Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Main Street Dubuque

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I am always so busy at the end of a plein air event, I sometimes leave final paintings and sketches in my boxes and bags - especially when I have run out of frames in particular sizes!  This ink and watercolor is just such a piece!  This sketch was in preparation for a longer format in the same location.  Painting number 2560 in 2560 days. 

Monday, December 30, 2019

Little Barn

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Today I am trying another Shizen handmade paper, only this one has a rough texture.  The ink flows nicely over the surface, skipping over the low spots for added interest.  I little water swept over with a brush adds a rich unpredictable mark, spreading a little more than my usual paper.  This paper says it is sized inside and out, and I think that must be where the difference lies.  As I compare today's with my drawing of two days ago on the smooth surface, I can see benefits to both!  I have always loved the rough, but I think I will be keeping the smooth as well! Painting number 2559 in 2559 days. 

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Nutty Wreath

Christmas is a magical time where homes and storefronts are adorned with all things festive!  Here, another one of those things I could not resist - a nutcracker wreath!  I should totally do a wreath next year with one or two from my own collection!  Here, I start with the ink to finish with the watercolor, dropping in just a bit more ink at the end with this fancy pants artisan fountain pen!  Drawing is so much more fun with a gorgeous pen!  Painting number 2558 in 2558 days. 

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Rising Creek

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I'm trying a new handmade watercolor paper today - Shizen 100% cotton rag.  Shopping at Artists and Craftsman supply store with my award card from the Celebration show, I nearly bought out these papers in almost every size!  I've not used them until now, but the look and feel convinced me. The fine tip India ink seems to glide over the surface, but my fountain pen performs as usual, feeling very natural.  And this may have been my first hot press paper ever!  Painting number 2557 in 2557 days. 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Poinsettia Wreath

It is so important to always have my tools on board - I never know when the a quick paint opportunity will present itself!  This little ATC sized miniature painting just took minutes to do, starting with an ink sketch.  A little watercolor was added with a water brush pen using my classic Watercolor Confections set.  Crown Center is always a festive place to paint during the holidays - I'm so lucky to have two opportunities to do so this season!  Painting number 2556 in 2556 days. 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Father Christmas in Metal

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I have been wanting to work a Father Christmas in metal all month - and today is my first chance!  I got some fun new sculpting tools with one of my "Celebration" awards - a gift card from Dick Blick, and I have been chomping at the bit to try them!  The metal of the styluses can be a bit abrasive as I sculpt, but the wooden tools were a pleasant surprise!  I can press rather hard, and get a smoother result than with the plastic tool of the same shape.  So fun to explore this medium!  Painting number 2554 in 2554 days. 

Owl Wreath

Oh what a day of Christmas fun! So nice to have all the family over to celebrate the day. With so much food left over - I sure hope they'll be back every day to clean out my fridge!  Painting number 2553 in 2553 days. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Three Goats

After a busy Christmas Eve of wrapping, cooking and family fun, these three goats are wishing you all a Happy Christmas Eve!  Better get to bed before Santa arrives!  Painting number 2552 in 2552 days. 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Grapevine Wreath

Oh my, what a day!  Little did I know that when I left this morning, I would be out all day on a family shopping adventure!  Mike is our Mr. Christmas, mom and I were just along for the ride! This gorgeous fountain pen is a handmade artisan pen by Pendora Pens. It just may be the most artistic fountain pen I have.  I think I have three different ones, all special and unique.  It is fun to take them out to draw with, each getting their turn in my hand! Painting number 2551 in 2551 days. 

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Shadows in the Snow

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In the middle of so many projects, I opened the door and stepped outside in my sock feet.  The bright sunlight was warm on my face and the landscape glistened before me.  How could I NOT paint this place?  Soaking up the sun as the snow melts around me, I paint to a symphony of drips from the eaves!  The snow will not last long on a gorgeous day like this!  So, I paint snow while I can, sipping hot black currant tea, and basking in the sun.  A sliver of heaven at a busy time.  Painting number 2550 in 2550 days. 

Friday, December 20, 2019


With just a little time left, I pulled out a miniature paper for a quick poinsettia painting!  I had to paint these beauties in my favorite color.  So many shoppers stopped to visiti while I worked - I think I talked more than I painted!  It's always a great day when I meet so many nice people!  I will definitely return to paint another day!  Painting number 2549 in 2549 days. 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Family Tree Christmas

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What a treat today to visit the Family Tree Nursery with the Art Mob!  This place is a Christmas Wonderland full of trees, ornaments, decorations and so much more!  With sitting areas back in the sunlit greenhouses, one could order goodies at their coffee shop, to return and bask in the sun IN SNOWY DECEMBER!  I will definitely be back on those frigid winter days to enjoy this space!  Painting number 2548 in 2548 days. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Church in the Snow

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I have wanted to paint this beautiful creek for years!  Gorgeous in both directions, I cross it to get to my mom's new house.  Each time, I have to force myself to keep driving right past this beauty!  Today I sketch with pen and ink, only my favorite water soluble ink, so I can move it around with a water brush pen.  I'm not quite sure what that distant building is, but I cleared some of the trees out from in front of it - to show more of the building.  Time stands still in a place like this, and everything is quiet in the snow.  Painting number 2547 in 2547 days. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Santa Wreath

On a busy day spent writing nearly all of my Christmas cards, there is still enough time for a miniature painting of this Santa wreath!  I've been revisiting my fountain pen collection, one at a time, and here I have an artisan pen. My favorite nib is a medium, due largely to the 100% cotton rag paper I use with a rough texture. Fine and superfine nibs are too aggressive, tearing the surface instead of leaving a smooth line.  I like the broad and flex nibs on dip pens, but have yet to order one on a fountain pen. Perhaps my next one?  Painting number 2546 in 2546 days. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

Snow at the Milk Barn

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I've been checking all my sketch bags this week, choosing the supplies from a different one each day.  I like to make sure I have everything I need, no matter which bag I grab.  Today, I chose a pen that I loaded in Colorverse Black Hole ink. It appears pretty black until water is added - and you can see the shift to red violet.  I think it suits the cold, snowy day, but I still prefer my rich black.  I have SO many inks, and yet I use my favorite almost all of the time!  Just like paper, I'm very selective about my art supplies!  Painting number 2546 in 2546 days. 

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Snowy Creek

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Oh how I love painting snow!!  The strong values hook me every time - especially when the dark water of a creek is involved!  I'm using a smaller sketch bag that I've not been into for a while - and what did I find but my TWSBI Go fountain pen?  With very little coaxing that nib released a velvety line - after not touching it for many months!  That is one big reason I love their fountain pens - they always work!  I have many others that are dry whenever I return to them, requiring me to run them in water first, and sometimes that isn't enough.  Who has time for that?  Not this busy artist!  Even the very modest, inexpensive pen I used today worked right out of the gate.  I bought it on a whim to test out the spring ink loading system. It is probably the fastest loading pen I have!  Painting number 2545 in 2545 days. 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Winter Dream

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This local creek and trail is a wonderful place to paint.  The creek winds and twists through the woods, with deep, interesting banks on either side, before spilling into the lake.  I like the very natural look of this terrain, perfect for painting.  This kind of landscape draws me in so much more than the manicured lake.  It is so soothing to the soul to spend time here. I can't wait to do it again. Painting number 2544 in 2544 days. 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Nutcracker Wreath

After a wonderful day of family time, and a not so wonderful dog clean up event, I am finally getting to sit down with my paints. Just a tiny window, so I'm painting in miniature with ink and watercolor.  I still have so much to do before Christmas, I sure hope there are no more doggy messes!!  Painting number 2543 in 2543 days. 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Winter Whites

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I am still working on Christmas cards - and this is one of my favorite places to run AND to paint.  This winding creek meanders through the woods to the lake, and there are paintings at every turn.  This time of year the brush is dying down, allowing me to get closer to the water. Sometimes the very best spots are deep in the brush!  I hope to be returning again and again this winter.  Painting number 2542 in 2542 days. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019


There is something very joyful about painting animals!  From sketch to paint, the whole process seems magical.  What begins as a few sketchy lines, comes alive as paint fills the masses.  The very best part - when their owners are overwhelmed with the results!  I absolutely love this artist's life!  Painting number 2541 in 2541 days. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Elf Wreath

I love the cheerful colors and lanky limbs of this sweet little elf as he poses on this wreath!  A cute Christmas icon, I am painting him in miniature to suit my tiny painting window. Its amazing how much detail I can achieve in a tiny space with a few quick strokes. The process grows faster each time I paint, and feels more natural with each one I finish.  Maybe one day soon I'll be able to paint these in my sleep, without opening my eyes!  Lol! Painting number 2540 in 2540 days 

Monday, December 9, 2019


Oh how I love painting puppies!!  Their sweet little faces and expressions are perfect for ink and watercolor!  With this little guy, I started with India ink and a super fine nib - I want those curly lines to be soft as they skip over the texture of the paper.  Next, I come in with the same kind of curly strokes with watercolor to add texture to the coat.  In this way I continue until that beautiful coat takes on life and dimension. I finish with my fountain pen and water soluble ink, adding water to blend a little.  Really love the process! 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Crown Center Ornaments

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I always look forward to painting at Crown Center during the holidays.  Intending to walk over to Union Station as well, I never did make it!  I just couldn't tear myself away from all that holiday glam!  This is the first painting of the day - of the first thing that caught my eye on my way in!  What a great place to paint, eat, and shop!  Painting number 2537 in 2537 days. 

Friday, December 6, 2019


I have always had a special place in my heart for animals, even as a child.  There is something very joyful in the act of painting them, too!  I can't help but smile as I sketch each line and paint in each color. With this little face looking back at me - how could I not smile?  Painting number 2536 in 2536 days. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019


What fun to create special pieces for our Tri-County Art League holiday party!  Since I was out of town for our last meeting, I worked on these at home.  I painted this on some new watercolor cards that I ordered by mistake.  The paper is smoother and thinner than I like, but I was able to bend it to my will. I will try to use it up, but I will not order them again.  Life is too short for substandard art supplies.  Painting number 2534 in 2534 days. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Santa Goat!

How could I possibly resist a sweet little goat in a Santa hat?  With so much personality, this little darling was a joy  to  paint!  With each goat I paint, I gain a better understanding of the shapes  and planes that form them.  I use sketchy little lines with an India ink pen for my initial marks, and then follow with my watercolor half pans.  I am getting so much milage out of these Watercolor Confection sets by Prima, it is really quite remarkable!  I wonder if their latest color set is out?  Christmas is coming, after all!  Painting number 2533 in 2533 days. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Drummer Boy Nutcracker

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I have collected nutcrackers since my youngest son took an interest in them.  Each time we find a special one, we add it. Some are antique and some are new, but all make fabulous painting subjects!  This season finds me using ink and watercolor for them.  I like to switch up mediums on a daily basis, and I almost always let my intuition decide which one.  I wonder what I'll choose tomorrow?  Painting number 2531 in 2531 days. 

Monday, December 2, 2019

Santa Claus

It's that time of year again!  Since I've only arrived home from an extended time in Ohio, I am just starting my Christmas cards!  I have decided on winter scenes in ink, but just couldn't resist a Santa for tonight!  I'm doing a couple for our Tri-County Art League holiday lunch tomorrow - which I only found out about tonight at a sorority dinner!  I can sure tell I've been out of town!  Oh well, I'll catch up eventually!  Painting number 2530 in 2530 days.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Best Friends

I have always loved horses - and the special relationship between this girl and her horse has been a joy to paint!  With so much on my plate recently, it took me a while to find the quiet I needed to really focus on this work.  Even settling down with my oils took discipline.  Once I started, the rhythm came naturally, albeit slowly.  As I worked, I found myself leaving more brushwork loose.  Is it too loose?  When in doubt, I walk away, to return with fresh eyes tomorrow. A special painting with a special story deserves only my best.  Painting number 2529 in 2529 days.