Sunday, December 31, 2017

Belton Train Station ATC

The last painting of the year is the wonderful old train in old town Belton's station!  On this very cold day, painting small is ideal - ATC size at 2.5x3.5. With such complicated parts, it is best to simplify shapes and values. A quick drawing in India ink and next a little watercolor to help pull all together.  I'm really enjoying my watercolors.  It is like coming back to an old friend!  Painting number 1808 in 1808 days!  Happy New Year's eve! 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Republic Sunset

Gathering at my cousin Victor's farm for our Frank family Christmas, I had so much to choose from for my daily painting!  Good food, good conversation and the hours rolled by.  As the sun started to set, I could see this landscape from the dining room window.  I knew I had to paint and grabbed my tiny clipboard.  Within minutes I had finished this little slice of heaven. A small memory of a day well spent!  Painting number 1807 in 1807 days.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Milk Barn in the Pasture ATC

It's beginning to look and feel like winter!  Wind chills of -15 to -25 are expected this weekend - so I am getting out while I can!  I love the snow settling down in the tall grass, with plenty of texture for interest in the field.  I draw quickly with India ink, coming in right away with watercolor.  If I take that ink  into the wet areas, it will spread out like a spider. This can be really cool on trees in the woods, but can easily get out of control on a small painting. Perhaps I can paint the next one in the woods...... and play with that technique.......!  Painting number 1806 in 1806 days.  Stay warm out there, my friends!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Gracelife Church ATC

This little church south of town is my subject du jour!  These little churches dot the rural landscape, and each has it's own charm.  It reminds me of a little church in Adrian that I attended with extended family for special events during my childhood. A little slice of American life in the heartland in pen, ink, and watercolor.  Painting number 1805 in 1805 days.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Cardinals ATC

The birds flocked to the feeders on this very cold day - especially the cardinals!  Their bright red plumage really pops in the winter landscape with it's dusting of snow.  Catching the flitting birds as they hopped from branch to branch was a bit of a challenge, especially in this tiny ATC size.  But what better practice at catching their pose than observation and quick strokes? Next came the watercolor, loose and light, dropping in more color to those wet areas as needed.  ATC is the perfect size for a single digit day!  Painting number 1804 in 1804 days.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Milk Barn ATC

A light blanket of snow covered the ground this morning - and I knew I had to capture it!  Although a thick layer of snow is beautiful, the grass and wood showing through this snow adds so much interest to the composition!  I would normally head straight my pills for this scene, but today I'm using ink and watercolor in tiny size - ATC - 2.5x3.5!  The best part of working small?  I could paint it quickly and go out to dinner with the family!  Painting number 1803 in 1803 days.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Tree ATC

Christmas day is always full of family, food and fun - and a whirlwind of activity beginning to end.  It is so nice to settle down at day's end with my pen, ink, watercolor, and visiting with my parents.  There is something so relaxing in the glow of the Christmas tree, a little peace and serenity in a holiday full of rush and bustle. Perhaps we could get a little more snow now that I'll have more time to paint it!  Painting number 1801 in 1801 days.

Poinsettias and Pines ATC

The Family Tree Nursery is a magical place to paint!  There are paintings at every turn - and the poinsettias were irresistible!  So many varieties and so little time to paint!  The format is very small at 2.5x3.5, and I am really enjoying working so tiny!  The days are full of family and fun, and so many Christmas activities!  This little ATC is heading to Mexico, where the days are warm and balmy!  Painting number 1800 in 1800 days!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Walnut and Main ATC

I've only started to paint in ATC size - and this is my first street scene!  Very overcast, I decided to draw this out in ink, adding watercolor after.  I worked very wet, and even left before it was dry - just trying to capture the gray mood of the day.  Even gray days have their beauty, it's all in the subtle changes from warm to cool.  I'm also using a different paper, another 100% cotton rag, but a completely different texture.  It works well in this tiny size, where I would never use it for larger work.  I guess I'll keep it after all!  This one is also heading to Mexico! Painting number 1799 in 1799 days!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Dunn's Cider Mill

This place has AMAZING cider donuts in season.  I have fond memories of meeting friends for lunch and the scarecrow competitions in the fall!  They are now closed for the season, but I couldn't resist this place in her "winter dress". The deep greens of the cedars with the dark, cool red of the barn - it just feels like a Christmas painting.  I've inked it first, and then come in with watercolor.  Once dry, I've inked just a little bit more.  I will definitely be painting this place again!  Painting number 1798 in 1798 days.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Belton Presbyterian Church ATC

This historic Presbyterian church on Main Street in Belton often calls me to paint it!  I love the architecture and wonderful angles - it makes a dramatic statement in the landscape.  This is another ATC bound for Mexico, a little piece of Belton.  My intention was to get to Kansas City for some of these, but I simply don't have the time to do it!  I'm drawing first with India ink, then going in with watercolor.  The India ink dries so quickly that I have no issue with it bleeding when my watercolors come in contact with it.  I've been using Pitt pens for this, but I'm thinking of loading a Lamy fountain pen with India ink.  This particular pen has a very fine nib - so may be perfect for this tiny paintings!   But, I've got to clean it first!  Painting number 1797 in 1797 days.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Raymore Presbyterian Church

This beautiful, historic church is right down the street from grandma Bessie's old house in Raymore.  I used to drive by here on my weekly visits, and still come by occasionally.  I love the wonderful, old architecture, and certainly wanted it to be one of my submissions our Urban Sketchers KC group is sponsoring on a trade with artists from a Mexico charter!  Part of the Urban Sketcher's creed is "sharing the world, one sketch at a time" - and I can't wait to see what I will receive from Mexico!  Hopefully, we can start trading with other groups all over the world - sort of like penpals - but with art!  What could be better than that?  Painting number 1796 in 1796 days.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Studio Santa

This day took me to the Crossroads Art District, Crown Center, and many other stops before landing home.  A crazy day of jump starts and flat tire fun, I am seeking sanity with my pen and ink tonight!  Pampering myself, I choose my favorite TWSBI and the fancy Caroube de Chypre anniversary ink from J. Herbin.  Look how red it turns when heavily applied with water added!  It has such a shimmer in with all that gold!  Just a little treat to turn all my tomorrows to golden days of sunshine and roses!  Seriously, enough with that other stuff!!  Painting number 1795 in 1795 days.

Christmas Balls ATC

This was a fun experiment in very small scale - ATC at 2.5x3.5!  Super fun!  I started as I begin a sketch with an ink drawing. Next, I went in with acrylic on this linen textured paper, liking the feel of the brush over this surface.  As with any uniform texture, I do wish I could do my own as I always prefer my own texture.  But, for an ATC, this worked very well, and I will buy this pack again - which I picked up at Creative Coldsnow, my favorite local art supply store!  I will be sending some of these to Mexico to trade with other artists there.  How fun it will be to receive their artwork! Painting number 1794 in 1794 days, as I burn the midnight oil yet again!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Poinsettias for Sale

Oh this day went totally off the rails!  Out of bed early to get a jump start on the staircase (which we are completely redoing in oak), I find the freezer side of our refrigerate dripping.  NEVER a good sign.  Our day of progress on the stairs turned into running all over town in search of the prefect fridge.  AND THE CLEANING involved with switching units!!  It's enough to make a grown woman cry.  Toss in replacing the garbage disposal, too, and you have a sneak peak into my own little nightmare before Christmas!  Most things are back in place as I drop into bed, while visions of thawing meat dance in my head.  It makes me shudder even now.  Painting number 1793 in 1793 days.  This one has been a doozy.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Wooded Path in Ink

This has been one of those crazy busy days, so busy, I can't even recall all that filled this day.... sanding, sealing treads, ballusters and Newell posts and so many other things.  I had many ideas for painting in the early hours, but as the light was fading, it was the tranquility of the woods that calmed and centered me.  Even before the first stroke, two other subjects called, "Paint me!  Paint me!", but I turned to the quiet instead.  So often, my mind is racing, and it truly is therapeutic to focus on nature and commit it to paint.  Art therapy for my soul.  Perhaps, I'll get to those other subjects tomorrow.  Painting number 1792 in 1792 days.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Santa in Red

LOVE this special J. Herbin anniversary ink!  It starts a rich chocolate brown that washes to deep red.  The gold in the ink flows liberally with stroke and brush.  The result is a drawing that shimmers with gold in the light!  Spectacular!  This color is Caroube de Chypre, and I may just have to try the others, too, while supplies last!  Oh, and I used one of my favorite pens - TWSBI Eco.  It is SO smooth - the ink flows effortlessly from the nib!   At the top of my list with my other TWSBI!  Painting number 1791 in 1791 days.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gingerbread Tree

I have treasured the tiny blown glass gingerbread ornaments on this tree for many years.  There are gingerbread men and houses adorning this tiny tree in an old enamel ware mug, and it has always been in my kitchen for the holidays.  Tonight, it called to be immortalized in paint, and I answered the call with watercolors.  Once again, I picked up my dried up Pitt pen to start my composition. But THIS time, I threw it to the ground (where it later found it's way to the trash)!  No more playing games with empty pens!  The second pen was better, but not great.  Will I EVER lay my hands on the new one??  I wonder if these babies are refillable......I have plenty of India ink that I could load them with.  Perhaps the real answer is loading one of my fountain pens with India ink.  That would end my ink worries, as I have enough ink to last me until the end of time!  Painting number 1790 in 1790 days.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Ice Crystal Poinsettia

Oh!  How I love poinsettias!  I have never seen as many varieties as I found at Family Tree Nursery!  I simply HAD to bring two new ones home after our monthly Urban Sketchers KC event!  The centers of the petals are a pale gold gradating into a rich salmon to cherry red - stunning!  Wanting to zoom in a bit, I started my sketch with the petals, allowing them to cross the borders.  I brushed each petal with a pale yellow ochre, dropping in the reds around the edges, warming and cooling the shades as I saw them.  Once all my color was in place, I went back with a little more ink.  I'm using a Pitt pen tonight - and it is the one running out of ink!!  I have a brand new one that I've only used once  - and here I am, trying to get blood out of a turnip!  I don't have time to search for what I need, so I'll make due with what I have!  I guess I need new pens for EVERY sketch bag I have! Painting number 1789 in 1789 days.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Sunset in the Ridge

These trees and I have a connection.  Often, I stare out at them while lunging with weights, or doing jumping jacks, or the myriad of other moves completed during my daily visits to the gym for classes.   Once in a while, I even run up and down this ridge multiple times as part of circuit training.  When the weather is not freezing, I run on the path that parallels this ridge of trees.  It is peaceful and nourishing to the soul, and sometimes I smell the donuts baking from the other side!  If I must run indoors, I look down on these trees from the second level, always noting the light and the shadows, the way the atmosphere changes it all.  Every day it's different, and each time it calls to me.  Just studying them somehow takes me away from my workout, as I am painting in my mind.  I will never tire of painting sunsets.  Painting number 1788 in 1788 days.

Shine of Christmas

How can I possibly cram so many things in one day?  Burning the midnight oil, this is my first chance to post today's painting done as a demo for painting class.  After arranging a few Christmas balls in the center of the table, everyone could then draw and paint from their own spot. It truly is so much better to see the ornaments before you vs looking at a photo.  Saving the highlights is paramount in watercolor, so that is the key while laying down the colors.  Once lost, it does not return like it was never painted.  One could use a masking fluid, but I almost never do.  It simply isn't spontaneous enough for me, too controlled, almost contrived.  Watercolors lighten as they dry, so I add more paint as needed while the masses are still wet. I love the mingling that occurs wet on wet, and try not to lose that.  I wonder what medium I'll choose tomorrow....... painting number 1787 in 1787 days.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Holiday Brights

I LOVE painting these shiny, bright Christmas balls!!  Though I LOVE to paint them, I don't have a single one of these on any of our Christmas trees!  I prefer fancy ornaments of all kinds, especially blown glass.  I once was given a large glass globe shaped vase with a tall candle in the center, surrounded by all of these glass balls!  After all these years, it is these balls I am pulling out of my Christmas box for the sole purpose of painting them!  In fact, I think I'll keep a few out in a bowl just for that impromptu holiday painting!   To the person who have me that gift - it is the gift that keeps on giving!  Painting number 1786 in 1786 days :)
currently available at the Belton Art Gallery

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Artist Santa

This time of year finds me drawing Santas - and this time in using ink!  A little known fact is just how much he loves painting en plein air, and here he is concentrating on the the sweep of that evergreen (one of his favorite trees).  I begin with the sketchy line to create a border, and I begin my composition.  In this case, I charge those same borders with this artist's painting arm and his canvas.  I like taking the important parts outside of the line.  Could I possibly be rebelling against my kindergarten self?  Nah, I'm just letting the ink go where it wants to!  Painting number 1784 in 1784 days.

Friday, December 8, 2017

December Sunset

After a busy day climbing in and out of the attic, I rush downstairs to start dinner..... and see the glory unfolding on the western hill!  Too many times I see this kind of beauty, and simply can not stop to paint it.  Not this time!  I turn the water on to boil, and by the time it is at a full roll, I have captured the sunset!  I've gained speed in the last months, I was finished before all the light was gone - and the sun was already down when I started.  I did not even take the time to get my small pochade out of the car!  I held my panel instead, using two brushes to paint the whole thing.  I would have used one, but I didn't have my oil to wash my brush out!  I can't be picky with so little time!  I guess you would call this "roughing it " plein air style!  Painting number 1783 in 1783 days.
purchase here

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Merry Go Round

Our monthly art mob event was at Oak Park Mall this morning. We met at the carousel and soon began our work. I first started my composition with an ink drawing, followed by watercolor. With the constant motion of the merry-go-round, I had to work quickly and loosely. One of the best parts of meeting monthly with fellow artists is getting to visit over lunch afterwards. We all display our work together for a quick photo, then off to lunch we go. Today was especially fun because these are my old stomping grounds where I grew up! This painting makes 1793 to in 1793 days.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Uncle Sam Nutcracker!

The real nutcracker was a gift in the secret Santa exchange last night, so it is now in the home of a friend.  I'm working on 6x6 gallery wrapped canvas, and using my acrylics.  I am so very specific about my substrates.  This particular one is just fine for the rather abstract technique I use on the Christmas balls, but a bit of a struggle for this nutcracker!  What I thought would just drop off the brush had to be coaxed along persistently.  I found myself longing for my gessoed masonite, with my cross hatched surface.  I do like wrapping the paint around the edges, though, it looks so dimensional.  This painting makes 1792 in 1792 days.......maybe...!
currently available at Belton Art Gallery

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Glass Ball Reflections

Oh my, what a busy day!  With three Christmas parties in the last 24 hours, my world has been a whirlwind of activity!  Nothing clears the chaos in my mind like a quick and loose painting, feeling my way through the colors rather than thinking it.  Going into "auto pilot" allows me to mentally unwind and recharge at the same time.  New ideas surface as the reflected colors find their spots on my canvas.  I love the dynamic play of the brushstrokes.  The process is just so stinking fun!  I'm thinking of painting a really large canvas of these Christmas I dare?  Painting number 1791 in 1791.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Pergola at Longview Farm in ink

I'm inking a few smaller works for a local gallery, and am trying out my fancy new TWSBI mini fountain pen in the limited edition gold.  I've filled it with cosmic black ink, and oh how I love the flow of that ink - even on this thinner cotton paper which can be a little resistant!  This pen glides like a dream, and the medium nib is my favorite for drawing.  This is my second piston loaded TWSBI, and they are both my favorites of all my fountain pens.  Creating is easy with excellent tools like this.  I've gotten both of them and lots of ink from the Goulet Pen Company, which is a cut above other supply companies.  Excellent customer service and product packaging, and my orders even come with a handwritten note and a lollipop.  Who could ask for anything more?  And no, they didn't bribe me to say so, I just appreciate the attention to detail.  Painting number 1790 in 1790 days.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Christmas Ball Impressions

Sometimes I just have to switch gears and let the crazy out!!  I LOVE rich, vibrant colors - and these Christmas ornaments offer me the perfect opportunity to revel in the bold!  I am using my acrylics for this for a couple of reasons.  First, I am painting presents and want them to dry quickly.  Second, pushing more impressionistic, I like the quick, thick layering I can achieve with heavy body acrylics.  My favorite brand?  Liquitex, although I do use an almost equal portion of Golden.  For something like this, I dive into my vast supply of unusual tubes.  It gives me a chance to really play with the fun colors.  After all these years, I still fall back to my roots of the limited palette and mixing everything I need.  Tonight - I am pushing myself to just play with paint!  SO fun!!  Painting number 1789 in 1789 days.
purchase here

Poinsettias and Pines

I was overwhelmed by all of the gorgeous things to paint on location at the Family Tree Nursery!  Here for our monthly gathering of the Urban Sketchers KC, it was my first time to walk through the doors. Wow!  I have a new favorite nursery and walked out with a box of fancy poinsettias, and perfect herb plants for my kitchen!  What a productive day - and that was only the beginning!  Painting number 1788 in 1788 days.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Andress House in Autumn

My love of old houses runs deep.  Each one has it's own character and charm, and I love capturing them in paint!  It was difficult to pick the best angle to paint from - this place is beautiful from all sides!  After getting some help in with that decision, I jumped right into the paint.  What a joy to paint this vintage gem in the autumn landscape!  Painting number 1787 in 1787 days.