Life Goes On…Part 17- Fire Smoke, Studio Work & Vegetables

Looking east from our place on Sept. 9

As with much of northern coastal California, we woke up on the 9th to a red-orange world. Although the Red Salmon Complex Fire has been burning since August about an hour east of us (we’re fine, no threat from it), this crazy smoke is part of a huge band of smoke the stretches the length of California and is the same one that produced all the wild red photos of San Francisco that made the national and international news. Today it’s grey smoky overcast, but air quality is still an unhealthy 175, so we’re staying indoors and wearing a mask if we need to go outside. Keeping the collies in as much as possible also. The good news for us is that this should clear out starting tomorrow. The bad news for the folks up in western Washington State is that it’s heading their way.

The pandemic has, to some extent, taken a back seat and the good news is that after a case spike mostly due to gatherings of too many people, some from out of the area, the number is down and what has opened can stay open. It’s definitely moved down the news queue for now.

In the meantime, here are my latest Inktober52 drawings…

Inktober52- Prompt: “Drill”

This is male drill, a primate that is related to baboons. They are only found in ancient rainforests on Africa’s west coast and are an endangered species. Gillott 404 pen nib, Daler Rowney Sepia ink on cold press illustration board.


Inktober52- Prompt: “Balance”

Who has great balance in the animal world? Wild goats for one. The reference for this one is from a photo I took of a big old Siberian ibex I saw in Mongolia in 2011. He bolted out from an overhang as we walked down a valley and stopped right in front of us, head facing us, body in profile, just what I wanted for this silly pose. Gillott 303 nib and walnut ink on vellum plus digital pens and a brush in PixelmatorPro.

The garden is slowing down for the year. Peas are done. Waiting for a couple of new garlic varieties to arrive. Some of the roses are doing a last flush of bloom.

First haul: Purple snow pea peapods, Hurst Green Shaft peas still in pods, left: Haricot verts, right: and also in the basket, Blue Lake bush beans (the pole bean version is just getting started)
Hurst Green Shaft peas, an English variety that does well here and, wow, the flavor!!!
First dinner salad of the year with only our own lettuces, ‘Flashy Trout’s Back’ and ‘Merveille des Quatre Saisons’, ‘Purple Pea’ peapods, and an ‘Indigo’ cherry tomato.

I’ve also done a series of drawings of our first full-size tomato, an Early Girl. Haven’t eaten it yet.

Here’s one in watercolor
And another one in pen and ink with white colored pencil on toned paper

Finally, some of the hollyhocks are still blooming. This is my favorite ‘Creme de Cassis’. It seems to repeat well and produces lots of seeds.

I’m back in the studio working on a set of three new paintings. Should have something to show you next time!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s