Saturday, May 30, 2020

Chickadees Three

Today was a gorgeous day to spend outside!  After cleaning a couple of flower beds, I took a break to capture these sweet chickadees.  They didn't mind me at all, as I worked close by - so I switched my garden tools for pen and paper!  Love their chatter as they converse!  Painting number 2698 in 2698 days.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Twilight Herefords

So often I see the cattle grazing on the western meadow, and I'm normally in the thick of yardwork.  This evening, I finally got the chance to paint these newest babies and mamas.  I'm so thankful to have a mowed path to paint from!  That grass is up to my chest in the pasture, and that grass would surely wind up in my paint, painting, and everywhere!  Painting number 2698 in 2698 days!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Feathered Friends

As the rain fell for hours, I wondered if I'd ever get outside to paint.  Drinking my hot tea, watching the birds dart to the feeders and back to the branches, I decided to draw them in ink.  I started with one, moved to another, soon filling the paper with my feathered friends.  Sometimes, I'd have to see several birds in a particular pose before I could finish.  I found myself popping in little dots for quick shapes, just in case they moved.  It made my sketching faster and more accurate.  They rest in a young redbud and on a hummingbird vine close, taking turns at the feeders.  It was fun getting back to just ink on paper.  Love the vintage quality.   Painting number 2697 in 2697 days.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Snow on the Mountain ATC

I got the first start of this plant from a friend years ago.  I've tried it in several places and moved it to this location last year.  Well, it has really taken off this year, and is even blooming!  With all of the flashy blooms in my garden, this subtle beauty called out to me today.  I begin with the ink drawing and add a little of those greens in.  I was on the fence about adding the dark background, but decided to go with it.  It was the values that drew me in after all!  Painting number 2696 in 2696 days.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Yellow Iris Garden

Oh, I have such plans for this view.  With my love of gardening, I've been thinking how nice it would be to add a greenhouse to the side of this outbuilding.  In fact, I'm thinking of taking it over entirely for my own personal she-shed!  We have several outbuildings, surely this one won't be missed!  This vantage is but the sweeping edge of a much larger garden space.   These yellow flags are absolutely gorgeous this time of year, so I had to paint them in oil!  There is another view through Michaela's bridal arbor - and I hope to get to that before these beauties fade.  Love those rich saturated colors on rainy days!!  Painting the 2695 on 2695 days.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Red Roses ATC

With only a tiny painting window on this Memorial Day, I am painting in miniature with my ink and watercolors.  The red roses just burst open over the weekend, so I am sketching them on cotton rag paper.  With a couple of good rains today, everything is brightening up!  Looking forward to the blooms to come!  Painting number 2694 in 2694 days.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Peonies ATC

One of the most beautiful and fragrant blooms of the garden, I can't get enough of these peonies!  Preparing all day in the yard for a family gathering tonight, I barely had time for a quick sketch in the garden!  These peonies make me happy just to be near them!  With ink and watercolor I explore their expanding blooms, opening wider each day.  They are always so gorgeous for Memorial Day.  So happy to have the family over for a cookout and campfire, complete with s'mores!  Painting number 2693 in 2693 days.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Brown Iris

Given to me by a friend, this brown iris is one of the most unusual colors I've seen!  I wish I knew the name of it!  An early bloomer, it is shorter and fuller than some of my others.  I've decided to zoom in for a closer view, for a different composition.  Using ink and watercolor makes for a quick sketch, which is perfect on a day of yardwork and surprise family dropping in!  Painting number 2692 in 2692 days.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Blackberry Blooms

I'm studying the forms of those newly discovered blackberry blossoms in the pasture today!  With ink, I sketch the lines, then I fill in with watercolor (using my half pan travel set).  I've got Robert Oster's Great Southern Ocean ink in my TWSBI fountain pen, landing a turquoise hue to those shadow masses.  Love ink and watercolor for those quick sketches in my tiny painting windows.  Love this quiet time spent in nature!  Painting number 2691 in 2691 days.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Peony Impressions

I look forward to the first peonies blooming all year long, and Grandma Bessie's variety always wins!  These are large magenta pink and very showy - a real show-off in the garden!  My intention was to paint a demure impression of these beauties, but instead I have gone crazy with the palette knife!  Perhaps next time I'll pull in the reins.  Painting number 2691 in 2691 days.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Peonies ATC

Oh I love these peonies!  A gift from Grandma Bessie's garden, each year they bloom in profusion and remind me of her!  I first sketch the blooms with ink, paying attention to petal forms. With more time to REALLY study what I'm painting, I am studying more before I lay down those lines.  As I paint in the colors, I push and pull while those masses are still wet. I rarely go back in with a layer over dry paint.  Wet in wet is so much more comfortable for me!  Can't wait to try these blooms in oil! Painting number 2690 in 2690 days.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Blackberry Briar Path

Yesterday, my husband cut a slightly different around our property, which I love to run or walk. To my great surprise, I found a huge blackberry briar in a remote area not visible from the house or lane!  I have been wanting to plant blackberries - and here I have a briar that spans at least 40 feet!!  Loaded with blooms, we are going to have so many berries!  I can already smell the cobbler!!  Painting number 2689 in 2689 days.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Iris White and Purple ATC

This iris is one I remember from childhood, a favorite in Grandma's iris garden.  The soft shades of lavender with ruffled edges are eye-catching, indeed!  On this day full of so many chores at home, I just had to sneak in a miniature painting of this beauty.  When those other buds open up, I hope to do this in oil!  Painting number 2688 in 2688 days.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Orange Pansies at Night

Here I am again, painting after dark because I wouldn't stop working outside!  Mike was running the brush hog, cutting the path again and clearing out brush from around the largest, oldest tree on the place.  I'm already composing paintings in my head with that tree!  These bright and cheerful pansies are close to the front porch so are conveniently lit for my late night painting!  So tonight I choose ink and watercolor and my favorite TWSBI Diamond fountain pen in lavender is pictured - and I have it loaded with Thunderstorm ink by Robert Oster.  It's bend to violet and turquoise is the perfect compliment for those orange petals!  Love these warm painting nights!  Painting number 2687 in 2687 days.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Purple Allium

Each May, I look forward to painting the gorgeous alliums at the Overland Park Arboretum.  Unable to paint there now, I am painting the allium in my own garden.  This variety is already starting to fade, and is getting funny little green ends on the ball shaped blooms.  This kind is new this year for me - so we'll see how they develop.  The dark, drizzly morning is brightening up - changing the scene in a heartbeat!  Time to pack up and get back to garden work!  Painting number 2686 in 2686 days.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Pale Yellow Irises

The striking value change between these pale yellow irises and the dark woods is what grabbed my attention today.  These belonged to my great grandmother, and my grandma planted them on the cellar many years ago.  Some of the soil washed away from the top, so I moved them lower, and they are beginning to flourish again.  With my oils, I painted these, and they were a bit of a struggle.  Not sure why I couldn't nail them down, but I finally let them rest for the day.  I'll check them with fresh eyes tomorrow and see if I'm really done.  Painting number 2686 in 2686 days.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Chickadees 4

Each morning, I like to start my day with a hot cup of loose leaf tea with lemon. As I waited for the hot water, I noticed several young chickadees on the emerging hummingbird vine.  The mama popped in to drop a morsel into one mouth before flitting off again.  As I enjoyed my tea, I watched, and knew I must get my ink and watercolors!  The little family stayed long enough to be painted, but did not like it when I held up my work to get a photo!  Love spending time with the many birds who come to visit!  Painting number 2685 in 2685 days.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Path from the Barn

I love this old path from the barn to the farmhouse.  It has been calling to me, as so many places do, begging for me to paint them.  As I post this, I already see a couple of changes I want to make.  I will blend the edges of that path with my finger, drawing the green into the cut path.  Funny how I sometimes miss the little things in my effort to finish - especially when the rain has started!  I will try to remember to post the update later!  Oh how I love these color saturated rainy days!  Painting number 2684 in 2684 days.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Chapeau Iris

Today finds me painting another of Grandma's iris varieties - Chapeau, I think!  This lovely bicolor bearded iris is tall and vigorous, blooming up out of thick daylilies!  I will transplant them this fall to a place they can spread and call their own!  I love their rich color on this rainy day!  Oils were the perfect choice to define their petals!  Painting number 2683 in 2583 days.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Barn in the Meadow

I love the feel of a fountain pen in my hand, as I pull it across the cotton rag paper. I can feel the nib catching on the fibers ever so gently, leaving raven black ink in it's wake.  With a little water I can soften those lines and dilute them to gray, sometimes even blotting with a paper towel to lift some of that ink.  If I go right back into wet areas, my lines are very black indeed.  I love this media, and the way it returns me to my roots, one mark at a time.  Painting number 2682 in 2682 days.

Saturday, May 9, 2020


I planted these alliums years ago, after painting in the very first STEMS plein air event at the Overland Park Arboretum.  They captured my attention and I painted them, the first time of many.  Since then, I have added varieties, but these purple ones are the first to bloom.  I love their large round blooms on tall stems, very striking in the garden.  So, with ink and watercolor, I commit them to paper, this time at night.  There seems to never be enough time for all I cram into a day!  Painting number 2681 in 2681 days.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Purple Clematis ATC

When my painting window is small, I often grab my ink and watercolor for a quick sketch of what is before me.  I know this has been a time of lockdown, but I still must get out to paint.  I can do so on my own property, in the fresh air and sunshine (or shade), and I am renewed with every mark I make.  I simply can not stay inside.  Even if I had a tiny space, I would have to paint from life.  Pictures seem so flat to me, missing so much of the information that I need to see with my own eyes.  So, even a tiny painting like this can absorb some of the experience of being in this place, simply because I am.  Painting number 2680 in 2680 days.

Thursday, May 7, 2020


I can still remember walking around the yard with my Grandma, as she told me the names to all of her flowers.  This is one I have loved since childhood.  I thought it had a funny name - Firecracker Columbine, and we always had a Fourth of July gathering - with fireworks!  It has been raining lightly, but I could still get this little ink and watercolor sketch in before putting away my garden tools for the day!  Painting number 2679 in 2679 days.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Sunset in May

Today was spent digging out sod from a spot where I'm going to put my pumpkin patch.  I had a small volunteer one last year, so this year I am moving those seedlings where they can spread out!  This is the western view from that patch, and as the sun started dropping, it began to call my name.  I hastily dug the last few spots and went in for my pochade!  So happy I could get this done before coming in.  Love these peaceful moments en plein air.  Painting number 2678 in 2678 days.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Purple Clematis Impressions

The light was hitting the clematis in such a striking way, I couldn't help but choose them for today's painting subject!  As I set up just off the front porch, the wind grew stronger and stronger.  In fact, it was so windy that those petals whipped to and fro without ever holding a pose!  What a thought would be a cake walk turned into a tight rope walk instead!  Not even my palette knife could keep up with that wind!  Haha - every day is a painting adventure, and this day proves to me how much more practice I need on painting clematis!  Painting number 2677 in 2677 days!

Monday, May 4, 2020

Snowball Bush Blooms

I love how a stormy day saturates the colors in the landscape!  Rich and vibrant, I can't resist the colors.  I block in my masses with a brush, then come back in with my palette knife to negatively paint those blooms before adding highlights.  It is always a push and pull with the paints as I near the finish.  I often squint down to see what else I need before closing my palette.  Sometimes, I even turn my painting upside down for the final check!  This gorgeous bush is another Mother's Day gift from years ago, one that is normally in full bloom for Mother's Day!  Painting number 2676 in 2676 days.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Peace at the Pond

We've been clearing some trees and brush around the pond in recent weeks, and I love the expanding view.  Each time I walk down here, I am rewarded by the local tenants!  This evening the bullfrogs jumped into the water with load peeps, a kingfisher dropped in for a little dinner, and our blue heron flew up to a favorite limb on a large tree before flying off.  He and Beau are not the best of friends!  The golden hour light was perfect as I started to paint, and the first glow of sunset spread gently through the scene.  I only used the palette knife sparingly, so gentle was the mood on the water.  It's like a tiny vacation in the middle of real life, I'm so thankful for this place.  Painting number 2675 in 2675 days.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Redbud Splendor

The redbud trees have been glorious this year!  My grandmother planted this row many years ago, and I look forward to seeing them every season.  Since I'm not on the plein air road yet, I've really been able to enjoy them!  The petals were blowing to the ground as I painted, I sure wish they lasted for months!  Painting number 2674 in 2674 days.

Friday, May 1, 2020

May Day Sunset

As I worked in the west garden, I kept an eye to the sky.  I could feel a wonderful sunset coming on.  I kept working, those weeds have no boundaries, until I finally realized I MUST get my paints!  All of a sudden the sun was dropping, and I was out of time!  What happened?  Why isn't 15 minutes enough time to capture that fleeting light?!!  Well, because it isn't, and I should have stopped my work sooner.  Lesson learned... until next time!  Painting number 2673 in 2673 days.