Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Chickadees Four!

These little chickadees have been gobbling up my birdseed as soon as I can fill the feeders!  So, I sketch them as they fly in and out, landing on the Rose of Sharon branches - also eating the seeds from the little pods!  I'm lucky to see this area from a rocking chair on the front porch, so I can hide as I work!  As soon as I stand for a photo - they all fly away!  This is another painting for the postcard challenge - so this will go out soon in the mail!  Painting number 2914 in 2914 days. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020


This year for Christmas, I have been busy painting special portraits for the special people in my life.  For those in the family who do not have little babies in the family - they are instead getting their favorite fur baby portrait!  It has been fun having the time to work on portraiture, even during the busy season.  So many times, painting is my solace, and I'm so fortunate to get to share this passion with those I love. Painting number 2913 in 2913 days. 

Monday, December 28, 2020


I really love getting expressive with the paint on these shiny, reflective Christmas ornaments!  There is something so liberating about grabbing full strength paint from the tube and dropping it right onto the canvas - to work in additional colors at will!  There's no right or wrong, only the marks as they land, sometimes with wild abandon!  After a very full day, it is just the art therapy I need to unwind a bit at day's end.  Love these stolen moments away from my duties!  Painting number 2912 in 2912 days. 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Wren and Suet

These little wrens are so fun to watch, flitting from branch to branch, and landing very close as I paint!  They nest right on the front porch by the window - and even inside the back porch (as they sneak in the crack by the door)!  The new Christmas bell suet cake is a big hit with this guy and his many friends!  I think they will soon devour it and I'll have to find another!  My favorite Levenger's Raven Black ink is in my TWSBI Diamond mini fountain pen, on a Fabriano postcard for the Urban Sketchers KC postcard challenge.  This one will be going out in the mail tomorrow!  Painting number 2911 in 2911 days 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Shiny Baubles

Today, we celebrated our first ever Outdoor Christmas!  Campfire and wood stove fire going, we hardly needed them with temps in the 50s.  Crock pots lined one side of the bar with chili, pizza rolls, veggies and cold salads, dips and chips lined the other.  Desserts had their own table - and Beau had to be discouraged from helping himself!  We did a cookie exchange for the first time - and I've only started sampling the goodies!  Blankets adorned the chairs, with seating separated into family groups.  The kids could run the countryside, and one rc plane was lost in the wind - but we hope to find it with a drone tomorrow!  It was a lot more work, but really worth it to gather together in a time of covid. Painting number 2911 in 2911 days. 

Friday, December 25, 2020

Red Poinsettia

Nothing says Christmas like a beautiful red poinsettia!  Tonight finds me painting with acrylics on wood, one last painting of the season.  We are celebrating tomorrow with the family for a special Outdoor Christmas event - in honor of covid!  Lol. Oh well, at least we are expecting a lovely day for December - and it will be great to gather together with everyone, social distance style. Merry Christmas to you all and to all good night! 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve Cows

This afternoon, I'm sneaking in a quick sketch before gathering with family over at Mom's house.  These cows have been calling my name all week - perhaps I'll get more time to paint after the holidays are over.  Happy Christmas Eve! Painting number 2910 in 2910 days. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Wooded Path

 The warmth of this morning has flown, and blustery winds have moved in.  Even on the cold days, I get outside to walk with my trusty companion with ink and paper in my deep pockets. The sunset is singing as my pen sketches the trail before me.  In this peaceful place walked by my ancestors, I can almost feel them by my side. I am so at one with this place.  Life is made of the little things, each one matters. I now head back to start dinner and check in with the family.  Christmas is almost here. Painting number 2909 in 2909 days. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Gingerbread House Tree

 I love how this special tree brings back memories of Christmases past. I remember finding these special blown glass ornaments at the Christmas Shoppe in Branson while on a weekend trip with sorority sisters many years ago.  When I decorated the little tree and put it on the kitchen counter, the little ones loved the little houses and people.  Now those little ones have little ones.  Where does all the time go?  Painting number 2908 in 2908 days. 

Monday, December 21, 2020

Nutcracker Tree

It's not often that I put a full day's work into the yard in December, but that is just what I did.  Love the 60s, little wind, and ground soft enough to dig in - so I moved a couple of structures, digging them in.  Deciding against weaving fabric through the wire to create a wind break, I instead cut cedar boughs and tied them on.  I had two large cedars in need of some shaping, so this worked out perfectly! Working after dark, I stayed out to enjoy the Christmas Star (conjunction) on this clear night. How beautiful to see!  We're having a family "Outdoor Christmas" this Friday, so my tasks are many and time grows short.  My quick sketch tonight is of my Nutcracker tree, and the hall was just too dark to get a good photo.  This is another postcard painting that will be heading to someone special tomorrow!  Painting number 2907 in 2907 days. 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Young Cedar Path

What a joy it is to walk outside my door, stroll through the pastures, and find such natural beauty waiting for me to sketch it.  The color grew more lovely as I worked, and had me longing for my oils back at the house.  No matter, this sketch walk is dedicated to postcard paintings, and I am enjoying the process.  I find it ever more important to spend these moments in the landscape, just paper, pen and I.  Painting number 2906 in 2906 days. 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Teacup Tree

This little Teacup tree has graced our second floor for many years.  I originally purchased the teacup ornaments at Victorian Papers, knowing the kids would love the playful kittens and mice adorning teacups, teapots and sugar spoons!  I enjoy putting Christmas trees in every room - and all the smaller ones have themes.  Perhaps I'll paint a few more this week before Christmas!  This ink and watercolor is painted on a Fabriano postcard blank, and is one in sending out for the Urban Sketchers KC postcard challenge!  Who shall I send this to?  Painting number 2904 in 2904 days. 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Huzzah River Autumn

 The Huzzah River is a favorite place to paint when down in Steelville, Missouri.  Known for it's rafting, the banks of this river are fabulous to paint from. On this day, I stayed close enough to the large bridge to duck for cover of the rain started.  It wasn't rain that poured down from the bridge, but road crews cleaning and rinsing the bridge!  That was fun to dodge all the dirty water!  Lol!  Just another plein air adventure!  Painting number 2903 in 2903 days.  This painting is currently available at Gallery Zeke in Steelville.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Cedar Walk

There is nothing like a walk among nature to restore the soul.  I've found peace and time for contemplation while walking the paths around our property.  This year, Mike cut a path around each pasture, to the ponds and into this remote area of cedars.  I love hiking through here, sometimes sketching, sometimes planting seeds and bulbs, sometimes trimming away brush.  Today I pruned back a whole briar of raspberries that was spilling into the path and snagging my pants.  I feel one with the earth out here, just another generation tending to the needs of this land.  I hope my grandparents would be proud.  This postcard painting is going out in the mail to someone special for the Urban Sketchers KC postcard challenge!  I'll be watching the mail for future arrivals!  Painting number 2902 in 2902 days. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Sweet Kitty

Oh, I love drawing a sweet kitty face after such a busy day!  I've been making and writing cards for hours, so unwinding with a little drawing is so relaxing!  Graphite is my first art love, the first thing my little hands picked up from a child's desk my Grandma Frank had loaded with supplies at a north window in her kitchen.  I remember the color of the light, the smell of the old pencils when I sharpened them, and the way their marks spread across a paper.  I remember the tactile feel of the lead on that thick, yellowed paper.  That desk was tiny and I wasn't in school yet, and those memories are embedded in my soul. I even remember a black and red diamond checkered box that all the writing supplies and antique child's scissors were kept in, inside the desk.  I haven't thought of these things for years, but drawing takes me right back to that joyful time.  Painting number 2901 in 2901 days. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Steelville Park in Autumn

I love a misty, rainy day for capturing all that saturated color in the landscape.  One of the first real cold mornings, I had just picked up a propane heater for warmth in the field.  With no experience at all, I set it up at my feet and started it without issue. How nice it was to have a little warmth out in the cold wind.  I just needed to be mindful of where it was so I wouldn't step into it as I worked.  I'm always stepping back to check my progress, and forward to lay paint. It would be so easy to knock into it!  So far so good, and I'm looking forward to using it on those cold and snowy days of winter!  Painting number 2900 in 2900 days.  Wowza! 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Cedar Path

This cedar path inspires me as I walk and sketch.  This southwest corner pasture was fenced off for many years when my grandmother sold the adjoining land before we could afford to buy more. As a result, cedars grew with reckless abandon to a very large size before we cut through the fence to tend it. It is beautiful!  Large cedars form curving paths full of birdsong and deer trails, and now we mow a waking path looping through from the west pasture. I think there is a volunteer cherry tree in there which I cleared around this summer.  What fun it would be to have a cherry tree on my wooded walk!  Ink and watercolor on a watercolor postcard, this one for the Urban Sketchers KC postcard challenge!  What fun it will be when little works of art return to me one day!  Painting number 2899 in 2899 days.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Western Fence Line

Oh how I love that golden light!  Heavily overcast all day, I was happy to see the clouds disappear and the sun shine brightly!  Today, I have taken my pen and ink to this postcard watercolor blank that I used yesterday with acrylic and ink.  Whenever I have papers I don't care for, I seem to always be able to use them with my inks!  I have an ink blend in this fountain pen, and in the sun I could see all the gold flecks shimmering from the boldest lines!  I must have a little of my J. Herbin Anniversary ink in this one, which I later added Cocoa Crown and Raven Black to.  The result is a rich, lovely black - that shimmers ever so slightly in gold!  How rewarding it is to walk through the pastures and wooded paths, and sketch a little along the way. Painting number 2898 in 2898 days. 

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Christmas Balls

Tonight finds me painting on a watercolor postcard for the Urban Sketchers KC postcard challenge. Well, it has been a challenge!  I purchased postcards, not realizing that I don't like painting on 140 lb cold pressed paper, unlike most watercolorists.  The other day I was not happy with my watercolors on this paper. So tonight, I grabbed my acrylics instead.  Well, I prefer masonite for my acrylics.  So I then grabbed my closest fountain pen and was surprised to find purple ink in it!  Lol! It was actually perfect for the orange background, but ink and acrylic?  That's a new one!  Maybe tomorrow I'll go with straight ink for the challenge.  There has got to be a medium that I actually like this paper for!  Painting number 2996 in 2996 days.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Audrey in Blue

I have always admired the grace and style of the iconic Audrey Hepburn.  Working on my portrait skills, I am playing with my blues.  Off of my palette for many years but making a new appearance - Prussian blue is my dominate blue here.  I did pull in some ultramarine blue with my ivory black and white titanium when defining the planes.  I am having so much fun on these portrait studies, I don't want to stop working!  I long to take deep dives into my process, but alas, Christmas is around the corner, and I'm being pulled in so many directions.  Painting number 2896 in 2896 days. 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Old Tractor in Field

How could I possibly resist painting an old tractor on a farm?  I couldn't!  I forgot to post this painting earlier and only just realized it!  I often paint several paintings on a day, but only post one. So, the extras wait in the wings until I shuffle them into the lineup!  I really love using my oils in such a landscape. They seem to add body to the grasses and foliage while rounding those planes of the tractor.  So happy this painting has found a new home and is my 2895th in 2895 days. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

KC Giant Nutcracker

A Kansas City icon, this giant nutcracker is one of a collection that stands guard at the Mayor's Christmas Tree.  Posted at the edges of the children's playland, each one is different in color and accessories. With our unseasonably warm temps in the 60s, this venue is perfect for capturing a slice of KC Christmas time in ink and watercolor!  Painting number 2894 in 2894 days. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Tree Trio

Another gorgeous December day - and I'm out sketching a slice of Christmas at Crown Center.  I wish I had a better on site image - but I didn't check this before moving to another location.  I didn't have my normal sketch bag, so my fountain pen ink is a blend of mostly Levenger's Raven Black with a little of their Cocoa brown.  I initially only had the brown in that pen, but it was far too red when washed with a little water, so I added the black.  Which, is not advised, by the way.  All inks are different and have different properties, and many simply don't blend well, causing issues on the paper.  Or, so I've read.  I like to blaze my own trail, throwing caution to the wind when it comes to such things - lol!  There's no rules in art!  Painting number 2892 in 2892 days. 

Monday, December 7, 2020

Mayor's Christmas Tree

Today finds me at Crown Center capturing the holiday magic with ink and watercolor!  The Urban Sketchers have a challenge out for postcard paintings, so I picked up some blanks at Blick, and headed to the playland by the ice skating rink.  With the very first mark I remembered how much I dislike standard watercolor paper!  What was I thinking?  I keep picking up these special items - totally forgetting that I only use handmade paper, and then I have to try and make it work.  What a lovely place on a lovely day, if only I had handmade paper postcards!  I am now thinking of creating my own, but I still have three pads full to use!  Yikes!  Postcards from the edge, maybe?  Painting number 2891 in 2891 days.  

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Sweet Augustus

As my portrait journey continues, I am exploring my use of color and brushwork.  The last few portraits were fast and expressive - leading to fresh color and lots of strokes unblended.  As I worked through this one, I was a little more thoughtful with color placement and soft edges.  This little darling is thoughtful and sweet, encouraging me to mimic those qualities in my painting.  I really enjoy this journey and can't wait to see where it leads.  Painting number 2890 in 2890 days. 

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Rustic Barn Inked

I love drawing these wonderful old midwest barns!  Full of character, they take me back to my childhood and playing in the old barns of my grandparents and great aunt and uncle. Pictured here is my favorite TWSBI Diamond mini fountain pen and Levenger's Raven Black ink, probably my most used combo for sketching.  I love the rich velvety flow of the ink from that medium nib on my handmade cotton paper!  Busy, busy days find me with shorter painting windows - why is there never enough time?  Painting number 2889 in 2889 days. 

Friday, December 4, 2020

Jordan and Alyssa's Wedding Venue

I love getting to capture the special moments of life in paint on handmade paper!  I sketched this wonderful barn scene with a favorite TWSBI Diamond fountain pen loaded with Raven Black ink.  After getting all the details in, I then come in with watercolor to add the life to the painting.  When I get the color where I want it, I come back in with a little more ink.  I love the process of ink and watercolor, especially on handmade paper!  Painting number 2888 in 2888 days.... I think.  I better go back and check my numbers - it's so easy to lose track!! 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Winston Study

Another portrait study from my portrait focus weekend - this time Winston is on my easel!  It is super fun to explore the lines and planes of this iconic face!  Playing with color here, exploring non traditional hues, I have begun by laying down my darkest darks and lightest planes.  I then bring them together with mid tones, bringing in higher color.  My portrait adventure has only just begun and I can't wait to see what unfolds next!  Painting number 2886 in 2886 days. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Union Station Christmas

Union Station is a magical place for the holidays.  Even with social distancing and missing benches, the beauty remains.  The tree is enormous - note the tiny doors and figures to the left!  Families come to the tree for pictures, then walk on to see the special exhibit, all while I sketch from a south door.  Just a few years ago, Dad and I sat on a bench close to the tree, basking in it's beauty as we admired it.  He remembered coming here to meet family in the train, when he was just a boy.  Such a special place to paint, especially during the holidays.  Painting number 2884 in 2884 days.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Vintage Charm

Every year I look forward to traveling to Fairfield, Illinois to paint for their plein air event. This year was different, like so many other plein air events, and I could not paint in person.  Choosing from special reference provided by the community, I painted a few favorites.  All paintings had to be kept secret until the unveiling, so I am only now posting some of these paintings. With ink I sketched in the lines and angles of this house, adding watercolor as I went along.  I often go back in with a little more ink.  Once finished, I framed this up and delivered them all in person.  Taking my Mom with me, we delivered art in 4 states and saw plenty of beautiful places along the way!  Painting number 2883 in 2883 days.