Sunday, September 26, 2021

A Little Visit at the Turning Point of Autumn

Autumn warmth is lingering here in Wisconsin in a long string unexpected sunny days.  Although I've pulled out the sweatshirts and jeans...I am only wearing them now and then.  I feel almost guilty when I know there are so many places that are having fires, floods, volcanoes, and hurricanes.  And yet, idyllic day follows day after day.  What an amazing gift.  I'll try to remember this in January!  

Yesterday's drive from Madison to Monroe through the farmland was idyllic...barn after barn with those "barn quilt" paintings on them and the corn just that brassy yellow as it just about ready to be picked.  Pumpkins and gourds out on the roadside stands and late summer asters and mums by the houses in towns.  Not a lot of color in the trees yet..just a few tinges here and there.  

 The Art Show on the square in Madison this weekend got FANTASTIC weather.  I hope we can go next year.  I hated to miss it.  

The model train show was fun...we hadn't been to one in a long time and Greg was so happy!  I worried that not very many people were masked...they left all the doors open and Greg and I WERE masked the whole time.  Life is still so scary around the pandemic.  I have bad dreams now and then.

Our friend Angie (up north) has tested positive (luckily we haven't been with her in months) but she apparently exposed a LOT of people during the last week.  She is double vaccinated and that is even a bigger worry.

So lots of folks are now on a "watch" and keeping quarantined.  She found out she was positive WHILE traveling from WI to NC.  So they are going to drive straight through from this point on and try not to endanger anyone.  Her husband tested negative.  So he'll do the driving and pick up food.  

Folks here at our campus location will get flu shots and boosters this coming week while we are gone.  THAT is a disappointment to miss it!  But they have a repeat October date.  So we will have to wait for that.

I am packing as we leave for the cabin in a few hours...and I sent out the October Chat this morning as I have better internet here.  I am taking my Inktober Challenge (for October) with me. See below.

You can see I've penciled in 31 small areas for the challenge tangles this year (9 x 12) sheet of Fabriano hot press WC paper.  So it is just a small sample of each one.  The hard part is finding the tangles...many of them are not familiar to me!  BUT you get to learn something new in the process!!!  

Greg and I have signed up for a 12 week class here at Oakwood called "Active Care" and it's all about healthy living, exercise, nutrition, prevention, etc etc.  I decorated the cover of my booklet (of course).



Monday, September 20, 2021

September Sketching and Zentangle®


These two little rough sketches were done during an outdoor concert here this late summer at University Oaks.  We had several of these great little musical events over the summer.  Super lovely weather.  

A lovely mid September Saturday the Madison Urban Sketchers spent an afternoon at the Madison Zoo.  Gorgeous weather again!  Almost too warm!  8 of us gathered to wander around and sketch a few things.  

On September 18 my daughter, Julie, rode her bike down from her house and joined me in the woods to sketch the flowers and listen to the birds and just have a delightful couple of hours. Who doesn't love the prairie flowers in one more open section of the woods...beebalm, Joe Pye weed and Chinese lantern.  The leaves are just at the edge of turning here in Madison now.  We saw 16 ducks, 2 wrens, a murder of crows, and 3 turkeys too!  

I taught a Zentangle class here at Oakwood on the 15th.

Water-soluble graphite sketch to describe my new pencil AFMAT PS10 which makes a L-O-N-G pencil lead which I love for sketching and drawing.  Some folks use a razor blade or a knife to do this but no way do I want to tackle that!  

I can't remember if I've posted this sketch in Julie's garden.  Her sunflowers are 10' tall at least now.  

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

September: the End of Something and the Beginning

Oh my's September 1.  I'll bet you said the same thing this morning.  I am at the up north cabin this morning remembering all those many Septembers I have had...and it's a lot of them.  And all the many many memories I have of them.  (Retired school teachers are like that you know).  

I woke up to 45 degrees this morning up here in the Northwoods...whew that's a tad chilly!  And heavy fog completely obliterated the lake for awhile.  Now at 7:30 the sun is shining and slowly it is burning the morning fog off.  It's magical with the wisps of fog now hanging just about 10 feet up off the water and slowing melting away minute by minute like magic.    

None of this has anything to do with the sketch above, of course, except that I did do it last night up here in the north woods looking at a photograph sent to me by my granddaughter who is in law school in San Francisco!  This is "her view", she says, from the building where she is taking classes across from the Civic Center.  I cannot tell you why it caught me up and I felt the need to sketch just came over me.  Same with the one way to say why these things happen.

So with this sketch I was visiting my step son and his wife in Waukesha back on August 14 and everyone was busy with some project and I drifted away down the street to a construction site about two blocks from their home where a new Quik Trip was being built.  It's about the oddest subject I've chosen lately. But something about the big old construction equipment caught my eye.  It was a gorgeous summery afternoon...the kind of day you'd pour lemonade and sit on your front porch and watch the hydrangeas grow, you know?  Quiet on that afternoon...nothing happening on the site.  I opened my sketch chair and fell into the project for an hour.  The owner of the house behind me got curious and came out to see what I was doing.  A nice guy (Mike) and offered me a cold drink and we had a lovely visit while I sketched.  

In other news...I've been doing a little prep for a class I am actually not teaching until next spring.  But Julie and I are doing this advanced Zentangle class together and we had to write up the description of the class for the promotional materials.  So I had to at least try out a few of our ideas to get the "feel" for what we want to do.  Frames, Dingbats, and Cartouches will be the subject matter.  The classes will be on Zoom and sponsored by Olbrich Gardens in Madison.  But of course offered to anyone, anywhere.  They run $15 a session and there will be a beginner class on Sunday April 3 (1-3) and advanced class on Sunday May 1, 1-3. You might want to pencil them into your calendar.  I'll let you know later when registration opens.  

Here's a Cartouche of an interesting button.  

We are headed south back to Madison on Friday morning.  Lots of fun things to do there, of course.  I'll be prepping to teach a beginner Zentangle class at Oakwood on September 15.  

We'll be back up one more time to close the cabin the first weekend in October.  The snow could be flying by then up here.  

As the title of this blog post suggests: now the end of something but always that leads to the beginning of something else.  It's a spiral.  Fall in Wisconsin is quite amazingly beautiful...and something we have missed being in Florida.  I look forward to the colors, the apple picking and the cider...the chili and the football games.  

I feel an odd sense of bewilderment as the holidays ahead show up on the calendar.  Will we be safe enough to celebrate together this year?  Will we all have a booster this fall? The news each night is full of seriously sad and difficult happenings.  Our in-person church services have been cancelled again until Nov 1.  Everyone is battling the fatigue of being harangued by worry, angst, fear, and sadness for so long.  Art has been a real steadfast friend for all of us who love to has given us needed reprieves.  Hang on, everyone.  We can do it.