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!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

I'M BACK ... a painting's progress

ACK!! This is my new hip joint. I still have mixed feelings about having something like this done, but it was either that or living in constant pain or being stoned on opiates. I put up with the increasing pain and loss of function for over four years. I finally decided to have surgery but had to have it done across the border in the U.S. It was pricey [thank goodness for the small inheritance left to me by my aunt] but the surgery and after-care were fantastic. Dealing with the American medical system, and comparing it to the Canadian made very aware of the inadequacies  and inefficiencies of our medical system here. I won't rant on and on about it, but if you'd like to comment, please feel free. Anyway, it's five weeks since the operation, and I am doing extremely well, healing very quickly. I hope to be riding Bruno again in August, and taking the dogs out for long hikes in the woods.

This is my friend and neighbour, Christine. She is an ecologist with environment Canada.  She and her daughter have been an enormous help - taking care of Bruno, boosting morale, bringing meals ... I could not have done this without their help, and I am most grateful! My sister, Steph, was also a huge help, driving me to and from Bellingham, caring for me at home. She made sure I didn't overdo things [I am not a patient person, and wanted to get back to life as usual in the first week post-op] More about Steph in a later post ...

My drawing

First few applications of colour. Most of this painting was done wet-on-dry to get a sense of texture of the feathers. The colours used throughout the work were aureolin, quin. sienna, quin. burnt orange and phthalo. blue.

Gradually building up depth of value and texture with  wet-on-dry applications.

And here is the yellow-breasted chat, found here in British Columbia in the interior regions of the province. I showed the painting to Christine this morning when she came over to feed Bruno, and she loved it. So I will have it framed, and give it to her with many thanks for all the help she has been the past few weeks. I also gave her daughter one of my tugboat paintings that she loved. 

So that's it for now. I'm not sure how often I'll be posting or painting - still can't sit or stand in one position for to long.

Thank you for visiting!

Friday, March 15, 2019


A Goose of a Different Color 
13.5 x 9 in./ 34.5 x 22 cm.
Stonehenge hot press paper
It was going to be a white goose, so I started with a grey [aureolin, a quin. pink and cobalt blue] for the form shadows.

Some quin. sienna and pink for beak, and quin. sienna for feet.

Deepening colors. It was at this point, I asked Pat [my goose aficionado] what she thought. She found him to be a bit insipid, so ...

... I made up a grey-brown [quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone] to add some color, and got to work.

I had bought some Stonehenge paper, both cold and hot press, and planned to paint some intricate floral on the hot press. But the goose won out. It is a lovely surface on which to paint - I was very pleased with how it allowed me to work the feathers. Probably some more geese in future, but with more animation.

Thank you for dropping by!!