Oopsie!

Was sooo happy to get my new Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen in a rich CopperOrange. Although I ordered the cartridge converter with it, they sent a free blue ink cartridge, so I thought I’d try it out!

Now, all my black and grey inks are purchased with a waterproof factor in mind. Never gave that a thought as I sat and sketched my cute wave pansies.  The pen worked so smoothly and I felt like I now had a “Porsche” to replace my existing tribe of pens. (Well, not replace, so much as enhancing my collection!)  Of course, the pansies are rich shades of pink, so I started to add some quinacridone red, and, well, here’s the result.

It's not waterproof ink!

It’s not waterproof ink!

Lesson learned, I will get that cartridge converter into action before trying a sketch that needs some color added!

PS – By the way, the blue ink would be great to use with just water in a monochrome theme!

Optimism

Decided to DIY another veggie – here’s a zucchini plant and the new spade/pitchfork I bought to help clear out the weeds so it could be planted. I know, it’s not as early in the season as it could be, but – I tend towards optimism!

This zucchini is now safely nestled in the ground.

This zucchini is now safely nestled in the ground.

And long-legged bright beauties like these day lilies keep me optimistic!

Daylilies

Daylilies

Still sketching! Dinosaurs at the museum…

In spite of a lack of posts, I am still sketching, but haven’t been posting much.

Let’s catch up and see what I have been working on.  Way back in January, the same day I found out that my second grandbaby would be another girl (yippee!), I was also thrilled to meet Heidi and Mary-Anne from Art Safari! This is the company that I went with to (amazing) Morocco last fall.
They were touring NYC with a small group, and we were able to coordinate a short meeting at the Museum of Natural History. They are just as friendly and charming in person as they were via email. You might notice how much I enjoyed the dinosaur exhibits by my sketches here…

PS – Granddaughter #2 arrived recently and all are doing well!

mammoth

My 3rd sketch at the museum – I feel like I warmed up with the first two!

Mammoth

My 2nd sketch of the day

Dinosaur at the Museum of Natural History

Dinosaur at the Museum of Natural History – His head was sticking out of the room to show how large he was!

 

Extraordinary Things

When my neighbor loaned me a book she had recently finished, I knew I would like it as soon as I heard the title – “The Museum of Extraordinary Things”, by Alice Hoffman. It sounded inspiring, and it absolutely was! As I read her descriptions, it was easy to visualize the museum’s unique inhabitants.

“…A whirl of incredible creatures was before me as I stood there: a dragon lizard who flare his scarlet throat, an enormous tortoise who seemed like a monster of the deep, red-throated hummingbirds that were let out of their cages on leashes made of string.”

These images needed to get out of head and into my sketchbook.

Museum of extraordinary things

Museum of Extraordinary Things

There are many more ideas for sketches in this delicious book. Maybe they will end up on paper, maybe not.

Essaouira Fish Market

There is only one tower where I know I’d live and be locked up forever, even to die there rather than return the keys – Mogador in Africa.” Paul Claudel

Essaouira, (formerly Mogador) is a walled city dating from the time of the Phoenicians, who named it Migdol or small fortress. In 1506, the city became the seat of a Portuguese fortress and was strengthened by the construction of ramparts.
We started at the fortress, surrounded by gulls who would be hoping for some fishy tidbits later in the day.

Essaouira fortress video

A short video at the fortress (Click on the image to watch)

After another delicious lunch, we headed to the fish market – the quantities and varieties just amazed me.

Crabs for sale

Crabs for sale

Sting rays for sale

Sting rays for sale

Please excuse the way my sketches from this adventure are slowly dribbling in as I continue working on them, in between any new places I find!

 

Getting serious

Friday was Day 6 in Essaouira – time to get some serious sketching in. Also, serious shopping, serious massages, serious rug buying, you know, important things before we leave!

Karen (from Art Safari) took us down some alleyways to teach us about perspective. Just when you think you’ve got the hang of something, you learn new points that really make a difference!
Here are some of my efforts to practice perspective in my art…

Perspective - Mosque doors

Perspective – Mosque doors

Perspective - arches

Perspective – arches

Perspective - rug alley

Perspective – rug alley

And here’s one that looks as if I learned nothing, hah.  Tamusica was an interesting shop with various drums and other musical instruments hanging around.

Tamusica shop

Tamusica shop

After Karen found us a colorful rug shop, the owner came out and yes, he did sell some rugs to us.  (Not me, I was waiting to purchase mine in Marrakesh.)  It’s quite an experience, looking at and buying a rug.  You are ushered in, offered tea (which you must accept!), and presented with rug after rug until finally, you either find one you love or are worn down by their persistence!  Next comes the bargaining.  It’s really different than our big box stores!

Moustafa, a rug seller

Moustafa, a rug seller

And, for my last night in Essouira, I ended up with an upset tummy.  By upset tummy I mean I couldn’t go very far from the bathroom.  This continued each night until my return to stateside.
Unfortunately, it made me miss the going-away get-together the other folks had that night. They were all flying back to London the next day, and I would be on my way to Marrakesh.

Blue boats and the fish market

Essaouira day 5 – Thursday
After breakfast, we walked down to the harbor to sketch the boats.  They were so blue, and I was so intent on my sketching that I nearly missed a wagon full of sharks being unloaded!

Sharks!

Sharks!

The blue boats of Morocco

The blue boats of Morocco

Essaouira harbor boats

Essaouira harbor boats

Lunch today was at Taros, a rooftop restaurant.  We noticed a lady eating sea urchins, they come by the dozen, like clams, and apparently are quite delicious.  No thank you, I’d rather have my goat cheese and beet roots.
After lunch, to the fort – this time going inside and climbing up to the top for views of the local coast.

The fort at Essaouira

The fort at Essaouira

After that, the Essaouira fish market, which was very busy.  Similar to the dogs at the meat market, there were many cats and kittens hanging around for scraps.

Essaouira fish market

Essaouira fish market

I did several sketches at the fish market, but will add color and post them later.