Category Archives: Sketches, etc

Quick sketches done mostly on a daily basis of home, cities visited and holidays.

Huatulco, Mx

We are spending our last days of our winter retreat in Huatulco [ wa’tulko]. A beautiful, modern planned city with a different vibe from Puerto Escondido. When in Puerto Escondido, we stayed in the older part of the city. Routinely, we heard in the background roosters crowing, hens clucking, dogs barking and sometimes a child crying but they are sounds you become at easy with. Here it is very “ tranquillo”

In Huatulco, for myself, who enjoys plein air sketching it has everything needed – architecture, culture and people. However, the colour palette has changed to turquoise, pink, lemon greens, pale creams and cerulean blue.

There are several parks nearby with bandstand, manicured grass, shrubs and plenty of shaded areas. My choice is where the workers are up on the roof replacing tiles.

Bandstand, workers at work, watercolour, 2018

My next choice is the park of lovers across the street from our lodging.

Lover’s Park, watercolour, 2018

The main town square, La Crucecita, has a lot of shade, benches, shopping and restaurants but my purpose is the church, referred to as lgelesia of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Here, the Mexican artist Jose del Signo has covered the whole ceiling of the church with a mural of the pregnant Virgin Mary. It is worth the visit to see this image and enjoy the work of this Mexican artist.

Nuestra Sēnora de Guadalupe, La Crucecita Plaza, Photo from tourism Huatulco


Nuestra Sēnora de Guadalupe, La Crucecita Plaza, watercolour & gouache, 2018

The square is a place to enjoy the sunny weather which Huatulco offers 330 days a year with an average temperature of 28 degrees Celsius. I looked towards the water fountain and there is a sketch waiting for me.

Water Fountain, La Crucecita Plaza, watercolour & gouache, 2018

So for another year we wait to visit Mexico.

Churches of Puerto Escondido, Mx

The churches in Mexico are an attractive place to paint or sketch – usually safe, good sitting areas and architecturally interesting.

Here in Puerto Escondido, my first discovery was the unfinished church and “cathedral to be” on my walk to Playa Carrizalillo. I decided to do a watercolour sketch of this massive concrete form which took over a whole city block. The gentleman at the corner store offered me a table and chair, he then lowered the awning to give me shade, I ordered a cool drink and so began a serene afternoon.

Unfinished Cathedral, watercolour, 2018

Where do the people worship here if this church is not in working order? This takes me to the church overlooking the bay at Playa Principal, Neustra Señora de La Solidad.

Nuestra Señora de la Solidad, watercolour & gouache, 2018


Side Entrance, Nuestra Señora de la Solidad, watercolour & gouache, 2018

My recent sketching of church façade has introduced me to John Piper (1903-1992) a British painter, printmaker, stain glass window designer. opera and theatre set designer and writer. During the Second World War he was a British official war artist. He was fascinated by the destruction of bombed out churches in Britain. Often at the scene at daylight, he was able to capture both the beauty and devastation. His work has influenced my thoughts on drawing churches. I hope to emulate his strong lines and spaces but still keep my intuitive curiosity.

Year of the Dog, 2018

Freya, pencil drawing

Friday, February 16, 2018 is the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Each year the day of celebration changes in accordance with the lunar calendar. One of twelve Chinese signs, it is the year of the dog. You can see from my previous posts we enjoyed more than our share of wonderful dogs.

“Honest and loyal, Dogs are the truest friends and most reliable partner.”

Freya was a given dog not aggressive enough in nature for her previous owner so she came to live with us. What a pleasure to have her in our lives.


Kleo. pencil sketch of dog

Kleo, pencil drawing

Kleo was from the SPCA, she joined us as a puppy and we had her for 16 years. Another great one.

Qajaq was a huskie from Iglulik via Iqaluit, her standout characteristic was a three spiral corkscrew tail…unusual but so was she. She came to live with us because she had an independant streak and needed more supervision.

Linda Denis, Tundra dog and Mistress, oil painting, 30×30 inches, 2006

Here is a family photo of my Mother’s family with Arthur holding the family dog.

The best dogs are found dogs.


Alex on Limebank Farm, 90 years young this year 2018

I could not let this day pass without honouring some of these special dogs who have shared their lives with my family.

Happy Valentine, Puerto Escondido, Mx

Time to talk about food. For breakfast I like the arena style Los Juouilenas on 8 Norte before the big indoor Mercado. I order a fresh orange juice then add ice cubes, café con leche which always comes sweetened and a quesadilla à la flora (squash blossoms).  Good service, reasonably prices and variety of Mexican food on menu. As an alternative for breakfast, light meal or snack we have Chedraui a large megastore offering a cafeteria style eatery. Before you get in to this store you may be asked by the security guard to check your bags, maybe look in your bag, do not be offended, just smile. My favourite beverage here is illy coffee- cappuccino, latte or expresso This eatery offers good value, air conditioning and great people watching.

For atmosphere next to the sea, Los Crotos is one of many places for seafood. The prawns brochette is a simple meal but perfectly prepared and enjoyed. Pascale next door offers similar fine dining. The appetizer of grilled vegetables is plentiful and easily shared with another. Tuna about one and half inches thick is cooked to perfection served with rice and green salad.

For Italian cusine, Benditos, is at the end of the street fair on your left, open for supper. Excellent pizza from their wood burning oven but also lasagne, fettuccine with a light sauces of tomato, mushrooms and fresh grated Parmesan cheese for topping..much more to chose from you need to go often.

I continue to sketch and paint daily.

Los Crotos Terrasse, watercolour, 2018

Lady on the Phone, watercolour & gouache, 2018

The old grey Hen, watercolour & gouche, 2018

Happy Valentine, watercolour, 2018

Another day, Puerto Escondido, Mx


The light here is like fairy dust. Almost touchable explainable but like fairies gone before you start to understand. I try to imitate this lightness of colour in my sketches but what my eye sees and what my hand paints is always contradictory. As they say more practise needed, paint by the pound.

I sketch each day. There is a picture everywhere one looks; beaches, the market full of foods, flowers, clothing, knickknacks and a variety of local architecture.

Beached Fishing Boats, watercolour & gouache, 2018

Chatter time, watercolour, 2018

Water Fountain, watercolour, 2018

Mexican Hotel Entrance, watercolour & gouache, 2018

Vista from Balcony, watercolour. 2018

Flor de Lirios & Agapando, watercolour & gouache, 2018