Sunday, March 29, 2015


Worked on this a little bit more.  I think it's done but...
Which way do you think it works best:

and narrow 
with feather at the top


Short with feather 
falling down 
and fluffy at the top?

Friday, March 27, 2015


A couple of small (5 x 7 inches) prints using a cutout of a bird as a resist and stencil...

Day and Night Birds

I might add a bit more to both of these.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


The colors in this make me think of spring.

8 x 10 inches Strathmore printmaking paper, fluid acrylics and stamps.

Another one that turned out to have some interesting shapes and colors.  It might look better and more organic turned on its side...

This one made me think of circus performers...

At the Circus
Strathmore printmaking paper 
8 x 10 inches

Tried to make some acrylic skins a la Traci Bautista, but as soon as I pulled one off the sheet, it stuck to itself and was ruined :(  Must be a trick to it to get it to pull off without sticking to itself immediately.

Monday, March 23, 2015


These two were just stopping by to say hello and munch on the grass now fully uncovered and growing.  Both as still as statues as I aimed the camera from the deck to get a good shot.  

When the snow was 10 inches deep, 6 deer came up the hill to the neighbor's feeders (which all hang down onto his back garden), raised up on their hind legs and grabbed a bit of food from the bird feeders.  Poor things, they were hungry.  But strange to look at at dusk and see 6 deer walking and running up and down the hill just past our fenceline.  

Hiding in plain sight, the Coopers Hawk hangs around, watching all the birds coming and going around the neighborhood feeders.  Raptors gotta eat, too.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


Just a few more touches and this one will be finished.  Much better than the first effort!  

Fourth sheet (11 x 15 inches), Fabriano Artistico 140# watercolor paper.  

Field of Dreams

Put in a hint of hills in the background and lifted a bit of the tree shape...


Thursday, March 19, 2015


Added a little to this initial print to make it something more.  A fake crow feather glued on after tinting the blue down a bit with bone black acrylic paint (transparent), and using the fake feather to stamp some areas on top and bottom.  

On Strathmore printmaking paper, 5 x 7 inches.

Crow Dreaming 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


A bit of green for St. Patrick's Day...

Not sure what I'm going to do with these prints - maybe just make cards from them.

Both of these are on 5 x 7 inch Strathmore printmaking paper.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Don't drink too much green beer.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


I pulled out my new printmaking supplies and, using Golden Fluid Acrylics (I seem to have a lot of those although rarely use them), I started doing some prints...on the small Strathmore Printmaking Paper (400 Series), 5 x 7 inches and 8 x 10 inches.  Using the inking palette, I inked up the palette and then pressed in some stamps I'd created from cutting out the thin foam pieces I bought, incising them with the embossing tools.  Fun!  But you have to have a theme so I did ovals and circles...

When you get tired of one color scheme, you can change it up on the inking palette and keep going.

This is an overview of all I did and you can see some of the stamps I made in the upper right corners of the photos.

Here's one of my favorites so far - a small (5 x 7 inch) print on the Strathmore printmaking paper.

Purple Circles Print

And another of my favorites on 5 x 7 paper - of a crow I carved into a Blick ready-cut plate (4 x 6 inches).  This was carved during a Myrna Wacknov workshop way back when...

Crow Mandalas

I don't really know enough about printmaking to know what I'm doing - but Traci Bautista has a Strathmore Online Workshop going on right now and you can probably still sign up - it's free and she knows lots about lots (I think she's obsessed with printmaking and printmaking materials, even saving her 2-ply paper towels she uses to get up all the extra paint = wasting nothing).  I, too, could get really involved in this, but always return to my best love = watercolor (and you can make monoprints from watercolor, too, using the paint thickly or using the watercolor crayons).

Friday, March 13, 2015


Sometimes you have this idea and you can't wait to try to get it on paper.  Then you think, "How am I going to do this part?"  Without thinking more, you plunge ahead...

And realize you should have spent more time thinking!

This is a long skinny piece (11 x 30 inches) and I just drizzled the background colors down while having this tacked to my cork board behind my table.  So far, so good.  Then I wanted the black feather in there.  Hmmm...not great.  Too solid and not much depth and can you even tell it's a feather?  

So maybe what it needs is a lighter touch on the feather and some drizzles away from it - but turn it another way to drizzle?  

And still not quite right but getting closer to what I was thinking about when I started...

Letting this one dry and then...well, who knows?  Right now, I'm not crazy about the lines and maybe should soften and blur all that more?  Or it may be too late for this one - so could do another and try a different strategy...

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Using my birthday gift cards from Dick Blick and Cheap Joe's, I ordered some new art supplies.  

This should get me started on new and interesting fun things this spring or before.  The snow is finally melting with temperatures above 32F for more than two days in a row = YAY!

Monday, March 9, 2015


I started this a long time ago and got burned out - I don't do detailed, complicated drawing for fun!  But I did go back to the middle object in watercolor pencil and water...

For those who don't remember when I began this, it is from a series of photos and Scanning Electron Microscope views of a small brittle star.  All but the center will be in graphite and charcoal.

Saturday, March 7, 2015


I cut the full sheet in half so this is 19.5 x 28 inches.  Watercolor on TerraSkin.  It's interesting that watercolor, once it's dried on the TerraSkin, won't lift off with water - you have to use alcohol or alcohol wipes to get the paint off.

I got the inspiration for this painting from a bouquet of tulips Sweetie brought me the other day - for no reason :)

I had to put them in two separate vases because this large vase is really a small vase in the middle and you're supposed to put candy, marbles, etc. around the outside for decoration.  So the main opening is so small it won't hold many flowers.  

The buds he brought are beginning to open and Sweetie decided to take one outside in the snow (5-6 more inches on the ground from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning) and get a photo.  Good thing he bundled up for it - cold cold cold again and more snow - what a great February and March it's been so far...

After looking at the painting for a while, I decided I didn't like it and it was too heavily painted in the tulips.  So wiped the color down with alcohol wipes - will drop in cleaner color for the main tulips and leave it alone (hopefully!).

Thursday, March 5, 2015


 I had a little scrap of gold gessoed watercolor paper and showed my students how to paint foliage with just a few greens and blues, painting with the side of the round brush and leaving it alone to dry and create the texture look.  The gesso just about does all the work for you if you can just put down the paint and leave it alone.  And if you hate it, wipe it back up and start over.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Started with this little sketch in my sketchbook.  

Saw things I wanted to change, and made those changes when I did the painting - but YUCK!  Didn't like it at all.  Had too much of a left side/right side look with texture and color so...put it aside to start over fresh.

An ugly mess.  Had green and raw sienna on the left side in horizontal lines.  Hated that.  So went over the dried color with Daniel Smith watercolor ground and then painted a bit in it while it was not fully dry, creating some interesting snow-covered (?) look.  But still too much left side/right side cut in the middle by the tree trunk = YUCK.

Beginning again - watercolor - background first and not worrying about going over the tree because it will be dark in the pale sky.  Lifting some clouds and adding a bit of color to the mail field.  And got rid of the little pond that was ugly in the first try.

Much better, but completely at odds of my original intention which was to make a cold, icy, snowy look to the painting.  Hmm...where to go to get that?

Sunday, March 1, 2015


This one is finished.  I'm fairly pleased with it.  I did use some Caran d'Ache watercolor crayons in places to get some deeper color and some texture.

In Love with an Elegant Line

11 x 15 inches on Fabriano Artistico 140# watercolor paper, coated with gold gesso

And just in case you're tired of seeing snow...we're under another winter weather advisory until 10 am this morning = a bit of snow, a bit of sleet and freezing rain before turning to rain when it finally gets above 32F.  Happy March.

Right now, big, fluffy flakes coming down.  When I went out to fill the feeders this morning, I scared off a hawk that had been sitting on the deck railings.