Sunday, July 31, 2011


All of these little ones - 5 tiny frogs and several more tadpoles ready to morph into frogs - would fit in the palm of my hand and still have room for more!  Here's the latest pics (I tried to download a very short video taken with my camera but it did not work :(

These little ones are more golden than the first few that turned, but I imagine they will become more green as they grow older. 

I asked Sweetie how long tree frogs live and he said 2 years.  Just think, when we release them (23 in all), we will be working on the next generation of tree frogs in our neighborhood - and will be listening for them to sing their spring songs to us next year!

I'm glad everyone is enjoying the tadpole journey with us :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011


We now have 3 very active, hoppy, jumping, skitterish little froggies.  Taking the top off their temporary home to feed them, change the crickets' food, etc. is now a two person job - one to put their hand over the top to keep the little ones from jumping out and onto the floor (a huge space to travel for such a little thing) and one to change the water, food, etc.  Sweetie was picking Polly off the floor last night as we tried to keep them inside the container.  It's going to get pretty crazy around here with 2 more just about to turn to frogs and enter the froggie container.  I haven't a clue how we're going to keep track and keep safe all 23 of them!!!

But the ones who are now definitely little froggies are a lovely jade green color!  So cute!!!!  Unfortunately, they jump around so much it's going to be difficult to get a clear photo of any of them for a while.  Maybe they will settle down once they get a bit bigger but just imagine 3 of these (and all 3 are smaller than this photo shows this one and yet looking fully developed with great big eyes and cute little sucker toes and a pretty green color coming on).  Oh, I do hope they all survive and grow and can be released back into the wilds of the wooded area around the yard to live out their lives!

I'll try to snap more photos soon...

Have a hoppy day!

Friday, July 29, 2011


I'm still doing my homework for Suzanne McDermott's online class diligently.  I really didn't do a good job this past week but I'm blaming the migraine 2 days that week for not being able to focus and do a good job and/or to see well enough to know that my work looked fuzzy when I photographed it.  Oh, well.  We have gone into COLOR this week and are getting to know our paints, brushes and paper :)  But I still want to keep drawing and make it a practice I do and enjoy, not just something I do in order to get to the color.

Here's a little imaginary landscape I started while waiting for some color exercises to dry for the online class.  It needs some darks touched in here and there and perhaps a darker foreground.

This one is in my Arches travel pad, 6 x 10" 140# coldpress paper.

For the online course, we're using Strathmore Windpower Watercolor Pad (6 x 9) and it's a nice surface to work on - not exactly coldpress but not hotpress either. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


When I was growing up (as if that was going to happen!), my mother would say, "I have a TERRIFIC headache!"  She often had headaches and I never thought much about the words until I got older and thought, "What's so terrific about her headache?"  Okay, I was a weird kid, I know, with a strange sense of humor.  A bit like Wednesday Addams but I didn't dress all in black.

So Saturday I got a terrific headache - a real doozy of a migraine - that wiped me out for 2 days and Monday wasn't that great, either.  Then this morning, after sleeping in late (it was 9:15 am when I looked at the clock), I had the visual neon zigzags that says, "Welcome to your terrific headache!"  Took a pill quickly, had some caffeine and it's easing off but not completely gone and

the roofers are back on the roof installing the leaf/gutter guards! 


I hope your day is headache free.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Had to share with you the update:

Sunday, we had quite a few little ones with back legs - some becoming well developed while others were just beginning.

Sweetie noted that some of the frogs had well developed back legs and some bumps at the front of their bodies, where the front legs will pop out.

Then, overnight from Sunday night to Monday morning, we saw one that has both back and front legs!  Won't be long until they all will begin looking like this guy (or girl - perhaps it's Polly?) - and then that long tail will begin to be lost and they will start to look like real little froggies.

What fun!

Sweetie moved Polly (the one with back and front legs) to the small starter aquarium along with 2 friends.  Thinking it would be another week before Polly turned into a real froggie...

We were very surprised to find, this Tuesday morning, Polly looking very much like a little bitty froggie and hanging on the side of the aquarium!!

Well, time to get some pinhead crickets for her because, from now on, she'll be eating them!

Right now, the tail is almost absorbed and she is smaller than my little fingernail. 

Look at those little toepads!  So cute!

Monday, July 25, 2011


Another little landscape, started from one in the Gordon MacKenzie landscape book, then worked on my own with the book closed.  I put those 2 light trunks in, like he did - but I hated them so had to make a change.  His looked fine, of course, but mine looked horrid (I didn't leave space for the white limbs coming off the bottom of the trunks).

Again, since this is, basically, a copy of his work, I won't do anything with this but use it for my own instruction (practice makes perfect).  I think I am learning a bit as I go along, and I find that I like landscapes with no houses or barns in them! ha ha

I like the cool colors in this one - anything to cool down the senses (another week of 95F temperatures and high humidity/dew point that makes it feel like a wet sauna outside).  Today looks like rain coming again and maybe it will be sending cooling relief.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Just an update - we still have 23 tadpoles thriving and now there are 3 with legs.  Their names are:

Polly ("She's got legs, she knows how to use 'em."
Lieutenant Dan ("Lieutenant Dan, you've got legs!")
Bo ("Mr. Bojangles, dance...")

I am not going to name them all - maybe a contest is in order to come up with some good names - but once they all start looking the same (as if they didn't right now!), it's going to be hard to tell Polly for Dan or Bo or whatever! ha ha

More photos to come when they are more evolved.  Right now they just look like tadpoles with tiny little legs on some of them.  They are voracious, though, eating and sleeping a lot.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Well, I am not proud of this effort.  I was trying for a simple, monochromatic painting of trees.  But those trunks!  Awkkkk!!! 

And the color?  Well, perhaps it's where the wee leprechauns hide their pots of gold?  No excuse. 

Also, no shame.  I'm posting it anyway. 

Some you win, some you lose.

Glad I didn't use much paper on this one (in my Arches travel pad 6 x 10).

This next one is somewhat better, but it is still just a copy from the Gordon MacKenzie book, using his instructions on how to paint this one.  Again, mine didn't turn out the way his did, but it's still a copy of the composition and techniques he used (although I didn't use masking fluid on the canoe), so can't take much credit for this one.  (Remember, it's okay to copy work from an instructional book and even make your painting look exactly like the book painting - but it's only for educational purposes.  Don't go out and try to sell anything you do this way as your own!)

I sponged on the background "leaves" and overworked the water (doesn't look bad in the photo but in real life, pretty ugly).

I think I'll go back to using one of his finished paintings as a starting off place and then put the book down and continue on my own and see what comes out of that.

Friday, July 22, 2011


The news this morning in the US was that Lucian Freud, the British artist, has died.  He was 88.


After a bump in the road in the order of delays, the cd my brother-in-law created is now ready.  He taught "Guitar Camp" a couple of weeks ago and got some pre-orders and he's the Featured Artist at the little cafe/kiosk in the Northern Kentucky University library right now, with the songs playing.  I wish I could figure out how to link to download a song or two...I'll see if I can figure it out so you can hear one of my favorites on the cd.

Here's what the final looks like:

Front cover


Back cover

The cd is beautifully done, with lots of jazzy/bluesy songs on it - a nice "put in your cd player and got out for a drive" kind of disc :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Here's an update on the tadpoles (polly wogs):

We still have 23 of the little things, healthy and happy and eating as much as they can and then sleeping (kind of like babies of all kinds!).

Sweetie has moved them from the small aquarium to a larger plastic pan with more water surface (more water surface = more oxygen for them).  Only about 1 inch of water in the pan.  Sweetie feeds them several times a day (they like the fish flakes, cherry pits and cucumber slivers) and then changes out their water so it doesn't stay dirty. 

And (so far) only one has started showing legs.

It may be that they all begin to turn soon.  There are several large ones the size of this one (which we'll call Polly for now).

In honor or Polly's change, sing it with me:

"She's got legs...she knows how to use them!"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Still using my Arches Carnet de Voyage travel watercolor pad ( 6 x 10) and using something in the Gordon MacKenzie book as a starting place, I then close the book and continue to work on what I think it should look like, not thinking, just feeling my way around the greens, the browns, the trees, etc...

I began by spritzing water on the paper, then with a palette knife, I touched in masking fluid.  When that dried, I began putting in light yellows and greens.

This is from my imagination - what trees look like, thinking about light and shadow.

The masking fluid was removed after I got a nice coverage of the pales and mid-tone yellows and greens.  I I put in the tree trunks and branches with a touch of Lunar Earth and Burnt Umber here and there (trying not to be heavy-handed) with a very small round brush, adding a little reddish brown to spice up all that green.

Then I let the painting sit a while (walking away from something and letting it be for a while helps me see better and lets me keep from getting into a groove of just adding paint, dabbing off paint, adding paint, ad nauseum).

And what did it need?  Some darks here and there and bit more pop in the red/browns, I think....

Could it be?  Could it be that I have landscapes in my mind that can come out like this?

I am very pleased with this one and it's completely from my mind (no photo reference, no painting in front of me to copy and study!  

Very interesting for me to be able to do this as I've always said I couldn't do a painting from just a picture in my mind - and, honestly, I didn't.  There was no picture in my mind when I started this - just marks on paper that became colors and then shadows and light.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I did another little study/copy of a painting from the landscape book by Gordon MacKenzie.  The book is actually VERY good, even telling you about what pigments to avoid, etc.  He starts with beginner stuff - paper, brushes, paint, etc. (but it's an older book, copyright 2006, so nothing about Daniel Smith paints in the comparison charts).  Then he goes into masking, using a palette knife to paint with and put on miskit; and gives you dozens of ideas for landscapes in small paintings he has in the book.  There is so much information in the book, it would be good for a beginner to landscapes or even someone who has tried and not gotten it right (like me).

This little one is also in my
Arches Carnet de Voyage travel
pad, 6 x 10.

Calling this
No Fear of Green

I'm hoping these little studies and copies will help me get over my fear of greens :)

Monday, July 18, 2011


Doing some study/practice pieces using the paintings in the Gordon MacKenzie landscape book as stepping off places.  I love the look of his work and thought, maybe, just copying his paintings would give my brush some kind of memory (like muscle memory) for landscapes. 

So...I started the first one a couple of days ago.  I didn't read all the comments  saying, "Leave it!" and just had to go back and darken some tree trunks.  It didn't make it a better painting at all.  Again, the lesson = leaving the painting alone and knowing when it's time to do that before ruining it!

This second one I liked for his use of blues and blue-greens.  A copy of part of his larger painting to fit in my small landscape travel watercolor pad (Arches 6 x 10).  His version has much darker trees but I'm going to leave this one alone - yes, I am, I am, I AM!!!

I would like to be able to paint these small things in less than 30 minutes, then just walk away and let them be done.

I don't pay attention to what he titles his paintings (usually 11 x 15 or larger) and just call these studies whatever.  This one I think I'll call Misty Morning.

I've got all my homework done for the week so may do a few more of these as the week goes on.  It's sweltering here :(

Sunday, July 17, 2011


For some wonderful posts about an artist's journey and his/her struggles with growth, please go over and visit the blogs of Maggie Latham and Terry Miura.  I read both posts this morning and was touched by their efforts to find their "true voice" in their artwork.  Once you get past all the technique and have that under your belt, you begin your search for yourself in your paintings - how do you say what you want; how do you convey the emotions you feel into your work; how do you make a living with this crazy thing called art and still remain sane?  I bounce back and forth from learning this or that technique or type of painting (hence my recent obsession with learning landscapes although I may never paint many of them in my life), to trying to convey emotions, feelings, a bit of myself into my work.  That's a hard thing!  These two artists have struggled with it and will continue to struggle with it (it's just the way it is, folks), but what a lovely journey they share!

It doesn't make me sad that these two very fine artists have doubts, but gives me, a relative beginner, hope!  Hope in the belief that we're all in this together; we're all just humans with ups and downs and doubts about our choices.  But, again, what a journey we are on!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Me, myself, I'm working hard! ha ha  Suzanne McDermott's online class is going well and I'm getting in the mood for drawing and sketching and seeing and having fun with it.  I really needed this push.  We are working in charcoal, graphite, water soluble graphite and pen and ink!  Whew!!  And Suzanne's critiques are spot on - not too harsh but definitely not whimpy, she tells it like it is and points out those things you didn't even see!  Love it!  It's just what I need right now.

If you are interested - even if you've been drawing and/or painting for a while - check out the online course info here:

I'm also still going through the landscape book by Catherine Gill; and have pulled out an older landscape book (The Watercolorist's Essential Notebook: Landscapes) by Gordon MacKenzie that looks very interesting.  I've had it around a long time.  Apparently, this NEED to paint landscapes comes and goes with me.

However, I'm not going to push myself.  I think I may just start with one of his paintings in the book and then come up with something, just a study for myself, that bears a close resemblance to a landscape :)  No more pressure or worries - just paint on paper (in my little Arches travel watercolor pad) and let it be.  Here's the first one...

Just a little bit of paint on my 6 x 10 Carnet de Voyage Travel Book by Arches - a great thing to take on vacations!  (Although it does have that old cow hooves smell that older Arches paper has.)

This one, I'm calling The Dark Green Blues.  And, yes, I could go back in with a bit of darker green-blue-black for a few of those trees...we'll see if I do that or let sleeping does lie.  Perhaps leaving a painting is really what I need to learn?

Friday, July 15, 2011


Some boys love frogs, tadpoles, lizards, spiders, snakes.  My Sweetie was one of those boys - and seems he still is! 

So, when cleaning and opening the above ground pool in the back, he found these little tadpoles, he had to bring them inside and raise them.  We have, over the course of 2 days, 23 tadpoles in a small aquarium on the kitchen table.  He feeds them fish flakes, dropping water on top of the flakes to push them to the bottom so they can feed without coming up out of the water (although some are okay with this).  They have grown a lot since he brought them in and I'm looking forward to seeing the tail disappear and for them to begin to look more like little froggies :)  These are tree frogs and we'd been hearing them croaking and calling for mates for weeks during the nights - looks like the males were successful in finding females so they can carry on the next generation.

But what does one do with 23 frogs, assuming they all make it? ha ha

Now sing it with me:
Froggie went a'courting, he did ride,
um hmmm.....

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I'm going to give you all a break from that landscape stuff and maybe just do trees for a while.  Simple trees.  We'll see how it goes. 

I haven't given up on the landscapes yet but maybe need to tackle this one little element at a time - trees, skies, grass, ponds, lakes, rivers, mountains, oh so many elements!! ha ha  And doing landscapes from photos just doesn't cut it, folks, so I know why there are plein air painters.  And I'm honestly not sure I can be one - it's either too hot or too damp or too buggy or too something (no, I'm not an outdoorsy kind of gal!).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


One of the things Suzanne McDermott has asked us to do is timed drawings.  Using leaves, we set a timer and then draw a leaf in 1 minute, then 2 minutes and so on until we get to 10 minutes.  This really makes you move and look quickly at what you're drawing.  There is a pressure when you know you only have 1 minute (especially if you're one who fiddles with your drawings, always making little changes here and there).  No erasing allowed - just let it flow!

I enjoyed it and liked what I accomplished.  (Sorry if these are too pale - they are on newsprint using graphite pencils.)

Have you ever tried timed drawings?  Pick something fairly simple and try it!

The class seems full of wonderful, interesting people and, as the weeks go on, we will get used to one another and learn from one another more.  Suzanne sounds (via conference call) as nice as she seems on her blog and I know she'll be a good teacher - but not too lax with us so we have to do our work :)

I know I'm going to enjoy this as the weeks build on one another and I work my drawing muscles a bit more. 

Afterall, we always worry about our bodies and our muscles and strength there but what about our art muscles?  Use it or lose it! ha ha)

Suzanne is having another 8-week session in September - you might want to visit her blog and find out more about it!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The midwest and the south are suffering sweltering heat and humidity.  Hot hot hot!  Takes your breath away when you go outside.  As if you've opened a hot oven door and are standing in that heat, trying to breathe.  I hope you all are trying to stay cool and have a good air conditioning unit and fans and ice water and whatever else you need to keep your body heat down.

Me, I just thought I'd go back to this landscape and try again.  I thought the greens would cool me down (plus it's cooler downstairs in my art room than upstairs right now).

To me, it still looks stiff.  But, in an effort to be a better person, my comment on my calendar this week is:
Positive words need to be spoken twice as often as negative words.
Sure, we all know that, right?  That little negative feels like a slap that is well remembered, when the positive feels like just a bit of fairy dust lightly brushing over us, soon to be forgotten.
So, in order to be more positive towards myself (as well as others), here's what I like about this:

I like the variety of greens, warms and cools and good distant colors and shapes.  I like that I pushed the red barn back on the hill and let the white barn be larger.  I tried to tie things together with quin burnt orange and a touch of red here and there.  I think the fence posts look more like fence posts now.

Of course, there are still a lot of things I don't like about this - and the stiffness of the painting is the worst, for me.  So...more working towards a goal and seeing if I can get there without giving up in despair!

Here is a nice cool page from Catherine Gill's landscape book - all the greens she makes from her palette colors (and I'll forgive her for using Rose Madder Genuine, a fugitive color no one should use no matter how lovely it is).

What are you doing to stay cool?  Or are you lucky enough to live in a place where it is cool now with a nice breeze blowing and the windows open?

Monday, July 11, 2011


Check out this article.  I just read it and am amazed that they are going to use sunflowers, planting them all over the striken area, to soak up the radioactive chemicals in the soil at Fukushima.  Just imagine - where there was destruction and such abject horror, there will be fields of bright yellow sunflowers, standing tall, waving in the breeze!  (I believe Vincent Van Gogh would have loved this idea.)

I've got homework to do for my online class with Suzanne McDermott.  She began with having us do some timed drawings and blind contour drawings (drawing something without looking at the object, but keeping your eyes on the paper).  Then we have to do some graphite and charcoal drawings for homework this week. 

I really would like to make drawing a part of my life more - keeping a small sketchbook in my handbag or in the car and just recording things.  Maybe I'll get there someday.  I do enjoy seeing blogging friends who sketch almost daily and record their surroundings so they can share them with me online :)  There are so many good sketching blogs online - some of my favorites that I follow are:

Sadami's Graffiti.  Sadami Konchi shares her surroundings in Sydney, Australia.

Joan Sandford-Cook.  Joan lives in England and sketches her garden and surroundings, when she's not painting.

And Cathy Gatland goes out in Johannesburg, South Africa, sketching people and places that give us a taste of her life there.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Reading this one makes me think of a landscape painting...was Miss Dickinson aware of the lovely way yellow and purple play together on a page?

A lane of Yellow led the eye (1650)

by Emily Dickinson

A lane of Yellow led the eye
Unto a Purple Wood
Whose soft inhabitants to be
Surpasses solitude
If Bird the silence contradict
Or flower presume to show
In that low summer of the West
Impossible to know -

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I let the ugly landscape sit and went back after a day to add more to it, trying to make it more visually interesting.  Still not great but closer to what I hope, someday, to be able to do :)

I might not be around as much until I adjust to the online class I'm taking with Suzanne McDermott (and the homework assignments).  But I'll stop by blogs and keep as current as I can.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


You'll just have to bear with me as I struggle with landscapes.  This is how I  paint a landscape - something happens to my sense of color and I just use blues and yellows to make greens and they are the same and don't show a variety of colors.  And I find my value sense eludes me, too.  Why?  There must be a mental block for me when trying landscapes - have to break through.  I know I can paint better than this - but don't have anything to show for it when doing grass and trees and buildings.  Hmmm...much work to be done and you may have to suffer through for a while (or until I give up!). 

I will go back to this and try to make it more visually appealing and will post that later.

But for now - the GCWatercolor Society has their monthly meeting today.

I am raring to go with Suzanne McDermott's online course in drawing and watercolor and looking forward to that starting this week.  It should be a kick in the butt to get me going and thinking correctly instead of whining, "I can't do it!"  She has a full class and a waiting list for her next class in September - check out my sidebar for her blog and links to her online courses.

I don't know why summer always finds me so lethargic.  It seems my body just sits around, waiting for autumn and cooler temperatures and beautiful colors.  Perhaps I need to move north in the summer?  Unfortunately, Sweetie loves it when it's 95F and 75% humidity.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Well, Mac, my brother-in-law, liked my paintings so much he put 3 on his recent cd (I'll have a cd at the end of this week and will show you how it looks).  Now he wants me to paint him (but not him), a man playing the guitar but not necesarily his image, etc.  But loose, jazzy, colorful., with that much freedom in painting what it is, you'd think it would be easy.  But it isn't. 

I tore up the first little study I did that was horrid.  Then decided if I was going to suffer through this, I'd first gesso the paper so lifting and changing things and creating texture would be easier.  And gesso made me think of designs so I put down one of Mary Beth Shaw's stencils and gessoed over that, lifting it off to get some design element behind him.  That all had to dry.

Then I started drawing on tracing paper (while the photo was upside down).  Then transferred the drawing to the watercolor paper that had the gessoed design.  Then the painting began.  And this is where I am.  I'm not sure where I'm going on what I should do from here so it's sitting and waiting for me to have some inspiration and other ideas.  I like the color and can lift out here and there and add some darks here and there.  But need to have a better roadmap before tackling this one again.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Well, Sunday got away from me, due to the long July 4th weekend here in the states.  So here is Sunday Sharing, where I share the blogs of some of my newest viewers.  And I'm only a day late (and a dollar short, as my grandmother used to say)...

1.  Beads2Yarn is the name of one of my latest viewers.  She lives in California and does covers the gamut of art.  At her blog, you'll find watercolor, journalling, fabric dying, and beading.  Take a look - she even has a post on testing her new Inktense watersoluble pencils so lots of informative things here.

2.  I think a lot of us know that little angel, Sadami Konchi of Sadami's Graffitti.  Sadami is a fabulous artist, going out and sketching the people and places around her - which happen to be pretty darned good inspiration since she lives in Sydney, Australia!  She does children's book illustrations as well as courtroom sketches; and she readily shares her techniques for staying loose.  Plus, whenever you're feeling a bit down, just go over there for a few minutes and you'll leave feeling so much better.  She has such a positive attitude and outlook on life and all it brings, that you know she is a very special person - plus she's a great artist!

3. Autumn Leaves, from Illinois, calls her blog Of Mice and Men and Cabbages and Kings.  I'm not sure what her real name is but she says she dances to a different drummer, so maybe her name IS Autumn Leaves :)  Anyway, go to her blog and see her artwork (especially that lovely paintings of roses on the first post).  Oh, and the title of her blog?  Well, the "Of Mice and Men" comes from a John Steinbeck novel of the same name; and "Cabbages and Kings" comes from Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking Glass:

'The time has come', the Walrus said,
'To talk of many things:
Of shoes - and ships - and sealing wax -
Of cabbages - and Kings - '

I hope you visit each of these blogs and, perhaps, discover a new favorite or two :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Just a few more photos, taken by Jerry, of our short trip up to Lebanon, OH to see the OWS show.

Now, time to watch the Wimbledon finals for the men.  Go, Rafa!


This weekend is the last weekend the Ohio Watercolor travelling show will be at Picture This Gallery in Lebanon, Ohio.  

Sweetie and I took the hour long drive up there to view the show.  Here's a link to some of the winners:

It is the 2010 show (even though this is well into 2011 - think they are behind because the 2011 won't be announced until this fall, then travel next year). 

I didn't take any photos (the lighting was not the best so paintings were not lit well enough to really get a true sense of them, even when standing in front of them).  It seemed like, comparing the photos in the catalog to the actual painting, there was a lot of difference (not all of it lighting).  Buying the catalog helped me discover that several of the local Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society members got into the show (two were in the travelling show).  So congratulations to:

Carolyn Ross Hibbard - in the show
Mary Jane Noe
Jean Vance
Leonard Williams - in the show
Barbara Zentgraf

If you can't see it this weekend, drive up to Delaware, OH and see it at the Art Castle there after July 5th!  Or you can view the paintings in the current catalog at

Since they run behind with the travelling show, the 2011 entries are already declared (but won't be announced until September in Zanesville, OH).  If you want to enter a lot of shows, you really have to keep a list on your calendar of entry dates to keep track of everything and how early some shows want your work.

And here's a photo of the old Lebanon-Mason-Monroe train that makes an hour run  just for tourists on Fridays.  A lovely little depot and it might be fun to take a train ride sometime.  Lebanon, OH is a heaven for antiquers, with store after store filled with old things from furniture to glassware to quilts to West Point uniforms!  We did wander a bit but I'm just not wanting any more stuff to bring home so we weren't seriously looking.  We also had to have lunch in the famous Golden Lamb restaurant - the first inn in Ohio and now an inn and restaurant.  Unfortunately, both the Golden Turtle chocolate shop and the Cupcake Manna shop were closed :(

Sweetie playing on the train.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Marilyn Bishop, the founder of the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society, could not make the opening to our June watercolor show so she asked me to take photos - which I did.  Sweetie took a bunch, too.  I sent Marilyn some since she was in charge of publicity for the show. 

Much to my surprise, she put my photo in my local newspaper (a freebie they toss onto the driveway every so often and I rarely open and read).  I didn't know until Sweetie brought it home with him last night after his photography group meeting.  A neighbor in the same subdivision and a member of the TriState Photography Group, saw it and saved it to give to me.  How nice is that?

So here I am, in all my glory, with my yellow ribbon painting! (Must have been a slow news day!)  Sweetie took that photo of me.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Can you believe that it's July already?  Seems like the months have been rushing by (which I've been told is a sure sign of old age! ha ha)

I bet you thought I've been sitting around doing nothing, right?

Well, you're wrong (but not entirely).  Although I haven't been doing much, I am still keeping my hand in and trying to pull out a plum (or a piece of chocolate!).

Here are just a couple of little things I've been working on lately; and I'm still working through the landscape book by Catherine Gill.

Unfortunately, these trees in my sketchbook are overwhelmingly GREEN!!!  The one of the left was done without drawing in watercolor - the one on the right, predrawn with watercolor pencils and then wet with clean water.  (I have two new Niji waterbrushes now and will put them to use soon.)

Have a wonderful Independence Day/July 4th weekend, all in the U.S.