Saturday, December 30, 2023

Tranquility Wreath

Today's ink choice from the Diamine Inkvent Calendar is Tranquility, a lovely purple with golden green shimmer ink! It gets very dark in heavy application, and washes out to a warm pink in light areas.  I sketched a wreath that adorns my front room doors, thinking this ink would push a little more red.  I think this ink is a keeper when I'm looking for a warm violet on my ink palette. Painting number 4003 in 4003 days. 

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Cinnabun Bird

This sweet sparrow and many other birds frequent our feeders daily!  Choosing him for my muse was easy when I found Cinnabun ink behind the door in my Inkvent Calendar!  It is a warm ochre brown without sheen or shimmer, and is lovely for use in nature.  The glass dip pen I chose today (largely because it went well with my ink color) has a larger nib than most, leaving me wanting a finer nib for feather work and signing - especially on a miniature! Painting number 4002 in 4002 days. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Father Christmas in Copper

I've missed working the metal, and this time of year it calls me to it's side. Father Christmas is a perfect subject for the vintage feel of copper.  I'd planned to do several this season, but time grows short. Perhaps I'll have more time in January - one can only hope!  This miniature artwork is the 4001st in 4001 days.  Wowza! 

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Tinsel Santa

Oh what fun it is to paint Santa with glass pen and ink, and a little water for gradation! This Tinsel red ink is another from my Inkvent calendar - a rich, bold red shimmer ink that sparkles in the light!  It sure stirs up the magic of Christmas with each drop!  I have a collection of glass dip pens, and don't remember where this one came from - but it's tip is lovely and it holds plenty of ink for script. Can't wait to try all of Diamine's Inkvent Calendar inks, as I'm just a wee bit behind this year!  Painting number  4000 in 4000 days!  Could this be true?  I'll need to check my numbers because I've been at it for nearly 11 years daily, now! 

Monday, December 25, 2023

Sugar Snap Trees

It's fun to explore the inks of the Diamine Inkvent Calendar  - and this one is a lovely green called Sugar Snap.  The silver shimmer dances through the green to yellow color shifts beautifully! This painting is miniature - only 3.5x2.5 inches big!  Perfect for this busy Christmas holiday full of family!  Painting number 3999 in 3999 days. 

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Copper Nutcracker Santa

What fun it is to work metal for the holidays!  These absolutely shine on a Christmas tree - and I'm hoping to get several done in the next few days. I'm using one of our Santa Nutcrackers for inspiration, and work from the front and back until the form emerges.  These days are filled with family dinners and games nights - so I'm happy to get this squeezed in before midnight!  Artwork number 3998 in 3998 days. 

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Christmas Tree in Copper

 I had visions of completing several metal work Christmas pieces this season, but here we are, just days left, and this is my first.  The time gets away from me when so many paintings are going out the door - and commissions, too. So, I'll try to get a few finished for those special few, and perhaps I'll work on these in the winter months.  Painting number 3996 in 3996 days. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Pine Cones

Today finds me painting a couple of pinecones adorning one of the front porch trees, ones that wet brought back from Estes Park.  Another of my Christmas card paintings, the calm and airy slice of nature soothes my soul as I paint.  My brother's family is in town and we've been playing cards and board games, and this is the perfect break between visits!  Painting number 3995 in 3995 days.  I'm happy to find blogger working tonight, I'll have to go in and edit the previous two nights to add info to them.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Three Cedars


We have some amazing cedars dotting the property, and I love painting them!  Nurturing many from tiny starts that I moved into perfect spots, I now paint them in their glory. My grandparents used to find one in the woods each year for their Christmas tree, and I remember the smell of them heavy in the farmhouse.  Again, I'm working on Christmas cards, and it looks like I'll be cutting it close now this year - again.  It's all good, the care and thought I put into each one is what matters, the love I send off in the mail.  Painting number 3992 in 3992 days. 

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Winter Cardinal

And Christmas card crunch time continues as I paint this one in my kitchen!  With ink and watercolor I sketch a little slice of my world, to send out to family with a holiday greeting.  I am simplifying my subject matter this Christmas, longing to settle down and enjoy the little things.  All of life is about the little things, and I want to make them count.  Painting number 3991 in 3991 days. 

Friday, December 15, 2023

Cardinal Wreath

As I finish this season's paintings, shipments and deliveries, I now turn to my Christmas card painting.  I choose a different theme each year, and this year I drifted between multiple themes, unable to choose!  With the early snow, I painted several in oil for my cards.  Then I painted those bold and bright ornaments - what a cheerful card those would make, and I painted several!  Santas in pen and ink?  Acrylic Union Station paintings?  As my workload started to wind down, I was drawn to a simpler, more peaceful reflection of the season.  I began to paint little slices of home in ink and watercolor.  This vintage wreath in one I found in Sedalia while antique shopping with my mom - and I loved the light and airy feel of it, almost like it is icy and glistening.  I love the process of capturing this, so therapeutic is the act during a busy season.  It brings the simple pleasures back into focus, and the anticipation of making new memories here with the family through the holidays.  I am truly blessed beyond measure. Painting number 3990 in 3990 days. 

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Night at Union Station

Union Station takes on a magical presence when visited at night.  As the crowds slacken,the very large tree dominates in this space, and it's reflection on the floor is stunning.  What a treat to get to capture this in oil on panel, and already I long to paint it large for my own wall.  This majestic place is steeped in history, and the history of so many families who come here each Christmas to make memories.  Painting number 3989 in 3989 days. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Pine Cones

I have always loved pine cones.  I can remember finding them on the ground as I walked to school, little treasures packed up tight.  To my amazement, they slowly opened up, revealing the seeds inside.  These cones came from a tree outside our cabin when staying in Estes Park, making them a perfect painting subject.  With ink I sketch the little cones, adding in some foliage for balance, then add in the watercolor.  I've so many cards to paint for Christmas, I hope I get them all done in time! Painting number 3988 in 3988 days. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Union Station Christmas

It is not really Christmas until I've painted at Union Station!  I love this tradition of capturing this grand place each year in oils, ink, watercolor and acrylic, at various times of day and night.  This place lights up on a sunny day like today, or glows like a thousand candles after nightfall, each creating a special mood all it's own.  I was set up by the front entrance doors for this one, and I LOVED the countless children who walked into this room and gasped!  Wonder, amazement and wide eyes stopped them in their tracks, as parents urged them forward.  One young child exclaimed, "I've been here before!" if remembering a dream.  I am filled with wonder and reverence each time I paint here, and get to experience Union Station anew. Painting number 3987 in 3987 days. 

Monday, December 11, 2023

Union Station Wreath

What a lovely afternoon to spend painting at Union Station!  I love those grand arched windows in their holiday attire - festive with the large wreath and red bow.  I've met artist friends here to paint, and finished two before heading out.  The restaurants were full and many families came to experience the Christmas magic here as I worked.  I'm so very thankful this place stands proudly as it did so many years ago.  We were so close to losing her when she was in disrepair.  My holiday is not complete until I paint Union Station!  Painting number 3986 in 3986 days. 

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Three Ornaments

This painting and local plein air work will be at the Holiday Open House at the Oliver Building Gallery tomorrow night in the historic West Bottoms from 6:00 to 9:00. What a wonderful way to celebrate the season!  I'll be featuring two paintings from the Inaugural Historic West Bottoms Plein Air Event in May as well as 4 holiday paintings, one of the Country Club Plaza, one of Union Station and another Christmas ornament painting.  It promises to be an evening full of good cheer with friends and local businesses.  Painting number 3985 in 3985 days. 

Saturday, December 9, 2023


What a lovely, peaceful evening to squeeze in a tiny painting in ink! We had a full day of family fun and board games, and it was a bit of a trick to get this accomplished! This is Diamine's 5th ink of their advent calendar, Nightfall, and is a rich deep blue that washes out towards turquoise. Additionally, it reaches a very dark value with heavy application. This blue could be lovely in a stormy skyscape!  I can hardly wait to see what comes next - and alas, I have so little extra time!  Painting number 3984 in 3984 days. 

Friday, December 8, 2023

Holiday Ornaments

After spending time with the Nolan, Quinn and Layne, I find a little time to paint before bedtime.  Oh what fun it is to paint these shiny, colorful ornaments!  This large bowl of balls waits on the back porch for little hands to adorn them, and hang them on our outdoor spruce.  I will help the little ones dip their hand into acrylic paint - and then grab the ornament, leaving a lasting impression of this year's Christmas handprint. I hope to paint these a few more times before I put them away in January!  Painting number 3983 in 3983 days 

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Masquerade Oak


What a cool and moody ink Masquerade is - from the Diamine Inkvent Calendar!  I love using it to pen this old pin oak tree! This ink has a lovely shimmer which must be seen in the light to appreciate.  Perhaps I'll take another photo in direct light to show the effects of this dramatic ink.  It gets very dark, too, which I love about any fountain pen ink. It moved with water very easily after other areas had dried, so this one must be watched when using near wet areas.  That very thing can be a real bonus in certain applications. Can't wait to see the next one!  Painting number 3982 in 3982 days. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Early Dusk


I love the chroma in this beautiful Early Dusk ink!  This is day 3 of the Diamine Inkvent Calendar! My very favorite advent calendar is this one, where I can open a door to ink possibilities every day until Christmas! This ink flows beautifully into a wet area, and separates to develop the chroma spread.  I painted this one down on the pond, looking beyond the tree line.  I love the tranquility of this place, especially at dusk. Painting number 3981 in 3981 days. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Cashmere Rose

Cashmere Rose is behind the second door in my Diamine Inkvent Calendar - and it is a lovely rosy pink!  It is so much fun to reveal a new ink every day!  I'm using a few sketch lines to begin this year, where before I have only used the ink in a direct watercolor way.  I'm exploring how this ink works in a sketch, though I'm only using line work sparingly for now.  I can't wait to see what's behind door number 3! Painting number 3980 in 3980 days. 

Monday, December 4, 2023

Fortune's Gold

I'm so excited to open the first door of this year's Diamine Inkvent Calendar!  Fortune's Gold is rich and shimmery - and perfect for painting this antique Shiny Brite ornament on my tree!  It's been a while since I've penned and painted with ink - so the process is most of today's journey.  My glass dip pen was too fine for the watercolor paper, so I ended up using a brush to avoid scratching into the paper.  The wet ink also soaked into the paper a bit.  I'm using an old watercolor paper I don't ever remember using, so that is also a fun new adventure!  For those of you who don't know, I have never liked 140lb cold pressed watercolor paper.  In fact, that paper is the whole reason I avoided watercolor for most of my life.  But now, I'm up for all challenges, so let the exploration begin!  Painting number 3979 in 3979 days. 

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Hall of Waters

The Hall of Waters in Excelsior Springs is an iconic slice of local history.  Once a tourist destination for the healing waters, the hall is lined with themed Christmas trees open to the public to vote on their favorite.  What a wonderful tradition to capture in ink and watercolor for our monthly Urban Sketchers KC event.  Glad to have my Mom with me to enjoy her first trip to this town, and to lunch at the local diner after a bit of shopping!  Painting number 3978 in 3978 days. 

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Ray's Diner

What fun today was to meet friends and Mom in Excelsior Springs for our monthly Urban Sketchers KC event!  I love the small town charm along these streets, with it's many historic buildings.  This is only my third time to this town, and the first trip for Mom - so it was fun to explore a little more of the place today.  We lunched at this diner afterward where I had an amazing cinnamon roll - even though I don't eat like that, lol! Painting number 3977 in 3977 days. 

Friday, December 1, 2023


Once in a while, I'm asked to paint something very special. I have a lifelong love of painting horses, and we had our own special foxtrotter when the kids were young.  Asked by a dear childhood friend to paint this special horse for it's owner, I loved the opportunity.  No longer on this earth, I wanted to breathe life into this painting, paying tribute to all this horse was to all those who were near. Painting number 3976 in 3976 days.