Thursday, September 30, 2021

The Victorian on Main

 As I arrived in town, I took a quick spin by my favorite places - and this was definitely on my list!  The afternoon light was perfect for painting - even though I had to stand in the hot sun to get this started!  Setting up in Vaughn's automotive parking lot, I started sketching in pen and ink.  I remember when these complicated beauties were difficult, now they are just fun!!  So happy to tick another one off my painting list!  Painting number 3177 in 3177 days! 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Pumpkins for Sale

I have missed this pumpkin patch!  It is simply not fall in Fairfield if I don't paint at Shreves Pumpkin Patch!  Full of lovely things to paint, I always find my way here to capture the beauty in oils.  Today, the concession stand was open, and I treated myself to an Apple Cherry Slushy, and then I painted the stand surrounded by pumpkins!  Children came up to watch me as I worked, and we talked about art and colors.  It was a lovely afternoon immersed in life on the pumpkin farm!  Let autumn begin!  Painting number 3176 in 3176 days. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Fairground Zinnias

I've never been to the Edward's County Fairgrounds before today, and just look at what welcomed me!  All these gorgeous zinnias shining in front of a lovely turquoise building!  It wowed me when I arrived to turn in two paintings, and as I enjoyed a quick lunch - I kept looking out at them.  Determined to check out West Salem first, I headed to my car to do just that.  With a quick look at that light, I tossed my plans to paint this beauty instead!  When my inner voice says,  "Paint!!" - I must listen! What a glorious afternoon spent among this darlings!  I'm so happy this painting went home with the Master Gardener that created this!  Painting number 3173 3173 days. 

Friday, September 24, 2021

Flag at the Farmhouse

The morning light could not have been more beautiful for painting this farmhouse!  Arriving early to scout out my favored view, I decided this spot showed the house off best. Even though I would have loved to get the barn in there, there was not a good way compositionally, to include it. With fleeting light, I like to mark those passages with paint, before the magic fades. I put pretty strong color on there, and tried not to mess with those strokes as I pulled the rest together.  The weather was perfect with a gentle breeze blowing, so very comfortable!  And to top that all off, this painting was selected for today's Purchase Award, too. Painting number 3172 in 3172 days. 

Thursday, September 23, 2021



I love to paint the places that hold memories for me, and this place does.  We stopped here for lunch one day with the family, and the food was great!  I especially like the indoor outdoor seating!  This place is a little tight for game nights, but this miniature painting can go almost anywhere! 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Wild Sunflowers

I LOVE finding wild roadside sunflowers blooming profusely!  I try to grow some each year just so I can paint them and bring them in for arrangements. This year, however, a GIANT plant of them - almost 300 blooms - blew over in a storm, snapping the base off low!  These beauties withered and faded before they could really be captured in paint, much to my dispare!  So once again, I am left hunting them up along the road, to paint their beauty before summer is gone!  I think next year I'll cage them - to shield them from the strong wings on this hill!  Painting number 3170 in 3170 days. 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Bub's Burgers and Ice Cream

Right after check in, I headed out to scout the streets of Carmel.  With the golden morning light on this place - I simply could not resist it!  I set up on the patio off the Monon Trail, and started to paint. When light is fleeting, I mark those passages first with paint.  I want to capture those true colors before they fade into mid-day.  I was standing in a small patch of shade under a small tree, so I had to keep shifting to my right just to keep panel and palette shaded.  It was a lovely morning spent painting this local icon.  This painting won a Merit Award at Carmel on Canvas, and now has a new home with the owners! I love painting Carmel, Indiana!  Painting number 3168 in 3168 days. 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Life Cycle at the Carmel Depot

Once again - I forgot to get a photo of my painting on site, but at least I did get one before it goes to a new home!  This beautiful sculpture depicting the life cycle of a butterfly is on display at the old Carmel Depot, surrounded by a butterfly garden.  With the depot as the backdrop, I knew I would paint it with ink and watercolor.  In the hot mid-day sun, I chose to get very close my subject, sitting on a camp stool for a lower view looking up.  The unique vantage allowed me to capture the real essence of this sculpture tucked into a flurry of flowers.  I was on the very edge of the shade cast from the roofline, and it was very comfortable with a little breeze.  I was so honored to receive the Life Cycle Purchase Award for this painting, and love that it will be enjoyed by the family of the sculpture artist.  Painting number 3167 in 3167 days. 

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Sugar Pies at the Farmer's Market Market

I LOVE plein air painting at a farmer's market, and Carmel's farmer market is extraordinary!  Live music, plenty of green space for families to gather, many wonderful vendors!  Immediately upon arrival this sweet little "My Sugar Pies" booth complete with pink tent and pink with green polka dot van caught my artistic eye!  This was only an hour and half quick paint - so I got busy knocking in those colors!  On a quick paint I do a quick sketch with my paintbrush on my panel, then I start dropping in those color marks that pop the most. I then move to my darks and start working the painting as a whole to completion.  I set a timer for the 30 minutes left bell - and then I work fast to get that information down!  There's no time for noodling in a quick paint!  It was so fun to paint this gorgeous market again - and the painting won an award, too!  Painting number 3166 in 3166 days. 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Suite 130

The charming Arts and Design District of Carmel is so very paintable!  This Main Street store front with the balcony made me think of Europe - and I chose my ink and watercolor for this subject.  I use an ink pen for my sketch, with little sketchy lines to get my composition.  This process took longer than usual with so many lines and angles!  Once complete, I started to wash in the color, getting a little free with my paints.  Sometimes it is more about how you feel than what you see!  Painting number 3165 in 3165 days. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Cox Ford Covered Bridge

What an amazing morning spent at Cox Ford Covered Bridge, standing on the bank of Sugar Creek with the gentle lapping of water along the shore.  The sand was wet as I hiked along waters edge for the best vantage, but I did not sink in. The wild sunflowers to my left were gorgeous - but too thick and tall to wade into, so I added just a glimpse of them from the side.  We met tourists from Minnesota and Illinois on that bank  - and saw others in kayaks that we met at another bridge yesterday!  It's a small world here among the covered bridges!  I'm having so much fun exploring these nostalgic icons in paint!  Painting number 3164 in 3164 days.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Mansfield Roller Mill

This was another glorious day painting an old roller mill in Indiana!!  I've been coming to Indiana for four years, painting the covered bridges before the Carmel on Canvas event - and STILL I find amazing new subject matter each trip!  The weather was perfect this first time on site, and this old roller mill HAD to be my first painting!  I love the way it sits high upon that rock, looking over the falls and creek, as it has for over 200 years.  That is amazing and begs to be painted.  The surrounding village is also very paintable, full of vintage charm.  I sure wish I had more time here today, I will definitely be back!  Painting number 3163 in 3163 days. 🤩❤🎨

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Bridgeton Mill

I don't know what it is that calls to me about covered bridges, but they have always called to me.  For many years, I passed by on I-70, noticing a covered bridge sign, but was never able to add extra time to an already 12 hour drive.  So now, once a year, I make a trip to Indiana just to paint a few of the beauties along this driving tour.  I have two artist friends joining me, and I am really enjoying the time spent studying this nostalgic landscape together.  No time limits, no deadlines, just the scene, my panel, and paints  - I am certainly living the dream.  Painting number 3162 in 3162 days. 

Sunday, September 12, 2021


What a happy surprise to receive mums for no reason - a gift from my daughter!  Michaela loved the fresh lavender color - and so do I!  Of course I had to capture them in ink and watercolor, in miniature as my painting time is very short these days!  We've had so many family gatherings lately, I've been very busy indeed!  So tiny 3.5x2.5 inch sizes are perfect for such days!  Oh I do hope to do them justice in oil one day soon!  Painting number 3160 in 3160 days. 


I love how long these tall garden phlox flourish in years of heavy rain!  These beauties were gorgeous for the Fourth of July, and here it is middle September and still they shine!  I do deadhead them whenever I see the need, which keeps them sprouting new blooms.  I have had them bloom into November before - but that is rare!  So, today I capture them in miniature with ink and watercolor, because once again my time is short.  Thank goodness for garden inspiration on days like these!  Painting number 3160 in 3160 days. 

Thursday, September 9, 2021


I love painting the zinnias planted from seed collected on my travels.  This seed came from giant beauties growing outside of the Boone's Lick Trail Inn in Saint Charles, Missouri. Mom and I were on a gallery trip - dropping off paintings in several galleries through the midwest, staying in awesome, historic B & Bs along the way.  I plucked the seed while we were walking into town to enjoy the live music wafting our way.  Seems like all my flowers have memories, and I do enjoy watching them grow and painting them in their glory. Painting number 3158 in 3158 days. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Coxcomb Celosia

 What showy blooms these coxcomb celosias are!! Given to me by a friend last year, these plants all reseeded from last year's blooms.  Many of the blooms look like fingers, and maybe a third are forming full coxcomb shapes.  I even have a pink fingers one!   So cool to grow and watch the monarchs and bees flock to them!  Ink and watercolor on a miniature paper today - because I have a tiny painting window once again!  Painting number 3157 in 3157 days, and day 8 of the current #stradaeasel challenge. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

12 6th Street

 I have a fondness for old homes full of character and charm, and this place was a joy to paint!  As I scouted the area, I really wanted to include the garden and tree house, so I went back to my car for a longer paper.  I first start my line work with De Atramentis Archive Ink in a favorite TWSBI Diamond fountain pen with an extra fine nib.  I then start in with a broad nib and Levenger's Raven Black ink.  This second ink will move with a little water in a brush pen while the first stays put. As I bring the drawing to completion, I go back in where needed with more ink.  I love the way a fountain pen nib drops a line of ink, and the feel of the nib on the handmade paper.  I guess I really am a fountain pen nerd! Painting number 3156 in 3156 days, and day 7 of the current #stradaeasel challenge. 

Monday, September 6, 2021

South Main Street

Starting this very detailed ink drawing late in the event, it took me longer than normal to get all that information down. Once my ink work was done, I started in with the watercolor, working all masses of like colors at the same time.  Short on time, this is a real time saver.  I went back in with the ink a couple times - when I realized I missed a sign or a window - no more than a tiny mark, but necessary to the whole story.  Watching my time closely, I pushed it to 7 minutes left, then quickly packed, got to the car, and framed with 1 minute to spare!  Then I went in for my tag to place in the back!  It reminds me a bit of the old days when it took me all day long to finish a painting, and I still couldn't seem to turn in until the very last minute!  Haha!  The difference now is that this was my fourth painting of the day, instead of my first!  There is something to be said about persistence!  Painting number 3155 in 3155 days. 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Looking Toward the Rockies

All visitors to the Rocky Mountain National Park have to enter the park on a timed entry pass - which we got months ago online.  This allows people to enter at a more staggered rate for safer distancing during covid.  Our time today was 9am, and there was a bit of a wait - so I started sketching!  This TWSBI Go is a modest fountain pen with a spring loading system for ink - which works really well, actually!  The barrel is a little large for my small hand, but holds a lot of ink for its shorter size.  I keep it in my smallest sketch bag, and I will need to reload it when I get home - it is almost out of ink!!  I power through since my other pens are in the trunk, and soon I will add the watercolor.  The rangers at check in have been interested each time I've had a painting in my lap!  So fun to visit with them briefly!  I guess it's not every day an artist is painting in line!  Painting number 3154 in 3154 days. 

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Big Thompson River towards Hallett Peak

This morning we drove into the Rocky Mountain National Park along Bear Lake Rd, to see where a trail led us the day before.  Mike wanted to check out his childhood camping sites, which was very close to the trail of the previous day.  It was so fun hiking this more pristine and less traveled trail!  No busses, no lines, no parking since we left from our lodge and walked in - and still a few hikers on the trail.  We crossed Glacier Creek and landed here on the Big Thompson River  - a gorgeous place to paint!  Mike hiked on a bit within earshot of me as I painted, to return to work a crossword puzzle until I finished.  A couple of new friends from last night's wedding actually passed me in this remote place - coming back to visit when they saw Mike on the trail!  I see paintings everywhere I look, and I've only been able to paint a few.  I wish I had so much more time here!  I am using my oils today, hiking in with just this pochade and tripod over my shoulder.  I think if I'm to hike miles to my spot, it might be wise to bring a lighter tripod.  This one was Dad's, and it is heavy duty indeed.  Great in a strong wind, but also heavy for a long haul. Next time, I think I'll throw in a second, lighter tripod.  Painting number 3153 in 3153 days. 

Friday, September 3, 2021

Overlook Chapel

As a momento to the bride and groom, I am painting the scene where they will exchange vows tonight.  I actually sketched this in ink, and started laying in color earlier, when rain moved in - and we headed for cover!  Rain and watercolor do not mix!  Returning from a morning hike - where Mike and I scouted several new places to paint - we went back up to the chapel so I could finish this before the ceremony! Mike had a wonderful conversation with a youth leader who came to this spot for reflection.  I wish I could have been part of the conversation, but alas time grew short!  Mike corralled little Casper as I worked, and he became very adept at walking up and down the incline of the mountain top! What a breathtaking view - I could paint here for days and not tire of the endless beauty!  What a slice of heaven this is.  Now I must get ready for the wedding!  Painting number 3152 in 3152 days. 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Alberta Falls in September

We started this day hiking the Alberta Falls trail.  There were so many perfect places for painting, I could already see the paintings starting in my head!  When the kids were ready to head back, I grabbed my painting gear and headed back in with Mike.  We knew from the first day that lines to get into parking are long, and we didn't want to lose the time going out for lunch.  So, true to my regular form, I didn't worry about eating until my painting was done!  This place is just off the Alberta Falls trail, down an embankment, by the water. I had to situate my easel on the rocky slope while standing on various rocks to keep level. No easy feat in this place!  One has to work for the best views, they don't just drop in your lap!  Mike stood up by the trail and talked to everyone hiking by that wondered what in the world I was doing!  I couldn't hear any of it, with the roar of the water and the pristine scene - I was totally in my painting zone.  The oils are so well suited for this place, I can lay them on thick, using the brush to express the movement of the water.  What an amazing experience!  I could paint here all month and only capture a fraction of the beauty here.  What an amazing painting day in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Best. Office. Ever.  Painting number 3151 in 3151 days. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Rocky Mountain National Park

What a glorious place this is! With it's outstanding views in every direction - each choice is a stunner! How will I ever be able to leave without capturing it all!!  With several cars ahead of us in line to reenter the Rocky Mountain National Park, I painted a quick paint of the mountains to the right!  As we pulled up, the girls inside were commenting on my painting - so I pulled up and gave them a card to check my future progress!  It's so fun to capture the beauty while waiting in line - one of the few times in life that I wish the line was longer and slower!  Today I used a favorite TWSBI fountain pen to quickly sketch the composition, then I used a travel brush pen (always in my sketch bag) to dip into my halfpan travel watercolor set.  I am using three sets that I combined into two tins from Watercolor Confections, but seeing the colors here, I could have used the Essence collection from them.  It is SO well suited to the local color. Painting number 3150 in 3150 days.