Monday, August 31, 2020

Jerusalem Artichokes

 After years of admiring these in Kansas, Missouri and my own property, I now discover they are jerusalem artichokes!  A native wildflower - they are also a wild edible, and are supposedly delicious!  I will dig some when the time is right and roast the roots!  These sunflowers seem to last forever as cut flowers, and have a long bloom time, too. It wasn't until I wanted to identify it among other wild sunflowers that I found it's name.  How wonderful!  The bees really like them, too - they kept buzzing me as i painted!  Painting number 2793 in 2793 days. 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Roadside Sunflowers


I love these wild sunflowers that grow with reckless abandon!  With sprawling branches, they bloom profusely - and oh how the bees and birds love them!  Today I just oils to capture their beauty - tangled stems and all.  Rather than sketch my composition with brush and paint, I started with the masses of color, dotting in every area like a puzzle.  This actually helped me paint accurately, since their were no stems winding through as my brain would have it.  I like the very realistic portrayal this process led me to.  Painting number 2792 in 2792 days. 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Swizzle Zinnias

 I grew these zinnias from seed collected from Cherry Swizzle zinnias which are white and pink.  I was so pleasantly surprised when they bloomed yellow and pink!  So far, half the starts have this color variation!  Love what seeds do on their own!  So naturally,  I have to paint them!  With Robert Oster's Thunderstorm ink in a favorite fountain pen, I start sketching in miniature ATC size.  I add watercolor with my half pans and finish before dark.  Love these little moments spent painting in my garden.  Painting number 2791 in 2791 days. 

Friday, August 28, 2020

Inn at Yadkin Creek

 This wonderful old Inn at Yadkin Creek was so fun to capture with pen and ink!  A very complicated composition, I began by marking my points and edges with a dot - a visual mark to help me be sure of my relative masses before dropping those hard lines.  Happy with my marks, I start drawing in earnest.  With so many different angles and planes, this was challenging architecture - AND OH SO FUN!  There is something about facing a challenge that inspires me - and is even more rewarding to accomplish.  I hope to stay here sometime with family for a special weekend!  Painting number 2790 in 2790 days. 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Sunflower Trio

 These sunflowers are so tall - I have to look way up at them to paint them!  In this hot and dry weather, they will not stay lovely for long - so I will try to get a few more paintings of their lovely blooms.  Wanting a square format, I grabbed a loose piece from my paper drawer without really looking at it.  As I started painting (after the ink sketch) I realized the surface is irregular!  Handmade paper varies naturally, but this one is very smooth on one side and rough on the other!  It is not as noticeable with the eye as it was from the brush!  The brush dragged and released paint differently on the left side, and almost skimmed the surface of the right.  With a little more attention to the process as I finished, I was able to bring it all together smoothly.  Another distraction as I worked?  A little bumblebee that was very interested in my hair and face!  So - I sketched him into the painting, too!  Painting number 2789 in 2789 days!  

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Blue River

 The view of Blue River is amazing from the Love Locks Bridge!!  In fact, it is gorgeous both to the north and looking south!  I chose this view because a fellow artist was set up exactly where I would set up on the other side, and I didn't wish to crowd her.  I really love the color of rivers in high summer! All those golds and olive greens make for an interesting shift from the wooded banks.  With ink and watercolor I paint this on a smoother cotton paper than I prefer, but I'm learning to enjoy the process.  Each time I do it, it gets easier.  This is one of my favorite TWSBI Diamond fountain pens - and I was extra careful as I hung over the edge of the bridge to paint this!  I would go in after this pen!  Lol!  Painting number 2788 in 2788 days. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Love Locks

 I had no idea there were so many wonderful padlocks!  This Love Locks Bridge in Kansas City has such a beautiful collection!  Many are engraved with names, dates and verse - and some look ancient and rusted shut.  It looks like solar fairy lights adorn the top of this bridge at night.  What a cool nocturne painting that would be!  Painting number 2787 in 2787 days. 

Monday, August 24, 2020

Love Locks Bridge

 What a treat to meet the Monday Morning Watercolorists at this Kansas City icon!  I was out of town when there was a paint out here, so I jumped at the chance to come today!  Now part of Minor Park, this old bridge on Red Bridge Rd is a wonderful destination for lovers.  Many locks adorn the rails towards the middle of the bridge.  I found a place in the shade at the far end, where I could get a wide view of this icon.  I didn't know there were so many different kinds of locks! Many are engraved with names and years, as well as sentiments.  It was a lovely day spent painting in this special place. Painting number 2786 in 2786 days. 

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Mammoth Sunflower

 Oh how I love painting this mammoth sunflower to the sound of crickets!  Their song is so soothing, reminding me of so many country evenings spent outdoors, listening to their music!  This particular sunflower is a showstopper this year - and you can bet I'll save the seed for next year's beauties!  He towers over this garden like a king, so I sketch him with ink and add in a wash of watercolor to bring him to life.  I wish these cheerful faces lasted all season long! Painting number 2785 in 2785 days. 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Turquoise Bike Garden

 Once in a while, I forget to capture a photo while still on my location.  The bright backlighting on the sunny deck made it impossible to get a good shot, so I meant to move to the shade and try again - but I forgot in the packing up of supplies to get paintings turned in on time.  I started this oil painting right after the ink and watercolor at the tree top garden. The turquoise bike was the perfect compliment to those gorgeous flowers - and caught my eye right away for the "floral" category.  I have so enjoyed this plein air event in Steelville - I feel so restored in the midst of covid craziness!  This painting is now showing at Gallery Zeke in Steelville, MO.  Painting number 2784 in 2784 days. 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Turquoise Bike Garden

 What better place than a tree top garden to spend the afternoon with ink and watercolor?  The turquoise bike surrounded with flowers hooked me right in!  With a steady breeze, my watercolors seemed to dry as soon as I laid them down - so I had to coax them along to deepen their hues.  I am very much a wet into dry painter, and I seldom layer.  So. I need to get those areas where I want them while wet - which is sort of like speed painting on a sunny, windy day!  Painting number 2783 in 2783 days. 

Thursday, August 20, 2020


 This evening finds me painting a little garden whimsy in my sunflower patch with ink and watercolor.  The mammoth sunflowers are giant this year - probably 12 feet tall!  So, they tower over my garden phlox that is merely 4 to 5 feet tall.  I had in mind making this for a face mask design, and hope to upload the images to Society 6 tonight.  Since I don't seem to like any of the designs I see out there, I am now designing masks I would wear.  If we have to wear them, why not wear art on our faces?  Lol!  Painting number 2782 in 2782 days. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Prairie Path


What a treat it was to walk along this prairie path and discover all the beautiful paintings awaiting my ink and watercolor!  This wildflower garden was full of blazing stars rising above the other blooms.  After a quick sketch in ink I started laying in the watercolor.  I've used Robert Oster's Thunderstorm ink for this sketch, and it lends a violet/ turquoise tone when wet.  Love exploring the many different inks.  In fact, I think it's time to order a few more! Painting number 2781 in 2781 days. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Bee and Black-eyed Susans

 I am always drawn to the cheerful faces of black-eyed susans!  Their sunny yellow faces shine in the garden - and these are showstoppers at the Thompson Park in old town Overland Park.  Meeting a few other watercolor artists covid style for a little painting, I found this sweet patch of flowers to paint for my second of the morning. I wanted the format of this square paper, but I had forgotten that I like this smooth hot pressed surface better for ink than for watercolor.  I made it work, but missed my normal texture.  Every once in a while, I need to restock my various sketch bags, or I might be painting on trash I pull out of a barrel!  Lol!  Painting number 2780 in 2780 days. 

Monday, August 17, 2020

Thompson Park

 I love returning to old town Overland Park to paint!  The Monday morning watercolor group has been meeting at a different park each week during covid - and I'm so happy to discover this!  The only morning I don't have gym classes, it fit perfectly into my calendar!  This place has been completely redone since I last painted here during a previous Stems plein air event.  There is a new water garden, but it is hard to turn it into a painting!  An orange twist in air with fountains below just does now mesh with this beautiful old carriage house.  So, I turned my attention to the rows of new plantings leading right to the house.  As these beds mature, they are going to be fabulous!  Mom tagged along today and treated me to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory!  This was certainly a day well spent!  Painting number 2779 in 2779 days. 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Tractors in the Barn

 As I finished my first two paintings for the day, this scene called to the from over my shoulder.  I looked once, twice, then grabbed my pen and ink and paper.  I sketched the barn, tractors and slope of land quickly on my favorite handmade paper.  Knowing that I didn't have enough time to do this in oil, I was satisfied with the process of ink on paper.  I still think this would make a wonderful painting, perhaps I'll add the color on another day.  Maybe in the studio!  Painting number 2778 in 2778 day.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Cedar Bluff Farm

 It felt so good to land on my first painting site in ages!  Good, but also weird!  I've not been mingling in the public since March really, when the whole world shut down.  As we waited turns in the street to go into Gallery Zeke for our registration packets, we visited with masks on, conscious of our 6 feet. It was so unnatural to greet old friends without hugging, awkward even, a little sad reminder of the new world.  All was perfectly fine in the field, but as we gathered, masks were donned, to be removed as we returned to our easels.  En plein air, we're naturally distanced very far apart as we all paint our preferred compositions.  Rushing our paintings back for judging to Wildwood Springs Inn, we again gathered at a distance, and masked up inside.  No yummy dinners for this event, everything had to be prepackaged for safety.  I did feel a little off, so strange to be out in the world after staying in my tiny bubble of family and a few gym friends at a distance.  After this first day, I regained my footing, and was a new woman by the end of the week.  So good to feel whole again!  Painting number 2777 in 2777 days. 

Friday, August 14, 2020

Jack's Oasis

 The peace and tranquil beauty of still water always lures me in.  As I stand in this spot, I hear the smallest noises as I paint.  The rustling of a mouse in the tall grass behind me, a frog jumping into the water, and the buzzing of insects as they fly by, all the little sounds unnoticed in a busy world call out to me.  Painting while immersed in nature is truly meditative, each paint stroke marked with thankfulness.  Especially in chaotic times, painting is soothing to my soul.  This painting is now showing at Gallery Zeke in Steelville, Missouri and is number 2775 in 2775 days. 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Dairy Isle

 This sweet treat location is a Steelville, Missouri icon!  Always busy, I had to look between cars and people just to get my ink sketch in!  Once the composition was complete, I started in with the watercolor from my half pan travel set.  I love having such streamlined supplies in the field - it makes the whole process more enjoyable!  Not only is the ice cream amazing - they cook a mean burger, too!  This painting is now available at Gallery Zeke right down the road from here!  Painting number 2773 in 2773 days. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Frog Pond

 The evening before, I arrived a little too late at this pond to capture the last golden light of the day.  So, on this day I was sure to get to my spot earlier.  I sketched quickly to the song of frogs, hoping the light would last as long as I needed it to.  My camp stool sat precariously on top of the wet soil at water's edge, so I was careful to keep it from sinking.  With my watercolor half pans on the ground, I dipped in and out as I washed in the colors of the landscape with a water brush pen. A few mosquitoes were coming to visit, and I was glad to have my bug jacket on!  I love the peaceful quiet near this pond.  So glad I had time for one more painting here!  Painting number 2771 in 2771 days. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

August Bounty

 The artists drew numbers out of a bowl to determine which location we would go for the quick paint on Main Street.  At each place on the map, a still life was set up outside of the business.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a table full of fresh produce straight from the garden, at the front corner of this insurance office, with beautiful awnings and flag in view.  How could I not paint it all?  As I painted, the temperature rose, especially as I stood on the cement parking lot - in the full sun!  Not my usual choice of set ups - but the only choice for this view.  It was a very hot paint, but I finally finished and got this framed and turned in a little early.  I was SO surprised when this was chosen for the day's Main Street Still Life Purchase Award!  It sure made the suffering for my art with the price!  Lol!  Painting number 2770 in 2770 days. 

Monday, August 10, 2020

Kauffman Gardens

 I haven't been to this garden for years, and the last time my parents were with me.  My mom won an award for a photo taken here during that trip.  Now, I am painting the same garden with ink and watercolor on handmade cotton paper.  I love the motion of the dancing girls in bronze, joyful as they step through the fountain.  An artist friend let me know a few watercolorists are meeting on Monday mornings at different locations each week - and I am so glad!  I am so happy to have a new painting spot each week - distanced and with masks when needed.  Painting number 2769 in 2769 days. 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Huzzah Valley Morning

I'm so lucky to have an artist friend refer me to this place!  The Huzzah River Valley Resort boasted this gorgeous landscape along the campground, and it was only a short walk down to water's edge to paint!  Arriving early, a few campers were just starting their breakfasts, and the smell of bacon wafted down from their campfires as I painted.  Not a soul ventured down to the water this early, just a pileated woodpecker working on a nearby tree and the occasional fish jumping. I set up on a rocky bar to capture this scene, and was charmed by the babbling water. If only every morning could start like this.  This painting won third place in the "Paint Anywhere" category, and has now gone to auction.  I have thoroughly enjoyed painting Steelville!  Painting number 2768 in 2768 days. 

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Frog Pond

 What better way to start the day?  The sweet music of crickets and early birds serenaded me this morning as first light bloomed in the sky.  The very still water was a joy to capture in oils, each stroke in the landscape mirrored on the surface. I have missed these plein air events this year, and I am counting my blessings this morning.  Painting number 2768 in 2768 days. 

Friday, August 7, 2020

Red Moose Vineyard Inked

What a lovely morning to land in a gorgeous vineyard with pen and ink!  Using my favorite gold TWSBI Diamond fountain pen and Raven Black ink by Levenger, I let the painting unfold with line and wash.  A little water adds to the depth and precedes the oil painting to come.  This place is beautiful and peaceful, and the clouds offer a little shelter from my place in the full sun!  Love this plein air life!  Painting number 2767 in 2767 days. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Inn at Yadkin Creek

Another beautiful day in Steelville for plein air!  The Inn at Yadkin Creek was a perfect place to spend the day painting!  This lovely historic place was a challenge with all of her lines and shapes, but oh was she fun to paint!  The owner is so welcoming and came out frequently to check on the progress.  This would be a wonderful place to stay!  Painting number 2765 in 2765 days.  

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Morning at Red Moose Vineyard

Whar an amazing place for painting in plein air!  This Red Moose Vineyard has it all! After an ink sketch in the field, I started this oil on my masonite panel.  I think I could paint here all week! Painting number 2764 in 2764 days. 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Farm on Hwy 63

I had to pull over in the driving rain, so a sketched the lovely farm across the highway!  Ink on handmade cotton paper for this quick sketch in Westfallia! Painting number 2760 in 2760 days