Sunday, November 29, 2009


Stormy and wet outside today. This was drawn and painted quickly from a photo taken in Florida, using my new fountain pen and trying out some new gouache colors on a background made from saran wrap over a watercolor wash.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Since coming home, I've been in the studio everyday trying to get something started. I've taken 100s of photos in the last few months, mostly as possible paintings and for the past few days have been going through them, cropping and stitching and drawing little thumb nails trying to find the perfect composition and one that inspires me here and now. There's that distance from being outside painting or using my camera, immersed in my surroundings, to now being in the studio with just an image to copy. I'm missing that exhilarating feeling of being outside painting..... the weather is now making that just too difficult for wimps like me. It has always seemed more honest to paint from life, and I've always felt a little guilty using photos..... so here I go again, agonizing on what to paint and hearing myself making all kind of excuses not to start something.

This is usually the time of year I set up a large still life or finish one that I had started in the summer with a vase of flowers... not a flower in the house and very little fruit, though I've been looking hard at my houseplants. Last year when I hit this wall, I did some of the DSFDF painting challenges.... there was something about another persons photo that made me approach the painting differently; maybe just the challenge and novelty got me going. Well, its really just comes down to putting some paint on the big white paper, and I will...... from past experience, once I get started, I'll be on a roll.

I have done a few little studies from the photos. This is one of them and most likely the one that I will go farther with....this is just part of a panoramic view.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


First excuses, excuses... I had every intention of putting some of my pictures on here while traveling, but forgot the USB connector thing to my camera. And since coming home, same old, same old, just too busy.

I made this little journal especially for this trip, and it worked very well..... I have something on almost every page and will fill up the spaces with some photos or tickets or something.... and it is small enough to put in my purse... 6 x 4 1/2 inches.

I used magnet strips for the wrap around closure and made a little pocket (copied from a moleskine) attached the back cover.

I painted these 2 pages while visiting my friend Louise in Eastern Washington. She has an orchard of organic Boscs, and pears are always a fixture in her home.

And vases of flowers are always around too.

In Californina, from the Berkeley Rose Garden where I watched the sun go down over San Francisco Bay and quickly painted one evening.

and another visited to the Rose Garden one morning, stopped by rain and a wet walk back to Cedar St.

And this at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden.... by far the most beautiful garden I've ever visited. I'm a bit reluctant to put this painting here as I was in a hurry and it doesn't have the depth it should have, but it was such a beautiful place to be and the colors are kind of right.... I was up on a hill above the path and Asian garden. I'll be putting some photos on my other blog.

I did a few other little paintings and drawings, but its time to move on and get in the present. Hope everyone in the USA is having a great Thanksgiving Day.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I'm loving my little Sierra Wireless AT&T Connection while down here in the lower 48. Here I am on the train in Oregon, plugged into 120 Volts and surfing with 3G all the way, except for a while in a tunnel. Wish it would work this well at home.... only 2G there. I left Seattle this morning and will be in Davis California tomorrow morning at 6:50 if we're on time.

In Seattle, I visited friends, went to see the art at The Best of the Northwest fall art show at the Seattle Center, ate some delicious meals and walked miles (the most enjoyable around Green Lake).

I've done one little drawing today of the clock tower while stopped at Portland, but kind of hard to put it on here now, so I found a page done while on a train in Manitoba in 2006 which looks somewhat like what I've seen today:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Once again I haven't been painting much... getting ready to leave before my trip and now into my little vacation. I flew to Juneau on Friday, spent the weekend with Lee and Alyssa. Got some things done in Juneau on Friday and good times with Alyssa and Lee. I flew to Eastern Washington yesterday where I am visiting my friend Louise in the Yakima valley amongst pear and apple orchards.

2 years ago, I visited here and did some little paintings..... one I did of Louise's orchard of organic bosc pears is here. I'm here a week or so later this year and the leaves and much of the color are gone and its a lot cooler. I've done a few little paintings inside but will have to take some photos of them later.

I took some pears when I left in 2007 and painted these after I got home:

The blue back ground is the technique with stamping that I had just learned in the workshop with Anne Bagby.

I'll be off to Seattle tomorrow for a few days then leaving on Amtrak for California on Saturday.