Tuesday, June 27, 2017


I think it might be bees! 

You know painting the magnolia with the honeybee led me right back to bees.  There are three here in this newly started painting and I'm thinking about adding words around the outside.

Three to the Hive

on half sheet (15 x 22 inches) on Arches 140# coldpress paper

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Bought this great little pencil bag at the Blick Art Supply Store in Savannah last month.  

And wet a 1/4 sheet of watercolor paper and then dropped in alcohol inks.  Just for fun.

Friday, June 23, 2017


Finished this one.  I "cheated" by using some gouache in the center to pop the stamen and the bee.  I don't really consider it cheating - at this point in my painting, I want to use whatever works best.

Honey Bee Magnolia

15 x 18.5 inches
on Arches 140# coldpress paper

And I returned to this to work it a bit more.  Not happy with the pop of the petals on this so tried to make it more so.  Still not 100% happy but...whatever.

Virginia Bluebells

15 x 22 inches
on Arches 140# coldpress paper

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


Continuing to work on the magnolia with the honeybee inside.  Slowly slowly.  I want some shape but not too much value change in the shadows so I can keep the white petals.  

Happy First Day of Summer/Summer Solstice!

Monday, June 19, 2017


Using a photo reference from our trip to Savannah, Sweetie captured a honeybee inside the magnolia flower and I had to try it.  First wash - using only Lapis Lazuli blue pigment for the shadows so far.  That center will need to be slowly worked to bring out the curving pieces and the red in the bottom of the stamen(?) and then the little honeybee full of pollen.

The background dark is Shadow Green and it is a bit varied in real life but looks almost black here.

This one is a half sheet (15 x 22 inches).

Saturday, June 17, 2017


A Delicate Balance

22 x 30 inches 
on Arches 140# coldpress
watercolor paper

Time has ticked right by since June began.  We worked on painting the deck, I cleaned in prep for Sweetie's sister to come and stay a while, we took a long weekend trip to the Chicago area and back (to see Sweetie's brother and sister and kin), and we had more visiting with Sweetie's sister as she saw people she wanted to see here in our area after returning back from the Chicago trip.  And, for some reason, I was in horrible back pain by Wednesday evening.  Why?  Oh, could be from painting the deck, cleaning the house, doing laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, entertaining, sleeping on an air mattress for 2 nights during Chicago area visit.  Whatever caused it (or accumulated to it), it was painful to sit in the hard bottomed chair and listen to the program at Newport Aquarium Wednesday evening (although it was a good program, I was getting fidgety but it hurt to move and hurt not to move).  

This was as bad as it's been for a while - so took it easy, reading, feet propped up and ice on my back for 2 days but I was getting so antsy to get to my little art room and paint.  It's been so long!

So today - Saturday - I finally made it back to the magnolia painting I started earlier this month - and it's finished (or very close = may soften some edges).

Hope it was worth the wait!

And what have you been doing this June??

Monday, June 5, 2017


I don't know when we began painting the deck.  But it seems to be going on - forever.  

So tired, we didn't even do anything (didn't go out, didn't see Summerfair, didn't get a meal, etc.) on our Anniversary (Saturday).  Just stayed around the house trying to rest for Sunday's major cleaning of the inside of the house.  

I really hope this stuff lasts for years and years because I can't imagine having to do this again next year or even in 2-3 years.  What a job!  

I have to say, it's looking really good, though.  And the birds like it (the red-bellied woodpecker came back to the suet feeder today so he/she is either tired of cicadas or says, "Thanks for making the place look nice for me!" ha ha).  We have the suet feeder, the birdseed (on the table) and the finch feeder back out and we have a male - who chirps and cheeps and pips when he arrives - and female hummingbird - who is silent except for the whirring of her wings - coming to the feeder now.  I don't mind the mess - although it did cause a twinge when I first went out and saw all the seed and stuff on that pristine deck floor (knocked there from the feeders and 2 little chipmunks, squirrels and several birds).

But - there is still more to do...how can that be?  

Sweetie's sister coming for a week's visit Wednesday so housecleaning is the job of the day (or two).

Sorry no artwork...and you may have to wait a while (maybe I should just take the whole month of June off from the blog

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Not painting in my little art room these past few days, but trying to paint the deck.  It was power-washed before we went to Savannah for a week, but rain and rain and more rain kept us from buying the stain/paint and starting it.  So we thought we'd get it done when we returned from Savannah, but guess what?  More rain.  We're supposed to have a 48-hour period of dry weather to paint it and let it cure and so far, we've had rain at night/over night.  So only about 1/4 done. 

It also took a few trips to the hardware store to pick just the "right" color, which is called New Redwood but looks like milk chocolate in the can.  Turns out it's a warm brown with just a hint of red in it and we've got 3 gallons.  It looks good on the deck but it's a slow process, painting the uprights, using the ladder to paint the outside bits, and then painting the floor.  

Rain rain go away!!!  We want to get this done before storms coming through this weekend and then Sweetie's sister is coming for a week (which means I have inside cleaning and sorting to do to make her feel comfortable here).

I hope it doesn't rain out Summerfair this weekend!

Saturday, May 27, 2017


When you have so many reference photos from a trip, it's often hard to focus on what you want to paint from them all - but it was easy this time.  I chose the magnolia photos Sweetie and I took.  This one struck me because the background is so dark and the flower is so light - I hope I can capture that in watercolor.  

So we begin with the background.  

Wet-in-wet and lots of dark greens, a touch of deep dark quin gold and cerulean for the "sky holes" around.  

Then I decided to darken the background in order to really make the "white" flower pop when I begin working on it.  

A lot of Holbein Shadow Green and some Daniel Smith Pyrrol Green with some Dark Quinacridone Gold in the background, and re-emphasizing the cerulean blue skyholes.

This is on a full sheet (22 x 30 inches) Arches 140# coldpress.

And the other day I heard something hit the windows in the sunroom (it happens once in a while even though I have things hanging down from the windows inside to let the birds know it's a barrier.  I walked out and saw nothing...until I looked down by the deck post and saw this.  I had no idea what bird this was and had never seen anything like it here or anywhere else.  So I sent the photo into Merlin Bird ID (an app from the Cornell Lab).  You crop the photo, send it in and get an id.  Anyone know what it is?  (See below for answer!)

He/she was about the size of a bluejay, lean looking and that beak (?) curving with grey on top and yellow on bottom with big black eyes.  It was stunned enough to let me get close enough to take a quick shot but when I squatted down to open the door, he/she flew off and I swear I saw a bit of ruddy red somewhere underneath that grey and white (but I could be wrong about that).

Turns out I was right about the ruddy red flash I saw - it's a Yellow-Billed Cuckoo and has a rufuous color underneath.  First time I've ever seen this bird anywhere.  I was so lucky to see it on our deck (and it was so lucky not to be injured but just stunned).