Monday, May 31, 2021

Red Salvia

With my newest TWSBI mini, I am sketching in my garden today! I only have a tiny painting window, so I am painting small at ATC size.  Choosing my red salvia, I sketch the lines in first, then come back in with the watercolor.  It's been a while since I've sketched tiny - and I really enjoyed it!  I've been working on large gallery pieces, so a quick, fun sketch is perfect for this family filled holiday!  Painting number 3061 in 3061 days. 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel

This historic stone church is a Parkville icon, and a beautiful place to capture in pen and ink.  Whenever I'm in Parkville, I spend a little time painting in the historic district.  I love the small town charm and streets full of history!  I've used my newest TWSBI mini fountain pen in white and rose gold, this one with a broad nib!  It is my first broad nib in all these years - and I like how much ink flows from it's nib!  So much fun!  This painting is now showing at the Cathy Kline Art Gallery in Parkville!  Painting number 3060 in 3060 days. 

Saturday, May 29, 2021


I picked up a new sunflower variety at the nursery this week - sunfinity! Should only get to 4 feet tall and bloom all over for 9 to 12 weeks!  I hope to paint SO MANY SUNFLOWERS this summer!  With ink and watercolor, I sketched and filled in the masses.  There are so many new buds starting that will soon be flowers, too!  I can't wait to see what it does!  Painting number 3059 in 3059 days. 

Friday, May 28, 2021

Balducci Vineyard

Invited to paint for a live broadcast for Great Day St Louis during the Augusta Plein Air Festival, Teddy and I arrived early to set up.  Painting as a backdrop to promote the event, we were both interviewed on the TV broadcast and the Facebook Live broadcast that followed.  It was a fun morning spent with wonderful people, in an amazing place!  So glad to be part of the early morning fun!  This painting is now showing at Gallery Augusta.  Painting number 3058 in 3058 days. 

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Hanging with the Boys

 It was so fun to paint these labs as they played!  They did not stand still, so I had to jump in and catch each while in a certain pose - returning each time they were in a similar pose!  I've never painted more than one dog at a time - and it was certainly a lot harder!  One dog will sit down comfortably, and stay long enough to be painted.  Five dogs do not do that!  So, this painting is loose and free, catching the spirit of each on the fly!  Painting number 3058 in 3058 days. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Straatmann Feed Store

I love the challenge of this complicated tangle of structures - and have wanted to draw this since the very first time I saw it!  Pen and ink is the perfect medium, so I positioned myself across the street in a parking lot, using a sliver of shade from my car to keep most of the sun off my paper.  The very bright white of this handmade paper is blinding in direct sunlight!  I use a water resistant ink for the first sketchy lines of my composition.  On this one, I started with the central building with the large open door, and scaled all lines out from there.  I make a few tick marks across the composition to make sure I'm where I need to be while working.  I don't use pencil, only ink, so there's no going back if I mess up!  With the water soluble ink, I darken and add a little water for mid tones.  I spent more time than usual on this, largely because it is so complicated!  Happy this drawing went home with a new owner, to join another of my paintings from last time!  New Melle is such a fun small town to paint!  Painting number 3057 in 3057 days. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Front Porch Garden

I have often thought of painting this porch scene, but I never seem to find the time to do it.  I like to enjoy a cup of hot tea or here in the early morning, before my day's work begins.  I look over my gardens, determining which task to do next, making plans as I sip my tea. Today, I still have new plants waiting to go in the ground, and beds still to make ready.  I've so many new flowers to paint, but commissions waiting, and so the flowers will wait, too.  This ink and watercolor painting is just a little slice of my very busy day. Painting number 3056 in 3056 days. 

Monday, May 24, 2021

Purple Iris

All of my irises have a memory attached.  These beauties were brought to me by my oldest son and his wife just before they moved out of the first house.  This is only their second season in the ground, and they are already blooming so well - in each place I planted them!  So, today I am painting them in ink and watercolor, but perhaps I'll try them in oil before they fade. A few of my iris blooms were nipped in that long hard freeze we had in April, so there are fewer irises in my garden this year.  It makes me appreciate these all the more!  Painting number 3055 in 3055 days. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Garden Peonies

Each year when these peonies bloom, I remember helping Grandma Bessie in her flower gardens.  I would weed the peonies and irises, planting zinnia seeds where Grandma wanted them, her knees too sore to bend down for so long.  She gave these to me many years ago to start in my own gardens, and I always think of her when they open up.  She taught me so much about growing veggies and perennials, and she always shared her zinnia seeds with me!  I love the special family memories connected to the blooms in my garden.  I have a whole garden full of memories!  Painting number 3054 in 3054 days. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

Old Fashioned Peonies

These old fashioned peonies have been in my family for three generations, so far.  This August, I will make sure to share them with my children.  I love the fancy frills and sweet aroma about them!  I painted them a few days ago in oils, but am not quite happy with them. So, I decided to try them in ink and watercolor today for that airy light that only watercolor delivers.  With the heavy rains we're having, I hope they last a while longer for me!  Painting number 3053 in 3053 days. 

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Front Porch Clematis

This stunning clematis is really putting on a show this year!  I painted it in ink and watercolor a few days ago, knowing I would have to try it out in oils!  I know this as Norma's Clematis, named after the dear friend who gave it to me, and this is it's most glorious bloom yet! With oils, I mark the lightest lights and darkest darks, before working towards the mid tones. I am using ultramarine violet for the flowers, and the color is true, but I find it doesn't have much strength when mixed. I probably should have reached for dioxanine purple, but I didn't think of it while painting.  I seldom use that hue, but for certain flowers it is perfect! I have really enjoyed painting this outstanding clematis, it has been a joy!  Painting number 3052 in 3052 days. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Yellow Iris Dance

Today finds me painting Great Grandmother's yellow iris, which have grown in the cellar as long as I can remember.  Last year, I moved the dwindling clump from the top of the cellar (where the soil is washing away) to the middle tier.  These have doubled,  if not tripled, in our covid year, and I'm so happy to see their robust return.  In celebration, I am capturing their splendor in ink abs watercolor before the expected storms further pummel them.  I just dumped 7 inches of rain out of the rain gage - from the last two days!  I've been neglecting my watercolors lately, and it feels good to pick them up again!  Painting number 3050 in 3050 days. 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Purple Clematis Cascade

This clematis has never been this gorgeous!  Given to me by a friend no longer on this earth, I will think of her each year it blooms, remembering the day I freed it from a fence as she coaxed me on!  I was afraid the rain would knock some petals off, so it was first on my easel today.  I'm not quite sure it is finished - and I forgot to sign it - but the raindrops had started and they could make those colors run!  I'll revisit it tomorrow, and see if it calls for any adjustments.  Perhaps I'll even try it again while this clematis still blooms!  Painting number 3048 in 3048 days. 

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Sunflower Hill from the Creek

I think I walked the whole property before deciding on this location, even though this place called me from the start!  Approaching it from two sides, of course the wetter, weedier location had the best view!  Standing in the tall brush and wildflowers, I sketched out my lines with two fountain pens with different nibs and inks, following with a water brush pen to get those mid tones.  The overcast sky grew darker as rain threatened, so I hurried back to the car to frame and turn in.  This painting won an award in Mixed Media for the final judging, and has a new home along with the oil painting from the same place.  Painting number 3047 in 3047 days. 

Friday, May 14, 2021

Creekside in Defiance

A winding creek grabs my attention every time!  There is something so alluring about water gently meandering across the landscape.  Painting from a different vantage than before, I am street side, standing on a bridge for a bird's eye view.  The spring colors are singing on this overcast day, and it is a joy to paint as I visit with people walking by.  It's the best part of plein air, getting to share what I do every day with others!  Painting number 3046 in 3046 days. 

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Cabin in the Woods

I just can't pass up a chance to sketch such a great log cabin!  It feels like stepping back in time to stand in this place, smelling the fragrance of the large lilac bush wafting my way.  With my favorite TWSBI mini fountain pen, I sketch the lines with water resistant ink.  I then go back in with another favorite TWSBI mini loaded with water soluble ink.  With a water brush pen I move the ink around a bit.  I love to spend a little time painting in a peaceful place like this.  Painting number 3045 in 3045 days. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Anemones at Linda Hall Library

What fun to find a new flower in the garden - one that I've never seen growing in Missouri!  Long ago I admired these beauties in California, and here they are in the Linda Hall Library garden!  The blooms remind me of poppies, with their paper thin petals and long reaching stems.  Using my oils, I started by laying in the blooms, loose and with an eye to their color.  The white blooms were flanked by the red, with a few purple tinged whites in the mix.  What a lovely day for a loose capture of anemones!  Painting number 3044 in 3044 days. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Salina Art Center

Pen and ink is one of my favorite mediums on the street - especially for architecture.  This fountain pen is my TWSBI mini in silver, with an extra fine nib.  I have De Atramentis Archive Ink loaded in this pen, for those fine sketchy lines I don't want to move.  After I complete my initial sketch with this pen I switch to a broad nib and a soluble ink, so I can move that ink with a little water to achieve my mid-tones.  I had to tuck myself in close to the bank building for shade and shelter from the wind, seemed like the wind never did let up!  Painting number 3043 in 3043 days. 

Monday, May 10, 2021

Peonies at Linda Hall Library

The day was chilly and damp, and the peonies were shining at Linda Hall Library.  Several varieties were starting to bloom, and a few were just starting to open.  The weekend's rain had pummeled them a bit, but they were rising again.  Visiting with another artist I hadn't seen since covid started, I painted as we talked, happy to catch up with a kindred spirit.  She was finished before I was, and moved to her next location.  Turning my attention to my painting, I coaxed a few edges together before finding my next subject.  I love the time spent in a garden, visiting with friends and capturing the beauty around me in oils.  Painting number 3042 in 3042 days. 

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Looking Down S. Sante Fe

In town under an hour, and I found quickly my way to the Historic district just blocks from my housing.  I gravitate to wonderful places life this, steeped in history while embracing the arts!  I just had to sketch this lovely street scene in pen and ink!  Setting up against a bank building for shade and shelter from the strong wind, I began my line work with my extra fine nibbed fountain pen and water resistant ink.  Once I had my road map in, I started with my broad nibbed pen and soluble ink.  The broad nib delivers more ink per line, and I find I'm using ink more quickly.  The bonus is time saving, because I'm repeating lines less often, but I must be careful.  It is pretty easy to drop too much ink - and then I'm blotting up the excess before it can dry!  I love how ink lends a timeless quality to any subject, and it is especially well suited for architecture. Painting number 3041 in 3041 days. 

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Blank Canvas Gala

 I have never been to Salina, Kansas before today - and boy was it a treat!  The historic downtown district is full of vintage buildings and small town charm, with artistic embellishments sprinkled about.  I first sketched 2 pen and ink paintings of Sante Fe and the front of the Art Center, before deciding to work in oil.  I started blocking in the space when the band arrived.  As they practiced, I painted them in.  Once the patrons arrived, all dressed in white for the Blank Canvas Gala, I started painting them in as well.  As the light shifted to evening, I made a few adjustments as needed.  All three pieces were auctioned off, with intermission for 70 mph winds and hail.  Three tornado warnings later and the worst hail storm I've ever seen, I am now getting this posted.  I sure met a lot of nice people here today.  I'm looking first to visiting again when I have more time. Painting number 3040 in 3040 days. 

Friday, May 7, 2021

Klondike Park

The white sands surrounding the lake at Klondike Park are so unique!  Looking forward to painting here, I didn't let the rain stop me!  With umbrella in tow, I set up close to the water, for the best vantage.  I kept the umbrella over my panel until I had covered it with oil paint, necessary to get the paint to stick.  If that surface got wet with rain first, the oils would slip right off.  I've used an umbrella twice this week - when I haven't used one for years. That blowing rain makes it a valuable tool for painting en plein air!  Painting number 3039 in 3039 days. 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Sunflower Hill Farm


Sometimes I have to get deep in the weeds, in the rain, to get the best paintings! After an ink sketch while it was only misty, I hiked to the car to frame, then up that hill to the barn to turn in.  My oil gear in tow, I rushed back down to the wet and rising creek to paint this gorgeous scene.  The waterfall just behind me was so loud I could not listen for approaching snakes - which meant I had to keep checking over my shoulder. After all, this is prime snakes territory.  I squeezed between 5 trees with just enough room to raise an umbrella until my panel was covered with paint.  Then, I could freely paint until finished.  The wild sweet William and mustard blooming along the creek was breathtaking, and so saturated with color in the rain!  It was a pretty wet, miserable evening, but oh I had so much fun!  Painting number 3038 in 3038 days. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Pink Peony Impressions

I just could not walk past this tree peony without painting it!  Today's "Monday Watercolorists" location was the Overland Park Arboretum, and I try to never miss a chance to paint here.  I drove through a little rain to get here, but the overcast and chilly afternoon soon warmed up and the sun came out, adding a glow to the freshly washed blooms!  After painting these, and one other nearby, I then scouted the rest of the paths through the garden. I'm always thinking about that next painting, and checking the blooms for peak color.  There will be many peonies blooming in the coming days.  Painting number 3037 in 3037 days. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Defiance Ridge Inked

The view from the vineyard, looking up towards the house, is so inviting.  The very overcast day soon cleared up and the day was beautiful for painting!  I start first with a water resistant ink to sketch out my scene lightly.  Next I go in with a water soluble ink and lay down the darkest darks, getting the mid tones with a water brush pen. For this trip I am using my newest TWSBI mini in white and rose gold, with a broad nib.  It is the first time I've ever used a broad nib - and I like it!  It drops a heavier line with more ink, allowing me to get those rich darks more quickly.  It is, however, a little too broad for a couple of my papers that seem to have a heavier coating of sizing.  I must be very careful to not lay too much ink.  Things could get crazy in an instant and turn to night!  Haha!  Every painting is a lesson, and I enjoy every minute of it!  Painting number 3036 in 3036 days. 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Rainy Day Allium

Oh the beauty of a misty day - and allium!  I just got back to town, and the arboretum is alight with these beauties!  I've a few blooms opening of my own (which I almost stayed home to paint), so I was rewarded with this when I arrived on site.  I did not walk further!  Painting two paintings while in Monet's Garden, I didn't scout the rest of the place until finishing!  I wait all year to paint the alluring allium!  Painting number 3035 in 3035 days. 

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Springtime at the Cabins

As we drove down this Locust street, these cabins surrounded by springtime bloom captured my attention!  I had Teddy stop the car and started unloading my art gear on the spot.  I suddenly realized I had left my palette in the freezer back at Augusta Shores!!  Already late to start the History paint out, I dropped Teddy off instead and rushed back to get my palette.  The early light was still strong when I returned so I missed no time setting back up to paint!  I really love the rich colors of early morning light - and this was a delightful painting morning!  Even if I was standing in full sun!  Painting number 3034 in 3034 days!  

Saturday, May 1, 2021

View From Montelle

Oh what a glorious morning for painting at Montelle Winery!  After painting the vista in oil, I put my oil gear back in the car and started with ink.  Each piece of these handmade papers have a different feel, and the sizing is always different.  This paper was particularly crisp feeling, as if the sizing were heavier than normal.  For ink, this is not a problem, I just adjust how I lay the lines.  When floating on a little water, the ink moves readily, and I add a little more ink where needed.  This view has really opened up since the new owners bought this place.  Love seeing houses and ponds I've never seen before!  Painting number 3033 in 3033 days.