Friday, February 28, 2014

Art Journaling: Whales, Birds and a Little Tequila

Ok, well maybe a lot of tequila!  We are off on a camping/wildlife adventure with wonderful guides provided by Mar y Adventuras.  We camped on beautiful white sandy beaches on two different island in Baja California, Mexico.  
Our guides took very good care of us, offering lots of tequila, fresh fruit, and fresh caught fish.  Happy hour awaited us every day when we returned from a day of bird watching, whale watching, hiking and kayaking.
 I added at least 15 new birds to my life list.  I started this list as a young teenager in Alabama so you can imagine how exciting this is for me.  I finally see blue-footed boobies!  

Zoom in to see the blue feet!
I see two birds that are endemic to Baja California, the Belding's Yellowthroat and the Gray Thrasher.  

The drive to Magdalena Bay, for gray whale watching, is a four-hour van ride through a land of cactus, lizards and turkey vultures, bare and hot. We stopped at a tiny cafe for fresh empanadas and quesadillas, which were served from a rancher's kitchen.  

There is no menu and we satiate our appetites by ordering from the kitchen window.  The rancher's wife quickly warms up our food on a wood burning stove.  Delicious!  We all order seconds.  I wander outside to find meat hanging to dry like freshly washed laundry.  Surprising, there is a flock of brightly colored yellow birds.

 I take photos and identify them as Lesser Goldfinches.  Off in the distance at the tip of a cactus I take a picture of another, not so colorful bird and find out that this is a Gray Thrasher found only in this region.  All this is wonderful inspiration for painting in my Arches watercolor journal that I brought on this adventure.  I had to pack my traveling light kit, as I knew there would be limited space.  Here are some photos of how I prepared my small Winsor Newton palettes.  I filled one with my warm colors and another with my cool colors.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Lots of Wildlife!

Did you know that I am an avid bird watcher? Part of going to a new location is the joy of spotting a new species to add to my life list. I thought it would also be fun to incorporate all the birds I have been seeing in Baja, Mexico into my watercolor journal.  Here is a watercolor painting of a Brown Pelican.... they were everywhere!
 This is a photo I took of a Black Crowned Night Heron who was doing some fishing right in front of our restaurant on the water in La Paz, Mexico.... (a painting waiting to happen!)

A Page in my journal showing a map of Baja with a painting behind it
Here is a photo of one of the Whale Sharks we swam with.  Thanks Michi for sharing this awesome underwater photo.  Look at those fabulous polka dots!!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Art Journaling- Mexico

I have never been to Baja, Mexico. It was a long trip starting out in Oregon, Snowing and zero degrees at the airport.  Here it is Sunny and beautiful. First thing this morning our friends tell us we are going to go swimming with whale sharks this afternoon ' This was unexpected,, but hey! why not! And let me tell you, what a thrill to be with these gigantic gentle beast. At first made me panic a little to be in the water with them.
 Did you know they have polka dots?
I have been drawing and painting in my journal but the internet is too slow to load photos.... I will try again with my next post.