Our Banana Plantation

We actually have quite a few banana and plantain types growing around our yard.  This is a true banana patch with some Red Bananas and some Fingerling types.  Banana leaves are called flags and like any flag they shred in constant winds.  The large leaf in the foreground was fully shredded by the morning after I painted this.  That's alright, there is another new flag growing quickly and the shredding actually helps the plant with its internal distribution of nourishment.  We have several plants in blossom, so I'll painting the flowers and the developing bananas as our Spring progresses.

A New Sketch book for traveling

As I sketch more and more I find a need for different paper styles and different materials.  I am working more and more in ink with watercolor paints.  So I created this little sketch book to carry with me.  I used paper from the Khadi Papers India mill.  Their paper is a vat sized cold pressed cotton rag paper made by hand in the heart of the India cotton growing region.  This paper has a soft hand, comes in approximately 140 lb weight and is perfect for watercolor, pen and ink and charcoal/pencil.  I created the sketchbook within a 6 to 7 oz leather wrapper and used cotton twine and hand carved beads to bind it.  The actual paper is held in place without holes by the long stitch binding and can be swapped out when it is full utilized.  I really like the 6 by 6 inch size, it gives a great 6 x 12 landscape mode.

Here's my first sketch in this new book.  I'm quite happy with it.

Who knew there were so many types of palms.  Here in our South Texas Tropical paradise there are a lot of native and non native palms.  Each winter that we have a little cold snap reduces some of them to withered stumps, but I am trying to learn about the survivors.

I'm embarking on a new endeavor, sketching....  I've always said I couldn't paint and I couldn't draw, but now in my dotage I guess I don't know any better.  So notice the page above titled Urban Sketching.  I'll try and post my sketches and what I am learning about life and drawing.