Thursday, January 31, 2019

Peace Lily

My mom came to visit for 6 weeks over the holidays, leaving a very large peace lily in a pan of water and hoping for the best.  Upon return, this plant had completely wilted over all sides, looking dead.  I had just read an article about saving "dead" plants by soaking them in water an inch above their potted line.  I soaked it for several hours, drained it overnight, and left it alone in a cool place out of the sun.  In the days that followed, it came back to life!  All those limp, flat leaves resurrected!  Only the blooms turned dark, and I cut them off after 5 days.  One week later, it actually has two new tiny lilies and multiple new leaves unfurling.  I never would have believed it if I hadn't watched it with my own eyes!  So, of course I had to paint it!  Painting number 2220 in 2220 days.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Rice Street Snow

As I look towards Rice Street, this is the view from my parent's home.  The winding drive pulls me right out to the road, just blocks from the shops of Elmore, Ohio.  As we work through cabinets of books, there are pockets of time where I can paint, capturing the sights around me.  Exploring my newest travel set of 42 watercolor tiny pans, I begin to see the benefits and the cons.  The colors are strong enough, but arranged a little haphazardly on the strips.  And if I use too much water, they are not strong enough.  I really love my Watercolor Confections more, but these are more compact.  Needs more exploration! Painting number 2219 in 2219 days.
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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Winter Grays

This day started icy, then very gray, next it was snowing so hard the atmosphere turned milky, to peeps of blue sky, then finished with a purple pink sunset!  Of course that had me pulling out extra panels!   I started this one while the snowscape was full of grays.  Clouds heavy and dark added to it's allure.  Wanting to explore the subtle shifts, I choose the quiet plane down to the river.  And while I painted, that river completely iced up!  Another riverside study of nature!   Painting number 2218 in 2218 days.
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Monday, January 28, 2019

Dark Winter Creek

I am SO drawn to these dark, snowy scenes this winter.  The contrast and quiet drama of this place is very appealing, and so soothing to my soul.  A place to be still, and just let the painting unfold, this is truly art therapy in action.  With extremely low temps coming in the next few days, I will definitely be seeking shelter.  Painting number 2217in 2217 days.
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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Yellow Barn in the Snow

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Dad built this shed when he first came to northern Ohio, many years ago.  After a fresh coat of snow overnight, I am painting the long shadows stretching across the lawn.  Love those cool violet blues against the warm golden sunlit patches.  Clear all day, the colors absolutely sparkled.  If only I could get down to the river, but that sheet of ice is holding me back.  I've heard stories of people getting stuck down that steep hill, unable to climb out, and I don't want to be one of them!  Painting number 2216 in 2216 days.
What a difference lighting makes! 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Portage River in January

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There was a fresh coat of snow overnight, and the sun was out briefly this morning.  Every day, I look to see how the river changes.  It has many moods.  The flooded plane is now an ice rink, and the new snow covers it like a blanket.  The water level has dropped, and ice chunks aplenty flow quickly downriver.  I had forgotten how light changes swiftly over Lake Erie, and the scene before me changed three times before completion.  Following my mantra of not chasing the light, I stay with my original vision.  I switched back to my Richeson oils with yesterday's painting, making the process so much easier.  I've grown used to the palette, and pulling my small tin out that I've loaded all willy-nilly was messing with my flow!   Can't wait to see what the river does tomorrow.  Painting number 2215 in 2215 days.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Winter Morning on the Farm

This beautiful barn was glowing in the morning light, amid the ice and snow left in the fields.  If only the temperature was as warm as the light.  9 degrees is not good painting weather!  Soaking up the atmosphere, hoping for more snow to paint, and bracing for the REAL cold headed this way!  Painting number 2214 in 2214 days.
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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Winter River Rising

With yesterday's rain across the region, the Portage River is out of it's banks!  Loving the belts of snow left as the water rises, it is my subject this morning.  So cool to watch the river rise as I'm painting - the land is quickly disappearing!  I'm using my Guerilla Painter thumbox and a 5x7 panel this morning, along with my Altoid tin palette.  I am missing my Richeson paints this morning.... think I'll have to load a new tin with their oils for this pochade.  Painting number 2213 in 2213 days.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Ohio Barn in January

Traveling through the back roads of the Midwest all day offered so many painting opportunities!  Rainy and snowy, farms dotted the moody landscape - and you know I can't resist a vintage barn!  I did leave my extra ink and fountain pens at home, so I will have to make stretch what I have!  Yikes!  I now wish I hadn't taken those last two pens out - without replacing them!  I've used a Pilot Varsity for the ink work, and my newest 42 watercolor travel set for the color.  Only the second painting I've used these for, I LOVE exploring the palette!  I'm finding some of yellows very similar, even though the pan color looks different.  I just mix to get what I want when I find one lacking.  I also find I'm mixing into the greens, as they are not quite what I want.  To be fair, are greens out of the palette ever just right?  No, they aren't.  The best greens are mixed.  With 42 options, their are unlimited mixing possibilities!  Painting number 2212 in 2212 days.
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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Snow Along Cleveland Trail

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In my TWSBI Eco T fountain pen, I have a self mixed blend of Levenger Raven Black and Cocoa Brown ink.  After sketching the scene, I take a wet brush to bring out some mid tones.  The addition of water separates the ink, pushing towards blue and sepia randomly.  I love the way this ink has a mind of it's own.  What I don't like, is that I am nearly out of ink, and my reserves are hundreds of miles away!  Painting number 2211 in 2211 days.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Inlet to Cleveland Lake

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Grabbing a fountain pen at random, I laid my hand on my very first pen, the TWSBI Eco in clear.  Months have passed since I've used it, and it lays down a line at the very first touch.  No cleaning, no coaxing, just ink flowing effortlessly, as if I've used it every day.  And to top that off, it is filled with J.Herbin Anniversary Ink in Caroube de Chypre, a rich brown ink loaded with gold flecks (known to be clogging to any fountain pen).  I really love tools like this workhorse, that can keep up with my every need, at the drop of a hat.  Painting number 2210 in 2210 days.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Dusk at Winter's Creek

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Each snowy day, the landscape shares with me another secret.  Perhaps a way to turn an edge, a color shift within the depths of a bank, or maybe the stillness required to REALLY feel the surroundings.  These snowy days have been still indeed, with hardly any birdsong.  The robins clustering in the wooded areas, they follow me when my phone "calls" to them, my text sound a robin chirp!  With only a few days of concentrated study, I am SO very comfortable with the colors of snow now.  I'm looking forward to the many snow days ahead near Lake Erie!  Painting number 2209 in 2209 days.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

January Snow at Home

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Each day this week, I have explored the subtle color shifts of snow.  With so many overcast days, the pink grays, blue grays and brown grays have covered most of each panel.  This winter wonderland sky color started with Richeson's ice blue, pushed lighter at the horizon and deeper at the edges.  These Richeson paints are really serving me well, especially as I'm only using their palette now.  With each painting, I gain the knowledge of exactly how their paints combine, to express my personal experience in the field.  Love when the results match my experience!  Painting number 2208 in 2208 days.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Winding Creek in Snow

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The quiet beauty of the day was calling to me.  As I headed to the gym, it called.  While dropping artwork off at the Buttonwood, it still called.  Once free from my obligations, I stopped at a favorite creek on my way home,. Knowing the melting snow would now expose very wet ground, I could not wait to paint the inky darks against that cool gray snow.  Love the mood of this place, I am SO glad I stopped!  Painting number 2207 in 2207days.

Thursday, January 17, 2019


So fun to paint new subjects like this radiating sun!  By special request, I'm painting several miniature round paintings in ink and watercolor, created for a very special frame.  Stepping outside the box is such a great way to keep things fresh!  How lucky am I to get to do this every day?  Painting number 2206 in 2206 days.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Snowy Evening at Home

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I've been wanting to try my hand at nocturne painting in the snow, so what better chance than now?  With vintage Edison lights strung along the front porch, a soft warm glow vibrates against the cool blue violets as twilight fades.  I'm using an ultramarine violet and Naples yellow on the Richeson palette today, just out of the box.  With a like cad orange to warm the glow, I get my first look at these new colors.  Every brand is different, but I like the buttery texture of these so far.  All of these snowscape paintings have used these paints, and I'm really getting a feel for them now.  We're supposed to get freezing rain overnight, perhaps I'll paint ice tomorrow!  Painting number 2205 in 2205 days.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Behind the Barn

Always so full of character, the milk barn is a constant source of inspiration.  The blanket of snow is certainly icing on the cake!  It has been a wonderful painting day - in the 40s, and that means the snow is melting!  Thank goodness we have so much of it on the ground!  I'll be painting snow as long as it lasts!  Painting number 2204 in 2204 days
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Monday, January 14, 2019

Home through the Snow

Another day of exploring the shades of snow - and finding how quickly the color cools off with the sunset.  What pushed towards warm at midday, turns cool blue gray in the evening!  I need so much more practice painting snow!  Perhaps I'll get to perfect it with another snowfall coming Friday!  Painting number 2203 in 2203 days.
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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Snow on the Walnut Tree

This walnut tree was once a little start that popped up in Grandma Bessie's flowers.  Coaxing me to take it, little Tiffany helped plant it.  It's a little unruly and drops walnuts beneath it's boughs, but it is a little slice of life on this old place.  I love how there has been no wind during this show, and a blanket still lies heavy on each branch.  With this study, I am looking for all those nuances of color in the masses.  I can only hope the snow stays long enough for me to paint all the paintings I want to around here!  Painting number 2202 in 2202 days.
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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Snow on the Cedar

Oh, what a glorious snow - and it's still falling!  I've been waiting for a snowfall like this to paint!  It is a winter wonderland out there!  We have many mature cedars dotted all over the property, and they are majestic with a blanket of snow!  While it is still snowing pretty heavy, I choose a scene right out the front door for my first of the new year.  I love all those pockets of darks and the draping branches iced with snow, and the covered front porch offers protection for my panel until I get the oils down.  I could just paint one after another on a day like this, but alas, the Chiefs are playing a big one today!  Painting number 2201 in 2201 days.
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Friday, January 11, 2019

Little Barn by the Creek

On really busy days, sometimes I can only slip in a miniature painting.  Using my acrylics, I chose a 4 inch square gallery wrapped canvas as my substrate.  These tiny surfaces are perfect for small painting windows, and the  bonus of acrylics is that they dry quickly.  Really looking forward to painting a beautiful snowfall tomorrow!  Painting number 2200 in 2200 days.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Swing Shop Sketchers

Today I am exploring more of the watercolors in this compact travel palette.  What better subject than to sketch Urban Sketchers sketching at an Urban Sketchers KC event in the historic 18th and Vine district?  The Negro Baseball League museum is on one side of this place, the KC Jazz Museum on the other, with this wonderful space in between for mingling and painting.  So far, this travel palette is very convenient.  I'm thinking of leaving this one in the car with a little vodka and water in the is winter, after all. I sure don't want to have to water on ice to thaw!  Painting number 2199 in 2199 days.
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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Creekside Reflections Inked

When I first arrive on a location, I like to do a quick sketch to determine the composition.  I normally already have this in my head, so this step goes fast.  It helps me to put what is in my head down on paper.  This drawing then guides me through the painting process, helping me to stick with my original vision as the light changes.  Painting number 2198 in 2198 days.
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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Gem Theater

I was able to inspect this 42 watercolor set in person at our Urban Sketchers KC event, and since I didn't win it, I ordered one for myself!  The colors seem pretty vivid on first use, and red is always the first one I check.  It seems that if the pigments are weak, it shows up clearly in the reds.  I got strong color with little effort.  I hopped around the palette, exploring the paint.  The whole set folds in neatly, and holds a water brush pen.  Each pan is shallow, not nearly as large as a half pan.  The real benefit is the wide range of colors in a very compact set.  LOVE playing with new supplies!  Painting number 2197 in 2197 days.
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Monday, January 7, 2019

Swing Shop

I've not been to the historic 18th and Vine district in Kansas City for many years, and so much has changed!  It is a wonderful getaway for touring the museums and learning about our city's rich jazz and baseball culture.  The architecture and colors are great for painting, I only wish I had more time.  With a family lunch scheduled right after, I had to miss the Urban Sketchers KC lunch in the area.  Sometimes, I just have to paint and run!  Painting number 2196 in 2196 days.
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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Sunset Stream

I was awarded an extensive set of Richeson oils, which I got to select myself in the fall.  I have dedicated a palette to just this brand, and have used it for this painting.  Exploring the texture and hues as I find new ways to the colors I want.  After three large paintings, I've decided to add Naples yellow, ultramarine violet, and cad orange to my Richeson palette.  I did not order these originally, and find I'm missing them as I work on winter sunsets.  With each studio painting, the process becomes easier,  I can trust more in all of my field experience for the information I lack from a reference photo.  Perhaps I will grow more comfortable with each one I do in the studio.  Nothing like practice to improve those skills!  Painting number 2195 in 2195 days.
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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Jazz Museum ATC

Perhaps the thing I love best about being an artist and urban sketcher is getting to paint places I would not otherwise see!  The Kansas City Jazz Museum is such a cool slice of history, and perfect for capturing in ink and paint!  I simply must return with the family to spend more time here!  Painting number 2194 in 2194 days.

Friday, January 4, 2019

December on the Trail

The only local snow I was in town for, melted before I could really take advantage of it.  Finishing a painting in the studio is so challenging for me.  So comfortable in the field, where all of my references are before me, I am a fish out of water when inside with only photos to assist me.  Perhaps I simply need more practice.  Painting number 2193 in 2193 days.
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Thursday, January 3, 2019

Cleveland Trail Inked

Sketching the landscape before a painting takes so little time, and offers great rewards.  I'll lay this little clipboard on the ground as I start my painting, referencing it for my values as I block in.  It is so easy to get caught up with the colors and lose track of those values.  Keeping my drawing in view helps me stay on track with my original vision.  Sometimes, this pre-sketch shows me where I can make improvements - all before the paint goes down.  This can be a real timesaver!  This is one of the large paintings I will be working on this month.  Painting number 2192 in 2192 days.
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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Hunter and Hank

I love drawing those special bonds - this one of a young man and his dog.  Using my favorite Levenger Raven Black ink in this new turquoise Conklin fountain pen, I first ink in my composition. Next, I take a brush with a little water, and coax out those mid tones, returning with more ink as needed.  The best part is when the recipient is overjoyed!  I love being an artist!  Painting number 2191 in 2191 days. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Winter Sunset Over the Creek

I started this one nearly a month ago on one of those glorious snowy days.  The snow was nearly melted the following day, so I put it on hold for the next snow.  Well, the next snow never came, so now I am finishing it in the studio.  I find it SO MUCH harder!  My photo of the scene was terrible to work from, with all that back lighting, and the colors were not at all what I painted from direct observation!  I have painted on it multiple times since then, and am now going to let it rest, to see if I any truly finished. I think I will have to live with this one for a while before calling it good.  Painting number 2190 in 2190 days.