Thursday, May 25, 2023



A Sandpiper painted in class with SaltyWaterArt. I think I could push it a little further but I'm not pleased with the way the bird is coming out. So I'll abandon it for now.

Here's another I didn't get far with, a brown pelican.



A couple of very wetly painted WA landscapes from a class with SaltyWaterArt, with smaller studies below.
I am really enjoying exploring wet in wet painting: in a way, the results are never what I was hoping for; in some ways though they're better than what I expected.
I think it's conducive to pushing color and also to more abstraction.
And it wouldn't hurt to improve my wet in wet technique!

Tuesday, May 23, 2023



Painted from photos I took on a birding outing.
I got a few pictures of this couple on their nest and think I will probably try this a few more times.
I started the larger one first, and had high hopes as I thought the nest looked pretty good.
But in the smaller one the birds are better, more the correct shape, and more cleanly painted.

Bonus photo of my little cat, Arya.

Monday, May 22, 2023


Last fall some friends and I took a birding boat tour and I got a lot of great photos, even with my less than spectacular camera.
These terns are sitting on a channel marker on which a nest, probably an osprey nest, was built.
I really had, have, no idea how to paint the tangle of branches and twigs. There was never any possibility that I could, as soany artists do so well, paint it in a detailed, realistic way.
So my plan was: paint a light wash, let it dry, then add darks, a bit at a time, leaving some of the light wash showing.
It's readable, I think. But next time I may try to add some pure color.

Below, a sketch of a tern in a characteristic pose, the one Audubon painted.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

some sketches

A selection of sketches from this winter.
People in the airport
My shoes: an exercise in a sketchbook class with Susan Abbott
From a life drawing class i took this winter with my friend Gina
These were both done with Chloe Briggs's weekly online sketch session,
Me and my brothers when we were kids 
Blind contour self portrait in an online drawing class with Emily Ball

crested cormorant

                  sketchbook pages

When I visit my brother and friends in Fla we kayak a lot.
Often we are accompanied by cormorants, who dive under our boats and come up with fish!

Friday, May 19, 2023


                Sketchbook pages

Met up with my brother for a few days in Chincoteague, Va., a place I always think if as my getaway: only a 2 hour drive from Lewes, Del., but it's like stepping back in time. (I never go in summer though, when I imagine it must be crazy crowded!)
In 3 hours I was in 4 states: NJ, DE, MD, VA. And I was just loving the Mid-Atlantic region!
The grid of colors is an idea I took from the book Local Color by Mimi Robinson which Susan Abbott had recommended.
As a bonus we found a truly superb chef-owned restaurant, the Channel Bass: we went there both nights!
On a whim I started asking people we met, the locals, how they pronounced Chincoteague, which turned out to be a great icebreaker.
Seems I've been pronouncing it wrong--I said chink-o-teague-- and giving myself away as an outsider.
The correct pronunciation is shink-a- tig, said quickly.
A bartender wrote it down for me.


Tuesday, May 16, 2023

decorative birds


I painted these in class with Ronna Fujisawa, SaltyWaterArt.
The dove may have been among the first I ever painted with her.
One of the things I enjoy about the weekly bird painting class is that it often has me painting birds I wouldn't have chosen to attempt.

Monday, May 15, 2023



During the winter I agreed to have a show my paintings this summer at the Cape May Nature Center. Summer. So far away.
Then I was scheduled to show in May.
I guess in a way it was a good thing, because now the show is hung and I can forget about it. (Bad side is poor sales; last year I showed in September and the paintings flew off the wall.)
I painted this, from a photo I took, the day before I hung the show.

Small sketches of a crested cormorant. When I kayak with friends and my brother in Florida, they dive under the kayaks for fish. I love to watch them swim!

Sunday, May 14, 2023



From a photo I took, trying to keep the washes wet and loose.

Below is a tern, also from a photo I took, this one while kayaking.

snowy plover


Four months since my last post!
I was in a slump at the beginning of the year and though I signed up for lots of things, I didn't do any.
I think I get paralyzed when I have too many ideas; perhaps it's a loss of focus.
Edging my way back ... Weekly plein air will help.
I painted this in class with Ronna Fujisawa at SaltyWaterArt.
Now that I've photographed it, I see a few little places I should darken.
I tried a new-to-me paper, Rembrandt brand. I like the texture and was enjoying how easy it was to lift, when I noticed the paper buckling and the paint moving too much.
Looked at the block's cover: only 25% cotton.
But I'm thinking it might be good paper for loose plein air studies.

This is another, American oystercater, a favorite of mine, from Ronna's class. She had the great idea to add a touch of yellow to the water. 
I think I overdid this one a bit.