A couple of months ago I moved my studio from a very small room conveniently located between my classroom and the kitchen on the main floor of our house, to a little bit larger room upstairs. I didn't exactly do this voluntarily, but like so many things in our lives, this has turned out to be a good thing.

I actually never paid much attention to this room - yeah - we have so many, Ha! Our kids used it now and then for a summer or a brief period between other living arrangements, and it was a good place to stash stuff. And the grandkids liked it when we made it into a dormitory for over-nights.
When I moved everything out and painted the old uneven floorboards apple green, the room began to "speak" to me. Everything fits in here pretty well, and the light is great from this large (about 6 feet wide) north window - and here is my winter view. That's the Bay out there in the distance and I look across the rooftops of the neighborhood and downtown. I love it. I feel warm and cozy and creative and nurtured and . . .

I'll get things straightened up some day and get it all cute and take some pics of the room itself. Don't hold your breath - I'm pretty slow at straightening up and making cute.


I'm going through a stack of old linens. Even ironing a few - ironing old linens is quite therapeutic. Try it.

These belonged to someone in my family, and even though I'm not sure who, there is just that strong family connection when I handle them - who washed and ironed them before I did? I think they are only a couple of generations old, and these don't appear to be hand-made.

I keep picturing these cloths in small still lifes. There is something about the simplicity of the lace with a single small plate and a piece of fruit that keeps calling to me. I enjoy doing what I call "personal still lifes" in my classes. Everyone uses no fewer than three objects, places them right in front of them, and really zeros in and crops the composition. A view finder works well for this.

Now that I've said I want to do some, maybe I had better get busy and show you that I DID some. Of course, I do have a few things to do this week - cook a turkey for one.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Relax. Eat a lot. Enjoy your friends and family!


Check out the November/December Watercolor Classes

This is a small (5X7) watercolor. I want to have some small paintings done for the Christmas shoppers! It's mid-November and I am still thinking summer. Isn't it great to be able to "beam up" a summer day just by going through your sketchbook and reference photos. I was painting this while a gray drizzle just hung there like one big drippy cloud all day.

It's still summer in my sketchbook!


This is the periwinkle cottage I keep trying to paint. Yes, I know it isn't periwinkle. There isn't anything wrong with your monitor. I just couldn't bare to cover up that sparkling white.

Awhile ago I posted a photograph and a watercolor journal sketch of this cottage, and I was also working from a value sketch that I wanted to post, but just couldn't get a good image of it. I did it on the Bogus Rough sketch paper and that doesn't scan well, and I am getting a glare when I try to photograph it. The value sketches I work from are, I think, the most important reference tool I use. The accuracy in the details and the colors don't do as much for a painting as the contrasts of the lights and darks. Maybe that's just my opinion - maybe that's what works best for the kind of painting I want to do.

I was very frustrated with this painting - and a few other things in my life. It was wishy washy, the center of interest was not working. . . . I had some very dark paint in my brush and I thought it would feel good just to smear it all over the painting!!! But at the last minute I put a streak of dark down the left side of the tree trunks and then some darks in the background, dark in the windows, dark in the foreground foliage . . . Okay, I felt better then.

Some day I will paint this cottage again and I WILL paint it periwinkle. I guess it isn't just the color of the cottage that speaks to me, it's the setting and its attitude. Now I'm gonna work on mine.