Thursday, April 30, 2020

Dpw challenge: spotlight


Last week Joe Milligan got a few local artists together, virtually, for a daily painting challenge. Since it ended, none of us has painted! So I suggested we take a look at Daily Paintworks's challenges.
This is my response to this week's challenge.
I set up this still life after looking at paintings by one of my favorite still life artists, Giorgio Morandi.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020



Revisiting of a subject I've painted before ... I always tighten up too much when painting the reflections. Have to go faster and wetter!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

day 9: "sea life"


This is the last day of our challenge. It's been a good kick-start.
For this painting I combined two photos I took ten years ago in Trellis Bay, Tortola, BVI, a beautiful place where I happened on these men working on their boat.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

day 8: "new life"


I switched to hot press for today's painting of a sprig of weigela.
I started at the top and worked my way down the page.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

day 7: " in and out"


A value study I did after I finished the painting. I am not happy with the painting itself and thought a value study might help me see what went wrong ... 
I think the problem turns out not to be the values but ( the usual culprit) overworking: I wasn't getting the result I wanted, so I kept on ot and on it ...


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

day 6: "what I miss"


So many ideas came to mind in response to this prompt!
Above is a painting of my brother in front of a tiny Audubon-protected island we kayak to in Florida. It's usually covered with nesting cormorants and herons.


And this is me and my brother atabout favorite beach.

Monday, April 20, 2020

day 5: "people"


Today's prompt was "people," and this photo that was in this week of Trump supporters demanding that the economy be reopened came to mind. Such an ugly image. Occurs to me now I should have painted them like some Egon Schiele people, a sickly green with grotesque mouths.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

day 4: "good enough to eat"


I don't have much that's " good to eat" in the house, but I do have a few jars of homemade blueberry jam, which is very good to eat! I spoon it on my Greek yogurt!
I overworked the shadows on the napkin, especially on the right ... and there are a few other little things--which I'm not about to point out!
I was thinking painting and the desire for perfection. I imagine painters, artists of all kinds, must desire perfection ... but perfection in the right things, whatever they think those are.
For example, here some of my curves are not right, not perfect, but that honestly does not concern me so much.
What does bother me, where this painting falls short for me, is in the overworked sections; because for me, in my watercolors, "perfection" is freshness, ease, the flow of the paint.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

day 3: "ABC 123"


Okay, so I have no idea what this prompt was meant to elicit, and its issue, Geralyn, gave no clues!
So I decided to paint something with letters in it (there's a number too, 18, on the magazine cover).
I think I will darken some shadows and crop tighter.
These challenges have been ... challenging. I've been spending most of the morning on them, and it's good to feel I've accomplished something!
3 down, 6 to go.

Friday, April 17, 2020

day 2: "green"


My plein air painting friend Diane came up with today's prompt, "green."
I thought about it overnight, and was planning to do a painting of a coconut palm--such a range of greens!
But I woke up today feeling less ambitious.
I painted the quince and lilac sprig I picked this morning, then saw a cup of dying daffodils and decided to try painting them too.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

day 1: "at home"

Joe Milligan, who taught a plein air class here last year, has got nine of us together for a virtual painting challenge: each day for nine days one person will suggest a subject or topic; the following day we post our paintings and get the new topic.
On Day one the topic was "at home."

Day Two's topic was suggested and it's (gulp) "green"!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

daffodils 11 & 12


More daffodils!
These will, sadly for me, be the last ones done from life. They were about done but the torrential rain and high wind we got here Monday really hastened their end!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

daffodil 10

Indigo handmade paper

Went in for the close- up on this one.
I like the bright yellows, but I'd like to do it again, adding some cast shadows.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

april 30 faces/30days: day 1


My 2nd and 1st attempts at day 1's "muse," as sketchy calls them.
I'm 11 days behind, but not too worried. I'll skip days 2 and 3 because the muses for those days don't appeal to me; I only attempt the ones I like.
This model very expressive eyes and a mass of dair hair: Lucky for my first day to have a muse so perfect for monochrome!
Each day Sktchy has a teacher who shows you a different technique, but I've decided to work exclusively in watercolor and see what happens.


Started the day with another sky ...
The gray mix--manganese blue and transparent orange--was suggested by Angela Fehr, and it makes a lovely soft gray.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

online class w Angela Fehr


I signed up for Angela Fehr's Heart-Led Landscape class, and these are some color studies from the first classes.
Right away, I've learned something: I never do color studies, just jump right in trying to approximate what I see. But I often wish I could deviate from that; I just didnt think about how to go about it ... This seems like a good first step.

These cloud studies are an early lesson in the class too.
It is amazing how hard it is to kind of "let go" while still trying to think and evaluate!
I think I would benefit from doing these everyday: just to cultivate that mental practice.

You can find Angela Fehr videos on YouTube and more about her classes on her website,

wip: delaware bay lighthouses

                           4x6 each

Returned a while back to a favorite subject of mine, Delaware Bay lighthouses started this trio, to be framed together, but abandoned it. Somehow I got the color schemes wrong ... among other things.
Thinking I may just try to bring them to completion and see what happens.
Finally filled my 42- well Robax palette!
Back when I bought it, 42 seemed like a lot ... Now of course I'm wishing I had gone for the 64 well!

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

tulip magnolias


My tulip magnolia dies a couple of years ago in a late frost. But I have probably hundreds of photos of its blooms. Each year I'd anticipate them, and try to paint them as much as I could before they were spent, which was all too soon.
I usually don't paint a background when I paint magnolias, but, at least in the one here, I feel like the background enhances it.
I really miss that tree. When this is all over, I think I'll buy another to celebrate.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

daffodils 9


Many of my daffodils are drying up now, and many more have fallen over, but there are still some up.
And I hope to paint them a few more times.

Saturday, April 04, 2020

daffodils 8


Trying here to paint the daffodils as a group, rather than individually. And I just tried to paint the jar as simply as I could, because I realized I just didnt feel up to trying to do more right now!

Friday, April 03, 2020


This young woman with glasses was my last, and best, Sktchy portrait from the last time I took the 30 Faces/30 Days challenge.
Signed up for the April 2020 challenge, but haven't started yet!

Thursday, April 02, 2020



A little break from daffodils.
Simple as it is, I just couldnt get the shape of this puffed-up towhee right. Weird how that happens.
I was going to leave the background white but then realized that made it hard to see where his chest turns away ... so back to my standby: palette grays and salt.
So, it's not what I was hoping for, but, okay, onward.

I hope you are all well and adjusting to this new reality.
Oddly, since I've worked from home for nearly30 years (!), I'm finding this very disorienting. I've stopped doing a lot of things I "should" do--vacuum, get out of my pajamas, comb my hair ... Well, none of those really matter now anyway.
Take care! ❤