Friday, June 30, 2023

trees class


Last December I was looking forward to a plein air painting workshop with Shari Blaukopf in Fort Myers, Fla. But
Hurricane Ian happened and the workshop was of course canceled.
I hope I'll have another chance to sign up for one of Shari's in-person workshops; I really admire her work. And she's a good teacher ... which I know because I've bought a couple of her prerecorded online workshops: lots of interesting subjects; well organized lessons; and I'm going to say they're a bargain. Check them out!

In the class on trees, we started by mixing some greens. Continued with practice carrying a wash across the page. Then used these lessons on the evergreen painting above.

Thursday, June 29, 2023


Looking at some photos, thinking about how to make them into paintings!

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

drawing is free

I haven't joined Chloe Briggs's free online drawing session for quite a while. In my time zone it's no0n on Monday and I often forget.
It's a great opportunity to play around with different mediums, and it's so enjoyable.
Follow Chloe on Patreo too, where she devises a lot of really interesting drawing projects.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023



These are based on photos I took while kayaking.
I am taking an online class with Susan Abbott, and she has got me trying to think more about pushing color.

This one got away from me.  Too many shapes?

Was watering some plants, happened to look up and saw a gorgeous cloud! This small sketch does not do it justice! I'd like to try painting it 14x18!

Monday, June 26, 2023


A few simple value sketches.
It's enjoyable to do quick, scribbly drawing.

And a Notan of a still life I was thinking about painting but decided against.
I have a terrible time setting up still lifes. I usually find them too studied. Which wouldn't be bad, if they were effective!

Sunday, June 25, 2023



The rain seems to have  moved on, but the humidity is lingering. 

These are all paintings done in class with Ronna Fujisawa, aka SaltyWaterArt.
Ronna lives in OR and that's where the reference photos were taken.
I hope to get out there to plein air paint with her.

These are little studies for the little paintings below.
                   10x14 sheet

Thursday, June 22, 2023

step two


Painted with a limited palette of blues and oranges.
The photo below is where I first stopped. Decided to darken the value of the house and grass and to add more pure color.
I went back into my washes too many times, but I think this will be helpful next time I try to paint this subject.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023


Trying to simplify my photos and make a color plan prior to painting.
Thinking blue/orange complements for this one.
Funnily now that I've done even this little bit of prepatory work, I'm afraid to begin! Which maybe explains why I rarely do any prepatory work.

For the scene below, ill try an analogous colir scheme.

Monday, June 19, 2023



Warmup sketch from an oceanscape class with SaltyWaterArt. We're working from a photo Ronna took in a workshop on Lopez Island, WA, with her mentor, Tom Hoffmann, whose book Watercolor Painting I can highly recommend.
I really messed up the reflection. So much so that I may do something I never do: wash it off and try again.

This is a 2nd attempt to paint from a photo I took where there are overlapping clouds.
I painted this, and the 1st one, on Hahnemuhle paper, which I like but which I am finding cannot take much water. Though that property, while yielding some not so great splotches, also caused that beautiful, to me, soft purple and white cloud at the top.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

studies: waves and clouds


Wave studies painted in class with SaltyWaterArt. These are fun to do,  and, who knows, I may get a good one. 
You can see I have trouble controlling the amount of water--I usually add too much when trying to soften an edge--and also tend to go back in when I shouldn't! Common enough mistakes, but also fundamental ones and I kind of wonder why, after painting for so long, I still make them.

Below some cloud studies I did on my own. Have had some beautiful clouds hereabouts lately, and I really feel like I should be painting them!

Thursday, June 15, 2023

plein air: Delaware bay

Had a two-hour plein air session this morning with my friend Gina. 
Here, in order, are my results.
Trying to do value studies; see shapes; use more color ... In short, trying to improve.

The last, unfinished, one, below, is so far my favorite!

Wednesday, June 14, 2023



Dramatic West Coast oceanscapes painted in class with Ronna Fujisawa at
Trying to work more wet in wet, but have not cured myself, yet, of the compulsion to keep going back into it ... which just makes it weaker!
I have noticed recently that the watercolors I admire are very much not gone back into!

Sunday, June 04, 2023

plein air sketches: spicer's creek


First plein air of the summer.
I want to be more deliberate in my plein air painting this summer.
• try different compositions
▪︎ do value studies
• make color swatches
• commit to color schemes, e.g., analogous, complementary, etc.
• paint studies

Also want to work on my paint handling: fresher washes, better ratio or paint:water ...

Sounds ambitious! Hoping articulating these goals will keep me on track.