Pears in Pencil
More art from the kitchen. These pears were drawn on a brown paper (Nideggen) which has a line-y texture to it. I wonder if there is a smooth drawing paper in a brown color. I like the color of Nideggen and Bogus Rough, but I really enjoy drawing on a plate finish. If anyone knows of any, I'd love to hear about it.

We had a little snow here and there this morning. Too much for me! I do live in Northern Michigan, and I don't see myself packing up and leaving any time soon, so I'd better just bake some cookies, make some hot chocolate, and get over it! I DO keep trying to make this a food blog, don't I?


Watercolor Figures

Little Figures on Parade
These were really fun to do. I did them after watching a Skip Lawrence DVD. They're quite addictive.

Class participants have been especially involved and connected this week with their subjects. I love that! They are each working on a "theme" or series for the entire six weeks. After painting on location all summer, I felt we needed a challenge to keep us going into the colder months - something more stimulating than a still life set up by me.

So . . . maybe after doing these little figures, I can see them being worked into some composition lessons in our next session.



All the wonderful fall colors out there and I am drawing in pencil! I have been very interested in lights and darks / contrasts lately - even more so than usual.

It has something (or everything) to do with the angle of the sun as the season changes. Maybe I am subconsciously soaking up as much light as I can before our dark winter settles in.

It was sunny here today and I worked in the yard a bit - bringing in pots before they freeze and break. My husband doesn't understand how one person can possibly need all those pots, but there is something about them waiting there for me on the back porch that I really like. It seems hopeful - like planting bulbs in the fall.

Okay, now I am off to paint little figures. I watched a Skip Lawrence dvd with some friends today about painting simple little figures. What fun - I can see filling up some spare (?!) time playing with that!


Pond Hill Farm

Relaxing in the Pool
This is the life, huh? Just waddle around in a little pool in the sunshine. I did this small painting from a reference photo I took this past summer. I just loved the way the sun was shining on his very white feathers.

This time of year it's fun to paint a little bit of summer. I must admit, it has been pretty here - the leaves are beautiful and the clouds are so dramatic in the fall. Each season has so much to offer.
Lucia's Squash in the Morning Sun

I did this painting from a photograph I had taken one morning as the sun came in the east window. There is nothing like the morning sun on a still life - but it is so fleeting.

This is a small painting - about 6 X 10 - done on Arches 140 cold press. I don't like the surface texture of Arches now. "if it ain't broke . . ." So why did they change it? And why didn't they ask ME? No one ever does.



I just PAINTED today, and it felt GOOD! I didn't do anything else.
Not much anyway.

These little paintings didn't scan very well, but I'm posting them because I don't know what to do to make them scan any better.

There is something about fruit wedges that I just love - from all angles.

I have another painting I did today and will see how it looks to me tomorrow. If it looks finished, I'll post it then.

It was 79 degrees here today!!! Beautiful. I'm not sure it reached 79 all summer, did it?



Small Sunflowers painted in my Aquarius II journal.

My friend, Cathy, stopped at the farmers' market and picked up these sunflowers, and thinks this might be the last of them. We had a good time painting them, and hope we gave them the attention they deserve as some of the last of the season's flowers.

In keeping with my kitchen theme, I should have painted these in the kitchen, but the vase is from the kitchen and the blue and white gingham napkin in the photograph is kitchen-ie - so close enough, huh.



Another in my Kitchen Series.
This contour sketch (the pen stays on the paper for the whole drawing) was done with a Pitt Pen and white Prismacolor pencil on Nideggen paper in my sketchbook. I love the look of black and white on this paper.

It's been very quiet here today. I had a to-do list longer than my arm, and I knew I would never get through it all, but I did make a dent. I'm ready for tomorrow's class. It will be nice to have contact with the outside world - the phone didn't even ring today, and I only went outside to put out the garbage!

Now I'll knock off a couple more things on the list, get in my jammies and watch the presidential debate. It is, as they say, like watching a train wreck. But I can't complain if I don't know what to complain about.


The Last of the Zinnias

This is a small painting of a very small bouquet of zinnias and cosmos on the table in the late afternoon sun.

It is done on illustration board which sucked the paint up immediately and made it impossible to soften any edges.

This painting is part of my kitchen series in conjunction with the themes we are working on in my watercolor class.


Rainbow Vegetables

I was preparing vegetables for roasting and Littlest Granddaughter was scrubbing them. When I got them all cut up and tossed with fresh herbs, she said, "It's a rainbow!!!"
They are beautiful. aren't they. The recipe can be found here.

I served the vegetables with a maple marinated pork loin which was a big meaty looking hunk of meat to someone who doesn't eat a lot of meat. However, it was very good, and for the first time in my life I cooked a piece of pork without completely ruining it.

It was a nice weekend - a little yard work, a trip to the bookstore, a trip to the library, a midget football game (only rained on us a little bit), a birthday celebration for one of my husband's co-workers . . .

Tomorrow I plan to finish up a small painting and get started on a commission. I'll get busy and get some paintings posted and quit pretending that this is a food blog.


Late Afternoon Sun

The late afternoon sun coming in the west window.
It always fascinates me how much the angle of the sun changes as the seasons change. This is one of my paying-attention to-my-painting-theme observations. I've done a little sketch of this on illustration board for a small watercolor. I think the folds in the fabric of the curtain would work better on cold press paper, but we'll see. It is harder to soften edges on illustration board and hot press paper. But I love the way paint puddles on smooth paper.

I think today is a good soup and muffin day. So - a quick trip to the store, make the soup, get in some painting time. . . sounds so much more relaxing than summer. Maybe fall isn't so bad after all. Embrace the season!!! I'm trying.


In the Kitchen

When your life inspires your art, your art inspires your life.

In other words, be involved with your subject, keep your eyes open, carry your sketchbook and camera everywhere. Look for colors. Look for light. Zoom in. Zoom out.

I just started a new class this week and will begin another next week. I am asking the classes to pick a theme and really pay attention to that subject. It can be tangible or intangible.

A couple of people have chosen to do barns. They'll be doing sketches and photographs to to use as painting references. They'll do barns in various lights, pay attention to the textures, the insides, the outsides...

Some others are interested in doing figures. They'll want to carry their sketchbooks everywhere. They'll benefit from doing quick gesture drawings and from getting family members to do some longer poses.

I'm going to play along with the classes by doing "in the kitchen". My kitchen could use a little attention, poor neglected thing, and it is the first place I head for when the season changes from summer to fall - just part of my nesting routine.

The image above is an almost-blind-contour drawing of a couple of onions and my great grandfather's sugar bowl, done in my sketchbook while waiting for my toast to pop up.

Why did my great grandfather have his own personal sugar bowl? There is no one left to ask. It will be one of life's mysteries for me. I'll have to get over it - it's not important.