Arizona Sketches

We flew from cold and dark Alaska to sunny Arizona earlier this month. I sketched in the sun every day. A friend I met on Facebook, Stacy Egan, invited me to join her sketching group in Tucson. What an enjoyable and friendly group! We met at the train station and roasted in the sun to sketch this cool, old train.

Tucson Train

I realized as I photographed these following images that there is a thread here. They are all passages: a door, a window, a gate. Last weekend my mother went through a passage from life to death. She had been at the doorway for so long, slipping away from us in bits as Alzheimer’s slowly took her from us. I believe with all my heart that she is with God now and that she was so very glad to go from here to be with Him. From this life to eternity.  During this Thanksgiving week, I am thankful for having had a wonderful mother.

Tucson Red Door web Tucson Blue Window Brick Doorway web

Esperanza Villa web

Golfing and Sketching Make A Great Marriage

I’ll never be a good golfer. I just don’t care enough. My husband, however, is all about making good shots and is much more serious about the whole process of getting that little white ball in the hole eighteen times in a row. Sometimes I will ride on the cart or walk the course with him and sketch. The only down side to this is I’m usually sketching when he makes a good drive. When he says, “How’d you like that?” I dumbly say, “What?” or “Oh, that was great!” whether I saw the shot or not.

While we were vacationing in Arizona earlier in November, we drove the “back nine” at Haven Golf Course together. Arizona has beautiful golf courses. Here are a few sketches. I sketched in pen then added watercolor later.

Haven-1

Haven-2Haven-3Haven-4

During our stay in Arizona, a sketching friend, Leslie, came to visit and we sketched for three days and had a wonderful time. You may see her sketches here on her fun blog.

Sketching a Ranch in Arizona

“Arizona Ranch” 4×6 watercolor sketch

We were vacationing in Arizona for the last two weeks. It was so sunny and warm. Such a nice break from the cold in Alaska. I rode my bicycle and sketched cactus from the sidewalk. I sketched the Santa Rita mountains from the valley. I saw coyotes and birds and smelled the incredible smell of the desert after rain.

Driving our funny little car up Box Canyon Road into the mountains, I would stop and sketch cows and the valley below. There was a driveway with “no trespassing” signs leading to a ranch and I longingly looked at the buildings, cows, and horses in the distance. As a teenager, I had spent several weeks on a ranch in eastern Oregon and my fingers twitched to sketch the familiar things from my past.

It took a little searching, but online I found a contact number and called the ranch. The owner was very pleasant but cautious about having me on his property. He said to come up so I went the next day. He very graciously gave me a tour for over an hour, then he told me to make myself at home and sketch wherever I wanted. I agreed not to post the name of his ranch to respect his privacy.

The ranch was everything I could have hoped for; beautifully stout red Angus cattle roamed among the rocks, trees, and grass in the warm sun as I sketched. And no snakes slithered about which made me very happy.  This ranch has been there for over a hundred years and I could feel the years of sun and wind on the structures and the land. There was a pleasing sense of new and old on the property.  I felt right at home as I breathed in the smell of leather and horse sweat in the tack room.

I’ll post more of my sketches in the next post, but because this is Thanksgiving week, I want to show how thankful I am to all of you who read these posts and take the time to comment. Thank you! I’m having a drawing for a box of my 5″ x 7″ gift cards. All you have to do is comment before Sunday, November 25th and you will be in the drawing.  And yes, I will mail them anywhere in the world.  Here are some images of the eight cards in the package: