Monday, November 17, 2014

World blog hop

I want to thank Rhonda for asking me to join in the world blog. Rhonda and I have some things in common in our art, a desire to learn and birds!
Rhonda and I had a chance to meet and spend some time together, painting and having fun, at a Carol Carter workshop, during which Rhonda, in addition to everything else she had to do, took care of me too, picking me up the airport, getting me to my hotel ... I even got meet her Sweetie!

So, here are my answers to the blog hop questions.
1. What am I working on?
I'm working on working. I started my blog because I figured it'd keep me painting, and I hoped that, if I kept at it, I'd grow. 

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is not something I give much thought to. Like Rhonda, I paint for myself. And am maybe just beginning to realize what a wonderful luxury that is. I'm not particularly interested in being "different"--or in not being different--I just enjoy the actual painting: putting the paint on the paper and seeing what it does. Of course, I'm happy to get something I like, but I've found that feeling doesn't last long, so I try (with varying success) to concentrate on the doing, which is always good.
3. Why do I create what I do?
That's a tough one. Subjects catch my eye or interest me, or I will be inspired to try a technique or subject by another artist's work. I get too caught up, a lot of the time, in representation, but I try to remind myself, as I read in a Hazel Soan book, that no matter the subject, the painting is about the paint. I'm in awe of artists who make a serious study of the paint itself, and find I am not methodical enough to undertake such a study ... Each time I paint it's like learning all over again. I never seem to know what I'll get!
4. How does my creative process work?
My creative process is not a good worker! It's often tardy and somewhat lazy and may be a little schizophrenic. Seriously, I don't think I have a process. Sometimes I draw first, other times not; sometimes I paint alla prima, sometimes I glaze; sometimes I paint on location, sometimes at my desk. Maybe it depends on the subject, or on how much time I have, or on my mood? I don't think I'm very process-oriented. I'm a bit more willy-nilly. It's just something I want to do.

Now I'm supposed to bring in two more bloggers ...
But I'm sorry, I have to postpone that bit for a bit. My computer's in the shop and I'm composing this on my iPad mini! (I had put most of this post together before the computer went out.) I hope you understand I am not up to undertaking all that navigating on my iPad! But, in the meantime, I'd like to mention the blogs of artists I've been following longest, from when I first began blogging, like the Red Shoes, A Sketch in Time, Mineke Reinders, and Barbara Paints (all in my blog roll). Through their blogs (and others, a couple of whom are no longer posting and who I miss), my experience of the blogosphere expanded and I found--and continue to find--the many other artists and bloggers who inspire and encourage me and who provide such a wonderful atmosphere in which to blog.

Friday, November 14, 2014

holiday cards

 Spent Thursday painting with my friend Mike, working on some holiday cards: snow, evergreens, pine cones.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

winter scene

This is from a photo I found on Paint My Photo ... I was drawn to the very limited palette. I tried breaking the image down into 5 values, then started painting with the second-lightest value (the 1st is the paper).
I used Bleed-Proof White for the snow on the trees.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

practice: birches and evergreens

Just a little practicing ... I love the neutral color of the trunks: I started with a light wash of yellow, added a bit of a cool, transparent red; then a touch of cerulean, and mixed it together just a bit.

I've spent most of the year reading World War I histories--The War That Ended Peace and To End All Wars (still have Catastrophe 1914  and Sleepwalkers to read!)--a depressing thing to do; it makes you very sad for humankind. Today's a day for remembrance.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

this week ...

Homework (I'm barely keeping up, and definitely not getting any work done for extra credit) for Sketchbook Skool: a tanager and a warbler.
This week's teacher was Cathy Johnson and the subject was nature drawing/journaling.
As much as I like to look at other people's journals, I can't journal: can never think of anything to write.

A sketchbook page of things I picked up along the Delaware Bay.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014


Two more drawings for Sketchbook Skool. I'm trying to figure out a little setup that I can, in a challenge I'm doing with a friend, draw or paint 20 times. My friend has already completed about five paintings, and I haven't decided on the setup yet!

Monday, November 03, 2014


Ink and watercolor.
And here, at last, a bit of an assignment for Sketchbook Skool: a continuous line drawing.

Next, I need to add another object or two, draw, and paint.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

ponies in snow

Still managing to spend a bit of time in the art room, nearly daily ... 
I also signed up for a session of Sketchbook Skool, which is now in it's third week--and I haven't done a single assignment yet. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

song sparrow

Many sparrows--mostly song, house and tree--at my feeders lately. I won't see white-throated and fox sparrows until it's colder.

Monday, October 27, 2014


 Another cat photo from Paint My Photo, this one by Dracaena.
Trying to show the details and form but not add so much that I go beyond freshness. I could specify more, add details, but I think I'll leave it as is.

...It was fresher before I started trying to delineate all the reflections and shadows in the water! What a mistake to try to do in such a tiny space!

Friday, October 24, 2014


I saw this photo in one of my knitting pattern books ... I usually shy away from profiles, but I'm attracted to ones like this: where a big knot of hair at the back of the head forms a visual counterweight to the head ... Reminds me of Renaissance portraits.
I was going to leave the background white, but I was trying to "fix" or refine the under-nose/lip line.
How many times do I tell myself, Don't "fix"? But I don't listen.
Maybe a little darker behind the neck?

Thursday, October 23, 2014


I'm not sure this is quite done; now I think I need to adjust the line of the back (in the photo there are more leaves back there, but I decided to leave them out) and tone down the pinkness on the nose. I may add a little detail to two or three leaves, some veins perhaps.
Enjoying these cats: giving me good practice on painting loosely and on mixing grays.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

cat nap

From a photo by Farbenhexe on Paint My Photo.
So far, I have been managing to get into the art room daily, even though I spend as much (or more) time puttering around as painting when I do. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

resolved ...

As happens now and again (actually, with enough regularity that I should be able to anticipate and compensate), my life, or at least the allocation of the time that comprises my life, has gone all out of whack. Such that I'm surrounded by undone things: piles of work, skeins of yarn, uncooked vegetables and unpainted ideas.
I figure I can do something about at least one of these, and have resolved to spend one hour a day, five times a week in my studio--painting, drawing, or just organizing and planning.
This sketch of a cat, from a photo by Lorenz at Paint My Photo, is the result of my first hour.
I have had cats all my life, but find them hard to paint, so I was pretty happy with this sketch.
Next day, I tried another, also from Paint My Photo, by Janina Suuronen, which I'm not too happy with (he looks awfully grumpy).
 For my hour today, I started another of this ginger kitten, which is coming along much better, I think--definitely looks more kitten-like; I had put the eyes up too high on the first attempt.
And here are a couple of photos I took today: a yellow-rumped warbler in my yard, mute swans at Cape May Point, and some weeds at the marina.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Back to birds. My trees are full of warblers.

There's a persimmon tree at the end of my street that always looks so lovely in fall as the fruits ripen and the leaves wither. Painted this branch, but thought it needed something, so I added a little sparrow-type bird--totally out of proportion; should have made it a hummingbird.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

in progress

Negative painting: more work on darks ... If I can get them dark enough, the flowers should really pop.

chickens ... and the subconscious

 A little practice on chickens ... trying to darken my darks, and to see them better.

 Noticed the other day that what I was wearing, eating for lunch, and knitting were all the same colors! I have found in the past that when shopping, I buy things that are the same color as whatever I happen to be wearing.

Friday, October 10, 2014

little autumn still lifes


These little ornamental gourds are fun to paint, and quick, which is good since I find myself, once again, with little time to paint. An unfortunate side-effect of working at home is that the pile of work is always there ... I can eke out an hour or so to paint, but getting in the right frame of mind is more difficult!


Wednesday, October 08, 2014

cape may point

Started this outdoors a few days ago, but only had an hour to spend ... which may turn out to have been a good thing.

And, just looking for a little something to fuss with, found an old painting of my Smilla that I had abandoned ... trying to "save" it : added more flower shapes to fill the space and also the shadow shape. Still needs something ... maybe a very dark background on the right that fades to a lighter color on the left?