Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Almost finished.  
Just a bit of bringing out the center petals and yellow bits in the middle of the petals (not sure what those are called) to finish.  

Center Light

Monday, May 25, 2015


As I continue to work on the hydrangea painting, I've come to the conclusion that the name I gave it initially does not fit.  So...I am changing it from Movement in Blue to Center Light.  Makes more sense, I think to convey the center parts which are the light and yellow petals.

And I will save the Movement in Blue title for the next one - which will be very blue!  
(Here is a sneak peek of the initial paint on the paper.  No whites in this one, just pale pale almost there cerulean blue.)

This one is a half sheet.  I prewet the paper and let the blue flow around, leaving the yellow centers and some pale green leaves showing here and there.  

Saturday, May 23, 2015


Got a newsletter/email from the Smithsonian Institute.  Apparently, it's World Turtle Day!  

Turtles are amazing critters and so cute.  Seems everyone likes them.  I remember once, being a bit overwhelmed when getting in the murky water of Hawaii for a snorkel and finding myself amongst large sea turtles.  I put my fingers under my arms, afraid they'd try to take a bite of one or two! ha ha

My aunt always kept tiny turtles she bought from a pet store.  She only bought one at a time, calling each one George.  I remember visiting and seeing him (or her, who can tell?) having a daily swim in her sink.  

Sweetie always brings home turtles, saving them from being run over in the road.  He intends to photograph them and has had many turtle (and frog) models over the years.  Right now we have a little female I've named Tilly.  She likes worms but it seems a struggle for her as they wrap themselves around her face as she tries to bite them on the end (never the middle).  Counting the growth rings on her shell, it looks like Tilly is 6 year's old.  (She gets to stay in my paint tub - which I used for pouring paints = colorful drips and splatters!)

A friend of ours is part of the Turtle Rescue group on Anna Maria Island, Florida.  She gets to go out and tag the turtle nests and even gets to see the little ones digging out and heading to the sea (the volunteers help if they seem to need it and then they count the remaining unhatched eggs).  I would like to do that sometime.  Not much is cuter than baby turtles heading towards the sea.

Have a good weekend, everyone.  

(PS I have temporarily solved the caterwauling cat problem = I chased her off each time she came around the house yesterday afternoon and evening so she was less likely to set up camp under my bedroom window; then I took a sleeping pill last night so I wouldn't hear her yowling all night.  I really didn't want to take her to the pound.  It's not her fault that her owners have abandoned her.  I talk tough but don't really want to hurt an animal - wouldn't mind giving the owners a piece of my mind, though, wherever they are.)

Friday, May 22, 2015


Here in the US, we have a 3-day Memorial Day weekend coming up.  Usually, the pools open and people use their grills for the first time.  We had hot weather that turned very very cool (down to 45F at night) but it's warming up again.  Sun is shining, flowers are blooming, I am still slowly adding to the hydrangea painting and have another one begun (drawn out) which will be pale blues with touches of pink. 
My hydrangea by the front door is turning very purple.  I am reading how to get it to change back to blue.  

Last night, two cats were making love or war outside my bedroom window all night long!!!  Every time they quieted down, and I fell asleep, another YOWL woke me.  The skinny black female even hung around this morning, walking around the house howling.  On my walk this morning, I stopped and she stopped, we both looked at each other, and I told her, "If you spend one more night outside my window howling like that, I am taking you to the pound.  I'm serious!"  She seemed to ponder that and then turned away as I turned away from her.  We'll see.

Now, I don't hate cats.  I like cats.  Unfortunately, we have 4 cats in the neighborhood who roam freely and none of them have collars so I don't know where they belong.  But I do know where they do NOT belong = outside my window at 3 AM.   

Dog owners have to have their dogs on a leash to walk them or they have to keep them in their own yards.  Why are cat owners allowed to let their cats free to roam the neighborhood, killing birds and smelling up the ground (using it as a litter box)?  

When we had cats (2) they were never allowed to go out.  They didn't know to want to go out.  They had pretty good lives inside and didn't really pay much attention to the birds even if they were out in the sunroom, able to watch them. 

What would you do if you have no way of knowing where this cat belongs?   

Thursday, May 21, 2015


This one is not finished yet.  I started it for my watercolor students for Cinco de Mayo.  They painted similar things - one did margaritas in different glasses and one did a mix of fruit and both will finish their paintings next class (my class only meets every other Tuesday so they have time to work on their projects in between or start another painting, using the things they learned in class, etc.)

The way I started my Cinco de Mayo painting was:

Using Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground as a texture medium, I dabbed with a round brush around the tops of the glasses to imitate the salt.

I painted the background using Daniel Smith Moonglow, cutting around everything.
Next, the fruit.  
Then the margaritas and fruit in the glasses.  

To finish this, I'd have to do the apple slice and work a bit on the lime slice.  Plus, I'd have to cut around the salted edges to make them look better.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Just outside the front window in a shrub, a mother Cardinal raised her 3 little baby birds.  It was easy to tell when Mama and Papa were feeding from the peep peep peeping.  Finally, they began fledging, one by one.  No more in the nest now.  I hope they all do well.

I was taking pictures from the window and the sun was shining in...but you can see the outline of the second little brave one, out on the limb and away from the nest in the darkest thicket part...

This one made it's way around the house to the side where there are lots of trees and shrubs, but when I went looking, it panicked and jumped down into the grass, peeping like crazy for Mama!!  She was there - and so was Papa - keeping watch the trying to lure me away from the little one.  I walked away and it was soon back in the trees.

At this time of year, you can hear babies calling for food constantly throughout the trees around the neighborhood!

It's odd, but I never see a baby cardinal at the feeders - lots of others being fed by Mama and Papa from the suet and seed I put out - but never any cardinals.  Wonder where they go and do they begin to eat worms right away and insects instead of seed?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Listening to 
The Lone Bellow 
and painting hydrangeas, 
getting lost in the music and the colors...
and saving the best for last...the center lightfilled yellow-green-violet petals.

Enjoy, and have a great week.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


Next steps on the hydrangea painting, Movement in Blue.  I cropped the edges and now it's 15 x 18 inches (got rid of some of the green that didn't add anything to the painting).  Working the blues and violets and pinks in now and leaving whites...going slowly to get it right.

Saturday, May 16, 2015


Half sheet Arches 300# cold press

I started with the background greens.  I'll be calling this one

Movement in Blue

From photos I took of the hydrangea Sweetie bought me - such a pretty flower and you can go in for a macro shot, changing shapes and positions easily by just moving around the flower (or by turning it in its pot).