Thursday, December 21, 2006

Dorothy's Cabin

Dorothy is a dear friend and a watercolor artist. We visited her in Maine at her summer cabin last summer. I took a photo of the cabin, which she designed and built herself, with the help of numerous friends, with the intention of painting it. Today I was finally inspired! Her birthday is next month and I'll give it to her then but I showed it to her today when it was barely dry because I couldn't wait.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Killin, Scotland

I did most of this some time ago and didn't like it so set it aside. Today as I was tidying, it came to light again. I like the light in it and with a bit of fiddling using gouache, an opaque watercolor paint, I improved it to the point of liking it. It's inspired by the village of Killin where we stayed in Scotland last September.

Collage Expanded

I decided to expand on the collage I posted on December 1st. It seems pretty busy to me but maybe it's okay. They're fun to do, whether they're successful or not, even though I get the glue stuff all over me and my clothes. Good think I have "painting clothes!"

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Pastel Woods

I felt like doing a pastel the other day and found a photo of woods for inspiration . . . I certainly didn't try to paint a portrait of the woods. With a pastel, it's possible to make minor changes virtually forever, so it's probably not finished yet.


I started this collage with the little brown/gray part toward the bottom right. It's got watercolor, pastel, gesso, corrogated cardboard, waxed paper, tissue paper and cotton crochet string in it. It has grown slowly, with lots of suggestions from painting friends.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Primary Pears

When I don't know what do paint, or I want to warm up, I paint pears. I guess I like their wonderful contours. Anyway, since I felt I needed warming up and didn't have anything else in mind, I painted these pears today. They're painted with primary colors and some brown pen. I sort of wanted them to be a bit obscure in all that color and certainly to be abstracted.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

More Holly

Through the magic of the computer, I combined the bottom of no. 2 and the foliage of no. 1 and got this. I like it.


This morning, when I got to our wc studio group, there was some holly on the windowsill. I didn't have anything in mind to paint, so decided to do the holly.
I ended up with a drawing and three paintings. In the first painting, I put paint on the paper, loosely where the various elements were, including splattering red for berries, then when it dried drew over it with a sepia pen. For the second painting, I used no pencil or ink and only painted the shapes. Thirdly, I drew the holly with a somewhat heavier brown pen and painted over that.

Do you have a favorite? (You can click on any of the images and see a much larger version.)

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Toward the Piazza

This painting of Fran's has a watercolor underpainting and pastel over that. Some of the underpainting shows through, in the buildings especially. The light in it just draws me (Jane) in and I love the man leaning on his cane. Fran is so good at figures!

Friday, December 1, 2006

Ruined Castle

While my Tuscan Memories underpainting was drying, I started this one from a picture and sketch I made in Scotland. On this one, the drawing is with a brown, permanent marker. I like brown because it's not a stark as black and seems to be more compatible with paint. I was inside the ruin, looking out when I did this. I worked on this and the Tuscan painting alternately, which was a bit challenging because the colors are so different.

Tuscan Memories

I got tired of the colors of Scotland and decided to go back to Italy. It's been gray here for a week and I guess I'm ready for some warm colors. I gave myself an idea of what I wanted to do, then splashed paint onto the paper leaving lots of whites. When that was dry, I drew on it with pastel. I like it, now that I've looked at it from a distance for a while. At first it just seemed sparse and sloppy.

Blue Collage, maybe finished

Obviously I've worked on this some more. The leaves are azalea leaves that are sealed on the paper with acrylic matte gel medium which will, hopefully, keep them from changing color. I may fiddle some more, but with the string on (crochet cotton I found in my stash of goodies) there's not much I will do. I think I might call it "Whimsy."

Monday, November 20, 2006

Blue Collage WIP

This is a work in progress (WIP). I keep arranging and rearranging the elements; this is an arrangement I like enough to post here. You can click the image to see a larger version.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Rebekah is my (Jane) granddaughter who will be 4 in two months. She's the daughter of Bruce,my youngest son, and Lauren; they live about 30 minutes away. I see Bruce and Rebekah fairly frequently, usually on the nights Lauren has choir practice and Bruce wants adult company. They're a lot closer than the South Carolina grandchildren! Lauren's father just sent me this picture, taken at his house. Aren't digital cameras and email fun?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Collage Start

I cut up a very bad, very failed painting which had some areas of lovely, layered color. The pieces are 3-4" on a side. Then I opened my collage box and glued stuff on to make a teeny collage. I could stop here and float it above mat board and frame it. Or I will probably go on and stick some blocks of color around it to make it bigger. Stay tuned. I have to live with this for a while before it tells me what it wants.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


The lesson today was collage. Nancy suggested starting with a small (3" x 3" or so) piece of an old painting that has gone bad. Then put something over/across it. Then slip other things under it or along an edge. Etc. I have a whole bin of torn up paintings and other papers I've created with rice paper and paints specifically for collage. The painting scrap I started with is in the upper left. That suggested colors, and there's a reddish "bird" in its upper right so that suggested a theme. The other elements of the piece are papers I'd prepared for collage months ago and some waxed paper that was stained with liquid watercolors. I tried to obscure some of the edges of the individual elements by the way I placed other elements next to them. It's quite a puzzle, intuitive and very engrossing. The "birds" at the bottom right are cut out and just tacked on because I'd like to work on the shape of them more.

Bridge, Chimney Pots

I did this from last week's lesson and splashed color across my paper. For this one, I had in mind a sketch I'd done in Scotland, so I had some idea where I wanted the brown and where the green. Then I drew from my sketch over the dried paint. I started with a sepia conte crayon and when that wasn't enough, went to pastels. Nancy (the teacher) liked it a lot and told me to take a slide of it. That means she thinks it could be entered into a competition. She also suggested that I "float" the painting on a green mat and put a white mat around that. I've tried to show the floating in Photoshop.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I did this one today in our studio group. Some gesso here and there on the watercolor paper, then soft grays and greens with watercolor splashed over the whole paper. I had brought back from Scotland all the maps and brochures and tickets and stuff and I used those to collage over the painted surface. There's also some paper towel stained from mopping up paint, some waxed paper, also stained, from doing liquid watercolor textures and some pastel on paper towel! Everything is lightly tacked on with double sided, removable tape, so it may change completely before it's done. It's 21 x 14.

Fran has been working on this somewhat surreal painting for a couple of painting sessions now. It's watercolor paint on a gessoed surface. Then she added pastel for details, changes and highlights.

Monday, November 13, 2006

These are Amari (curled up on sofa) and Numa (smiling, blue background) our American Eskimo Dogs (Eskies). Numa, a male, is the older, by about a year and a half. They're not related, only the same breed. The paintings are by Jane.