Mid July – there are less flowers blooming now. The hummingbirds have hatched and grown one batch of babies so far. They are emptying the feeders at record speed and filling the air with the sound of buzzing wings. There must also be baby robins in nests out in the orchard. I found a bit of an egg lying in the driveway. Dandelions continue to pop up here and there. I know they are technically a weed to anyone attempting to grow a smooth lawn, but I enjoy their cheery yellow faces. In my shade garden the Hostas have bloomed profusely, but their delicate flowers are tired looking now.
Around the veggies in my bin garden I planted Nasturtium seeds. They decorate the edges of my garden with beautiful yellow and orange flowers and lovely, round jewel leaves that play with the sunlight in the morning.
I usually work in my studio, but would like to be able to work outside conveniently when the weather will allow. So I am experimenting with a little lap table I made from a piece of plexiglass. I cut it in two pieces and covered all the edges with washi tape for safety. Then I placed the two pieces together and lined up the cut edges. I made a “hinge” using clear packing tape by covering the folded edges, then opened the pieces to lie flat and covered the top side of the join. This holds the pieces flat and stable while I am using them and still allows me to fold them for carrying in my bag.
I glued a magnet to the bottom of an old vitamin bottle and placed another small magnet under the plexiglass to keep the bottle in place. A piece of rolled up terrycloth to wipe brushes on is held in place next to the bottle with a small clip. And a couple more small clips hold the edge of the sketchbook to the plexiglass. My pallete and extra mixing space are held in place with magnetic refrigerator clips. I am such a glutton for mixing space! I want all my washes to have their own space, and prefer not to clean them up between paintings, if possible. It is so handy to start with a previous mix. So I used packing tape to cover some white card stock cut to fit inside the Moda pencil case. Since the case is metal it can be secured to the board with a magnetic clip.
I can pick up the whole set up with one hand and nothing falls off! I tested it out while making this sketch spread and liked the way it felt. I hope to use it more often while the weather is good. Hope you are staying creative and possibly adding your sketches to #WorldWatercolorMonth.