..... and the shortness of daylight does indeed make for what seems like a very short 24 hours. Though we do have several hours of daylight, we haven't seen much sun lately. But I do find it a pleasant time of year. After 3 rather hectic days in the big city, I returned Wednesday and relished being here at home where the only requirement is to watch the weather rather than be out in it.... a few inches of snow yesterday and now a wind storm is suppose to come. Lots of wind on my trip to the city..... and rain.
I didn't rush back into the studio on my return, instead have dug out a quilt I started some years ago and hope to finish soon. The postcard paintings posted today are from last week.
These two were done on the 14th, snow and ochre sky, around 2:30
And this one the next day, a little after noon With hopefulness for a sunny walk on the beach,
I drove down to the dock and pretty soon the wind and snow got me back into the truck where I painted these looking across the strait:
Short, cold days with some extreme weather last month... several feet of snow and some sub-zero temperatures, breaking records for this time of year. I've been painting quite a lot in the studio, but not getting outside and painting my postcards and feeling just a bit guilty, so resolved to finish off the year with more to show here.
Here's the view out the window on Saturday between snow showers,
and yesterday after the weather turned warmer and a lot of wet snow overnight. Some damage in town from collapsing porch and out-building roofs, and a few trees bent over from the weight. Our poor willow along the path to the house lost a couple of limbs.
We've had a steady parade of moose through the yard since the snow started. One day we counted 8. We quite often see them bedded down out in the snow in the morning.
Not too many postcards last month and as of now I've misplaced most of them. This one is the view out the window on October 27th.
Finally, my long overdue post about our train trip:
Van and I flew to Seattle on September 24 and took a bus to Bellingham where we visited relatives and friends for a couple of days. We got on our first train, to Vancouver BC, on the 26th where we met up with Van's sister Lea and her husband Jack. In Vancouver, we boarded the Viarail "Canadian" late in the afternoon. We had bearths which were quite comfortable, but the movement and noise didn't make for a whole lot of sleep. We awoke the next morning in the Rocky Mountains and the foliage was beautiful.
I painted this from when the train stopped for a few minutes. We arrived in Jasper mid-day and got a ride to the Robinson Guest House. (we had places booked along the way before we left home.) This was a very comfortable place and the host (a watercolor artist) and hostess were friendly and helpful.
The town of Jasper is small and we walked around all afternoon. The next morning we rented a car and drove down Highway 93 to Athabasca and Sunwapta Falls and rode up the Jasper Tramway for great views of the country, then to the Fairmont Jasper Lodge where there was a wonderful art gallery.
Doreen, an artist friend from Olds Alberta, and her husband met us in Jasper and she and I spent the part of the next afternoon painting at Jasper Lodge. I painted this looking across the lake in front of the lodge.
After 3 nights in Jasper, we boarded the Canadian again and started the 2 night trip on to Toronto. We were out of the mountains and on to the prarie before dark the first day. People had said that after the Rockies that the scenery would be pretty boring. I found it gorgeous!
I painted these from the moving train second day on the train....
and these 2 the third and last day before arriving in Toronto. Van and I thought this part of the trip was one of the most beautiful... lakes and forests of many colors.
Meal time on the train was a grand event... wonderful food, lots of choices. I was amazed that they could produce such meals on a train.
Always a pink table cloth....and alstromerias on the table.
In Toronto we stayed at the Admiral Saint George B and B, a lovely old home in the Annex district full of antiques. We spent our one full day there walking and ended the day tired with pizza on the porch when I had some time to myself to paint.
From Toronto we went by train to Quebec City. We stayed in a small hotel within the old walled city 2 days. Much walking, seeing the sites and eating fine meals. Too busy to paint.
This writing is taking too much time...I've been at it for several postings now, so from now on its going to be short.
Then on to Halifax Nova Scotia .... a wonderful 6 days in N.S. where we rented a car and drove the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island and saw a bore tide from the Bay of Fundy and experienced gale force winds in Peggy's Cove. Didn't paint much as I was driving much of the time.
I painted these in Sherbrooke Village, the house across from where we stayed and trees in the yard.
And this from Fisherman's Cove where we spent our first and last night in N.S.
Back to Montreal overnight on the train with a comfortable room and a long day , beautiful scenery on the Amtrak Adirondack to NYC where we changed to a train to Washington DC.
Enjoyed a busy 4 days seeing the sites there, concentrating on the galleries and Smithsonian.
An overnight Amtrak to Chicago and then 2 more nights on the Empire Builder to Seattle and flight home.
These four pages of my journal were done on the train, the first near Rugby, ND, the geographical center of North America...I got the lucky bamboo in DC and got it home in good shape. The last 3 were done the last evening as we neared Glacier Park.
Whew! Glad that's done; now I can get back to the present soon with something new.
In my first post on this blog I mentioned that the inspiration to start it came from a woman in England whose blog I read, but I never could find it again after reading it once. Well, yesterday I found it! Her name is Julie Oakley and she's at: http://onemilefromhome.blogspot.com
She has walked and done a piece of art every day for 147 days so far. Put's me to shame.
We finally had some beautiful weather.... a whole week of it. A couple of freezes at night and the cottonwoods are turning yellow and the fireweed and highbush cranberries are brilliantly red. Thousands of sandhill cranes passed through... most of them took off south on the morning of the 13th just as the fog lifted.
I've been preparing for a month long train trip and will leave tomorrow, so this will be my last posting until the end of October. I hope to have lots of new post cards from new places when I return. Here are a few I've done in the last couple of weeks... actually only three. The others weren't worth scanning.
This is Lupine Lane as seen from the Smokehouse. We live at the end of it... painted on the 13th
On Saturday, JoAnn and I walked down to the river from the Inn and painted in front of Jim and Mel's house. This is another Jim's house.
And today I painted from my window. The cottonwoods are getting prettier everyday. I'll miss seeing the continueing changes, but expect to see some fantastic color on my coming trip.
Today I got together some ATC's to send in for a show and spent a couple of hours working on some more of them. These are some of them. These are all parts of old paintings that didn't work and I cut them up and added lines or more paint. They are really addictive and I would have loved to have kept playing with them all day .... but there is so little time before I leave in the morning. So this is it until the end of October.
I've been working on a commissioned painting for the last couple of weeks, so I haven't been doing too many postcards... the New Year's goal was to do at least a postcard size piece of some kind of art each day, so I have nothing to feel guilty about. I'd have posted sooner but my internet connection is getting worse than it has ever been.... Its really driving me nuts.
We had some beautiful weather last weekend.
I did these from the porch of one of the inns of a hanging pot of petunias on Saturday. The flowers there are awsome, especially the poppies.
The beach was full of activity on Saturday. Lois and Luna were there as they are most days. It wasn't exactly warm, but it wasn't raining.
On Sunday night there was the most fantastic sunset. I was out at the lodge at the park and the end of the year slide show had just ended. First there was a bright fringe of light along the tops of some of the Fairweathers. Then the clouds above the mountains turned a brilliant salmon pink and a beam (actually a shadow) appeared above Mt. Crillon. It looked like a dark colored jet stream. Later beams formed radiating out from other peaks. I didn't have my camera, but painted this the next morning.
Over the weekend, I joined JoAnn and 7 talented women visiting from Juneau and we each painted and decorated pages which we traded and made into books.
This is the cover I mine. I started with paint and collaged. The cranes were cut from a proof of one of my woodcuts. It really doesn't qualify as a watercolor postcard, but here it is anyway.
Finally some sunshine on Monday and even more on Tuesday. The Fairweathers appeared with new snow; there was a beautiful sunset on Monday night. Today was cloudy again but it didn't rain.
I went down to the beach for a while Monday afternoon, painted the dock....
and this in the other direction. I painted the grass all wrong (maybe because I was sitting down near the water rather than in the grass) but liked the rest, so here it is.
Yesterday afternoon I paddled up the Salmon River with Annie, Susan, Lori and Ana. Stopped on the way back across from Jim and Mel's, waited for the tide to turn and painted. Then paddled down to Jack and Sally's for happy hour. A most enjoyable afternoon.
It's hard to believe how fast time seems to be flying by. I think it seems so because I have accomplished so little painting or art of any kind in the last few weeks. I have done a hand full of postcards but they mostly lacked much inspiration or enjoyment in the doing of them and I am relunctant to show many.
I'll take that last statement back. I enjoyed doing this one, though I belabored over it with way more time than anything else I've posted so far. It is the house where I stayed when I was in Douglas. It is a bit larger than the others I've posted and the first I've done from a photograph, and is a gift for the owners of the house.
This is another view out my window last week. I tried out some walnut ink that I just got from Daniel Smith. I was watching the eagle chick as I was painting. Movement from the tree ceased over the weekend, so I guess I missed seeing the chick fledge.
This was Sunday, one of just a few days in the last month where their was some blue sky... something to get a little excited about.
I've been bringing flowers in from the garden and painting off and on. These are Amaryllis belladonna which I grow inside in pots and they bloom throughout the year.
Raining hard again this morning. Van is home for another 5 day troll closure.
It was a good trip to town. I spent much of my time with my sweet grand-daughter Alyssa and stayed in the lovely home of the Mark family in Douglas. I really appreciate their generosity. I did some shopping and had a memorable meal of king crab with Michelle and Jon. I didn't have the time or energy to paint much.
I did this out the back window, down the hill from the Mark's house on Wednesday. I find the older houses in Juneau and Douglas very interesting and attractive.
Van was home for a few days with troll closure. He's back out in Cross Sound now.
Making reservations for our train trip beginning next month has been taking much of my time today and yesterday.
This is one of 2 views I painted yesterday out my window. There is an active Bald Eagle nest in one of the spruce trees (the dark one on the left). At least one chick is regularly flapping his wings and should be fledging soon.
Some of the cottonwoods and willow are starting to turn a bit and the meadows are no longer green. And the rains continue.
I'm feeling very guilty for not posting anything lately. I got a phone call this morning asking where have I been and a few other people have emailed me to say they are looking. My mind has been too much on other things. I did get outside behind the house a few days ago, one of the few times it wasn't raining, but it seemed that it was raining bugs and I was looking over my shoulder for rogue bears and moose. And another excuse is that I wanted to tweek my settings to see if I can get the color corrected... just tried on todays upload with no success.
I'm off today on the ferry to Juneau. I'll be taking my paints, and hopefully have some postcards of something new when I get home at the end of the week.
The fireweed are really pretty this year, and at their peak, but not so many, at least not around our house.
August 1, 2006
It was a busy week, and I still don't seem to be over this virus or whatever it is. I've hardly been in the studio at all the last 2 weeks. And the few times I left the house with my paints, it started raining... once again.
I did this of the field of fireweed from the doorway of the gallery on Sunday when I was working.
This evening, with a new month and new resolve, I went down to the beach and painted. It only sprinkled a little bit.
More fireweed. My scans are not getting the color right.... or is it something else? I painted the flowers with opera, not toned down much and they are really a bit garish in the original, so maybe its a good thing.
And there was lots of indian paintbrush... the yellow and orange ones are abundant there. Unfortunately, the ATVs and motorcycles are making new tracks up parallel to the river now (thankfully not quite to the orchids yet) and the one clump of bright red paintbrush that I found had been run over.
Sunlight was coming through the clouds shining on the ridge. I would love to be up there now.
It felt good to be out painting at the beach again. Would have stayed longer, but 4 ATVs and motorcycles came down.... not close to where I was, but the noise was pretty obnoxious.
This was one of those days when I just couldn't make myself pick up a brush. Not that I didn't try. I framed a painting of the beach that I did early in the spring and decided I wanted to paint some crows in the foreground. There were some there when I did the painting and I did some little sketches that day too, that today I couldn't find. I had walked to the beach this morning with JoAnn, Annie and Kathy. There were a lot of ravens there then, so I drove down to the dock around noon thinking I could put ravens in instead of crows, but not a raven or crow was around. Then I came home and googled crow images but didn't find much there on the first 3 pages that took about 15 minutes to appear, sketched a couple with pencil , but not ready to commit to paint or pen.
There were some other things I ought to have been finishing too, but as I said, it was one of those days. I did get a couple of buckets of chickweed out of the garden, the only thing that seems to be thriving.
I wouldn't be posting here tonight but for the fact that I'm going to finally put my name on the blog. This requires me to republish the entire blog and the only way I can figure out to get to that option is to publish a post.