Sunday, July 23, 2017


Selling the painting, A Taste of Honey, from the Honeybee series made me want to do another similar piece to add to the series.  So I have started this one.  

This one is also on gold gessoed paper with some stencils of a hive in the background.  It's painted with watercolor and some gouache.  I didn't want to make it exactly like the one I sold so added another little bee.

It's 11 x 15" and I'm calling it

2 x Honey

Friday, July 21, 2017


Bee Warned

Bee World


The Little Visitor

The Messengers

Bee in Magnolia

Bee Card

She Works Hard for the Honey

2 x Honey

This is all, for now!

Thursday, July 20, 2017


Running Out of Time

The Last One

Summer Bees

A Taste of Honey

Bee Quilt

Bee Cycle

Elizabeth asked that I put all the Honeybee Series paintings together to easily see in one place, so I am working on that.  For some reason, I'm having fits trying to fit 3 across (I just can't make it work) so will put this into 2 postings with all the paintings down the left side.  You can click on an image to enlarge it.  I am trying to put them in the order they were painted.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


My friend and Pilates instructor, Kelli, is buying this painting this week.  It's always fun to sell a painting. 

It's obvious that I am not painting for the money.  I don't ask much for my work (in fact, I sometimes think people see my work as "less" because I don't ask for thousands of dollars).  This is my choice.  I would rather my work be out there among people who like it than ask thousands and not sell a thing while everything piles up in my little art room.  

So...everything I have painted is for sale, including my Honeybee Series paintings.  They are reasonably priced (often under $150) because they are unmatted and unframed (matting and framing them always adds to the cost - and putting something in a juried show always adds to the cost because you need to put a good price on those works to get the attention of the judges - yes, it makes a difference.)

This painting is about 10.5 x 14.5 inches on gold gessoed paper.  I spray sealed it after the painting dried so it won't smudge.  Kelli will be packing it in her suitcase and it will be flying to Singapore!  Have fun, little bee, in your new home :)  And thanks, Kelli, for loving one of my pieces enough to purchase it.

I know many of my blogger/art buddies sell their work and I wonder:  does it still make you feel good to sell a piece even if you don't get "big bucks" for it, or is it more important to how you feel as an artist set a high price on all your work and then sell less frequently?  Do you feel like you are not honoring your work if you set a low price on a piece?  It's something we all have to work through if we want to put our work out for sale.

I will miss this little honeybee and her trip to the honey dipper, but I can paint another (as the artist, I retain the copyright for the piece even though this one will be far away).  In fact, I have something else already begun.

Monday, July 17, 2017


This one is finished.  I don't think I'll add anything else.  

Painted collage paper and watercolor on Arches 140# coldpress paper

She Works Hard for the Honey

Saturday, July 15, 2017


Working more on the collage and watercolor piece.

She Works Hard for the Honey

watercolor and collage

Thursday, July 13, 2017


Added some words and this one is done.

The Messengers

watercolor on Arches 140# coldpress

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


This painting began like this with a loose, pale wash of color on the drawing and then...

I put a little bit more color on, but was not that happy with the next stage so washed over the whole thing with a weak wash of gesso/water/acrylic gel medium to start over.

In starting over, I used watercolor crayon and watercolor pencil as well as watercolor pens at the end to outline the shapes.  

As you can see, I cropped it closer to focus on the center and the bee.  

Sunday, July 9, 2017


Well, I worked on the magnolia with the bee and really worked and worked and - can you say OverWorked???  It happens.  Especially when I'm not focused enough. to fix a bad watercolor painting that cannot be wiped back to white?  Make it so it can be wiped back to white = get out the white gesso and gesso over it lightly enough to see the drawing underneath and start again.

That is what I did, drawing a bit heavy-handed but I'll work around that later.  I think this will be a mixed watermedia piece now = watercolor with watercolor crayon and watercolor pencil added.

Hang in there and we'll see where this goes!

Friday, July 7, 2017


I seem to be making a lot of starts but not finishing anything.  So, I'll just share the starts and, hopefully, I'll finish this sometime soon.  

Another magnolia with a little honeybee inside.  

There is something very appealing about this first wash of colors.

But, of course, you cannot leave it that way and must darken and shape things as you move along.  

This is on a half sheet (15 x 22 inches)
of Arches 140# coldpress paper.

I think I'll call this one 
Little Visitor

I think I may be starting a lot of things as a way to not choose anything for any of the upcoming shows = displacement activity.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


The postcards and newsletter reminder for the upcoming GCWS show came out.  I am so thrilled that my painting, AMI Morning Leaves (which won first place last year) is on the front of the postcard and in the newsletter.  These little successes make me want to continue whenever I get down or wonder why I keep painting.  

There are several entry forms on my desk right now for juried shows - and for the 2017 GCWS show.  So far, I haven't been able to summons the energy to get it together and some are due this month.  It's now or never this year...

Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society Summer Show
Exhibit Open August 4 - 27

2016 First Prize Winner

This show of watercolor works will vibrantly reflect the expertise of the 80 members of the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. Connect with the artists and their art at the free reception: 

Meet the Artists Reception
Sunday, August 61 - 4pm

Engage closely with the works of art that range from colorful landscapes and vibrant still lifes to other imaginative topics. Awards will be given during the reception.

Juror for the exhibit is Rachel Wolf, the editor of "Splash", a North Light publisher's book showcasing the watercolor products of hundreds of artists throughout the world. She will award three financial prizes plus several honorable mention ribbons.

Gallery hours are 10am - 2pm weekdays (closed Mondays) and 1 - 4pmon weekends, through Sunday, August 27.

Saturday, July 1, 2017


Tore some painted paper up into shapes and glued them onto watercolor paper with acrylic matte medium.  We'll see where it goes from here.


Thursday, June 29, 2017


A bit more work but not finished yet.

Have to choose the words I want around the outside of the hive.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


I think it might be bees! 

You know painting the magnolia with the honeybee led me right back to bees.  There are three here in this newly started painting and I'm thinking about adding words around the outside.

Three to the Hive

on half sheet (15 x 22 inches) on Arches 140# coldpress paper

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Bought this great little pencil bag at the Blick Art Supply Store in Savannah last month.  

And wet a 1/4 sheet of watercolor paper and then dropped in alcohol inks.  Just for fun.

Friday, June 23, 2017


Finished this one.  I "cheated" by using some gouache in the center to pop the stamen and the bee.  I don't really consider it cheating - at this point in my painting, I want to use whatever works best.

Honey Bee Magnolia

15 x 18.5 inches
on Arches 140# coldpress paper

And I returned to this to work it a bit more.  Not happy with the pop of the petals on this so tried to make it more so.  Still not 100% happy but...whatever.

Virginia Bluebells

15 x 22 inches
on Arches 140# coldpress paper

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


Continuing to work on the magnolia with the honeybee inside.  Slowly slowly.  I want some shape but not too much value change in the shadows so I can keep the white petals.  

Happy First Day of Summer/Summer Solstice!

Monday, June 19, 2017


Using a photo reference from our trip to Savannah, Sweetie captured a honeybee inside the magnolia flower and I had to try it.  First wash - using only Lapis Lazuli blue pigment for the shadows so far.  That center will need to be slowly worked to bring out the curving pieces and the red in the bottom of the stamen(?) and then the little honeybee full of pollen.

The background dark is Shadow Green and it is a bit varied in real life but looks almost black here.

This one is a half sheet (15 x 22 inches).

Saturday, June 17, 2017


A Delicate Balance

22 x 30 inches 
on Arches 140# coldpress
watercolor paper

Time has ticked right by since June began.  We worked on painting the deck, I cleaned in prep for Sweetie's sister to come and stay a while, we took a long weekend trip to the Chicago area and back (to see Sweetie's brother and sister and kin), and we had more visiting with Sweetie's sister as she saw people she wanted to see here in our area after returning back from the Chicago trip.  And, for some reason, I was in horrible back pain by Wednesday evening.  Why?  Oh, could be from painting the deck, cleaning the house, doing laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, entertaining, sleeping on an air mattress for 2 nights during Chicago area visit.  Whatever caused it (or accumulated to it), it was painful to sit in the hard bottomed chair and listen to the program at Newport Aquarium Wednesday evening (although it was a good program, I was getting fidgety but it hurt to move and hurt not to move).  

This was as bad as it's been for a while - so took it easy, reading, feet propped up and ice on my back for 2 days but I was getting so antsy to get to my little art room and paint.  It's been so long!

So today - Saturday - I finally made it back to the magnolia painting I started earlier this month - and it's finished (or very close = may soften some edges).

Hope it was worth the wait!

And what have you been doing this June??

Monday, June 5, 2017


I don't know when we began painting the deck.  But it seems to be going on - forever.  

So tired, we didn't even do anything (didn't go out, didn't see Summerfair, didn't get a meal, etc.) on our Anniversary (Saturday).  Just stayed around the house trying to rest for Sunday's major cleaning of the inside of the house.  

I really hope this stuff lasts for years and years because I can't imagine having to do this again next year or even in 2-3 years.  What a job!  

I have to say, it's looking really good, though.  And the birds like it (the red-bellied woodpecker came back to the suet feeder today so he/she is either tired of cicadas or says, "Thanks for making the place look nice for me!" ha ha).  We have the suet feeder, the birdseed (on the table) and the finch feeder back out and we have a male - who chirps and cheeps and pips when he arrives - and female hummingbird - who is silent except for the whirring of her wings - coming to the feeder now.  I don't mind the mess - although it did cause a twinge when I first went out and saw all the seed and stuff on that pristine deck floor (knocked there from the feeders and 2 little chipmunks, squirrels and several birds).

But - there is still more to can that be?  

Sweetie's sister coming for a week's visit Wednesday so housecleaning is the job of the day (or two).

Sorry no artwork...and you may have to wait a while (maybe I should just take the whole month of June off from the blog

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Not painting in my little art room these past few days, but trying to paint the deck.  It was power-washed before we went to Savannah for a week, but rain and rain and more rain kept us from buying the stain/paint and starting it.  So we thought we'd get it done when we returned from Savannah, but guess what?  More rain.  We're supposed to have a 48-hour period of dry weather to paint it and let it cure and so far, we've had rain at night/over night.  So only about 1/4 done. 

It also took a few trips to the hardware store to pick just the "right" color, which is called New Redwood but looks like milk chocolate in the can.  Turns out it's a warm brown with just a hint of red in it and we've got 3 gallons.  It looks good on the deck but it's a slow process, painting the uprights, using the ladder to paint the outside bits, and then painting the floor.  

Rain rain go away!!!  We want to get this done before storms coming through this weekend and then Sweetie's sister is coming for a week (which means I have inside cleaning and sorting to do to make her feel comfortable here).

I hope it doesn't rain out Summerfair this weekend!

Saturday, May 27, 2017


When you have so many reference photos from a trip, it's often hard to focus on what you want to paint from them all - but it was easy this time.  I chose the magnolia photos Sweetie and I took.  This one struck me because the background is so dark and the flower is so light - I hope I can capture that in watercolor.  

So we begin with the background.  

Wet-in-wet and lots of dark greens, a touch of deep dark quin gold and cerulean for the "sky holes" around.  

Then I decided to darken the background in order to really make the "white" flower pop when I begin working on it.  

A lot of Holbein Shadow Green and some Daniel Smith Pyrrol Green with some Dark Quinacridone Gold in the background, and re-emphasizing the cerulean blue skyholes.

This is on a full sheet (22 x 30 inches) Arches 140# coldpress.

And the other day I heard something hit the windows in the sunroom (it happens once in a while even though I have things hanging down from the windows inside to let the birds know it's a barrier.  I walked out and saw nothing...until I looked down by the deck post and saw this.  I had no idea what bird this was and had never seen anything like it here or anywhere else.  So I sent the photo into Merlin Bird ID (an app from the Cornell Lab).  You crop the photo, send it in and get an id.  Anyone know what it is?  (See below for answer!)

He/she was about the size of a bluejay, lean looking and that beak (?) curving with grey on top and yellow on bottom with big black eyes.  It was stunned enough to let me get close enough to take a quick shot but when I squatted down to open the door, he/she flew off and I swear I saw a bit of ruddy red somewhere underneath that grey and white (but I could be wrong about that).

Turns out I was right about the ruddy red flash I saw - it's a Yellow-Billed Cuckoo and has a rufuous color underneath.  First time I've ever seen this bird anywhere.  I was so lucky to see it on our deck (and it was so lucky not to be injured but just stunned).

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


On Wednesday of last week, we met with nature artist and friend, Pam Johnson Brickell,  and her husband, Rob, at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens to visit and see more of the place than Sweetie and I saw Monday.  We actually got to see everything except one tall lookout tower that no one wanted to climb :)

And I so enjoyed touching base with Pam again while we were in her neighborhood (she lives in South Carolina but not far from Savannah).  

While we were in the orchid house with Sweetie taking tons of photos, Pam got out her watercolor sketching kit and tried to capture those crazy mean-looking orchids!  I just tried with my camera and I couldn't get a decent shot but you get what you get. 

After a nice lunch together, catching up, we all went our separate ways, but I hope to visit again with her next time we are in her area.  She is so talented - and she and her hubby are good people!

Some more interesting homes in Savannah for you.

Sweetie really liked the Victorians, especially their doors and all the pretty work on the porches.

This lovely green cottage on Jones Street was abutted up to a house that was falling down.  The windows were boarded up, the shutters were falling off and it hadn't had a lick of paint for a long time.  Savannah prides itself on its ghosts (every older home "claims" to have one), and I'm sure if there is one, it's in this house!

So I'm calling this:
The Neighbors are Rattling Their Chains Again, Dear!

And while this is not a pretty house, it is the place where the southern author, Flannery O'Connor, got her start in Savannah.

And right beside it is this little lending library = cool!

Open the box, leave a book and take a book :)

I've tried to read O'Connor's work but can't seem to get past the frequent use of the N word in her stories - it just jars on me and I always put the book aside for another time.  I know it's a sign of her times, but...

On Thursday, we visited the SCAD Museum of Art to see the work of Chiharu Shiota, who works with old items/relics and threads (mostly red and black).  Here is her installation created just for the SCAD Museum of Art.  It takes up a whole room and each thread is hand tied and placed.  It was a mesmerizing thing to walk into and around it.

The piece was called
Infinity Lines.

I purchased a book of her other work and love the ones with white dresses and black threads - look her up.  There is something really elegant and hypnotic about her installations with thread and dresses, thread and old suitcases, thread and old shoes, etc. 

On Friday, we visited the Oatland Island Wildlife Refuge and saw their wolf pack, more honeybees and hives, owls, hawks, wood storks nesting around the pond, lots of blue-tailed skinks in the leaf litter, etc.  Then time to start sorting, packing, and thinking about the early morning drive to the airport to head home.  

It was a pretty full week of doing something all the time!
We had a wonderful time and I have plenty of reference photos to use for future paintings so...time to get back at it!

For those in the US, have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.
And for those in the Cincinnati/NKY area, don't forget, Summerfair is coming June 2-4, our weekend art fair at Coney Island.