Tag Archives: Mary’s Peak

Mary’s Peak from Bald Hill Trail

"Mary's Peak from Bald Hill", mixed media sketch by Kerry McFall

“Mary’s Peak from Bald Hill”, mixed media sketch by Kerry McFall

A lovely bright green morning called for a sketching expedition.  I packed up my arting bag and my 3-legged stool/cane and found a good spot beside the fence up at the Bald Hill natural area.  The cloud cougar was about to creep over the top of Mary’s Peak at first, but it slunk away, leaving the silhouette shining in the sun (you know how people see shapes in clouds?  the clouds behind the peak always look like a cougar to me, just waiting for its chance to leap over the mountain and into the valley.)  It was fun to see all the Mother’s Day hikers (one little guy had a pair of binoculars, wrong end up, and spent a good long time staring at me) and bikers, even a couple of horseback riders.  I’ve been wished Happy Mother’s Day from most of “my” kids all over the world, I’ve got a bottle of Cupcake Champagne chilling in the fridge, and I found some leftover chocolate truffles from Christmas, so I’m a happy Mom!


Back Into the Garden


sketch of onions and flowering plants

“Autumn Pick Me Up”, mixed media by Kerry McFall

It’s been a long, hot August, and I for one am glad that it’s just a teensy bit cooler and the days are just a little shorter so I can get back out into my garden.  Everything looks tired – the cucumbers have had powdery mildew for awhile now, the sunflowers got so heavy they tipped themselves over and right out of the dirt, tomatoes are sprawling… all of this probably partially due to benign neglect on my part, I have to admit.  So this morning I wandered out and did a little trimming here and there, pulled up a few pathetic specimens, and rewarded myself with a trip to Schmidt’s Garden Center.  I returned home with a glowing golden chrysanthemum, two purple asters, broccoli starts, and some baby onions marked “Candy” on the label.

After doing such picky details in my last sketch (Buzz the horse) I decided to loosen this up a little.  The paper curled because the sketchbook really isn’t intended for watercolor, but it will lay flat once I close the book and put it under some weights.  I sat out back in the shade of the neighbor’s fir tree for a couple of pleasant hours working on this, and finishing one of the paintings from my plein air class (below).


I still don’t really like this one… somehow yet another view of local landmark Mary’s Peak just didn’t appeal to me.  I tried incorporating words, I tried inflating the silhouette, there’s about a dozen layers of colored pencil and ink and china marker, but… meh.  Oh well.


Mary’s Peak Butterfly

painting of butterfly

"Peak Butterfly 2012" mixed media by Kerry McFall

The flowers were not quite what I had expected up on Mary’s Peak on the Fourth of July, but the orange butterflies made up for that shortcoming.  They were everywhere, especially near the parking lot.  Dandelions seemed to be the flower of choice, at least in that vicinity, no doubt sprouted from invader seeds stuck to shoes and tires.  I need to research the butterfly name – Hey, Ralph, does this look familiar?

This sketch/painting wasn’t quite what I had in mind when I started, but it’s colorful and I think I’ll use the background patterning approach in another attempt, maybe not of this particular butterfly but in something soon.  The first glitch was a new “sepia brown” brush pen – the brush never did limber up, and the ink was essentially dried up from the get-go, so I tried to go over the dark spots first with another pen, then purple pencil, then black ink, and finally a brown pencil.  Overworked.  But I love the lacy wing edges, so I’ll use variations on those patterns again.  The triangle motifs remind me of Africa!  Hmm – I wonder if they have dandelions in Africa?