Thursday, September 18, 2008

Time and bubbles fly . . .

Hi Everyone,

Sorry I haven't posted for a while. I've been really busy with some business projects and just haven't had much time. I'll be posting again shortly though so please stay tuned!

In the mean time, here's an interesting photo that I shot in Fort Bragg, California recently. My hubby was playing with some bubbles on the beach and I thought the variety of colors was quite interesting. They floated all the way up to the top of the cliff and off into the distance.

See you soon!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fun Day

School starts next week so I decided to treat my boys to a fun day in Chico. Our first stop was swimming in Bidwell Park. I wanted to paint this in a loose fashion with bolder colors. The people in front were added for interest.

Our next stop was Cal Skate for an afternoon of roller skating. They have a game area which included this kiddie carousel. I didn't add the horse on the left since it was hidden from my view by another game. All in all, it was a fun day. Plus I was able to paint!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Battle Creek

On Friday we explored the beautiful falls on Battle Creek. It was a beautiful day and I was able to paint while my husband and boys fished. This is a much looser style then I am used to but I really like it. I was also trying to be freer with color. It's a good start and a style that I will continue to experiment with. 6x6 watercolor on Raffine watercolor sketch book.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Anniversary Honey!

Today my husband and I have been married for 19 years. We have two wonderful boys, who I attempted to capture in the painting below as a gift for my husband.

Our boys are sitting on rocks, over looking the ocean near Eureka, California. I may attempt this painting again as I feel that this one is over worked. But, alas, I didn't have time to paint another before giving it to my husband this morning. He, by the way, wrote me a lovely poem, in addition to the gifts he gave me. What a sweety.

I love you honey! Happy Anniversary!

Watercolor and ink on watercolor paper, 8x10.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Introducing a Day in the Arts!

I want to tell you about a new adventure we're undertaking! Starting in July, we will be publishing a daily on-line news magazine called a Day in the Arts. It will feature classic art as well as the new. We hope to feature articles on various artists, styles, techniques, equipment, shows, and much more.

So why a new publication? As mentioned on the new site:
For many, the art world can be a very intimidating place, filled with musty art museums, high-end art galleries and modern art that they can't seem to grasp the meaning of. For others, it's filled with great masterpieces that inspires the imagination and brings color and joy to their lives.

We want to make the exciting world of art accessible to all. We want you to enjoy the art, the theory, the practice and the history in a way that you never have before. Come join us on our daily journey through the arts. Visit a Day in the Arts today.

PS- we're looking for writers as well as artists to profile. If you're interested, please contact me directly. Many thanks!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The life of a Jellyfish . . .

Another in a series of Jellyfish - similar to my others. I guess this is actually a sea nettle, a type of jellyfish. To learn more about these fascinating creatures, visit here. You can also visit the terrific website of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

I have also been working on a special painting which I will reveal shortly. . .

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Jelly Fish Series

I was able to work on a couple of other small paintings as well. Here is the 2nd and 3rd in my series of Jelly Fish. I don't know the names of them since I used photos taken from an earlier trip to an aquarium. . . didn't think to write down that handy information! These truly are amazing creatures and a joy to behold in person.
4x6, watercolor and Pitt pen, Strathmore watercolor paper.

Jellyfish 1

I love the ocean. So powerful. So beautiful. And so many unique and beautiful creatures. I've been wanting to paint a serious of sea critters and finally put brush to paper and came up with this. A bit too enthusiastic with the salt effect but all in all, I think I am pleased with it.
5x7 watercolor and Pitt pen on Raffine Sketchbook paper.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Jo's Dolphin

We have some dear friends, family really, who have just celebrated their 15th Wedding Anniversary. Normally the husband is really easy to buy for but it can be harder to find the right thing for the wife, Jo. Knowing that Jo loves the ocean and enjoys dolphins, I painted this with her in mind. I will be giving her the painting this weekend. I am posting it now since I will be out of town with them and, because, I don't think they will have time to view my blog before our trip. Happy Anniversary Bob and Jo. We love you.
WC paints on Strathmore paper, 8 x 10

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Rose by any other name. . .

A few months ago, a lovely lady did something for me that really helped pick me up during a difficult time. Today, I wanted to send her a thank you so I painted this. I'm not mentioning who it is since she hasn't received it yet. It's a surprise! This is actually a view of my front fence, with the roses spilling out over it and the lovely rocks that my husband placed out there. 5x7 WC painting on wc paper.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


This past weekend my family and I took a drive to explore the surrounding area and to get some sun and fresh air. We went to the hills around Paskenta, southwest of our home. Sadly, I have lived here for 18 years and don't recall ever visiting this area before. Paskenta is a small town on the edge of the Mendocino National Forest. This time of year the rolling hills are green with gorgeous purple, white and orange flowers sprinkled about and plenty of young calves and lambs in the fields. It was a perfect day to explore.
We continued our drive up the mountain to find a camp ground that was mentioned on a sign earlier. Always on the look out for a fun place to camp, we decided to visit it. We were able to get to within a mile of it before the road was completely blocked with snow! 70 degrees and sunny at our home less then 45 minutes away and cold and snow on the mountain. We couldn't pass it. We couldn't visit the camp ground. Guess we will try again later in the spring.
The sketch above is of an old country store in Paskenta. It was done with WC pencils and ink on my new Raffine Sketchbook. There will be many more sketches from our little adventure. Just goes to show that one doesn't have to visit exotic locations to find beauty and interesting sites.
Thanks for visiting!

Friday, April 4, 2008


Did a quick card today for the Wet Canvas Masters Post Card exchange. It is sketched after Monet's Hay Stacks. This was done quite quickly using Oil Pastels on WC paper. The paper really wasn't toothy enough to hold the pastels as I would have liked. But for a quick sketch, it isn't too bad. Since I rarely use Oil Pastels, this forced me out of my comfort zone, which is good for me. I will need to try more of these.
Thanks for looking!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Celebrating Life

One often thinks about life in the spring. New flowers, the birth of baby animals and the warmth of the sun all help one to appreciate life. Well, a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to appreciate life more. My brother and sister-in-law were vacationing when they nearly died. My brother was ok but my sweet sister was in a coma for about a week and things were not looking good. But she has come through it all. My sister, my friend, is alive! So to celebrate life and her continued recovery, I painted her the picture here. She should have it today. Hopefully it will bring her cheer and warm feelings as she works through the therapy and the day to day issues that she still faces. Pat, if you are reading this, I love you very much.

Friday, March 21, 2008

For Connie

This latest painting is much looser then I normally work in. I was trying to get a loose, juice look and feel pretty good about the results. It is for my dear friend Connie who always has wonderful words of encouragement for others. She is truly one of the sweetest people I have ever met. Hopefully this small bouquet will bring a bit of color and sunshine to her.

This post card will be going out soon. I did it in preparation for a painting I am doing for someone else very dear to me. Hopefully I will be able to post that painting this weekend. For now, this painting is 3x5 and was painted with watercolor paints and watercolor pencil highlights.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Painting after the masters

I was working more on my post cards this afternoon and finished these other two cards. The one on the left is painted after Constable's "The Hay Wain" and is painted with Derwent WC Pencils. The one of the right is painted after van Gogh's "Sunflowers". It was done using Lyra Aqua Color crayons. Both are done on Strathmore post card watercolor paper.


This sketch was done after Degas' Ballet Dancer Standing. I am involved in a post card exchange on WetCanvas (see post below of the Titian) and this is my first card. 4x6" and done using WC Charcoal pencils. It is going to Erica - hope she likes it. Any helpful comments or suggestions are quite welcome. Thanks for visiting!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Brotherly Love

We had young friends visiting us on Sunday and decided to take a walk to feed the pig and other animals. Next to the pig pen is a large field just covered in these tiny purple wild flowers (some would say weeds). Not sure what they are called but the bright purple field was just gorgeous. Our friend gently took his sister's hand and helped her make her way back to her mom. Very sweet.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Post Card Pals

Recently I have been involved in a couple of post card swaps. The top was is from Deni, who is receiving my post card of the Tulip Tree bloom. I love the rich colors that Deni was able to achieve.

This one is from Erica, a member of Wetcanvas. There is a Masters Post Card Swap where you choose a master and paint a post card in that style (Erica chose Titian's Venus Anadyomene). I think Erica did a lovely job. I am still working on her card. This swap is proving to be quite a challenge since we are painting in the style of various masters but will prove to be very educational and fun. Thanks so much Erica and Deni!

For Deni

Deni is an American living in Honduras that I met through Kate's WC Pencil class. Recently she sent me a lovely post card and has been waiting patiently for my card to arrive. This is it. Spring is slowly arriving and these Tulip Trees (aka Japanese Magnolia) have been in bloom. They are my absolute favorite tress as far as blooms go. I also used this as an opportunity to work on Kate's lesson on flowers using the WC Pencils. As you can see, I also added ink after the pencils were dry. I am pleased with how this turned out and hope that Deni enjoys it too.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Indian Food

My friend Lisa loves to cook so we have decided to do an international meal once a month with our families. Last month we had a scrumptious French dinner and last Saturday we had a delicious meal of Indian cuisine. I had never had Indian food before so did not know what to expect as Lisa was supplying the recipes and we both bought the ingredients and cooked. And it was wonderful. Our dear friend Tammy and her girls also joined us. For those of you who are interested, our menu consisted of a Samosa starter followed by Beef Curry, Butter Chicken, Jasmine Rice, Aloo Mutter and all eaten with Non. Yummy. I think the Butter Chicken was my favorite. Anyway, I had planned on taking pictures of the food and doing a drawing based on that but everyone was hungry and the food disappeared too quickly to photograph. So I thought I would sketch these boats on an Indian river to keep with the theme. the sketch was done with Derwent WC Pencils and highlighted with black ink.
Next month we are having Swedish food. Not sure what that will entail but if you have any ideas, please share!
Thanks Lisa and family! This sure is a lot of fun!

Friday, February 22, 2008

WIP - Star Fish

I've been working with my watercolor pencils all week, trying to get a feel for them. I'm not quite there yet so tonight I decided to work on something else. This is a star fish we saw in some tide pools in Fort Bragg, CA, last August. It is a WIP (Work In Progress) which I hope to finish over the weekend. So many details to add yet. But I am pleased so far. Please let me know what you think and thank you for visiting!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I think I Can, I think I Can

Well, here is another attempt at using my WC Pencils for my class with artist Cathy Johnson. I started out using Derwent WC Pencils but had heaps of trouble getting the colors deep enough and the values, well, they just did not want to cooperate at all. So, feeling that the painting was lost, I dug out my new Lyra Aquacolor crayons and started laying them in. They are a lot creamier then the pencils and were able to cover the paper much easier.

I like the bottom of the picture but the top didn't turn out as I hoped. But with practice, I will improve. I know I can, I know I can, I know I can.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

For Pat & Gary

Recently my brother and his lovely wife celebrated their 20th anniversary in Aruba. (Happy belated anniversary guys! I love you.) While looking for subjects for my watercolor pencil class, I ran across a photo of this Divi Divi tree and thought of them. I hope you like it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Brush with Water

Keeping with my watercolor pencil theme, I tried a new technique today. I used a General's Sketch & Wash pencil to do this torso study and then used a brush and water for the washes, just like a watercolor pencil. I went back in with a wet tip on the pencil for some darker highlights. I like this technique and it is a challenge for me because I feel as if I have a bit more control over the regular charcoal and pencil. As this is all new to me, I will continue trying the various techniques depending on my mood for the day. Hope you enjoyed the drawing and that you might spend a few moments doing something that brings you happiness as well.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ocean Blues

I feel most alive at the ocean. . . which is kinda sad since I live near the top of the Sacramento valley - hours away from the ocean. But still, we try to get there as often as we can.

My crazy cousin Mona gave me this shell many years ago. Here mother, who died just a few months before I met my husband, had this and another shell that she felt were very special. Knowing how much I enjoy the ocean and all things related, Mona, with the blessing of her father, generously gave me these shells, which I treasure.

Of course, they aren't really blue. I need to become much bolder with my colors so I endeavored to just use color and not worry about the actual shades. I think I am happy with it. It is 4 x 6 and is painted with watercolor pencils. I added more pencil strokes back in to show the texture of the shell. Your comments and suggestions are most welcome.

Joan made my day!

Joan (Drawing on Nature) gave me an award yesterday - the YOU MAKE MY DAY AWARD. She said "she challenges herself creatively every day. I wanna be like her." Coming from Joan, that is a HUGE compliment. Thanks so much Joan. You have really made my day!

I'm new to this award thing but I imagine that I am now to hand out the award to those deserving! But how to narrow this down? My first thought would be Joan . . . but I probably can't give it right back. But her art work is absolutely stunning. If you haven't visited her site, you really should.
So the next person who comes to mind is Brenda who recently started a new blog called Menus from my heART as a way to combine her love of cooking and her art. Some tasty recipes and lovely paintings.
Another blog I love to visit is Robyn's Have Dogs, Will Travel where she shares details of her life in Italy (after moving from Australia) with her Hubby, dogs and her art work. Her stories are entertaining and her paintings lovely. And her photos of Italy are inspiring too.
I read Art Blog By Bob nearly everyday and truly enjoy his art history lessons. He has a wealth of information to share with us all.
Nel (Nel's Everyday Painting) also inspires me each day. Nel produces a painting each and everyday and is able to take the simplest things and makes the most lovely paintings (like her lovely garlic pictures).
And Felicity's gorgeous drawings on Sketches by Fiz are stunning! I am quite envious of her skills.
There really are so many others who are inspiring me on my daily art journey and I would like to thank them all for their encouragement, even if they were not mentioned above.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

That Figures

I've been working again on my figure drawings. The Yahoo Group Classical Figure Drawing is now working on torsos. I wanted to work larger and freer then on my earlier drawings so used a larger sketchbook and charcoal, instead of pencil. Also refused to use an eraser except for a little clean up after I had finished. I am pretty happy with these. They really pushed me out of my safe comfort zone. In fact, it amazes me how much I am enjoying these studies now.

The study above and below here were drawn using pictures in the book Artistic Anatomy by Paul Richer.

The drawing above is after Michelangelo, a true master. Mine is not so masterful but it is inspiring to see work such as his and to learn from it.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Post Card Pals

British artist Anita Davies proposed her Post Card Pals project , and since I love her work so much, I immediately signed up. First I had to send her a post card. I thought maybe I should paint something that said Red Bluff, so I did a rodeo rider. RB is known throughout the US for its annual rodeo. Anyway, this is what I sent Anita:

This was my first attempt EVER of drawing a horse, much less painting one. However, I think it turned out fairly well. Not happy with the lettering though. Not well thought out.

Anita then sent me the lovely card below. See, she's good, huh. Thanks so much Anita!

So I will make a deal with any artist out there. If you would like to exchange post cards with me, let me know. I will gladly send a hand drawn or painting to anyone who sends me one. Let the fun begin!

Watercolor Pencils

I am experimenting with watercolor pencils. I've never felt successful with them in the past and am now enrolled in a class given by artist Cathy Johnson to overcome this hesitation to use them. The above sketch is of a castle ruin in England, though I forget which one. There was a great deal of green moss covering the stones so I went with the strong green color. Am trying to be bolder with my color as well.

Here I added water in select places. I should use more water to blend better but the paper isn't strong enough to hold more water. Next sketches will be on regular watercolor paper instead of my sketchbook. Plus, the rough watercolor paper would have been better for the texture of the building as well. But it is a start. Stay tuned over the next six weeks to see if I am able to improve!

Friday, January 25, 2008

You've got mail . . .

This odd mailbox was drawn in response to a recurring dream I have. Don't know why I would dream of an over flowing mailbox, but there you are. So, what have you done creatively today?

Monday, January 21, 2008

New Challenge!

This was a WDE challenge from Wetcanvas ( - the first for me. I haven't been able to get the spoon to cooperate but am calling this done for now.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Fruits of my labor

A quick sketch of an apple and a pear.

Orange you sweet . . .

I've only had time to do this one drawing (pencil, 4x6 in sketchbook) of these delicious oranges. It works as an EDM (Everday Matters) challenge (#24- draw some fruit) and was just fun to draw. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A lovely gift from Joan Y.

Today I received two wonderful gifts in the mail. Joan Y, who shows her work on her Drawing On Nature blog, sent me the two paintings above. The one on the left is titled "Pink on Orange" and the right is called "Orchids for Susan". Each is 2.5" x 3.5". I am just thrilled with both and will cherish them. Thank you Joan for such a delightful treat.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

WIP Exmoor Steam Railway

While taking a tour group throughout the UK in 2004, we had the opportunity to visit the lovely Exmoor Steam Railway. They no longer take guests on their railway as they are too busy building and restoring locomotives of all sizes. We received a special tour of the facilities that day. While there my oldest son ran into my younger son's head and knocked a tooth loose (it was ready to come out anyway). The owner felt bad for him and allowed him to ride in the cab of this locomotive. He is peeking out one of the small circular windows (though you can't see him from here).

Dory Kanter, in her book Art Escapes, suggested taking photos and extending them out with a painting. This is my first attempt and I am pretty pleased with it so far. I still need to add more details and adjust the contrast. It's a fun exercise. Dory has other fun ideas that I will be trying in the very near future.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Thank you!

Thank you for all of the kind comments I have received so far. It is very gratifying.

Leg study 5 after William Bouguereau

My first image was drawn earlier today. I was working on making my lines more decisive, less hesitant. Don't know that I succeeded but every drawing practice helps make me a bit better, so it is worthwhile.

This watercolor was actually painted in 1996 for a dear friend. It was one of the very few that I attempted during my non-artistic spell. There is so much that can be improved upon. But I thought I would show it anyway, mostly because I love the ocean so much.

I have a few other drawings on my Flickr site ( You are welcome to take a peek at the others.

Thanks for looking. As always, please share your thoughts with me, even helpful criticism.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another day, another drawing

Welcome back. Today I thought I would start with a painting I did a few months ago. It was inspired by a vacation to Paris. Paris is filled with so many wonderful museums that I could easily spend months there. . . if only I could! But I did bring back plenty of wonderful memories!

leg study after William Bouguereau

I thought I would post some more studies, including my latest study shown above. This one and the leg studies that follow were all done for the same Classical Figure Drawing Group mentioned yesterday.

Yes, this one looks a bit funny since it was "edited". I was using Michelangelo's David as a reference. My boys didn't want me to show all the parts. . . what's a mom to do? Thanks for visiting. And please feel free to share your thoughts on any of the work posted.