Flowers from Friends

This is a watercolor sketch in my journal.
I just love the orange of the lily complementing the blue-violet of the iris!
These are a nice bright spot in the house. I am getting anxious to see some color outdoors! VERY anxious!
I am stating a new class the 7th of May.
I'm also getting things set up for summer classes, workshops etc. After a long, cold, dark, blah blah blah, Northern Michigan winter it is so nice to anticipate the fun of summer classes. Those of you who have taken my Journal classes know that it never rains on my journal classes - well, maybe once . . . . or twice.



Violets in the backyard with the sun shining on them. The SUN! It feels wonderful! We've had the bedroom window open a crack for the past few nights. In the morning we can hear the birds singing. At night we can hear the raccoons stomping around on the roof outside our bedroom windows. And I swear I can hear the deer chomping on the crocus blossoms (the white ones, not the purple). We live in the city - this is not exactly the wilderness here.

I love this time of year when little green things start to poke up out of the soil. Some things I am anxious to see if they survived the winter, and some things I don't even remember. Maybe the critters planted them.


View from the Train

Ten minutes from the station and standing still. Again. For a long time.

My painting friend, K, and I decided to take a quick trip to Chicago to the Art Institute to see the Winslow Homer-Edward Hopper exhibition. So we ordered our museum tickets, reserved a room in a hotel 2 blocks away, and ordered our train tickets. We got up at four in the morning to get to the train station downstate by nine.

The train was an hour late departing, then several times we were delayed on the tracks for unknown reasons, and . . . okay, anyway, we were three hours late getting into Chicago!!! They even passed out bottled water and little packets of food rations - not a good sign.

The museum closes at 5:00, which gave us two hours. Well, better than nothing. It was a fabulous show! And we had a lot of fun!!!

As we arrived at the Kalamazoo train station we were just in time to witness an arrest that could have won the Funniest Home Videos - the police were leading the kid away in handcuffs and his pants fell down!!! These kids with the big baggy low-riding pants had better rethink their get-away strategies.



It seems like we have had a long stretch of darkness, but today is a beautiful, sunny, warm day.
It felt just wonderful to sit out in the sun and paint the little crocus blossoms - white - my favorite.

I crossed a few things off my to-do list today - that felt good too. One of the things on the list was to go to the greenhouse and get some primrose plants for this week's classes. I used great restraint - I only bought one yellow primrose and one blue-violet pansy. Then I went to the grocery and bought some large luscious strawberries to put in the still life with the plants. Do you see the lesson here? Primary colors?

I went to the bank and made a deposit (see, I told you it was a good day) and then to the post office where I actually had mail in my box - nothing exciting, but at least there was mail for ME (did I mention THAT THE POST OFFICE HAD RENTED MY BOX TO SOMEONE ELSE!!!! and all of my mail was being returned to sender).

I activated my new phone. Not a bad experience.

I bought a new overnight sized wheelie bag for an upcoming trip to Chicago to see the Winslow Homer exhibition.

And that's about it. Sorry to bore you with the small details of my day, but the sunshine after a loooong winter does that to me. I think it is all about getting a little hyper when things go well and it is beginning to feel like spring may be here after all.

Note to self - Plant more crocus bulbs in the fall.



This is a small watercolor demo for my Wednesday morning class. It was a lesson in simplicity, color mixing on the paper, and negative painting.

As always, I painted the lightest, brightest color first - just laying in the pink shape with a wash of quinacridone rose and cobalt violet. While that was still wet, I dropped in some quinacridone red and a little ultramarine and manganese blue. When that was dry in most places I painted in the green, letting it only bleed with the pink in the lower left area of the flowers. I didn't want all hard edges, but I didn't want the red and green to mix too much - they are opposites on the color wheel and we would end up with drab colors.

It felt good to be painting with the class again. They all did a beautiful job with these flowers. I did have to yell "Don't touch that" a few times. They were doing well and didn't want to stop.

I need to find some primrose now. I haven't seen any yet in the stores - I will look at the greenhouse. They should be available now, shouldn't they?


The End of an Era

Clark and Catherine
My Mom and Dad, October 16th, 1937
My mother died a few days ago. I think she and my dad are dancing once again to the music of Benny Goodman.

Now I need to get back to real life. Well, I guess it is all real life, isn't it? Today felt like spring - I even sat in the sun. A new season. Time to move on. It's time to finish some commissions, plan some classes, get out there with the sketch books . . .