Saturday, December 1, 2007

DECEMBER 1, 2007

I've been home for almost a month now so figured I'd better post a few postcards from my trip to Oregon and Washington. It was a fabulous trip... saw some beautiful places and best of all, visited and traveled with friends. I can't thank them enough for their hospitality and transportation. I am so lucky!

I first spent a few days with my friend Judith in Portland.

Her living room was a lovely and comfortable space; my little picture, done with watercolor pencils and pen and ink brings back memories of conversations, music and tea. The paintings on the trip were done in a small watercolor Moleskine... I finally broke down and bought one. I like the paper, the size, and the band around it but don't like the perforated pages.... nor the price. I will try to make one like it.

My friend Annie picked me up in Portland and we had a wonderful trip down the coast. Two nights in Cannon Beach where I painted this of the Haystack. We had beautiful sunny weather, visited two old friends we hadn't seen in years and ended up in Eugene where Annie lives. We stopped at just about every scenic turnout between Astoria and Florence.

I took the train back to Portland and met with JoAnn and we went to Port Townsend where we attended a really fun retreat (Artfiberfest), visited friends In Port Angeles and most of a week in Seattle.

This crooked little thing is about all I sketched for about 2 weeks of the trip.... I did do a lot of arty things at Artfiberfest though. The little sketch is in Katy and Joey's home in Seattle.

For the last week of my trip, I visited another dear old friend, Louise, who lives in the middle of an organic bosc pear orchard in Zillah Washington. I had some time to paint but also was a little helpful in the orchard and we made a very enjoyable trip to the Columbia Gorge

This is the orchard from the front porch of Louise's house.

This is the view out the North window of her house....Rattlesnake Ridge. That's a road in the middle, orchards all around.

And this is East, out the kitchen window, with pear trees in the distance.

Since being home, I did 2 small still life paintings of pears that I brought home..... But mostly, I've been working on a couple of quilts. I've also have been doing little collages.... trying to do one every day, but not succeeding Here are a couple of them.

The mussel shells were color copied from one of my watercolor paintings and cut out.

The cranes are a woodblock print on thin paper glued on with other papers.

I thank my few readers for their comments.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


I'm off on a trip south to Oregon and Washington tomorrow. It's been a busy 2 months since I last posted.... fun trips on the water; camping, hiking, walking, and visiting with friends; lively guests; a shopping trip to town on the boat; and lots of time with my new camera and MacBook.... too much fun! Not much time or enthusiasm for painting, but I do want to put a few little ones here.

In August, 5 women friends and I kayaked around P. Island and camped for 2 nights. This is a few from our camp site the first night at Black Rock.

This is from our campsite on the second night, looking towards home.

This was one late afternoon in August when the fireweed were blooming, down at my favorite place at the beach....

And this from the same spot looking North.

Also in August, I went up bay with Kate and Fritz in their boat The Great Sea. I think this is the top of Mt. Wright.

This was the first of the 2 evening in Sandy Cove.

And this, Alum Root, was at the base of Mt Wright.... first time I've ever seen it.

Our community was very saddened by the loss of 2 fine young men in a plane crash in August. My heart goes out to their family and loved ones.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


I hope, dear readers and lookers, that you haven't given up on me. I've been away from home quite a bit this summer, away from the computer, but am now settled back into being home and I got a new ibook laptop in the mail this week (my birthday present to myself) and so now I can task more comfortably at home (I'm now on the recliner in the living room) and do things much faster at the library where there is a wi-fi connection.

So.... back to June. Without my hand written journal, I'd have no idea when I did anything. My journal is also where most of my sketches and paintings are this year. On Friday, June 8, I flew to Juneau and spent the day there, lunch with Michelle and the afternoon with my grand-daughter, Alyssa. We went to the Chicken Yard playground on Star Hill and the other one down by the Orthodox Church. A beautiful sunny day.

Alyssa picked bouquets of buttercups and dandelions which were profuse on Star Hill. The playground there is on land that use to be a chicken yard. I drew and painted a piece of art.... a nun and some chickens made out of rusty iron. The playground use to be a chicken yard for some Catholic Church institution that was once located there.

That evening, I flew to Sitka, spent a couple of days with Van on the boat and then he took my friend Judy and me across to Mud Bay where we hiked across Kruzof to Shelikof cabin..... a repeat of our trip of last year, but thankfully, we knew the way this time and spent all 3 nights in the cabin. We managed once again to avoid seeing any bears, but people on bikes that passed us and walked in from the Iris Meadow had to detour around one. And on our return, a guy told us he saw us in the meadow and also saw a bunch of bears at the same time. It is a large meadow.

Judy and I spent hours on the beach. We found beautiful shells, sand-dollars and drift wood and on one evening saw a tiny fawn, all alone, on the beach. The next morning, we saw tiny hoof prints next to larger ones. I saw several deer the morning we left.

We were both thrilled to see Calypso Orchids on the edge of the forest next to the beach.

I had big plans to paint a lot, but alas, it rained most of the time. I painted this of the inside of the cabin:

and this from one of the windows..... I did one of the same view last year which is on a post from last summer.

Back home on June 21st. I spent most of the next 2 week with a case of vertigo. I'd rather forget those 2 weeks. Went to Juneau on June 30. The vertigo finally went away a few days later and hasn't returned. In Juneau, I house set in a lovely home with a very nice cat named Ferguson, spent lots of time with Alyssa and other friends,celebrated the 4th of July, had some medical tests (all normal), did some hiking, and did some shopping. As always, lots of plans to paint a lot and didn't. It did rain a lot.... my favorite excuse.

A group of painters in Juneau calling themselves the Plein Rein Painters meet every Saturday and go somewhere and paint together. I went with them on one of the Saturdays that I was there.

We went to the Mendenhall Glacier on a cloudy morning and the sun came out there over lots of bergs and this is one of 3 little paintings I did.

On July 14th, I flew to Anchorage from Juneau with my friend Aimee .... on our way to Homer. Our plane was late and we missed the last flight to Homer and ended up spending the night in the airport and flying the next morning about 5. We visited our friends Sue and Kathy, both gracious hostesses. We went in Sue's boat, across Katchemak Bay to China Poot to fish for sockeye with a net and dinner at Halibut Cove. In Homer, viisited a winery, Brigetta's beautiful garden, lots of galleries. Another trip across the bay, a car ride and hike and ATV trip to Sue's cabin on the Rocky River. We visited there in 2001 when I painted this of Sue's cabin:
and this of the cascades coming into the river from across from the cabin.

I painted this this year of the cascades.

Above the cascades is a waterfall. This is the way one crosses the river.... steel cables. As Sue said "It's not for everybody." It wasn't for me. I settled for seeing Aimee's photos of the falls.

The wild geraniums, roses, and indian paintbrush were at their height around the cabin.
The rose was pink, painted pink, but the scan isn't pink. I don't know why.

Back home on July 21. Van was home from fishing for a week. I celebrated my birthday on the 26th and have enjoyed a string of parties and potlucks.... Tis the season, with productive gardens, plentiful fish and ripening berries.

I painted this a few nights ago as the sun was setting, down at the beach..... my scans are all washed out.... The fireweed are beautiful now. There are 2 or 3 young black bears around town.... I see one or the other most days in the fields eating wild strawberries.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

JUNE 6, 2007

Summer seems finally to have arrived with fields of dandelions and shooting stars, moose cows with calves, and lots of tourists. but it is still quite cool most days. The one really nice sunny day in the last two weeks was last Friday and I went with Marilyn and Kate down to the Good River Bridge. I walked down to A. and L.'s cabin and set in front of their window and painted..... the perfect view.

I worked all of the past week on another woodblock print. It is of the Fairweather Mountains and I made it for an exchange. Had a lot of problems with it. I made lots of extras so I'd have some to try to sell, but it was reductive (meaning the blocks were altered for printings of each of the colors) so I couldn't print more. Many of the extras will be trashed.

And also planted my vegetable garden. I have no great expectations for it this year. I'm going to be gone quite a bit this summer, so at least the weeds will flourish and the slugs will love it without my nightly squirts of ammonia water.

I will be leaving for Sitka on Friday and back home on the 17th. I just packed my paints, so hope to have something more to show here when I'm back.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

MAY 30, 2007

This is the 6th year that I've participated in a Chinese New Year print exchange sponsored by the Baren Forum,, an on line group for woodblock printmakers. About 50 people sign up and agree to make and send a print to everyone else on the list. They don't all come by Chinese New Years, in fact some never come. But it is fun making and receiving them with the surprises coming in the mail all year long. I spent much of a week cutting blocks, printing, and sending mine out. This year is the year of the boar or pig and this is my print:

For the sky, I carved 3 woodblocks and printed with the Japanese technique (Hanga) using watercolor and rice paste. I copied the sky design from Hiroshige's "Three Wild Geese Flying Across the Moon." I was not successful carving the pigs with wood... they looked more like aardvarks than pigs.... and finally carved one pig on an eraser and stamped it 3 times and then painted with watercolor.

The calendar tells me it's time to plant my vegetable garden, but I think I'll wait another week. My tulips are just now showing some color. This time last year the petals were falling off.

I'm missing action in the eagle nest that I view from my window. The pair have deserted the tree after many years. They moved the nest lower a few years ago, but now the nest seems to be angled down more, so probably the limb that its on is breaking. Last fall a new nest was built in a cottonwood about a mile away. I think it is being used now, and I hope it is the same pair.

On the Saturday before last, Marilyn and I went to the lake on the other side of the runway and painted in the morning. Good to see some different shades of green.

I've tried to paint the lake several times..... each time most of it gets cut off the painting.

I've changed the day for getting a group together for plein aire painting from Saturday to Fridays. It seems to be a better day for the people who say they want to come. So far (3 weeks) it's been just one other person and me. JoAnn came with me on Friday. It was raining a bit and we went down to the beach. We set under the dock for a while...I started 3 little paintings and none got dry enough to go back into.... then went and set in the car where I painted this. Some one wrote "the war" under the "END". Probably one of the people who walked with me and about a dozen others in the peace march on Memorial Day.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

MAY 18, 2007

Lots of catching up to do here. I was in the midst of preparing for my show when I posted last. The opening was April 6th and I was happy with the sales. It was quite a job boxing everything up. We were planning to take them into Juneau on the boat but the weather didn't cooperate, so I had to fly in with them. On Easter Day, I flew down to Florida for a 2 week visit with relatives and friends. I was mostly in my hometown of Bartow in central Florida, but traveled as far south as Miami Beach and made 3 trips to the Gulf Coast. I met my nieces husband for the first time and 3 new grand-nephews.

I didn't do much painting there. This is one of the few.... a papaya tree as seen above my cousin Madelons back fence after a refreshing swim in her pool in Palmetto. I did see a lot of art, a lot of inspiration, beautiful places. Seemed like I was going somewhere all the time.

On the way home, I stopped in Washington State for a few days and visited more friends. Back in Juneau, I boxed up the paintings that didn't sell.....

this is one of them.... I got home on April 27th.

And now finally spring is here. Green is showing up in the fields, migrating birds are coming through, and "snow birds" are returning to their summer homes. Finally there are a few flowers in bloom... the marsh marigolds in the ditches and my lavender primroses in the garden.

I painted this from my car on the dock road last week... some hint of green in the field.

I have been asking people to join me for plein aire painting on Saturday morning. Kate joined me on the 12th.... I'd better change the date on the painting. We walked the path to the beach south of the run way. I painted from about the same place last year....

This was on March 5, 2006..... probably the way it looked a couple of weeks ago this year.... Its been a much later spring.

This is another postcard size painting I did last year in March.

... and this one also, started on the same day... March 22, 2006. Its larger... about quarter size paper. I added some crows in the foreground after taking this picture of it.

I spent this afternoon walking on the loop south of our house with my friend Artemis. We walked down the Salmon River, had a picnic on the beach, Artemis napped while I painted. Walked up the section-line path. Each year the willows look more and more pathetic from the moose browsing. This is the first really clear days in quite some time and the Fairweathers are beautiful. The sweet gale is blooming, not quite as rich in color as it gets. I must go back and paint there next week.

This is the dock from the beach today.

Van left for his summer of fishing last week. I'm getting into my summer routine, more time to myself and so dear friends, if there are any still checking here, perhaps there will be more regular postings.

Monday, March 19, 2007


This has certainly been the winter for snow around here. I don't know how much has fallen but it keeps piling up. It is near record for the year and Eaglecrest, the ski slope in Juneau has the deepest snow than any ski area in the whole world.... 19 feet, I think.

The snow is quite beautiful and I've gotten out a couple of times cross-country skiing in the last week. I've taken my paints out a few times but it has just been too, too cold to do anything, and the view from the window just doesn't inspire. I did find a couple of ones I did in December and didn't post.

This is the view North of our house, out the bedroom window. All the others I've posted have been the view looking South.

I didn't date this one, but I'm pretty sure it was late in December. The snow was melted down for a while in places around the trees and some of the open fields were clear. We didn't see very many moose for a while in January and February but they have been quite abundant lately.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

FEBRUARY 11, 2007

Here it is almost the middle of February, a month since my last posting. How fickle I am with my many varied projects! There has indeed been some guilt over my abandonment here and some thought to change the name or start another blog with another name to follow my latest artistic pursuits.

Every day I look outside my window and think I ought to do a little painting, but my wandering commitment is elsewhere. My latest paintings have been in the studio. I've been working on a still life for about a week and when it is finished. I'll post it here. I'll be having a show in Juneau in April and am under some pressure to get things to frame and hang.

I did these little paintings on a trip to Juneau and Sitka the end of last month. I took the M/F Fairweather to Juneau to Sitka and back.... a very pleasant ride both ways, the first I'd made on this newer fast ferry.

In Sitka, I stayed in a lovely home on the beach and painted the scene out the window many times. Here are 3 of them. I never did get my paintings to my liking. The second 2 here were cropped and I did some outlining with some new jelly-row pens and iridescent paint in the sky.

On my last evening in Sitka, I watched the sun go down at Whale Park, an area south of town with board walks down from the road to the beach. I didn't see any whales but there was one the next day as I waited for the ferry to leave. A few humpbacks stay around Sitka in the winter.... younger one, I think. The ones up here where I live go to Hawaii in the winter. This was the only day with sunshine for the whole trip.... I ended up spending a couple of extra days in Juneau because of fog before flying home.

Waiting for the ferry to leave Sitka and as it was leaving, I did these of Sitka Sound. I added the trollers in a couple of them.

These masks (hawk and bear) were on the ferry and "carved by unknown Haines carvers ca.1971" and previously in the Seattle terminal. I did some more little paintings on the ferry, and as they are so unlike anything they really were, I'm not putting them here.... traveling so fast, reminded me of painting on the train.

It has been a cold clear day. Now 5:15 p.m. and there is still a good bit of light.... its good to have the days a little longer.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Here it is almost halfway through January. I didn't resolve this year to do a daily piece of art work which was the reason for and subject of this blog, and I just haven't been into painting the little landscapes I've mostly shown here. The weather hasn't been at all good for going outside and doing much of anything. After falling on the ice a couple of times, I don't go out side without studs on my boots. When there isn't anything wet and cold falling from the sky it is much too cold to hold a pencil or brush. And I'm just tired of painting the trees outside my window.

Most of the people who have told me they enjoy reading and looking here say it is seeing the watercolors of where I live. Well, I've been living almost exclusively inside, so that is what the pictures will be of for a while.

I didn't pick up a paint brush for a couple of weeks, the perennial slump I have around this time of year. Over the holidays I did made a little progress on a couple of projects...a quilt and organizing hundreds of photographs....and last week, on schedule, I got back into the studio and after a couple of failed starts have painted a still lifes and am setting up another.

The days are starting to get longer. There is now a little bit of daylight left at 4 p.m! Yesterday was sunny, but down in the teens. Still cold, but cloudy today and snow expected tomorrow; we've had a few inches in the last week. Much of the 4 feet accumulation from November and December is gone. A 5.8 quake north of here woke me up Tuesday morning.

This was done at Kim and Waynes' brunch on New Years day. Kim made potato pancakes.

....and this was yesterday morning, visiting and drinking coffee with Aimee in her kitchen.

This is a little 4x4 sketch, one of several I did while setting up a larger painting.