Sunday, October 29, 2023


I wasn't too happy with my first attempt at this still life, below, in Michele Clamp's class this week--I overworked it, lost the translucency.
So i tried again, above. Happy with the pitcher but wish the apples were better.

My biggest mistake with my first try was, when i got frustrated, i kept going. Not a good idea!
Wish I had stopped at the stage below.
Practice making simple, painterly spheres

Swatches for the still life

The color swatches made me think of Morandi, so I did these three little copies of his still lifes

Saturday, October 28, 2023


Working on a couple of class projects, neither of which is going well.
Timeout to paint an evening grosbeak. Had about a dozen of these at my birdbath last fall-- they are stunning. Imo the female, with her soft silvery gray body, is even more beautiful.
And below, a lady cardinal--messed up the perspective on her right eye, but I love her attitude so I'll probably try again.

Friday, October 27, 2023

fruit bowl


Sitting down to a boring dinner, watching some art videos, pulled out a travel palette and (unfortunately) some cheap paper and painted the contents of my fruit bowl.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

long-eared owl


Painted in class with SaltyWaterArt.
We have been painting owls this month. And here's a great reason for taking classes: I don't think I'd ever paint an owl on my own. They are beautiful birds; I usually stick to passerines and shorebirds, the birds I see. But I have enjoyed the owls: their big eyes, dramatic faces, and patterned feathers, all the shades of brown and gray.
I will work on the bottom one more, but not much more-- I'd like to try to keep it looser, keep the attention on the face. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023


Painting from week 2 of an online class with Michele Clamp (check her out on youtube).
We started class by mixing a range of midtones from pure color to gray, then tested our swatches by photographing them in black and white-- a helpful visual aid.

Turning my painting b&w it looks rather weak!

Sunday, October 22, 2023



One of my classes was looking at artists' use of the color yellow, and our assignment is to explore yellow in our paintings this week.
I confess I have no "ideas," but I'm still hoping to get one!
In the meantime, I used a little sketch I made while kayaking in Assateague National Seashore to do a monochromic painting.

Thursday, October 19, 2023



I think perhaps I should have left enough space on the bottom for the picture to contain the jay's whole body, even if we can't see it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

short-eared owl


Last night's bird in class with SaltyWaterArt. I rushed a bit as I got to class late. The Owls we are painting this month all have such lovely patterns in their feathers. Would like to try this one again, looser, wetter.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

back in nj

My friend Robin came back to NJ with me after camping for a short visit.
One day we went to one of old high school haunts, Higbee Beach, for a little sketching.

Monday, October 16, 2023


Taking an online watercolor class with Michele Clamp, my second; I first noticed Michele's work on her FB page Painting Colorful Birds for Fun. She has some videos on YouTube you can view.
I feel like this painting looks better from far away, unlike most of my paintings!
Michele focuses on figuring out the colors, chroma (how much the color leans toward neutral), and value ahead of time.
It's a good practice: slows you down a bit, helps you get in the mindset... and once you have it figured out, the painting goes more quickly.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

barn owl


Painted in class with SaltyWaterArt; we're painting owls in October. 
I really enjoyed painting this barn owl: this is one of my favorite limited palettes--in fact each room in my house is one of these colors, from sandy beige to taupe to dark brown to blue!
I also like painting wet.

Saturday, October 14, 2023


Once again we intended to paint or draw every day while we were camping at Assateague National Seashore but didn't do as much as we thought we would.
These are all views from our campsite.

Tuesday, October 03, 2023


Started a portrait of one of my cats. He looks grumpy-- something wrong around the mouth ... but I'll have to leave it here until I get back from camping!

Monday, October 02, 2023

sketchbook page

Drawing from a photo I took in the beautiful town of Wilmington, Vermont. My friend Gina and I stopped in Wilmington on our way home from Susan Abbott's workshop in Marshfield; we had driven through on our way up and decided to stop on the way back. It was a Thursday and not much was open on the main street, but the bookstore was, which Gina and I were delighted about! Browsing in an independent bookstore is a too rare treat.

Sunday, October 01, 2023

dpw challenge: sunflowers


Sometimes I forget about paintings I've painted. This one is from 2020! Found it in my "drafts" folder ... I must not have been happy with it back then, but coming on it again I like it.