Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bird's Nest

Sometimes watercolors need a base of pen-and-ink to give them structure. That might give them a little more of an "illustration" feeling, but that's fun, too. I guess I'm drawn to pieces that have that botanical illustration feeling, with lots of white space. It reminds me of so many older books I've loved, in which naturalists made field studies using pen and ink and a small portable watercolor pallette.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Red Poppies

I love botanicals painted in watercolor, with lots of white space. I think they are so fresh looking, and they allow you to focus on appreciating the subject. Red poppies are so much fun because they are so crinkly and they contain beautiful yellows and oranges, too. Also, their foliage is so lacy and interesting. This watercolor measures 6x9 and is in an 11x14 mat.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Yellow VW Beetle

I never ever get tired of painting old VW Beetles. They are just so charming and honest. I especially love them in soft pastel colors - yellow, pink, green, baby blue, soft lavendar. It's fun to paint something that you really love. Each time I paint a little Beetle it's like a tribute to the two great Beetles I had in my youth. I wish I knew where they are now.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Watering Can

I really like simple vignette-type studies like this old watering can. It's a perfect subject for watercolor. I used my favorite Paynes Grey Bluish, Hookers Green, Sap Green, and Burnt Sienna.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cardinal Painting

The barn swallows seem to be creating a third clutch of babies in the same nest this year. The nest is in the eaves of the building where I work, and I've become addicted to watching them. It's spurred me to paint more birds. Or maybe its just because I'm getting older. I also saw a cardinal and its mate on my back yard fence the other day. Yes, cardinals do live in Texas! The male always gets the gorgeous red plumage, of course. The poor female, who does all the work, is so plain in comparison. So unfair. Anyway, for this painting I used Grumbacher Geranium and Graham Cadmium Red. On the beak and feet, I needed a softer red, so I used Winsor & Newton Brown Madder.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Daisies in a Teacup

I like paintings that are cropped tightly. Sometimes it's hard to set up a painting of objects that touch the top margin of the painting. Anytime I feel uncomfortable with a finished piece, I usually find that it can be improved by cropping. I used to have alot more trouble with this, until I started painting aceos and small-format pieces. You have to zoom in on the essence in a small-format piece. In this painting, I used my favorite blue: Schmincke Paynes Grey Bluish. Also I'm loving Winsor & Newton's Quin Gold - it's so rich.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Texas Bluebonnet

Another attempt in my never-ending quest to capture the Bluebonnet. I'll never be happy till I feel like I can capture them in a way that pleases me. This one makes me happy, anyway. Don't know why they drive me crazy. I always outline them in black waterproof ink. I used to use Kooh-i-Noor pens for that, but they were so frustrating. Now I have the greatest solution: Pigma Micron pens. Perfect! Long-lasting, easy and inexpensive.

Friday, July 2, 2010

My Homemade Brush Dryer/Hanger Basket

I thought I'd show you my homemade brush dryer/hanger thingy. I wanted a way to dry and store my brushes that would be the kindest to the bristles. Storing brushes on their sides is no good, because the moisture stays too long and can rot the base of the bristles, and possibly rust the ferrule. I couldn't find anything that would work, so I made my own. It's just a large basket with a handle, some oversize plastic clothespins, and some nylon cord. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Red Baby Shoes

I've mentioned before, my daughter went thru a "red" phase growing up. All her clothes and shoes had to be red. Thank goodness she grew out of it, but it left me with a fondness for little red shoes. I think they're irresistable.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wild Yellow Rose

My watercolor friend Mary Williamson gave me a couple of pieces of heavy illustration board to try out. I was happy with the way this wild yellow rose turned out. I love the smooth texture of the board and I would probably paint more on it, but it's so expensive! It definitely has its uses, though. Thank you, Mary, for being such a kind, sharing friend. Love ya!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


This painting is a tribute to an old friend. Did you have a bug that you loved when you were younger?  I wonder where my old one is right now.  I often paint these bugs in lots of different colors for bug lovers.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I love painting wild roses - it's something about the simplicity of the petals, compared to the fuzzy centers. They tend to have delicate colors, too. I like painting them in a sort-of bisque color, like the color of a shiny glazed bowl. I arrive at that color by mixing Rose Madder Genuine, Transparent Yellow, and Hookers Green Deep. Don't mix them too much! I like to let the colors mix mostly on the paper, so you can see the separate colors. This color looks its best on hot-pressed paper, I think. I prefer Fabriano Artistico hot-pressed.

Monday, May 31, 2010


I think I mentioned last year that I saw a huge multi-acre stand of 4' sunflowers growing wild here in Hill Country, Texas. It made such an impression on me that I've been painting them ever since. I love to work with the beautiful yellow shades available now - Winsor & Newton Quin Gold, W & N New Gamboge, Graham Gamboge. They are so complimentary to so many other colors.

Monday, March 8, 2010


One in my series of country clothesline watercolors. I used my favorite blue, Schmincke Paynes Grey Bluish, for the sky and the sheets...very diluted of course. For trees and branches, I usually start off with a greyish-brown sepia wash. When that is dry, I put a burnt sienna wash. Then I follow with a dark burnt umber shadow pattern. Sometimes I will drop a green into the trunk, for variety.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


More than anything else, I love to paint country clotheslines. What a shame we don't see these much anymore. Today's kids are really missing out --- not being able to play and hide among the clean sheets hanging on the old clothesline.

Monday, February 1, 2010


This was the result of a monthly challenge that we had in my online watercolor group. This is the first time I've ever painted cherries, and it gave me the opportunity to use my favorite red: "Madder Brown". I just love that color, no matter what brand. The Windsor & Newton brand is beautiful, as is the Schmincke. I think it looks great accented by some Graham Burnt Umber.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Eggs and Silver Pepper Mill

I've been experimenting with papers. I love my Fabriano Artistico Hot-Pressed paper, but have been trying different bristol papers because I love painting on a semi-gloss surface. This was painted on a Strathmore Bristol, using mostly Sennelier paints.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Red Anemones

Red Anemones, using Cadmium Red, Paynes Grey and Hookers Green Deep.
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