Friday, January 31, 2014


The great white egret painting came along so easily.  And then this thing was a struggle all the way because of the wire it was hanging on - and those little pinkist grey feet.

Perhaps I just didn't think it through before painting it.  Again, no drawing, just painted the bird and then what was around it - bits of a trellis he was holding onto.  I didn't give the trellis any depth or roundness.  So cut it off at the top.

When it doubt, crop it out!

This would have been 11" x 15" but with the crop off the top, perhaps it's more like 11" x 11"??  A little male goldfish in the autumn when his feathers were beginning to go duller than the bright gold of summer.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


I did add a bit darker on the bill and around the eyes.  Nothing else done to this one.  I like it and it was so simple and easy - just flowed.  That's what I want (but rarely get) when I'm painting in watercolor.

11" x 15" Fabriano 140# cold press watercolor paper
Ghost Bird

This one is my favorite so far.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Another one painted without drawing.  Letting the brush build up the shapes and the pigment build up the values.  I thought about painting more on this, but I like the ghostly look of this Great White Egret.  

What do you think?

Ghost Bird
11" x 15" 140# cold press Fabriano watercolor paper

Saturday, January 25, 2014


This is either a house finch or a purple finch.  I'll have to check the bird book to find out.  They are reddish on the head and breast but it's a dull red - definitely not like a Cardinal's stop-sign red colors.  I like the heavy beaks of the finches - such tough little things!

Since I was feeling a bit braver, I painted this one on a fourth sheet (11" x 15") Fabriano Artistico 140# cold press watercolor paper WITHOUT drawing beforehand.  Just drew him with the brush and slowly put down the colors and shape.  His legs could be a bit darker but I'm pretty happy with his look :)

Have you ever watched the movie, The Big Year?  It's about 3 men competing to discover and document the most birds in one year - a cute movie, it shows a lot of birds and what some dedicated (and slightly crazy) birders will do to see them.  Maybe I should think about painting a Big Year without all the travel :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Here's the little cute sandpiper, by herself.  She thinks she looks just fine :)

On Lanaquarelle 6" x 8" 140# cold press watercolor paper from a pad.

Don't Get Your Feet Wet

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


One of our weather guessers hates the term Polar Vortex, although everyone is using that term to describe the bitterly cold temperatures we're having - again.  Oh, I am so tired of this winter already!!!  How about you?  If you are in a place of warmth and sunshine, please share some photos and perhaps we in the frozen north can dream a while...

Another snow storm came through yesterday - about 3-4 inches in places with blowing snow and then the cold - 4F  Tuesday night.  High of 17F today.  Crazy!!!  I hate to cancel watercolor class again :(

Thank goodness for the Australian Open - have you been watching?  This is a craziest year with so many unexpected winners.  I have to say, it's been fun fun fun to see some of the top seeds on the woman's side overthrown and some newcomers (how about that Eugenie Bouchard and her Genie Army of boys who are crazy about her? ha ha) come forward.  Makes for an unpredictable and exciting Open this year.  

And so far, Roger is still winning!!!!  Come on!!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I don't know what these birds are - water birds, perhaps sandpipers of some kind.

Again, working from the background forward, saving the best for last - the birds :)

I'm calling them
Three Piping Plovers
On 1/4 sheet (11" x 15") Fabriano 140# cold press watercolor paper.

The two to the right look like they are trying to walk by the other one without being seen :)  They are saying, "Well, she's put on the holiday weight, hasn't she??"  Sandpipers can be sooo catty!

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Another little one done without drawing on Lanaquarelle 140# cold press watercolor paper, 6" x 8"  

I actually like the larger one better this time - perhaps it's because there is more warmth in the larger version.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


My sister worked her fingers to the bone this holiday season and just look what she made me!!!

A lovely afghan in 4 shades of blue!  She said it was 80 hours of work, and it will be my favorite thing in the livingroom now.  I have it draped over the back of a chair so when I'm not using it to snuggle on these cold winter days, I can look over and see it.  What a wonderful present!!!

She made my Sweetie and her sweetie a lap afghan (shorter than this one) but I asked for one a bit longer so it will cover my tootsies when I snuggle on the sofa so she had to make an extra piece for this.  She made a terry cloth robe for our mother, too - guess she was busy!!

Friday, January 17, 2014


Done using the previous painting as a guide and without drawing.

Unfortunately, this one looks a bit goofy to me.  May have to try another one.  Not pleased with the background, either.  
Well, they can't all be good! ha ha

On Lanaquarelle 140# cold press watercolor pad 6" x 8"

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Another frosty, cold, snow-predicted day :(  Winter makes me blue (and not in a good, colorful way).  I'm watching the Australian Open and finding new admiration for the women, especially, who look like they are about to fall over on the court - and have a crying jag - but keep toughing it out in 107F heat!  Unbelievable!  But what else can they do?  The match between Sharapova and Knapp was one of the best for sheer determination to not quit until the end!  

Slammin' Sammy Sosur may have a big advantage, being a native Australian.  Let's hope she fights the good fight.
And Roger is still in it :)  I know, I'm still dreaming of another major title but I'm not alone!  ha ha

Wherever you are, stay safe and regulate that temperature!  Heat up or cool down as best you can...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


The bitter cold has past but it's still winter.  I have seen a great blue heron in a front yard when I lived in Indiana - quite a surprise!  I know it's too cold for this one to be around my house now!!  Maybe he's keeping warm in Florida or South Carolina right now..

Again, painting from the background forward.

It was fun painting that lovely seascape behind him before tackling his feathers in lots of blues.

Big Blue
11" x 15" on Arches 300# hot press watercolor paper

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Finally, the Australian Open tennis matches have begun!!  Can you believe it's going to be 104-108 each day??? Those poor players are going to melt.

Although my head tells me Roger doesn't have another in him, I'd still love to see him win one more major.

This may cut into my painting time  - but I'm not staying up until 3 am watching the previous day's games; thank goodness Tennis Channel replays them all the next afternoon!

My watercolor class came back to the house today - first time since the first part of December and it feels like it's been forever!

Monday, January 13, 2014


I hope you aren't getting tired of these birds.  I'm not - yet!

A little favorite of mine because they always seem so bright, alert and cute - a Tufted Titmouse.  Mostly grey but some sun on his back at the feeder.  I wonder who named some of these birds - I mean, shouldn't a titmouse be a mouse?

Watching Out for Others
11" x 15" on Arches 300# hot press watercolor paper.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


There's nothing that will stop you in your tracks like a male cardinal's colors shining in the sunlight.

I've always been told that the call of the cardinal is:
"Pretty pretty pretty!'  

Guess they know they are something else! 

I've been hearing crows every morning - but haven't been seeing them.  Maybe time to do a few more crow paintings along with all these other birds.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


This one is on a small sheet of Lanaquarelle from a watercolor pad of 140# paper, 6" x 8" with no drawing done before paint was put to paper.

Little Rosy

Friday, January 10, 2014


It's all I have to bring today 
It's all I have to bring today-- 
This, and my heart beside-- 
This, and my heart, and all the fields-- 
And all the meadows wide-- 
Be sure you count--should I forget 
Some one the sum could tell-- 
This, and my heart, and all the Bees 
Which in the Clover dwell.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


A rosy-breasted grosbeak.  Sturdy body and tough, short beak plus that beautiful bright red chest decoration make this one of my favorites when I see it at the feeder in spring.

Again, painting from the background forward.

This one is on Arches 140# hot press paper, 11" x 15" (fourth sheet).

It seems I have a tendency to draw or paint their beaks a bit long.  And his head seems a bit large.  Oh, well, I do not intend to spend hours on any of these - the idea is to get better, faster, looser, and still do a good job without putting in every single brush stroke!!!  

Will continue to paint pretty birds throughout the month, if my intention holds...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Well, I was prepared to lead the program this month at the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society meeting.  I had the copies and handouts made, my painting done to show how I did it, and the DVD and Projector ready to go.  Unfortunately (?) it was determined that it was still too frozen for many to get out and around - and it's just too cold, still.  Not even 10F this morning.    I haven't been outside since Sunday when it was raining and 45F outside.  Now, it's been below 0F for 2 1/2 days - brrrr!

If you want to see the work of Carol Carter, up close and personal, come join us at the GCWS meeting next month - 
Wednesday, February 5th from 10 am - 12:30 pm.
If you are anywhere within driving distance, you won't be sorry you made the trip!!! (Hoping we have decent weather, that is - one never knows in January and February.)

Stay safe and warm, wherever you are.  If you are somewhere warm, send a little of it our way, please!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


A song by The Be Good Tanyas stays in my as they sing, 
"The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs.  The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs."

These birds were painted with no drawing and on a small Lanaquarelle paper from a pad (6" x 8") of cold press watercolor paper.

The red-bellied woodpecker's bill got a little big - maybe he'll grow into it! ha ha

And here's the little indigo bunting again.  The black mask on his face makes him look mean, but I don't think he is.  He's just in disguise!

So...time to sort through my photo references for the next birds to paint...

Monday, January 6, 2014


Cold cold cold weather.  
Don't forget to put out extra food for the critters, especially the birds.  

How do they survive such cold temperatures?

We've got a deck full of cardinals, woodpeckers, bluejays, carolina wrens, nuthatches, juncos, mourning doves, and various wrens and finches enjoying the seed and suet I keep out for them.  And they provide me with some good reference photos 
(Sweetie would do a better job on the photos with his camera but he's busy so it's up to me to point and shoot and hope for the best!).

And here is a lovely poem for you...

A January Dandelion
by George Marion McClellan
All Nashville is a chill. And everywhere 
Like desert sand, when the winds blow, 
There is each moment sifted through the air,
A powdered blast of January snow. 
O! thoughtless Dandelion, to be misled 
By a few warm days to leave thy natural bed, 
Was folly growth and blooming over soon. 
And yet, thou blasted yellow-coated gem, 
Full many a heart has but a common boon 
With thee, now freezing on thy slender stem. 
When the heart has bloomed by the touch of love's warm breath
Then left and chilling snow is sifted in, 
It still may beat but there is blast and death 
To all that blooming life that might have been.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


On the table because it was still sopping wet when I took the photo.  Always working from the background to the foreground.

Another to add to The Birds of 2014, this time a very pretty and very blue Indigo Bunting. 

These pretty birds often pass by in the late spring, early summer, but they never stay, just coming to eat and rest up before moving on to their more permanent home.

The Bluebird of Happiness is Not Happy
Arches 140# cold press watercolor paper.

Now time to try the first two birds without drawing...

Saturday, January 4, 2014


My dear friend in Spain, Teresa, sent me this holiday card - an original watercolor from her imagination :)  I love it!!  

And today is her birthday so I'm saying Happy Birthday, Teresa (just in case my silly little card doesn't get there in time).

My friend, China, in Indiana, is having a birthday today, too!  I don't think she reads my blog but I'm saying Happy Birthday, China, anyway :)

Are you having a birthday today - or this month?  Are you a January baby, too?

And are you having snow and ice and cold?  Brrrrrrr!!  Today is going to be the warmest day for us for a while with predictions (but you know how that goes) that Sunday will bring another snowstorm and that Monday and Tuesday will be full of very gusty winds taking the temperature down to...are you ready for this?...
25 BELOW 0!!!  
Are you kidding me???

If you're having cold and bitter weather, then stay in, just enjoy the view from your windows - like this path to the woods.

Friday, January 3, 2014


Working from the background forward.

These birds were "sharing" the suet feeder, but it was obvious who was the boss, saying,
"It says Woodpecker suet!"

And he was right - it was woodpecker suet I had put out that morning.  But the Grackle seemed to like it, too, sneaking around the corner from the Red-bellied Woodpecker, and hoping he wouldn't be seen stealing from "Big Red".

The first painting of The Birds of 2014. 

It Says Woodpecker Suet!
Arches 140# cold press watercolor paper
11" x 15"

My intention for these bird portraits is to paint one on watercolor paper I've sketched the subject(s) on; and again with no drawing, just painting the same bird(s) on smaller paper.  

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Cold enough for you?
Why, yes, yes it is!!!

9F is pretty cold enough!

But I am finding the brambles and vines and shrubs covered in snow very interesting right now - perhaps some drawings will come from these photos of a snow, cold, grey day.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Another year.  
What an accomplishment!
I'm still here!!
And if you are reading this, then so are you!!!

Thanks for spending the last year with me.  Thanks for sharing your comments, and your artwork.

I don't make New Year's Resolutions.  It's too easy to go overboard and fail within the first month - or first week!!! ha ha

So.  Here is my goal for 2014:  Paint more birds.

I love birds.  I love watching birds.  I love the shapes and colors of birds.
And I don't paint them enough.

So for 2014 I am going to paint more birds.

In fact, I have a little goal for myself that may be challenging.  I will tell you about it when the goal has been reached, not before - no pressure :)

What do you want to accomplish this year?

I may have shared this photo before, but it's one of my favorites of the cards Sweetie (a.k.a. Jerry H. Carpenter) created for sale at Art on the Levee in Newport.
Plus it's one thing I do intend to do more of in 2014!

Happy New Year!