Saturday, September 22, 2018

birgit o'connor class

I signed up to do an online class with Birgit: the one I chose features a beautiful tulip magnolia.
To practice, I did these two exercises from her books.
She paints on 300lb paper, and these are on 140lb, which is all I have, but I may invest in the heavier paper as she does a lot of wetting.
I think the class will be a challenge for me mainly because it's very process-driven, which I most assuredly am not!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

North beach, fort de soto

Painted the top one on location, finished (such as it is) the bottom one at home.
My friend Mike and I pulled our kayaks into the shade, popped open a beer, and painted a bit.
So I can hardly complain ...
But, I am never happy with my dappled shadows ... these are too dark, and too vibrantly purple!

Subjects to study (thus far): palm trees, dappled shadows

Treasure island

I love this subject. This is my first attempt to paint it.
Tried to unify all the little shapes in the chairs by starting with a wet in wet underpainting ... not entirely successful.
But I think it's a subject that would benefit by being done larger--this one is 7x10--where I could really let the colors mingle.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

More incoming tide

Another go.
The difference in color of the underpainting and the "final" painting is due to my photographing them at different times of day ... it's been so damp here, had to wait all day for the underpainting to dry!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Incoming tide

I watched an Alvaro Castagnet video and, since I'm taking a workshop with him next month, decided to try his method of starting with a wet-on-wet underpainting.
This subject--from a photo I took of a receding tide from my kayak--doesn't, to say the least, lend itself to his dramatic style: once my underpainting was done, there really wasn't much for me to add!
But, I did feel myself to be a little freer in the underpainting, thinking of it as a fou dation that would be painted over!

Friday, September 14, 2018

song sparrow

A quick sketch ... too quick as I misplaced the eye. He reminds me of Paul McCartney.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

damp paper :-(

 No plan/inspiration today, so I decided to make up some dune grasses ... It quickly became apparent that the paper was defective, very absorbent. I've had this problem before; I think it may have to do with dampness + age. Perhaps it's a kind of mildew? I live in a humid area and this summer has been especially bad. I am feeling mildewed myself.
Going to keep my paper in large ziplock bags, as I do my yarn, and see if it helps.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

North Beach, Fort De Soto

Another painting from a photo I took at Fort De Soto last winter.
All that brown stuff is supposed to be wrack, mostly dried grasses, washed up along the tide line. I don't think that's very clear ... but it doesn't really bother me! In fact, as I was painting it was the part I was most frustrated but now I like it the best and dislike the rest!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Fort De Soto

Back on track, trying to paint something 5 days a week.
This is this morning's effort.
Not too happy with it, but that's usually the case when I try to paint palm trees ... just never happy with the shape of the fronds, or the color, really: the lower fronds in these were dry, brown and light tan.
I should do a palm tree sampler; get them right before I try to make a painting of them.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Back to work ...

tomorrow, after a week of fun with visiting friends.
This is the beach at Cape May Point, with Atlantic storms on the horizon.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Hot hot hot

Crazy hot and humid here. Spending as much time as possible at the beach with my houseguests.
Tried to paint at the beach yesterday, but the paper went limp and spongy!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Benny's Landing

Painted here at the beginning of last year, with mostly disastrous results, and took the picture this is painted from.
There was a ton of largely indiscernible "information" under the house and the dock and I was trying to just indicate that there was something there ... not entirely successfully (got much too dark in some places), but success enough

Bird postcards

Also, very glacially, working on postcards featuring birds, using a gouache and colored pencil technique taught online by Val Webb. I like the results but find working with colored pencils somewhat laborious--so it helps to keep it small!

Higbee Beach

Plein air painting yesterday afternoon.
Was going to skip it because of the heat, but glad I didn't: there was no shade, but a lovely breeze, and I took a couple of dips too.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Fishing boat

I started this yesterday morning, painted the sky and the distant trees, the shadow side of the boat. This morning I thought it was a terrible start and was going to throw it away. Decided to paint some rigging first and see how it looked ... then I just kept going.
I painted this once before, and I much prefer that painting, but this isn't at all the disaster I thought it was.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Today's efforts

Decided to try a little painting on the deck, such a perfect day. Until I got swarmed by mosquitos ...
The geraniums were painted without drawing. I've decided I like a loose approach to the leaves, just wobbly-edged ovals.
The sunflowers I drew. Perhaps too much as I felt very much that I was filling them in!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Ohio Ave and Delaware Bay

Took a few painting supplies on my bike ride this morning. By the time I stopped to paint, half the water had leaked out all over everything, including 5x7 block. Since the paper was wet I was going to just head home, but another voice in my head won out, the voice I'm trying to make louder.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Way back

I began to try to break out of my slump with these tiny imagined landscapes ...
Funny that of the few things I've done so far they're my favorite.
And introducing one of my four--started with two ...-- new cats, Arya.

Sunflower farm

Started this on location at a nesrby farm.
Now poking away intermittently at home!

In October I'll be in an Alvaro Castagnet workshop, so I've got to get comfortable with my paints before then.

3 days

Another ( nearly) year of no blogging and hardly any painting.
Going to try to change that-- no matter how awkward and disappointing these first steps are.
I spent about 15-20 minutes the last 3 mornings, before becoming overwhelmed by dailiness, painting a small, 7x10, sketch.
Going to push for 5 days a week.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

a willet?


I'm not 100 percent sure what kind of bird this is ... a willet, perhaps?

Monday, September 25, 2017

more beachgoers

Another painting from one of my photos. And my completed homemade sketchbooks--two with Coptic binding, one with Japanese stab binding.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


From a photo I took last summer.
Didn't get to the beach much this summer, for some reason. Always regret not having had enough fun when summer ends!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Another sketch of beachgoers. Feel it could use some punching up ... But I'll leave it and call it a hazy day.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sunday project

Working on making a few little watercolor journals: two with Coptic binding, one with a simple Japanese stab binding.
Also, a little contour drawing. 


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