Corfu Canapés

A few years ago, we were lucky enough to travel to Greece, and my all-time favorite stop was the island of Corfu.  We hired a local man, Spiros, who drove us around, showed us some of the gorgeous off-the-beaten-path beauty, and explained what daily life was like in the small town.

Corfu Canapés - Lunchtime in Corfu, Greece Watercolor

Corfu Canapés – Lunchtime in Corfu, Greece Watercolor

At lunchtime, Spiro stopped at a tiny store and bought a loaf of fresh, crusty bread and local soft cheese.  We drove down the road to a building that had outdoor seating, as well as gardens of basil and tomatoes.  Spiro sliced the bread, cheese, and tomatoes, drizzled them with olive oil, and sprinkled fresh basil and herbs on top. This was served to us with local olives and tastings of red wine followed by shots of powerful, black-licorice-tasting ouzo. I can still remember the crispy bread, the creamy, delicate cheese, the pungent herbs, and the fresh-pressed olive oil.  Opa!

Draw A Bird, November 2018

We took photos of this round little bird, a European Robin, in Ireland recently.  Although they have similar colors with red chest feathers, I wondered why its body shape was so unlike an American Robin’s.  In actuality, it is because they are from different bird families, but this old European legend might explain why each is referred to as a robin.

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The legend states that on the night Jesus was born, a robin heard Mary’s plea to keep their dying fire from burning out.  This robin fanned the fire with its wings until the fire was warm and red. While continuing to fan the fire, the robin picked up twigs with its beak and threw them onto the fire to keep the flames glowing.  However, the flames singed the robin’s white breast, turning it red.

Isn’t that a charming story? It is thought that when Europeans began to emigrate to the United States, this legend was applied to our American Robin simply because of its coloring.

Quintessential Ireland

We recently returned from a spectacular trip to the Emerald Isle, and even in the autumn there was plenty of green to behold!  This painting might not be the best in technique, but it holds many special meanings and is a reminder of the lovely things we saw.

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Our knowledgeable tour guide explained Irish traditions, history (look up the word Boycott!), and folklore. Sturdy stone walls enclose patchworks of land, stretch for miles along roads, and really are anywhere barriers are needed; most have been around for centuries.  I also included a St. Patrick’s cross, some sheep, ruins, a patch of land with visible potato ridges from potato fields of long ago, and a “farm” or forest of non-native conifer trees used for industry.  The trip was blessed with sunny days, and the Irish landscapes were stunning!  PS: Contrary to the sentiments of my fellow travelers, I kind of enjoyed the scent of burning turf 🙂

World Watercolor Month 2018 – Week 4 Recap

Here are the prompts from the last week.  There are still a few days  left to paint along for World Watercolor Month if you’d like to join us!

Day 22-Under The Sea, Octopus

Day 22-Under The Sea, Octopus – Tutorial from a Walter Foster book

 

Day 23-Furry Creature, Yellowstone Bison

Day 23-Furry Creature, Yellowstone Bison

Day 24-Monochromatic Mood, from a YT demo by Small & Simple

Day 24-Monochromatic Mood, from a YT demo by Small & Simple

Day 25-Christmas in July

Day 25-Christmas in July, Poinsettia

Day 26-Splashing Around, Chain Catshark

Day 26-Splashing Around, Chain Catshark, another painting inspired by a photo taken by my friend Libby, who enjoys Shark Week with my dear daughter-in-law, Maura

Day 27-Clouds in the Sky

Day 27-Clouds in the Sky – created with a paper towel rolled lengthwise

Day 28-Nature Hike, Bee

Day 28-Nature Hike, Bee

Again, here’s a little more info on World Watercolor Month and the mission to help young artists through The Dreaming Zebra Foundation.   This is a charity providing support so that children and young adults are given an equal opportunity to explore and develop their creativity in the arts.

Have a great weekend! See you soon to recap the last few prompts!

World Watercolor Month 2018 – Week 3 Recap

This week’s prompts were a lot of fun.  Hope you enjoy this recap.

Day 15 - On The Beach, Mermaid's Purse

Day 15 – On The Beach, Mermaid’s Purse – This painting is about twice the size of the real thing, which is a dried skate egg case!  Read more about it here

Day 16-Casting Shadows

Day 16-Casting Shadows, Blueberries

Day 17-City Life, Pigeon

Day 17-City Life, Pigeon I know most folks don’t care for these birds, but I think their colors are dazzling, especially in the sunshine!

Day 18-In the Jungle, Poisonous Frog

Day 18-In the Jungle, Poisonous Frog – This one was seen at an aquarium we visited in North Carolina. It was no bigger than my thumb!

 

Day 19 - Rainy Days, Raindrops

Day 19-Rainy Days, Raindrops

Day 20-Wet and Dry, Umbrella

 

Day 21-Glorious Golds

Day 21-Glorious Golds – From a tutorial taught by Birgit O’Connor

Again, here’s a little more info on World Watercolor Month and the mission to help young artists through The Dreaming Zebra Foundation.   This is a charity providing support so that children and young adults are given an equal opportunity to explore and develop their creativity in the arts.

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great weekend!

 

World Watercolor Month 2018 – Day 15

I felt like this subject needed its own blog post because it is so unusual.  The prompt is On The Beach, so I painted this leathery, tendrilled curiosity.  We find them washed up on the beach almost every year while on vacation.

It is called a mermaid’s purse, which sounds much better than saying it is an empty egg case of a skate (a kind of ray/fish).  Some sharks also have similar-looking egg cases.  Eggs are laid in this small pouch made of collagen proteins that protect the developing embryo for up to 12 weeks. At that point, the skate will have grown into a fully developed and independent juvenile, ready to take on the ocean. The long tendrils at the corners anchor the cases onto vegetation on the ocean floor to keep it hidden and safe from predators.

Day 15 - On The Beach, Mermaid's Purse

Day 15 – On The Beach, Mermaid’s Purse 

To show more detail, this was painted about twice the size of the dried cases we find in North Carolina.  I hope you enjoyed this little synopsis of a fascinating beach novelty.

 

 

 

World Watercolor Month 2018 – Week 1 Recap

Creating 31 watercolors in 31 days seems a little daunting, but keeping up so far has been fun.  I’ll start here with Day 2 because Day 1 had it’s own post.

Day 2-Delicious Food

Day 2-Delicious Food

Day 3-Primary Colors

Day 3-Primary Colors

Day 4-Fourth of July Sparkler

Day 4-Fourth of July Sparkler

Day 5-Shades of Blue

Day 5-Shades of Blue

Day 6-Simple Things

Day 6-Simple Things

Day 7-Playing Games

Day 7-Playing Games

I post daily on Instagram, but in order not to flood email inboxes, a weekly recap seems to be the best option.   Also, because many of the daily prompt challenges are painted very simply, recapping a week at a time might be more pleasing to the eyes. 🙂  However, I’ll probably do singleton posts intermittently throughout the month, too.

Again, here’s a little more info on World Watercolor Month and the mission to help young artists through The Dreaming Zebra Foundation.   This is a charity providing support so that children and young adults are given an equal opportunity to explore and develop their creativity in the arts.

Have a great weekend!