Monday, November 27, 2023

fort de soto

Visiting my brother and friends this week. Finally got a couple hours of painting and drawing in!
And rescued a brown pelican who was wrapped in fishing line.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

arya & sansa


Was putting the paints away since I'll be away from home for a few days, but my palette had a few puddles of paint on it, so I made these quick sketches of two of my cats.
I'd like to go back in and refine them, but there's no time!

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

yellow rumped warbler


Took a photo of this little fellow at one of the birdbaths in my yard. The color is not quite right ... but I didn't want to adjust it and lose the freshness.
Getting colder here now and so I suppose the warblers will be on their way.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023



Lots of wrens in my yard, kicking around in the leafmeal, hopping along the deck railing.

Monday, November 20, 2023



For our last class this year, Michele Clamp have us a beautiful reference of goldfinches. I love the birds' postures.
Got away from me in some places, but I'm not unhappy with it.

The poppies, on the other hand ... I'm going to put this aside for a bit. Maybe I won't be so displeased next time I look.
Then I'll go in and finish the leaves and vase.

Sunday, November 19, 2023



Where I live, in southernmost NJ, titmouses are--like dark-eyed juncos and fox and white-throated sparrows--cold weather residents.
Though it's been unseasonably warm, so much so the yellow-rumped warblers are still in my yard, in numbers, I saw my first titmouse the other day.
Such a pretty little bird.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

marbled godwit

A little loose, a little tight.

Below, a couple of goldfinches, the last assignment in this session of classes with Michele Clamp.
I missed the last two classes and am now trying to catch up before the next session begins.
It's great to have the option of watching the video later but I find I'm more likely to get the work done when I attend class in real time!

Monday, November 13, 2023


.                             8x6
                       Western gull

I took a fun class with Megan Swoyer this week: painting shorebirds in a free and loose style, a painterly style. I do like trying to be not so literal and also letting the paint flow.
I enjoy painting with Megan; one, she's really nice and a great teacher and two, I usually paint differently than I would on my own ... I stretch a little.
Marbled godwit

In the painting of a Curlew, below, I used a Daniel Smith color I don't usually use, hematite; it's a browish gray that really granulated--i love it! You can see it around the head and behind the far wing.

Saturday, November 11, 2023



A little goldfinch. I have always found yellow hard to handle. But I may be getting better at it. Maybe thinking "warm" or "cool" helps?

Thursday, November 09, 2023


This week's painting in my class with Michele Clamp. The stripes on tabby cats are daunting, but Michele's methods--especially identifying values and softening egdes-- really helped.
I had some anxiety about "messing up," which is usually a self-fulfilling prophecy, so counterproductive, but sometimes I just get in its grip.

My Sansa and Arya, posing.

Sunday, November 05, 2023

yellow marsh


Not much time for painting last week,or probably this week either ...
But I did manage this little scene.

Sunday, October 29, 2023


I wasn't too happy with my first attempt at this still life, below, in Michele Clamp's class this week--I overworked it, lost the translucency.
So i tried again, above. Happy with the pitcher but wish the apples were better.

My biggest mistake with my first try was, when i got frustrated, i kept going. Not a good idea!
Wish I had stopped at the stage below.
Practice making simple, painterly spheres

Swatches for the still life

The color swatches made me think of Morandi, so I did these three little copies of his still lifes

Saturday, October 28, 2023


Working on a couple of class projects, neither of which is going well.
Timeout to paint an evening grosbeak. Had about a dozen of these at my birdbath last fall-- they are stunning. Imo the female, with her soft silvery gray body, is even more beautiful.
And below, a lady cardinal--messed up the perspective on her right eye, but I love her attitude so I'll probably try again.

Friday, October 27, 2023

fruit bowl


Sitting down to a boring dinner, watching some art videos, pulled out a travel palette and (unfortunately) some cheap paper and painted the contents of my fruit bowl.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

long-eared owl


Painted in class with SaltyWaterArt.
We have been painting owls this month. And here's a great reason for taking classes: I don't think I'd ever paint an owl on my own. They are beautiful birds; I usually stick to passerines and shorebirds, the birds I see. But I have enjoyed the owls: their big eyes, dramatic faces, and patterned feathers, all the shades of brown and gray.
I will work on the bottom one more, but not much more-- I'd like to try to keep it looser, keep the attention on the face. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023


Painting from week 2 of an online class with Michele Clamp (check her out on youtube).
We started class by mixing a range of midtones from pure color to gray, then tested our swatches by photographing them in black and white-- a helpful visual aid.

Turning my painting b&w it looks rather weak!

Sunday, October 22, 2023



One of my classes was looking at artists' use of the color yellow, and our assignment is to explore yellow in our paintings this week.
I confess I have no "ideas," but I'm still hoping to get one!
In the meantime, I used a little sketch I made while kayaking in Assateague National Seashore to do a monochromic painting.

Thursday, October 19, 2023



I think perhaps I should have left enough space on the bottom for the picture to contain the jay's whole body, even if we can't see it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

short-eared owl


Last night's bird in class with SaltyWaterArt. I rushed a bit as I got to class late. The Owls we are painting this month all have such lovely patterns in their feathers. Would like to try this one again, looser, wetter.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

back in nj

My friend Robin came back to NJ with me after camping for a short visit.
One day we went to one of old high school haunts, Higbee Beach, for a little sketching.

Monday, October 16, 2023


Taking an online watercolor class with Michele Clamp, my second; I first noticed Michele's work on her FB page Painting Colorful Birds for Fun. She has some videos on YouTube you can view.
I feel like this painting looks better from far away, unlike most of my paintings!
Michele focuses on figuring out the colors, chroma (how much the color leans toward neutral), and value ahead of time.
It's a good practice: slows you down a bit, helps you get in the mindset... and once you have it figured out, the painting goes more quickly.