Something New

Here are a couple of paintings I just finished up - I think. I always have to live with them for awhile to see how I really feel about them.
The smaller one is a little different for me. This week's classes are going to be working on toned paper, so I thought I would have a finished product to show them, and then I will demonstrate also. I did, more or less, random bands of primary colors, and then did the painting over the colors. The reason (ONE of the reasons) I like watercolor is because of the sparkling white paper, and there is no sparkling white paper in this painting. I could have masked out some white areas before I started with the under painting, but masking looks so . . . masked. Stencil-like.

These where done from some sketches that I posted awhile ago.


California Poppy

This California Poppy greeted me at the back door yesterday when I came home from running errands. My friend, Karen, had left it there "because it is your color". I LOVE California Poppies - the colors are so varied and the texture so papery, and the leaves and stems are so wispy.

I did this in my Moleskine with colored pencils, in my jammies, in bed.

Tomorrow I am holding a Tree Workshop from 10:00 to 4:00, so today I'm getting things ready - like running off some handouts and cleaning the bathroom! I have a good group lined up - it's going to be fun!


My first trip of the season to Willsons Greenhouse.
They don't have a lot of color yet, but, boy, did it smell good! Heliotrope, primrose, heat, and dirt. Wonderful!!!

If any of my students are reading this - this is our lesson this week. We'll be painting it with triads. I know at least one of you will hate these colors, and I think it will be fun to see this painted using your favorite triad.

I painted this in my Moleskine using watercolor, a little gouache, and a very little colored pencil.
I sat in the sun on the porch, but the girl at the greenhouse warned me to keep the flowers out of the sun ( I did). In fact when she saw my list of errands, she said, "You'd better take those home before you do those errands. They should not be in the hot car. And when you plant them, be sure they are on the north east side." Hmmmm, so that's what has happened to all my other primrose.


Sketching Outside

Is it Spring yet?
Yesterday was a wonderful day to sit outside sketching with friends . At last the grass is green! It happened, literally, over-night. That green grass, a few little blue flowers, and the sunshine get us all excited to get out there. I am not quite as excited to get out there and clean up all the winter debris in the garden, but it'll be okay. We were sketching in a friend's garden, and she had done a MUCH better job with her Fall clean-up than I had. I somehow feel more ambitious about cleaning up the garden when there is promise in the air - not when there is snow in the air.

We had a great time comparing sketchbooks, pens, brushes, all kinds of colored pencils . . . cookies.

This is a quick little sketch in my Moleskine, done in watercolor with my water brush. I'm getting used to it - I am determined to like it - it is SO convenient.



This is the first crocus I have seen in our yard this spring.
What a beautiful day here today - very warm for April - a little over 70 degrees! It felt soooo good to be out there.

This is done in my Moleskine sketchbook with watercolor, gouache, and a Pitt pen. The pen was really too fat for this little drawing, so I washed over it with white gouache to tone it down a bit.


Ice on the Bay

"Release your ego's desire for perfection" Danny Gregory
I am even releasing my pride by posting this for the whole world to see (don't I wish). It was a sunny day, and I could see from my windows that the ice had broken up on the Bay and the water was very blue. I painted this in the car, with my water brush, my little tiny tin of watercolors, some white gouache, in my Moleskine, and my feet were wet (that's another story - you won't have to hear it) . I am not real comfortable painting in the car. I don't like my water brush. Maybe I'm just not used to it. My tiny tin of watercolors is a little awkward - I can't tell what I'm mixing because I don't have a white mixing area. I am not at all used to working with gouache, and I'm still getting used to the Moleskine paper. But all in all, I really had a good time! I didn't come away with a great sketch, but I did come away with the satisfaction of being able to go down there by the water and spend some time doing what I love to do in the wonderful place we live in and just be a part of nature that is bigger than life. How fortunate I was to be able to record that in my way.


I've been working on sketches - getting some compositions ready for painting. I am going through my watercolor journals, trying to refine the compositions ("refine", meaning make them OK, half-way decent) and do larger paintings of them.

I can't seem to get the lower right sketch to work out. The path leads us straight into the center of the page, to the center of the house that's in the center of the page, that's . . . .

I'm still working on it.


Looking for color?!

These little sketches were done as an experiment using markers and colored pencils. I read somewhere about someone using markers for the base colors and colored pencils for the shading. Bright, huh! The colors, I mean - not the idea. Well, the idea isn't bad either.

I was using the kids' Crayola markers, which are, of course, very basic, bright colors. Someday I'll get some Prismacolor markers and give it a try. Someday.

I didn't do these recently, but I was looking through my sketchbooks for COLOR - it is gray and icy and snowy here and I'm sick of it! Well - this is Michigan - tomorrow could be 70 degrees.


Three Little Paintings

These are three little paintings for a friend. I thought I could talk myself into posting them as my "painting of the week" - Yes - OF THE WEEK. How do those people do a painting a day, you know the ones listed when you search for "a painting a day"!?!? Anyway I must admit that I only painted the upper one recently. The others I had done quite awhile ago for a friend and she wanted a third to go with them.

The reason I wanted to post them was so I could see that I had done something! I have been feeling bogged down and unproductive lately because I came across an old journal in which I had kept track of finished paintings, and I was SOOOOO productive. But now I am painting less, teaching more, sketching, planning, and experimenting more, and I like this better. I think my paintings are better, and the journey is a lot more enjoyable.

So, okay. I guess I'm alright. It's the Sunday night blahs - you know, I-Didn't accomplish-anything-but-I-didn't-enjoy-relaxing syndrome.


Color in my Moleskine

I am playing around with color again in my Moleskine sketchbook.

The page with the lamp and geranium was done using Pitt Brush Pens, colored pencils, and watercolor pencils, with just a damp brush to smush a little of the color around.
The fruit was done with watercolor, and as suggested in the comments on another Moleskine page, I used less water than usual and more pigment. Another suggestion in the "comments" was to use just a little soap on the brush. I am going to try that next.

I had intended to put in some shadows under the fruit, but the light changed, and we ate the fruit. Yes, I know - I am not above faking the shadows.