Loretto Chapel Staircase EDM #155

Monday, January 28, 2008 at 2:32 PM

Pencil in Canson 9x12 inch sketchbook.

For the beautiful story behind the staircase go to : Loretto Chapel

I drew this from a reference photo I found on the internet. A few years ago I got the chance to visit this beautiful chapel and see the miraculous staircase.


I find I do not like drawing or painting from photos.  I have some serious vision problems and I find that photos do not look like 'my world' so I shun from using them if at all possible.  This pencil drawing was a challenge for me in that I'm more of a quick get it done kind of girl and this took time and patience.  Even so I couldn't see the photograph that well (I did blow it up in photoshop) thus my drawing is not as accurate as the photo.  This staircase left an impression on me when I first saw it.  I only wish I could have climbed up it but it's roped off to the public.

My Blog's Birthday!

Sunday, January 27, 2008 at 8:59 PM

Yesterday we spent a wonderful evening of good food, drink and conversation at Dianne and Randy's.  I took her over some of my lemons and blood oranges.  I was happily surprised to see a sketch of them on her blog today.  Those lemons and oranges are really getting around!

I worked alongside one of our younger nurses today who turned 30 yesterday.  I told her this birthday season was in full swing and I was still in a celebrating mood.  So I gave her $$ and she braved a rain storm to go out and buy us both a steak dinner.  We had quite a feast the two of us; still celebrating our birthdays!

But today is another Birthday......MY BLOG'S FIRST!  Having worked all day I didn't get a chance to sketch so thought I'd post some doodling I did a few days ago....I have met so many wonderful artist through these pages this past year.  I've met 4 of you in person and hope to double that this year!!!   Thank you all for your constant encouragement and friendship!!


Mug Series: Georgie's cup no. 3

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Gerogie's cup, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

My friend Georgie from work, gave me this mug for Christmas. It has become my favorite morning coffee mug but this evening it held a cup of hot chocolate!

For Shirley

at 5:18 PM
My friend Shirley over at Paper and Threads posted her lemons yesterday stating a desire for having some lemon squares.   I love lemon bars but had never made them.   With a tree heavy laden with juicy Meyer lemons I asked her for her favorite lemon square recipe.  She so kindly sent it my way in this morning's email.  Wonderful opportunity to bake on this rainy day and to practice another gouache painting.   Also my first try at a watercolour on hot pressed paper.  A bit different from working on cold press but a good experience also.  Thank you Shirley for the recipe!  You are all welcome to have one.  Please tell me how you liked them!

Lemon Squares in Gouache
Gouache on 90# cold press wc paper, 7.5x11.25 inches 
Lemon Squares in Watercolour
Watercolour on 90# hot pressed wc paper, 7.5x11.25 inch

My Party Continues

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 6:02 PM
Blood Oranges in Gouache
gouache in moleskine

Well, it's a private party today with just my new art supplies and me. Yesterday was a great birthday despite having to work. A very long 12 hour shift with barely a moment to take a break. I feel blessed for I spent it with some of the best people I know. They took up a collection and bought a big birthday cake and took a minute to run into the kitchen to sing me happy birthday before heading back to their patients. I felt very special. On the way home Rudy and I had a rendezvous at our favorite sushi eatery where the bartender who knows us came to the table with a big bowl of green tea ice cream in honor of my birthday!

Today I headed to the library to look for books about gouache and not finding anything headed to Borders but they didn't have anything either. So I came home and after not finding too much online either I figured, like many other things I do; I'll just teach myself. So here is a very bad first gouache sketch done in my moleskine watercolour sketchbook.


Happy Boo to Me!

Sunday, January 20, 2008 at 8:05 PM
Happy Boo to ME!Aidan enjoying some of my cake
I had my cake, ate it and my grand-nephew helped!

Everyday is my birthday!

at 9:08 AM
New art supplies
Officially I came into the world the evening of January 21, 1956.  So tomorrow night I will be 52 years old.  I don't feel 52 because I play like I'm 12 and feel like I'm 35.  Not bad huh?  This year my birthday began on Thursday when Dianne and Dawn treated me to presents and dinner before the Life Drawing session.  Yesterday was the only day Rudy and I had off together so he took me to Sterling Art for a shopping spree! I bought gouache which I have been wanting to play with, some more pads of bristol board and lots of pencils.  I also bought some colored inks to experiment with.  He then took me out for a nice long lunch.  Today my niece (Annie's mother) is making me a cake.  I'm sure they will sing Happy Birthday and I'll get to blow out candles!   I just might continue the celebration a few more days!  

EDM #154
limones en lapis
lemons in pencil on bristol board
limones en lapis copy
I added some color in photoshop

limones en lapis ink on acetate
ink on acetate

Monthly Life Drawing at RAM: Jan.2008

Friday, January 18, 2008 at 4:45 PM

Last night after a couple of glasses of sangria and tapas we headed over to the art museum for the monthly Life Drawing sessions.  I tried a couple of new things this time.  I brought along my ipod and set it to play classical music.  This was a wise decision because soon I was lost in the music and my drawing (after the sangria kicked in).  The next thing was bringing along smaller sketch pad rather than the large pads that I normally use.  And finally, I did the longer poses with my Lamy Safari pen and Noodler's black ink on 14x17 inch bristol board.  For fun I experimented with laying clear acetate that accepts water media on top of one of the drawings and then using some watercolour to add a bit of color.  This was fun to do and I can see lots of possibilities when just wanting to try out color and not ruin the original sketch.

Today Annie spent the afternoon with me for art lesson no. 2.  Go check out her blog at Annie's Adventures with Nina.

Aaron hanging out in my studio

Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 10:09 PM

Looking East

at 7:27 PM

I spent the day at work in a Pediatric Oncology meeting at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana, California. This was the view from the 4th floor conference room. It was a cold and windy day making the air crisp and the sky clear. Beautiful!

scrap wool socks

Monday, January 14, 2008 at 7:26 PM

scrap wool socks, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

We don't wear shoes inside the house so I made these socks this week from scraps of worsted wool (alpaca and merino).  They are so soft and warm.  Just perfect for walking on the tile floor downstairs.  But you won't see these leaving the house....a bit too funky for being out in public!

Work Bag

Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 6:14 PM

Work Bag, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

I carry my work tools, art supplies, food, makeup, lots of pens/pencils, water bottle, coffee mug, swiss army knife, medication, umbrella, gloves, ipod, sketchbook(s), calculator, feminine hygiene products and about 10 other things!

Just done quickly in a small 6x8 inch drawing pad of 80lb paper. Pencil and watercolour pencil.

Riverside Public Library

Thursday, January 10, 2008 at 4:16 PM
Today I met up with Deborah from Silverwoman Studios at the Riverside Art Museum.   We had been wanting to get together but it just hadn't happened until today.  I really enjoyed my day with her.  We spent a couple of hours at the museum which right now has the Watercolor West show in it's main gallery.  Then, along with a group she was with, we went to Las Campanas at the Mission Inn for lunch and margaritas!  After lunch the two of us found a spot on the library grounds and did some sketching together.  I loved looking at her sketchbooks she brought along.  The carnet du voyage of her trip to France last fall is beautiful!  It's so much fun to see the real sketches rather than what we see on the computer screen.  We hit it off great and hope to get together again for another fun art day!  Here are the two sketches I produced while we sat on a stone wall in the warm sunshine.

2 Homeless Men on a Bench Chinese Pavillion

Then I came home, drew this orange in coloured pencil and then ate it!
blood orange in colour pencil

Art Lessons began today

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 3:35 PM
Annie began her first art lesson with me today.  We 'worked' for about an hour learning about shapes and contour lines in drawing.  When finished she took up her new terracota pencil and did a sketch of me knitting!  You can see it here at her blog:  Annie's Adventures with Nina.

While she drew me I did a quick sketch of  a 5 lb weight that we'd used as a subject for one of our contour drawings.

5 lb weight

Morning Workout

Sunday, January 6, 2008 at 12:35 PM

I have really enjoyed this wet weekend.  It hasn't been too cold and the rain not as threatening as was predicted.  After morning coffee with a slice of my wonderful homemade Portuguese Sweet Bread and a scrambled egg I headed off to the gym for a morning workout.  Along with my ipod, towel and water bottle I took my moleskine, W&N travel wc palette with Niji wc brush and my Lamy fountain pen.  After the workout I sat in the car for about 1/2 hour and began this sketch of the gym.  I wanted to be faithful to the structure but quickly realized I hadn't been as observant as I should have been.  So I thought I would then just concentrate on the shapes and then make the sketch 'pop' by adding bold colors.  I like it!!!


at 12:15 PM
Knitted socks

My foot makes a better display model. :)  To answer  a few questions.  The socks are made with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn.  The colour is Iris Garden.  I knit them on size 2 dp needles (I use all 5 needles).  I made them a woman's small (shoe size 5-7).  It took me about 5 days to make these, working on them for several hours every afternoon and evening.  I knit both socks at the same time; first the cuff of one sock, then the cuff and leg of the second, then I go back to the first sock and knit the leg and heel then switch back to the second sock.  I continue in this way because when done I have 2 finished socks and both are the same size.  I have about an hour's work left on this pair before they are done!  I've never used this yarn before but already like it.  

Hot Pink Socks!

Saturday, January 5, 2008 at 6:50 PM
My bountiful bosom has always made a good shelf.  The rain has kept all activity indoors this weekend.  Did venture out to the movies to see Atonement.  Good movie and followed the book well.  But I was anxious to come home after a dinner at California Pizza Kitchen to work on my socks.  Sock no. 1 is done and no. 2 will be done by tomorrow evening.  Aren't they pretty?  No sketching happening today. 

Mug Series: Shon no 2

Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 12:01 PM
I've stayed home from work since yesterday feeling under the weather with some sort of vague virus which had me with fever, chills and nausea.   I'm feeling better but thought it best to just rest up and make sure the symptoms have subsided.  So feeling inspired and more energetic this morning I have spent the  morning in my studio listening to the novel 'Atonement' while making a color chart of my colored pencils.  I haven't used them in years but plan to start bringing them out to play more often.  The tug for a quick watercolour  spurred me to do the mug I keep on the studio table with pens and brushes I never use. LOL!  I think the colored pencils should go in there now.

My friend Shon and I have been friends since we were 6 years old.  Two little girls who were so very different but shared the joy of friendship and creativity.  My mother often wondered what we talked about since Shon was always so quiet.  I thought the question absurd as Shon and I talked about EVERYTHING!  
We loved to play together, go for neighboorhood walks and make all sorts of creative art using what little supplies we had and found....like the flower fairies we'd make from the flowers from our mother's gardens.
As we grew older our friendship continued, we married,  had babies,  went back to school and ventured into new careers; I nursing and she teaching.  At times we've lost contact with each other and have reconnected through the most bizarre circumstances; proving to each other that the bond between us is heaven meant.  
A few years ago she gave me this mug, with the purpose of holding pencils and whatnot.  The simple sunflower is a constant reminder of how two little girls have loved each other all their lives.  A tribute to you my dear Shon, I love you.

The journey begins anew

Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 7:09 PM
9 x 12 Canson sketchbook, pen and color pencil.
jan_01, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

Sunset: painted by God

at 5:18 PM

Sunset: painted by God, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

The wind is howling this evening, it's getting cold out there. When I glanced out the studio window the view took my breath away. I don't think I could do this scene justice with my pen and brush; I show you this photograph instead.

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