Another painting plan.

This is a sketch I did a couple of years ago. Often, as with this sketch, when I'm working out a composition problem I make notes on the sketch of what I'm thinking. I not only talk to myself, I also write to myself. Whatever it takes.

This little sketch has at least five "patches" on it where I have corrected and adjusted. I have tried this cottage several times and it never comes out the way I intend for it too.

Maybe I'm just not making myself clear when I'm writing to myself.

Our leftovers are gone and our fridge is bare. I guess this is it - the end of a nice long weekend. It is snowing outside and we are expecting a few inches. It is going to look quite Christmas-y by morning, and I'll start gearing up for the next holiday. Oh - this is the end of blog-every-day also. I made it!


Value Sketch

I did a quick watercolor sketch on location back in June, and took a couple of photographs. I printed them out and taped them together, and now I'm working up a value sketch in preparation for a "serious" painting. All that space under the porch roof ( the porch ceiling) bothers me. The value (the lights and darks) is going to have to be just right, and I'm not sure at this point what "just right" is. Well, that's what a value sketch is for - to figure it out.

By the way - we ate the persimmon. I guess it is one of those gender things like zucchini because the girls liked it the guys didn't. We girls were glad the guys didn't like it - more for us. It's gone now. You won't have to hear about it any more.



Some of the things on my kitchen windowsill.

I'm playing around a little bit with Picnik.com it's kind of an online "photoshop" type thing and it's free. AND it's fun. AND it's easy. I run all of my photos through it for my blog to size them, correct color and lighting, and crop.

It was a pretty quiet day here today. Nothing to "report", but it is day 28 of blog-everyday-for- the-month-of-November, so I had to post something. I told you I was going for quantity, not quality.


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.
I didn't get a chance to sketch the turkey. Maybe next year.


Ready for the Oven

The table is set and the pies are done. What more could I want? The kids decided which dishes to use. They decided on my dishwasher-safe good china, not my grandmother's wash-by-hand china, because they might have to wash it. Yeah - like I'm going to let the little kids wash my grandmother's antique dishes. I didn't say that to them.

We went along with the rest of the country tonight and had pizza for dinner. I have read that this is the biggest pizza buying night of the year. Who is going to disturb the balance of their kitchen fixing a little insignificant meal while orchestrating a Thanksgiving feast there?

Wishing you all a very nice Thanksgiving with great things to eat, a little nap, and someone to help you clean up the mess.


Silver Spreader

No time for painting today. I'm getting ready for Thanksgiving - getting out the napkins, table cloth, washing the glasses, cooking the squash . . . and getting prepared to HAVE HELP tomorrow. The grandkids are coming over late in the afternoon and I may as well put them to work, right? However, I have to be very prepared for that or it could be chaos. Fun chaos, but chaos just the same. I polished some silver and put it back in the drawer because I know the girls like to "choose" and count it out when they set the table.

Our oldest grandson is going to spend the night and help make pies. My mother and my daughter always did the pies the night before Thanksgiving. Always. For years. She (daughter, not mother) wouldn't even let her boyfriends come over "Thanksgiving Eve" because that was pie night with Grandma. Now we are on to the next generation - oh my gosh! I'M the grandma!



This is a watercolored ink contour drawing done in my journal.
I have never done stamping in my life, but for some reason I felt as though I really NEEDED alphabet stamps. When I was picking them out, I must have looked baffled, because a young mom came along and said, "Oh, are you just getting started in this? Here, you need this and this and . . ." When she went to another aisle I just picked up the alphabet and a stamp pad and headed for the checkout. I don't need more stuff and I don't need more stuff to do - but how sweet of her.

It has been snowing all day today. It really is quite pretty. I felt very holiday-like as I cleaned the fridge.



The Fish Hopper in Monterey, California

This is an old sketch - February of 2001. I just googled the Fish Hopper and it is still there and apparently still serving the fabulous clam chowder in a sourdough bowl. That was a great lunch and it was a beautiful day. If you can't make it out to Monterey some time soon, at least read John Steinbeck's Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday or watch the movie Cannery Row. The music is wonderful - big band and the Brandenburg concertos.

My husband suggested tonight that we take the train to California. I don't know. Three days each way. We've done 26 hours on the train, but I don't know about three days. Of course it took us two whole days to get home last time we FLEW.

Okay - so - the turkey. Tomorrow he goes into the fridge to thaw. That means I have to clean out the fridge. Not that it needs it!


Mustard Pot

This is a watercolor done in my journal - aquarius II paper.

I found this blue and white pot at the Salvation Army thrift store. 50 cents. Just setting there waiting for me to take it home for my colored pencils.

I find it hard to turn down blue and white objects. I seem to find them in strange places in the thrift shops - not with like things. As if someone had carried them around, decided against them, and just put them down where ever. That is my mission in life - to be the blue and white china rescuer.

These are the kinds of things one talks about when one has to blog every day for a month.


Winter Sky

Looking out our bedroom window to the south-east at 9:00 this morning. So dark! The light was very strange, and I didn't think it would photograph this well, but this is exactly how it looked.

No wonder some of our friends are jumping ship and heading south - it's COLD here - 18 degrees.

I did make room in the freezer for that turkey. I guess I didn't need to bother - he would have been just fine on the back porch. Now I hope I don't forget to take him out of the freezer Monday and put him in the fridge to thaw. For years we had a fresh turkey, and when we started getting frozen ones, the thawing step of the prep completely slipped my mind. Just another turkey story. We all have a lot of those, don't we. Leave a turkey story in the comments if you have one (of course you do), we'd love to hear it.



I have had this squash around for awhile. Today I cut it to use as a color mixing and composition study for my watercolor class. Instead of doing the squash we got into doing trees - obviously a more pressing subject or it wouldn't have come up. We just have to go where the muse leads us. I know I said the muse had left the building, but I think she's back.

After the class left I did a pencil sketch of the squash. There are those wedges again - love those wedges.


Apples and Oranges

Comparing apples to oranges.

This is just a quick little sketch in my journal of some fruit on the kitchen counter.

That orphan apple to the left is driving me nuts. The color didn't look that "off" to me in real life. It's a sketchbook, okay? Move on.

My Wednesday class met for the first of eight classes for this session. They want to work in series or themes again. That's fun to do and of course we get more involved in the study of something that is personally meaningful. I think the creativity carries on in our daily lives.

FYI the turkey is still frozen.


Sky and Turkey

As I was going through old lessons and demos getting ready for this week's classes, I came across these cloud demos I had done for a Water and Sky workshop. Well, we won't be doing water and sky - unless we want to do snow.

The weather has put me in the mood for Thanksgiving. Or maybe it was all the things on sale at the grocery store that did it.

I bought the turkey. I don't have a place to put it. Right now it is on the back porch. It is only 26 degrees out there, so it'll be okay until I make a spot for it in the freezer. Will it be okay out there for a week!? Probably not a good idea. What was I thinking.


I'm getting a few things together for the art center Holiday exhibit and sale. I'm taking boxes of cards and small paintings - about 25 items.

Other than listing items and putting on the tags, I'm ready to go - two days early!

We had snow all day. I had a meeting downtown at five, and could not bring myself to walk down and back in the COLD. I probably spent as much time cleaning off the car as I would have spent walking, but I would have had to walk home in the dark UP the slippery HILL. I've said it before - I am all about comfort.

So tomorrow I'll tag everything and list it, then get things together for my classes. It's good to have a plan, huh? I'll do some laundry and maybe go to the grocery store. Maybe I'll paint a little. Since I accepted the challenge to blog everyday in November, I'll let you know how I do on the to-do list.


More Persimmon

As promised
Persimmon Art
I don't know what it is about this fruit, but I am absolutely fascinated by it. Well, I do know what it is - it's the color for one thing - with a little yellow in the highlights and a little blue in the shadows. The green of the leaves is such an earthy green. The center/stem is just a mixture of the fruit color and the leaf color together.

The texture of the fruit is SMOOTH and shiny, but with kind of a dusty residue on it.

I am FAR from being a mathematician, but there is some Fibonocci thing going on here with the shape and size and position of the leaves and stem. They make a fantastic pattern when they are all lined up in a display. I only bought one ($1.48), but I did a little sketch on the journal page of how I remember them looking there in the produce department . They were in a slanted bin.

The colors I used were pyrol orange, hansa yellow, manganese blue, and a little quinacridone gold.

Okay. I guess that's it for my obsessing over the persimmon. I may still obsess, but you won't have to hear about it.

Hmmm - how do we tell if it is ripe?


I never bought a persimmon before in my life, but when I went to the grocery store with a friend today and we came upon a display of persimmons, I just had to take one home.

The check-out girl said, "So what is this, some kind of tomato?"

Me: "No. It's a persimmon."

C-O girl: "What do you do with it?"

Me: "I don't know."

Friend:"She's going to paint it."

C-O girl: "Paint it? What do you mean paint it?"

Me: "You know - paint it - as in a still life."

C-O girl: "Couldn't you just get a tomato or somethin'?"

My friend thinks this is hilarious because she saw how crazy I went over the display of persimmons. You had to be there.

Persimmon "art" coming soon. This photo was all I could manage tonight.



Playing With Paper
Some friends came over today and we played with paper all day long. We made some slip cases for sheets of watercolor paper folded into "sketchbooks", and made little bitty paper boxes, and accordion fold 10 panel folders. and of course ate muffins and coffee cake.

What a nice relaxing day!

We never outgrow our need for play dates.


Kitchen Still Life

Another kitchen subject in my journal.
I love that red whisk.

Today was the last day of this session for my Thursday class, but we start up again next week.

It was so dark today that when the class left at 3:30 it felt like evening. I thought about curling up with the cat and a good book before I started dinner, but I decided to do a journal page instead.

So now I think I'll go read my book. Something by Ruth Rendell - a murder mystery.

I have a play date tomorrow with some artist friends. If we do something creative, I will have something to post tomorrow. If we don't, I'll post anyway. This is day 13 of blog-every-day-for-a-month. It doesn't get any easier. How do people do it that blog everyday all the time? Why do any of us blog anyway? I've decided it is like any hobby - it really doesn't need a good reason.


From My French Journal

Everything I did today turned out - well - blobby. I did some small landscapes that just got out of hand. I tried doing a monotype and after I spent all that time inking it, I got the paper too wet and it turned into a blurry mess. I can't say I didn't enjoy myself though. I enjoyed every minute of the process.

The journal page here is from my French journal from 1993. 1993! Wow! Really!? How time flies. This is what started the whole "journal thing" for me.

My daughter and I had a conversation today about how writers have to write (she's a writer) and painters have to paint. It's "in there", and you have to do it. Of course there is writer's/artist's block, but it's always temporary, and we keep pluggin' on. Even if it's a blobby mess.

In yesterday's post I was trying to decide about the foliage in the left hand corner of the painting I posted. The studio fairies didn't take care of it after all, so I did.

Apparently my muse has left the building and taken the studio fairies with her. That's okay. I have plenty of paintings waiting to get out, whether she's here or not.


Memorial Garden

I did some watercolor sketches and took some photos of this spot on a nice sunny day in the summer, so I had some good reference for this painting.

Now when I look at it, I'm wondering if the foliage needs to come down a little lower in the lower left hand corner, and maybe there should be a few more trees. I'll see what I think about it in the morning. Who knows - maybe the studio fairies will do something with it overnight. Isn't that why things sometimes look different to us in the morning?



It has been a windy, snowy, cold couple of days - and to think a few days ago we had 70 degrees! Oh well.

We spent a few days with family here, and now it's back to work. I'm working on a painting I plan to finish tomorrow.

This is a line drawing done on Bogus Rough Sketch paper. I actually did it a year or so ago, but since I have nothing new to post, and an interior seemed appropriate right now when we are all cozy inside with winter threatening outside - this is it.

I still have a few more spaces in my upcoming watercolor classes.


Happy Faces

This is the kind of art work done at our house this weekend. Fun!

The little kids have gone home, and my husband's sisters and dad are visiting now for a couple of days.We had a good time checking out the new JoAnne Fabrics store, EATING, and playing cards.

We know how to live, don't we?


Scribble Figures

These are very small scribble figures done at a gymnastics class this morning.
Also worked on some compositions and lesson plans for classes and did my grocery list. Not bad for an hour, huh.

It has been a busy couple of days and I'm heading for bed. Maybe sometime during this blogging challenge in November I will manage to do a quality post. We'll see. Right now I am after quantity.


Watercolor Classes

I will be offering a couple of new eight-week classes
beginning November 19th and 20th.
Please check out the information at my class sight.

Does this qualify as a post? Sure. Day 7 of blogging every day in November.


View From The Waterfront

A fabulous, warm, sunny day for walking and sketching.
I went down to the waterfront this morning and walked the bike trail for about thirty minutes and then painted this watercolor sketch in my journal. This is a view looking up toward town from the waterfront. I could have stayed down there and painted all day - except I was very hungry and I was teaching a class at 1:00. I hadn't painted in my sketchbook in a couple of weeks and it felt good.

That could be it for outdoor painting. We may have snow in a few days. I am not into painting outside in the winter. I'm all about comfort.


Mason Jars

Too Tall. Too skinny. Too monochromatic. Too . . .

Day 5 of blogging everyday, so it's something. This was a quick demo (I say that because if you don't think it's well done, you'll think it is because it was "quick"). This was done for a student today that is doing a still life with a couple of Mason jars in it. Or are they Ball Jars?

Today was the last class of this session for the Wednesday group. I will be offering more classes that will begin November 19th. We'll have three holidays in there to work around. No problem - it'll just make the session last longer.

Another spring-like day here today. Just beautiful. I thought this afternoon I should go outside and paint, but it really isn't very pretty out there. It's quite brown. That's no excuse. Tomorrow morning I will go outside and paint some seed pods or something. Anything. I shouldn't be wasting this beautiful weather.


California Dreamin'

Today's warm temperature with the November slant of the sun felt like California in the fall to me. I am not excited about the Michigan winter coming on, and I'm missing the California kids. California Dreamin'.

This is a sketch I did in my journal the last time we were in San Jose.

We went to vote early this morning about 8:00. We missed the big, long line that was there earlier. In fact there was really no line at all while we were there.

I didn't get too far with my to-do list today. I have classes Wednesday and Thursday, kids Friday and Saturday, and in-laws Sunday and Monday. I have three baskets of laundry to fold, meals to plan and shop for, and I really should get a little painting done! The laundry can stay in the baskets. We can eat at McDonalds (KIDDING!). I'm just gonna paint. I WILL have something new to show you tomorrow.

Now I am going to watch the election coverage.


Now We Know How to Vote

A Last Minute Look at the Candidates
Through the eyes of our second grade granddaughter:
"So we were watching this thing about the candidates. John McCain looks . . old. But not too old - he's still alive. I think he'd be okay."

"Obama!" Big smile. "Obama has hair just like my daddy's. But I don't think he'd do as good a job as John McCain."

I hope this helps if you are still trying to decide.


The Neighborhood Map

This was my creative endeavor today. I helped Middle Granddaughter make a map of her neighborhood for a school assignment. We used watercolor, Pitt Brush Pens, acrylic gold paint, and sand. I really thought we could use a little glitter here and there, but I didn't have any.

What kind of a grandma doesn't have glitter?! I don't think I ever had any glitter in my life, but I have three granddaughters - I really should have some glitter.


More Pears

This is a very small painting of pears (I hope you already knew that - the "pears" part) done from the pencil sketch in the previous post.

I like the pencil sketch much better than the painting.

I have signed up again this year for the NaBloPoMo challenge, which translates somehow to "blog everyday for a month." Don't asked me why I do this, but if you go back to my posts of November, 2007, you'll see I actually did it - and it was fun! So here I go again.

We have sunshine! So I think while I have a grandson here to help, we will go out and pull out all the old dead stuff from my cutting garden and get it ready for winter. We are also putting up storm windows. A friend from Louisiana asked, "What are storm windows?" Ahhh, to live in a climate that is ignorant of such things! Of course they do have more than their share of STORMS, but I guess extra windows wouldn't help!