Thursday, April 30, 2015


Click the  link to download a pdf of poems to carry in your pocket and share today!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


I pulled out some 140# rough press watercolor paper to paint a few of the skies from the recent photos.  It might be better to paint from the sky itself, but  I haven't done that yet.  Next time we get some stormy skies, I could set up in the sun room and use the sky as my model...

11.5 x 15 inches on 140# rough paper
April Skies No. 1 (so you know there will be a No. 2, right?)

I don't have rules like:  
You should only paint from life.  
You should never paint from a photograph.  
You must go out in the field to paint plein air if you want to get good at painting landscapes.  
(As Dr. Gregory House said, "Rules are just simple guidelines for people who are too stupid to think for themselves.")

Monday, April 27, 2015


What do you paint?  Skies, landscapes, birds, still lifes, portraits?  I think I paint a lot of birds (and crows) and macro flowers.  Every once in a while I try portraits but never stick to it long enough to feel comfortable about painting portraits - they are either hit or miss. 

But I do like flowers...

And I do seem to have a preference for blues and violets in my flower paintings.

There is something soothing to paint using these colors, and I have a lot of photo references of these hydrangeas (although I can't grow them, I can get photos of them from neighbors' yards).

So when I'm not painting birds, I'm painting hydrangeas!  Guess I've found my niche.  And to paraphrase Will Rogers, "I've never painted a hydrangea I didn't like." 

But right now I think I'll try some skies - lots of stormy, cloudy, pretty skies lately around here as spring is just teasing us one day with warmth and sun and then rain and storms making good clouds (and cooling down) the next day.  Time to get out the 140# rough and do something...

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Some more sky photos of our interesting skies full of rain lately.  

The rain comes through quickly, pouring down; then gone as quickly with sunshine trying to push through the clouds.

I should paint these, shouldn't I?  

Thursday, April 23, 2015


I subscribe to the Zen Habits newsletter, written by Leo Babauta.  In this latest edition, he talks about what I have been feeling these few days.  I'll figure it out, I think.  Or not.  Perhaps it's the desire to always be something other than what we are, rather than accepting ourselves as we are.  Seeing all the things that are "wrong" with us and not seeing all the "right" things...

For example:

I'm sure you all have a friend who is dear to you.  But he/she may have some habits that are sooo annoying to his/her spouse, family, or friends.  And those habits don't bother you at all.  Because they are a part of your friend and you love your friend as he/she is, warts and all.  Now - could we possibly begin to treat ourselves with that same kindness and acceptance - warts and all?  It is hard.  But I think it could be done with some work...

I think I am going to try to change a few things but the biggest change is to try to accept myself, warts and all.  The desire to change is sometimes just a desire to keep running away from oneself.  I'm getting awfully tired of running...

Here is a link to the newsletter.

And here is a photo of the dramatic skies we've been having due to fast-moving rain showers coming through and clearing out.

And a redbud tree in the back yard blooming out and showing off when the sun comes out - so much violet/purple against the green.  Mother Nature knows how to pick colors that go well together.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Saturday, Sweetie and I went to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens to see the African Painted Dogs.  The mama and papa had 10 pups, all survived and are healthy 2-month olds.  I wish they had been frolicking more and sleeping less - and had been closer since I don't have much of an extended lens on my point and shoot Fuji camera.  But it was fun to see them in person - and one actually has a large white mark on its back that looks like a question mark - so it is called Riddler with all the others named after Batman characters!

Couldn't have asked for a better morning, warm and sunshining when we got there at 9 am to find a line already forming.

Some of the animals were not so standoffish, but were right in your face along the walkways, including 3 white flamingos (the flamingos here are not pink so they must feed them less reddish food like they do at the Jacksonville, FL zoo where the flamingos are hot pink colors).  And this peacock had no trouble strutting his stuff right beside you.  That's Sweetie and one of his photo buddies trying to get the peacock to turn around and flaunt those feathers their way.

Didn't get a photo of the flamingos being walked by caretakers as it happened so quickly as we were walking up a hill, three flamingos stepping like prima ballerinas along the path, heads moving slowly from side to side as if to say, "Yes, I know I'm beautiful, but just look, don't touch!"  

The tulip beds all throughout the zoo were in full bloom with every color possible bursting out and bright in the sunshine.  I liked the ones where you got an odd color amongst a row of solid colors, like this orange-red thinking it's hiding in all that white!

And how was your weekend?  
Good, I hope!

Sunday, April 19, 2015


I received the Versatile Blogger Award from my dear friend and wonderful artist, Sadami.  She named me as 10 bloggers to follow who have supported and encouraged and inspired her!  That is something, consider she inspires me all the time - she works so hard and is so creative, as well as being upbeat and positive 99% of the time - and she pushes herself to get better in every aspect of her life.  I am very much looking forward to seeing her children's book and her paintings for that later this year (a huge undertaking and I hope one that brings her much success).


Here is the award medal:

And here is what one must do to follow along with the "game":

(It is the decision of each person to continue or stop the game.)

You say a few words about the person who sent you the award and a little about yourself. And... 
  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. 
  •  Include a link to the peron's blog. 
  •  Tell 7 things about yourself.
  •  Select 10 blogs and tell a bit about each blogger. 
  •  Nominate those 10 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
I've already told you about Sadami and I'm sure many of you follow her blog, too - but if you don't you should!  Just go here and subscribe/follow.

Thank you, Sadami, for including me!!  I know this takes time and effort and, like you, I don't want to be exclusive in any way, so I'll just tell all of you to go to my sidebar and visit all of the blogs there for some outstanding artwork!  Any of the ones I have on the sidebar are my favorites and I visit them often.  You may fall in love with one or two or more, too!

7 Things about Myself:
1.  I am married to my Sweetie, the best person I know and I am so lucky he chose me.
2.  Sweetie and I like to visit places where we can kick off our shoes and walk in the sand so anywhere with a beach is high on our list to visit.  
3.  I began painting in watercolor 13 years ago and have had paintings in many regional and local juried shows as well as in many group shows with my local watercolor society.
4.  I love birds of all kinds, small and big, short and tall, colorful and brown; and crows seem to hold a special place for me although I'm unsure why except that they are smart and brave.
5. Walking in nature eases my mind and heart and inspires me.
6.  I read a lot.
7.  I am a true chocoholic and it's a struggle to stop myself from eating a whole bag of chocolates instead of just one or two pieces at a time.

Friday, April 17, 2015


Worked more on the crow print and came up with this, using acrylics.  

Red Mandala Crow

5 x 7 inches 
on Strathmore 400 printmaking paper

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


I returned to the bird prints and worked a bit more in acrylics with them...Here is where they stand now.  Finished.

DayBird and NightBird

Two prints on Strathmore 400 printmaking paper
5 x 7 inches each

Monday, April 13, 2015


Another small landscape on the Arches 140# rough paper block (7 x 10 inches).

Mohan's small hake brush might just be magic, afterall, or maybe it's the rough paper that allows the brush to skip across the paper, leaving nice lights I try to leave alone.

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Another small landscape from a few reference photos combined to help me get started.  This one is on Arches 140# rough from a 7 x 10 inch block.

My inclination is to go back in and "finish" this one - but I'm not going to do that.  Going to leave them as I leave them and let them be whatever they are.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


What is is about spring?  The new growth, the buds, the flowers, the birds constantly singing?  The greening of everything?  

It gives me a boost of energy and makes me want to go back to my art room after a short break of sketching, and pick up some greens and violets and yellows and blues...

This small painting was done on Fluid Watercolor Paper (140# cold press), on a 6 x 8 inch block of 15 pages.  Nice, but I think I'll work on the rough paper next to help me leave some whites.

Painting with two brushes only:  a Silver Black Velvet round #8; and a small hake brush sent to me from a friend/artist in British Columbia who painted some of the most gorgeous landscapes/seascapes with one just like it - he told me it wasn't a magic brush but wanted me to have one anyway, to see if I liked it.  I'll never let it go because, although it is not magic in itself, I think a little bit of Mohan is there when I pick it up and try it.  He is gone now but never ever forgotten.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


A few more small sketches, these are bit more finished.  Spent a little bit more time with them than just a quick 10-15 minutes.

Nested eggs seem to be the theme.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


I made up a little basket of some goodies for some people who are working with me to keep me healthy.  It was fun to pick and choose the colors, basket. candies...hope they like it.  

I included a little painting of peeps I did last year.  I didn't do any peeps painting this year.

Did you ever paint peeps?  The come in a lot of different colors and shapes now, not just 
the usual yellow chicks.

Friday, April 3, 2015


Just a few sketches in my small sketchbook using graphite and my blue Prismacolor Col-Erase pencil for some color, as well as sepia and brown Pitt Pens.

Getting a bit abstract-y after doing a few spring-themed sketches.