VSW: Menton France Turnaround

Quick doodling sketches while waiting for yet
another crazy phone call from hospital staff…
NOTHING like art to  calm and soothe!

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Certified Humane: Smart Chicken, Niman Ranch Meats

Smart Chicken is the first chicken available nationally (to my awareness, and please inform) that is Certified Humane®, and 100% of Niman Ranch’s meats – Pork, Beef, Lamb, and Processed Products like bacon – are Certified Humane®!

I’m sorry we need such a program, but we do.

Certified Humane® governs the way the meat is raised, and it is a great program which is all about making sure the animals are treated humanely.
Certified Humane® was born by people like myself who were disgusted by animal torture.  We wrote and called and voting with our $$$ and also talked to the markets about what we wanted.  Telling them when we didn’t buy their meat and
how disappointed we were in what was available has impact.

Yes, you can make a difference.

Smart Chicken also has amazing taste.  It is coming in at New Seasons at
$2.79 to $3.99/pound, depending upon if it is Organic or not.  (I buy organic when on
sale — freeze — or occasionally.)  Because we eat so many beans, rice, and veggies the rest of the time, the cost of buying healthy meat in alignment with our values and health requirements has actually gone down.  Smart Chicken also does not add water which all other companies do (unless you are buying a local chicken from the farm), which means you are not paying for added water, which also often has chemicals added to it. They don’t give you the wing tips, giblets, or necks — which MOST people don’t want — so you are not paying for that either.  The birds don’t come stuffed with extra fat.
The point of this is that the chicken is actually well-priced!

The birds usually are a bit smaller, which we like, with less fattening up as
factory farms do, which is the way it ought to be, and that is healthier for you.
We use all the leftover drippings in our bean dishes because the birds are not so fatty!
The flesh is firmer, as if the bird has truly run around, but not tough at all.
They roast heavenly!

All the Smart Chicken is non-GMO, no hormones, and no fed antibiotics.
Organic is optional... and we feel okay about eating their non-organic chickens.

Smart Chickens are raised where they are killed, and are used to their handlers.
They are not placed in small cages and trucked many miles which scares the hell out of them.  They are in a space just before they are killed whereby the oxygen
is slowly removed from the room, so they basically fall asleep without stress or fear.
Once asleep, they are slaughtered.  No fear kills.

You can find out who carries Smart Chicken in your area here.

And we dropped buying any other meats
but Niman Ranch‘s sausages, ham, bacon, etc.
Their meats are non-GMO,
no hormones, and not fed antibiotics
Organic is optional
Their Apple Gouda Sausage is a
treat for us for breakfast!
You can find out who carries
Niman Ranch in your area here.

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Doodlewash: 1000 Days

Charlie from Doodlewash posted his 1000th doodlewash todayHis post is worth reading from beginning to end, and I concur.  Great minds and all that.
At the end of the post he has three takeaways worth following!

One is about finding a group to share and post your images.
Doodlewash is such a group (come find me and ask for friendship),
and there are private groups on Facebook as well.
The reason it is good to share is you find out that your aaack-awful-gads-give-it-up beginnings are really not so bad, and maybe even good!
You might even encourage another reluctant artist to share also!

I love his Doodlewash Manifesto — Charlie is all about the positive,
and as a teacher, that is something I can get behind!!

My first 100% watercolor was the boat and water image…
Remember I was an artist before but worked acrylics and this is so different!

I was curious about when I started, and it was in January 2014, and I’m at 957 postings.
I’ve not counted my images, but I am sure I am over 1000 now, and it is true, that if you practice every day you will get better and better, developing a wonderful creative habit.
I work full-time, and often my mark-making is at night.  I’d love to get out with
the local Urban Sketchers but Saturdays are working days for me…

When I was learning I did more challenges and painted what someone suggested…
As I found my way I migrated back to what I like doing, and I love journaling and painting alongside it, a record of what interested me in my life and what was troubling or wonderful about my days.  Now I am all about that, unless I am entering a competition.
I doodle what I love, palms and moons and windows….

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The President Sang Amazing Grace

So much sadness in our country now.
I appreciate Joan and Jeff getting together in this.
The Atlantic covered the album release.

“The President Sang Amazing Grace” is performed by Joan Baez, written by Zoe Mulford, and animated in this video by Jeff Scher. It is part of The Atlantic Selects, an online showcase of short documentaries from independent creators, curated by The Atlantic.

Posted in art journal | 6 Comments


I’m journalling daily in my Nostalgie with images almost every page…
Too personal to publish, as family is still alive.

This images was swirling around in my head for days in deep blue.
It has something to do with what I am walking through these days.

This page started off six pages of writing…
When I was done I needed the flower below, any flower, colorful,
happy, expansive to finish that bit off for now.

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VSW: Basilique Saint Michel Archangel, Menton

Drawing the Basilique Saint Michel Archangel in Menton, France on our virtual sketchwalk!  This difficult image from Wikimedia caught my eye from the beginning.

I started with a pencil sketch.  Again, dispelling the myth that you
should not use pencils.  Frankly I hate all you-should-nots!

*funny, as I write this I wonder what I’d draw in gesture format…*

And, because I wondered what a gesture might be like, I did one!
*gesture is where you let your hand follow where your eye  is looking,
though I spotted this more than I might have… but wanted to see
what it might look
like without the pencil figuring!*
Covered up the images and went for it!
The only thing, is that I’d already studied the photo in pencil
and so, I that memory in head and hand.
*yup, hands have memory… why drawing something
100 times makes 
you know it!  NOT all in your head!*

Okay, forget the gesture…  I inked over the pencil, adding details.

Water-colored over ink.

I finally invested in a couple of purple colors
*i am not drawn to them naturally and so for the longest time had only
the lovely Imperial Purple, still my favorite*

Daniel Smith’s Purpurite (a Primatek) was exactly the right color for
the base paint for lower half of the stairs.  In fact, the base of the buildings
were all done in Primateks.  Perfect for this part of the world.

I am so happy with the color work!

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Posted in architecture, art journal, challenge, creativity, drawing, pen & ink, pencil, process, virtual sketching, watercolor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

USk: Cherry Blossoms

Every year I am too busy OR the rains hit so fast that the blossoms drop.
This year I caught them!

I was out doing some disgusting errands with Mitchell
*IRS, SSI, government, ugh*
when we came upon the riverfront and saw the gorgeous cherry blossoms!
*never mind the grey im-gonna-rain skies*
Many peeps were out to see them on a Wednesday!
A lovely end to our outing, making it worthwhile!
*did i mention the governments offices could not help us?
of course.  only its their job.*

We stopped so I could do a quick sketch of the scene, to paint later.

Middle-of-the-night I painted the scene.
Oddly, I used the ONE small palette I didn’t have by the bed,
*right?  always I want what I don’t have!*
the palette meant for painting the Painted Ladies in the neighborhood.

I love line sketches… and this one I love more than the painted version…
Do you have a preference?

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Posted in architecture, art journal, drawing, journal, landscape, memory, painting, pen & ink, process, sketchbook, watercolor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments