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Riding Herd with a Pencil

I’ve been working on some Texas related drawings lately and thought I’d post a couple of them.  The first one is of a Texas longhorn cow done with a fine point Sharpie pen.  We have a family of three of these amazing animals down the road from us.  We often stop and talk to them when we go for our two mile walks.  

There are a bull, a cow, and young bull calf in this lovely family unit.  Their horns are just huge and sometimes they put them to good use by delicately scratching hard to reach parts of their bodies with the tips.  Such beautiful colors in their hides too—tans, browns, rusts— with lots of spots. 

They always solemnly observe us as we go by.  My husband’s grandfather had a large ranch in Gilroy, California, back in the ’40s and ’50s and my husband used to help him with the cattle in the summertime.  Grandpa Joe told him that the cattle were much more at ease with a rider on horseback than with a person just walking around them.  It seems that us two-legged humans just ain’t natural, in their eyes.  Maybe that’s why this threesome stares at us with such interest when we pass by. 

A couple of Christmases ago we went to the local parade in town where all the entries are decked out in lights.  One entry was a big longhorn that had a saddle and rider on board, with Christmas lights strung between its horns.  Very festive!

The other is a quick pencil sketch of a cowboy on his horse.  It’s from an old photograph that I found when searching images on Google. 

I  liked the way he sat in the saddle–kind of self-assured and relaxed.  There’s just something about a cowboy, isn’t there?

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Feliz Navidad–Virtual Paintout Dec.

Hola!  Just in time to warm you up for the holidays—the Virtual Paintout location for the month of December is South of the border in Mexico City

My entry is for the area called Stand de Tiro.  As before, you can view all the entries for this month and past months on Bill Guffey’s great website.  Just click on the link above.  While you’re there, click on any photo to see an enlarged view.

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Virtual Paintout Smackdown

Well, I sucked it up and decided to enter the Virtual Paintout for Lisbon this month!  Nothing like waiting until the last minute, but what else is new?  For those of you who haven’t heard of it, this is the website where you can enter art work created using Google’s street view for inspiration.  Any medium can be employed, but the subject has to be something that can be viewed on the street view of the city of the month which has been selected by fantastic artist Bill Guffney. 

As I said, this month it was Lisbon, Portugal.  I’ve never been there, but after “driving” down its streets and looking at many, many buildings, I can tell you I feel like I’ve been there—minus the jet lag and the weight gain from what I’m sure is wonderful food. 

So, here’s a sneak peek of my offering.  Please go to the website and check out the terrific art work from the other great artists. 

I want to be just like them when I grow up. 

You can click on each of the art works for an enlarged, closeup view.  Enjoy!

Lisbon4email

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Culvey, Caught in the Act

Culvey cleaning

I did this quick sketch today of my cat, Culvey, caught in the act of cleaning his private parts on my bed.  Culvey is about a year old but we’ve only had him around six months.  We found him and his brother, Roadie, living in a culvert on the side of our road.  Since we live out in the country, people think it’s the ideal dumping ground for unwanted cats and dogs.  Culvey and Roadie were barely out of kittenhood and had no source of food or water apart from what they could find in the surrounding fields.  We rescued them and had them neutered (Roadie had the additional problem of having a rhinotracheitis infection that the vet cleared up.)  Now, as you can see, they’re living the Life of Riley.

(My husband says this sketch reminds him of George Booth cartoons, of whom we’re both great fans.  There’s one in the current edition of The New Yorker magazine.  Booth always draws cats in various states of distinctly feline behavior—cleaning, sitting with their backs to the viewer, and freaking out in “cat fits.”)