Thursday, October 17, 2019


Drawing of Miss Nina, my niece's dog

Spots on nose and eyes masked. First washes of yellow ochre and quin. burnt orange applied, some wet in wet, some wet on dry.

Collar painted in mix of phthalo. and cobalt blue. Starting eyes with usual w/w applications of quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone. 

Because she has such a shaggy coat, I decided to not paint her w/w, but rather by applying individual thin strokes of colour.

Tongue painted with quin. pink, and shaded in pink, quin. burnt orange and indanthrone. Continue to build up her coat with more thin applications of paint. 

... and more applications ...
Starting to look like Nina.

Here she is - finished. 
Photo I took of the Weiner when she was last out for a visit a few weeks ago.

My niece has had Nina for a year. She got her from a friend whose dog had pups, so they have been together from the beginning, and have formed a lovely relationship. As you can probably see from the photo, Nina is an exuberant dog, and has a beautiful nature. She is the only dog that Bruno [my horse] will tolerate. I think Nina feels Bruno is just a very big dog, and he appreciates it that she is quiet, and does not try to chase him. My dog, on the other hand, will try to stalk him like a border collie and nip at his feet. In her own weird way, I think my dog is trying to protect me. Anyway, that is the story of the portrait - I painted it as a gift for my niece's birthday.

Thank you for visiting!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019


This is a very cool, 60s -style coffee shop/bakery/restaurant at the base of Mt. Baker. We stopped here for some energy before heading up the mountain.

The ranger station a bit past the restaurant had this amazingly huge tree trunk, so I asked Savannah to pose in front.

Lower parking lot [upper one closed till ski season] Most of the cars were Canadian, as it was a long weekend for Canada but not the U.S.

Christine trekking along ahead of me, heading to one of the small lakes.

C. and I stopped here for a snack, and to do some sketching. While we were here, I noticed some activity in the steam below. It was some brook trout spawning - fascinating to watch.

Look hard - you should be able to see three trout.

Another spot we stopped to sketch.

Mt Shuksan, next door to Mt Baker. 

Just to prove that I really was hiking here ...

Some of my sketches

Christine and John are neighbours of mine, across the street. Both are ecologists with Environment Canada, so time spent with them is always interesting. On Monday [Canadian Thanksgiving] we headed across the border to Mt Baker for a day hike. John and Savannah [their daughter] would gallop on ahead, while Christine and I would take our time, and stop to do some sketching along the way. It was a wonderful, fascinating time with scenery that left  me with my mouth hanging open in awe. And other than being exhausted when done [that's the most hiking I have done in over 15 years], my hip and right leg [the one that had surgery] were fine. I even had a tougher-than-usual riding lesson the next morning! It is SOOOO damn great to be able to be active again!!!!!

Thank you for dropping by!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019


I was greeted by this Northern Flicker as I got out of my car.

This is part of the garden. My neighbour graciously offered me to come over any time to photograph her flowers.

Dahlias galore!

All shapes, sizes and colours.

I had never seen one like this. 

I have been feeling very down the past few weeks - sad, angry, frustrated at all the "development" that is going on in my area. There is even a movie being filmed on the property behind Bruno's field. The script calls for fireworks to be set off between 8 PM and midnight, so I will have to have Bruno tranquillized, and I'll spend the night out there to make sure he is all right. This is NOT my idea of country life at all. I am sadly thinking I will have to move somewhere quieter - not sure where. Anyway, I really needed some peace and beauty, so I went over to my neighbour's farm. They have a huge garden - some vegetables and some flowers. It was a glorious respite!

Thank you for dropping by, and I hope you enjoyed the flowers as much as I did!

GRISWOLD, THE GARGOYLE - it would have worked well with a better paper

Griswold, my model

Drawing, using grid

Photocopy made so I could keep track of all the masking and pours of colour

First mask and pour - maybe a bit heavy-handed with the paint. I used quit. sienna, quin. violet and indanthrone.

Second mask and pour

Third mask and pour

This was a second painting I did of the same drawing. I wanted to be able to show my students the stages of masking and pouring in a single class, and for that I needed a second painting. Here, I removed the masking [no easy feat]. The background was a simplified outline of Notre Dame. Looking at the painting now, I sort of like it - may give it another try in the future ... on a good paper!

I had tried a paper other than Arches, a paper that very well suited my style of painting involving multiple very wet washes, and leaving the masking on for several days. The paper I used for the gargoyle just did not work for me - the washes and pourings of colour did not flow as nicely, and the masking was a bugger to remove. It also left some slight staining on the paper. So ... back to Arches!

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Saturday, August 31, 2019


No, I have not escaped to another planet, though with the way this one is heading, I am sorely tempted.
However, I am still drawing and painting and teaching a delightful watercolour class.

Meet Archie. He belongs to my kinesiologist who is helping me recuperate after hip replacement surgery. [Still doing well - even rode Bruno on Monday!!!] With Archie, I think I will do a bit more shadowing, then decide on format and background colours.

This is Archie's best friend, Brody. He also needs more shading ... then onto painting.

Quickie sketch for Thursday's class. The ladies wanted trees, rocky shore and colourful sky. 

This was all done wet-in-wet.

I also surprised myself, drawing and painting this image of Howe Sound ... in under 10 minutes!!! I am a notoriously slow and fussy painter, and I must admit I was quite pleased with how this turned out. The water has a bit too much pink, but other than that, I am happy.

And I am still plodding along with 2 poured watercolours. This is my model - Griswold, the Gargoyle. One of my riding buddies gave him to me years ago. I have a feeling it may be a reflection of how she saw me most of the time!

That's it for now. I have the two dog portraits to get finished, and another of my niece's sweet and exuberant dog, Nina. She is the only dog that has been here that gets along with Bruno, and he accepts her. It's lovely to see them together.

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Monday, July 29, 2019

IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME - a step-by-step watercolour and some odds and sods

I thought, at the time, a botanical would be nice to do ...

... so I started working on a hydrangea.

Little did I appreciate what a stinker it would be to draw and paint! Mostly done wet-in-wet with some wet-on-dry with softening. Petals are quin. pink, cobalt blue, leaf green and phthalo. green. Leaves are leaf green, phthalo. green, quin. gold, quin. burnt orange and indanthrone.

Had fun doing the leaves though.

The blossoms just seem to be overwhelmed by the foliage. I thought of putting a loose greenish wash around the flowers, but I reached the point where I just wanted it done. No more nit-picking!

8.5 x 10.5 in.

Hmmm ... didn't realize this was sideways till it was on the page here, and I can't change it. However, it is just some fooling around, trying out techniques to create some credible-looking fog for a future painting.

From a recent class - we were painting birds, and I demonstrated some techniques to create different impressions of texture.

More playing with texture. I wanted  a faster, easier way to give the look of feathers. These above look much too contrived.

Pardon the vignette appearance - I was playing around with modes   in the photo-edit. It turned out that the wet-in-wet technique gave me the best results. It gave me a realistic impression of feathers without looking like I'd had my nose on the board painting each and every feather. This is not finished yet.

So I've been doing a bit of painting. But mostly I have been loving being able to MOVE again! It's been just over 11 weeks since my hip replacement, and I feel good. I can walk with the dogs for about an hour [hiking will come soon]. I am taking care of Bruno again - feeding, mucking out, grooming, and started lungeing him over the past week. I try to pace myself, as my endurance is still not fully recovered, but it's hard when I see all those weeds in the field needing to be removed, the electric fence needing re-wiring, eaves troughs ... neverending. But I love it - I feel alive again!!!

I appreciate your visit!