Saturday, May 18, 2019

blue heron

From a photo I took in Florida last year. This heron was standing on some rocks watching the fishermen ... Got some pix of them too.
I was so worried about, then had so much fun doing, the rocks and the reflection, that I kind of gave the heron short shrift; he's a caricature of a heron.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019


 12x18 HP

Finished this one yesterday. I think the one on the right, the first one I painted is more successful; the one on the left would have benefited from more variation in the darks. 
So I started another ...

14x20 CP

Monday, May 13, 2019

big iris

12x16 hot press

I have a nice size bed of bearded and Dutch irises, but when I came home a giant-size iris was blooming in my backyard! I don't remember planting it all!
It got too heavy for the stem so I had to cut it and now it's a race to paint it.
I decided to try this on hot press; was kind of planning to go real wet, but once I started, I started doing shapes ... 
I'll try to go wetter next time!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

storm coming

I always plan to paint when I'm in FL, but rarely get more than one day in!
On this day, my friend Mike and I went to one of our favorite spots: North Beach at Fort De Soto in St. Pete, despite the threatening weather.
I painted these as the storm came in ... before we had to run for cover.


Sunday, May 05, 2019


Earlier in the week I met my friend Shelby in her hometown of Washington, DC. What a beautiful city. We went to several art museums--all free--and had a great lunch at a Jose Andres restaurant.
Shelby and I met years ago at a workshop in New Mexico: we sat next to each other then found out we lived across the Delaware Bay from each other. At that time she had a summer place in Lewes, DE, and we got together to paint often. But they sold the house and we don't see each other as often as I wish we did!

These paintings are a couple of years old: the top one is Shelby's granddaughter Elena, and below is her daughter Nadejda.
I thought I had given these to her! Now I have an excuse to go visit again!

Friday, May 03, 2019


Mason jars and lemons--two things I can never get tired of painting!


Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Last of the daffodils?


I don't know what the variety is called by these double-headed blooms are so small--about 2 inches in diameter--and delicate. 
The ones below, on the other hand, are the biggest and hardiest in the yard!

I have been trying to grow peonies for several years now, without success--well, moderate success: two of the four plants I started with are still alive!
Last year I got, I think, one bloom.
This year, one of the plants has about six buds on it--I'm beside myself with anticipation. But I just realized they are probably going to bloom in the coming week, while I'll be away visiting my brother.
Told my niece she should cut any blooms and enjoy them.

Monday, April 29, 2019


(Sorry this photo isn't so good!)
I love this time of spring when every week something new is blooming: this week the bearded irises are starting to open. I also have some Dutch irises but I think they wonn't open for a few weeks yet.
My bearded irises are all blue-red violet, but my neighbor has some gorgeous light-blue ones--I'm going to ask if she'd like to sway a few rhizomes.

Today I was riding my bike by a house I often go out of my way to ride past because of its spectacular garden. The creator of the garden was out doing some weeding, so I told her how much pleasure her garden gives me, and we started to talk.
She is a real gardener, very knowledgeable, whereas I am really just a person with a yard who selects and plants things kinda haphazardly and hopes for the best!
Anyway, she's going to come over to my house for coffee, to look at my yard, and we're going to look for things we can share/swap. She's already given me a little Queen Anne's lace plant!
I am very excited! She, Lisa, was so nice, and I am going to learn a lot.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

unfinshed landscape


Another one: couldn't finish. 
It's a nice scene though and I'll probably try it again, but with  more sky next time!

Friday, April 26, 2019

unfinished tulips


 Dipped into this a bit over the week, but couldn't finish ... Sometimes I just can't seem to push through to the end.
Maybe it was because I had a busy and frustrating week.
Next week will be better!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

quince again

Lately everytime I paint something, I feel I have start over!
I wasn't happy with my attempt to paint dappled sunlight in the quince painting below and decided to start another; you'll see I haven't gotten to the problem area yet.
But here's the problem when you have two paintings of the same thing: there's always something to like (and not like) in each!
Seeing them side by side now I can really see that the quince in the first one have a luminosity that the ones in the second don't. Third try?

Friday, April 19, 2019

white-throated sparrow

I think I mentioned I'll be in two small group shows in August ... I would really like to have a few little bird paintings to put in in it, so I'm starting to think about that ... (a good thing, too, since my last two daffodil attempts have been just awful! haven't abandoned them yet, though!).
This guy is a little stiff for my liking. (If you are on FB check out Michelle Clamp's bird paintings at Paint Colorful Birds for Fun; they have a wonderful fluidity that I would love to be able to achieve.)
Just a start.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

melo & arya

In the reference photo you can't see many details because of the strong backlighting, so I set out to try to see the shapes of the midtone and dark values and paint only those.
I have a number of photos of my cats with strong value contrast that I think could produce good paintings.
Have to work on those transitions a bit ... and learn to not go back into a wet wash. Duh.

Friday, April 12, 2019

daffodils #3

My rescued daffodils are getting a little droopy ... as is my treatment of this subject. My friend Mike says I always lose a little energy as I repeat a subject, and he's right.
Wasn't too happy with the one above, so I did the quick, wet, no-drawing sketch below, to try to bring a little energy back to it.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

canna lily

This was a good subject for me; I could break  it down into smaller, discrete shapes and fill the space. 
I might go in and add some darks here and there to amp up the three-dimensionality (it's rather flat right now) ... or I might not: I might just enjoy the colors.

Today--a beautiful spring day--is my mom's birthday. Spent most of the day working in the yard, moving things around and dividing my many hostas--all descended from ones she gave me; a very Peggy thing to do.

Monday, April 08, 2019

daffodils #2

These are the daffodils I was able to save from the over-diligent leaf raker.
The buds opened up a little overnight ... so on to #3.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

wip: quince


I am partial to that classic watercolor subject, fruit hanging on a tree. I have many photos of a persimmon tree at the end of my street that I hope to get around to painting one day.

I signed up for an online course with Birgit O'Connor called Shadows and Backgrounds because I love one of the paintings she does in the course, a branch of quince. I signed up for, and actually completed two of the projects for, another of her classes, and I learned a lot--about planning, about going big ... (And the classes are a good deal, imho: when you buy, you have access forever! Birgit supplies all the info and references you need; there are FB groups to interact with other students; and the videos are very good.) But I still have more to learn from her.
For example, for some dumb reason, I don't know why, I started this painting before watching Birgit's video. Luckily she has a video on correcting blooms--I don't usually mind blooms, but the one on the big leaf is just distracting.
Now the plan is to finish this, then do another a la Birgit.

Thursday, April 04, 2019



This is my second go at this, from a reference I found on Paint My Photo.
It's an improvement over the last in some ways, but I'm still not quite there yet ...
Again, I had a problem with the paper! In the lower quarter of the sheet; there was some defect there. But in this case it was for once a help, adding to impression of a worn wooden boat.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

1st shot at daffodils, 2019

Okay, posting old-school here: take a photo with a camera; upload to laptop; edit and move to blogger file; post. Seems so laborious now ... but at least it works.
I have to complain about my paper a bit here: sometimes I seem to get a sheet that just won't cooperate--it's too absorbent and the colors don't mingle. Or it could be me: maybe I'm not getting an adequate ratio of paint to water to allow the color to float on the surface?
Anyway, debuting my new bar blue-striped towels! Have been looking everywhere for ones just like these but with writing on them--haven't found them yet.

The young man raking the leaves in my yard decimated one of my daffodil beds today. Managed to save a handful that haven't opened yet. So, 2nd shot will a vase of buds!

testing ...

I haven't been able to post from my phone, which, it turns out, surprisingly, is rather a pain.
I always get a "network error" message.
I am far from technically minded, but I steeled myself and did some troubleshooting.
Seems it's the photos that are causing the problem. So, another avenue to explore, sigh ... but I'm closing in on it!

(My blog will only post words, not pictures and my printer lately only prints pictures, not words. A technological chiasmus.)

Saturday, March 30, 2019

tidying up ...

Cleaning out my flat files, looking for some paintings or ideas for paintings for two small group shows I'll be in this summer in West Cape May.
I found an unfinished painting of gladiolas and finished it.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

painting with mike

Painted with my friend Mike last week--we were both rusty, our paints dry. I wanted to do a simple 
setup: a twig in a glass. Mike added the proverbial monkey wrench: the clippers ... which were a great addition, and something I'd never have thought of. 
Another good reason to paint with a friend!