Hollyhocks Again

The Last of the Hollyhocks
Almost the last of all the flowers. They're fading fast. I haven't kept up with weeding and dead-heading like I should, but I have enjoyed the garden anyway. It is bright and colorful, and if you don't look too closely, it looks pretty good.

A friend stopped by yesterday and we sat in the yard and painted for awhile. We didn't paint the weeds or the spent blossoms., we just saw the beauty in the colors. The good news and the bad news - I don't always see things that need attention.

This was another painting in my new Aquarius II sketchbook. I am a few pages into it and I would use this paper again.

It's the Labor Day Weekend. Wow - wasn't it just the fourth of July!? We have no big plans. We have a list of house and yard projects a mile long, but we'll have to have a little fun too - it is a holiday after all. Having a little fun could mean going to the Home Depot and Lowes three times a day instead of just twice.



Aren't these just beautiful?!
One of my students brought these to class today. We just went crazy over the size of the blossoms and the COLOR! We didn't paint these as part of our lesson, but towards the end of class we did play around with getting the colors down, and worked a little bit on the detail of the blossoms.

Did you notice in the previous sentence that I used the words "play" and "work" meaning pretty much the same thing? That's what I love about my job - I can't tell the difference between play and work.


Journal Painting

This week I am doing my last Bay View watercolor sketchbook journal class of the summer.
It always makes me a little sad. It really marks the end of summer. I see I felt the same way last summer. Every Year.

I usually have a couple of projects to get going on right after the very busy summer season, and that always helps. This year I have my painting composition classes to keep me on my toes, and an out-of-town group coming up for a workshop - fun!

I used to say that it never rains on my journal class, BUT this year it has been very different. Right in the middle of painting this demonstration, the heavens opened up. We headed for shelter and finished out the class with some people painting on the porch, and others setting up art supply still lifes and painting inside. The group is adaptable and eager - they could paint anywhere under any conditions.


Hollyhocks on the Corner

Hollyhocks on our corner.
I started a new sketchbook today. What is it about a new sketchbook? AND what is it about finishing up an old one? It's a feeling of accomplishment to fill a whole sketchbook. This little painting (about 6 X 9) was done in the book I made of Aquarius II paper. I also like the Aquabee sketchbooks that I have used for years, but do like making my own - there is that feeling of accomplishment thing again. It's no big deal - I'm not binding it myself like a lot of artists do. I just cut it or rip it to size (another story for another time) and take the stack of paper and the front and back covers to a printer and have it spiral bound. For the format I use for journal painting, spiral bound works better for me than stitched.

Anyway - here I go with a new sketchbook. And here I go with some new classes. The last of the Bay View classes starts today (four afternoons) and I have two 6-week painting composition classes starting this week.

It is nice to have things starting right now. My summer schedule is slowing down and the California kids leave in the morning. This is such a transitional time of year for me. That's okay, it was a great summer, a great visit with the kids, and I have these new things to dive into this week. AND of course lots of classes and paintings in my head waiting to happen.


Painting in the Garden

A Garden Vignette
I spent the evening painting with friends - such a relaxing way to spend some time. Karen's garden still looks beautiful.

This was painted in a sketchbook I made using various kinds of paper. The watercolor paper in it is Aquarius II. I put it in this book and then ordered enough to make a whole sketchbook of it. Stupidly (is that a word - spell checker thinks it's okay), I didn't try it out before I ordered ten more sheets of it. After painting on it last night, I decided it was a good move. I really like it. It is only 80 lb, but has a synthetic something in it that keeps it from buckling. It took to blob and smoosh (read the book!) very well, and that's what really counts.

After looking at the painting this morning and realizing that I had goofed up the perspective of the large window, I gave the paper another test - scrubbed off, burnished, and repainted the offending area. The paper held up well to that too.

So when the friends I was painting with read this, they're going to wonder why I was telling them how to redo their perspective when I couldn't even get my own right. Well, girls, that's what friends are for - to give opinions, whether we know what we're talking about or not.


A couple of wet into wet unfinished demonstrations for Monday's classes.
I should try to finish one of these before the flowers are gone. However, at this point it is more about what is good for the composition than what I see in the set-up. So I'll stack it on the shelves with all the others that are unfinished. It is fun and carefree to start them - there is something about proving ourselves in the finishing that makes it a little more serious.

It rained yesterday right about class time. Someone said it has rained 5 out of our 8 Monday class sessions. We were going to paint in Karen's garden - Monday's class hadn't been there yet. Poor Monday's class - they had all the bad weather. Well, maybe not ALL. They did seem to have fun with the wet-into-wet lesson. They did a great job, as always.

Today's class met in the park downtown and the weather was wonderful. Hoping for the same tomorrow. This week wraps up the eight-week summer watercolor class. I always HATE to see it end. I still have another watercolor journal class in Bay View, and I am putting together a composition class that will start the 2oth of August. So - we aren't done yet.

I am going to take a little class break for a couple of weeks. The California grandkids will be here . So right now I should go to the grocery store, finish up some laundry, pick up the house so they don't think their grandma is a complete slob ( oh dear, maybe their mother already told them).