Category Archives: Sketches, etc

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

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

Puerto Escondido, Mx

Always when I travel to a new destination, I feel the unfamiliar and the uncertainty of what to paint or sketch. The light is different here, airy and fragile. The colours are tints of purple, thalo, pinks with hits of venetian red, the yellows are creamy white with shots of cadmium orange.

I resort to the old standby, “paint what is familiar”. The second floor of our hotel has a small shrine with the Virgin Mary portrait, a small pedestal with baby Jesus in the arms of Saint Anthony, sea shells and a large bouquet of fresh Calla lilies. It is cool and sheltered from the sun, my kind of place for today.

I start with a quick sketch but quickly realize I need to have my own Calla lilies. The” floristeria” shop is nearby. But before paying, the salesclerk shows me a variety of white and orange lilies on his cell phone. He is telling me without a word the Calla lily is not a lily but belongs to the Araceae plant family. Here they grow naturally in the marshland of Oaxaca, purifying the soil and retaining the moisture of the wetlands.

How did the lilly get here? Juno, the ancient Roman goddess is breast feeding her son, Hercules. She decides to express a little extra. First the droplets form the milkway and then fell on the earth to give us the beautiful Calla lilly.

Shrine for Virgin Mary, watercolour, 2018

Early morning, I decide the stone statue La Musica del Mar is a my kind of subject matter – quiet, serene, and reliable.

La Musica del Mar, watercolour, 2017

We come for the sun, beaches, culture and food. Puerto Escondido is all of these plus beautiful sketching and painting spots.