IKEA flags

It’s back to being good sketching weather.  I went out this afternoon with the intention of sketching at once location and ended up at another.  My first choice had its parking lot blocked off.   It’s an Tudor looking event site so I suspect it’s closed, if not out of business.

I’m still not willing to sketch outside of my car or at least, very far away.

I’ve had a view of IKEA store and its flags in mind to sketch.  Once again, I couldn’t park to get the view I wanted.  They’d blocked off part of their huge parking lot.  So I found something like what I’d envisioned.

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Mom’s China

For Sketchbook Skool, Danny Gregory hosts a YouTube live “Draw with Me” session most Thursdays.  This past week, he drew his tea cup.  I didn’t watch or participate live, but I did engage later.

This is a cup, saucer, and sugar dish from my mother’s china set.  I think it must be from about the 1930’s.  Every piece has a gold rim so it is quite unsuitable for the modern era in that it can’t be microwaved!


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Hero Rat

“A rat named Magawa has been given an animal bravery award for sniffing out dozens of landmines in Cambodia. Magawa received a gold medal from the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), a veterinary charity in the United Kingdom, on Friday, making him the first rodent in the nonprofit’s history to earn the distinction.” 

Magawa has sniffed out 39 landmines and 28 unexploded munitions in his career.

PDSA’s Gold Medal is inscribed with the words “For animal gallantry or devotion to duty”. Of the 30 animal recipients of the award, Magawa is the first rat. All the other recipients have been dogs.

ITV news with video

This rat is about 4 times as large as the domestic pet rat.  We kept pet rats for about 10 years and found them very intelligent, social, and amusing.  And I wasn’t allergic to them.

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Tudor on Second

Finally, a beautiful autumn day.  I went out to do some more dashboard sketching in the older area of town with some interesting houses of which I’d made note.

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Hobbit Day

Today is “Hobbit Day”.  Tolkien fans around the world are invited to raise a buttered scone to celebrate Hobbit Day, which marks the birthday of not one, but two iconic Hobbits: Frodo and Bilbo Baggins.

I follow University of Leeds on Instagram and they posted about Tolkien’s history at Leeds.  He taught there for five years in the 1920’s.  It is thought that The Shire and Middle Earth were influenced by Yorkshire scenery.

Included in the article is a photo of his home just off the Otely Road, north of Headingley. I’m annoyed that I forgot to visit while there last year. I sketched from the photo in the article.

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Day 200

I designed a journal page to commemorate the day.

I’ve stayed active and involved with my groups and organizations.  I really appreciate the Museum of Flight providing a venue to involve volunteers.  There’s more to come on that front.

I also feel like I’ve been rather lazy.  There is a lot more I might have accomplished.  But these are difficult times and I tell myself to give me a break.

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Virtual Richmond

The Urban Sketchers Yorkshire group has started a separate Facebook group for “virtual” sketch outings.  Urban Sketchers sketch on location, not from photos.  But since Yorkshire has gone back into COVID lock down, once again they can’t meet as a group.  Which means I can join them!  Though I’m 8 hours behind.  They’re doing “throw down” at 1600, which is 0800 for me.  Thus, I did my sketches on Friday and Saturday.

Today we’re in Richmond.  From organizer, Joe Bean, “A short stroll takes us up to Richmond Castle. Founded by the Normans in 1071 the town grew up around the castle built on the ‘riche-mont’ or ‘strong-hill’ that gave the town its name and whose massive keep dominates all other buildings around. The castle was built by the Normans in 1071.”

My first sketch started from a Google Street View Joe shared and then I “drove” down the road for a different view.

The second one is a building within the castle courtyard.  I was drawn to (ha–see what I did there?) the texture of the stone building and the flowers down the stairs.

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Big Mouth Frog

I don’t know where I first heard the big mouth frog joke.  Maybe on the band bus?

From a photo I found somewhere and no longer remember.  Done just for fun and practice while watching YouTube videos.

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On line

Today my iPad battery was nearly depleted.  I had two long sessions of video conferencing.

Each Tuesday and Friday morning the Museum of Flight offers training to continue to engage volunteers while we cannot be present at the Museum. These are usually docents doing the talks they give at the museum. This morning I was the presenter.  The volunteer organizers were looking for something a bit different.  I talked about my experience of sketching at the Museum.  I also discussed “why draw?” and learning to draw.  Part of the talk was a recorded demonstration sketch, done from a photo. It was meant to substitute for a live demo at the Museum.  This is the sketch I did from one of my own photos.

It seemed to be well received.  One docent actually drew along with me and showed her drawing at the end!

Late in the afternoon I joined a Zoom meeting organized by April, who co-hosts the Stationery Cafe podcast.  We shared our journals and planners.  Than we settled down to April’s guided watercolor sketch.  I’ve not been before so I wasn’t expecting a tutorial.  I’d picked a different image from a large group she’d shared the day before and sketched on my own.  It was a group of Paris store fronts from Architectural Digest in 2017.

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Smoke at sunset

We are fine here at home.  Yesterday was an anxious day, though, for friends in Oregon.  One left the area due to so much smoke and went up to Portland.  Others were under a Level 1 evacuation order (“get ready”).   Fortunately, the order did not advance and they think they are alright as of this morning.

This is the sunset view from my upstairs window.  The images from Oregon yesterday showed deep, dark orange light in the daytime.  One friend needed a flashlight in the middle of the day to navigate his property.

All the fire crews and other emergency workers on the west coast deserve all the thanks and appreciation we have to give.  In California they’ve been fighting the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th worse fires of all time in over 100 degree heat.

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