Happy World Watercolor Month 2017!

Our buddy Charlie over at Doodlewash created World Watercolor Month last year, and it is a monthlong celebration of all things watercolor! Doodlewash has a terrific community of watercolorists of every skill level – from novice to expert – and from all parts of the world.  We plan to play along all month by painting a little something each day, sharing our works, and “meeting” new folks. To celebrate I am taking an online class called Fresh Florals taught by Sandy Allnock over at art-classes.com.  In this class we will be painting loose, impressionistic flowers.  I painted these whimsical trilliums by following along.


I then painted this one with a little more realism but not too much detail. My gosh, it is so hard to refrain from fiddling with it! 



Wishing you all a fabulous, creative July!

Seagull Studies

In the process of digitizing our photo albums, I came across this somewhat creepy but interesting seagull photo.  I took this picture in 1981 on an overcast Florida beach with my trusty Kodak 110 Instamatic camera.  Amazingly the photo turned out, although grainy by today’s standards.


I painted the main bird three different ways and brightened up the backgrounds, and although none is particularly outstanding I like aspects of each.

Seagull 1

Seagull 1

I liked Seagull 1 well enough but wanted the painting to be looser.

Seagull 2

Seagull 2 was a bit looser, especially the background, and I introduced some purple for interest.

Seagull 3

Seagull 3

While painting Seagull 3 I brought the purple to the forefront.  I planned to paint a couple more studies but became a little bored with the subject, so I will revisit it another day.

Could adding another color improve the painting?  If so, which color(s) would you suggest?


Beach Painting = Learning Curves

Our family recently visited a favorite beach for a week. With watercolor gear in tow, I had grand plans of finding multitudes of inspiration and painting en plein air.

Painting at the Beach

Painting a Shell at the Beach

As you can see, I had a great setup on the porch of the beach house with plenty of shade – and wind – which is not so conducive to watercolor painting.  It’s difficult to work wet-in-wet when the wet dries in under a minute from the lovely beach breeze!  I am in no way complaining about beach breezes, though, because they make the beach habitable on a hot day.  The second issue was that my glasses, which darken from the sun, got so dark that it was difficult to distinguish the appropriate colors.  I managed to create a few things outside, but mostly I drew outside and painted inside when time permitted.

More Shells

More Shells

These are the only true en plein air watercolors from this trip, but many more paintings were done in a Moleskine travel sketchbook. Maybe these will be shared at a later date; I really want to use up that sketchbook and get on with making my own with paper that I enjoy using.  Now to find those book-making instructions from Jill . . .  Have a great week!





Cards for the Kiddos

I finally have another full box of cards to send to Send A Smile 4 Kids, an organization dedicated to collecting and distributing handmade cards to children who are inpatient at Children’s Hospitals. They accept handmade kids’ cards for holidays, birthdays, and everyday cheer.  You might have seen the Sesame Street cards previously on my blog, but they go over so well with the little kids that I made more.

I try to find card patterns that are gender neutral, thereby being more useful to the organization, and this time I made some for older kids too.

I hope they fulfill the goal of making a child smile even while sick in the hospital.  Have a great weekend!

Time Flies

My goodness, what happened to the last four weeks? Time has flown so quickly it is ridiculous!  During this time I was on vacation for a week, but the three weeks afterward have thrown me for a loop with much busyness of life.  It has left me precious little time to create, but when I’ve had a moment to do so I’ve had way too many ideas in my head, felt unorganized, and got nothing accomplished – this makes me cranky.  Thankfully this week things have slowed down, and I’ve had a chance to organize my thoughts, semi-organize my work space, and post on the blog.



While organizing I found this cute little fellow that I painted a while ago but never shared, mostly because I thought the hay looked more like spaghetti noodles than hay.  Who’s to say that giraffes don’t enjoy spaghetti? Happy Wednesday!

Draw A Bird Day, June 2017

Wow, did May “fly” by as quickly for you as it did for me? I have a love/hate relationship with months when that happens. I love that it happens because it usually means I was quite busy doing worthwhile things, but I hate that in what seems like a blink the month is gone. Indeed we were busy last month with a family vacation, which I thoroughly loved, but in that blink of preparation I did not get to create much or blog. It’s okay – It was totally worth it and I am sure to make up for it. (I did get a lot of painting inspiration on the trip.)

For this month’s Draw A Bird Day I offer this meadowlark, inspired by a photo taken by my ever-talented brother-in-law, Rob. I changed up the scenery a little but hopefully captured the essence of the bird he photographed. 

Thanks, Rob, for inspiring me with your skillful photos!