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!