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July

The July challenge in the Watermedia Forum at WetCanvas was to paint something that described what "July" means to you. When I look back over my lifetime, there are four elements that were always present in the month of July. . .water, picnic tables, ice cream freezers, and watermelon.

When I was a kid, we'd travel from AZ to OK every summer (usually in July) to see family. I remember being at my grandparents farm and taking turns with my cousins sitting on the burlap bags that covered the hand-crank ice cream freezer as Grandpa would churn that ice cream. Grandma had a picnic table that my Uncle Ledger made from steel piping and heavy planks of wood -- it was built to last and it did! We'd always eat on that picnic table in the back yard. Cold watermelon was a usual treat, but I don't remember Grandpa growing melons. . .he had acres of corn mostly, but also one plot of land where he'd grow strawberries and then there was the "house" garden where all the vegies were planted.

Our parents would drive us out to Beaver's Bend where we could swim at the "swimming hole," and we occasionally went into creeks (although my mom didn't let us do this often because of all the water moccasins). We moved from AZ to CA when I was 12, the summertime trips to OK became every other year and then on the years when we didn't go to OK, we'd go to Lake Shasta and waterski every day for 2 weeks! Yes, we'd have watermelon, and we sat at picnic tables, but we didn't churn ice cream. As I grew older, water continued to be a part of summertime, we'd tube the Mokelumne River in Lodi, CA, paddleboard Lodi Lake, go skiinig at Hogan Lake or Comanche Lake and swim at the Lodi H.S. West Campus public pool. Now that I'm grown, my kids associate all these things as summertime "fun in the sun" and I can already see that they will become memories for my grandkids!

My challenge was done on a 5x8 sheet of Raffine ArtSketch paper and I used watercolor pencils (Faber Castell and Derwent Inktense) to paint it and Dr. PhMartin's Bleed Proof White ink for accents.

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Taken on July 20, 2011