the clouds.

I used Photoshop to bring up the color.
Although the clouds didn't look like this, it is still believable:

More color and less reality:

I haven't played with Photoshop in a very long time. Years, maybe.
I wonder if I can make my photograph of sunflowers look like my sketches?
(Before my co-worker comes in)

I learned (relearned) how to "feather" the image, (in Publisher it's called "soft edges.")

Silly but fun.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Rain and Sunflowers

My mom's biopsy (yesterday) for her brain tumor went well.
She has been doing all right, all week.
She came home today and will spend Mother's Day with the family.
We will get results on Monday.

My sunflower "tree" is falling over with the weight of sunflowers:

I picked a bunch from the "leaning" side to straighten the stalk, and put into a vase for mom.
Another flower went on my desk at work.

I started to draw it with watercolor pencils.
It has been many days since I drew anything. It felt a little strange.
The position of the flowers wasn't right.

I drew it over again.
This is as far as I got: