Thursday, December 24, 2009


Again, I've been gone for a while. But I can't let Christmas pass without posting my favorite song, now, can I?
Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Home Again

Back home tonight after a full day of travel. I'm glad to be home, but on the other hand, I could have stayed on the beach for a little while longer... yes, I sure could have stayed.
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Saturday, November 14, 2009


The Gulf of Mexico. The water into which I dropped my cell phone yesterday.

Electronics do not mix with salt water.

Blogging from Panera in Panama City Beach - no internet at the hotel. See you guys later!
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

On The Road

Florida bound! We just checked into our hotel in Georgia -- I'm so excited, I'm not sure I'll sleep at all tonight...
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Carrot Tops

Doodles of carrots in the "junk book," which I remembered to quickly check this time to be sure that no inappropriate language showed up. (sorry about that earlier ... I don't even see the words as words -- they're just background stuff to me here.)

I did these with a brush pen set and a couple of colored pencils. Not sure what I think about the brush pens -- they're okay for something like this but if there's any detail at all I imagine they would be kind of tough.

The carrots ended up in soup. I included the tops in the stock as it simmered and they added a surprisingly pungent and peppery taste that I WILL go for again!
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Monday, November 09, 2009

Someplace Else

From a photo of somebody else's vacation. I would like to go out to the desert in the American west and paint these red rocks from life. But for now, I have to figure out the next best step. I need to life the dark green up a bit on the hill on the right -- it looks like I cut it out from construction paper. Other than that ... where to go next? Part of me wants to finish up in ink ... colored pencil ... pastel ... gouache ... or just leave it alone and move on to the next thing? What do you guys think?
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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Shadow Shot Downtown

After spending the morning painting and then shopping for veggies at the Farmer's Market in Market Square, isn't it nice to find a place to stop and sit and rest your feet? Perhaps having a wonderful cappuccino ... maybe a panini sandwich on fresh bread ... or just a bottle of water with a friend.*

Visit Hey Harriet! for more of this week's shadow shots.

*Next time, Zelma! Next time we'll actually stop and sit down! :-)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Farmers Market

It was such a beautiful morning this morning that Zelma and I skipped out of the last hour and a half of watercolor to go to the Farmers' Market downtown on Market Square.

Yep. I would call this a perfect Saturday. Now if I just had some of Marta's empanadas...

Expect sketches later on - I'm off to work on the scanner now!

Friday, November 06, 2009


Life has come before art lately, so I was really happy today to have been able to actually SCHEDULE myself a solid hour this evening to work on a good sized watercolor that is very close to being done.

Of course, the very first thing that I had to do was move a few little things off of the drawing table, which has been used more for storage than art lately. The music was playing, the brushes were set up, the painting had been moved close ... very close ... and then ... and then ... sigh. And then I dropped two very big, soft, luscious pastels onto the hardwood floor.

Have you ever seen a glass EXPLODE when dropped onto a hard tile floor? Let me tell you -- lovely big, soft, luscious pastel dropped onto hardwood gives much the same effect, except with brilliantly colored dust rather than glass. Because they exploded so very close to all my watercolor supplies -- oh, no, let me clarify -- they exploded in the area BETWEEN me and my watercolor. It isn't like I could move the painting and then clean up -- oh NO -- I had to gently clean up in order to get to the painting, all the while fretting that turquoise and pink pastel, lovely and luscious that they may be, had gotten onto the gold and orange sections of my painting and ruined a fair amount of work.

And that took well over an hour to do. Sooo... no art tonight.

After that my sister and our friend Marcia came and made me go shopping with them, brutally forcing me to spend at least an hour trying on shoes. Oh the agony.
(hee hee hee)
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Thursday, November 05, 2009

THAT blue

It has been one of those weeks here, full of ups and downs. Eventful. A full moon kind of thing.

But in the end, the sky really WAS that blue today. In Tennessee of all places.

We went downtown for lunch on Market Square (Soccer Taco -- it was surprisingly good!) and then ended up at Coolato's for WONDERFUL gelato. I had Sicilian Blood Orange Gelato. Is that even legal?

There I noticed these coffee cups on the counter -- and am thinking about turning this one into a series of paintings. What do you guys think?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

To A New Home

How nice to come home from work and see, on the counter mixed in with the junk mail and bills, an envelope that contains a check and a happy note from a gallery owner telling you that you sold a painting. Okay. Pretty nice. In fact, it trumped whatever else I was going to blog about tonight!

Miss Vanilla Cupcake -- I never took her picture after she was completely finished -- this is her in her penultimate* phase. In the end, she was warmed up and cropped down for framing and compositional purposes (see below). She was a sweet cow.
Warm thanks to the folks who decided to give her a good home!

(This is actually closer to the final crop. The silo was a distraction.)

*I had to throw in a word for all you NaNoWriMo people out there when may be running short on inspiration. PENULTIMATE. Use that one in a sentence and see where it takes you...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Blind Contour Friday

Blind Contour Friday, hosted by the tres talented Diahn.
Well, except that today is Tuesday.
And only a few of these are blind. (The others just kind of look that way.)

Hmmm... what else?
I made soup tonight.

That's all I've got.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Deserted Cafe

I used to just love the looks of this little cafe. When I passed it today, I stopped to photograph it for another project and saw that the door was partway open. There was enough light streaming in to see a little of the inside, and it looked a total wreck. I didn't get too close to the door! It just felt creepy.

I painted this last year
when it was still open, when it was colorful and lively and smelled like frying bacon and fresh coffee -- and now I'm very glad I did!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

NaBloPoMo 2009

It's November again -- already. And you guys know that means it's time for NaBloPoMo for those of us unwilling (or unable) to spend thirty days trying to write a novel*.

I'm planning on doing a bit of a blog re-do (some of those labels over there are pretty stale) and really need to blow the dust off the header this week. I'm also planning on doing some art this month. I'm going to be taking Kate Johnson's new on-line course this November, and am also working on a couple of paintings that may or may not be fit for public viewing -- we'll have to see how they turn out.

Of course, today, instead of painting I decided to spend a little time making homemade pesto. To make it extra creative, I took photos. Just for you guys.

You're welcome.

Happy November!

*By the way, for those of you who ARE doing NaNoWriMo -- here's some handy links:
Strunk's wonderful book The Elements of Style
and, of course, a Thesaurus, for those occasions when you realize you've used the same adjective six times in two paragraphs.
For those busy late nights when you need to stretch things out to make your word count reach that magic number that lets you shut down and finally drag your sorry ass to bed:
LyricsCafe -- you can squeeze a few hundred words from a good song, and
Every Poet if you would rather resort to classic poetry references to burn up some verbiage.

Again, you're welcome.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Blind Contour Friday

Diahn has re-awakened Blind Contour Fridays over at her place, and I couldn't resist. For the uninitiated, blind contour drawing is an exercise, and the results are rather, um, not pretty. These drawings are done by looking at the object being drawn, NEVER PEEKING at the paper, and, if at all possible, not lifting the pen from the page. They are done as a way of training the eye and hand to work together. Mine are numbered, and I could really tell that #5 felt better than #1!

I did mine in my junk sketch book. Hmmm. I guess I should explain about my junk sketch book, huh?! I was at McKay's (used books) one day a couple of months ago, and as I was leaving I glanced into the reject bin, where they put out books that people have left behind when they didn't meet the criteria for buy back. Free for the taking, these books are thrown out every evening, I guess ... essentially they are destined for the trash. One of my other errands that day was to run pick up some book board for a sketchbook I was binding -- and you surely see where I'm going here... Of course! There in the bin was a trove of perfectly good book board, in pairs that were already cut in handy matching sizes ... I grabbed two books, threw them into the front seat of the car, and finished up my day. I forgot to take the books in, and a few days later needed to make a quick note, so I just picked up one of the books and scribbled in it. Not bad paper. That's when I got the idea to make one of the books my "junk sketchbook" -- the sketchbook that is in no way "precious, precious "and was just for practice and drawing exercises. Recycling, don't you know...

And here's a little something for any of you who need to see a drawing that makes sense. Why did I choose this to paint? I don't know. I live nowhere near a lighthouse. I don't collect lighthouse stuff. In fact, I've never seen this lighthouse at all (other than in a photograph that somebody had) and have no idea where it is. I have no meaningful lighthouse history. I guess lighthouses ARE kind of cool, and it would be neat to drive around and look at them. I live in a light colored house that has lights in it, but that's not the same thing. Really, I just like things silhouetted against the sky, and I really like to occasionally use my red paint. That's it, people ... nothing more than that.

Okay, when you look at them, they ARE cool.
And this was fun.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Fall has fallen
right into our laps this weekend
with cold and rain and wind.
Oh yeah...

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Totally Just Goofing Around

The prodigal pear
...leaving the "pearants" behind...

Hope you all have had a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Shadow Shot Days Ago

I'm glad I got out last Sunday afternoon and did some shadow shooting, because we "ain't seen the sunshine since I don't know when.* "

Want to see more sunshine and cheery shadows? (With all this rain I sure do!) Go visit Hey Harriet! and see what other Sunday Shadow Shooters have found. And if you like to play with a camera, why not join in? Come on. You know you want to.

*Okay, well, actually since sometime mid-afternoon on Monday, but that isn't near as musical or poetic.

Friday, September 18, 2009


A little sketchie of a farm in the Midwest done on a small piece of illustration board.* This worked nicely to hold in my lap or on the sketchbook and took layers of paint and ink and pencil and whatever I threw at it pretty well, as long as there wasn't too much wetness all at once. I like the idea of using the illustration board to supplement the paper in the sketchbook, and just know that it would "travel well."

And now I'm fighting my old computer, which is hooked up to my wonderful scanner. At one time neither the scanner nor the favorite printer would work with Vista (when Vista first came out), so I've kept them attached to the poor tired old computer which runs XP. What will I do when it dies, as it seems determined to do before the year is out??? I guess I'll be spending hours researching whether or not they've come up with Vista compatible drivers for my favorite peripherals! Do the rest of you also have to think hard to remember if all this technology really makes life easier or not?

Anyway -- I got this one scanned, and then the connection died again. Not the best in the lot, but the computer is flickering now, so I'm posting this anyway since it may be a while before I get the scanner working again. Sigh. More to come later. Hopefully. Meanwhile, I promise ... I'm still painting and sketching!

*Several experiments on larger pieces of the board were total flops -- I paint way too wet!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Shadow Shot Together

At the end of summer. How many more days at the lake?
See MORE shadow shots over at Hey Harriet!

Friday, September 11, 2009

9 11

I remember.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Shadow Shot Mushrooms and Mosses

Hey! It is Shadow Shot Sunday again already.

Mushrooms and mosses and lichens in the woods in Ontario. Visit the other Shadow Shooters at Hey, Harriet! and see what they've been up to.

*Note -- yep, in the "self portrait" shadow I'm still wearing the life jacket, even though we're in the woods. We'd just pulled the boat up to the shore, and I didn't walk far in, and the life jacket just stayed on. I felt like I was crushing the growth underfoot, and couldn't imagine how long it had taken for those tiny plants to grow that thick and deep.
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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Shade of Grey Day

A snippet from my travel sketchbook* of a grey day on vacation. I "broke the rules" and painted almost entirely with BLACK gouache. In the one square on the page I finished up with a few swipes of color.

Why have black and grey pigments gotten such a bad rap? Okay, so I see where people could (and do) over use them and end up with flat blah paintings ... but here and there ought to be okay. And, hey. Sometimes the world IS flat and blah and grey. Except for one red fishing boat. Yeah. You know what I'm talking about.

(Here's the other 3/4 of the page. Undecipherable, unless you know in advance that it is of a foggy, rainy, grey day on a lake... )

* my travel sketchbook is handmade from #140 hot press watercolor paper in a horizontal landscape format. We had to do all we could to avoid excess weight on this trip -- a good idea for any trip, actually -- so I chose to leave it unfinished with plans to do the covers after we returned home. I tried a new binding (to me) and feel like there are some technical issues with the construction of the book; therefore, I'm putting the covers on hold until I can talk to my friend, Bob Meadows (Book-Binding-Bob!) for HELP. I also have much more tweaking of hasty sketches before it is ready to be called done. And, of course, there will be some watercolor work from photos, as I sit at my table in the heat and humidity and think about the north... sigh. Oh Bother! I need to get over it!
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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Shadow Shot McVicar Lake

Not only a shadow shot, but you also get to see my really fashionable shoes ...

Okay, so I knew you wouldn't really want to see my shoes, so here's one were I zoomed in a bit better. Go visit Hey Harriet! for more sunny shadow shots.

Tools of the trade. Nice, huh? Who knew that a tackle box could be so colorful?

Even the oars in the boat were useful tools for fishing...

Needing something that measures fish up to 50 inches is more practical than optimistic if you're fishing for Northern Pike on McVicar Lake.

Hmmm... not that I caught one that big, but it does happen! I don't actually seek those big things out, preferring to go for walleye. (Yum!)

To be perfectly truthful, once dinner was reeled in, I was more interested in catching some photos and enjoying the scenery. I guess, for me, fishing is just a good excuse to be outside looking around...

Have a good week, you guys!

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