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Headstones and Queen’s Crowns

Here’s another little painting I did of a place across the street from our library that creates granite memorial headstones. Some are the usual gray and some are the polished pink granite that we see a lot of around here, mainly in WPA era buildings like our courthouse.

I like this site mainly because of the vine growing unchecked up the telephone pole in front. The locals call this vine “Queen’s Crown.” Here’s what I found when I Googled it:

Queen’s wreath (Antigonon leptopus), a buckwheat-family member also known as coral vine and queen’s crown, is a fast-growing Mexican plant that has become a prominent Lone Star resident. This tuberous perennial bears delicate heart-shaped leaves and copious lacey clusters of hanging radiant pink or white flowers throughout summer and autumn. Virtually pest-free, except for enthralled bees, it thrives in heat and withstands droughts in zones 8-9. In fact, too much water will impede blooming. Perfect for sunny fences or arbors in well-drained sites, this easily-grown tendriled tropical can reach up to 30 feet and can become territorially aggressive.

This one has definitely claimed its territory.  More power to it, I say!

 

Nagel Memorial 2

 

5

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?