Saturday, June 30, 2018

Cherry Tomatoes

Out for a little early morning weeding, and I caught these little jewels on the vine in watercolor!  I have three varieties and so far, these are the most prolific.  Notice the super cool fountain pen I'm holding?  That is an artisan pen that my son ordered for me from Pendora pens!  I found it on Instagram, and have two of their lovely pens!  LOVE those colors - and everyone knows one can be more creative with beautiful tools!  After the fountain pen and my favorite Levenger Raven Black ink, I sketch the tomatoes with India ink and a super fine nib.  Next comes the watercolor, and I'm mindful to save the whites. Truly a slice of my day, this little painting is number 1986 in 1986 days.  Now, it's time for a salad!! ❤

Friday, June 29, 2018

Lily and Pads

Lily pads floating in the water are so picturesque, especially when those blooms open!  I've always loved them, but it is one of those things you don't want to start in a big pond.  They seem to take over the place of left to their own devices!  So,  I paint them where I find them, in lovely area water gardens.  Next weekend is the Water Garden Society's special tour through Kansas City metro gardens.  I'm so fortunate to be painting in one of those lovely gardens!  So, if you have your tickets to the event - I'll be at garden number 46!  Painting number 1986 in 1986 days.

Thursday, June 28, 2018


Look what I found to paint at Scheels today  - kayaks in bright colors!  Today was Art Mob day at Scheels - which is always a fun place to sketch.  There is such variety in subject matter!  My intention was to sketch the indoor ferris wheel - but I didn't get any further than the airplane and these kayaks!  Those bright colors get me every time!  I am again mixing my inks and watercolors!  An India ink and a soluable one, and my favorite watercolor confection pans.  Perhaps one day I'll add some of my colored inks, too. I LOVE how vibrant they are!  Painting number 1985 in 1985 days.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Pink Yarrow and Bee

This Queen's Lace yarrow loves the heat - and it is flourishing!  Transplanted to the south side from the west, I'm the third generation to enjoy these blooms each year!  I love how we share flowers like memories, and I hope my children will continue the tradition one day. The bees are plentiful, and there is even a little bug crawling on the left side of my painting!  He's lucky I'm not using my oils today!  After a full day of housework and nursing our sick dog, I sure needed this little bit of art therapy.  EVERYTHING looks brighter on the other side of my painting time!  Painting number 1984 in 1984 days.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Prairie Fire Vineyard with House

I loved the vintage charm of this brick building, especially when viewed from up in the vineyard.  Standing in the full sun with my ink pens and water brushpens in my pocket, I started to sketch.  As I worked, hikers along the trail to the hilltop visited with me.  Serenaded by meadow larks with the prairie behind me, I composed my lines and added a little water.  The wide open vista beyond makes one feel very small in this vast space.  Who knew I would love these wide, open spaces?  Painting number 1983 in 1983 days.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Rose of Sharon and Bee

Oh how I love the abundant blooms of the Rose of Sharon!  This seemed to pop open overnight - and the bees are buzzing all around them!  I start this painting with a fountain pen for the edges, switching to India ink for the sketchy lines.  I begin adding watercolor to the masses, saving my highlights.  I have started making a final pass with my fountain pen, only to push back the darks where needed.  That Levenger Raven Black ink mingles well with the watercolor, as long as I am mindful of it.  I'm so excited to capture all the beauty of these blooms while they last!  Another of my favorites from childhood - I used to play by these very bushes when I was young!  Painting number 1982 in 1982 days... I think!!  So easy to lose track!
ink & watercolor on paper
purchase here

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Prairie Fire Winery

One of the best parts of plein air painting is having the opportunity to paint in places I may not otherwise see.  To set up in the landscape and paint allows me to REALLY see a place, immerse myself in the surroundings and become one as the painting unfolds.  Long from now, I'll be able to see this painting and recall the day with such clarity.  I will feel the heat of the afternoon, the icy freshness of the sangria, the sting of a bee on my ankle as I visited, and hear the meadow larks serenading while tiny ants crawled on my sketch bag.  All this and more goes into every painting.  Truly a slice of life.  Painting number 1781 in 1781 days.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Prairie Fire Vineyard

My very first time in Paxico, Kansas, and I am soaking in my surroundings at the Prairie Fire Winery!  The sweeping views of the Flint Hills are breathtaking, and easily accessible from the walking trail through the prairie.  After scouting the trails through the vineyard, I landed here in a little piece of shade (thanks Susan!) to draw these lush vines while catching up. This was only the first of 5 paintings today, and the 1980th painting in 1980 days.  Can't wait to return for another glass of sangria!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Across 3rd Street

Charming downtown Lee's Summit is the perfect spot for painting street scenes!  At every corner, several compositions jump port at me - and some I'll commit to oils.  I painted here one rainy night in April, and it is a different place in the light of day!  The architecture in so interesting down here - and I really love the old Texaco sign at the end of the street!  A little reminder of days gone by that adds to the charm of this street.  Without enough time to get out my oils, I'll have to return another sunny afternoon.  I can already see the painting in my mind!  This ink painting is now showing at Got Art Gallery on 3rd for the Invitational Plein Air Show, and is my 1979th painting in 1979 days.

Thursday, June 21, 2018


Oh my!  These orange daylilies are lighting up the garden, that vivid orange shows so well on the green backdrop!  Not bothered by the heat at all, they stir slightly in the breeze as I paint them.  First the lines with India ink, then I sweep the watercolor into the masses, trying not to lay down too much paint.  This paper is thin, and it can bleed too far when watery.  I like switching up my mediums on a daily basis, it somehow keeps everything fresh.  Now, if I can just remember not to dip my brush in my drinking water!  Painting number 1978 in 1978 days.
watercolor/ink on handmade paper, 2.5x3.5
purchase here

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Blue Awnings on Main Street

The sunlight was illuminating these awnings from across the railroad tracks. Scouting for the perfect location, I found a great spot in the shade with the babbling fountain to serenade me as I worked.  The color was fabulous!  I have a new blue on my palette - an Italian Capri blue, and it is perfect for the awning on the right.  Applied straight from the tube, it glows. If I mix the tiniest bit of another color to it, it melts away.  It must be very translucent!  So, I lay it straight, and don't touch it again.  It is a beautiful paint.  The other is a mix of a radiant Gamblin turquoise with a little of a Williamsburg turquoise.  Love these tiny dots of paint on the palette when I need them!  Painting number 1977 in 1977 days.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Bee and Hollyhocks

I love the way bumblebees hover in the air, with their legs dangling, just before climbing into the flowers.  So tonight, I am inking my composition with India ink, following with watercolor and a little fountain pen ink.  I like the gentle spread of the last ink, used at the finish to punctuate little areas.  I like that India ink in the beginning, as it is well behaved, and allows me to draw with a sketchy, light line with a super fine nib.  It will move if dropped into wet areas, but not like the free flow of that Levenger Raven Black ink.  This paper is very thin, so I am mindful of the amount of water I use. If I'm not careful, those wet areas spread beyond their boundaries, and I'll lose the whites I'm trying to save.  Every painting is a lesson.  Painting number 1976 in 1976 days.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Jollys on 3rd St.

Feeling more like August than June, I was comfortable in the shade with a good wind blowing.  There are so MANY wonderful shops in old town Lee's Summit to paint - it is hard to decide!  So, one by one, I will paint my favs each time I'm back in town!  How could I resist this polka dot awning in that fabulous shade of green?  Jolly's in 3rd Street is such a fun shop, too!  I really wanted to paint it on that rainy plein air night, but there was no cover with a good composition in view.  So, I am really enjoying the light and the colors today!  That cotton rag trim on the awning is genius - truly artistic!  Painting number 1975 in 1975 days.
oil on panel, 9x12

Sunday, June 17, 2018

7840 Conser

I had this one already framed and packed in the car before I remembered I hadn't taken a photo!  There are several through the years that left my easel for other homes before I got an image, so I try to be mindful of it.  This historic stone house is in old town Overland Park, and now home toi the Kevin Cowan Architects.  On the other side of the street are the new InterUrban Lofts, old and new threads in the fabric of this area.  It has been fun painting and drawing here, so close to where I grew up.  The whole area has so many fond memories, it only adds to the work I do here!  Painting number 1974 in 1974 days.
ink on paper, 9x12
purchase here

Saturday, June 16, 2018

City Market Skyline

The City Market is bringing artists in for First Fridays from now until October!  Urban Sketchers KC will man a booth space to share our artwork and serve as a home base for the evening's sketching.  Each month, an artist will give a short demo from 6:00 to 6:30, and I will kick this off in July.  We'll paint until 8:30, and meet to show our work.  With so much to paint in each direction, it is going to be fun!  All I'll have to decide is ink, oil, or watercolors?  Or maybe gouache or acrylic?  Oh, what is an artist to do?  Painting number 1973 in 1973 days.
ink on paper, 4x6
purchase here

Friday, June 15, 2018

Monet Painting his Garden

There is a wonderful statue of Monet, seated on a bench at his easel, at the far right of this garden.  He is perfectly located to paint all the grandeur of this very special place, which is on the left.  The curved bridge is the focal point of his gaze.  Behind all of this is Margaret's Pond, with it's distant trees and subtle reflections. This landscape was perfect for the long format, using a new paper and my raven black ink.  I really love the flow and spread of this ink.  The more I use it, the more I like it.  Good thing I have a large bottle of it!  Painting number 1972 in 1972 days. This one is now showing at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center in Overland Park, KS.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Root Beer Stand

The Arts in the Park festival at Macken Park was a lot of fun!  Live music, fabulous root beer and plein air - who could ask for more?  This rustic root beer stand caught my eye right off, and I returned to draw it for my second work of the day.  Finding a spot in the shade, I sketched as my daughter shopped the art booths for special works. One can find the coolest things at these festivals! This drawing and two others will soon be hanging at the Paper Birch Landing, a gallery in the Northland.  Painting number 1971 in 1971 days. 
ink on paper, 6x9
purchase here

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Crimson Hollyhocks

These crimson hollyhocks are absolutely knocking my socks off this year!  They rival any of the beauties I see each year in Door County!  Here, I'm taking a break from a commission to get my plein air fix for the day.  I'm working smaller than normal at 8x6, fitting the panel to my available painting window.  I begin my painting in those masses, first the reds, then then middle greens, and then the landscape around them.  I then go into each mass and lay in the other colors I see, both cool and warm, careful not to over think it.  I adjust my edges, and now it's out to dinner with my girls!  Painting number 1970 in 1970 days.
oil on panel, 8x6
purchase here

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Trickling Water

The winding creek lured me in.  I scouted a few other compositions, but this values and colors here hooked me.  This overcast day in the 80s feels like a gift when compared to the scorching 90 degree days we've been experiencing.   I set up close to the water, on uneven ground.  It is always better to find a level patch, but sometimes it can't be found with the vantage I want.  Additionally, I was backed up against a bridge, so I could not step back easily.  This had me side stepping, climbing the hill a little, and even peering down from the bridge just to check my work.  I like to step back often, I see things from a distance that I may not see up close.  When I was nearly done, the sun came out and completely transformed the landscape before me!  First rule of plein air - do NOT chase the light!  So, quitting time it is!   The icing on today's painting adventure cake?  The sweet trickling of water as I painted!  SO very relaxing!  Painting number 1969 in 1969 days.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Market and 3rd Street Inked

I am trying out a new set of brushpens today!  This three pack is a Master's Touch brand - and I think I'm really going to love them!  I try every brand out there, searching for my personal favorite, and these are contenders!  The large round is very loose with the water!  At first, I did not like it - too hard to control!  Always up for a challenge, I kept picking it up.  Now, that is the very thing I love - the very loose, unpredictable flow of that water and how it spreads that ink!  Juicy!  The small round does not have the same character, it is much more like the Koi brand.  I gave the medium round to Michaela, so who knows about that one?  There is nothing  as invigorating as experimenting with new tools!  Painting number 1968 in 1968 days.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Red Hollyhocks ATC

Growing from seed I planted last year, I had no idea what color these hollyhocks would be!  I am a constant gatherer of seeds and plants, and never really remember what is coming up where until the plants are popping up from the ground!  Red is my very favorite color - so these blooms are a real treat!  Today, I first draw them in India ink, and then start in with the watercolor.  While those masses are wet, I drop in additional color, allowing it to mingle in those areas of wet color.  I am working ATC size here, but plan to paint these several times in different mediums.  I may just have to use my oils tomorrow!  Painting number 1967 in 1967 days.
watercolor/ink on paper, 3.5x2.5
purchase here

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Macken Park Inked

Macken Park is such a beautiful place to paint!  My first time here, the Arts in the Park festival was in full swing.  Music, magic, sasparilla and art filled the day - and the plein air artists were painting it all!  I took my ink and had three different sizes of paper stamped - I never know what size I'll use until I decide on my subject.  After scouting (and shopping) Michaela and I landed in almost the same spot.  A very hot day, it was comfortable in the shade.  Music serenaded us as live musicians played.  I really love to paint in such an environment.  Visiting as I worked, the time flew by and I finished early.  Festivals are so much fun to capture in ink!  So much energy and life, just an American slice of summer!  Painting number 1966 in 1966 days. Icing on the cake?  I won this plein air event with this painting and now it will hang at the North Kansas City Parks and Rec!
Arts in the Park Plein Air Winner

Friday, June 8, 2018

Unity Rose Garden

Unity Village in Lee's Summit is such a perfect painting location.  The architecture is fabulous with its wide variety of buildings dotting the complex.  There is everything from the grand chapel to small cottages, all in the vintage style of times past.  While in town to drop off artwork,I stopped by for some quick watercolor and ink work.  With the roses in bloom - I just had to capture this scene.  There are SO MANY wonderful compositions around those fountains!  I will be returning whenever I'm in town, just to capture the beauty! Painting number 1965 in 1965 days.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Fort Frisco

Nestled at the end of a cobblestone street is this charming stone house in Fort Scott.  It was a beautiful drive all the way down, so many places were calling my name!  I drive north constantly, so heading south was a real treat!  So much so, I want to return for more painting!  I start with a small ink drawing to establish my composition, and start painting those lines on my panel.  I'm working 16x20 today, which is a good size for this particular easel.  If the wind is up, a larger box or tripod is necessary.  It is always good to have these back ups in the trunk.  I was painting close to the street to get the perfect view, and I was a bit of a novelty!  Cars stopped, everyone talking and commenting on the painting, a few even took pics!  I do this so often in places where it's "normal" to see artists in the field, that it was super fun to see such surprise on those faces!  I LOVE how friendly small towns are!  I even did a little scouting of Main Street and the old Fort on my way out of town.  I'm so glad my childhood friend invited me down to paint his home!  Thanks, Tim!  Painting number 1964 in 1964 days.
oil on panel, 16x20

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Clearing Skies over the Prairie

I love coming to this prairie to paint!  With beautiful vistas in every direction, the Jerry Smith Park is a gem for the Kansas City parks.  I arrived with plenty of time to scout my location, and it didn't take me long.  Hiking back to the car for my gear, I realized as soon as I saw my pochade box that I didn't grab my palette from the freezer.  AGAIN!  This is the absolute closest event to my house, so it only took me 20 minutes to drive home to retrieve it!  With 20 minutes back, it cut my 2 hour quick paint down to an hour and 15 minutes.  It was 5 minutes before start time when I realized the mistake!  It was a beautiful morning and I did thoroughly enjoy myself, once I had my paints.  I will now leave myself a note when all I pull from the trunk is my palette!  Another lesson learned on my daily plein air adventure!  Painting number 1963 in 1963 days.
oil on panel, 9x12
Party at the Prairie Quick Paint
purchase here

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Hybrid Lilies ATC

Lilies are one of my favorite flowers, and this dwarf variety is my earliest bloomer.  Nestled amid other blooms, this one is the show stopper - begging to be painted!  I have used both India ink and my favorite Levenger Raven Black ink for the lines, and watercolor for the masses.  One must be careful when using that raven black with watercolor - as it will spread readily, spilling right outside it's boundaries if to much water is applied.  But, ohhhhhh, that rich, velvety black!  It is worth all the trouble to attain those deep blacks.  So happy I found a black to absolutely LOVE!  It only took me 30 or so samples to get there!  Painting number 1962 in 1962 days.
ink & watercolor on paper, 3.5x2.5
purchase here

Monday, June 4, 2018

Marigolds ATC

I had every intention of completing several paintings today for special events coming up.  And then I went outside.  It was gorgeous!  With cool temps in the 70s, cool breezes and overcast skies, it was the perfect gardening day!  I could spend a few hours in the gardens and then return to my "to do" list. I just couldn't stop working until the sun was fading!  So, here I am, scrambling at the last minute to paint just one little floral starring these cheerful marigolds!  I'll just have to tackle those other paintings tomorrow, as the day heats up!  Painting number 1961 in 1961 days.
watercolor & ink on paper
purchase here

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Queens Lace Yarrow ATC

These blooms take me right back to my childhood home in Overland Park.  My mother grew these in her flower garden, and I would tend to their needs, as I helped with the weeding.  Years later, moved some to her mother's house, my grandmother, now our home.  Isn't it amazing that a sweet little plant can span decades in a family?  Painting number 1960 in 1960 days.
watercolor & ink on paper, 3.5x2.5
purchase here

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Settlers Crossing

This was my first time to visit Platte City, and what better way to explore it than with paint?  Linda at the Cohen Frame Shop hosted their very first plein air event, with a festival in town full of family fun!  Settler's Crossing is at the bottom of Main Street on the Platte River, and is perfect for painting!  While the artists painted for the two hour quick paint, an historian told the story of the town. What a great idea!  It was so interesting!  The time flew by and the winner was decided by popular vote, a People's Choice cash award.  I really love painting by the river, and didn't even mind the dozens of tiny ants that filled the lid to my palette.  I just knocked them off and packed up my gear.  Painting number 1959 in 1959 days.
Platte City Plein Air Quick Paint Winner
oil on panel, 9x12
purchase here

Friday, June 1, 2018

Light in the Woods

Seeking the cool of the deep shade, I was quickly drawn to this wooded spot.  Sneaking this painting in while Chewy was being groomed, I needed to work fast.  It wasn't long before those tiny sweat bees found me - and they were relentless!  I had sprayed for bugs before hiking in, but the bees couldn't care less.  I have some really strong stuff I keep in my easel bag, so I dotted that onto the spots they really like - behind the knees, elbows, back of neck.  They only moved to the side!  The way to handle bees of any kind is to not react to them.  They do not sting unless they are swatted at.  So, I let them land on me, walk all over, and didn't react unless I couldn't stand it - and then, I would only wave my brush at them or blow them away.  It worked.  I was never stung but it drove me crazy to have bees walking around on me!  In fact, I can still feel their little legs crawling all over my exposed skin.  Plein Air is not for sissies!  Painting number 1958 in 1958 days.
oil on panel, 9x12
purchase here