So Much Stuff

So Many Distractions
I'm trying to get things straightened around for my classes to begin next week.  There are so many distractions on my work tables  -  sketchbooks to work in, sketchbooks to work from, paintings to finish,  paintings to start.  There are stacks of sketchbooks, piles of paper, clipboards of upcoming class information, things I want to be able to get my hands on, things I don't know what to do with   .   .   .

If it sounds like I'm complaining, I'm not.  I love this stuff, and I love the possibilities it all represents. I had intended to go out painting this morning, but it's raining.  We'll try for this afternoon, and I'll try to get all of this "stuff" in some kind of order by then.

The sketchbook page at the bottom was done yesterday  -  very hot and sunny.  The house is very complicated with many odd angles and at a difficult view point. To get it down, I just did a very quick continuous line drawing and didn't worry about what was what.  I'm happy with it.  It is that house to me.   Don't forget  -  your sketchbook page is your sketchbook page, and that's all that matters.


Another Day Out Painting

A Painting in my Sketchbook
Trying to get in a few more sketchbook days before cooler weather sets in.  This is a very sad looking cottage.  I like the shape of it and wanted to brighten it up by leaving it white.  It's actually a very flat/worn/dull shade of  -   something.  Maybe dusty rose.  Maybe mauve.  

It looks lonely.  If I were to buy this cottage, I'd paint it white, throw open the windows, turn up some music, and invite a bunch of friends for dinner. This place needs a party.

That's what's fun about painting  -  you can make anything whatever you want it to be.

Are you getting in some outdoor painting days? 


New Brushes

House Shapes from my Sketchbook

I took a workshop earlier this week from Sandra Strohschein.  It was great  -  lots of information.  She used these brushes and had them available to purchase, so now I'm obsessed and can't put them down.

This painting is about 7 X 11.  These cottages are from my "collection" of simple house shapes in my sketch books.  I love houses of any shape, size, or style, and often when I go to paint them, they don't always end up in their original settings. In real life, these are surrounded by many other cottages, but as I sketched them, I liked the way "the viewer" could, maybe, just walk over that ridge to the beach instead of more cottages and the highway.

Art is a control thing.  You can make a subject anything you want!
Go out and sketch some cottages or houses in the city, country or by the beach  -  then put them in any setting you want.  It's not about reality, it's about the composition.

Have fun with it!!!


Another Porch

Painting on Another Porch
Painting with the Walloon Lake Group before having lunch on the porch overlooking the lake.

Webster: "Porch -  a covered area adjoining an entrance to a building and usually having a separate roof."

And usually having coffee, tea, or lemonade, comfy chairs, a nice view, a vase of wildflowers,  something good to read, a cat asleep in the sun . . . 

It's getting cooler now, and the walnuts are falling onto the porch roof and rolling down, dropping to the ground. A few leaves have turned.  Mornings and evenings are much cooler.  I'm really not a fan of much cooler.

I want to get in a lot more time of journaling and sketching outside.  Have you taken your sketchbooks out for a stroll lately?


Finding a Breeze

A Great Place to Paint on a Hot Day
It's been pretty warm this summer in northern Michigan, but there is always a shady spot and almost always a breeze coming off the Bay.

We sat on the porch and painted, drank jasmine tea and ate green tea mochi ice cream.  

Today I'm tearing up my garden  -  if you can even call it a garden.  Everything is soooo out of control.  It looks like one of those old gardens that was at one time very pretty, and then because of neglect, it just became overgrown and tangled  -  that's exactly what happened.  So, I'm finding my way down to bare dirt, and we'll just see what happens when spring comes.  If things come up again, I'll have to decide whether to let them grow or pull them out.  If nothing comes up, I'll have to decide whether to replant or plant grass.  

The tiger lilies were devoured by red lily bugs (REPULSIVE), and the day lilies and hostas were eaten by the deer. Maybe next year there won't be anything for the predators -  that'll show 'em.


A Productive Weekend

A Fun and Productive Weekend
Spiffing Up My Studio Classroom
With the help of our granddaughters, we finished installing a new ceiling, painted the walls, and painted and installed most of the trim  -  in a very short time.  Unlike us.  Of course "a very short time" is relative, isn't it? Let's say less than two month's time, or less than a year. Seriously, we were able to get a lot done with the help of our teenage paint crew. We ate a lot of pizza and listened to their music  -  not that bad!

Then I spray painted the chandelier and covered the candle things with decorative paper. The paper does NOT touch the bulbs.


More Journal Pages

Journal Pages
A couple more journal pages from March.  

It was very sunny part of the day today, and that is really a welcome sight now.  I saw a few crocus leaves today along the edge of a big pile of snow in the back yard.

I'm putting lesson plans together for summer  Bay View Watercolor Sketch Book classes.

Crocus leaves and summer lesson plans!  The winter doldrums are beginning to lift!


Journal Pages

A Couple of Days in March
  Finally we are beginning to get some sunshine, the huge piles of snow are melting, and we can even see some grass.  It's brown, but it's grass!

I've been trying to spend a little more time with my journal.  In northern Michigan it will still be awhile before we can get out and sketch and paint. My winter journal pages usually end up being about food.  Some people ski in the winter  -  I eat.

We have a big house project going, and it is very very dirty.  You know what dry wall dust is like  -  this is 120 year old plaster dust!!!  We are tearing down and replacing an old ceiling.  The dust is EVERYWHERE.  Every single thing in the house is going to have to be washed, dusted and/or vacuumed.  It's time for a good decluttering  -  then there won't be so much to clean.