Monday, January 15, 2018


I started a smaller version of the Royal Terns, using the photo from Phyllis Chandler Grey's book about Anna Maria Island.  This one is on Fabriano Artistico 140# paper (11 x 14 inches).

Need to finish both versions before beginning something else but feeling scattered...

Saturday, January 13, 2018


I began this painting - on a half sheet (15 x 22 inches) of Twinrocker 140# coldpress watercolor paper.

This is from a photo by Phyllis Chandler Grey in her book about AMI.  If it turns out well, I'll make her a copy or maybe paint her a smaller one (easy to mail to her).  As she says in her book, during courtship, the male offers a small fish to the female.  If she takes it gently, they then mate.  If she's too aggressive, he goes away and tries another more submissive female.  This couple seems to be working out and the photo was one I really wanted to try first from the book.  So...we'll see how it turns out!

Thursday, January 11, 2018


This weather is getting to be too much!!  Cold cold cold.  I thought "they" predicted a mild winter, and it looks like no one is having a truly mild winter with snow where there shouldn't be snow and ice and coldly, bitterly awful temperatures for days and days in places where it should be warmer.  OK, that's my rant.  

But it has been too cold to do much beside curl up and read some of the new books I got for Christmas, so that's what I've been doing. 

Which means no painting right now but I'm still on my Year of the Bird challenge to myself to see how many birds I can paint this year.  Off to a pretty good start but stalled out right now (frozen out?).

This book was gifted to me by the author, Phyllis Chandler Grey, whom we met back in December in Anna Maria.  She has these books about AMI for sale around the island and online (Amazon).  They have some beautiful photos inside of birds, beaches, homes, etc. on the island - and she gave me permission to use any of the bird photos for potential paintings!  I will do that and send her a copy or a small painting of one of the photos.  Thanks, Phyllis!!  Hope to see you again soon.

For now, I've begun painting one of the Royal Tern photos she has in the book and I'll show that soon.  These are the birds I call Elvis birds because of their jet black "hair" on their heads.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


Even the females are ruddy red but never as bright as the males with their stop-sign red feathers and their cocky way of tilting their heads as if to say, "Yes, I know I'm beautiful!"

Sunday, January 7, 2018


A quizzical bluejay for you.  In spite of the cold, we have 3 bluejays coming to the feeders, along with woodpeckers (red-bellied, hairy and downy ones), cardinals, tufted titmouses (or mice?), juncos, and the usual bunch of goldfinches.  

More birds to come...

Friday, January 5, 2018


In mid-2017, we stopped for a week in Savannah, GA.  One of our must-go places is the Dick Blick Art Supply store downtown, where I picked up a neat little postcard book of Audubon birds.  What better thing to get out and color and paint for THE YEAR OF THE BIRD?  

They are small so you can't do big washes of color - maybe colored pencil would be best or just light washes in's a crow I did (it's all fill-in-the-spaces type of painting/coloring, but it still would make a nice postcard to send to someone).

I haven't finished all the greenery for this one yet.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Painted on Arches 140# hotpress paper (a block I am using right now).

What's better than a curious crow to start off the new year?

Monday, January 1, 2018


Well, we have put another year behind us and, I hope, look forward to 2018.  I know the past year has not been easy for many folks, and we don't know what the new year will bring.  

But if the waves start getting too rough, just dip underneath and
Just Keep Swimming!

Another in my little Stillman & Birn watercolor sketchbook.  I've done several of these mermaid tails with the words, Just Keep Swimming, on the paper.  I will probably do more.  I may make some cards from these little mermaid tail paintings, too.  

Now back to birds:  the January 2018 National Geographic magazine was all about Why Birds Matter - and that NatGeo is proclaiming YEAR OF THE BIRD.  I forsee a lot of bird paintings and drawings to come in 2018 :)

Sunday, December 31, 2017


While walking in a nature preserve in Manatee County, FL, I came upon some brush and this little pod stood out for me.  I clipped it and took it home to draw and paint.  I haven't a clue what it is.

Read 2 books worth mentioning while on vacation:

A Piece of the World
by Christina Baker Kline
(It's a fictionalized account of the life of Christina Olson, the woman made famous in the Andrew Wyeth painting, Christina's World.  Well done and interesting with enough research put into the book to make it seem like it could have been Christina's own words.)

Sea Creatures
by Susanna Daniel
(A story with some interesting characters - two main characters have insomnia to the extent that it changes their lives.  A lovely story set in the Biscayne Bay area of Florida, with houses on stilts, living on houseboats, water, and even a hurricane.  I never got bored with it and it made me want to read more of her work but she only has one other book.)

I got a LOT of books for Christmas!!