Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Water through the Garden

I love spending time at the Overland Park Arboretum, especially with my paints!  This water garden is lovely with the steam leading from one waterfall to another.  I especially like this format for this scene, it captures all that I wanted in it's wide view.  Painting number 2728 in 2728 days.

Monday, June 29, 2020


These gorgeous glads were given to my husband many years ago by a friend at work.  They return every year, though they should not!  In this very spot, I also have calla lilies that return each year - here in Zone 5!  Craziness!  As I sketch these in ink and watercolor, I long to paint them in oils.  Working in miniature, ink and watercolor are the perfect medium.  I can work very fast with ink, letting the blooms unfold naturally.  Working out the thought process here, the oil painting should be effortless.  I love this time spent in the garden!  Painting number 2727 in 2727 days.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Rudbeckia Path

I had to return to this spot with my oil paints today - and today's light changes the landscape!  I paint a wide view where yesterday's paint was a black-eyed Susan close up!  This path leads to the house, flanked by wildflowers everywhere!  Milk weed, rudbeckia, clover and butterfly weeds are all in bloom - not to mention Queen Anne's Lace just opening up.  These meadows will be cut within days, and oh how I will miss this beauty!  Painting the 2726 in 2726 days.

Saturday, June 27, 2020


Oh my!  All of the meadows are ablaze with wildflowers!  As I walked our trail, I could hardly contain myself!  I've never seen them as gorgeous as they are right now.  I took this mini set up because I had so little light left, but tomorrow I am bringing my oils!  This gorgeous landscape is begging for them!  First chance I get, I am moving some of these beauties to the north garden.  They last forever cut in a vase!  Painting number 2725 in 2725 days. 

Friday, June 26, 2020

Bumblebee and Hollyhocks

Oh it felt so good to paint pick up my oils again!  It seems I've used ink and watercolor most of the month, but these blooms begged for oils! I was out painting this when my phone reminded me of the acrylic pour workshop!  Not quite done, I returned today to knock in those pops.  With artistic license I repositioned blooms, adding one of the bumblebees that are so interested in the gardens now!  There are a few more clouds today, but that light was already in.  Now I wish I had painted this larger!  Painting number 2724 in 2724 days.

Thursday, June 25, 2020


I totally forgot about tonight's acrylic pour workshop until my phone reminded me 30 minutes prior!  In the zone with my oils, I was in the garden painting hollyhocks at the time.  I packed up without washing my brushes, and rushed to our Tri County Art League's event.  Oh my gosh!  What fun it was to choose colors, layer them, pour them, then use gravity to move the masses to and fro.  A whole new world has just opened up, and I'm standing on the brink of discovery!!  Painting number 2723 in 2723 days.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020


It makes so happy when the very first tall garden phlox start to bloom!!  These first fragrant beauties are a glimpse of the hundreds to come!! I saw they were opening while working in the yard. By the time I had delivered flowers to mom, dug some clematis out at Norma's and replanted them in my north garden - the sun was setting!  After a quick drink and a bite to sustain me, it was full dark when I painted.  I've got a very cushy spot on the covered front porch which is perfect for night painting!  The front beds are illuminated by Edison lights on the porch, so I always have something to paint!  Many's the time I've come late to my easel!  It's a busy time in the garden, after all! Painting number 2722 in 2722 days.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Stella D'Oro Splendor

I painted these Stella D'Oro lilies a couple days ago, in a slightly different composition and format.  When I got to the background, I hesitated!  If in doubt, don't - rang through my head, so I backed away from the painting.  So, today, I give it another shot - this time with the background.  I like it both ways!  I could see both visions, and I'm glad I didn't paint in the other.  It's nice to have them both ways!  Painting number 2721 in 2721 days.  I just realized this didn't post - silly cell service.  Sure wish we could get real internet out here....as we were promised in 2008.....!  Lol!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Mother and Child

I love the feel of graphite pencils in my hand.  The smell of them takes me back to my childhood and the sheer joy of mark making.  The tactile way they glide over the surface of my paper, meeting resistance with the vellum texture of my Bristol board.  With stumps I blend my masses now, where once I used little fingers for this job.  I have quite a selection of pencils and tools, but I only use the 8B.  I love the softness, and rarely choose another.  The pink eraser from childhood is still my favorite, those other fancy ones are just not for me.  I really love spending time with my old friend graphite, especially when a mother's love is my subject!  Painting number 2719 in 2719 days.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Stella D'Oro and the Bee

The very best thing about Stella in the garden is her long bloom time.  A reblooming daylily, this one has an extended bloom time.  And that cheerful bright yellow is a real show stopper in the beds!  Shorter and more compact that my tall vintage ones, I place these towards the front of my beds.  Working larger, I first ink my composition, adding in the watercolor afterwards.  I had every intention of washing in a dark background to represent the shadows, but I hesitated.  So, if in doubt, don't.  I'm not sure if that was the right decision, I may just do another in that way.  Painting number 2718 in 2718 days.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Orange Daylilies

Oh how I love these daylilies!  The very first starts came from Grandma Bessie's garden, and I carefully planted them in my front gardens.  Over the years, I have scavenged them from gravel road ditches and deserted places, giving them new life in my gardens.  Grandma called them tiger lilies, and they grace many historic homes in the midwest.  So, after having the family out - and TWO tiny babies to cuddle - I am painting these happy blooms in ink and watercolor.  I have Robert Oster's Black is Black in my TWSBI fountain pen, and watercolor half pans for the color.  Such a perfect evening for painting!  Painting number 2717 in 2717 days.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Bees in the Flowers

This Queen's Lace Achillea has been in my family for three generations.  My mother had it first in the home I grew up in, she brought some to my grandmother before moving, and now I have spread it around the yard.  The color and fern like foliage are gorgeous, and the bees and butterflies love it!  I'm working a little larger today than I have for a while - and it was harder!  Using a new paper, it was thinner than expected, and the sizing seemed lighter than normal.  Each batch is different when they are handmade.  Love capturing this bed of flowers in ink and watercolor!  Painting number 2716 in 2716 days.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Hummingbird in the Vine

Oh my gosh!  Painting by this hummingbird vine was so fun!  Those speedy birds buzzed me on all sides as I worked, like I wasn't even there.  One even came so close to my ear I felt the whoosh as he flew by!  These trumpets have only opened in the last day, so I guess the word is out!  I started with an ink sketch, adding the bird's form as they paused at the flowers.  I've only seen the ruby throated ones so far.  I washed in the color, hoping to let it spread and mingle, but it is too hot and windy.  The paper dried too fast!  I'll have to try a loose one on a humid morning!  Painting number 2715 in 2715 days.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020


We've had so many days in the 90s - and still these pansies thrive!  Any day they may start to fade, so I am painting them while I can!  I have Robert Oster's Great Southern Ocean ink in my fountain pen, and India ink for the line work, followed with my watercolor half pans.  I actually grabbed one of my nice watercolor brushes for this, and loved how well it worked.  I have used the water brush pens so long in the field, I had honestly forgotten how well a full thirsty round brush is!  Additionally, I realized how worn out those brush pens are getting!  Time to pitch them!  Painting number 2714 in 2714 days.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Coreopsis Bee

Only the second year for this planting - the blooms are abundant and filling in well!  They are bright and shiny stars in the garden - so I think I'll move them all over in the fall!  We've also been thinking of actually raising honey bees sometime in the future!  We certainly have the perfect place for it!  I am using ink and watercolor on handmade cotton paper on this painting.  It makes me think of making my own paper, too.....!  Painting number 2713 in 2713 days.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Hollyhocks Red

I look forward to these hollyhocks all year long - and I'm so happy they are now blooming!   I planted the very first from seed I collected while painting in Door County, Wisconsin, so, each year I think of those good painting adventures when they bloom!  I am again using my ink with my watercolor - embracing the very intuitive way I paint.  I don't feel like the restrictions of that silly direct watercolor right now!  Maybe later....lol!  Painting number 2712 in 2712 days.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Pansy Joy

It seems that when I'm worn out - I abandon the direct watercolor challenge, and when I'm fresh and rested, I pick up the challis again.  In a more playful and contemporary way, I am painting these cheerful pansies who continue to flourish despite the heat!  Simply painting with my brush, wet on wet, my quick impressions of these lovelies!  Now we're off to welcome Michaela, Cooper and baby Casper home from the hospital!  Happy days ahead!  Painting number 2711 in 2711 days.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Yarrow Bee

So today should be my 12th day of 30 in the direct watercolor challenge.  After a weak attempt and total resistance to thinking about that method, I grabbed my fountain pen and sketched out this yarrow and bee!  This so naturally flows from my pen, I am renewed with each stroke!  And after the joyful, crazy, emotional two days I've had - I am not fooling with that direct watercolor nonsense tonight!  Lol!  30 days might be too many!  Painting number 2710 in 2710 days.

Thursday, June 11, 2020


Barely got this finished when my daughter called to say she was in labor!  We have a new little grandson!!  Painting number 2709 in 2709 days!

Tuesday, June 9, 2020


I am forging ahead with this direct watercolor challenge of 30 paintings in 30 days.  A painting a day is a breeze, but it is considerably harder when I also have gallery work to finish and commissions in process!  I am trying a architecture today, and thought I'd really miss my pen. I marked a few lines with my brush and it made all the difference.  All this month I have started by laying in the masses in watercolor - and it has been a struggle!  Perhaps this is the way I can actually start enjoying direct watercolor!  Day 9 of 30, and painting number 2708 in 2708 days. 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Orange Sunpatiens!

I had these fabulous sunpatiens for the first time last year, and wow!   They grow more beautiful and lush right up until the fall!   Adding so much impact to the garden, they are a great choice for late season drama, when other flowers are fading.  So, when I found them at Suburban Lawn and Garden (while Mothers Day shopping), I snapped them up!  Forging ahead with this 30 day direct watercolor challenge, this is Day 8. Where I am loose and free when inking first, I am much more careful when direct painting, using more drawing skills with that brush.  I feel like I'm learning a few things, and just today I am a little optimistic about the process.  Every painting truly is a lesson!  Painting number 2707 in 2707 days.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Light through the Trees

This evening finds me capturing that magic hour light as it streams through the trees.  Not wanting to venture along the path without my bug repellant lotion on, I choose the west lawn just past where we hosted Michaela's baby shower today.  With most of the party clean up finished, I can settle into my paints for a little art therapy.  Love that quiet time in the countryside!  Painting number 2706 in 2706 days, and day 7 of 30 in the direct watercolor challenge.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Red Orange Lilies

These red orange lilies that mom and I brought back to Missouri in the dead of winter, have really taken off in my front garden!  This bunch is glorious while I await the bloom of several others.  This day has been very full of baby shower preparations, so I've sneaked in a tiny sanity break with my watercolor half pans to rejuvenate.  Now it's back to work for me!!  Painting number 2705 in 2705 days.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Woodland Path

As the golden hour approaches, the landscape begins to call my name.  During this covid time, I've grown accustomed to taking Beau for a walk or run during this time, keeping one eye on the landscape.  I stop when I must, and Beau runs wide circles around me until I'm ready to hit the trail again.  We had a very large tree come down in last night's storm, and it crosses the path on the northern border, so we turned around and headed back home!  That tree was one of the oldest hackberries on the place.  I did use the direct watercolor method again, but I'm trying not to think, and just paint the scene before me. The "rules" have been interfering with my flow, so I'm trying to allow the painting to unfold organically, without my ink in tow.  We'll see what happens in the next 25 days.  Painting number 2704 in 2704 days.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Path to the Pond

I was challenged by an artist friend to do the #30x30DirectWatercolor challenge, and I blindly accepted - looking up the details later!  With only the knowledge that there is no drawing, only direct painting, I jump in!  Choosing my path to the pond as my subject, I painted.  Oh how I long for my ink!  I only used ink to sign and edge, trying to make the watercolor do the rest.  With a few attempts I am beginning to remember how little I liked watercolor most of my life.  I only really got into it when I started batiks and later with ink!  I had forgotten that!  I wonder if 30 days can change my mind.....!  Painting number 2703 in 2703 days.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Cardinal Nest

We have had cardinals nesting here for years - and it is always a joy to find their nest in the spring!  They fly off and chirp when we get too close, so I must stay back to observe them.  After missing my ink on yesterday's watercolor painting, I felt like only ink for today!  Though I may do something like this in watercolor, too.  Seems I am jumping from one medium to the next this month! Painting number 2702 in 2702 days.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Mom's Orange Lilies

A friend of mine posted this 30 day direct watercolor painting challenge a couple of days ago.  I know nothing about this technique except that there is no sketching first.  So, without my beloved ink, I begin this 30 day adventure to see what rewards I can glean from this practice.  Most days I will be painting a normal painting and a challenge one, but probably only posting one here. I am seriously thinking of embellishing this with my normal ink work.  In fact, I may be uploading a revised version real soon!  Lol!  You know I can't resist a challenge, even when I don't know what it is!  Painting number 2701 in 2701 days.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Goldfinches and Clover

The goldfinches are out in abundance and the large pink clover are now in bloom!  I felt like doing something a little different, so I caught the birds on stems as I could, filling in with only clover once I had their forms.  Along with this I am thinking of using these ink and watercolors in other ways, so I hope this will be a good repeating pattern.  That is also why I left the background white. We'll see how this works!  Painting number 2700 in 2700 days.  Wowza!

Iris Garden Arbor

The iris bed is now slightly past it's prime, so I feel an urgency to get it painted while I still can.  We are working on this garden, getting ready to add a larger arbor to support a climbing hydrangea that I got for Mother's Day.  So, this arbor may be moved and I may not be able to paint this scene next year.  I like to capture these little moments, it freezes time in paint forever.  Time spent in the garden is so peaceful, much needed today for sure.  Painting number 2699 in 2699 days.