Time Out for Art: Electrical Repair

I got up this morning to find my son eating breakfast by flashlight.  After a little exploration around the house, I discovered that some parts of the house had power while other parts did not.  I could make a cup of coffee, but I would have to drink it in the dark.  I could turn on the light in the bathroom, but not write an email since the modem didn’t have power.  I checked the breakers and they looked fine. So I called the power company and they sent out a technician.

Electrical Repair, pen and ink, 7" x 5"
Electrical Repair, pen and ink, 7″ x 5″

He first tested the power coming in to the junction box on the side of the house.  All looked well.  The power company is only responsible for the wires coming to the house; if I had a problem inside, he wouldn’t be able to help with it.  But before he concluded that for sure, he would check the other connections.  So he hopped into the bucket on the back of his truck and “flew up” to the top of the pole at the end of the driveway.  When that checked out okay, he got a ladder to check the connectors at the top of the house.  Bingo!  One of them was old and cracked and had shorted out.  It only took him a couple of minutes to replace, but it was long enough for me to capture a quick image of him up the ladder with all of his protective gear on.

Shakedown Cruise, 2015

Every year we do a shakedown cruise before going off on an extended trip.  It is a chance to make sure all the systems work and that we have everything on board that was taken off when the boat was put away for the winter.  For example, the past two years we discovered on the shakedown cruise that our bed pillows were still on the guest bed at home, disguised as a permanent fixture.  Other times we have forgotten such necessary items as matches for lighting the stove and a can opener.  And no one wants to discover in the middle of the Bay that the plumbing doesn’t work right!

Sailing on Cay of Sea, 2015

Whenever I go out on our sailboat, Cay of Sea, I take along a sketchbook and my pens and pencils.  I try to find something different to draw, something special about each voyage out on the Chesapeake Bay.  It is now the end of June, and we put the boat back in the water some time in April, so I have some catching up to do.

Time Out for Art: Tree Surgeons

We had tree surgeons from Expert Tree Removal here this past week.  They were cleaning up the “widow makers” or “hangers” as they called the large limbs of trees that had broken off but not fallen due to a storm earlier in the summer.  I took time out to watch them and drew this picture.

Tree Limb Removal, pen and ink with watercolor, 9" x 12"
Tree Limb Removal, pen and ink with watercolor wash, 9″ x 12″

I don’t remember being fascinated with machinery as a child.  I think my interest started when my sons were young and they liked to look at all the trucks and machines that we passed while driving.  Now, in addition to being distracted by the noise of the chipper and the chain saws, I felt compelled to watch as they lopped off branches and large sections of the trunk, calculating and making them fall between pilings, without hitting the electric light fixtures that were there.

The men liked this drawing and insisted that I show it to their boss when he returned later in the day.

Sailing on Cay of Sea: A Stormy Overnight

We do check the weather before we go sailing.  Because it is summertime, the report often includes a possibility of thunderstorms: smaller, unpredictable storms brought on by the heat and moisture, “pop-up storms”.  Such was the weather prediction before we went on this overnight cruise.

I hope that you are enjoying reading about our travels as much as I am enjoying making this book!

Time Out for Art: Pen and Ink

We had a damaging storm come through last Wednesday night.  I’m thankful that no one I know of was hurt, but the trees in our area suffered many broken limbs. We now have only a small path through which we can navigate to our front door until our landlord gets out his chain saw.  The neighbor’s spruce tree is leaning over the fence and resting on our roof.  My son was late to work because a couple of locust trees on the corner were down and blocking the road.   Today, the county sent out a maintenance crew and they cleared the remains of the locust trees off the corner.  I had a few minutes before my art student came, and I saw an opportunity to do some drawing.


Clearing Fallen Trees, pen and ink, 9" x 12"
Clearing Fallen Trees, pen and ink, 9″ x 12″

When I have been drawing in my sketchbook lately, I have started with a pencil and switched to the pen when I was confident of where my lines should be.  I didn’t think I would have time for that today, so I went directly into the drawing with ink.  Later, I added some watercolor, which doesn’t make a smooth wash on the sketchbook paper, but adds some color.

Clearing Fallen Trees (color), pen and ink with watercolor, 9" x 12"
Clearing Fallen Trees (color), pen and ink with watercolor, 9″ x 12″