Saturday, April 29, 2017


Started another painting - finally.  It's from a photo taken on a nature hike - of Virginia Bluebells in the woods.  

We'll see how it goes.

The Mayapples are in bloom.

And found a beautiful arched Sycamore tree warped (for some reason) to arch over the path - very very tall and straight.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


After a night of rain and thunderstorms, (a few days ago), it was so muddy we cut our hike short at the Highland Heights Nature Trail.

Straight up hill became interesting coming back down, trying to crab walk so no one fell and slipped on their bottoms!  

Our shoes were caked (but we took extra pairs, just in case so didn't have to get mud in the car).  

We will return and do the whole walk (4.5 miles?) some other time when it's dried out.

Just before I came upon this little clearing, I saw something move quickly from one side of the path to another (away from the stream on the right to this are and on up the ridge).  A deer?  Probably.  But I didn't get a look of anything but a quick glimpse of approximate size and tawny color.

Growth on an old tree.

Next time we go, I want to go up high enough on the ridge to see the old pear tree (that used to be on farmland which has gone back to forest). 

Not many wildflowers but a good exercising walk (if you go when it's not so wet). 

And here are a couple of blooming things in our yard:  

Lily of the Valley (little white bells growing among the hostas in the shaded side of the yard), 

and Solomon's Seal (white bulbs under the large green leaves in the front yard - in front of the seahorse birdbath that has been there for years = bought it for Sweetie's birthday once years ago and can't remember now how long ago).  

Only one pitiful bloom on my lilac this year :)  And nothing blooming on the mimosa - another year or two and I hope it will be covered in feathering plumes.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Finished it.  

You Never Listen to Me!

13 x 20.5" on 140# coldpress watercolor paper

The 3-day job took almost 4 days but it's done.  Then I got migraines (from the stress).  Then just felt sore and achy all over.  On a good day, I spent some time working on this, trying to bring the loud-mouthed bird into focus more.  Done.

Monday, April 17, 2017


This one is now at the stage where I just have to work on the fiddly bits = the feathers need better shaping on the squawker bird and it'll be done.  

Calling this one:  You Never Listen to Me!
It's half sheet (15 x 22 inches) on 140# coldpress

I may not be painting for a while.  The crew arrived an hour early this morning to begin work on tearing down and then building a new wooden deck around the above-ground pool in the back.  It's supposed to take 3 days.  It makes me too nervous to focus on much of anything.  I keep getting up to look out to see what THAT noise was, then look to see where the workers are when I hear nothing at all.  Should I move my car, should I go out to take photos of the progress - and so on and so on.  Just call me Mrs. Monk ("cause it's a jungle out there...").  

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Two little cards, made with Strathmore All Media blank cards and envelopes.  Also used some watercolor and "puffy paint" craft paint that makes it 3-D.  Fun.

Did you dye any eggs for an Easter egg hunt?  I can't remember the last time I did that - maybe it's a kid thing?

Have a good weekend.  Hope your egg hunt doesn't get rained out.

And remember:  all that Easter candy goes on sale Monday!

Saturday, April 15, 2017


It is coming together slowly.  I spend more time looking than painting these days, and that's supposed to be a good thing.  

I wonder if spring will reinvigorate me?  I wonder if I am just suffering from old age?  Heaven forbid!! 

I hope spring (or maybe autumn, if you are in the southern latitudes) brings a welcome change for you.  

Thursday, April 13, 2017


The next few days are going to be warm and sunny.  So drove out to California Woods Nature Preserve and had a nice walk (uphill, but not too fast).  All along the walkway (some boards down for the walk, some just dirt path), there were spring flowers popping out all over.  Here are just a few (those I can name, anyway!).

All along the path we took (named Trillium Path for a reason), there were these lovely white trilliums popping out - so pretty.  There were also a few purple ones which were just peeking up - not in full bloom yet but probably out in a few days.

A woodpecker was busy creating holes in the tree trunks, sounding like a construction crew loose in the woods!  Did you know that their tongues are super long and actually wrap around their skulls?  I didn't believe it, either, but it's true!

Many songbirds chirping.  And two hawks (couldn't see what type but definitely hawks) flying high and screeching at each other = mating or fighting or just playing?

Dutchmen's Breeches, those little white funny-looking flowers that do look like puffy breeches hanging from the plant.

I saw these Mayapples but no flowers or buds yet.  Maybe in May?  You have to look under the large leaves to see the flower and/or the fruit.  

And a natural heart in a tree trunk.  No carving or initials on it - which is a surprise.

It is predicted to be warm and sunny until Easter Sunday, when it will rain on the egg hunts, I think.  Maybe it will hold off until later in the day so the kids (and adults) can search for those chocolate-filled eggs and colored eggs and overdose on candy for the day.

I promise to return to painting next week.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


I haven't returned to my little art room to finish the terns.  Spring has sprung and I have been able to get out a bit, enjoying the sunshine and warmth.  Some clearing of the front flower and ivy beds done to let the new sprouts come up (need to do the side bed, too).  

And in my back yard, I have more violets than grass - which is fine by me.  So pretty to look out on a carpet of violets! 

 And look up to the redbud blooming.  I wonder if my lilac is going to bloom much this year (we planted it in a sad place and it doesn't get enough sun tries but isn't very robust). 

It seems a shame to sit inside on such pretty days - before we get more rain and thunderstorms.

I hope you are enjoying the weather, wherever you are!

Sunday, April 9, 2017


April is National Poetry Month.  
Pick up a book; read a poem.  
Think about how we use words 
to convey so much that cannot, 
truly, be conveyed.  Watch the sun shine 
through the windows onto the calico cat, 
the chocolate lab.  Breathe.  Today is all we have, 
but it's pretty good enough right now.

Friday, April 7, 2017


Just the sand done and the shadows.  
Not really a lot to paint on the birds 
so I'll keep it light.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


After painting plants, I have to return to birds.  My reference for this sketch is a great photo taken of Royal Terns on the beach.  (Because of their black top-knot that looks slicked back, I always call these birds Elvis Birds.)

One of the terns is obviously getting a good talking-to for something, but it doesn't look like the message is getting through.  (Of course, it's actually a puffed up/large juvenile tern wanting his/her mother to FEED ME - like all birds do.  Mom was trying hard to ignore this insistent baby and just kept walking away, with baby following, squawking all the while.  

I drew the sketch out on tracing paper, and will transfer that to watercolor paper, pushing the birds farther apart so the beaks are not touching.

Monday, April 3, 2017


Just a little painting for the fun of playing with colors.  

So...what color is your pig?

Saturday, April 1, 2017


A few days ago, a blogger buddy, Randall David Tipton, known for his gorgeous landscapes, painted an abstract that was full of yellow light and energy.  And he called it Delayed Pollination because some bees somehow showed up in the painting :)  I wanted to immediately go down to my little art room and pull out the TerraSkin paper and fluid acrylics and yellow pigments.  So I did.  

Unfortunately, his painting is SO MUCH BETTER than mine.
But I had fun with this and will probably go back to it sometime in the future to make it more coherent.  (Abstracts still have to follow some rules of composition and I find there are none followed in my painting here.)

Oh, and the title of the post = Cat Annoyance is what A Man Called Ove called the cat he ended up keeping, which I thought was a perfect name for a scruffy, ratty, insolent cat that takes up residence in your home without your permission!  There were some lines in that book that made me laugh out loud but I've finished it and still don't know whether I liked it, or not.