Sunday, February 28, 2021

Moon Cacti

Love the vibrant "moons" sitting atop these tiny cacti!  I have three of these at home in yellow, red and red orange, so of course I needed the burgundy one to add to my collection!  This one is a miniature at only 3x3 inches square.  I have sketched quickly with an almost empty black ink fountain pen, watercolored, then added a little more ink from another pen - Robert Oster's Great Southern Ocean.  It is a really lovely ink pushing turquoise, and fun to add to colorful scenes such as outdoor floral work. I don't think I used it all winter, it just didn't match my surroundings.  As spring approaches, I'll be pulling it out more often!  Painting number 2974 in 2974 days. 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Orange Begonias

 I love sketching the cheerful begonias at Suburban Lawn and Garden!!  This is always a lovely place to come inside and sketch when it's cold outside.  The bright colored blooms are so very appealing in February, so of course I had to paint them.  With a few quick lines and a loose wash of watercolor, I was soon finished with this quick floral impression.  It's so hard to focus when these lovelies keep begging for me to bring them home!  I love growing things almost as much as I love painting!  Painting number 2972 in 2972 days. 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Hereford Pair

Painting cattle in the pasture is such a peaceful way to spend time outside. Getting a few things ready for galleries, this small painting is on my easel today.  Herefords have such wonderful color, they are very printable in the landscape. I use my brushes to fill out the composition, then I reach for my palette knife for the final paint marks.  I like the way the knife lays down thicker paint.  There is something so peaceful about watching these large animals as they graze, and it is always a joy to paint them.  Painting number 2971 on 2971 days. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021


I'm working on a few gallery pieces this week, and this is one for an upcoming animal show.  I am working from an old photo of a favorite cat who is no longer with us, so the work is bittersweet.  First I paint in the masses using a brush, coming in with thicker paint on a palette knife.  I really do love painting animals, and the knife is perfect for adding texture to the fur.  I like the mood of this, I think I'll let it rest for the night, and look with fresh eyes in the morning.  Painting number 2970 in 2970 days. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

February Sunset

What a treat it has been to have snow to paint the last couple of weeks!  With warm days and no cold in sight, I may not get another chance to paint snow for quite a while. The colors of sunset are so fleeting - doubly so when reflected off the snow!  I like to squint my eyes as I'm painting on that local color quickly.  It really helps me see the values more accurately on the fly, and a great way to check my painting in progress.  It always feels like a race when I'm painting a sunset!  Painting number 2969 in 2969 days. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021


So fun to paint orchids inside the nursery with a few artist friends!  Suburban Lawn and Garden is a wonderful place to paint beautiful blooms.  This orchid planter called out to me as I scanned the nursery.  I'm using Robert Oster's Great Southern Ocean in my blue TWSBI Eco fountain pen, and use it and a black ink to sketch out my lines.  A little watercolor fills out the 3x3 inch paper.  The best part of sketching here is the shopping I get to do afterwards!  I brought 4 new plants home today!  Painting number 2968 in 2968 days. 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Oaks at Creek

It's been ages since I've been to the city, and this is what I paint on arrival!  Lol!  I met artist friends (the Monday Morning Watercolorists) at Suburban Lawn and Garden this afternoon, and I walked around back to scout out that lovely creek before going in.  How could I possibly leave this spot unpainted?!!  Pulling out a 3x3 inch paper, I did a quick sketch followed with watercolor.  I tried 3 different water brush pens before settling on one.  I need to throw out the worn out ones and mark one that is super loose with the water!  It is good to use for a wet area, but really not good on those branches and leaves!  Thank goodness I had what I needed, because I just grabbed that bag on my way out.  I have been known to raid supplies from another sketch bag - leaving myself wanting at another time!  Oh the life of the artist!  Painting number 2967 in 2967 days. 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Snow at Winter Creek

The dark water of January has returned after our record breaking cold snap, and I absolutely love capturing it in oil.  I've been so blessed to have snow to paint for several days running, and am trying hard to take advantage of every day.  I've returned to working large, which is one of my goals for this winter.  I like exploring with more detail what is too difficult to do in a small surface.   It allows me to tackle a more complicated composition, as well.  Perhaps I should even keep a large one in process as I do smaller ones daily?  I've always been one to finish one painting before beginning another, though, not wanting to leave anything unfinished.  I love the quiet of winter, so very peaceful indeed.  Painting number 2966 in 2966 days. 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Sun on Snow through the Trees

My trusty painting companion stepped in at the very last moment to strike a pose by the main tree - and I think I simply must paint him in!  With family on the way over and dinner in the oven, I HAD to pack up and head in.  I'm painting on a canvas board today, which I never like, but the process is what is important.  The drag of the palette knife over that surface is interesting when it comes to laying in snow, but irritating when it comes to painting trees.  I don't like the even skip of the brush over the weave.  I have always preferred masonite panels and my gessoed surfaces.  The temperatures are raising and I may only have another day of snow left.  It's been a good run!  Painting number 2966 in 2966 days. 

Friday, February 19, 2021

Subtle Winter Sunset

I love when the sun shines on the snow covered landscape - even though it speeds up the melting!  One never knows how a sunset will unfold, so I prepared with the lines and dark values, waiting on that bloom of color.  This sunset set softly, with a cloud bank diffusing the hues. What began as gold quickly pushed pink, and then just popped with a magenta streak as I was already heading back!  That's so often the way of it.  It has warmed up to 30 degrees, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time outdoors today.  The fresh air and rural surroundings feed my soul as much as painting out here does.  I may only have one more day of snow painting before it all melts away - 60s are expected soon!  Painting number 2965 in 2965 days.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Sunlight on the Snow

The giant snowflakes of yesterday shimmered like glitter on the lawn today.  All day long the outdoors called to me as I worked on household chores.  I was looking for that golden light to start to bloom over the landscape, and finally it did.  I am once again painting over an old painting on masonite, my substrate of choice.  After the brushwork was in, I topped off with some knife work to represent the drifts of snow.  Love this winter wonderland and especially love those balmy temps in the 20s! Such a great painting day!  Painting number 2964 in 2964 days. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Winter Herefords

Giant snowflakes fell from the sky as I started my day, and fell steadily for hours more.  As 3:00 approached, the warmest part of the afternoon, the snow was still falling gently.  With just a couple hours of daylight left, I headed out to the pasture.  The snow was deep - nearly to the top of my boots! It is actually in the 20s today - and it feels so very warm to paint in!  I even left the neoprene layer at the house.  These beauties stopped for a while to model for me before marching back up to their hay.  They walk single file back and forth, and when one stops they all stop.  I love getting to spend time out in nature with my paint.  This simple process feeds my soul indeed.  Painting number 2963 in 2963 days. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Sunshine and Cedars

Oh what a difference the sunshine makes!  The thermometer still says it's cold on this record setting day, but it was honestly very comfortable for painting!  After getting my car stuck in the deep snow half way up my lane, it was time to go paint!  I was plenty warm from shoveling, and did not get cold at all while painting. The warm sun glistening on that snow was mesmerizing as I worked my oils across the panel! The golden hour is my absolute favorite time to paint.  Standing in all that beauty is a joy, and getting to paint it is soul satisfying.  Who cares if I have to dig my car out every day?  So worth it to enjoy this!  Painting number 2962 in 2962 days 

Monday, February 15, 2021

Northern Flicker

These beauties have never been to my feeders before this weekend!  Two days ago, the baby of this Northern Flicker found my suet bell - and stayed on it all day!  From early morning until last light - he stayed there eating when most other birds had left for the night.  Then yesterday morning he arrived again in the snow.  He and both parents flew by the back windows, alerting me that the bell had been finished!  I hung another, and soon mama was on it, and papa was around back under the other feeders, grazing!  They were so much fun to watch, undaunted in the snow and wind.  This morning, it began again!  They finished the bell, I hung another, and topped off the feeders again.  I had plenty of time for sketching - because these guys camp out on the bells.  This is the last one, and they've cleaned me out of food again.  Guess I'm going to restock tomorrow!  Painting number 2961 in 2961 days.  So fun to have new friends at the feeder!

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Snow on Cedar Path

This path is always changing.  Each day brings different light and the foliage transitions from one season to the next with subtle changes daily.  The snow is falling again, and we're expecting 4 to 6 inches - our best snowfall yet!  So, I am capturing the magic in oils while the gentle flakes fall, and the light is slipping away.  It was 3 degrees when I headed out here, and oh how thankful I am for this long down coat warm to -7 degrees.  That's what the tag said when I bought it, now I'm getting to really test it. With my various layers, I am toasty warm, and the deep furry trim around the collar, and my scarf, shield my face so well!  Thank goodness for good gear!  Painting number 2960 in 2960 days. 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Hackberry Path

My newest TWSBI Eco fountain arrived yesterday along with De Atramentis Archive Ink.  It sat in my mailbox for hours, hovering around 0 degrees. By the time we got home from dinner, and I brought my new goodies to the house, I was surprised to find the ink not frozen!  This ink is very water resistant, so I use it for lines that I want to remain through the water work. Since I just loaded the pen with ink, the fine nib was a little juicy, dropping more ink than I wanted. Add to that, this paper is very thirsty, so it really sucks in that ink.  For the midtones,  I added Robert Oster's Thunderstorm ink, moving it a little with water. This color of ink is well suited for winter. The original lines do not move when water is added.  This ink is not waterproof, and might move on a smoother paper. So happy to see the sun!  It makes this record cold snap seem so much warmer!  Painting number 2959 in 2959 days. 

Friday, February 12, 2021

3 Chickadees!

Those sweet chickadees are so fun to watch AND paint!  I've been spending a little time watching them each day with a hot mug of tea.  We have many different birds coming to the feeders - normally 25 or more at a time!  They fly from branches to feeders to the ground - all while visiting with each other.  Each day, I learn more about their forms, the way they tilt their heads and their postures.  I love to capture their little personalities with ink and watercolor, which is faster for me to use than oils.  That's enough reason to choose ink and watercolor on a 10 degree day  with the wind kicking up!  Painting number 2958 in 2958 days. 

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Hedge Apple Trees in the Snow

It is so fun to explore a couple of hedge apple trees in oil today!  Twisted and interesting - their limbs stretch out in all directions.  We have a few very old trees and many younger ones, all decending from the dust bowl days of trying to reclaim the soil.  My grandparents planted them along the hedge rows, to create windbreaks.  They drop large lime green hedge apples that deer, squirrels and crows eat.  In fact, I saw a couple of them shredded to bits along the trail today.  I jumped into my painting without sketching first, and I realized half way in that I missed that sketch!  I might just do an ink and watercolor tomorrow.  There are two or three large of these calling my name!  They would even be cool in ink alone.  Painting number 2957 in 2957 days. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Western Path in the Snow

After several painting days out in the teens, today did not feel so cold!  I think I'm actually acclimating to the frigid temps.  Working over an old painting (of sand and surf with seagulls), my scene today could not have been more different.  Often times I will choose a painting of the same season to paint over, so some of that old work can remain.  But today, I wanted a warm background for this very dark and snowy day, hoping those subtle colors would add vibration to the snowscene.  I like mixing things up!  Each of these last oil painting days, I have started differently in regards to color and underpainting.  I think it has helped me to keep things fresh.  Well, that and working fast in the cold.  No time to overthink when you're just trying to get done fast! Lol!  Painting number 2956 in 2956 days. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Cardinal Pair

These cardinals are so fun to watch AND paint!  We have so many coming to the feeders, they perch on nearby branches while waiting.  I used my fountain pen loaded with Robert Oster's Thunderstorm, an ink that lends itself well to winter scenes.  With a little watercolor to fill out birds and branches, I was ready to head in.  I think it helped to have warm water in my water brush pen, it was very cold at 15 degrees.  I wonder what would happen if I worked sloppy wet in such temps?  Well, this miniature painting on 3x3 paper was fast, so there was no need for warming up or worrying about freezing ink.  I keep my supplies in the warm pockets of my down coat!  Painting number 2955 in 2955 days. 

Monday, February 8, 2021

Snow on Old Hackberry

Today finds me painting the second largest hackberry in our winter wonderland!  Relatively close to the house on this cold 11 degree afternoon, I took a warm up break in the middle.  I made the mistake of taking off my painting hand glove briefly, and those fingers got cold fast.  When it is this cold, it is so important to layer up, including a neoprene layer.  I keep a sherpa scarf over my face, reducing skin exposure, ending with a heavy  hooded down coat and tall rubber boots.  I don't like painting with a glove on my paint hand, but I have to when it's this cold.  I'm looking for good neoprene gloves for just this.  My fleece lined leather gloves are fine for a while, but don't keep my fingers warm towards the end.  I know that if they start to tingle, it is time to warm them up!  Painting number 2954 in 2954 days 

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Snow at the Milk Barn


Oh my, it is cold today!  At 14 degrees, I painted this in three segments, warning up inside for a few minutes in between!  I really wanted to go diet to the pond, but it is just too far from the house in these temps.  I have my Altoid tin full of Richeson oils, which perform very well in cold temps!  Totally necessary for today!  I did paint with gloves, because I had to, and hard warmers were a must!  I love this old milk barn, and am happy to spend a little time getting it painted before the big game. Now, it's time to go in and watch my KC CHIEFS!! Painting number 2953 in 2953 days. 

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Blue Jays

Today finds me sketching our blue jays as the snow starts falling.  Their brilliant blue feathers shine on this overcast day, begging to be painted.  With ink and watercolor, I capture their forms on miniature handmade paper.  On these small squares, I am zooming in a bit, breaking the edges with the forms.  It seems to happen naturally as I work, and I like it.  We have quite of few of these birds, some coming to the feeders, but most seen on lawn and field.  I can always hear their distinct call, and they play well with the others.  My Mom used to complain about how aggressive her blue jays were, but I don't see that here.  As the temperature drops, I paint faster, but not before those fingertips get cold!  Should have had my handwarmers!  Painting number 2951 in 2951 days. 

Friday, February 5, 2021

Chickadee Pair

I love sketching this sweet pair during the golden hour!  So many chickadees visit the feeders all day, bringing many other friends with them.  Surprisingly warm on this day before a winter storm advisory, I've been out tending the gardens, covering cabbage, kale, Swiss chard and lettuce!  I was so surprised to see a new little bunch of gourmet lettuce - in February!  I'm sketching today with my new TWSBI Diamond fountain pen loaded with Nutcracker ink. Instead of mixing inks, I simply went over the lines I wanted darker while they were still wet, allowing the ink to mingle.  I read some articles today about some bad chemical reactions that can happen inside a fountain pen when mixing inks willy nilly, so I think mixing on the paper best. I have so many blends I want to try with my favorite black... maybe I should buy the very inexpensive TWSBI Go just for that purpose!  If I melt the insides, it would not be a loss of one of my favs.  And, that pen is exceedingly easy to load and unload!  Painting number 2950 in 2950 days. 

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Herefords Three

It feels like Christmas when a new fountain pen arrives in the mail!  This one is the TWSBI Diamond AL R in limited edition punch pink, and of course it writes like a dream!  The new ink is from Diamine Inkvent collection, Nutcracker. It is a rich red brown, but I couldn't get it dark enough in shadow areas, so had to use some Thunderstorm ink from Robert Oster to balance it.  I know this sounds crazy, but I might just expel half of that ink and add in black.  I'll try it out first with a dip pen. It really isn't recommended to mix inks, but sometimes I can't help myself!  The ink comes in this very lovely bottle, and perhaps I could get a deeper value with a brush?  I couldn't do that in the field, I don't carry any ink bottles with me.  That would be a disaster if the lid loosened up in a bag!  I've used my favorite Watercolor Confections palettes to wash in the color on that handmade paper.  Painting number 2949 in 2949 days. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Grazing Cows

Unseasonably warm, it was a perfect February day to get outside!  It is always a treat to escape from my chores for some time well spent with nature, inks and watercolor.  I remember the days when my grandparents ran black Angus cattle here for many, many years.  When my mom was young, they had dairy cows and the endless milking morning and night.  Cattle in the pasture links me with my past, and I can't even pass them on the road without wanting to pull over and paint them!  Perhaps this weekend I can paint these darlings with snow on the ground! Painting number 2948 in 2948 days. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Old Hackberry

This grand old hackberry tree is a giant in this pasture.  Not far from it, old rusted farm equipment is parked right where my grandfather left it many years ago.  Mike and the kids started to build a tree house here, and I hope they finish it one day.  How lovely it would be to lay on a blanket up there, staring up at those glorious branches, sketching of course! With a bird's eye view, there are a great many wonderful things I could paint up there!  Ink in my favorite TWSBI Diamond mini fountain pen and watercolor fill out this miniature 3x3 inch painting on handmade paper.  Love my time spent sketching this old beauty. Painting number 2947 in 2947 days. 

Monday, February 1, 2021

Old Oak

Today I am sketching skyward with this old oak! A witness to both daughter's weddings, this pin oak was planted by my grandmother when her son (Uncle Brian) returned from his service to the marines.  Also witness to two grass fires that swept up around it and past it, it has watched 6 generations of my family gather on the lawn.  With ink and watercolor, I capture this tree with a new perspective, loving the whole process of doing so.  Painting number 2946 in 2946 days. 

January Collage!!

To celebrate the end of the January #stradaeasel challenge, I downloaded an app (Phinsh Collage Maker)on my phone to for my January work.  I simply selected the pics on my phone and the app did the rest. I can see a few paintings were clipped off, but I haven't had time to give it a second look. It's fun to see a whole month's venues at a glance, and each is a memory of the day. Maybe I'll do this next month, too!