Friday, July 31, 2020

Zinnia and Swallowtail

How fun to spend a little time in the garden watching butterflies!  They really love the zinnias, so I could work on the zinnia while waiting for my models to arrive.  As one comes close, I start stretching furiously, stopping as they leave.  Another arrives, and I can finish the form, even if the colors are different.  The swallowtail is my favorite butterfly - and I'm lucky we have so many in the gardens took choose from!  Painting number 2758 in 2758 days. 

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Rose of Sharon

The blooms of the Rose of Sharon always remind me of my grandma.  All that I have come from her original plantings.  As I start sketching the forms of each bloom, I find I am spreading outside the borders even more than normal!  Often times, the painting takes on a life of it's own, moving where it wants to go.  I've been in and out of the rain today, so I have to shield my paper as the raindrops start to fall.  Ink, watercolor and cotton paper do not play well with rain!  Painting number 2757 in 2757 days.  

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Bobo Hydrangea

I originally bought this hydrangea from a local nursery just because of it's name - Bobo!  Our dog's name is Beau, and we often call him Bobo - so I had to have it!  It did not bloom last year, so I must have pruned it a little too late in the spring. So, I am so excited to see it blooming this year!  As I inked the composition, and started on the color, I could hear the distant thunder.  It wasn't long until the rain started, and wow did it rain!  This TWSBI Diamond mini fountain pen is one of my very first, and still in my top two favs!  I probably would have inked a little more, but with increasing rain, I was worried about the paper becoming too saturated and bleeding out! It has happened before!  Painting number 2756 in 2756 days. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Old Stand at Dunn's Cider Mill

What a treat to spend the morning at Dunn's Cider Mill!  It is off season, but I was there delivering a painting, so I got the chance to scout around a bit!  This old stand in back is the one they used to haul out to the road to sell their goods - so of course, I had to paint it!  I love those little slices of history!  Ink and watercolor on handmade cotton paper, and Levenger's Raven black ink in a favorite TWSBI Diamond fountain pen in limited edition gold.  Painting number 2755 in 2755 days.  I just discovered this did not post last night - so I'll try again.  Now, today's post will have to wait. Sure wish our service was better out here! 

Sunday, July 26, 2020


This was another day of hard work in the garden, trying to stay in the shade as the heat index rose to triple digits.  At nearly day's end, I was in the process of painting these sweet petunias when a sudden downpour beat their delicate petals down and chased off all the insects!  Ducking for cover, it soon passed and I could finish, even though my models were dropping considerably!  I did put the little bumble bee in - even though one of his brothers stung my leg in the kitchen garden earlier!  First bumble sting I've gotten, and yes it feels like fire for probably 30 seconds!  I think we have a hive back there, and I just got too close!  Painting number 2754 in 2754 days.

Saturday, July 25, 2020


Seizing the cool morning to reclaim my front flower beds from pop up weeds, I worked hard until late afternoon.  It's so hard to stop the forward progress when I'm on a roll!  With heat indexes in the triple digits, I finally threw in the towel, but oh those beds are shining!  So, my sweet reward is a little time spent in the lilies, with ink and watercolor.  These beauties have been going strong for three weeks already, and are among the very first daylilies I ever planted.  Love their bright presence in the garden!  Painting number 2753 in 2753 days.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Golden Hour Hay Bales

Oh it feels good to play in the oils again!  I reloaded my palette before walking out to the pasture, as I remembered having run out of a few paints last weekend.  Since I've been organizing my paintings and panels during covid, I've decided to paint over old paintings that I'm no longer happy with.  Since I'm my worst critic, many paintings will soon hide beneath fresh, new ones.  Perhaps one day X-rays will reveal their hidden treasures!  The long juicy shadows disappeared as the sun dipped below the trees, but I was almost done, so it only affected my photo.  That light was glorious out there this evening!  Painting number 2752 in 2752 days.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Barn on Olive

This old barn and farm lot is right next to Grandma Bessie's house on Olive. Our Tri County Art League has been meeting outdoors, socially distancing the last couple of months just a block away.  So, I have seized the opportunity to capture this barn in ink and watercolor.  It really is a great barn, one that I didn't fully appreciate when I was visiting next door with my little ones, and  helping with yard work.  Painting number 2751 in 2751 days. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Yarrow Dragonfly

I finally caught a dragonfly lighting on my yarrow! We have many varieties flitting around, but they are so fast, and start at my slightest movement, it is hard for me to sketch them!  The color has faded a bit on these blooms, but they continue bravely despite our summer heat!  The original plants are from my mom's garden in the house I grew up, in Overland Park.  Moved here many years ago, I have moved them around the yard, spreading their beauty.  With ink and watercolor I paint this in miniature, only 3x3 inches of handmade cotton paper.  I'm going to have so many paintings of my gardens at summer's end!  Painting number 2750 in 2750 days.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Raymore Barns

After an early morning at the gym, and picking up watermelon for our gathering, our Tri-County outdoor studio day was canceled on site due to rain.  A little rain doesn't scare me AND I could see two fabulous barns, so I stayed to paint!  I dodged a few drops, but the weather cleared by the second painting.  I've sketched with ink and watercolor on cotton paper, and my TWSBI Diamond fountain pen is loaded with Thunderstorm ink by Robert Oster - perfect for this stormy day!  Painting number 2749 in 2749 days.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Hydrangea Bee

I had planned to join some fellow watercolorists at the Overland Park Arboretum this morning, but thunderstorms put a damper on those plans at the last minute!  So, as I watch the rain on the front porch, I begin to sketch.  Planted two years ago, this Little Lime hydrangea has grown and filled out beautifully!  The heads are larger this year, and taller, too.  With ink and watercolor I capture them in miniature, only 3x3 inches, as I listen to the patter of the rain.  I love rainy days for painting on the porch, with a mug of hot tea at my side!  Painting number 2748 in 2748 days.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Bridge to the Island

What a wonderful morning for plein air with fellow artists from MVIS!  The metal bridge to the island is reminiscent of Monet's bridge, and has been a local favorite for years.  I have happy childhood memories of coming here with my parents and brother, which makes this place extra special.  I'm using my oils for this lush landscape, and oh how I love that creamy texture!  I don't realize how much I miss them when I'm working with different mediums... until I return to them!  Painting number 2747 in 2747 days. 

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Island in the Lake

It has been years since I've been to Shawnee Mission Park - and it has really changed!  I hardly recognized the place with the new buildings and entrance.  Today was the Missouri Valley Impressionist Society paint out, and we met at Shelter 2.  Of course we distanced socially, and it was still fun getting to visit with a few artist friends!  With strong breezes, I could hardly feel the heat as I worked.  I think all my hard yard work in the heat has conditioned me!  I walked right to this spot and started painting, sketching out my composition with a brush.  I should have topped off my palette, as I was low on some paint.  I'll remember before I next grab that palette.  I never have to worry about that when I'm painting at my own place most of the time!  Painting number 2746 in 2746 days.

Friday, July 17, 2020

In the Boat

This commission piece has been a difficult one. Working from an old dark 4x6 photograph, it was hard for me to see any detail on the tiny faces.  So, I approached those areas as masses of light and dark.  Adding more of the boat and water at the bottom edge, aided the composition in bringing the focus up a little.  I've used my water soluble 8B graphite for most of the work, but have also used a mechanical pencil and a dark black ink pencil, too.  I seldom use a mechanical pencil, but felt I had to just to define the woman's face.  Additionally, I graphed this one out due to the small size of both reference and finished portrait size.  This is about as small as I'll work with graphite on portraits.  Larger is definitely easier to attain a good likeness.  So, I'm letting this one rest to look with fresh eyes in the morning!  Painting number 2745 in 2745 days.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Phlox and Swallowtail

After spending time on a difficult commission, I am unwinding in the garden with these gorgeous phlox!  My reward for relaxing patiently with pen and paper?  A beautiful swallowtail joined the party, lighting on several blooms before moving to the next bed.  Thankful she tarried long enough to be sketched!  I have uncapped a favorite TWSBI Diamond fountain pen, to show the nib.  LOVE this pen for all my art needs!  Painting number 2744 in 2744 days.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Sunset Abstracted

Sometimes it is fun to break away from the everyday and play in the paint!  With acrylics I abstract the sunset, looking for those blazing colors as they reflect on the pond.  I really like the ebb and flow of these acrylics as they flow over the surface. I have so many ideas and never enough time!  Painting number 2743 in 2743 days. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Blue Chairs

As I garden, often these little vignettes call for me to paint them.  I finish my work, but always make a mental note to return and paint.  I do this so often, there are many, many paintings in my head - if only I had more painting hours!  This afternoon, I squeezed in a miniature - only 3x3 - to capture this resting spot in the front yard.  And oh how I love that sweet fragrance wafting to me on the breeze!!  I've got Robert Oster's Thunderstorm in my TWSBI Diamond fountain pen and watercolor half pans on handmade paper for this one. Painting number 2742 in 2742 days

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Tractor and Rake

Haying season is a perfect opportunity for me to sketch the equipment in the field!  I'm normally so busy with plein air events that I sometimes miss these chances.  Not this year!  I am painting all things on the home place during this time of social distancing.  With ink and watercolor I capture this scene, one that has been happening for generations.  I love the continuity of that. Painting number 2740 in 2740 days.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Night Phlox

Oh how I love this garden at night!  Painting from my covered front porch, there's plenty of light and endless blooms to paint.  Phlox is the focus with a few little lime hydrangeas for support.  My TWSBI fountain pen is loaded with Robert Oster's Black is Black, and Watercolor Confections for my palette on handmade paper in ATC size.  Now I'm off to greet my brother who has just arrived at my mom's house!  Painting number 2739 in 2739 days.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Firecracker Lilies

Oh these firecracker lilies!!  With large blooms that stay open long after dark - I can still paint them even at midnight!  Though, by 3am they have closed their petals for a few hours of rest!  I bet you're wondering how I know this.  Sometimes, Beau wants out in the middle of the night.  Other times, I'm awake, and it's very pleasant to sit out on the porch and listen to the fountain, helping to quiet my mind.  I am late to my easel once again, and I'm using ink and watercolor on handmade cotton paper for this miniature floral painting.  Three other varieties are also calling my name - but they all stand in the dark at this hour!  Lol!  Love this peaceful time of night, with the fountain, crickets and frogs to serenade me!  Painting number 2738 in 2738 days.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Green Chairs

After a good workout at the gym, and a full day's garden work, I took a little plein air sanity break before moving on to my next task.  I could see the golden hour approaching as I put tools and dumped the wheelbarrow.  The light sweeping across the north side grabbed me - so I went for my gear and sketched!  Of the many beautiful colors of chairs I could have painted - the green ones were here.  The fleeting thought of switching them with the reds chairs crossed my mind - but I was too tired to do it!  I like the red chairs out front, and didn't want to have to move them back!  Lol!  So, true to life, this painting is a study in the greens of high summer in Missouri!  I wish I'd had yesterday's fountain pen, and that warm red brown ink - but I found it too late, and went with Robert Oster's Black is Black instead.  Now, it's spring cleaning in my art supply area - which is why I needed a sanity break!  Painting number 2737 in 2737 days.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Beau in the Pasture

What a beautiful evening after such a hot and muggy day!  On days like this it pays to get out early and late for gardening and painting!  My trusty companion stayed ahead of me long enough this time to get painted in!  Haha!  Perhaps I'll start painting him in more often - he's always hanging around patrolling the grounds!  Ink and watercolor on handmade cotton paper here - and I don't remember what ink I loaded in this pen, but it is warm and reddish - a good compliment to the green of the scene.  Painting number 2736 in 2736 days.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Sailboats Abstracted

Sometimes, I simply must stretch my artistic legs in another direction!  Like visiting far off lands, I am completely out of my box on this one!  I don't think I've fired on any of these cylinders before - and it feels like total exploration.  I'm using some of my vast supplies of acrylics (which I hardly touch anymore) and canvases for this abstract style.  Mixing in mediums, layering color, dropping into place and cutting in paint with a knife - oh what fun it is to just play in the paint!  I felt rather lost in the process, and wonder if I've lost my mind!  Maybe!  Who knows what I'll do next?  Painting number 2735 in 2735 days. 

Monday, July 6, 2020

Tractor and Baler

The hay balers are so quick with their work - it is very difficult for me to catch their equipment in the field!  I've learned that if I want hay bale paintings, I must drop everything and go paint them before they are removed!  Seizing the opportunity to paint this John Deer 4040 and it's baler, I ink first, add color, and ink again.  I like to get in the detail I readily see without "noodling" it.  Love these long days of summer!  Painting number 2734 in 2734 days.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Bales and Rows

It's haying season and the bales are in the pasture!  Its always a busy time of year, but hopefully this year I'll be able to get a few paintings in before the bales are gone.  With a little light left, I paint with ink and watercolor, thinking of the oil paintings to come.  Beau is circulating the area, making sure all predators are at bay!  What a beautiful evening for immersing myself in the land, with paint.  Painting number 2733 in 2733 days. 

Friday, July 3, 2020

Stephanie Returns Daylily

This reblooming daylily is new for me this year!  "Stephanie Returns" is one of four continuous rebloomers that I added to my gardens for Mother's Day.  This peachy pink lily has a yellow throat and ruffled edges to the petals, and should deliver 90 days of blooms when established.  Wowza!  I can't wait!  Capturing this new beauty with ink and watercolor tonight. Painting number 2731 in 2731 days.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Double Lilies

I have only seen these double vintage daylilies in the garden at the historic Amelia Earhart home in Atchison, Kansas.  They are full with double blooms, rich in orange hues deepening towards the centers.  Just beginning to bloom, these beauties should reach peak in about a week.  Coming late to my easel, I barely got this finished before they closed up!  I had forgotten these close up at night!  It was too dark to get a clear outdoor shot, so I brought this one in for the pic along with my supplies.  I've got Robert Oster's Black is Black in my TWSBI Eco fountain pen and Watercolor Confections half pans for this one. Painting number 2730 in 2730 days.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Garden Phlox

I look forward to these gorgeous blooms all year!  Always gorgeous in time for Independence Day, they are tall, showy and so fragrant!  After a hard morning at the gym, a harder day working in the gardens, some fun grandchildren time for Tiffany's date night, I come to my easel late again.  The silly cell service is bad again - Sprint was so much better than Team Mobile has been since they took over, I am trying to get this post done with very little access.  One would think everyone could have decent coverage in 2020.  With ink and watercolor I capture this moment in less time than it has taken me to wait for all the delays in my uploads.  Lol!  Think I need some more art therapy!  Painting number 2729 in 2729 days.