Echo Boy

Friday, June 29, 2007 at 10:00 PM
This little boy came to the hospital today for an echo cardiogram, 3rd try this week. He put up such a fuss and it looked like it wouldn't get done again. The cardiologist was thinking he'd have to schedule him for anesthesia just to do the echo. One of our young nurses, Connie, patiently gained his trust and finally laid in bed with him so the procedure could be done. I watched all of this from my little work area, mesmerized by her calming voice I then turned over my "cheat sheet" (what nurse use to keep track of their patients) and sketched him as he lay nervously on the bed but cooperating with the procedure.

I came home very tired but thought I'd try a watercolor sketch from the quick pen sketch I had done. My proportions are a bit off...he was lying on a couple of pillows...and I made his features a bit too old and harsh....but he was uptight although calm. Colors a bit off too. But what I like is that I think I got a likeness (considering he was about 20 feet from me and I've terrible eyesight) and that I worked aided by the quick sketch but mostly guided by the feeling of the moment. I have discovered something new in this aspect...I painted what I felt and I'm happy.

of course any critics and comments are greatly appreciated!!! Now to bed as I have to get up early to do another 12 hours on Saturday and Sunday!!!



Wednesday, June 27, 2007 at 9:23 AM

Fire, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

Yesterday was another reminder that we live in Southern California, a desert which is fed from water via the California aqueduct from water in northern California. This was not a brush fire but an industrial fire fueled by plastic at a recycling center. The TV news was quick to get the word out that all 3 major freeways were affected and were closing down and that the thick black smoke was polluting the air with toxic chemicals from the plastic. We were advised to stay indoors with windows closed. Aside from this fire there is a big fire in northern California at Lake Tahoe, one of the most beautiful areas in the US. I love to visit Lake Tahoe and it makes me sad to hear the lake is covered in ash and the sky is dark.

ps: I'm computing as I sip my morning coffee in the family room and not hooked up to a scanner so I took this photo of the sketch with my camera phone and posted it to flicker, thus not a great image, but it's not a great sketch either....

The Bodies Exhibit

Sunday, June 24, 2007 at 8:45 PM
el corazon
El corazón watercolor and ink

Went to SanDiego, California this afternoon to join my daughter Amy and friends to see the Bodies Exhibit. What a fascinating display of our bodies from skeletons and bones to views of internal organs, muscles, circulatory and respiratory systems, reproduction and finally the preserved skin off of a full size human.....totally amazing. I would have loved to have spent the whole day there sketching!

el esqueleto
El esqueleto watercolor and ink

lavender farm painting

at 12:01 PM

lavender farm b, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.
lanaquarelle cp 140# 8x8"

This 8x8in painting was begun at the festival but my paper was drying out too quickly with the sun pushing me to move to another location.

I did a very quick pencil sketch, filled in the basic colors and then finished it in the studio this morning. I am not too excited about the composition and so just left out the old piece of farm machinery that was in the road. The red bushes were oleander bushes lining a graveled path along side the pine trees.

I am having fun with the lavender colors choosing to just get my color from the tube paints rather than mixing my purples. I uses winsor violet, cobalt violet and a new w&n color I received free with my last art supply order; smalt blue.

I have another quick ink sketch I did while there but am not sure I want to add color to it as on the other page is the oak painting and I really love that one. I thought I might even "cut it out" of my sketchbook to frame.

Shirley from Paper and Threads asked what inspired two totally different techniques between the lavender farm sketch and the oak tree painting. I don't know! Maybe just that people started to show up and look over my shoulder so I quickly got some sketches in and then moved to a isolated location where I painted the oak tree without distractions. Maybe it was the heat. Who knows???

Off to San Diego today to view the Bodies exhibit. I think they are real human bodies encased in some sort of resin. hum...should I take a sketchbook?

lavender farm sketch

Saturday, June 23, 2007 at 11:37 PM

lavender farm a, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.
arches hot press 90# watercolor paper in rebound sketchbook

another quick sketch from my rebound sketchbook which only after a month of use is quickly becoming my constant companion.

Lavender Festival

at 4:40 PM

lavender festival1, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.
arches cold press 90#, reloaded sketchbook

I heard about this lavender farm about 40 minutes from here in Cherry Valley, California. Rudy and I went very early before they were really open and I enjoyed some sketching time. The plein air group I belong to (PAAR) were there as well. I still don't think of myself as a plein air painter and with the heat today and my colours drying out, I know why I prefer the studio!

Some of the treats we enjoyed today were lavender green tea, lavender shortbread sundae made with lavender ice cream of course and drizzled with lavender honey. I had a lavender infused beef brisket sandwich while nestled under the eucalyptus trees overlooking the lavender fields.

This giant oak tree is over 1000 years old and with the lavender field just in front of it, I had to paint it! No place to sit so I stood with sketchbook in hand (no preliminary sketch) while Rudy held my pallet......I do adore that man!

I'm off to a surprise Hawaiian Luau for my sister's 50th birthday so I'll post again later with another sketch or two! Mahalo!

Take a look at the photos from 123 Farm.

Monthly Life Drawing Session at RAM

Thursday, June 21, 2007 at 8:47 PM

Tonight was the monthly life drawing session at the local art museum. Dianne wasn't able to go with me tonight so I went alone. I left early with many excuses: it's too hot, I wanted to be outside on this first day of summer (sun set at 8:04pm), I didn't click with the model, etc...... The first series of poses I wanted to giggle. He was an older African American and kept holding props like a football and posing kind of silly (at least I thought so). The lighting was poor also and him being so dark...I was having a hard time with values. But, at least I got out to draw!
at 8:44 PM

at 8:42 PM

Oh Julia

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 at 8:14 PM

julia-child-1 julia-child-2

I tried the loose watercolor technique again with this week's EDM challenge #124: draw something yellow. I'm sorry Julia but I couldn't do justice to the rose named after you: Julia Child. It's a most lovely rose bush that bursts with blossoms in every shade of yellow from deep cadmium when first budding to a pale lemon when fully open. I am just not a floral painter and was disappointed in my efforts. Other than that...had a great day in the pool!!!

Adam's Graduation from UCLA

Friday, June 15, 2007 at 9:46 PM
amy standing woman
June2007 012
Amy & Adam

Our eldest son Adam graduated with high honors today from UCLA (university of California Los Angeles). I did this quick sketch of my daughter Amy on the train into LA and the second pencil sketch in the sculpture garden at UCLA.

Imaginary Roses

Thursday, June 14, 2007 at 12:21 PM

imaginary roses, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

I am waiting for my niece and the little ones and Dianne and her daughter and grandson to arrive for an afternoon of cooling off in the pool. I made ice cream (nutella gelato), lots of fruit and chips and dip!
While waiting I had a little time to play with my new colours! This little sketch of imaginary roses is done wet in wet using opera rose and quinacridone red along with some old favorites like winsor violet, cad lemon, cobalt blue and hooker's green.

Basket of Peaches

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 at 7:43 PM

basket of peaches copy, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

from Evelyn at work. The pediatric oncology committee had a meeting today and she brought these in from the tree in her yard. I brought home a few as a base for a new batch of Sangria! Going to soak them in some french brandy tonight.......yummm.
While the meeting was going on I quickly did this sketch. Should have paid more attention to values.

I Went to my First Prom!

Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 8:45 PM

A wonderful organization ADONAI that helps families when their children are diagnosed with cancer sponsored the First Annual Prom Night for Cancer Kids this afternoon. Rudy and I had theater tickets to Jersey Boys at 2p in Los Angeles but as soon as the performance (which was wildly fabulous) was over we drove 50 miles back toward home to attend the prom.

I never got asked to the prom when I was in high school so this was my first prom. Oh I had fun! Everything was provided: food, DJ for dancing, flowers, photographer and even the attire for the young people. The affair was bursting with happiness, with hope.

I saw my beautiful girls who are growing up beautiful and healthy. I see them shinning and remember holding their heads over basins to throw up during chemotherapy and caressing their baby bald heads while we sat and talked about what they were going through and what they hoped for.

I saw some of the little ones who are now school age and don't even remember their course of treatment, but somehow remembered me?

I saw parents who lost a child and were there celebrating with the rest of us. Their child lives through their love. What a gift he was to them and us.

I saw current patients who were well enough to not be in the hospital and make it to the prom, like my baby Ariella and her family and my new patient Kassandra who tentatively hugged me as she still isn't quite trusting.

I saw a child who is now fighting the fight of her life yet today I saw no hint of disease as she danced the evening away wearing her prosthetic leg and shinning brighter than I have ever seen her shine.

And I saw all those children who are gone now but would have loved the prom. Today I danced for them.

June2007 046

Garrett was supposed to be my prom date but he wasn't well enough to be out of the hospital. That's why I had to go with the old guy!

après Hartman

Saturday, June 9, 2007 at 5:22 PM

Rudy potting plants_1, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

If you wander over to Africantapestry you can read Ronell's post From Shade to Shade in Summer and understand why this morning after finishing our morning coffee and getting on with our day I was moved to sketch my Rudy. He was potting some plants for me trying to beat the rising sun which was already hinting that it would be a very warm day. I was indoors starting my housework when I spotted Rudy lost in thought on the patio. I immediately thought of Ronell and her Hartman and how half way across the world she and Hartman might be out in their garden......him being KING and she painting.

ps: I received another TATC from Dianne and am posting to Marta's ATC's

It was one of those days.....

Friday, June 8, 2007 at 9:11 PM

when you get up from a good night's sleep (no migraine for over 48hours now) and have no plan in mind. So you go grab that first cup of coffee, catch up on world events and go check your email. Three hours later after spending too much time browsing blogs, researching for your upcoming European Adventure and doing some online shopping......your artist buddy Dianne sends you an instant message: "So what are you doing today?"

Well that whole conversation led to "I'll pick you up in half and hour and let's go to the spa!" So we got luxurious scalp massages and treatments then had a lovely lunch from Simple Simon's at the pool. We took our sketching supplies and easily slipped into creative mode and began sketching by the pool.

Our attention was caught by the laziness of the afternoon; people lounging, sunbathing or reading the paper. In the pool was a delightful little lady who was enjoying the water with her Nana. She had on little arm floaties and was enjoying as only a child of four years could. Dianne and I both couldn't resist to try and capture this fleeting moment. Despite the constant movement we were both happy with our sketching today.

Jordan and her grandmother came and joined us in the jacuzzi and then later at our table where Dianne let Jordan paint in her Moleskine. I think this little lady enjoyed us as much as we enjoyed our visit with her and her Nana.

Sketching in public is difficult for me, but with experiences such as today's it only encourages me to do it more often. In many ways we are such a small planet,connecting so quickly via the Internet, but that human face to face contact can never be replaced. Today was a very good day indeed.

RAM Member's Exhibit 2007

Thursday, June 7, 2007 at 8:25 PM

Dianne and I each submitted a painting into the Riverside Museum Member's Art Show 2007. This is not a juried show so they couldn't turn us away! The opening reception was this evening and along with our husbands we mingled with other members and artists. We really went for the food but it isn't worth describing. After the gallery visit we walked to the historic Mission Inn and had a nice evening meal at one of the outdoor restaurants, Las Campanas. My margarita was super size I think because I'm still "feeling" the buzz. Well, actually, I'm a bit too buzzed...but I wasn't driving so what the hey!
ps: Dianne's is the cat watercolor

Miss Dottie

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 at 10:32 PM

Originally uploaded by mmvgonzales

I am spending the evening playing around and saw on Flickr that you can upload photos from your camera phone right onto your blog...go figure. So I tried it! I didn't realize my phone (verizon white chocolate) could take decent photos. This is Miss Dottie who posed for me one day.

Tomorrow Dianne and I are going with our husbands to the opening reception at the Riverside Art Museum's Members Art Exhibit where we both submitted paintings. This is not a juried show (they have to hang our paintings because we are members...LOL). If I remember I'll take a couple of pictures while there and send them to this blog.

Ariella's-Feet and Sunday bread

at 9:09 PM

Originally uploaded by mmvgonzales

On Saturday evenings I bake bread to take into work on Sunday morning. I have been doing this for almost 2 years now, never missing a work Sunday.
Last Sunday I was taking care of 15 month old Ariella who has been a regular patient on the pediatric oncology ward since she was 4 months old. She is afraid of all of us still and clings to her mother's breast during procedures like drawing blood through her central line or changing her dressing. She won't let anyone of us hold her and cries when we approach.

Well, for some reason this kiddo is beginning to warm up to me. It might be that she's become curious as to why when I am taking her vital signs and listening to her chest I begin to kiss her feet. It stops her crying and now the game for her is to put her feet up to my face for me to kiss them. I tell her I don't kiss all my patient's feet but hers are so sweet and good to gobble on. I am now met with smiles and giggles and wiggly toes!

On Sunday her breakfast tray was removed before she got to it so to make amends I offered her and mamma a slice of my bread with butter and jam. They loved it and mom asked if they could have more. Ariella was jabbering away and pointing to the empty plate. After they were satiated I told mamma that had I known all it took was some of my bread to finish up winning Ariella over to me....I would have offered it months ago!

PS: I have been battling a series of migraines since Friday night. I have a few hours where the pain subsides but then returns. I've not been able to paint and going into work has been a bit more than I can handle as well. But I haven't been able to get Ariella out of my thoughts, her sweet little feet. So this evening during a headache "break" i did this very quick sketch from a book I have of Mary Cassatt: Mother Nursing her Baby c. 1908, Art Institute of Chicago.

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