Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy New Year!

Here's wishing all of you a very happy and fulfilling new year. Hope all of you are able to be creative in some way in 2009. It's not here yet but I'm ready for it.
Yesterday it was 75° so I christened the new garden shed studio. I tackled the bottle painting again, this time doing a detail rather than the whole set up. Let me know what you think. It's another beautiful day here today but colder. I may go sit in the sun and read. I could really get used to this time off.


Watercolor on Arches 300# paper
in the collection of DFD

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Longer days!

Hello and happy day after the Winter Solstice! I don't know about you, but even though winter has officially just begun, I'm already looking forward to longer days ahead. Something odd happened this year on the solstice...I woke up from the longest night of the year at 5:30 a.m.!!! This is very unusual for me and even more unusual, I got up and was productive for the 2 1/2 hours before I had to be at work. Usually, it's a mad 1/2 hour dash to get dressed and out the door. Don't know if it had anything to do with the solstice but when I mentioned it at work, several other people had similar experiences.
I'm happy to report that I spent last weekend painting. I did a small landscape for my mother for Christmas and started work on a still life of bottles for a friend. I did 3 versions of the bottles and ended up ready to give up painting all together. Glass is one of my most challenging subjects and I never seem happy with the results. I'll share these pictures with you after the holidays. I'm off next week so I plan to spend it painting. Wish me luck.
Meanwhile, I hope all of you who are celebrating this month have a wonderful time!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

my new garden shed studio

When I first moved into my house a few years ago, there was the beginning of a gazebo in the back corner of the garden. It had a wooden floor and four corner posts connected at the top on all four sides by 2x6 boards. Being the scrounge that I am, I had collected a few unusual windows over the years for just the right project. Then I found a French door and realized that I had what I needed to turn the gazebo into a shed. I hired a friend to help me and between us, we constructed a very usable structure. Of course, as soon as it was up and filled with garden gear, I began thinking it would be fun to make it into a studio. This fall I finally decided to make that happen. I got rid of any extraneous garden equipment, hung a lot of things on the wall and moved it all to one side which gave me room for a small table and a comfortable chair facing the large window. I have plans now to add electricity since, without heat it won't be very user friendly until spring. But at least it's a space. See the images below.

The real shed

My garden shed studio

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ginko follow-up

As I left home this morning for work, I noticed that the big Ginko tree I mention earlier was raining yellow leaves. I fully expect it to be bare by the time I get home this evening. Love that tree. Wish I had room for one in my yard.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Almost heaven...

Just got back from spending 3 glorious days in wild and wonderful West Virginia. Ate, drank, talked, laughed, hiked, painted, wrote in my journal, laughed some more. Even though it's a long drive, it's always one of the most relaxing vacations I can take. Thought I'd share the two little watercolors I made. The one of the shagbark hickory leaves was a first for me. I drew it in my journal in pen from life, then later used the drawing to create the painting. I usually paint directly from the subject. I was rather pleased with the outcome. Think I'll hang on to this one.

Shagbark Hickory Leaves

5x7 on Arches 300# paper

Maple Leaf

Acer rubrum
Arches 300# paper

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Leaves, squirrels and words, oh my!

Today the rain has brought down most of the leaves in my yard. The crepe myrtles are the last to go and they are almost bare. I'm keeping an eye on the ginko at the end of the block. Its leaves are all still attached but mostly yellow now. I'm anticipating the day that I look up and every single leaf is in a neat pile at the base of the tree. Ginkos are the most polite trees around.

The squirrels are busier than I've ever seen them. Or maybe I'm just more tuned in to them this year. There are several who call my garden home that I have named because of an identifying anomaly. There's Carmen who has a crooked tail. She started out being "Crooked Tail", then "CT" which made me think of an old friend named Carmen Teresa so the squirrel became "Carmen." There's another with a white tip on his tail so he's "Tipper," and a juvenile with a bald tail that looks like a rat, hence "Pettigrew" for the character in Harry Potter who's animal form was a rat. Sounds like I need to get a life. I recently named my "estate" (a small city lot) Squirrels' Leap. I read that James Madison said his home at Montpelier was a "squirrel's jump from heaven" and it's how I feel about my home, too.

I've been thinking that almost-a-painting-a-day is a misnomer for this blog. Then I thought I could try to "paint" with words even when I can't get the watercolors out. We'll see...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy November!

It really looks like autumn around town now. The crepe myrtles and dogwoods in my garden have turned a lovely red and the river birches are almost naked already. Didn't have as many trick or treaters Friday night as last year but still ran out of candy by about 7:30. Friday night football at the field near my house was in full swing so maybe that kept the teenage crowd busy. As promised, below are images of the cover and some of the pages from the nature journal I created at Flower Camp last weekend. I'm still working on a couple more. Enjoy!

Nature Journal 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

October's almost over...

Hi. I would love to think that someday I might be able to do more blogging about my painting but at the moment, I'm too busy living. Maybe when the weather changes and daylight savings time is a thing of the past for another year, I'll spend more time in front of my computer. I wish we could just stay on daylight savings time year 'round. Actually, I think it would be really great if we could have standard time in the morning, add an hour around lunch time that is "free", then have daylight savings time into the evening. More daylight all around and an "extra" hour in the middle of the day. Of course I guess that would mean we have to lose that hour while we were sleeping each night and I just read where there are more heart attacks after we switch in the spring than when we switch back in the fall. Okay, so there are still some bugs to work out but it's an interesting thought.

I just had 2 whole weeks off from work. My friend Jeanne B. visited from California for a week and it was wonderful to see her. We totally relaxed and just enjoyed each other's company. Did a little painting, took at trip to D.C. to see the George O'Keeffe show, and generally just goofed off. I hated to see her go.

Last weekend I spent 3 days at Flower Camp. If you don't know about it, Nancy Hugo (an amazing woman and a born naturalist) owns 50 acres in Buckingham Co. south of Richmond VA where she has turned a collection of delightful buildings into a retreat space where she offers workshops in flower arranging and nature journaling. I took the latter with instructor Rhonda Roebuck and had a ball! There were 12 of us in the class plus Rhonda and our wonderful chef for the weekend, Rosanne Shalf, and everyone of them was an exceptional person. I'm going to upload some pages from the journal I created as soon as I finish it so come back to check that out.

I'm also doing a PowerPoint presentation for the Master Naturalist course I'm taking on nature watercolorist Cathy Johnson. If you're at all interested in nature journaling, Rhonda and Cathy are 2 of the best. Check out their websites when you get a chance.
Meanwhile above are a few photos of Flower Camp.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

finally! something new...

For all of you who thought that I had taken the shuttle to Mars, I'm back! I was inspired recently to try my hand at colored pencils and with an exhibit coming up about my town, I found great subject matter to draw. I've not foresaken watercolor, but pencils have been great fun!

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Thanks to all my loyal friends for continuing to embarrass me into picking up a paintbrush again. I can only say that my other career has taken an incredible turn and needed all my attention. As a marketing/pr person, getting worldwide attention for a project is one of the highs of the business but it sure takes a lot of work.
That said, I actually painted this past weekend but didn't finish anything. It was pure pleasure though just to put brush to paper.
Meanwhile, I thought you might like to visit the site of my great friend, Jeanne Bauer:
Jeanne is an incredible artist and is one of those people who makes a success of everything she does. I hate that we live on opposite coasts now but she's always in my heart.
Enjoy the summer and keep encouraging me.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

March Madness

As you may have noticed, painting has not been high on my list lately. However, I plan to enter three of my works below in an art show in April so have put them "on hold" until May. If they don't sell at the show, I'll offer them again here.

I plan to take a vacation in May and will have my paints with me. I'll be somewhere new so I hope I'll be inspired. Watch this space...

Happy Spring!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I can't believe I've been so bad about keeping up with this blog. Sometimes other things happen. January turned out to be a very sad month--many deaths--and I just haven't been in the mood to paint or write or do anything but what I had to. The crocus are blooming (sometimes with ice on them) and the daffodils are up so I know spring is on the way. I hope you all saw the lunar eclipse last night. It was incredible from my back porch. It had been cloudy all day so I had little hope for a viewing but it was clear, and very cold and beautiful at 10 p.m. I can surely understand why the ancients would have been worried to see something like that. Even now, knowing what causes it, it's pretty eerie.
Hope you have a good rest-of-the winter and I'll do my best to post some new paintings soon.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Granny Smith

Watercolor on Arches 300# paper
First I'd like to thank my friends for keeping tabs on my blog and fussing at me when I don't put up new work fast enough. So, even though I have lots of excuses for not painting, I won't bore you with any of them and instead hope you like the new painting. Happy New Year!!!