Author Archives: artbybam

Beginning a new adventure!

It’s been two weeks since the new dark grey Promaster was delivered.  So far, all the planning is in my head.  I wanted to have a separate site for the plans, materials and work that will get done.  And of course, our travels once it’s ready to go!

This made it SO much easier!

Theres a few things I can do while waiting for (me!) the final plans to get drawn.  It came with mfr floor and walls, so yesterday I removed the walls. I ordered a special tool which made it easier to pop out the plastic pegs holding it in place.

The walls are out!

Don’t worry! Soon I will have detailed plans to share!

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A New Beginning

I’m very excited to share this news with you!  There’s a new van in town, and it’s going to be converted into a camper van!

I’ve travelled quite a bit, but not a whole lot around the U.S.  This van will change that.  Starting later this year, on the east coast, then expanding towards the west and those national parks that are calling.

I hope you’ll decide to follow along, I’ve decided to make a new blog for you to follow along.  Because, well, some are following here for my art and travels and some will follow there to see what is being done to “Grey Matter”, the name we’ve given to this lovely hunk of metal. See the new website here, it’s pretty bare so far, but plans are in the works!  Sign up for updates here! (You have to sign up separately from this one!)

Grey Matter is also on instagram as greymattercampervan.

Sketches in the Glen

A heart-shaped surprise

Walked the Glen today, 40°, the snow has started melting and last fall’s autumn leaves are peeking out.  I sketched quickly, adding color at home.   Check out my favorite tree on the right, just noticed the heart shape! 

That’s what sketching does – helps you notice details, things you’d otherwise miss. Sketches in the Glen

Here’s a screen shot from the Alltrails app of my typical Glen walk- 1.7 miles in 40 minutes. I’m not a speed walker! 😉. All Trails - Glen hike

Soaring eagle

My favorite birds of prey

Don’t get me wrong, I really like hawks! But, I do have a favorite – the eagle.  I’m so glad they have made a comeback, and there’s quite a few here in the upstate NY area. Today, a grey and gloomy February day, I walked the Two Rivers Greenway in Endicott.  Endicott, NY island

There’s an island you can see from the bridge that goes to Vestal, and there’s a flag I always see on it.  So, I found a bench and sat down to sketch it.  I shot a reference photo, and didn’t notice an eagle sitting in a tree on the other side of the river, because a branch was in the way. I got about 3 lines drawn, when I moved my head a little and saw it. Bold as can be, an eagle looking down river. Bald eagle

He didn’t stay long, and soon took off. But, I thought it only went a little way, and went to look for it upriver. Throwing my sketch stuff in pockets, I hustled to find it.

Found him in a tree a little upriver, and oh joy! There were two! Two bald eagles

After a half hour and tons of photos, the second one  looked like it was getting ready to move, so I put my camera on movie mode.  The first video is 38 seconds, but listen, and you’ll hear an eagle screech. Chills.


After catching it flying away on video, I decided it was okay to leave. Seeing them was such a wonderful gift! Soaring eagle



The Dovekeepers

This book, set two thousand years ago and based on nine hundred Jews holding out on Masada mountain against the Roman armies, was written by Alice Hoffman.   What a fascinating read!

I finally got a chance to watch the miniseries and, in trying to use up the last few pages in my sketchbook, sat and did a few sketches while watching it.



Women at the market in Masada

Women at the market in Masada

Mt. Ventoux - viewed from Roussillon

Provence – Roussillon

We continued our day with Marlene from Experience Provence in Roussillon. It’s listed as one of the most beautiful villages of France, and is located in a large ochre deposit.  This palette of rich earthy colors make for gorgeous street and cliff scenes, which contrast the deep green pines and the blue skies.

My first sketch attempted to capture the view of the village rooflines. It was done quickly, omitting most of the details.

View of Roussillon

View of Roussillon

Another view of the landscape includes Mt. Ventoux, over 40 miles away.  You can get a little idea of the rich ochre earth between the deep green pines.

Mt. Ventoux - viewed from Roussillon

Mt. Ventoux – viewed from Roussillon

A house in Roussillon

A house in Roussillon

I wasn’t about to leave without a souvenir of these wonderful earth colors, so I bought some pigments, and will play with them later!

Pigments from Roussillon

Pigments from Roussillon