Monday, November 19, 2012

Sketchbook Journeys - Arizona: Day 1

You all know I love to travel, and when my friend, Suzie, invited me to join her in Arizona for a few days of sketching, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity. I've been to the southwest before but not since I took up sketching and never to the Tucson area. I was really looking forward to painting scenes that were entirely different from what I see at home in Pennsylvania.

6" x 9", Lexington gray ink, brown Pitt pen, & watercolor

The first day, we visited the historic town of Tubac, just south of Tucson. One of the earliest settlements in Arizona, it's a quaint little town filled with galleries and shops, along with an old fort and museum. We settled ourselves on our folding stools on one of the side streets to sketch this tiny house, with its porch posts made from curvy mesquite branches.

6" x 9", ink & watercolor

It felt so good to be sitting in the warm sunshine without a care in the world, and nothing to think about except "Hmmm, now which blue should I use to paint the sky?"

Engrossed as I was in my painting, I barely noticed when my friend suddenly blurted out, "Horses!"  I looked up and saw a man walking two miniature horses up the road in front of us, pausing to let them sniff and munch along the way, just as if he were walking a dog.

Miniature horses and the house I sketched in Tubac.

When they came back by us on their way home, we had a chance to pet them and talk to their caretaker. He said they're therapy horses, and he takes them to visit children in a local hospital. They were sweet, friendly and well-behaved - and just as cute as can be. You just never know what you might see when you go out sketching!

Later, we had a leisurely lunch outdoors, overlooking a golf course, pond, grazing cattle, and the Santa Rita mountains.We pulled out our sketch kits and kept busy while we waited for lunch to arrive. I continued to add watercolor to my page between bites of Cobb salad, and while savoring spoonfuls of creamy flan flavored with a hint of lavender. Obsessive? Well, maybe just a smidgen... but we were having so much fun!

6" x 9", ink & watercolor

A bit of drama was introduced into the bucolic scene I was sketching when a lone steer (or bull?) somehow wandered onto the golf course, right smack in the middle of the fairway.

He hung around for awhile, watching the golf carts go by, seeming unimpressed by all the goings on. Then the herd of cows (on the far right in my sketch) wandered over to see what was happening. They never did make it over to the patio where we were sitting. Good thing, because my salad was delicious and I really didn't want to share!

We ended my first day in Arizona with a yummy Mexican dinner and a spectacular sunset.

Be sure to check out my friend Suzie's blog, Creating in Alaska, and stop back here tomorrow for more sketches from Tucson.


  1. wow! What a totally wonderful vacation you were on!! A break in scenery & season is so refreshing, isn't it?

  2. Leslie, this is wonderful! Love all the sketches and can't wait to see more. That was so fun. Thank you for joining me:)

  3. Love all of your sketches.. wow. What fun you had and what a lovely place to have lunch. lots of great photos. I will return tomorrow. :)

  4. Your wonderful sketches tell a story, can't wait to see some more.
    Barbara Lilian


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