I was playing around with watercolor pencils. I don't use them very often, and I don't really handle them well. These tomatoes look more like oranges!

This was done in a page in my sketchbook on Aquarius II, which seems too soft for pencil. The pencil actually dents the paper.

It was fun sitting on the porch in the late afternoon, late September, sun playing with color.

I did a few chores in the yard today. I am slowly putting the garden to bed for the winter. Slowly. I don't want to rush into anything, but I guess now that it is officially autumn, I have no excuse. I have to come to grips with it - nothing is going to bloom again this year.

Thanks, Ellie, for the tomatoes!


Abbey Sweet's Ice Cream Parlor

What a fun place to hold a workshop - in an ice cream parlor!
I had a downstate group coming up for a watercolor workshop, and I was looking for a place large enough to be comfortable for two days and with some local atmosphere. The Terrace Inn in Bay View happened to have an ice cream parlor that is closed for the season.

The workshop group was a lot of fun - a great bunch of very talented ladies! The weather was perfect, and our lunches were delicious. What more could we want?!

Today I am back to the old routine - having class in my own little area - if we can get to it. I have dumped everything from the workshop into the studio space and the living room. I'll make it - I'll have things straightened around before the class arrives.

Out my window this morning are some very orange leaves against an almost lavender sky. It might be a good day to go out and get a couple of journal pages painted.


Experimenting Again

Charcoal and Watercolor on Yupo
Charcoal and Watercolor on Arches 140 Coldpress

I spent the day Friday with friends playing with charcoal, watercolor, watercolor pencil, paper, yupo (plastic "paper"). The bottom painting was an unfinished demo I had started for a class. I added charcoal line and more watercolor. Looks cartoon-like, but I think I'll give it a try again some day.

It was a nice day even though we had to cancel our plans to go out to the lavender farm because of rain. At noon we went downtown for lunch and the farmers' market, then did a little thrift shopping, then painted some more.

It's been a nice week - lots of friends and family and very relaxing. For all that relaxing, I am really sleepy now. Is it permissible to go to bed this early? 9:00 p.m.?


Mackinac Island, September 11, 2001

The View From my Window - a bit of sunshine and color.
On Sept. 11th, 2001 I was teaching a five-day watercolor workshop on Mackinac Island. It was a Central Michigan University Eldehostel Workshop, and the participants were from all over the country. If you are familiar at all with Mackinac Island, you know what a magical place it is, which made it a very strange place to be during that week. To be in a magical place when the magic is gone is very disconcerting. It felt lonely - I couldn't go home and I wasn't with my family. We had to carry on - this week was vacation for the participants. They had paid to be there and to have fun and learn something. No one's heart was in it. It was flat.

Between classes I tried going around painting journal pages, but most of those were flat too. I was near the door of the hotel painting a gate, but not really concentrating on it, and a group of hotel interns was gathering there. They were from European countries and were due to go home in three weeks. They were very worried now about being able to get home. All I had to do was catch the ferry in a few days. They were in a foreign country that had just been attacked and they would have to FLY to get home. Not a great option at that point.

I am meeting a woman for lunch today that was the coordinator of the workshop. She stays here for the summer and will be returning home soon, so we'll get together, remember our week on the island a little, then move on to what's new in our lives and what plans we have for the year.
We'll all remember where we were that day, won't we?


Inside or Outside

I never get tired of drawing and painting the back door.
This drawing made me think of those puzzles that used to be in the paper where you would draw what was in the squares and end up with a picture.

We had a nice weekend - a "Midget" football game on Saturday morning, installed some handrail posts, rearranged some plants, read a good book - 13 Steps Down by Ruth Rendell, and I made cookies!

Right now there is a thunder storm out over the Bay. I think I'll get in bed with the lights out and enjoy it.


Enjoying the Day

Was this the last nice day of summer?!
I went with a friend yesterday to spend the afternoon painting at one of my favorite places. The weather was perfect - one of the more summer-like days of the season. Or rather - the season that never happened. Oh well. It is September now. Move on.

I love this spot, there are cottages along the lane, arbors, gates, windows peeking through the leaves, sunny doorways, great patterns of roof-lines . . .

My class was going to meet there this morning, but it was cold and raining, so we had to call it off and paint inside. Thanks Karen, for being "Mobile Unit One" and sending people in the right direction!

No classes tomorrow, and I think I will catch up on a few domestic things, such as buying groceries, and going to the farmers' market. Maybe I will dust and run the vacuum. Maybe not.