Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Island Lavender

It seems I am always drawn to the furthest painting location from the car.  In search of the densest lavender plants and scenic backdrop, I hike to the back and start painting.  The scent of lavender is all around me, and the buzzing of the bees in and out of their hive entertain me.  An ink drawing confirms my composition as I start laying paint.  I think I'm painting quickly, but in reality the lavender is so relaxing that I slow down the longer I spend in the field!  Instead of finishing three paintings today, I only finish two!   Oh the hazards of mixing plein air and lavender!  Painting number 2018 in 2018 days.
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Monday, July 30, 2018

Daisies and Coneflowers in Watercolor

I'm having a little trouble with blogger tonight, so I'm trying for a third time to get this to post.  I love all this technology, until it doesn't work!  Well, it looks like my phone app is the problem, as this picture is elongated on my phone, but normal on my web version.  I can only hope that there is an update to fix this before I need it again tomorrow.  Oh, why can't it all be paint and creativity?  There's just no room for troubleshooting at this hour!  Painting number 2017 in 2017.

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Island Lavender Farm Inked

What a treat to return to a lavender farm for some plein air painting!  Island Lavender Farm welcomed a few of us artists today to paint in their fields of lavender!  There is nothing like the experience of painting with that fragrance all around!  As with most of my paintings I begin with a drawing, just to visually work through my painting with ink. I keep a Pilot Varsity fountain pen in my pochade box for this very thing.  That box is in my trunk all seasons, in all temperatures, laying flat, and that pen always flows when I open it to use. Even after breaking all the rules of fountain pen care, it works every time. There is much to be said for that!  So this modest, inexpensive pen can't be beat for this artist's in the field set up!  Painting number 2016 in 2016 days.
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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Sister Bay Saturday

Arriving in Sister Bay early, I stamped both a paper and a panel, unsure of which I would choose.  Without any idea of what I would paint, I walked directly to this place, instantly taken by the view.  Wildflowers bloomed abundantly in the foreground while the beach and marina unfolded behind. The weather was beautiful and warm, with gentle breezes.  The only drawback is that once again, I faced into the sun, with panel and palette in shade.  Thank goodness for sunscreen!  I took care in choosing my colors, laying down just what I saw throughout the painting.  With a two hour limit and a complicated subject, there was no room for error. I always enjoy visiting while I work, the time flies by so quickly!  Before I knew it, time was up and I was cleaning brushes and getting my second stamp!  This painting has a new home and is the 2015th painting in 2015 days.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Island Lavender Farm

Washington Island is one of my favorite places to paint - and most especially the lavender farms!  Painting this year at the Island Lavender Farm, and of course, I chose the farthest corner from the buildings to set up my paints!  I loved the view from that corner looking back towards the buildings, the fragrance wafting up from the blooms.  It was so relaxing that I lost all track of time!  What a wonderful way to spend the day - I only wish I had more time!  Painting number 2014 in 2014 days.
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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Storm in Ephraim

Set up on the beach of a friend's home in Ephraim, I watched the approaching clouds with interest.  Mist rolled in like the waves, clouds changed colors and formations.  As it became clear the storm was not dissipating, I passed over the oils for my inks. I have never captured clouds with ink before!  Loving the challenge, I started with my lines, lightly laying them into the sky, which really means I was afraid of messing them up!  Moving the ink with my water brush pen, I manipulated the clouds to represent what was before me.  It was SO fun!!  To darken, I simply dropped in more ink, getting the feel of the day.  THAT is the plein air experience!  Painting number 2013 in 2013 days!.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Barn at Wood Orchard

Scouting for a painting spot between Egg Harbor and Fish Creek, I saw this beauty from the road and HAD to turn in!  Better yet, the Wood Orchard Market was open and full of all things cherry!  It is cherry season up here in Door County, and I am doing my part to support the local economy.  Cherries, cherry mead, cherry poppyseed dressing, cherry strudel are just the beginning of my "cherry" week!  This barn is just beyond a tall grassy field with wildflowers, and that light was simply amazing!  I HAD to paint this scene!  Sometimes, a play just calls to me, and I HAVE to answer!  So glad I squeezed this in before the sunset paint!  Painting number 2012 in 2012 days.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Morning at Rieboldt's Creek

I've been making the annual painting trip to Door County for YEARS, and I have only today discovered this spot!  After a fabulous morning of painting this glorious creek, I returned for an afternoon paint from the deep shade of the surrounding trees!  Encountered three striped snakes first thing, but they were harmless.  The locals say there are no poisonous snakes in Wisconsin!  Yay!  Painting number 2011 in 2011 days.
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Monday, July 23, 2018

Anclam Beach

Anclam Park is a sweet little beach in Bailey's Harbor, and one I love to paint. The grasses on the sand dunes are picturesque, and that moody sky threatened rain.  After a quick ink drawing to cement my composition, I started in with paint.  With only an hour and 15 minutes to paint, I chose a smaller panel.  I encountered a few raindrops, but since my panel was already covered with paint, I did not worry.  The real problem occurs when water hits the unpainted surface, thus preventing the oil paint to stick.  So, I tilt my pochade box downward, facing the panel slightly forward. This gives me a chance to get that surface covered, and then I can even proceed in the rain if I want!  This peaceful, quiet beach is painting number 2010 in 2010 days.
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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sunset Shores

After a full day of driving, I am finally ready to relax and sketch!  Love the sunset light setting behind the log cabin in Sunset Shores!  With a glass of wine in one hand, pen in the other, I am getting my creative fix for the day!  I simply couldn't resist painting this beautiful view!  Using just my fountain pen and Levenger Raven Black ink, I've sketched this loosely by the last rays of sunset.  Can't wait to get my oils out tomorrow!  Painting number 2009 in 2009 days. 
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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Daisies ATC

These daisies are from the bouquet Cooper brought for my daughter on the day he asked her to marry him.  I have captured them in ink and watercolor in memory of the day. I like India ink for the initial sketch, and I'm zooming in on the daisies, omitting the others.  The petals are lighter at their middles and more pink at the edges.  This paper is thinner than normal, as all handmade papers vary in thickness, color and surface, and one never knows what the next paper will be like.  It is just like the box of chocolates!  Painting number 2008 in 2008 days.
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Friday, July 20, 2018

Evening Phlox

These beautiful blooms originally grew in Grandma Bessie's garden, and she generously shared them with me many years ago.  She would tell me not to thank her for plants, or they would not grow!  Each year as they bloom, I paint them and think of her.  I remember the times I helped her with her flowers, and then we would grab tenderloin sandwiches for lunch!  So many flowers have memories attached to them, just seeing them takes me back to those days.  Painting number 2007 in 2007 days.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Garden Phlox!

Oh the garden phlox is amazing this year, and I had been worried about our hot, dry spell!  The deluge of four inches of rain worked miracles on all the flowers - and we had another before I was finished with this one!  Choosing ink and watercolor today, I may well choose oils tomorrow!  I look forward to painting these beauties every July, and they never disappoint!  Fragrant as lilacs, their perfume wafts on the air as I paint from the front porch.  I've planted them all over the yard, so I can choose whatever location suits my mood, or the weather in this case!  Thinking I could get this in, I sketched fast, catching a bee as it darted in and out of the petals.  I'm already surprised to see them working still as raindrops start to fall.  I add some watercolor, then add a little more ink just to enhance some of the detail. As I sign and reach out for a photo, the downpour begins and I must hustle this watercolor under shelter!  Painting number 2006 in 2006 days.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Lindsey Water Tower

We love to ride bikes along the North Coast Inland Trail whenever we're visiting my parents.  With the perfect compact travel sketch gear, I hit the path in search of the perfect subject.  The small town of Lindsey is one stop along the trail which unfolds through gorgeous farmland.  Loving the color of this wonderful old water tower, I sketched and then painted it all while on a quick water break at the park in town.  What better way to capture a slice of Americana than while biking across the countryside?  Painting number 2005 in 2005 days.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Train Garden

I could not possibly paint all that filled this beautiful water garden!  It was brimming over with villages, trains, flowers, and fish, and I could paint in every direction!  Positioning myself in the shade of a tree, it was a very pleasant paint. My host family was so gracious, feeding me and bringing me popsicles as the temperature climbed!  How do I get so lucky to spend time in a place like this?  I think I painted 7 this day - this oil and 5 ink and watercolors!  Crazy town!  Painting number 2004 in 2004 days.  Yes, I only count one each day, even though I often do more. I may be ahead 200 by now, but who's counting? 

Monday, July 16, 2018

19025 Portage River Rd

Each morning one starts the day and it unfolds hourly.  Beginning in one state, ending three states over and 12 hours later, finds me at the end of a long day indeed.  It seems I must always pay the piper when I return home, and I'm not done paying yet.  Taking a little break for posting, I'm remembering the last day on my parent's lawn. We visited as I painted,  sitting on lawn chairs in the shade of a large tree.  I am so thankful for the fun family times shared and another clear ct scan for my dad.  Painting number 2003 in 2003 days.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Glass City Balloon Race

We were able to get so close to the hot air balloons at this event in Rossford, Ohio!  I've attended a handful of these events, and a few of those I was too far away to get a good view.  Here, we could easily see them fill and launch, and as soon as they started I pulled out my pens!  Working very quickly, I sketched the balloons with two different pens, filling that watercolor in fast and loose!  Before I even had them finished they had risen far into the air with others filling below them!  It was so cool to watch and sketch!  Bonus - yummy cinnamon sugar "elephant ears" that I've only seen at Ohio fairs - it tastes like inflated pie crust!  So fun to soak up the local culture while traveling!  Painting number 2002 in 2002 days.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Portage in July

After an early breakfast out with family, I returned and headed down to the river bank, with my oils in tow.  These rich, colorful landscapes just call for a rich, buttery medium.  Now that summer is in full swing, I am using more raw sienna and yellow ochre.  The heat is beginning to dry out the foliage, thus the shift.  Another surprise choice, permanent rose.  I can see it in the bark and in the shaded masses.  It is always so interesting to me to see the color shifts from one day to the other.  Always fun to capture the moment!  Painting number 2001 in 2001 days.

Friday, July 13, 2018

On the Portage River

The natural beauty here is almost overwhelming.  This is one of my very favorite kind of scenes, full of tranquility and the gentle sounds of nature.  The water babbles gently against the rocks, and those rich summer colors are irresistible.  So often wildlife slips in near me, not realizing I am human.  Today, I was visited by a deer family of four, splashing and playing on the opposite bank of the river.  A blue Herron fished and flew away, staying long enough for me to commit him to paint.  Time seems to stop when I'm surrounded by such beauty, allowing me to REALLY soak it all in, letting the experience seep into my painting one stroke at a time.  Painting number 2000 in 2000 days!!  Wowza!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Sea Gulls

It is especially refreshing to enjoy temps in the 70s when it nears 100 degrees back at home!  Watching the seagulls, and their antics is a great way to spend an afternoon.  They come very near as we stay still, but are quick to fly off if approached.  So I captured them in ink as watercolor while they stayed close, and shortly after a few dogs on the beach scared them away!  Painting number 1999 in 1999 days!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

East Harbor ink and watercolor

Another relaxing evening at the beach, and ink and watercolor are my media du jour.  Both dry quickly, so the blowing sand does not stick to the substrate.  This is always a problem with oils, but I consider it a little organic matter!  I've been mixing in a little ink towards the finish, getting richer darks for a little pop.  I think I like the effect.  I didn't pull my journal out for this one,  wanting to keep my setup small and tight.  With my supplies taking no more room than a pocket, I can take them anywhere and paint whenever the mood strikes me.  Painting number 1998 in 1998 days.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

East Harbor View

I really love the sound of crashing waves, they are mesmerizing as I sit on the large rocks at water's edge.  I pulled out my favorite journal and ink pens, filling in with watercolor. This paper is very rough, and the paint skips over that surface.  It was challenging to try to capture the movement of the water with lines, leaving those whites.  Watercolors are so much harder for waves than oils!  Sitting on the rocks, I juggled supplies, barely saving one brushpen from dropping into the water below!  I like the long format for this scene, it helps capture the time and place as I experience them!  Painting number 1997 in 1997 days.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Garden Walk

This garden has a view from every angle!  Drawn in by the sweep of lawn and abundant flowers, I choose ink and watercolor for this scene.  I find my composition with an India ink pen, super fine, and drop in local color as I see it. Those flowers are added loosely, as I squint to see the larger shapes. To finish, I add a little more ink for definition.  So much fun to paint in a garden, surrounded by so much beauty!  Painting number 1996 in 1996 days.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Harwood Water Garden

How lucky am I to be invited to paint such a lush garden?  Arriving early for a Fox 4 live broadcast, I am representing the Urban Sketchers KC chapter that is partnering with the Water Garden Society's Tour this weekend.  Artists are located in roughly 21 different gardens tomorrow morning, painting on location, some offering work to sell.  20% of the proceeds go back to the Water Garden and Urban Sketchers KC to further their continuing education projects.  The weather was perfect, and my host so gracious - this was a morning well spent, even if the news coverage was cut short due to a breaking story!  Painting number 1993 in 1993 days.

Saturday, July 7, 2018


I have driven by this garden many times, as it is close to me.  When I walled into the back yard, I was amazed at the elaborate trains set up in the back yard!  It took me a little while to decide exactly what to paint - the subjects were endless!  I started with an oil painting, and then moved into ink and watercolor for the rest of the day!  7 paintings later, this is my post for the day. What a treat to paint in a water/train garden on this beautiful day!  This was such a fun partnership for the Urban Sketchers KC and the Water Garden Society of Greater Kansas City, to join together for their annual water garden tour.  I hope to do this every year, it is so inspiring to see what another dreams up in their own space!  Painting number 1995 inn 1995 days.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Crown Vetch and Bee

The prairie is brimming with wildflowers, nestled in among the grasses.  As I walked the winding trail to the overlook, I was drawn to the movement of this little bee.  The clover shaped blooms reach up towards him, and other bees buzz in beside him.  There are plenty of blooms in this vast sea of grasses, and so much tranquility in the wide open range.  Painting number 1992 in 1992 days.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018


The dishwasher is running, the robot is vacuuming, and the house is finally restored after a day of family fun and fireworks.  With my feet up and a cold drink at my side, I can take a few minutes to post my daily painting.  I will be painting at a local water garden this Saturday (#46 on the ticket) and have been scouting a few koi to paint in preparation.  I can only remember painting them one other time - and that was years ago!  I've never had an ornamental fish pond - largely due to our cats and dogs, but I do love them.  The movement of the fish in the water is mesmerizing.  Painting them REALLY makes me want them for my very own!  Turbulent Turtle is the craftsman of this artisan fountain pen.  There is something magical that happens when drawing with a pen like this! This little Koi wishes all a happy Independence Day and is the 1990th painting in 1990 days.
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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Pink Rose of Sharon

Oh my, these glorious blooms are heavy on the branches!  With many bees buzzing around, I first sketch with my India ink.  Ducking here and there, as careless bees bounce off my hat and shirt, I try to get that watercolor on quickly!  I back up a little to get out of the main "bee" traffic lane, filling in my sky color last. I've never been stung by any of these bees, but those sweat bees are another issue!  One gets me almost every time I'm out!  It's a good thing I'm not allergic to them!  This painting is the 1989th in 1989 days.... I think!  I could absolutely paint these blooms all week long!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Blue City Market

The writing under the drawing demonstrates the normal ink color all would see using this Levenger Cobalt Blue in a fountain pen.  Once I've sketched my composition, I add a little water - and voila - the true color of this ink comes through!  I can remember the days of only drawing with the colored inks, and I found some of them lackluster.  But wow, how they come to life when diluted.  I've also found that sometimes when I LOVE the written color of an ink, the water added one is just two strong for drawing!!  Like a vivid splash of color, pulling all attention away from the subject matter!  Most times, I don't even share them, they are just TOO CRAZY!  Perhaps, I should sprinkle one in every once in a while, just to shake things up!  This Kansas City skyline was drawn from the City Market, looking south, and is painting number 1988 in 1988 days.

Sunday, July 1, 2018


Summer is in full swing, and I will soon be painting watercraft of all kinds!  I love the vibrant color of these kayaks as they stand along the outside walls.  Scouting several angles, I decided to do them all!  At Scheels for our monthly Art Mob event, I was able to squeeze this in right before taking Beau to the vet - again!  A little ink and watercolor was just the therapy I needed after another night of scant sleep.  It's remarkable how a little time spent painting can restore me,  no matter what!  This cheerful painting is number 1987 in 1987 days.