Wednesday, May 29, 2019


Daniel Smith has a lot of pigments that granulate, separate, and create interesting textures and patterns.  I love them all.  So got out a few and have started on a painting of the sea-grape trunks and leaves taken when we were in Florida over the winter.

Do you have any granulating colors?  I'm using Lunar Earth, Goethite Brown Ochre, and other good ones for this to get lots of texture in those trunks.  Waiting while the pigment dries and adding a bit more water creates even more movement and texture.  

This is on a half sheet Fabriano Artistico 140# coldpress paper.

Monday, May 27, 2019


Finished the mourning doves painting.  
Fourth sheet, Fabriano Artistico 140# coldpress paper, Daniel Smith watercolors.

Just the Two of Us

Saturday, May 25, 2019


Sometimes, I draw directly onto my watercolor paper and then begin painting.  Sometimes, I draw onto tracing paper and then trace the drawing onto the watercolor paper.  

This time, I drew the two doves on tracing paper, traced that onto the watercolor paper and began.

Just two doves, from a photo taken out my kitchen window.  Didn't draw in the limbs on the tracing paper, but just looked at the reference photo and painted them in on the watercolor paper.  Once I'm happy with that, I'll begin on the two doves.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


I just had a give-away from my blog.  I was getting three paintings of crows to mail - one inside the US (New Jersey), one to Canada (Ontario), and one to the UK (Scotland).  The first two went without a hitch, although I didn't mail out the one to the US until midweek since it was only going to take a few days to arrive.  When I got to the third painting, there was a slight glitch.  I was going to trim just a tiny bit off the bottom of the painting so it would fit well within the envelope I had to mail.  The paper cutter I was using is loose = you have to watch that the blade doesn't come down on what you want to cut before you are

The paper cutter fell down on the painting as I was positioning it...and cut right above my signature line.  Hmmm....what to do?  Well, since this was the first pick of Jennifer Rose in Scotland, I wanted her to have this painting.  

So, just paint another as close to the same as possible.  That was my solution, although it meant her painting did not get mailed out until Friday.  I didn't try to make it exactly the same and you can see the colors are more blue than violet.  Hope you like it as much, Jennifer and it should reach you in a week or two, depending on the international mailing system.  

Sunday, May 19, 2019


The Sunday prior to Mother's Day weekend, Sweetie and I drove north to Yellow Springs, Ohio.  It is a lovely little village with lots of interesting people and friendly people.  Lots of walkers at the Glen Helen Nature Preserve with their dogs of all kinds and cute little shops in the town where you can get faery stuff, wiccan stuff, crystals, and other odds and ends.  You can also get high-end jewelry and glass sculptures and get a good bite to eat at some of the many eateries.  I really enjoyed our trip and didn't want to make it just a day trip up and back so...we booked into the Grennill Mill B & B (and old renovated mill just outside of town).  We had a great time!  Since I'm not painting anything right now (seem to be in a bit of a slump after the month of crows!), I'll share some of my photos from the long hike at Glen Helen Nature Preserve (which was beautiful, lush and green).

Lots of green little places where I'm sure nature spirits reside - or faeries hide away from view.

You have to look under the leaves of the Mayapple to find the flower, but it's usually there - look for a double leaf and then peek underneath!

The Grinnell Mill is converted into a very nice B & B (filled with antiques and remnants of the mill when it was working for the town).

Tuesday, May 14, 2019


This is the last crow I did in April which carried into May.  Didn’t add this one to the give-away because I did it after I’d planned the give-away.  

This one is
Windy Day in Savannah Crow 

I’ll move on to other things, but right now family stuff is taking me away from being very creative.  I need to play with the new Portable Painter palette and use it more to see how much I like it and how it holds up outside and in a traveling situation.  

Hope you all are enjoying spring (or fall) wherever you are!

Monday, May 13, 2019


Don't know if you've heard of this product, but there's a nifty little travel palette on the market.  Created by Steve Padden (an industrial engineer with a degree in Fine Arts), this little palette is smaller than my Holbein and looks more travel-worthy.  I was sent a sample by Steve's publicist, Lorna Garano, and said I would give it an honest review.  So here goes...

Arriving in a nice little box, this travel palette is just sized 1" x 3" x 5.5" = as small as some smartphones!  

The metal nameplate in the middle slides off and on, holding the two black water containers to the palette, keeping everything secure when not in use.  There is a thick rubber band at the bottom that comes off and can hold pencils, brushes, etc. to the side of a water container when it's all set up.

Just slide the metal bar off, then slide off the black ends (the water containers) and the palette is shown.

Open it up and you have a nice little plastic palette in white with 12 open wells for your own choice of pigments.  

The hardest part for me was choosing just 12 colors!  So I was glad I received the sample that comes with 12 extra wells - that way, you can change out color or, as I did, use the included glue dots to glue extra wells into a small tin = perfect!

The palette also comes with it's own double-headed brush, but I found the synthetic brush wasn't to my liking so I will use my own travel brushes with this.

So, the water containers slide onto the sides of the palette and you're ready to roll.  

You can see what colors I finally chose to add to the 12 wells of the palette.

You can see the extra wells (with glue dots included) in the bag here, the open palette used with the included brush and a small painting (not great but I can do better).

With the addition of your favorite watercolor sketchbook and some paper towels or a small cloth towel, you are ready to roll.

My take on this Portable Painter palette?

1)  I'm not too keen on the brush included so use your own travel brushes.  I like a softer brush and have 6 travel brushes, some by Daniel Smith, some by Winsor Newton, all easy to fit in a small bag with this palette when I take it with me.

2)  I would like more wells but worked about that by getting an Altoids tin and adding a few extra wells to it.  That also can pack into a bag with this set to travel.

3)  As with most plastic palettes, the initial mixing areas are very slick and the paint just pools in funny blobs on it.  That was fixed by using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (original white, not the newer perfumed ones) and roughing up the mixing areas a bit so the paint will flow better.  

That's it!  At it's small size (1" x 3" x 5.5") it's handy to take with you in a small bag and it's made to be sturdy when out in the field by placing the water containers on each side.  This makes the bottom flat so you can hold it draped over your knee - or the containers filled with water keep it sturdy enough when placed on any uneven surfaces you find outside.  Guys, it's small enough you can put it in a pocket and take out with you!

I recommend it enough to say it will now replace my beloved Holbein travel palette for road-trips or just days out.  If you're interested in purchasing one for yourself or a watercolor friend, just go to

The Original Portable Painter (12 half-pan wells) is $29.95. The Portable Painter with 12 extra half-pans and adhesive disks is $35.95.

I will use it more as the spring days go by and give you updates about durability, transportability, leakage, etc. 

You can learn more by checking out The Portable Painter web site, find it on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  There are other bloggers who've used it an given reviews and you can find them from the main web site.  

Thanks, Lorna, for sending this very cool new item to add to my watercolor toolbox!  And thanks, Steve, for imagining and creating this new travel palette!

Friday, May 10, 2019


Okay, the random number generator did the work and since there were so few entries, I ran the numbers twice and the first people to come up twice won.  So... they were in order of entry with Laura #1
and so on down to
Debbie #7

The winning numbers were:

So the winners are:
Jennifer Rose

Congratulations, you three!

And you all had a different first choice pick so you all get your first choice which is:

Laurie gets crow painting #3  (Laurie, your painting in on Yupo so it will need to be spray sealed before mailing and I'll let it air out a bit so it doesn't have a strong smell when it gets to you.  Spray sealing it assures that any moisture contacting the painting won't make any of the colors run.)

Jennifer Rose gets crow painting #7

Laura gets crow painting #4

That worked out great with no two wanting the same first choice painting!

Now, all I need is your mailing address, ladies, and you can email me that by clicking on my information in the upper right by my photo, getting my email and sending an email to me with your mailing info (including last name, please).  I will mail the paintings out next week and hope they all get to you by June (it might take a while to get to Canada and Scotland through customs).  

I hope you all enjoy your paintings.  Thanks for participating and following with the crow series!  And thanks to all you follow me every week and comment - you are all winners to me!!

Thursday, May 9, 2019


The random number drawing for the give-away for a crow painting is tomorrow!  If you want to be in the draw, just post a comment listing your three favorite paintings.  

After that, I have a review to give of a free travel palette I was mailed - check that out and see if it’s something you might want to add to your travel gear.

Friday, May 3, 2019


Here are all the crow paintings done in April.  When choosing your favorite (just top 3, please), just put the info (number of the painting) in the comment.  And you’re entered for the give-away!  I will then draw the top 3 numbers and those 3 lucky winners will get a painting they say is one of their favorites.  Easy as pie!  

# 1.    



Numbers 1-3 are painted on Yupo (the "plastic paper" and I will spray seal them before shipping (so the paint does not run if it gets wet in shipping or after).  So they may have a smell of the spray sealant for a while but that will fade.  They are all 3 on a sheet of Yupo 11 x 14 inches.

Numbers 4-6 are painted on Arches 140# rough paper.  They are all 7 x 10 1/4 inches.

Number 7 is painted on Arches 140# cold press.  It is 11 x 14 inches.




Numbers 8-10 are painted on Stonehenge Aqua hotpress. Numbers 8 and 9 are 10 x 14 inches and number 10 is cut down to 9 1/2 x 11 inches with room to mat over the ends of the "broomstick". :)

Number 11 is painted on Yupo and is 11 x 14 inches.  It will be spray sealed before shipping, if this is one that is chosen and won.  

Okay, here we go - just post a comment with the top three favorites.  Then I will do a random drawing of names from a hat and you will get your top choice (unless someone else ahead of you gets it - which is why I'm asking for your top three).  I will pick three winners and will ship anywhere.  Once you've won, I'll post the winners and then you can email me your mailing address and I will get them out in the mail as soon as possible so you will have it by June or July (even if it's going to Timbuktu!).

Due to some things taking me away from the blog for a couple of days, I won't pick the winner until the 10th so you have time to get your comment.  

Good luck!  And thanks for sticking with me through this month of crows!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019


Last one of the crow paintings for April.  This one is on Yupo.

Stay tuned for the full listing and information about how to enter the give-away for May (probably no sooner than May 5 so you have time to enter once the paintings are up).

I will mail anywhere so don't think just because you're not in the U.S., you don't have a chance!