Monday, November 30, 2020

Inside Union Station

Today's painting site for the Monday Morning Watercolorists was Union Station - and I just had to go!  All decked out for the holidays some things remain the same. The giant wreaths in the front windows, the huge Christmas tree (see those tiny doors in the background) with garland and small trees dotting the main hall.  Missing are the wonderful wooden benches for reflection and tree gazing as well as access to the public restrooms.  A special Christmas display is set up in the north hall where tickets are required.  This is such a great place for the holidays, so happy to paint here with friends!  Painting number 2881 in 2881 days. 

Sunday, November 29, 2020


Focusing on portrait work is so much fun with this sweet baby boy on my easel!  I find I can learn SO MUCH by taking deep dives into certain areas of my work. I have long been a portrait artist, first in graphite, later in ink and acrylic, and some in oils.  I'm very comfortable in the black and white, and am now exploring the color like I haven't before. I grow with each painting, and I feel like I am seeing the planes of the face in new ways. Why not get playful with the paint?  I can't wait to see what unfolds as I study portraiture in depth!  Painting number 2880 in 2880 days. 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Country Cabin

The autumn color this year all through the midwest was amazing!  While in Steelville for an Artist Residency, I was contacted about driving out to check out this country cabin for a commission. In this family for 4 generations, this place and land holds many special memories.  I love getting to paint a home that has meant so much for so many years.  I have the best job ever!  Painting number 2879 in 2879 days. 

Friday, November 27, 2020


This sweet boy has gotten into more trouble than all of our other dogs combined.  Very accident prone, he's had life threatening injuries more than once, and he has bounced back each time.  All that pampering while injured really turned him into a 110 pound lap dog, with so much personality!  So, tonight, Beau is on my easel, as he lays around waiting for snacks!  The light is a bit blown out on this portrait, so I'll try to take another pic tomorrow in the daylight.  Love this gentle giant!  Painting number 2878 in 2878 days. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Washington Painter House

I loved this historic place from the first time I laid eyes on it.  Very similar in style to my own family home, these architectural lines always draw me in!  With the iron fence adorned with holiday garland, this was a "must paint" for me!  With ink and watercolor I drew the scene, added in the watercolor gently, then returned for a bit more ink.  Each handmade paper absorbs differently, so I often find I need to adjust my technique in process. Love exploring all the challenges of the mediums! It really is all about the journey!  Painting number 2877 in 2877 days. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Portrait Study in Black and White

On a weekend full of portrait study, it is so fun to try different colors and techniques!  Here I laid down the planes with ivory black and titanium white, adding the tiniest bit of ultramarine blue.  I arrived with my plein air set up, but am now wishing I had a few more soft brushes.  I use a lot of heavy duty workhorse brushes (Princeton Catalysts) in the field for my daily work, and only had a couple of Rosemary brushes in this box.  A softer, lighter brush is better for blending where desired. I find that I like leaving plenty of brushwork and strong strokes untouched.  This portrait journey is going to be SO FUN!  Painting number 2876 in 2876 days. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Looking Down the Katy Trail

The artist in me LOVES exploring new towns.  My first trip to Rocheport finds me rising before the sun to paint as much as possible before focusing on portraiture for the rest of the day!  I'm invigorated by painting en plein air - no matter how little sleep I get nor how little I've eaten. The simple act of putting paint to panel or paper makes me feel so alive.  Why waste a minute?  I'll catch up on sleep and food when I get back home! Painting number 2875 in 2875 days. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Rocheport Depot

Here for an artist weekend of portraiture study, I simply can't resist my gorgeous surroundings!  Out at first light, I am squeezing in as many ink and watercolor paintings as I can before returning to my all day portrait study!  Love this historic small town and I can't wait to return with my oils to capture more of it's beauty!  Painting number 2874 in 2874 days. 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Katy Trail B&B

I am staying in Rocheport for the first time for an artist weekend, and this Katy Trail B&B has been a wonderful place to land.  The charm of this sweet place is right down my alley- so of course I had to paint it!  After a day full of portrait work, it was great to get out in the fresh air.  I sketched this with ink on handmade cotton paper, then added watercolor from my travel half pans.  This town is so full of vintage scenes - I wish I had more plein air time!  I will definitely return for more plein air and biking, too!  Painting number 2873 in 2873 days. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020



This weekend finds me working on my portrait skills in oils!  Joining 7 other artists in the charming town of Rocheport, I've spent today in the Community Hall.  I'm hoping to complete 6 portraits, honing my skills in the process.  I've already learned something very valuable - I can breath life into a portrait by working from a black and white reference photo, working in the color organically.  Who knew?  I plan to really delve into portraits during the winter months, so this weekend is meant to kick start that process.  Thanks, Nyle! This historic district is amazing, simply filled with vintage buildings - all calling to me to paint!  Oh how I wish I had several plein air days scheduled!  So, I'm sketching before and after the scheduled portrait hours, and will certainly return for more work in oils one day.  Painting number 2872 in 2872 days. 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Cardinal Trees

This enchanting place is a perfect getaway, if only for a couple hours!  With ink and watercolor I sketched out the scene before me, going back in with a little more ink.  The trimmed trees line the pathways, and are in many themes.  One can pick the ornaments right off the trees for purchase.  I found the cheerful cardinals donning this tree irresistible!  After I painted this, I bought a couple for my own tree!  Painting number 2871 in 2871 days. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Fairfield Covered Bridge

This nostalgic covered bridge in the city park of Fairfield, Illinois a local icon. Painting it for the Fairfield Art Splash in September, it is the first time I've had the bridge on my easel!  This seems to be my year for painting covered bridges - and oh how I love them!  All paintings for this event were to be kept secret until after the show and sale, which finds me playing "catch up" with my posts!  Love this small town and all of it's unique treasures to paint!  Painting number 2870 in 2870 days. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Two Fishermen

I love painting by the water - ocean, pond, lake, river or creek, they all hold a peaceful magic.  The rhythmic sounds of babbling water leads me away from daily cares, like a balm to my soul.  Capturing the gentle movement of boat on water is a joy, a sliver of peaceful rural living.  Life is all about the little things, after all.  Painting number 2869 in 2869 days. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020


Oh the colors of Christmas are upon us!  When poinsettias start lining the shelves at one of my favorite nurseries, I start thinking about decorating again!  I still have 5 poinsettias from last year - so I didn't bring another one home, but I did add 4 new plants to my tropical collection!  With 15 minutes left before meeting the others, I started this miniature ink and watercolor on 3x3 cotton paper. Fast and loose, quick marks and dashes of paint brought this scene to life - with a minute to spare!  Even a tiny painting can capture the essence of the place!  Painting number 2869 in 2869 days. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Family Tree Nursery

The Family Tree Nursery is a "must paint" during the holiday season!  Christmas trees line the walkways, all glistening with ornaments for sale.  The Monday Morning Watercolorists have met in this special place today, even though it is 64 degrees outdoors!  Though I hardly paint inside on a gorgeous day - this place is the exception!  Love my ink and watercolor for such an interior scene!  Painting number 2868 in 2868 days. 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Fox Babies

Sometimes, I just want to paint some cute fox babies!  I'm not in the plein air realm today, but have instead turned to adorable wildlife, inspired by the red foxes I've spotted across the road and on my Mom's property.  I don't think I've ever drawn a fox before, so this was certainly good practice!  It's all about the lines and angles, especially when the forms are unfamiliar.  In the past I've chosen to draw 100 of whatever challenged me, like 100 people, 100 cows, etc...... are there 95 more foxes in my future?  Yikes!  It's fun to take a break every once in a while!  Painting number 2867 in 2867 days 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Elmore Clock

I have admired this vintage town clock since I first arrived in this small town so many years ago.  Hanging on the corner of the old Bank of Elmore building, this clock is embellished with the same stained glass as the building.  Stopping in Christie's Cafe across the street for lunch with mom, I sketched this miniature painting while waiting for our quiche.  I'm so happy to finally get to paint it - wish all towns had such wonderful clocks!  Painting number 2866 in 2866 days. 

Friday, November 13, 2020

Huzzah Valley Barn

From a vantage near the Huzzah River, I looked back to see this wonderful Steelville icon nestled in the landscape as it has been for so many years.  This barn is leaning to the east now, and it's days may be running out.  So if course, I had to sketch it!  With my favorite TWSBI Diamond mini fountain pen loaded with Levenger's Raven black ink, I sketch the lines of this scene.  With a little water in my brush pen, I soften some of those edges and drop in some more ink.  Love this old barn - hope it is still here next year.  Painting number 2865 in 2865 days. 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Sundance Over the Farm

 I am always drawn to gorgeous skies - especially in the rural landscape!  Choosing a wide format -20x10, I am able to concentrate on what's really important about this scene. The forms and colors in that sky are a bit challenging!  I really try to see the subtle changes, so that every mark counts.  Looking twice, painting once - lol. By careful observation I can stay on track with my vision for this place.  I find that a much more effective way than dropping in masses, and then tweaking.  Painting is a journey, and this season finds me studying my subjects intently. Painting number 2864 in 2864 days. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Elmore Depot

After spending the day in Genoa and Elmore, Mom and I settled in the Walter Ory Park, along the North Coast Inland Trail for a quick sketch.  The day was so warm, it was very pleasant to spend this record November heat outdoors.  Just last fall we attended a festival here, where we dined in this building with Mom's friends.  It has been fun for her to see so many of her friends, and bittersweet to head back to Missouri.  Love getting to spend time in this space, if only for a little while.  Painting number 2863 in 2863 days. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Irishman Covered Bridge

 What a crazy plein air day this has been!  What started as a lovely paint of the Irishman Covered Bridge at Fowler Park, quickly turned to yells for help from across the lake! I left my Mom with my stuff as I rushed over, wondering what was going on.  He was hunched over this fish, on hands and knees with plenty of blood around. I thought he might have cut off his finger!  He was keeping the fish from moving, as the three pronged hook caught his index finger and the large fish with two prongs, leaving one hook for me to try to pull out of first him, then the fish - but I couldn't release either!  We were able to manipulate the fish off the hook - so he asked if I'd take a photo before releasing him! "Really?" I say, as his finger bleeds with the still embedded hook.  "It's the only proof I have - it's the biggest fish I've caught all season." So, I took the shot with the fish, hook, bloody ground and guy smiling, and he asks me if I got ALL the fish, so I backed up a little and took another. Then, I try again to get the hook out, failed, and I help him get his stuff gathered to leave.  He said his finger was numb now, so he's good to drive. I hold the fishing pole as he gets it free of the hook, and he proceeds to the hospital, where I hope they have better luck! I return to finish this painting - but never got my head back in the game!  Oh what a plein air adventure!  Painting number 2862 in 2862 days. 

Monday, November 9, 2020

536 Clinton

The charming small town of Elmore has so many wonderful, historic homes!  This beautiful place is the Victorian home of old friends, and I'm painting it for them while Mom and I are still in town.  The weather has been gorgeous - 80 degrees today - which is a gift for Northern Ohio in November!  There is still autumn color holding on here, and it makes the perfect landscape for this beauty to shine!  A funny little thing about this painting?  I've sketched on the "original porch" from an old photo, which is what will be added back on to this place.  It was just a little challenging from such an old, dark photo - but you know I love a challenge!  So happy to get to visit with friends, too!  Painting number 2861 in 2861 days. 

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Railroad Bridge

While in Elmore taking care of errands, Mom and I stopped by this riverside park to have lunch.  Such a gorgeous warm day in the 70s, it was a delight to sketch this beautiful place.  That railroad bridge is part of the North Coast Inland Trail, that I have run so many times.  Our family also used to ride bikes for miles there.  So peaceful here, this river runs right through my parent's old back yard. I have painted it many times, and it is bittersweet to return after so many things have changed. Painting number 2860 in 2860 days. 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

On the Huzzah River

It is always peaceful alongside a river.  The clear water of the Huzzah reflects the overcast sky on this morning, rushing by gently by the Huzzah River Resort. I painted here for the first time last year, and am so happy to come here in a different season. I love capturing the moods of autumn with ink and watercolor.  The air coming off this water is cold, and it's not long before I'm wanting to turn my back to the wind.  Immersing myself in the landscape, with paint, is such a joy.  Time stands still, cares fade away, and I am one with nature and the paint.  Painting number 2858 in 2858 days. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Rusted Turquoise Truck

This rusted old turquoise truck is a real show stopper in this Albion field.  I wish I knew the story behind this forgotten truck!  I painted this beauty for one of my entries in the Edward's County Paint Out - and this one sold at the opening, and another was commissioned the same week.  Love painting this small town and it's hidden treasures!  Painting number 2857 in 2857 days. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Downtown Owensville

Upon arriving in Owensville to pick up my packet at the gallery, I was instantly charmed by this lovely 1st Street!  After taking a quick spin around town, I returned to this spot to ink and watercolor this street scene.  The complex drawing took much longer than usual, and it took me a while to get to the watercolor.  I love doing these wide angle views, I'm able to really capture the essence of the whole street, as one standing on the sidewalk looking down the street.  So much fun to do - especially in my first morning in town!  Painting number 2856 in 2856 days. 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Lenauer Barn

It was a very cold morning as I set up near this old barn, facing into the wind.  A rather rough place to sketch, but it had to be to get this vantage.  Dressed in layers with two sets of wool socks on, my feet were still cold and my hand was shivering as I finished.  Even the ink in my pen was sluggish - after I left those supplies in my car overnight.  Who knew that would happen?  I love the timelessness of this scene, and I am always drawn to these old barns - even in inclement weather!  Now showing at Gallery Zeke in Steelville. Painting number 2855 in 2855 days. 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Autumn Barn

 I had stopped by this place right before judging, and the light was starting to illuminate the scene. Without time to paint, I rushed off, knowing I must get back quickly to paint it!  Darting out at my first opportunity, I quickly set up and started painting. The light grew more golden as those shadows stretched out, and I painted as fast as I could to finish before dark.  Autumn here is magical, I'm so happy I could paint this sweet slice of Americana! Painting number 2854 in 2854 days.