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September 2013

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Ozarks Sketching

Our midweek getaway/mini-honeymoon trip to Bennett Springs didn't turn out exactly as we'd planned.

OK, things seldom do, but this REALLY didn't.  As kateslover wrote in his blog post yesterday, instead of finally getting to fly flish at this old Missouri State Park--I've been going there since I was a kid--he got sick.  NOT fun...so between going for cold meds, makings for chicken soup, and Irish whiskey, I got to sketch (and he got to lie around feeling lousy.)

They gave us a TV schedule when we checked in, and I laughed.  "Why would anybody come to this gorgeous place and watch TV?!?"  Um.  Well, if you feel lousy and you have only one book with you, you watch TV.  Poor guy...




I can't complain...I got to sit in the sun by that crystalline spring and draw.  I used a sepia Faber-Castell Pitt pen that seems perfect for the age of the stone gage house building.  (It measures water flow from the spring.)





This little stone structure, built in the 1930s by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), is just down from the spring itself.  It's almost Medieval-ish and oddly magic (except for the graffiti inside left by the ubiquitous Orcs)--a lovely spot to view the trout and the elegant, graceful casting of the fly fishermen.

For all the people, the quiet is almost unbroken except by birdsong, the whisper of drying leaves, and the sound of the river...there's something special about fly fishermen. 

Of course, since I was raised by one, I guess I would feel that way. 



Later, I walked across the parking area to sit out in front of the cabin next to our favorite one--we'll stay there again next time.  I didn't want to be too far from Joseph in case he needed something (besides Kleenex!), and this was a marvelous place to be.  Each cabin has a picnic table (and grill), and as I worked, a pair of nuthatches busily mined the bark of the oak tree not 8 feet from me.

I used my little Japanese fountain pen, a Pentel waterbrush, and the small travel set of watercolors I made in a metal Kremer Pigments box.  (I like to choose my own colors, so usually prefer empty boxes to sets of pre-chosen colors.  Less expensive, too!) 

* Watch for a review of waterbrushes later this week.




The pen was an eBay find from Russ Stuttler (TokyoRuss), founder of the popular online Sketching Forum (lots of great info there!)  Here's Russ's eBay store.




I like working with quick ink sketches and then laying in loose watercolor washes...it's a terrific way to sketch on the spot.  If you'd like to see more examples from a wide variety of locations, here is our Ink and Watercolor Wash Flickr group.  Enjoy browsing the site, and feel free to join us--we're almost up to 800 members now! 

And of course if you'd like to have a quick class in the technique, you might like my Ink & Wash Slide Show Workshop CD--it was a lot of fun to produce and offers inspiration from some of the best artists I know.




I took the photo after I finished my sketch, so I'd have a record...like the little stone structure earlier this (and the cabin we stayed in this time) were both original to the site, built by the CCC.  LOVE the fireplaces...

Comments

(Anonymous)

Sorry to hear Joseph was sick on vacation. :( Hope he's all better now.

What brand of Japanese fountain pen is that? Love your sketches and it looks like a beautiful spot.

You'll just have to try again another time for your mini-honeymoon. ;)
Always, Rita
Hi Rita! He's beginning to feel better, but still sneezy and worn out.

It's a Platinum pocket pen. Russ Stutler has more on eBay right now! Here's his shop...
http://shop.ebay.com/tokyo_russ/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p3686

Joseph wanted to know if I wanted to try again this coming week, since this is the last week the cabins will be open. I'd love to, but...
Hee, I gots that same Platinum pen! Also a black one. :) My waterbrushes, on the other hand, are generic Chinese-brushy type ones I got from the student art supply store. Oh wait, I got one that came with my Aquash set. :)
Hi Shuju! I've decided I'm pretty much a Niji fan--though I love the way some of the others fill without the extra baffle. (They also want to leak, often...)

I love the little platinum pen, used it almost exclusively on our last trip to CA!
Lovely buildings and lovely paintings!