Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sketching on Vacation

Clock tower of Carbon County Courthouse
graphite in Moleskine pocket sketchbook
©2011 Stacy L. Rowan

Last weekend I went away with my family for some end-of-summer family fun. We spent three days enjoying nature and touring the small town of Jim Thorpe, PA.

Jim Thorpe is an interesting town for a number of reasons. At one point it was the number two tourist destination behind Niagara Falls. It is located in the coal region of eastern Pennsylvania along the southwestern edge of the Pocono Mountains. The Lehigh River runs through town and the combination of coal, canal boats and railroads made the town prosperous in the 1800s. At one point 19 of the countries 26 millionaires owned property in Jim Thorpe!

For us the town provided the perfect setting for a long weekend get-away. It's combination of natural and historical attractions gave us plenty to see and do.

During the first two days we went hiking and white water rafting. Day three was spent in town touring the Asa Packer mansion and the old jail. These tours gave the family members over the age of twenty (I won't mention any names) a chance to recover from the more strenuous outdoor activities of the previous two days.

In between the two tours my family allowed me a few minutes for sketching. There were many worth subjects, however, in the end I chose to sketch the clock tower on the county courthouse. Mainly because there was a comfy bench strategically located across the street.

You can see the resulting sketch above.
Related Links
Jim Thorpe, PA
Asa Packer Mansion
Old Jail Museum

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sculpture Doesn't Have to be Stuffy

Glumpy (left) and Oliveia (right)
watercolor sketch ©2011 Stacy Rowan
sculptures ©2011 IG & DG

With the relaxed schedule of summer the kids have more time for the occasional sleep over. And what is better than staying awake til the wee hours of the night having fun and laughing with friends?

Okay, so maybe as the parent in charge of these late night soirees, I could name one or two things that I would like better, but that's alright. Sleep overs are a part of childhood that all kids must experience and all parents must endure.

One of the fun activities the kids did during their last sleep over was craft some colorful creatures using a Presto Dots kit. I love their creativity and the great details and expressions they gave the creatures so I decided to immortalize them in a sketch.

Meet Glumpy, created by my Inventor Girl, and Oliveia, created by my Dancer Girl.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Moment of Silence

Today and tomorrow the town I grew up in is holding services for an Army Ranger who lost his life in Afghanistan. He served three tours in Iraq prior to the three he served in Afghanistan.

So today, instead of my normal post, I want to say thank you to all the men and women who volunteer to serve and protect our country. Freedom is never free and without these brave people life could look very different for us all.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Can't Beat Beets

sketch - bunch of beets
©2011 Stacy L. Rowan

Beets get a bad wrap as a vegetable. I think it is because most people have only tried the red canned version, which I will admit don't appeal to me at all.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that beets come in a variety of colors from deep purple to the traditional red to a cheery golden color.

I found this bunch at my local farmers' market (of course). Before cooking them I plopped them on my studio table and had some fun with my watercolor pencils. The above sketch is the result.

If you want to try some tasty beets, grab a fresh bunch and give the recipe below a try. You will end up with a side dish that is colorful and a little sweet.

Roasted Beets with Feta
beets, greens trimmed off with 1 inch of stems attached
olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Rub each beet with a little olive oil and wrap individually in aluminum foil.
3. Bake beets in preheated oven until you can pierce them easily with a sharp knife. Approximately 45-60 minutes depending on size.
4. Remove beets from oven and allow them to cool enough to handle them. Unwrap beets and use a paper towel to rub off skin. The hotter they are, the easier this is. (Warning: This is the most difficult step in the recipe and you may end up with red stained fingers.)
5. Slice beets and place them on a plate.
6. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve.