Wednesday, January 31, 2018


It's been just over a week since my last post.  I did not disappear or get lost in vintage postcards.  Instead I started having computer gremlins that, finally, caused me to give up and call my best IT person - my sister - to help me out.  Seems like, from all indications, my Malware program was fighting for control of the computer with my McAfee program and making my computer nonworkable. laptop (which I normally use for blogging, etc.) has been out for scanning, cleaning, getting back up to speed, etc.  It is almost 8 years old and probably will need to be replaced soon.  The iPad I bought Jerry for his birthday several year's ago, is also becoming slow and stubborn.  Looks like new computers are in the works for 2018.

Until then, I have 2 butterfly postcards done and will share when I can.  (I did think that my laptop problems were caused by the online class, but my sister says that is not the case so I can watch the rest of the videos when I get the computer back).  

It sometimes seems like a week flies by but it's been a week since I was last able to post and it seems like a looooong time!!

Hope you are having a good January.  Did you see the Super Blue Blood Moon???  I saw a fuzzy misty white thing in the lower part of the sky around 6:45 this morning and then it was gone.  Didn't get much of a look of the eclipse from here.  

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Before I left for 2 weeks away in AMI, I sent in my money for Val Webb's online course.  This is the second online course I've taken from her and she gives you lots of info.  This time, it's about painting butterflies and birds on vintage postcards, using gouache and colored pencil.  When we picked up the mail today, there were 4 old timey postcards waiting for me from Val (2 blank to test drive and 2 actually used through the mail back in 1966).  So now I have some videos to watch and some materials to gather together.  I'll share what I do when I get things done.  I have a feeling this is going to be fun and educational.

So I may not have my Royal Terns finished right away, but I will get back to them.

I did paint in my Stillman & Birn sketchbook/journal while I was in AMI.  A lady working at a shop I visited every day (for the best cafe con leche on the island) was interested in coming by and having me teach her a few things.  She had the paper, watercolors, and brushes, but turns out she didn't have the time so...the pears I bought became my models and I used them.

And I took a few good photo references of the landscaping plants around in the sun - so more paintings to come.  

But right now:  Butterflies and Birds on Vintage Postcards

Sunday, January 21, 2018


I just returned from a 2-week vacation at one of my favorite places:  Anna Maria Island, FL.  Escaped the cold here and the snow.  

While I'm gone, I don't often check all my gmail emails.  So now I have 103 emails in my inbox from nice people wanting to give me a lot of I think 2018 is going to be a very good year!  

Will be catching up soon.  Hope you all are warm, wherever you are!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Almost finished - think I need to work on the eyes a bit and then it's done.

This is the smaller version I'll mail to Phyllis when it's finished.

Now to finish the larger version...

Monday, January 15, 2018


I started a smaller version of the Royal Terns, using the photo from Phyllis Chandler Grey's book about Anna Maria Island.  This one is on Fabriano Artistico 140# paper (11 x 14 inches).

Need to finish both versions before beginning something else but feeling scattered...

Saturday, January 13, 2018


I began this painting - on a half sheet (15 x 22 inches) of Twinrocker 140# coldpress watercolor paper.

This is from a photo by Phyllis Chandler Grey in her book about AMI.  If it turns out well, I'll make her a copy or maybe paint her a smaller one (easy to mail to her).  As she says in her book, during courtship, the male offers a small fish to the female.  If she takes it gently, they then mate.  If she's too aggressive, he goes away and tries another more submissive female.  This couple seems to be working out and the photo was one I really wanted to try first from the book.  So...we'll see how it turns out!

Thursday, January 11, 2018


This weather is getting to be too much!!  Cold cold cold.  I thought "they" predicted a mild winter, and it looks like no one is having a truly mild winter with snow where there shouldn't be snow and ice and coldly, bitterly awful temperatures for days and days in places where it should be warmer.  OK, that's my rant.  

But it has been too cold to do much beside curl up and read some of the new books I got for Christmas, so that's what I've been doing. 

Which means no painting right now but I'm still on my Year of the Bird challenge to myself to see how many birds I can paint this year.  Off to a pretty good start but stalled out right now (frozen out?).

This book was gifted to me by the author, Phyllis Chandler Grey, whom we met back in December in Anna Maria.  She has these books about AMI for sale around the island and online (Amazon).  They have some beautiful photos inside of birds, beaches, homes, etc. on the island - and she gave me permission to use any of the bird photos for potential paintings!  I will do that and send her a copy or a small painting of one of the photos.  Thanks, Phyllis!!  Hope to see you again soon.

For now, I've begun painting one of the Royal Tern photos she has in the book and I'll show that soon.  These are the birds I call Elvis birds because of their jet black "hair" on their heads.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


Even the females are ruddy red but never as bright as the males with their stop-sign red feathers and their cocky way of tilting their heads as if to say, "Yes, I know I'm beautiful!"

Sunday, January 7, 2018


A quizzical bluejay for you.  In spite of the cold, we have 3 bluejays coming to the feeders, along with woodpeckers (red-bellied, hairy and downy ones), cardinals, tufted titmouses (or mice?), juncos, and the usual bunch of goldfinches.  

More birds to come...

Friday, January 5, 2018


In mid-2017, we stopped for a week in Savannah, GA.  One of our must-go places is the Dick Blick Art Supply store downtown, where I picked up a neat little postcard book of Audubon birds.  What better thing to get out and color and paint for THE YEAR OF THE BIRD?  

They are small so you can't do big washes of color - maybe colored pencil would be best or just light washes in's a crow I did (it's all fill-in-the-spaces type of painting/coloring, but it still would make a nice postcard to send to someone).

I haven't finished all the greenery for this one yet.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Painted on Arches 140# hotpress paper (a block I am using right now).

What's better than a curious crow to start off the new year?

Monday, January 1, 2018


Well, we have put another year behind us and, I hope, look forward to 2018.  I know the past year has not been easy for many folks, and we don't know what the new year will bring.  

But if the waves start getting too rough, just dip underneath and
Just Keep Swimming!

Another in my little Stillman & Birn watercolor sketchbook.  I've done several of these mermaid tails with the words, Just Keep Swimming, on the paper.  I will probably do more.  I may make some cards from these little mermaid tail paintings, too.  

Now back to birds:  the January 2018 National Geographic magazine was all about Why Birds Matter - and that NatGeo is proclaiming YEAR OF THE BIRD.  I forsee a lot of bird paintings and drawings to come in 2018 :)