Tumamoc Twofer

Had a free day (or two) recently so made plans to go up the Hill to draw. Well, it rained both times! The rain view from Tumamoc is always spectacular, you can see the entire Tucson Basin and watch the storms move all around. Up top the blustery wind howls through the Saguaros. Stimulating.

I started early looking west and then moved to the east to complete an earlier in the week (rained out) drawing.

West view around 10:00 AM.


Clouds are starting to build up…

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I track one texture off another to keep the scale right, but I often lose my way, or start making things too big, or my mind starts to wander, so it’s an exercise in starting over and over and over….returning to the same landmarks and tracking off of them.


…orange vest view…

Rain comes just as I complete the session (90 min). Lucky me.

Now for a lunch break and move to other spot.


Good sign! More luck.

I like to draw intensely like this, au plein aire, as respite from painting, because it is so relaxing and different. This way, I can maintain a creative and visual mindset and not get burnt out. Change it up, but stay in the flow.

My new spot in the shade of  palo verde and fave saguaro. Afternoon.

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I “grow” one linear aspect off of the next. Looking for the difference between things. Zig-zag thinking.


This one is a little looser, as it happens, due to fatigue, previous practice and…so much fabulous texture. I think I’ll do another one here, to get it “right”, more accurate, but not mechanical.



Tumamoc Tapestry, 20×20, pen and ink, M.Milstead


Two Storms Worth, 20×20, pen and ink, M.Milstead

Little Log and Land-Marks

Trip #2 to SW Colorado. To deliver artwork..and be inspired. When I hit the road, possibilities feel endless.

I visit my new favorite creative source, a beaver pond.



To get in the mood I make some line drawings with felt tipped pen.

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After drawing I notice this little log

A reason to revisit the site tomorrow

The more you draw, the more you”notice”




memorable little skinned and weathered loglette sitting in mine water run-off

Twelve hours later:  (it has to be all in the same day because…for continuity and the unexpected crazy choices that are made in the delirium of painting non-stop for 12 hours outside in the elements), Voila!: Go to the Gallery (Gallerette) at the end of this post to see the ensemble; Shallow Log Day.

Some pieces of the days’ efforts: 2 hues for each painting (complements plus white, that’s all)


8:30 AM


10:30 AM


6:30 PM

Now, to relax a little.

Family arrives from Los Angeles. I keep my art momentum going with a study of a spruce tree in the side-yard, but..





my nephew is all encompassing and…


yes, he gets the whole half…

I am…


no multi-tasker.


Now, back to the hot and steamy desert…and thinking to myself, for the 500th time, how about a little aeroplane so I can do this faster and oftener (and what a birds eye view that would be)! 500 miles just to draw a pond?!..totally worth it.



Landmarks #1: Selected Textures From In and Around a Beaver Pond in Southwest Colorado, 20×20 inches,  pen and ink, M.Milstead August, 2015 (sepia)


Landmarks #2: Selected Textures From In and Around a Beaver Pond in Southwest Colorado, 20×20 inches, pen and ink, M.Milstead August, 2015 (sepia)

Day Of Pond Log

Shallow Log Day, 12 10×10 inch oil on canvas board, M.Milstead, August, 2015