Monday, August 31, 2009


I didn't have time to paint anything today. Have been getting ready to go to Juneau for a few days. We'll be going on the boat, a 7 hour ride, and and if it's not too rough I hope to do some painting on the way.

I sketched this on my walk Sunday and painted it after I got home. Its looking across the river near Sue and Lil's.

I'll be back here the end of the week.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


It stopped raining this afternoon. I walked to the boat harbor at about 4:00 and set on our dock and did this of 2 old derelict boats in the slough. The one on the right is an east coast lobster boat that a local crab fisherman hauled from the east coast years ago and fished for years from. I can't remember where the other one came from.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Another week of rain and I haven't been feeling very well, but determined to get out for a walk today. With brand new bear spray in my pocket, I headed towards the section line path to the beach, but after sloshing through the ditch which had running water in it and some more rain I decided to just go down to the river past Sue and Lil's cabin. Under the trees, I was able to do a sketch but not paint it before I started getting wet again.

I found this willow with a red gall on my walk and brought it home to paint. I did a more detailed rendering of the leaf with the gall on the right. Of course the sun came out and it was beautiful for about an hour after I got home. But it's been raining ever since.

I was surprised to find quite a few strawberries. I think I'll go back out tomorrow and pick some to bring home....also some nagoonberries.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I don't think the rain has let up since Sunday. I didn't even go out in the garden today. This could go on for months.
I spent an enjoyable day in the studio; put the commissioned painting that I've been struggling with for several weeks away.... I need to go back to the scene when the sun is shining before continuing with photos.

I finished a couple of smaller things that I started in June or July (Yahoo!) and pulled out my gouache paints.

I painted this from a photo I took from the wetland trail in Juneau last year..... with gouache on 300# arches that I gessoed black.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I found these boletuses yesterday at the beach. I was planning to have them for lunch, but unfortunately for me, they were wormy.

I painted this in Fabriano paper book, about 7 x 9 inches.


I spent most of the day in the kitchen.... made bread, cookies and fixed up some greens from the garden in a favorite recipe that will keep me in meals for several days. Also watched the rain, until about 3:30 when I noticed it wasn't coming down anymore. Hopped on my bike and went to the beach. The tide was high, about an 18 footer. I walked down to the mouth of the river and looking north and painted this. I always have trouble with foregrounds. I had a little bit of white paint on my palette and kind of got the grass looking right.... only "kinda", the tide was going out and the shoreline kept changing. Love this smooth paper... Schoellershammer.

The sun came out for about a minute intensifying the colors. I found some boletes, not yet found by worms or slugs, which I brought home and will add to my vegetable concoction.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Its been raining all week so I haven't been doing any outside sketching, nor walking. But this morning, it wasn't raining for a while and a walked to the boat harbor. Seems like every time I go there the tide is out, which is good because it is quiet.

I drew this standing up, and painted it after I got home. The foreground is beach grass which obscures much of the house. Lots of dead humpback salmon on the beach.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Back in June, a woman asked me to make a little sketch book as a birthday present for her artist husband. She had seen one of mine and wanted one the same size and requested that I paint an iris on the first page. As with most things, I kept putting off making the book and even longer to paint the iris.... I thought maybe she would change her mind or I could change her mind about me painting in his sketch book. His birthday is tomorrow, and I was finally forced to paint the iris. I usually paint flowers from life, but the irises are all gone now. I found an old sketch.... from 20 years ago.... and copied it.

Here is the book. You can see the little painting inside and the painting I copied on the right.
I used several kinds of paper and the cover is made from an old navigation chart which I waxed. It's a coptic binding. The book is 4 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches.

The copied iris on the left. Both were drawn with pen before painting. I'm noticing now that the right petal looks too small on both of these, more so on the one I did today.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I painted this from the window upstairs in my kitchen this morning, and like the paintings I did yesterday and Sunday, don't like it. I didn't even bother to scan the previous two. I'm working on a large painting in my studio (a commissioned piece) and don't like how its going either. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


My usual half hour bike ride to the PO this afternoon got extended to about 2 hours. I felt some need to get a a little more exercise and rode to the lake behind the airport runway. It was quiet and pleasant and only one car came by.... Mary, who I was glad to see and she stopped and chatted. There were a few drops of rain, but not while I was painting. There is still some pink from the fireweed. The golden rods and asters are earlier and more abundant than I can remember ever seeing them before.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


There is a new place to walk in our little town..... the Nagoon Berry Loop, which is on part of the Nature Conservancy protected land. Three AmeriCorp workers have have been working on it all summer and are almost through. Its about 2 and a half miles, near the beach, first through a wooded area and wanders to the trail (now pretty much a road) to the Retoot area. The trail is aptly named. I picked and ate hand fulls of the juicy burgundy berries.

This is the 3rd time I've walked the trail in the last couple of weeks and enjoyed seeing some of the last wild flowers of the year... golden rods, aster, fireweed and the smaller meadow herb, yarrow, and Indian paint brush; and also a few boletes though unfortunately they were pretty wormy.

Since I wasn't walking with friends this time, I took my paints. I waited until I got in site of the water before sitting down and doing this of Pleasant Island and Chichikof Island in the distance. Seems I most often gravitate towards the water to sit and paint...... maybe because its easier?

Monday, August 10, 2009


Van came home today. He brought the boat up the river and when the tide was out, he cleaned the bottom some and changed a zinc. I biked down and took him some dinner a little before the sun went down.

It was getting pretty dark so I just had time for a pencil drawing.... a quick one. I do very few pencil drawings other than an outline before painting and found this kind of a challenge.... I paid more attention to the values (lightness and darkness) than I do when painting and I'm reminded that I would improve my painting by paying more attention to the values.

There are some interesting thoughts on sketching and drawing on Robert Genn's Painter's key here and Karin Jurick's DSFDF here.

Friday, August 7, 2009


For years, mostly in the summer,I have joined friends walking from 4-corners to the end of the dock and back.... round trip is about 3 miles. This summer 2 friends (Annie and JoAnn) have been very diligent and have done the walk almost everyday at 9 AM. I and a few others aren't so consistent.... I've probably averaged a couple of times a week with them. This week, though, the walks are taking place elsewhere because dump trucks are going by every few minutes with loads of gravel for the "tank farm." A couple of days ago we walked on the new Nagoonberry Loop trail.... I also walked it on Sunday. Today, I went to 4-corners at 9 to meet the walkers, but they weren't there, so I walked the dock road by myself but only went as far as the boat harbor.... the trucks are obnoxious. I had heard that there have been a lot of Caspian terns hanging out at the harbor, but there was nothing moving but a few ravens. The tide was low. Maybe I'll go back and look when the tide is high. The smoke from the fires is still causing a haze, but there are real clouds now. There was just a little bit of rain yesterday morning and hopefully there will be more soon. It has been so dry. I used some white gouache with my watercolors this morning, better to depict the opaque atmosphere.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


What a wonderful day! Kate and Fritz invited me along with 7 other friends on their boat, the
Great Sea, to go whale watching at Pt. Adolphus.There was lots of humpback activity. We drifted, watching and listening to the whales and sea lions, ate cake and enjoyed the warm weather and friendship. We ended the afternoon with a stop at Pleasant Island where we walked on Long beach for about an hour.I had started this little drawing a few weeks ago. Finished it this morning before we left the dock.
We have been enveloped in a haze of smoke from forest fires in the interior and Yukon for a few days. Perhaps some is fog.
Glassy calm water made it easy to sketch and paint.

The Great Sea is a catamaran. I sketched this from the bow of the left hull looking across at the right bow. The following is the inspiration for the boats name.

"The sea is the source of water and the source of wind; for neither would blasts of wind arise in the clouds and blow out from within them, except for the great sea, nor would the streams of rivers nor the rain-water in the sky exist but for the sea ; but the great sea is the begetter of clouds and winds and rivers. "

Saturday, August 1, 2009


I went up a little north of the Salmon River Bridge this afternoon. There's been lots of action up that way this last week. The silvers are coming up as well as humpies and the fishermen are working on getting some of them.

I found a comfortable spot and spent longer than usual on this than on most of my little painting..... over 45 minutes. I always have trouble getting the bank on the river looking like what it is.... those clumps of vegetation always look kind of goofy. I'm not sure this reads right.... there's no water showing and the grass (on my side of the river) should be a darker value.