Posts Tagged With: sketching

Hanging Around McCarthy


Small garden im front of house

Over the next several days, our little art band, ate lunch and dinner at the Wrangell Mountain Center.
We listened to great art lectures and ideas from Kristen Link. Kristen is very knowledgeable on botanical and scientific drawing and the science part of the naturalist field sketching.


River bed near McCarthy

Most days we waited until after lunch to go on location.
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays
these couriers from the swift completion of their
appointed rounds.” the US Postal saying comes to mind with our outdoor sketching class.

Looking at fallen cottonwoods

The first afternoon was down by the river bed. Fallen cottonwood trees and feathery Dryas flower lined the rocky dry riverbed. It was mostly misty then turned to light rain. After a little while any a few short sketches.
My watercolor sketches were a mess. We went back to the warmth of the hardware store for a bit of food and to finish our sketches.

On location in Kennicott

Next day, we set off by bus to Kennicott with baged lunches and a few plastic ponchos. The light rain gave way to a steady cold rain. I was painting under my poncho. Rita had a great idea, she assured us the lady who runs the pizza bus in kennicott would love to have us use her tent. She also sells coffee and hot chocolate.

Carol sketching

Did not have to ask Carol and I twice. The three of us packed quick and hiked down the hill to hot drinks, yummy calzone and dry sketching place.
Later we rode a very full bus of tour guides getting off duty, back to mccarthy. They said they we going to open mike night at Golden Saloon. Sounds fun.

The Golden Saloon

After dinner, our books dried out enough to work on them. More talk and friendship.
Yes, we went to Golden Saloon. Great fun listening to Michele sing some of her original songs.

The Golden Saloon McCarthy

Next day! More rain even harder. In the afternoon we set out to make a sketch map of someplace in McCarthy. I did a little path near the hardware store.

A little path

Later that night afterdinner we had a final art show. Rita brought her summer works of art. Beautiful painting of the moraines and mountains. Mount Blackburn and Fireweed painted in brilliant shades of pinks, blues and violets. Stunning, they are painted in the Cape Cod Style of art that uses colors to give painting depth and light. Afterwards, the sun finally broke through, Rita and her Husband drove Carol and I back up to Kennicott to photograph the mountains and the mines in sunlight.


Wow! We watched the sun set over Kennicott and walked to the top of the hill to Silk Stocking Row. Manager housing for the old mines. Many of the homes are fixed up very nice.we walked back to cars and headed back to McCarthy. The four of us went to Golden Saloon for some snacks and drinks. What nice new friends. We said our goodbyes and off to bed.

Categories: alaska, Art Educations, art expedition, art supplies, Art Supplies and Equipment, Art Workshops, Botanical Drawing, Food and Restaurants, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Main Street McCarthy

Carol and I rode the Kennicott Lodge bus with our luggage down to McCarthy. It is overcast and cool with bouts of rain.


Ma Johnson's Hotel

In front of Ma Johnson’s hotel we unload our baggage. Up on the porch we place our baggage. Out comes Neil the owner to help us. Carol, Neil and I wheel in our luggage. On week three, this luggage thing gets tiresome. Leaving the artcarts on the porch. Neil shows us to our room. How sweet, two twin beds with lovely quilts. Pretty folded towels with handmade soap tucked in and a bag of candy with a little poem next to our sink. The potty and shower is close by… big Yeah!  I plop on the bed for a couple minutes of heaven. Carol was looking for electric plug. No, luck….if you want to charge anything…phone, computer, ipad, camera and such you need to take it to the parlor. Electronic are lined up neatly on a few small tables against the wall.

Ma Johnson's Hotel Parlor

ELECTRONIC WITHDRAW!!! To begin with I was a bit edgey about this, leaving my lifeline unattended. But after awhile you just don’t worry about it. Nobody was touching your stuff and visa versa. The phones and internet just don’t work right anyway. So after a day or so the withdraw subsides.

Not to forget the artcarts, the girl at the desk pointed me in the right direction, told me the Wrangell Mountain Center was in the hardware store and I couldn’t miss it. So off I went with the artcarts. Down the road and into a brandnew building that had hardware stuff in it. Well as it turns out, that was the grocery store. I bought some bottled icetea and a candy bar, I was famished. Back outside with two art carts and bag of food. Down farther a two story very large building with giant letters HARDWARE written on it.


Harware Store McCarthy ak

How stupid can I be. I took the artcarts in and met Kristen, Cobi and Mary from the wrangell mountain center. Later in the evening our class started.
When I got back to Hotel, Carol was ready for our “tour around town”, one street. McCarthy proved to be more than met the eye.

Mcountain Arts Gallery McCarthy Ak

We stoppd at the Mountain Arts gallery that showcased many local
artists. image
Then we stopped by the McCarthy-Kennicott Historical Museum. Great history and artifacts.

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Kennicott & Kennecott: choose carefully!

Once loaded in the van, Carol and I were off for a 15 minute ride up the mountain side. Passing hikers, bikers and a few trucks or buses onlong the one lane gravel road. The road was heavily tree lined, our only clue that we were on a mountain was the steep incline of the road.


Kennicott Glacier Lodge

Nearing the top the trees gave way to a beautiful vista. Green mountains capped in clouds, a white glacier peeking out from the clouds in the distance. Red buildings with white trim. We knew we were in Kennicott.

Mountain view from Kennicott

Still a little awed the group of us from the van we unloaded and taken into the Kennicott Glaciet Lodge. Just beautiful! Warm and welcoming. It was like stepping nack in time. A brass key ring was our room key with a door that opens to the long porch up front. Just lovely.

Quick water color sketch of toe of glacier moraines

A fire in the parlor was roaring with guests enjoying the leather chairs.
Our had two double/queen beds and a sink.  Two chairs, thats luxury. That ment Carol and I could sit down at the same time.
Everything is super clean. The showers and toilets are shared. This was not a problem at all.

Steak sandwich and potato soup

The food plan was great. Breakfast was included with room. The meal plan included a lunch and dinner. Lunch was a sandwich with soup or salad and a drink from 12-3. Dinner was family style seating promptly at 7pm. Great food and conversation. The other guests are very delightful.
Walking around the town takes mpre or less a day. They have a walking tour of the town 1 1/2hours, but Carol and I missed the 1pm start. Other tours are available, hiking and icehiking.
The National Park Service has a self guided walking tour and vistor center. Very nice. Everyone is friendly and helpful.
Now about the spelling issue, way back when the mines were started someone misspelled Kennicott with and -e- as in Kennecott. So what has occurred is the local residents use the -i- and the Park Service uses the -e- because of the Kennicott Minning Company. Hmmm…..

Categories: alaska, Art Educations, art expedition, art supplies, Food and Restaurants, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kids, Colored Pencils and Nacho Chips


Colored pencil Carol Mackie Morris

Project 1

colored pencil

Carol Mackie Morris

08-01-2013 carol morris project 2 maryland black eyed susan oak

Project 2

Colored Pencil

Carol Morris

08-01-2013 carol morris project 3 hibiscus

Project 3

Colored Pencil

Carol Morris

Today was our last class at Corcoran School of Art and Design
Sunday Aug. 4, 2013
Botanical Drawing course. Today was our critique class, we brought our projects and everyone enjoyed discussing and giving sugestions. It was wonderful, to be able to have eight peoples ideas of your work. Hands down this was the best class I have taken. Big shout out to our teacher, Carol Beach.


Today, my daughter Anna, my son Joe and Anna’s boyfriend Mike came to drive Carol and I to the airport tomorrow.
Anna spent today on a college english paper, Go Anna Go! Then the trio went to the massive Georgetown, DC flea market. What fun.
After class, off the Cactus Cantina on 3300 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC. Wow! We ordered the Plato Gordo, Beef and chicken fajitas, costillas (pork ribs), and camarones diablo (shrimp).
Served with fresh flour tortillas, rice, guacamole, pico de gallo and frijoles a la charra.(Serves up to four people).
The dinner was unbelievable. Grilled shrimp, beef and veggies were great. BBQ ribs were so tender. Add rice and Guacamole to finish. We are now at the hotel near BWI.
finishing my Hibuscus drawing .



Up early tomorrow and off to airport.
Sleep well my readers.
God bless and happy travels

Categories: alaska, Art Educations, art expedition, art supplies, Art Techniques, Art Workshops, Botanical Drawing, Food and Restaurants, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Painting Alaska-Watercolor Kit


Business Card Palettes and travel brushes

Tonight I seriously started collecting and sorting through supplies to bring.A couple of days ago, I filled the pocket watercolor palette Carol had  given me as a gift. It is metal and the size of a business card holder. Carol found this .little gem at ExpeditionaryArt. It hold 14 different colors in mini tin trays and a magnet to hold them in with a white vinyl as a mixing tray. I wrote the name and number on the bottom of each tray with a Sakura microperm pens.


Labeled pans, color chart too!

The pen claims to be permanent on metal, will see if that is true. I filled them with a combination of Windsor Newton and Cotman tube watercolors. It took about a week to dry. Some of the colors are loose and would drip.
These colors were in my little wood box of tube watercolors. Until now I used two different Windsor Newton sets, small white pocket travel set with 8 colors and a larger set with 12 colors that I picked up at yard sale for $2.00.
As it turns out I was only missing 2 colors from the Wrangel State Park supply list. That was a first.
Then I cut watercolor paper to size and made color charts, with name. Until I can memorize the colors, .the charts are very useful. The purple triangle scrapper is a plastic credit card that is cut up.


Brushes opened, they are full sized and well balanced


Closed brushes around 4inches long

I am bringing my four travel sable watercolor brrushes, 3 from Utrect size 8,5 and 1. I treated Carol and myself to a handmade cats tounge filbert from Rosemary and Company UK .
I love the faux marble handle. All the brushes hold water well and retain there shape. Yeah!
Let me know if you have any questions. Enough for now, 1am my time. Goodnight and God bless you. Margaret
The watercolors I am taking are:
744 yellow ochre
346 Lemon yellow
119 Cadium yellow deep
580 Rose Madder
502 Permanent rose
090 Cadium Orange
465 paynes grey
609 sepia
100 Cadium red light
098 Cadium red deep
192 Colbalt violet
231 Dioxazine violet
179 colbalt violet
660 ultramarine blue
599 sap green
329 phathalo green
312 hookers green

Windsor Newton artist grade
422 Naples yellow
726 Windsor red (new tube)
074 burn sienna
544 raw umber
Permanent white
Chinese white (grey cast)
Zinc white

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Rock Paper Scissors- Sketchbook and Paper


Komtrak sketchbook


Komtrak two different bindings

I sat down last night taking my box of 9X12 inches watercolor papers and cut them into 3 pieces. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches to fit in my Komtrak Sketchbook. A few minutes punching holes did the trick.
Second cut was for the 3 x 8 1/2 inches. To fit business envelopes, I found some vellum envelopes I found in my basement supplies. Carol made address labels for our trip. This will be fun to sent homemade cards to send.
The last part of the paper is for bookmarks to give as gifts to freinds and family.
I placed all the paper into ziploc bag for safe keeping.


Cut watercolor pages waiting for holes

The sketchbooks come with two different bindings, both removeable. A spiral and a O ring clip. I have one of each. I am using the O clip currently and love being able to flip cover to the back. Being able to add or remove pages is great. I really like using this sketchbook.

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A bit of France- my luggage


Toile Luggage, just under legal limit for Delta Air. …lol

I found this large rolling luggage at Blair’s Jewelry and Gifts California, Md. . This store is truly amazing. Gifts of everykind, including fine jewelry. They will monogram almost anything, metal, glass and fabric.
I bought the suitcase several years ago, so I do not know if they still carry it.
Inside has a large zippered part on lid and two elastic straps to hold everything in.

My daughter was graduating from high school, i bought it for her. Then someone else gave her a luggage set. I decide to keep it and put it in my closet. I was looking at it this week and thought, that looks just about the largest luggage you can check. Well it measures 29x20x10 inches and can extend another 2 inches in front. That makes 60 inches. I think Delta Air check baggage is 63 inches. Now to keep it under 50 pounds. I will be a very fashionable traveler. White luggage, it won’t look this nice come late August. How funny…
Happy Travels…God bless Margaret

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Sketching- Practice! Practice! Practice!


Cactus Cantina best mexican food DC

Well in the last couple days, Carol has been finishing the last details of museums, meetings and other fun planning events. I have been busy with work, doctor appointments and such. So when I get the chance I have been practicing travel sketching. It is a lot of fun, finding minutes here and there to record your day is the challenge.


Ikea Baltimore- fish fridays

Sitting waiting for dinner, scouts or like today at MVA. Most times I have found about 10-15 at the longest. MVA was 4 hours-yikes. Boy do you
have a great selection of models that don’t move much…lol. It really help pass the time.. Enjoy, my sketches are pretty rough. As soon as I get ahold of Carol’s sketchbook I will snap some photos.
I would love to here from you. Godbless Margaret

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Your Taking What! Art Cart to Alaska


Why on earth am I dragging my art cart or trolley for you guys overseas four thousand miles to Alaska.
Well I love this cart we have been together several years now.
BAC- Before Art Cart. I tried tote bags, boxes, paper and plastic grocery bags, milk crates on wheels, rolling backpacks, scrapbooking carts and the list goes on and on. Some I bought, some people gave me or lent to me, on sale or not on sale. Talking to other cart owners at conventions, stopping cart people on street. Going to workshops, art classes and conventions carrying my supplies up steps, in elevators and back and forth to car was killing me. This was a crazy back breaking obsession to find a better way. After I really hurt my shoulders at a convention and a couple months later pulled a couple of ribs out of place. I finally found my true cart love- Rest and Roll Trolley. This cart is like a good spouse, you think of ways you could change it, but all and all you are so happy with what you found. What is so great about this cart. #1 reason I love this thing is the fold out chair, that a full size human being can sit on comfortably and it ROLLS off road too. Now for the nuts and bolts of this cart.
QVC discription– One smart cart. From around-the-house use to away-from-home-excursions, the Rest-n-Roll cart is designed to simplify life. Carry anything from groceries to a change of clothes in the large, multipurpose storage bag, then, keep drinks and munchies in the insulated pouch. There’s even a there-when-you-need-it, comfortable, sturdy, flip-down molded seat.,Extendable handle,Durable, lightweight polyester construction,Open, measures 26″D x 37-1/2″H x 16″W; supports up to 300 lbs, Made in China.
11Pounds weight.
If you want a good laugh: watch the you tube videos for this product.

Well how much can this cart hold. 2 wood palettes, 4 wood brush boxes, medium wood paint box for oil tube paint, 2 plastic travel palettes for wet paint, small tote bag with turps, gamesol and other flamables.
Funnel, wet canvas holders, mixing tile, and two aprons.

Pockets inside and out are stategically placed for good use- umbrella pocket, small tripod pocket.
Came with a snap on pencil case- I have been thinking about what to put in it for 2
To top it off, the front of the bag has a insulated pouch for drinks, lunch and snacks.
Our trip to Alaska will be a sketching watercolor trip, so I will update later on the packing list.

Now, the big dilema it to fit it in my suitcase and not be over 50lbs. .It folds up nice, take wheels and handle off, i think it fits in my suitcase. ….I hope so at least…..
God bless you travels….. Margaret

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Luggage: Good luck with that!


The Dilema! Three weeks clothes, medicine, hats, hiking shoes, winter coats (95° in Md, 105° heat index today), art supplies, art carts, art supplies for the class we are giving in Anchorage.
2 bags checked free, 62 inches and under 50lbs. Two carry on bags. Hmm!
Well, to start Carol and I checked our luggage at home. That went well Carol and I found luggage that rolled(attic shopping). Hooray!
Now, the art carts were becoming a problem. Carol thought of having canvas bags made for art carts.
I went to staples for bussiness card case. After searching around for the card cases, I found the travel accessories isle. What to my wondering eyes did appear, large heavy nylon bags by Samsonite: Tote a Ton measure 62inches. Yeah, under the legal limit. I bought the last two bags. Now to see if they fit the art cart.
And they did!!!!! Now to pick it up! I will have to work on that.
Happy travels! God bless Margaret


Bag with art cart inside, perfect fit.


Samsonite, Carry A Ton bags

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