Friday, February 29, 2008


I've done a lot lately that I haven't posted, plus I've been framing for two simultaneous art shows, into one of which I have yet to be juried. It's the Philadelphia WC Society's members' show and I've gotten in the last 2 years, so here's hoping. I hear the juror is a "tight" painter and I'm going to enter something VERY loose. Our local art center has a brand new gallery and this will be the inaugurating show.

I repainted my double portrait of my son and his daughter with the goal of getting the drawing better and getting more color in their faces. Then it was suggested that I give them a blue background which I've done only in Photoshop, so far. I like it that way.

I've also started an ambitious watercolor and, for fun, I did a pastel yesterday. The pastel is of a scene in Colorado I photographed last fall. It was a pretty boring photo, so I jazzed up the colors a bit.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Fran did this from one of the photos I took in Jamaica. Skip obligingly climbed the tree and brought down a number of unripe coconuts so we could taste the "coconut water" inside. Fran used ink and graphitint pencils (dark, water-soluble colored pencils) for this rendition.

Monday, February 18, 2008


My granddaughter and son. I have had this painting drawn for what seems like weeks now, and finally settled down to paint it yesterday. I'm really pleased by both the drawing and the painting. I might tweak it a bit here and there, but basically it's done. It was an interesting change from the wild and wooly mixed media paintings I did last week! I'm always open to critiques.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Workshop, Day 3

Today was the last day of the workshop and I did two pieces. The first, the blue and gold one, was started as soon as we got there (early) with various papers collaged over most of the sheet. It, like the first two I did, are more or less full sheet (22" x30") size. Then I painted tans and golds, along with some blues over everything. It was dull. So I went in with black ink and dark brown liquid watercolors. Wow! There are other things collaged over all that, then more painting, and so forth. I may crop this one some way, but I'm not at all sure where or how yet. In reality, the lines on this one are more horizontal than the photo looks.

The second painting is half the size of the first three paintings. I used printed copies of a couple of sketches I made in Jamaica pasted over a tan background, then added various other colors, including a dark brown liquid paint that I applied with a bamboo pen. This one is definitely calmer than the first, and much lighter in value.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Day 2 of the workshop. Here are the full version and a cropped version of what I did today.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mixed Media Workshop I

I did this today in a 3-day mixed media workshop. I'm not at all sure which way is up.
This is done on illustration board with liquid watercolors, gesso both black and white, acrylics, some pastels.
I'll take any comments.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Jamaica VII

Finally, some of the other sketches and a painting I did. The round balls hanging from the trees are, I believe, calabash with holes drilled in them. The painting is of a green bush with banana leaves growing behind it. Green can get awfully boring, so I used a lot of colors. And that's a mop leaning against a fence with a rag rug hanging on the fence.

Jamaica VI

Across the road from our house and down a lane there was a pond, called a "pan" there. It reminded me a lot of the marshes in South Carolina. There were goats grazing nearby (not like SC) and lots of egrets and ducks. The fence posts, clearly made of whatever came to hand, offered a good opportunity to practice painting reflections.

Jamaica V

Here's another painting-from-drawing, with the drawing.

Jamaica IV

Also at Jake's was this chiminea (is that how it's spelled?) and nearby a table with a teal tablecloth which contrasted beautifully with the clay of the chiminea. I did a bit of rearranging of the elements of this painting when I sketched it, and pretended that the sea was behind it. Later in the week when were assigned to make a painting from something in our sketchbooks, I painted this. You'll notice that I added another pot from my sketchbook because I thought it would improve the composition. I painted the orange house with the blue one behind it, too, from the sketch I made at Jake's.

BTW, we discovered that Jake's had a lime mousse which was like the filling of key lime pie without the crust. Delicious! We liked the pina coladas at the bar (outdoors), too.

Jamaica III

Down the road a bit was Jake's, an enterprise with cottages and houses to rent, a small swimming pool, sea views, a bar, a restaurant and lots of places for lounging in and out of the sun. We walked there one morning and I was intrigued by the two chairs on the pool deck looking out over the water. All I could see of the occupants was the top of a bald head and a straw hat, but the chairs had nice reflections in the pool. I did a quick ink sketch and then decided I wanted to have more of an understanding of the construction of the chairs, so I got out my pencil and drew as much of them as I wanted.

Jamaica II

There was a hammock hung right at the edge of the beach, and one afternoon I went there with my sketchbook. After I studied dozens of waves, trying to understand and draw their structure, I lay back and what I could see was my leg resting the length of the hammock (the other was bent, supporting the sketchbook). So I sketched what I could see and call it a "self portrait". Just up the beach was a fishing cooperative and many of us walked up there to take photos and sketch.

Jamaica I

We have been home for a few days from a week in Jamaica. A warm, sunny week filled with painting, swimming, eating, laughing, eating some more and then even more. We stayed at Calabash House, a guest house in Treasure Beach on the south shore somewhat east of Black River. The south side of the island has some gentle beaches, one of which was across the back yard from our house, and is less touristy. We went with our friend, Jane Miluski, who teaches watercolor here at our local art center, and 4 other women from this area, two of whom we paint with regularly. It was an extremely compatible group, enhanced by Elizabeth Seltzer, the owner of the house, and Dawn and Tricia, the Jamacian cook extradinaire, and her assistant. Dawn cooked all of our breakfasts and half our lunches and dinners, and were we to go again, we'd arrange for more meals by Dawn because her cooking was wonderful and there were only 3 other places to eat within walking distance. Most of the mornings, Jane did a demonstration, then we sketched and painted until siesta time, taking time out for lunch. Many of us continued to paint after the siesta break. In the late afternoon, we swam, then broke open the beer and wine while we watched the fabulous sunsets. Some of my photos are in Picasa, One day we hired a van and went to the market in Black River. One day Dawn invited us to her house to see her garden and to drink coconut water, the liquid in coconuts before they're ripe. We were all very reluctant to come home!

I'll include in this entry the sketches I did the first day we were there. When on location, I particularly like making ink sketches and then putting in watercolor washes. I draw with a fine, brown, Sharpie pen which has permanent ink so the water doesn't smear it, and which lasts longer than the more expensive drawing pens. Most of those are done in my sketchbook and are about 5" x 7". This trip I also did a number of more careful pencil studies for painting from later.