Friday, December 31, 2021

more birds


A little titmouse. Titmouses are winter visitors here in southern NJ, such pretty birds!

I usually see a lot of house wrens inmy yard, not so many Carolina wrens, but they have been plentiful of late, rummaging in the leaf piles.

Sunday, December 26, 2021


Mockingbird painted with Ronna Fujisawa, whose Zoom classes I am really enjoying.
The feet need some work.

And, below, a mockingbird I painted on my own. I really messed up the placement of the legs; tried to "fix" it and messed it up again.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

house sparrows

all @ 4x6

I never tire of the sparrows.
These were all done quickly and loosely. I'd like to try for some larger, more finished paintings ...

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

zoom landscape class


Painted this WI winter scene in a Zoom workshop with Paul Oman.
While I was painting it I thought it was disastrous ... and up close it really does not look very good!
But, step back and the values take over. And then it doesn't look so bad.

Something I'm often unhappy with are the outlines of things, like the distant tree line, or where the distant trees meet the ground.
When I watch teachers they seem to get a natural-looking outline without fussing. But even when I try for just going for it, I rarely get the edge I envisioned.
Something that will require 10,000 hours of practice.

Monday, December 20, 2021


                              5x7 each

Such a pretty bird. Familiar and pleasing.
Never 100% happy with the breast color ... I want a dark brightness that I haven't figured out how to get.

Thursday, December 09, 2021


                               5x7 each

Painted these is a Zoom class with Ronna Fujisawa. 

Persimmon tree on my walk:

Monday, December 06, 2021



... hopefully we'll get some this year. I think it's beautiful and I love the dampening effect it has on reality: everything gets so quiet.

Took a few photos last time we had significant snow here--two winters ago? maybe three! The photos actually don't look like much: all very gray and without strong contrasts. But that gives me a chance to work on my grays.

Friday, December 03, 2021

drawings~possible paintings

My kitchen window ... thinking about a painting. Maybe.
Found a little branch of dried up oak leaves in the yard on Thanksgiving. Did a pen drawing just to observe the shapes ... But I think the "feel" of them would probably be best captured in sumi-style painting. Something I'd like to try ...

Tuesday, November 30, 2021


Lilies and pine cones. Two subjects I love. Both deceptively difficult, for me anyway.
Planted about two dozen lily bulbs this weekend; so, midsummer, I should get plenty of practice. (These were painted from a stalk of fake flowers.)
Also planted three dozen tulip bulbs! Hope the squirrels will not eat them all!

Sunday, November 28, 2021



The great thing about painting white cats is what great practice it is in painting as little as possible.

                   arya, sansa, and gilly

Saturday, November 27, 2021


A couple of flickers--i love their coloring and markings--and a kinglet. He should be a golden-crowned kinglet but I goofed and grabbed red, as if he were a ruby- crowned.

And heres a beautiful bird I was unfamiliar with, the strawberry finch, which I painted in Ronna Fujisawa's class.

Monday, November 15, 2021

for connie


Last week a woman in one of the online classes I attend passed away suddenly after a brief illness The people in the class have been painting together for a long time, and they were all devastated. I'm the newcomer but I will miss her too: her kindness and sweet smile, her beautiful, elegant paintings.
The homework this week: paint a floral and, in the spirit of generosity and friendship that defined Connie, gift it to a friend.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

painting barns on zoom


Painted a couple of WI barns with artist Paul Oman this week. Really enjoy his classes and his painterly style.
In the first one, on top, I kept getting the paper too wet, especially in the background trees, where the paint kept diffusing.
I was able to control the water better in the second one.

Monday, November 08, 2021



A subject I never tire of, and never "master"--each time I approach it, it's like I'm starting over, which maybe isn't a bad thing.

Sunday, November 07, 2021

zoom workshop


From two separate workshops with Paul Oman. I really enjoy his classes and his approach, which is very painterly.


Saturday, October 30, 2021

some birds


The last few weeks my yard has been full of active little yellow-rumped warblers. My attempt to depict one, above, is a little fanciful, though they are gray and brown with black and white wing bars and a streaky breast.
I painted this on some hot press paper I found. May try again on CP.

Below, a couple of similarly inaccurate wrens!


Friday, October 29, 2021



Pecking away at this: it's from a photo of a holiday wreath I made last year. 
Not sure it's going to work, but I'm going to try to "finish" it, hoping I'll get some insight on how to do a better version.
Found a pile of hot press paper, which I gave up on using a while ago. Going to keep this around for now though; think it might be good for ink drawings or maybe watercolor pencils?

Thursday, October 28, 2021

bayshore scenes


A couple of small studies of scenes near my house.
The idea was to simplify ... the only way I know how to do that is to paint wet and let the puddles do the simplifying.
I thought these were disastrous when I finished them but they are growing on me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

snowy owl


Painted these last night in a Zoom class with Oregon artist Ronna Fujisawa. (Check out her website: I like Ronna's approach: it's very direct, painterly, and stress-free!
I never would've attempted a snowy owl--all those markings!
I worked on two at a time because I have a tendency to paint too wetly and this way I can bounce back and forth. Though even so the paper was too wet sometimes ... but it's all right. Painting these owls was
very engrossing and fun.

Also beginning to work on making sketches of local birds-- wouldn't call the snowy owl local but they have been seen here!--that I can transfer to watercolor paper to paint with different backgrounds. 
First up: house sparrow.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

assateague national seashore


Spent last week camping on the beach with friends. Third year. Each year we vow to do art every day, but then we don't! The time is taken up with walking, biking, kayaking, and eating and drinking around the campfire.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

a little sketching

A little sketching, trying to keep it loose and let the paints do what they do.
My Arya. Sleeping on the art books.