Archive for the ‘Watercolor’ Category

The Meeting of Curious Minds

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

Meeting of Curious Minds-websiteI finally finished this painting – whew!  The tree is one of my favorites:  a Pacific Madrone with a hollow.

And the owl is a Barn Owl.  Have you noticed that I like Barn Owls?  I think they are my favorite owl.  That’s a juvenile ruby-throated humminbird who is checking out the owl.

What I used:  watercolor and gouache.  The gouache was especially helpful in enabling me to create the tree bark and add essential highights to the owl’s wispy facial features.

That green stuff, by the way, is poison oak!  It often climbs up madrone bark.

New Project in Progress

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

owlNever fear!  I am still painting.  I’ve had some setbacks, what with traveling to New Mexico for my sister’s surgery, dealing with some health issues (nothing serious but enough to slow me down), and life in general.

Now I’m getting back on track.  This fellow is a detail of a larger painting I’m currently working on, using watercolor and gouache.  I have a title in mind, but it won’t make sense till you see the entire painting.  I wonder what Mr. Owl is looking at??….

Stay tuned!


Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

VulnerableThis is my latest painting, finished this weekend.  This is a little Pine Siskin I found, seeking warmth from the late winter sun on a very cold afternoon.  He had found a warm spot on the concrete between my house and an herb planter.

He was all puffed up to conserve heat.  He looked so vulnerable.  That’s what I called the painting.

For anyone interested in knowing the techniques involved:

1.  First stage was laying in a couple of washes of yellow, then a brown (now I forget which one)

2.  Then I used a fairly dry brush to lay in the lines of the concrete.

3.  I splattered, using a very stiff bristle brush, spots and “dirt” that one normally finds on concrete outside; then I smudged various colors to imitate more concrete untidiness.

4.  The bird is a combination of washes and dry brush.  The crack in the concrete is mainly dry brush on the dry background.

5.  The shadow is a wet application of a layer of pthalo blue and a brown

Here is a detail of the Pine Siskin.


Barn Owl in Forest

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

barn-owl-in-forest-smallMy apologies!  I haven’t been posting much lately – we are in the grip of a prolonged triple-digit heatwave – really unusual for the Pacific Northwest – and it’s slowed me down to a near halt.  Brain slows as these “dog days of summer” turn me into a dog that just wants to sleep!  We reached 109F today and that reminded me too well of the terrible heat I experienced, living in Yuma, Arizona when I was a child.

I haven’t been totally idle.  Finished this painting recently and have sketched a few others – painting is scheduled for this weekend.

Meantime, I watch the poor fawns outside panting and sprawling themselves in the shade.  It’s still in the 90s F outside and it’s nearly 10 pm!

Well, we have at least another week of this brain-numbing heat before we get back to normal temperatures.

Stay tuned, but don’t hold your breath!

A Fruitful Weekend

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

doe-at-dawn1We had a spate of terribly hot weather  (over 100 F),  which didn’t make for great sleeping at night.  So, waking up early, I thought I’d get my walk in before the sun got too hot.  One morning this weekend, I left the house at 7 am; another morning at 6:30.  Whoo!!!  I am not used to vigorous climbing or walking that early.

But the rewards were certainly worth it.  Here is a doe who wondered (as I did) what I was doing out so early?

I thought I saw a coyote whiz by too, but after a second look,  I discovered that it was a feral cat streaking away from me.  Funny how seeing things out of the corner of the eye can make them seem bigger than they are.

Since the 4th of July dawned hot and became 103 quickly, I just stayed home to keep cooler.  I made good progress on a new painting (actually finished it just awhile ago, but don’t have a decent scan of it yet, so this is an idea of where I was headed.  That’s Sam in the background, looking out the window.


And of course I watched a lot of deer traipse through the yard over the weekend.  This shot is of the ancient matriarch doe who, although looks a bit ragged at the edges and may even not see very well, continues to surprise me with her vitality and staying power.  Here she is about to navigate the concrete steps from my car park to my little yard.  She’s one of the very few deer who find stairs not at all a problem.  Looks like she’s ready to take a ride in my little Honda Fit and wondering why I haven’t gotten the keys yet!


Hope you had a great weekend and are ready for the new week!

Carrie Enters the Slipstream

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

carrie-paintingThis painting is for my sister Carrie’s birthday, which falls on May 30, the day of the benefit concert to raise money for her surgery coming up in August.  You can read about that at this link to Carrie’s blog.

I told Carrie that I didn’t know what to call it.  Could she please come up with a title?

And so, with a nod to Van Morrison’s “Queen of the Slipstream,” the title is now “Carrie Enters the Slipstream.”

Aunt Peggy’s Sunroom

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

auntpeggyssunroommod1000pxThis still life was inspired by a shelf in my late Aunt Peggy’s sunroom – a room favored by all of us nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers, sisters, etc.  It is a room always filled with light, a room where you can see out over the Carquinez straits in the San Francisco Bay area, a room where you can feel the warmth and comfort of old family ties and connections.

I still miss my aunt, who passed away last September.  But this little painting will remind me of her own particular brightness in our lives, and her wonderful sun room.

(It was painted on Fabriano Artistico hot-pressed paper.)

Mr. Lizard Goes Traveling…

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Lizard at 11:10 is going on a trip this month.

I’m a member of the Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO) and sometimes submit a painting or two to the twice-annual competitions/conventions. This time, Lizard at 11:10 was chosen to be one of 80 paintings to be exhibited for one month at the RiverSea Gallery in Astoria, Oregon, for the Society’s 44th Annual Aqueous Media Exhibition, April 3-30, where it will also be on sale. IF, during the convention, Mr. Lizard is given an award, then the painting will go on a 6-month traveling tour of various galleries in Oregon

But first things first: I guess it’s time for Mr. Lizard to get off his stump and expand his horizons!

Light, Glorious Light

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Well, I’m back to blogging, now that my new modem is in place. Hooray!

Light has been on my mind. In these waning days of winter, every day that there has been sun it has felt like Christmas to me. I’ve always loved light, reveled in it, and re
quire it. No dark rooms for me! If I don’t have light, I start wilting.

I guess that explains why I emphasize the effects of light in my paintings so much. I love the way light plays with natural objects – how it glows through flower petals, revealing the intricate veining within (detail of Crocus Alive and Squash Blossom Ballet).

I also love how strong light provides contrast and shadows (Lizard at 11:10 and Feather Stone Study below).

With the sharp contrasts, the object being painted stands out and shouts to be noticed. (Hello, Mr. Lizard!)

Currently, I’m working on a project that also shows strong contrasts. I’ll include a photo of the finished painting when I’m done. It’s a bit of a departure
and experimental. First, I’m combining watercolor and gouache. Secondly, I wanted to try Ampersand’s Clayboard. The results are unexpected and kind of weird (in a good way). I’m having fun with it, and that’s the point of doing what you love, after all.

Cockatiel Study

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

I had fun making this little study of Chipper looking at me slightly askance.

He liked it. He likes just about any photo or painting of himself. Admires any and all greatly, as a matter of fact.

Chipper has no self-esteem problems…