The wall above and to the right of this old iron door behind an ancient church in Slovakia is, astonishingly, covered with Van Gogh "murals." Here's the Google Street View link to it. Go see it!
Monday, December 17, 2012
While Christmas shopping, I came across this little brass bird. Its big feet made me smile so I bought it for me and painted it as a Christmas card for my daughter's new in-laws. Yes, she got married this summer! Like her mother before her, the planning and the stress of a big wedding got to be too much so they put together a wedding in a very hectic week's time, on a beach in Oregon, with the groom's parents and sister, my parents and I in attendance. It was a perfect, fairy tale wedding.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
To paraphrase Forrest Gump, watercolor is like a box of chocolates--you never know what you're going to get. I think that's why I love it so much. Today, I coated a previously gessoed MDF board with Daniel Smith watercolor ground to see what would happen. It was an interesting experiment but wasn't appealing to me that much until I was nearly finished and gave it a squirt of water here and there. Holy moly! It was just what the painting needed as the water lifted off paint and gave the stream some bubbly action.
Monday, November 26, 2012
While the weather is cooperating, I'm investigating the paths and ponds around my neighborhood. I'm trying to talk myself into painting a series of this small waterfall scene throughout the coming seasons. That's the plan, but knowing me I will chuck that idea when the temperature drops even another 5 degrees. So we'll see...
Monday, November 19, 2012
Bright enough for ya? :) I can see my new Chinese watercolors will need some taming, but for today I enjoyed putting the pure color down to catch the blazing red and orange leaves on the tree reflected in the pond near my house.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Meet my little friend, Putz, who is entertaining me while his mom and dad are on vacation in Hawaii, lucky dogs. err... In addition to spending time with him this week, I have been playing with my new toys, Chinese ink and Chinese watercolors. From what I have read, Chinese watercolors are a cross between watercolors and gouache, only not as opaque as regular gouache. They seem to granulate more than traditional watercolors, an effect I really enjoy, and the ink was great fun to try to capture Putz' markings.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Another month, another country, and this month we're off to New Brunswick, Canada. Normally, I spend a lot of time, too much really, looking around for the "best" spot to paint. But I discovered this harbor scene right off the bat and was instantly drawn to the smokestacks. I know, weird, but I enjoyed the challenge.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Sunday, October 14, 2012
I love traveling all around the world virtually, but something fundamentally doesn't work with that approach, and that is to be able to see all the color bouncing around a scene, as is visible when painting plein air. Intellectually, I know it's there and sometimes I can fake it, but nothing compares to the real deal. Yesterday, I placed a decorative gourd on my work table and my eyes were dazzled by all the color. (Maybe a little too dazzled, but better too much than too little). So, here's my little gourd, warts and all.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
What could be better than hanging out in a cantaloupe colored boat on a sunny day? Well, actually untying the line and heading out to fish maybe. This was my first time painting on Saunders Waterford 200# paper and I'm very happy with the way it handled. I saturated it with water and stuck it on a plexiglass backing, where it stayed wet for hours while I added paint and lifted color. And no buckling! You could say this paper really floated my boat. :)
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
The first of every month is like Christmas, thanks to the Virtual Paintout. It's always fun to see the new location and learn a little about the country. This month we're off to Denmark, a spectacularly beautiful place. I spotted this fellow walking through the woods. He looked a little lonely, so I gave him a dog.
Friday, August 24, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
For a change of pace, and because the subject matter seemed to call for it, I painted this scene from Tasmania in acrylic. I was drawn to the clear water in the foreground which allows the viewer to see the rocks on its sandy bottom. Really loved painting with this forgiving medium.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Years ago, the local newspaper art critic slammed the artists of the Hawaii Watercolor Society, saying we painted "pretty" pictures, particularly flowers. Ugh! The fact is, we DID paint pretty flower pictures, in retrospect truly excellent paintings, but I took her point to heart and began painting fewer flower paintings and attempted more "meaningful" paintings. I regret that now. Hawaii's flowers are glorious and I wish I had painted a boatload of them. Now I will attempt to make up for lost time and enjoy painting mainland flowers.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
My daughter is getting married next year and has asked me to paint a small watercolor for each of her invited guests. I'm pleased to do it since she lives many thousands of miles away so helping her with most of her other wedding preparations will be pretty difficult. I painted this little watercolor today to warm up and start getting some ideas flowing between us for what she's looking for in her little paintings.
Monday, July 2, 2012
The light and the happy expression on the face of the motorcycle passenger drew me to this scene from Thailand for this month's Virtual Paintout. I challenged myself to stick to a limited palette of cad yellow light, bright violet, manganese and ultramarine blue. I did dip into a red a tiny bit for the helmet but for the most part stuck to the challenge. This was a fairly big deal for me as I tend to dip into every color on my palette as I go. I enjoyed this process and think that it quiets the painting and adds harmony.
Monday, June 25, 2012
My brother gave me several plants recently, among them this ruby and white fuschia. A few days later, I saw a fledgling crow on my patio, perched on my favorite chair. I watched him for several minutes as he hopped over and checked out some flowers on the table which were waiting for me to plant. His mother, I assume, was cawing at him to get the heck out of there and he eventually listened to her and made a slightly awkward takeoff to join her. Later, I found a feather he had left behind. I carved the feather and cut a short slice in the center to use as a quill pen. It worked, sort of, and this little painting is the result.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Inspired by Nita Engle's wonderful book "How to Make a Painting Paint Itself," I spattered and slung paint and water for this scene from Latvia on illustration board. It was an interesting experiment but I didn't love the board which seemed to absorb and melt the paint, making it sort of fuzzy looking. All in all, it was ok but I'll be going back to my old standby Lanaquarelle for the next one.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Monday, June 4, 2012
Friday, June 1, 2012
My sister-in-law's birthday (today) falls just at the time my peonies begin to bloom. I painted this as a card for her and was swooning with the fragrance of the flowers all afternoon. I don't know if peonies are her favorite flower, but they are one of mine!
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Even when our children are grown, it's fun to see them enjoying new milestones in their lives. My daughter and her fiance have a spot in a communal garden this summer and these radishes are the first of the coming bounty. Being a Hawaiian girl and from the city, she had never experienced gardening. Pretty exciting stuff!
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Sunday, February 12, 2012
I worked for many hours today on an elaborate marina scene, only to end up with an overworked painting. Feeling a little discouraged, I went back to a villa I had seen near the marina and sketched it. It was the most fun I'd had all day. Lesson for the day--sometimes it's better to just keep it simple.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
2012 began with heartbreak for me. My little sidekick (kitty), Mimi, finally succumbed to old age. She started out her life with a hoarder who had caged her with at least 100 other cats and numerous dogs. She was thought to be about eight when she was rescued by the Hawaii Humane Society and had probably been caged most if not all of that time. Her muscles had atrophied to the point that she was unable to walk completely upright--she sort of listed to the side. One eye was ulcerated and had to later be surgically removed. Her hearing was minimal and she had a virus common to cats living in crowded conditions. At least half of the other rescued kitties had to be put to sleep because of the severity of their injuries and illnesses. When she came to live with me, I had just gone through a painful divorce and was trying to find my way in a new and stressful life. The short story is, we healed each other. She was an inspiration to me, watching her overcome her disabilities and early trauma, and thrive. On January 4, I held her as a veterinarian from Compassionate Care put her to sleep in her favorite warm spot in "her" bedroom. Yesterday, her cremated ashes were waiting in a small box on the front step for me. My heart rejoiced to see she was home again but still it was difficult opening the box. But opening it, I found a tiny, colorful tin and my sorrow lifted.