Whatever Weds. This and That

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL Rights Reserved

How are you all doing? I’ve been out making pictures, seeing nature, my Baby Girl, grandboys, and our Big Baby Boy came up to visit. We hadn’t seen him in person since January 4th when we parted ways at the Reno airport for our transfers from our return trip from London. It was grand seeing him. We all missed him very much.

I’ve been making lots and lots of pictures, but I’m in a slump processing them. I’m not very motivated to do it lately which is why I’m posting less, painting more.

Here are two I have processed from recent photography outings, and some of you who follow me on Instagram know I’ve been taking two architecture sketching in ink and watercolor courses online. Well, I’ll show you the final project from one of those courses too.  Here we go!

July 4th’s almost Full Moonrise from my patio- rising over the Pinenut Mountains

July 4th's Moon 99.5%

Monday (this week) a girlfriend and I went out to the wilderness in separate cars to see the Wild Mustangs and there are lots and lots of new foals, fillies, and ponies!  Here is one of the cuties I saw.

I never did determine if it was male or female, but here it was resting under the protection of its mother’s chest and head whom you don’t see. It’s so cute!

Wild Mustang Foal

What’s blooming in my yard?  Not a whole lot, but there are Day Lilys! I don’t have any idea about its name. John Hric  do you? They were planted and doing well when we bought the house so left them. I love them.

Yellow Orange Day Lily

…and my Final Project of one of the watercolor courses. This took me all day and 3 times totally erasing it all and starting over. Drawing is so hard for me! I did learn more about how to “see” and draw perspective though. I hope one day it really clicks and I can actually draw without having to start over so many times. Like sewing, I think it requires an engineering brain. That’s not me. At. All!

We had a choice to paint the same building the instructor painted or choose a building from your own town.  I chose a building from one of my images from the capital of my new home state of Nevada. This is the St. Charles Hotel and Fox Brewery Pub in downtown Carson City, not my town, but it’s not too far away. It’s a Historic Landmark which some of you who have been following me a while might remember when I posted about it here in August 2019 for Thursday Doors.  My lampposts and buildings are wonky. I can’t draw a straight line to save my life.  I really wish all the teachers and instructors wouldn’t take away my ruler! St Charles Hotel and Fox Brew Pub Watercolor

…and here’s my image of the St Charles Hotel/Fox Brew Pub from 2019.

You can see I took artistic license and simplified the scene.


Historic Mt Charles Hotel and The Fox BrewPub

Current news: Three fires started simultaneously Monday evening just about 25 miles south of us just outside Gardnerville, NV so, we’re keeping a close eye on those.  We’re hoping they all stay out in the uninhabited BLM land. At the time of this writing, it’s now spread to 10,000 acres, destroyed one house, and 10 outbuildings and has 0 containment. Winds are still pretty good from the west which isn’t good.  We’ve been under a Red Flag high wind advisory conditions since Monday afternoon.  The firefighters have been concentrating on saving the 350+ homes out there.  I could see the flames from my patio Monday evening and from along Hwy 395 tonight.  It’s awful. My neighbor who is a retired firefighter says 3 fires don’t start at the same time naturally and suspects it’s arson. They’ve named it the #numbersfire. Right now they’re so busy trying to knock them down that they’re saying the cause is unknown. We had a wildfire in this same area the week before last that burned up a whole lot a of acres! Our thoughts are with those who have been evacuated, and those who are out in the thick of it fighting the fires.

We had dinner tonight with #1 Grandson’s other Grandparents at their house who also live in this town. OH MY GOSH! It was so great to see them and catch up in person! It’s been months and months since we’ve seen them. We figured we’re all still healthy, and we’re all keeping our circle of who we actually get close too really tight so let’s do it. It was so good to be normal! We’re going to see them again only we’re hosting next time. 😀

So, that just about catches you up with me. What’s been happening with you?

Fuji X-T3 & Nikon D810| PS CC 21.2| DaVinci Watercolor paint in the Scratchmadejournal curated palette| Canson 140lb cold press watercolor paper|DaVinci Artissmo and Pentel water brushes

more to come…



48 thoughts on “Whatever Weds. This and That

  1. Wee horsey is so cute!
    That’s so nice y’all could get together! I basically work and work, and when we do have social occasions, it’s the tight-knit group of my girls’ friends — the inner circle per se. We canceled vacation to Florida so I miss my mother worse than ever, a wedding I was looking forward to was canceled, the state fair is canceled, and my cousin and her kids were supposed to be here this week, but they’ve had to cancel too. If I didn’t go to work, I might have lost my mind by now. SOMEDAY looms large, hm?

    1. I have kept my circle pretty tight, but it was anyway so, really not much has changed.
      I did cancel a Grebe trip friends and I had scheduled, and I’d like to see my Mom too, and we still haven’t had a funereal for my sister who passed away at the end of March. That will be first on the list of to do when my Mom feels safe enough to fly out here for that. Someday does loom… I hope we’re getting on the backside of this virus soon!

  2. I love the photos and paintings. Since I’m well behind on reading posts, I’m happy to read that the fires were moving away. How scary!! My muse has left the building. I’ve just started week 2 of The Artist’s Way in hopes of helping unblock my creativity!

  3. I applaud you for taking the classes. I can’t draw very well with a pencil, but it would be a dream to be able to draw and paint. My hands wouldn’t hold up though with my arthritis. All your work is magnificent! What a site to see that foal! Hope the fires get under control and you don’t have to evacuate. Keep us posted! 🙂

  4. Deborah, your art is amazing! You are so talented! My youngest daughter is an artist, too. She has been designing cards lately, all hand-drawn.
    We’ve had some fires here in Utah, too. Scary stuff.
    Love your photos, as always. How fun to see such young wild life. I have daylilies growing in my backyard around a pond. One is blooming now and the others are close to blooming. So pretty!

  5. Nice to catch up with you, Deborah, and hear about what you’ve been up to. Since my blogging muse abandoned me, I feel even more isolated than usual.

    Like you, I’ve been painting a lot. Dare I say I’m even getting better? I’m currently on a roll with 2 canvases I’m quite happy with. I say don’t sweat the wonky lines though. It’s funny how I’m starting to see the mistakes I make as part of my ‘style’ 😉
    I’ve tried painting freestyle, but prefer working with a pencil sketch first. By the time I’m finished the sketch, my lap is usually covered in eraser shavings 😀

    I’ve never appreciated family as much as I do right now. We opened up our ‘safety bubble’ to our sons over a month ago and even though I saw them just 2 weeks ago, I miss them terribly already. All get togethers just seem to take a lot more planning.

    Stay well and keep safe. As if life hasn’t thrown enough at us lately, now having to worry about fires just seems cruel. Hoping you get rain soon!

    1. I’m so glad you feel like you’re improving with your painting! I haven’t really embraced the wonky lines yet, but I am getting closer to doing it. I’m beginning to think that will be my “handwriting” in sketching. I don’t much care for my handwriting either. 🙂

      #1 Grandson Facetimed me yesterday morning and the very first thing he said was, ” Grandma!” with so much joy my heart nearly jumped out of my chest. “When are you coming back I miss you tons?!”

      Baby Girl texted that their peach tree is loaded and their getting ripe when are we coming back? We all enjoyed the visit so much. We’re hoping to get #1 Grandson to come over for a week. The little guys across the street even miss him and keep asking if he’s coming for visit this summer. They got to facetime him Friday and now want him to come visit even more. 😀

      The fire has kept to the BLM land and is getting somewhat contained, but the afternoon westerly winds have been really strong and gusty so, it’s going to take some time to put it out.
      I’m so thankful it headed east out to the desert!

  6. Family and friends – you hit the lottery, lady. 🙂 Your photos are lovely and as I’ve said before I literally can’t draw or cut a straight line so there will be no negative comments here. I applaud all your artistic efforts. As to the fires, I can only imagine the suffering and destruction they cause. I will be praying they are able to start containing them or it rains like crazy to help put them out. One more thing you need to stay safe from is not needed right now.

    1. Thank you so much, Judy! I think we’ll be okay from the fires. They headed east out to the desert and miraculously only one house and 12 outbuildings were destroyed at the last update I read. That could have been so much worse!

      Seeing the kids, and Grandsons was wonderful, and seeing the set of Grandparents was pretty great too. We’re still being cautious outside of that though.

      You stay safe too!

  7. Wonderful photos and impressive artwork, Deborah, so nice to hear the gatherings with your family! Prayers the firefighters can get the fires under control and Mother Nature will aid with rain, or at least oblige with the no winds. 🙏

  8. That foal is adorable and I love everything else about the post as well. 🙂 One thing I’ve realized about the Preserve is that most of the critters are the same every time I walk, so I have lots of photos of egrets, hummingbirds, etc. Not saying that’s bad and I’m always looking for an unusual shot of whatever it is, but I’m looking forward to getting to Wyoming and seeing some different same stuff. 🙂 I did see a coyote today, but he crossed the trail so quickly that I didn’t have a chance to take a photo. Your watercolor/drawings are almost inspiring me to get out my nature journal from many years ago and try again. We’ll see.

    I’m happy that you’ve been able to seeing family. That’s such a joy. We’ve started going once a week to my parents’ to watch a DVD and I always bring something to eat. They really enjoy it and so do we. That is, after all, why we moved here. 🙂

    Happy Wednesday!


    1. Keep enjoying those weekly visits, and get out your sketching journal! WY would be a great place to rekindle that journey with all the wildflowers, wildlife, and landscapes. I hope you do!!

  9. Your rendition of the St. Charles hotel makes it look like a dream palace in a remote Asian desert. I like it very much! Good to read you are doing fine Deborah. And that social life is not as far away anymore. In my country the goverment tried to coin the phrase ‘new normal’, meaning keeping distance and all. But of course that is NOT normal, us humans being a social kind. Over here things are getting relaxed more and more. I also am seeing friends and family again and that is great. I hope the fires won’t get to close to your home! Be safe!

    1. I’m glad you’re seeing your family and close friends too, Peter!

      The fires are heading east away from homes and buildings for now, thankfully! I hope it stays that way until it gets put down or dies out.

      Stay healthy and safe!

  10. Lovely to catch up with you and see what you’ve been up to (other than what I’ve seen on IG). Beautiful captures and artwork!
    I was fascinated by stories about mustangs when I was a wee girl. I even wrote some of my own (and illustrated them too). I’d love to see some IRL someday.


    1. Thank you so much, Deb! I hope you get to see some Mustangs in the wild one day too. They’re lovely. I think that’s neat that you wrote stories about them and illustrated them too! WOW!

  11. In-person visits are the best. It is always nice to see folks face to face. This post was like a letter from home. I hope those fires stay away from you. The only thing I didn’t like about living on the West Coast was the number and intensity of fires. The eucalyptus trees were like torches. I liked your painting. Your simpler, uncluttered perspective gave the building a position of grandeur that the photo did not afford. Keep going. Soon straight lines will become normal. Tip. Place a small dot at the base of your item and then another where the top should be. Move the dots until you get the right perspective then join them. (You can do intermediate dots as well to stay on course.)

  12. What a great picture! 🙂 WOW! I like it a lot. So you say you can’t draw straight lines. Who cares?! It’s a painting, not a photograph. That’s what I keep telling myself with my own paintings, and what I have not yet fully grasped.

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Pit! We’ll keep on trying! 😀 I’ve come along way from the stick figured drawing and painting I started doing well up into my late 20’s! It wasn’t until my 30’s that I was able to push beyond that! It’s been a long journey but progress is coming.

  13. I remember your St Charles Hotel/Fox Brew Pub post. I want to go there and made note of it. I like your painting, but take your point about the lampposts. Perhaps they’re tipsy after visiting the Pub?

    How fun that you got to do something social with real people in the comfort of a home. I look forward to that kind of normality. In the mean time I’ll live vicariously through you.

    1. I still haven’t eaten or had a drink at the pub! It’s on my list of things to do too. LOL! I laughed out loud at you comment about the lampposts! Yes, they’re tipsy from their visit to the pub! I love it!! 😍

      It was lovely seeing family, and the other set of Grandparents who are family to us. We’re slowly opening up our circle, but being very picky about who we let in still. Recoveries are high I’m seeing, and the death rates are getting lower, so there’s hope we’ll get through it! 😀

  14. What a delightful post, Deborah! It’s a potpourri of wonderful photos and art. The moonrise is both subtle and stunning. Those ‘moon rays’ really make the photo. And the baby horse…aww. We also had day lilies when we moved into our house. I love them! And to your grand finale- your glorious art. WOW! There is a children’s book illustrator that makes similar illustrations. The name escapes me, but I will let you know.

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Jennie! I’m so glad you like the Moon rays. Baby horses…sigh. They’re just so cute, and that ones markings on its muzzle looks like a heart to me. 😀

      Let me know when the name of that illustrator comes to you…most likely in the middle of the night or some weird, random time if you’re like me. 😀 I’d like to see their art.

      1. You’re most welcome, Deborah. I will definitely let you know the name of the illustrator. Yes, it will probably come to me at some weird, random time. 😀

  15. Wow~you’ve been busy! I love the photo of the baby horse. How cute! Your drawing is great. Looks to me you nailed the perspective. Too funny that they won’t let you use a ruler 😀 The best advice I ever got was, Just draw what you see, not what you (think) you know. This applies to figures as well as architecture and really helped me because I’m no engineer, either!
    I’m so glad you were able to see your son. It is really hard having to go so long without seeing our loved ones.

    1. Thank you so much, Melissa! Painting what I see usually comes out as a big blob. 😀 I didn’t start to really make progress until an Art teacher named Doug Wright gave me a ruler and a grid when I was in my 30’s! He said he was surprised no one ever taught me about using tools! That’s all I needed to get going he said. I’ll never forget him. He’s passed away now.

      We all needed to see him and he us. We did a lot of hugging and #1 Grandson was by his side the whole time he was here. It did our souls good.

      How was the house? How goes the hunt?

      1. I don’t remember what all I’ve told you. The trip to NC was disappointing for my guys, although the house we liked was nice. Quite by accident P came across a beautiful house in his home town. I’ve always resisted the idea of living in the heart of Illinois because it is so far from Lake Michigan, let alone the Pacific! But at this stage, I find I’m willing to consider it. They are going to go look at it this weekend. 🙂

  16. I like the low-key nature of that moonrise photograph.

    In your last photograph, did you consider shrinking your copyright notice and tilting it slightly downward so it would appear to be an inscription carved on the low stone wall?

    Speaking of arson, your reference to BLM could be interpreted differently.

    1. Thank you, Steve! I probably did think about it but for some reason didn’t do that with my watermark.

      I thought of that when I was typing out the initials, but in the context of the story no one would mix the two up I hope.

        1. LOL! I like your choice of real flowers too. I would like a natural burial no embalming fluid or coffin just a shroud and be buried in field under a tree on hill overlooking some beautiful vista with a nice rock for someone to sit and admire the view for a time.

          I don’t think there are many places where can be buried like that in the States though.

          1. Every American cemetery has lots of artificial flowers, so I’m glad I’ve been able to balance that a little with photographs of wildflowers in cemeteries (especially in the spring of 2019, which provided many examples).

            Yeah, burial regulations in this country are unnecessarily strict. People are forced to spend a lot more money than they should have to.

  17. The foal is adorable. The watercolor has great perspective. I like the choices you made when you simplified. The photograph you worked from is also splendid. You locate yourself well when you take the photos and consider the composition.

  18. I’m happy you were able to visit in person with the people you love. As for the processing funk, you more than made up for it with that watercolor – only you know how many times you started over (well, we do now, but) the end result is very nice. Sorry to read about the fires. I hope it isn’t arson (although it seems likely), haven’t we done enough damage this year?

    Thanks for sharing the beauty (the horse is sooo cute), and I hope the rest of your week is wonderful. Stay safe!

    1. Thank you so much, Dan! The little horse’s muzzle marking looks like a heart doesn’t it? I just think it’s adorable.

      Regarding erasing and starting over…I’m working on the final project in the other class and had to put it down. It’s been a couple of days since I have looked at it. I’m hoping the next time I try to sketch it it goes better.

      The county is asking for the public’s help regarding the fire so, it’s suspicious for sure!

      I hope your week is a good one too, and you guys stay well and safe too!

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