Big Baby

With a face only a mother could love.
I think this is a baby (!) rose breasted grosbeak. He is just beginning to get his rose colored feathers.

The bird feeder yesterday looked like a Marjolein Bastin illustration (I would link to her book, but I would rather you buy my book). There were chickadees, a cardinal, gold finches, a downy woodpecker, and Big Baby. The cardinal and Big Baby got into a little tiff, and Big Baby had to wait his turn.

He and his sister are slow and clumsy, and another sibling has already met with disaster. I wish they had some parents here to look after them! As interested as I am in their welfare, I'm not stepping up.


An Evening in the Garden

I went back to paint in Karen's garden last night. So many paintings - so little time! It is so relaxing to sit and do little journal paintings and visit and laugh with a friend. Laughter is the best medicine, and then you throw in painting and you'll really be in good shape!


Color Coordinated

Painting in Karen's Garden
It's all about color. Here are a couple of my Tuesday students perfectly coordinated with the drink cups. That's important to us.

The morning started out threatening to rain (as usual this summer), but it didn't, and we had a very pleasant morning in this beautiful garden. Thank you, Karen, for having us!!! The class did some great paintings. They always do!

This morning I am off to the Walloon Art Club. The sun is shining and I have my still life and lesson plan ready to go. This afternoon I do the last day of Drawing class in Bay View. I'll miss them - they've been fun - and talented.

Sooner or later I will post some of the things I have been doing, although they are mostly unfinished demonstrations. I haven't taken the time to scan or photograph anything - or finish anything.


Little Helper

One of my sweet little helpers.
I love it when the kids help in the garden. Apparently they do too - our California grandson said this winter, "Remember when I helped you in your garden? I'm gonna do that again".
I have been pretty neglectful this year, and the garden is in pretty bad shape. I'm enjoying it anyway, and I refuse to feel guilty about it. Who's in charge here - me or the garden? Or the deer that are eating the flowers?

Had a busy weekend with the art fair on Saturday. My friend K came for a couple of evenings and helped organize and pack and then helped out on Saturday too. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! We didn't make a ton of money, but it was worth doing, and it was such fun to see everyone - old friends, new friends, students . . .

I'm packing things up now and refining my lesson plans for tomorrow's classes - watercolor in the morning and drawing in the afternoon. To be prepared for indoor or out, I look at about four weathers on the internet - then I choose the one I like best.


Watercolor on Watercolor Canvas
Watercolor canvas is fun to work on - not at all like paper. The good news and bad news - the color lifts. The advantage is, of course, being able to wipe out areas that you're not happy with. However, if you paint in layers, like I do, each layer lifts the previous layer. But we all need a challenge now and then, don't we.

And speaking of challenges, the Petoskey art fair is tomorrow. I am almost ready. Almost. It is the only art fair I do these days. In the "good old days" I did several a summer, and with a kid hanging on each leg, I would be painting like crazy getting ready for the next show. The kids will say it wasn't like that, they'll tell you that I used to set the timer and tell them that they couldn't interrupt me until the timer went off, unless someone was bleeding or unconscious.

Okay - back to it. If you are in the Petoskey area tomorrow, stop and say "Hi". It is always a great show!


A journal page demo:
Blob and smoosh
Leaving whites
Negative space
Birch trees
and Swoosh

It's been a very busy and fun week! It was fast paced and full of energetic, talented, eager-to-learn, book-buying people. Last night I went to sleep at 7:30! Today I am catching up on things - grocery shopping, banking, picking up all the stuff around the house that I have just been dumping anywhere this week, and getting in some family time.

My brain is going a hundred miles an hour (my body is not!). One thing leads to another - a suggestion leads to a class plan (three of those this week) a small demo begins thoughts of a large painting, an idea becomes a note for a chapter in the "next" book . . .

Oh, yeah - and the art fair next weekend!


Like I Need More Stuff

Yesterday morning we went to the Antiques Festival, and as we walked in I saw this pitcher and fell in love with it. I don't need MORE STUFF! On the way out, my husband suggested we go by and see if the pitcher was still there. It was. We bought it. I can't imagine he suggested I add to the over-abundance of stuff I already have. He's a sweetie. Or an enabler.

We have been spending a nice, quiet, relaxing weekend. I have a dead-line I am working on, but that isn't really WORK when I can set up my easel outside under the backyard canopy, and have all the iced tea and jalapeno (sp?) chips I want within reach. We've only made one trip so far to the local "home improvement store" - a sure sign of a lazy weekend. We walked down to the end of our street to watch the parade on Friday, and watched the fireworks from the bedroom window.

Today I have to get ready for a busy week. It's kind of hard to shift gears after spending a couple of days barely leaving the backyard.