Friday, December 31, 2010

Colorful 2011

May your New Year be filled with color and creativity! Happy safe and enjoy...Thanks to everyone for following my blog, leaving me comments and emailing me your thoughts!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Go figure

I'm looking forward to a new figure session to start in 2011...I want to paint bigger and more detailed, really get comfortable with the measuring and proportions...I think patience will have to factor in to that!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Critter Christmas

Feliz Navidad Feliz Navidad....
"Iguana" wish you a Merry Christmas, from the bottom of my heart!
This was my holiday card image this's that for a different critter! Enjoy.. and I might be posting a bit haphazardly during the next week...Thanks to all my followers and subscribers, all your comments and words of encouragement throughout this past year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Out and about

This guy is stepping out for the I'm sure many of you are doing to get some shopping or other errands done! Don't forget to spend some quiet time sketching or painting or simply writing down your thoughts or wishes for 2011...whether artistically or anything else!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Say what?

Oh...crow up! Puffed out chest and something to say...well you better listen! I'm glad there isn't a rooster living next door ready to wake me up with his morning song! I guess I'd get used to it...maybe, eventually... I know I'd probably make him my muse and paint him all the time!

Monday, December 20, 2010

From the coop

Captured this colorful bird stepping out from the coop..pausing in mid step to see what might be waiting for it outside...well that was me with my camera! This was done on a scrap of 90 lb. watercolor paper and boy does that forget how good materials make painting a bit easier than when you struggle with your supplies.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Winter birches

This is the scene all around me now...snow, snow and more snow. It's pretty, but shoveling is not pretty! Maybe I'll just try to paint it instead! The snow is sticking to all the trees and the birds look so nice perched on the branches..but try as I might it's hard to capture those chickadees with my camera before they scurry off!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fancy Bird

It's a staredown contest...this guy is giving you the inquisitive eyeball! I'm getting my summer pictures ready for the long winter here in Vermont...I have a bunch of new rooster and chicken images that I'll try to tackle soon. I think the key to the rooster paintings is to keep the colors clean...I also apply that to my floral work.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wake up

Wake up everyone! This guy has something to's like he's singing an aria from the opera...but maybe the ladies are the only ones who can sing arias...I like the white highlighted feathers...I try to randomly scratch them back with a knife, while the paint is damp. This is a tricky touch...because if you do it too early the paint just pools back...too late and you won't get the crisp highlight.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pink peony

I'd like to thank everyone for their comments and emailed notes! It's always nice to hear from you all...This little pink peony was done this summer when the peonies were all blooming two weeks early! Everything was two weeks early..except the snow, which finally arrived, then got washed away yesterday and then fell again last night and hopefully will stick around!

Monday, December 13, 2010

more than one

Multiple figures dancing across the's hard to overlap the figures..I tend to want to give each drawing it's own space. After several years of going to the figure's getting a little easier, but the proportions still remain tough to master!

Friday, December 10, 2010

bare scene

This was painted with a limited palette...I guess it was limited, because the landscape was lacking in colors... the only pop of purer color is in the sky. It looks like fall/early winter, but was actually early spring...I'm going to try for some more winter scenes this year...or at least take photographs to work from...water in freezing temperatures doesn't do so well...and neither do plein air work will have to be done inside!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

greens and reds

"tis the paint with green and red...and some brown...and some orange...okay maybe some teal, a little get the drift...'tis the season for just about anything! Another one of my abstract ventures. This is on a full sheet of paper 22"x30"...that's part of the fun..letting loose and using big brushes! Give it a try.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


To continue on the "unfinished"'s one from this summer...but never saw the stamp of "done" approval...there's hope still. Didn't find as many blooming hollyhocks to photograph this year...bummer...I hear they self sow like crazy once they are established.

Monday, December 6, 2010

organic abstract

I finally got around to photographing some work in the studio...phew! So this week will feature some of those. I've been into "playing" with my palette...just coming up with some organic, abstract shapes...just using the paint and splooshing it around...yup that's a technical term...splooshing!

Friday, December 3, 2010

go figure

Another study done during the figure session...but before the model got I sketched the facilitator. I also put some new supplies is my art bag to take to the sessions... watersoluble graphite, charcoal pencils, carpenter's pencil and a big sharpie marker. They all react differently to the watercolors and ofcourse make completely different marks!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

brew ha ha

A quick sketch of what was in front of me last summer...a local beer and a snack of cheese and crackers. You always turn somewhat into a side show for people around you wanting to check out what you are doing... Performance art!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


When the pose of the model is less than start to look around at fellow artists and decide they might make a good subject! That was the case here. I really like his beard shadow, just some straight graphite lines.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stalled work

Unfinished paintings...we all have some of these hanging around. I don't know how interest wanes in one painting vs. another..but this one just never saw's still in the studio and maybe, just maybe I'll unearth it and with renewed vigor send this one over the finish line!

Monday, November 29, 2010


As I write this I realize it's been a while since I've sketched in any of my journals...well the New Year is around the corner (unbelievable!) and I can make a resolution to amp it up a bit on the daily sketching/painting front! Hope you all had a great week...thanks for the continued comments!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Workshops 2011

Here's "Big Tom" a turkey I had the privilege of photographing this summer...I don't know his fate for next week, but I've immortalized him in pigment and sent a card to my mailing list wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving....I'm taking next week off from you all enjoy your holiday...I've posted my 2011's the link...I'll post more as they become available...The link is also on the sidebar of my blog.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Winter Birds

I just made some "Winter Birds" card sets that contain 2 each of these 4 images for a total of 8 cards for $21.95 plus $3.05 S/H...I've put a buy it now button at the end of this let me know if you'd like a pack of these cards just in time for the Holidays! They are 5"x7" blank cards with a photographic image of my paintings on the front, packaged in a clear plastic box.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cherry time

Who knew there were tons and tons of cherry trees around Flathead Lake in Montana? Well I didn't and I was so surprised...we were there a bit early for the harvest...but the red clusters in the trees were just gorgeous. Funny enough the ones I sketched were cherries bought from a farm stand harvested in Washington State!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

rain fuzz

Day two it was here is the same view, but somewhat like a photo that's out of it to yesterday's post. I did this with a watersoluble pen and washed some plain water over the drawing at the end for that fuzzy effect.

Monday, November 15, 2010

pens, pens

I love pens and markers...but my current favorite is the Faber sketch pen..they come in black, grey, sepia and sanguine...display after display of pens is just an invitation to stick around the store and test them all! This was Coeur d'Alene lake in Idaho.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

color swatches

Whenever I need to fill a journal page and inspiration is lacking...I put squares or whatever shapes of colors that appear in the surrounding area. Here is my color palette of the Columbia River Valley along the Oregon/Washington State border...done in the car, but not while driving :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Here are some fall trees in full color I did a while ago...the shadows under the trees are a bit stiff and could have been more lively. It was an exercise in seeing the forest through the trees...or however that saying goes!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

multi view

This is from my sketchbook...a multi image of a friend's german shepherd...actually the dog thought he was a retriever...could not get enough of you throwing pine cones for him to run and get! I try these multi views either with the figure or whatever else, but find it's hard to superimpose one over the other...there are some artists out there who do this beautifully!

Monday, November 8, 2010

draw with color

I thought I'd take you back to a couple posts ago when I was talking about drawing with your brush and colors instead of with a pencil. This was from Mel's workshop and was my underdrawing. Here you can see that you vary the colors of your lines and aim to have them show through in the finished work. Different, but fun to try.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cabin fever

One more Montana post today...This was the house our friends rented..the little cabin from a couple posts ago is another building on the property where we stayed...all snug, in amongst the trees. I buy multi-media sketchbooks, but sometimes cover the outside with handmade papers or a map of the area etc.. It makes the journal less generic and more personal.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I guess I'm on a sketchbook kick...this was of the same Montana trip of a campfire looking at Flathead Lake. Now that Lake is cold...hence I did not go in it except for a few toes! I rather enjoyed painting it and looking at it. It's time to revive my kitchen journal and start some ambitious paintings in the studio...stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Leaves are falling

Yahoo...the political ads are over! A sense of calm will descend over the airwaves again...well until the news channels start picking apart every winning candidate again...this tree sketch from the summer gives a peaceful feeling. The leaves are almost all off the trees here and the raking begins!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Iris, too

Another quick iris sketch from the beginning of summer. Putting the garden to bed is always so bittersweet. But the leaves are falling and the ground is getting it's time. Time to develop pictures I took this summer when everything was blooming for winter studio inspiration!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cabin by the lake

You must be full of Halloween candy by now and buzzing around the world wide web! Trick or treat.. this little cabin was by Flathead Lake in Montana..gave me a chance to get out the brown pigments on my palette! It was presketched using a sepia colored Faber felt tipped pen.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Iris sketch

A glimpse back at summer...this was done in my sketchbook and iris remain one of my favorite flowers. They are tricky to paint, because of their tissue like petals and can quickly become too heavy and opaque. A light hand is the way to go here....oh and keeping the golden hearts clean is a must! Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Monastery view

Back to the workshop...I always have trouble remembering the tall purple flowers' name in the foreground. You see them everywhere in Europe in the summer. I think their name starts with an S...oh well...the painting was one I wanted to do for quite some time and had a challenge with the tall dark trunks of the palm trees.. it's important to vary the colors for interest...I think I've said that before...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

painting within a painting

I'll give you a break from the workshop paintings and post something from one of my's a painting within a painting..I sketched my watercolor set that was on the tray on the plane and you can see the set painted in my sketchbook on the bottom right, but it's all one sketch...hmmm kind of like a dream within a dream.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Direct from the farm

The workshop week continues...another one painted from one of Mel's photos. I need to travel to some exotic places to take pictures for subject matter! I guess that would make a good excuse! All the usual suspects when it comes to colors, prussian, ultramarine, cad red for skin tones, raw sienna and alizarin added to make the violets.

Monday, October 25, 2010

More lines

This was another painting done in the line style of painting the "drawing" with your brush first. Here you can see the contrasting colors shining through the washes. I pushed this work to the more illustrative direction..especially those clouds! But all in all I like the reflections and figured hey, in for a penny in for a pound...the paper was already paid for!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Line painting

Yet another from the workshop...this again was from my pile of pictures I brought along...It was a really wet and loose attempt at the scene. Mel had demonstrated his technique of drawing with your brush first, not with a pencil. You also vary the colors of the "underdrawing".. I lost most of those during the process.. they should be visible in the end...Below is Mel's painting...he also talks about this in his first book...Watercolor: Simple, Fast and 28 I think.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Another workshop piece. I had brought along a bunch of photographs from a trip several years ago. It's always good to bring along some pictures to a never know if you'll be rained out (like we were 4 out of the 5 days) and have to paint inside or if you just want to paint something different.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

drawing to paint

I had great fun with this was from a photo Mel provided and I decided to give it a go. The lesson learned from this piece is that a drawing that works and is in proportion is really the foundation of a good painting....drawing...the "secret" to painting..who knew?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Re-evaluate value

I'll let you evaluate my value study...does it add value to the overall experience? How valuable is it? Light to dark values make you value your approach to the painting..knock, knock..who's there? Orange... Orange who? Orange you glad I didn't say value! all kidding aside...I do realize the importance and it does slow me down and makes me look at the scene before diving in with random color selections.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I think I'm going to switch my subject matter to abstracts! I've gotten so many comments and emails about my last post...wowie zowie. Thanks everyone! So to completely flip the's a typical Vermont scene I did during the Mel workshop. Tomorrow I'll post the value study I did prior to painting. Yes there is "value" to doing a value study..I'm a

Friday, October 15, 2010

"Below the Surface"

Now here's something waaaaaayyyyyy different for me...a little abstraction. Hmmm how do I feel about this? Well, let me know what you think... I do know that I had a great time painting's so un-restrained and it's kind of nice to paint something that doesn't have to look like something for a change! This piece is in a VT Watercolor Society group show at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe. The opening reception is tonight, but I can not attend unfortunately...