Sunday, December 31, 2017


While walking in a nature preserve in Manatee County, FL, I came upon some brush and this little pod stood out for me.  I clipped it and took it home to draw and paint.  I haven't a clue what it is.

Read 2 books worth mentioning while on vacation:

A Piece of the World
by Christina Baker Kline
(It's a fictionalized account of the life of Christina Olson, the woman made famous in the Andrew Wyeth painting, Christina's World.  Well done and interesting with enough research put into the book to make it seem like it could have been Christina's own words.)

Sea Creatures
by Susanna Daniel
(A story with some interesting characters - two main characters have insomnia to the extent that it changes their lives.  A lovely story set in the Biscayne Bay area of Florida, with houses on stilts, living on houseboats, water, and even a hurricane.  I never got bored with it and it made me want to read more of her work but she only has one other book.)

I got a LOT of books for Christmas!!

Friday, December 29, 2017


I almost always pack my Stillman & Birn watercolor sketchbooks with me and take it on trips.  Sometimes I open it and paint, sometimes I don't.  We had a couple of chilly, windy, wet days during our 2-week vacation this time so I got out the paints and painted a few little things.

It's mostly about playing with color with these two bright little ones.

This could make a good anniversary card, Valentine's Day card, etc.  I may make prints of this one.

Monday, December 25, 2017


Wishing all my blogger friends 
a wonderful holiday season, 
whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, 
Hanukkah or Festivus.

Take care of yourselves and each other, spend good quality time with your families, and I hope to see you in the new year.

Saturday, December 23, 2017


Just a few more vacation photos from Anna Maria Island...enjoy!

Sweetie taking a closeup off this truly gnarly tree trunk.  It's a Silk Floss Tree and it has spines which could be dangerous, but it's beautiful.

Closeup of the trunk next - see how spikey it is?

These were taken at the Palma Sola Botanical Park, a lovely place for a nice walk and they have some interesting plants, tree, shrubs, lakes, etc.  

This is a pandanus with some spikey globes (fruit) - another gnarly tree!

Nothing spikey here, and even edible fruit = starfruit :)

Finish off with this gorgeous great white egret - such a beautiful bird, and so used to humans at this pier that it just posed for us.  Love Anna Maria Island!

Thursday, December 21, 2017


How about a few wonderful beachy sunsets?

Just a few holiday/vacation photos from another wonderful two weeks away on Anna Maria Island in Florida.  Most of the time, it was warm, sunny, and great (we did have a bit of a cold spell for a couple of days but I'm not going to say much about that because while we were going down to 35F at night, it was 25F during the day at home in Kentucky!  It has warmed up here at home (we tell everyone we bring the warmth back home with us!).

We walked to the beach (North Point) almost every evening to see what the sky would give us, and once we saw this lovely grey-blue and pink blushed clouds over the canal behind the house so we didn't even have to walk to the beach on that cold and windy evening.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Still working with the Arches 140# hotpress paper (10 x 14 inches).  Used just 3 colors.  The hotpress lifts well if you don't use staining pigments.

Red-winged Blackbird

Just returned from 2 weeks away at the beach.  Will share photos as I sort and edit some.  And I definitely will be using this black pigment again on, maybe...a crow or two?  :)

Sunday, December 17, 2017


Of course, I'd have to return to a crow.  Using some blues and on Arches 140# hotpress paper, 10 x 14 inches.

A crow with the blues.

Friday, December 15, 2017


by Rita Banerjee

What does it mean to be so still?
to glide along the ocean floor

like some black-tongued electric eel,
to burn through marbled gold and green

of oceanic things like some
compact mass deforming space, time,

a void within voids, and then?
It is easier to imagine amphibian,

to know that blood, too, can change
its temperament as quickly as

salamanders change skin, as quickly as
eyes of newt and tongues of dog become

incantations, enchantments of art
and life just as an animal submerged

under water becomes unknown,
just as respirations become primitive

and breaths and motions cease
as a lone fish in a dark pond

arrives as an object of thought
and becomes stone.

Rita Banerjee is the author of Echo in Four Beats
forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in February 2018. 
She is the executive creative director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop 
and teaches on modernism, art house film, and South Asian aesthetics and literary theory at the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich in Germany, 
where she currently lives.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Painted on Arched 140# hotpress paper (10 x 14 inches).  I am liking the hotpress (it makes some nice runs and lifts if you don't let it dry completely before you start playing with it).

Mr. Red

Monday, December 11, 2017


Another on the 140# Arches block of rough paper - 7 x 10.25 inches.

Bright, warm belly on a cold day.

Saturday, December 9, 2017


☺  💖   ðŸ˜„   ðŸ’“

Thursday, December 7, 2017


On a block of Arches 140# rough paper - 7 x 10.25 inches.

Open wide!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017



by Melissa Studdard

Mind was a prison, ruby lined
in its lipstick noir—everything woman
I was expected to be, trapped between
papered walls. What they said to do, I did not
but only levitated at the burning,

the body a water in which I drowned, the life
a windshield dirty with love. What they
said to think, I thought not but instead made
my mind into a birdcage with wings.

Title from a poem by Anne Sexton

Melissa Studdard is the author of I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast 
(Saint Julian Press, 2014). She is a professor at Lone Star College-Tomball 
and lives in Houston, Texas.

Sunday, December 3, 2017


Painted on an Arches block of 140# rough paper (7 x 10.25 inches).

Hope your tail's not dragging!

Friday, December 1, 2017


I have purchased a few watercolor blocks in the past.  They are mostly Arches brand, but some Lanaquarelle, too.  I'm going to get them out and paint on them - what's the use of having things if you never use them?

What am I going to paint on them?  Mostly birds.

Happy December!

Monday, November 27, 2017



 by Joy Harjo (1951)

Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother’s, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.

Recipient of the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award, 
Joy Harjo is a professor of English and American Indian studies 
at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Mostly Daniel Smith Lunar Black with touches of Perylene Green and some Goethite Brown Ochre.

A nice small (11 x 15 inches) painting on Fabriano Artistico 140# coldpress paper.

Wishing you safe travels, happy times with family, and help with the dishes this Thanksgiving (for those in the U.S.).  Wishing all those not in the U.S. the same, just without the turkey, cranberries and pumpkin pie!

Sunday, November 19, 2017


I did crop a bit more off the bottom.  Almost done.

All I need to finish is add the colors in the white oval.  

Friday, November 17, 2017


Daniel Smith walnut ink on the figure outlined and then wet the edges to bleed it inward.  Watercolor on everything else.  Another flower in that right-hand oval to paint and then - what color to put into the ovals?

I think I'm feeling the need to take some time off.  I will probably still be painting but not feeling any need to show it online in the blog for a while.

I hope you all have a good holiday season.  Take care of yourselves and each other.  (I will show the next stage of this one and the finish and then time away for the holiday season.)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Pushed back the female figure, darkened background, hmmm...

Time to sit it on the pile and see what I think in a few days or weeks.

Monday, November 13, 2017


Worked on this more, making changes, moving things, keeping the original thought.  

And so it goes...

Don't think it will remain this way.

This is just experimenting, playing, moving things around, working with composition, value, color, to see where it goes.  You can do it - to some extent - with watercolor.

What's next?  Come back and see!

Saturday, November 11, 2017


I put up my first post back in November 2006, eleven years ago!  Although late fall and early winter always puts me in a slight funk, I am going to continue with this blog, as it's the only way I get my work shown to anyone but me and the walls of my little art room.

So look for more stuff coming soon.  And happy anniversary to me!  Go back and take a look at what I was posting eleven years ago (if you have the time and interest).

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


A sketch of another painting to begin.  I intend to wait until I'm in the mood to paint without drawing and take it slow and carefully, trying to get things right on the watercolor paper.  

As usual, the sketch may not be completely reiterated into the painting, as I make changes while going along.  

And here is the first step.  I slowly painted the gadiolis (gladiolus?) and am pleased with that.  I taped the sketch of the woman on the right and she may stay...she may not.  

Sunday, November 5, 2017


Almost there...

Rose of Ultramarine

Full Sheet (22 x 30 inches) 
Arches 300# coldpress paper
Daniel Smith watercolors + graphite pencil

Friday, November 3, 2017


If you subscribe to Acrylic Artist or Watercolor Artist, read on.  If not, just ignore this.

I just found out that the Acrylic Artist magazine is over.  The very last issue was Fall 2017, which should be in your homes if you subscribed.

This makes me sad, as I learned from the magazine and enjoyed the issues.  I have one more magazine in my subscription left and will get one issue of The Artists Magazine to finish out my subscription.  

When I contacted Acrylic Artist with questions about this and got their reply, I was told to call the magazine renewal center on the postcard I received because "you signed up through a third party source".  I did not sign up through a third party source but, I bet, they sold my subscription to a third party source.  Anyway, called and the very nice gentleman said, yes, it was finished, no more magazines or digital from Acrylic Artist.  
He also said Watercolor Artist magazine was ending, too!!!  What???  I have that subscription until December 2018 and I don't want The Artists Magazine to replace that - it's not even remotely the same thing.  

I guess people no longer want magazines.  But these magazines are not just going digital, they are going belly-up.  

I will miss them both.  

If you subscribe to either (or both), you may want to check your subscription information and find out if you are getting a refund or issues of The Artists Magazine to replace them.  I'm going to be asking for a refund for Watercolor Magazine.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


This is what happens when your skeletons get out of the closet!  

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Touched some copper iridescent pigment to the eggs and the metal of the lamp, then amped up the color (Perylene Maroon) to the pillow (still damp here so we'll see how it fades as it dries).

Put some pale turquoise green behind the flowers and pillow and then marked some lines in the space with watercolor pencil.  Drew around the lines, the sugar bowl, creamer, and plate with a Sepia watercolor marker (Winsor Newton) and bled that out a bit with clean water.  Now what?  That pillow dried okay - not too dull or faded but I really had to go in with intense color to get it right.

I think I'll finish this one and return to the older ones that aren't quite right and see what I can do - then take some time away from the still lifes for a while.  

Elizabeth asked me why I put in the things I do - in order to teach her about still life painting/composition.  But all I can say is it looks like I break several rules and use whatever comes to mind, thinking about shapes and textures and overlapping things a bit, leaving some space, trying not to be too heavy all around, etc.  I guess I'm working my way into still life! ha ha  I have a couple I think are good - but some are really bad, too, so still a work in progress.  Sorry I couldn't be more help, Elizabeth, but I'm just going by intuition in some ways but also I have learned a bit about composition and shapes and leading the eye around a painting (from years ago lessons).  (The bag behind the lamp was just put there as a shape, nothing more, then I changed the color because I thought the gold looked good behind the rosey pink and gold of the lamp - no other reason.  The bird made me think of the eggs - from my imagination; and the color is the bronzey gold that's on the lamp metal bits so tied that in.  That's about all and maybe I should be able to say more and I can't because I'm not taking enough time to plan?)

Friday, October 27, 2017


The title found me when I picked up the tube of new Rose of Ultramarine pigment by Daniel Smith - lovely, deep, rich, purple with undertones of cerulean blue.

(See how the pillow on the left faded out so much into the 300# paper?  I'm going to have to amp up the color in places to make this one sing.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Put the last one away to sit for a while - I'll decide what it needs later.

Started with pulling things together to sketch, then started on the painting (a full sheet - 22 x 30 inches - Arches 300# cold press paper).

The lamp, the sugar bowl and the creamer were all my grandmother's things.  Her name was Rosa so I want to incorporate her name into the title...later it will come to me.

Don't know why I changed the color of the bag in back to quin gold but I did, so there! ha ha  Added a few little eggs in the front of the ceramic birdie, too.  Need to remember to overlap and tie things together more in this one as I move along, even though I'm predrawing directly on the paper after doing my sketch.

Monday, October 23, 2017


Darkened the top right corner after placing a pillow behind the lamp base shape and putting down some pattern behind the plate of figs to tie the colors together, top and bottom.  Added more to the bottom pattern.  Okay so far...

But not completely happy with this one.  Which means more work to do?  Or put it in the "look at it later" bin?

The colors IRL look dulled on the 300# paper - is this just a feature of the heavier paper?  Or of the colors I'm using?  Or??

Saturday, October 21, 2017


Another sketch done before painting to decide items, colors, shapes, etc.

This one is going to be about the figs (from photos in a magazine as I've never seen figs around here ever), and my cobalt blue items with other things as I go along.  I need to overlap things more than I've been doing, I think.

And after gathering things, doing the sketch, looking closely at the magazine photo of the figs, I began painting (I do draw out the items on the paper since I cannot seem to really paint without some guidelines).

Figs and Blue Glass (with an added rattan lamp which had it's top removed because I liked the rattan look without putting a lamp in there).

Will work more on the background and get some good patterns to pull the whole together at the end (I hope).