Friday, January 31, 2020

Osage Orange

I'm using a fountain pen that has been hiding in one of my little used bags, and this pen was loaded with a mix of Cocoa Brown and Raven Black - both by Levenger.  I had forgotten I had done this in my quest for the perfect brown black ink!  Haha!  Well, it has a lovely color to it when wet, perfect for this winter landscape.  This is a miniature painting at only 3 inches square - and a perfect way to capture this old hedge apple tree down by the pond.  Painting number 2590 in 2590 days.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Hackberry in the Snow

Painting in this snowy landscape in rural Missouri is surreal.  It is always very quiet, as if the snow absorbs what little sound there is.  The wildlife is still, aside from a few birds flitting in the trees.  I am often so still while painting that squirrels will come quite close.  The sun popped through a bit, but the warming temps are melting the snow far too fast.  If only it would last a little longer.  Oils were made for painting snow - I especially had fun with my palette knife.  I sure can't use that knife with my inks or watercolors!!  Painting number 2589 in 2589 days.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Home through the Snow

Oh my, it felt great to pick my oils up again!!  With a fresh coat of snow on the ground overnight, I knew I would finally take out my oils today.  It was warmer than I anticipated and that snow was melting faster than I could paint it!  So, I worked small with my 5x7 thumb box easel and finished two while I was at it!  As for the color?  I felt like pushing blue today, and painting is all about expressing myself in my surroundings.  Perhaps tomorrow I'll be a little more true.....or not.  Painting number 2588 in 2588 days.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Cedar by the Road

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It is so fun to experiment with new art supplies!!  Love the feel of a new fountain pen in my hand, especially one as smooth as this one!  Trying to match the ink to the pen, I have loaded it with Robert Oster's Thunderstorm ink.  It does magical things  when water is added, bleeding to violet and turquoise.  Considered a blue black, it is the first one of this shade that I have tried.  I really like it.  I am definitely going to take a closer look at the other inks offered by Robert Oster.  They are stunning for artwork.  Painting number 2587 in 2587 days.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Row of Trees

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I'm so excited to get new inks and fountain pens in!!  With just a little light left, I loaded my pens with ink and headed outside!  Here, I am trying Robert Oster's Schwarz Rose ink in a TWSBI Eco T.  Love the pen, of course - it is a TWSBI, and I've never met a TWSBI I didn't like - even the simplest, cheapest TWSBI Go!  The ink is delightful!  With a little water from my water brushpen, those lovely turquoise and rose hues appear!  AND, this ink has a wonderful sparkle dust that leaves the tiniest hint of glimmer in those marks.  I like the flow and spread of the ink, and the fact that it looks truly black until I add a little water.  It is very fluid when sweeping across with water while it is wet.  I imagine that once dry, it will not move so well if at all.  Can't wait to try the other Robert Oster ink that arrived!  Painting number 2586 in 2586 days.

Sunday, January 26, 2020


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This ink is one that I blended with Levenger's Cocoa brown and Raven black ink in one of my fountain pens.  It has a rich warm black color until I add a little water, when it then shows it's brown side.  When I first used it, I thought I would run it out, and then fill with another ink.  But, now I kind of like the way it behaves in water, showing a more chromatic look of it's color.  Love playing with these inks in the landscape!!  Although, I do wish I had enough time to take my oils out in this winter beauty!  I am missing them!!  I hope to get back to them soon!!  Painting number 2585 in 2585 days.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Grand Cedar

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Playing with pen and ink again in this glorious winter wonderland!  I am using Colorverse Black Hole ink on this small 3x3 handmade paper.  The texture is rather fine, but the 100% cotton rag offers a good surface for this ink.  It spreads freely with a little water - and nothing is drying on this day!  I couldn't even put it away to hike back - it was too wet!  Painting number 2584 in 2584 days.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Old Hackberry in the Snow

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Oh what a gorgeous morning!!  A winter wonderland had arrived overnight - and I simply had to spend time in this beauty!!  After hiking a couple miles first, scouting all that I wanted to paint in the process, I came to this fabulous old hackberry.  It has always caught my attention and has made it's way into multiple paintings.  For the first time I notice some damage on the old tree, and a possible split on the other side.  Situated in the southwest pasture, it is very natural here - which I love!  There is nothing more tranquil than being surrounded by such beauty, without even getting in my car!  No buildings in site, just the natural state of the land as it would have been centuries ago.  Painting number 2583 in 2583 days.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Orchid Table

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This morning was our monthly painting event with the Art Mob - and it was at one of my favorite places - Suburban Lawn and Garden!  How could I possibly resist this gorgeous orchid table?  Well, obviously I couldn't!!  Using ink and watercolor to sketch these beauties on handmade paper from India.  I have the most wonderful offices!  Painting number 2582 in 2582 days.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Cedars by the Pond

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Beauty is all around us, even in winter.  Today I find that beauty down by the pond, while the snow blows.  Trying something new, I have wet my paper and while wet, drawn on my lines in ink - which I have again drawn the branches without looking at my paper.  I am using Colorverse Black Hole ink in my fountain pen, and it spreads and separates on the wet paper.  So much pink and purple can be seen in this seemingly black ink.  I didn't like it at first, but I now think it is well suited for these dark winter days.  I will be playing more with this technique, to see just what the ink can do.  Painting number 2581 in 2581 days.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Oak Study

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Feeling the need for more tree study, I set my sight on this old pin oak looming large on the lawn.  I tried something different on this small ATC sized study.  Instead of looking at my paper as I drew, I did not take my eyes from the tree, moving the pen where I could see the branches extending.  The result was a much truer reflection of the tree!  The process helped my bypass my brain's idea of a tree, instead just letting the pen jut out from the trunk.  I am certainly going to do this again!  Perhaps I just uncovered a secret for tree painting!  Lol!  Painting number 2580 in 2580 days.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

At Play

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Cats have such fun personalities and make great subjects for painting!  These two are great friends, often playing tag like children!   So, sketching with one of my TWSBI Eco pens (this one in Blossom) I then fill in with watercolor. I often make short little sketchy lines to find my forms, especially when they are in complicated poses.  It's a great way to be sure of the composition before adding paint.  Painting number 2579 in 2579 days. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Cleveland Lake

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The trail that runs around this lake and along the creek is a great place to run, even in winter.  Time spent in nature is always time well spent, especially when I can run AND paint!  Today I am packing a fountain pen, paper and water brush pen for a quick sketch.  This medium is especially good for these winter days, when speed is important for staying warm.  Love that pen and ink!  Painting number 2578 in 2578 days. 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Hereford Hello!

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I love a fresh, clean new palette!  Trying one of my newest additions - "essence" palette from Prima Watercolor Confections, it was a good choice for this day of wintery mix precipitation!  This momma cow was looking out for the babies as the others grazed nearby, so she came to the fence to check me out.  After sniffing my hand for treats, she wandered away, but remained close enough for me to get the information I needed.  I dropped in my ink before the color this time, and  like the way it mingled together with a little water.  It's fun to take ink and watercolor to the cattle - I normally do them in oil!  Painting number 2577 in 2577 days.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

High Water

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It was pretty cold out there this afternoon, but I was toasty in my new down coat!  I bought it with future cold weather painting in mind, and it was so comfortable!  I walked the trail today after running errands in town, soaking in that nature and sketching small.  This winding creek in winter is beautiful, the brush so much easier to manage this time of year.  This landscape calls for ink, so I did not even bring my watercolors today. Love spending time out here, even in the still of winter.  Painting number 2576 in 2576 days.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Winter Redbud

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Some days are just full of plenty of things I'd rather not do.  So, I slipped out to the balcony to soak in a little sun.  Facing south, it is often warm and cozy, even in winter.  As the mintues ebbed away, I felt renewed and basked in the rural setting of my landscape.  My eyes rested on the trees again and again.  Well, why not sketch the trees as I enjoy this gorgeous day?  Grabbing the small sketch bag I used yesterday, I drew the lines of this old, knobby redbud tree.  My grandmother planted this whole row of them more than 40 years ago, and they have gnarled a bit with time.  With a little water I get those midtones, and I am back to the chores of my day.  Nothing more refreshing than a little sanity time!  Painting number 2576 in 2576 days. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Cattle in the Pasture

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Today was "Baby Play Day", and the family with little ones gathered for lunch and play time. Rushing home from the gym, I had just enough time to get things ready.  After the kids went home, I was able to squeeze in this watercolor sketch before going to Alastair's karate belt ceremony. I used another new palette from Watercolor Confections - this one is "Essence".  Worked alright in the winter landscape, and I added just a hint of shimmering lights to some of the grasses.  I couldn't stop myself!  Painting number 2575 in 2575 days. 

Monday, January 13, 2020

January Creek

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I keep multiple sketch bags in various sizes in several locations, as to always have a bag at the ready.  Today, I picked up a small leather bag that I use when traveling to amusement parks or the zoo, anywhere I might need to be hands free - but still have supplies for small paintings with me.  While digging through the "pen pocket", I found my favorite fountain pen on it's side at the bottom!  I keep all my fountain pens stored nib up, ready to use.  I did have to swish this one through the water a couple times before the ink would flow correctly, but oh how I've missed the smooth nib action!  Pretty sure I have a different ink than my norm, and the paper was different, too, but it was a pleasure using this pen again!  Painting number 2574 in 2574 days. 

Sunday, January 12, 2020


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Grabbing another new set of Watercolor Confections, the Complexion palette, I headed to the northern bird feeders.  With so many lovely browns, yellows, warm reds and black, I thought it the perfect choice for many birds.  As several cardinals were about, I took the opportunity to start my sketch of one on a branch. As I wet the brush to choose a red, I realized there were no vibrant reds.  Red oxide is simply not the color of a cardinal.  And as I reached for shadow shades, I was also disappointed. So, I abandoned that idea and went back to my old "go-to" set, and all was easy again.  There are not enough cool shades on that other palette for outdoor work.  I wonder if it will even work on portraits.  Painting number 2573 in 2573 days and a fabulous play off win for our KC Chiefs!!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Chickadees on the Feeder

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The birds are busy around the feeders on this snowy January morning - and this green enamelware one is lovely against the snow!  A Mother's Day gift from my youngest daughter, this is my first painting to include it!  Because of the shape of the belly of the feeder, only the little birds can partake of it's bounty.  While the larger birds attend the other feeders, this one swarms with chickadees and nuthatch.  I am using one of my newest palettes from Watercolor Confections - the Terrain.  The choice seems at first unlikely for a snowy day, but I chose it for the perfect color of green for the bird.  I then made the other colors work, although that meant mixing the right browns and grays for the birds.  I like this palette and think it will be especially good for the summer landscape.  Painting number 2572 in 2572 days.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Orchid Phalaenopsis

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I absolutely adore the miniature orchid phalaenopsis that I picked up while painting at Family Tree Nursery!  My first miniature, the very abundant blooms beg to be painted!  Their unusual striping and petal formation makes them a challenge to draw and paint!  Jumping in with both feet, I start with the ink.  I can't help but wonder if the color would be better expressed in oils. I drop in watercolor, leaving my whites, and push the ink again at the finish.  Certainly challenging!  I think I need more orchid practice to be comfortable with their exotic form!  Painting number 2571 in 2571 days. 

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Milk Barn Sunset

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Oh how gorgeous the sunsets of January are!  Especially lovely on these warm days, I must take advantage of the beauty!  We hit 66 degrees today - a record, and winter looms on the horizon tomorrow.  So, with ink and watercolor I try to capture the sunset on my newest Shizen smooth handmade paper.  I think sunsets are so much easier in oil - but how better to improve the skills than with practice?  I'm going to remember this balmy evening tomorrow night when the freezing rain is moving in!  Yikes!  Painting number 2570 in 2570 days. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Home on the Hill

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What a treat to find my newest watercolor paints on the front porch when I arrived home!  This Woodlands collection from Prima Watercolor Confections is well suited for the winter landscape.  After unwrapping each pan of watercolor and popping them into the metal palette, I am ready to paint!  With a strong wind on this January day in the 50s, I settle into a rather protected area at the edge of the pasture. Using a completely new palette is always a challenge.  My go to colors are not there, I must mix and play and I find the shades I want to lay down.  A couple of stand outs here - #87 Cavern and #91 Bear. #95 Redwood is pretty nice, too.  Can't wait to try the 5 other ones yet to unwrap! Painting number 2569 in 2569 days.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Cleveland Trail Creek Winding

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What could be better than running and painting?  When I run first, I am toasty warm for the entire painting session. I normally don't even feel the winter chill until I am packing up. This is especially true when it is 50 degrees in January!  Lol. Ok, no suffering here - I love our January weather this year!  Painting number 2568 in 2568 days. 

Monday, January 6, 2020

Tender Care

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Love capturing the tender care of a beloved horse in front of our old milk barn.  I have long had a passion for horses, but have only started to take pen and ink to this subject.  The pen and ink feels so organic in the field - and my watercolor half pans are perfect for adding color on the fly.  I just ordered 5 more sets in different palettes today.  Yes, I may be a paint addict...! Painting number 2566 in 2566 days. 

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Cleveland Trail

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Oh how I love these warm January days!!  Each one is a gift that I simply must take full advantage of!  So today, I set out for a run along a favorite winding creek hoping to find irresistible views!  Running first, I take mental notes along the trail of where I'll stop on my second lap around.  The blues are so rich in the landscape, I do wish I'd brought my watercolor.  Alas, I have only pen, paper and water brush pen in the deep pocket of my running jacket.  It does feel good to get back to the ink!  Painting number 2565 in 2565 days and Day 5 of the #stradaeasel challenge. 

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Old Hackberry Tree

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The sunny afternoon light beckoned me outside. Hiking through the pastures, immersing myself in nature, organically led me to this old Hackberry tree with it's interesting branches. With ink and watercolor, the painting unfolds, as my trusty companion barks st the cows! Just a visual sliver of my day!  Day 4 of the Strada easel challenge and the 2564th painting in 2564 days. 

Friday, January 3, 2020


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Back before Thanksgiving, Mike came home with 7 gorgeous poinsettias!  Thinking we could give some to family members, he couldn't pass up a very good deal!  Only one or two found new homes, and the others continue to grow and flourish.  I am painting one of these beauties tonight.  I registered for the Strada Easel challenge for the first time, and this is my Day 2 post. Each day this month, the painting must be painted from life, and at the end, all who've met the challenge are entered in a drawing to win a Strada Easel!  Who doesn't need a new easel?!!  Painting number 2563 in 2563 days. 

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Faithful Friend

Today finds me working on entries for the upcoming "Art of Kindness" gallery show at the Buttonwood.  My brother and his family just left this morning, so I am taking this day to regroup and take care of some art business.  A lot of things are put on hold during the holidays, and that is especially true this year.  It is so healing to center myself with my ink and watercolor, and dive into the theme of kindness.  Looking forward to a very meaningful year.  Painting number 2662 in 2662 days. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2020


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Seven years ago today, I started a daily painting journey that would change my life.  Rising to the challenge with only the first 30 days in mind, I began the process of figuring out how in the world I was going to finish, post, blog and share a painting every single day. It seemed very daunting!  With blind trust that I could do it, and to continue as long as possible, I jumped in.  After those first 30 days, I could see progress!  I didn't want the progress to stop, so I returned to the easel day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year.  I've grown. I've stretched  I tried things I never would have before painting daily  Every day is a painting adventure.  Each painting is still a lesson, but oh how I've broadened my horizons.  I can't wait to see what the next year brings!  Painting number 2561 in 2561 days.