Friday, October 21, 2016


We're still working on flowers.  I'm hoping that "aha" moment kicks in soon, where I really get this technique and it comes to me easier.  I feel very fortunate to have a great teacher.  I think I only have 4 more sessions with her and then she takes a break during the holidays and starts up again in the spring.  Yesterday, we were painting wet on wet.  Water colors have a mind of their own!  They were running and blending....and, I have to say, with water colors, the quality of the paper is really important. 
So what did I do yesterday....I went out and purchased a few more tubes of paint....and some more paper.  I will be practicing during our hiatus from class...

Saturday, October 15, 2016


I have a couple of things to share from my week.  One is the sketch I did of my breakfast....
Water color and Ink
I continue to try and sketch whatever in my sketchbook journal.  Yesterday, it was breakfast.  Actually, the same thing I had today.  There are also a couple of flowering items I picked along my walk with Boomer.  The little book on the bottom left, is a pocked-size prayer book with a bright orange cover that I also found on my walk.  It looked brand new and has no name written in it.  I couldn't leave it there to be ruined by weather....but since I walk this same route a lot, maybe the person who lost it does as well and I may be able to return it.  As for the art, I love wobbly plates and bowls....

After breakfast, I headed out to a national state park that is 10 minutes from my house....Weir Farm, once home to Alden Weir, an American Impressionist artist.  I toured the house and grounds and studio....what a beautiful place.
I'm embarrassed to say I've never been there before!  A couple of photos....

When I went home, I ended up doing paintings in my sketchbook...This is the view on one end of my house.

  Below is a Koosa Dogwood loaded with berries.


Next time I head out to Weir Farm, I'll take my sketchbook and paints with me.  They encourage you do to that there.  They actually provide art supplies you can borrow while you're there.  Happy 100th Birthday to our treasures, the National State Parks.

Friday, October 7, 2016


Water Color and Ink
I've been busy working on some side projects, but I can't let October go by without painting at least a pumpkin!  So yesterday afternoon, I started drawing in my sketchbook.  Here you have a dried corn husk, a leaf from my deck that hasn't changed colors, the remnants of Black-Eyed Susans, some bittersweet, a pear, some corn straw and, the two pumpkins.   I might have included an apple, but maybe I'm not done yet with fall/October art. 
My water color class is a challenge...a very different way to using water colors than I am used to, as in the pumpkin painting.    I am enjoying it and hope I can get this technique....

I ran into problems and then went over areas too many times.  Have you tried painting a bouquet of white daisies?  Oh's all about leaving the white and painting the negative space with the right values.   Have to wrap my brain around that and sort of convert the way I approach painting this way.  Looking forward to the next class!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Taking a Water Color Class

1st Water Color Class
Wednesday was my first water color class.  There's so much I don't know about water colors!  However, I really like the instructor and I feel like I learned a lot just in the first class.  I'm excited.  She provided several items that we could paint and I decided on the vase of flowers...because they were so colorful, and I added the two apples as well.  Can't wait for the next class!

And in my sketchbook today....

Maryland Crab Cakes
There's nothing I like better than Maryland crabs....crab cakes, hard- shelled or swimming in butter.....yum!  This is in my 5 x 7 sketchbook.  I like sketching food.....

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Have You Laughed Today?

Acrylics, water soluble crayons,
stencils, stamp, collage
A little change in my routine today.  I've done so much sketching lately, I haven't just "played" in my journal so that's what I did this morning.  If you don't recognize the photo on the right, it's Iris Apfel, a famous designer and fashion icon who is in her 90's.  Maybe what it takes to live a long having a passion for something....look at Gloria Vanderbilt, Jimmy Carter, and even Grandma Moses.....I'm sure you can come up with a few more.  That's my Sunday art.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Sketching in North Salem

North Salem Homestead
Watercolor and ink

My friends, Jan and Michael took some time away to celebrate their wedding anniversary this week, so while they were away, I spent some time keeping Jan's mom company.  Jan's mom is a very good watercolorist.  The weather has been gorgeous this week, so I sat outside and did this sketch of the side entrance to the house.  The reason I chose this side of the house, is because I love the little windows that open out and also the porch.  And there are lots of flowers, although many were starting to fade with the onset of fall.  Here's a closer look....

And here is another sketch I did while I was there...Jan's mother referred to it as a "lace bench" and I love that name.  It was more difficult to sketch than it looks....
Don't know what I'm going to sketch when it starts to get cold here.  I had such perfect weather when I was doing this!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Recipe for Joints

In my sketchbook
water color and ink

My sister sent me this recipe, possibly from Dr. Oz, and it's an anti-inflammatory "tea" recipe.  So I made the tea today and then decided to put the recipe in my sketchbook.  I've been spending a lot of time in the yard this summer weeding and digging new beds and I've also done a lot more art work since retiring last December. That added together, has put stress on my hands...who knew!  So, I need to take better care of them.  This tea is not so tasty, but if it does some good....what the heck. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Tusk & Cup, Outside

Water color and Ink

In my 5 x7 Dylusions sketchbook, this is the side entrance to the Tusk & Cup.  I chose this image because of the elephant!  Here are the two sketches side by side...
This book isn't water color paper, it's mixed media so the water colors don't react the same as they would on water color paper.  As long as I don't use too much water, it works very well. 
I signed up for a water color class starting later this month....looking forward to it!

A Walk with Boomer

In My Sketchbook
Water color and ink

The wind was blowing as Boomer and I headed out on our walk early this morning.  I picked up a few things to sketch along the was funny though with all of the acorns falling....Boomer didn't know quite what to make of it! 
He loves his walks!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Inspired by TED Talk

In My Sketchbook
Watercolor and Ink
5 x 7 pages

I neglected to post these pages that I did earlier in the week.  It had been a beautiful day and I was sitting on my deck listening to a TED Talk.  A man by the name of Teitur sang an impactful song about Home and what that means.
So on that day, I sketched what home was to me...
I mowed the lawn
I walked my dog
I baked cookies for my son's visit
I enjoyed the hummingbirds at my feeder
I listened to a TED Talk
That was HOME for me today.

This is another sketch I drew of my smartphone.  Haven't attempted to color it...maybe I'll just leave it like it is.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Alexandre Dumas....

In My Sketchbook
Watercolor and Ink
One for All & All for One
"One for all and all for one" or the reverse....this art is not about The Three Musketeers written by Alexandre Dumas.  There is no connection at all.  But for whatever reason, that quote floated through my mind recently and I wrote it on a piece of scrap paper that's been sitting on my incredibly messy desk.  I think it resonates pretty well with the art I've created here.  Don't get crazy because I'm throwing a little bit of religion in here....I think Dumas' quote works here.
I'm not going to explain it.  I hope you get it!  It's a kind of rough sketch...I'm working on my drawing skills.  It probably would have been good to have a lot of heads in the drawing...but I was having a hard enough time with the pews which are very sketchy!  This wonderful little church keeps me grounded. 
Thank you, Alexandre, for your inspiration....

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Tusk & Cup

Watercolor and Ink
The Tusk & Cup
I had to have my car serviced this week and directly across the favorite coffee place.  So I took my sketchbook and paints and drew this little scene.  This is the first time I've actually done this in a public place.  It does take a little nerve....for me anyway.  My favorite part of the sketch is the gelato case on the right side of the painting....

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Dylusions Art Journal
Water color and ink
I love watching the hummingbirds come to my feeders.  I have one outside my kitchen window and one off of my deck.  They are so tiny!  I wonder how many birds actually are drinking here as they only land one at a time.  Are there 5 or 6 or a dozen different ones?  They don't share well at the feeder.  I do know I have males and females.  How much longer will I get to enjoy them before they head south...sigh....I will miss them.  Here's the bird up close....

I sketched the bird from a photo I found on-line...since they don't stay still long enough to do a quick sketch....and too small to see the details.  How do photographers get such wonderful photos of these birds?
Here's the view from the deck....

I just have tons of trees, so lots of green and a stone wall.  Good the red glass feeder provides a pop of color for the painting!  Continuing to enjoy the sketching process...

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Mailman Brings Joy.....

Dylusions Small Journal
Winsor and Newton Pocket-Size Water Colors
I received two things I've been waiting for in my mailbox this week.  The first is a book I ordered called ...
You don't have to be a New Yorker to appreciate all of the art in this wonderful little book.  I say little because it's about 6 x 8 (hardback) and it has over 120+ luscious drawings by a variety of artists..which is what makes it so great.  It has drawings of the usual, iconic places, but also some very whimsical drawings and water colors.  Love, love, love.  It will continue to inspire me.

In addition to receiving that, the mail person brought me a small package, that actually arrived early, of a Winsor and Newton watercolors pocket-size set. 

Each color is individually wrapped as you can a luscious piece of candy.  The size is perfect for carrying around with you and has a small brush (that little piece of silver you see in the box opens and extends  into the brush).

Now I've done two important things for myself off the couch to take Boomer for a walk.  (After watching 90+ year olds competing in races on CBS Sunday Morning).  And I created some art....the day is off to a good start!  For me, joy often comes in the morning....

Friday, August 5, 2016


Perhaps a future sketch?
Boomer and I enjoying some Jimmy Buffet
music and a glass of wine on a
Friday night....

Gobble, Gobble

In My Sketchbook
Turkey Feather

Wandering in my yard this morning, I found this turkey feather.  I've seen as many as 27 turkeys wander through my yard at any given time.  I never get used to these large birds wandering through my yard.....they're so big!
The feather was a great find....

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Walking with Boomer

In my Sketchbook
Water color and Ink

Boomer and I take a walk on this road almost every day.  All of the roads in my town here in CT are very tree-lined;  many suffered serious damage during Hurricane Sandy.  The trees are very tall and very old.  Trees take a lot of abuse and it pains me to see all of the vines (weeds) that climb up them and put them in a choke hold and eventually kill them.  There's just no way to contain all of these weeds.  Some of the vines are like thick ropes.  I wish I could cut them all off.  There's lots of poison ivy and much of  it grows along the edges of the roads.  Some of the vines grow out into the road....I can almost imagine Boomer and I in some sci-fi movie where they grab us around our feet and we're whisked away...perhaps lost forever in the deep, vine jungle.  I like walking on this road where I've seen deer, recently a fox, rabbits and the birds sing as I walk along.  So peaceful.  I feel renewed after this walk.  I wish the trees could be are some of those vines (there many different kinds...) creeping out into the road.....

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Random Thoughts

Art Journal
Ideas Flourish in the Garden of my Mind
Acrylics, collage, ink, stencil, rubber stamp
These pages are in my small Dylusions art journal.  Sometimes when I sit down to create some art....I have specific ideas in mind...and sometimes, it's like it is this morning.  I started with the ginko leaf stencil and then kept going to see where it would take me.  Close-up...

Ideas do flourish in the garden of my mind....

Yesterday's Art

Acrylics, stencils, collage
These pages in my journal are good exercises.  While I'm not drawing anything specific, I'm playing with colors and shapes and training my eyes...what do I like and what don't I like and what works and what doesn't work.  You have to keep playing.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Watermelon Woman

Watermelon Woman
Water colors and Ink
Inspired by photo in
Conde Nast Traveler
I instantly loved this photo of a woman selling her watermelon slices that appeared in Conde Nast Traveler....a great resource for inspiration.  The photo is filled with patterns from the watermelons to the clothing she is wearing.  All of that attracted me to want to capture her.  I exaggerated her hands to indicate that she is a hard working woman....I can't help but wonder what her face might look like.  The photo was from an article on an area of Mekong, in Southeast Asia.  Watermelon anyone?
The sketch

Close Up

Never Been to Brooklyn.....

Never Been to Brooklyn
Water colors and Micron pen
I don't recall that I've ever been to Brooklyn, however, this rooftop deck was a featured photo in the most recent House Beautiful magazine.  There was something about it....I supposed it could be a rooftop deck in any city, however, it's that steeple that would identify it as being in Brooklyn...if you know Brooklyn.  Here's the photo:
I've certainly taken liberties with the drawing but I almost felt as though I put myself there.  How lovely to have a deck like that in Brooklyn!  If you can't be in certain places to do a sketch, finding a photo in a magazine is a good alternative.  All that deck needs is a pitcher of sangria and some nachos...and some music! 
Last look....

I also did a quick little sketch of a leaf I found in my yard before the torrential rain hit seems a bit early for a red-orange leaf, but there it was.  I looked up and didn't see any more that looked like it.  The part of this sketch that is possibly more important than the leaf, is learning what colors would best support the leaf and make the page more interesting.  I think these colors do the trick.  I'm not ready for the leaves to be changing though!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Garden Is A Happy Place

In my journal
Ink and Water soluble color pencils

I've managed to spend a lot of time focused on art this week, learning more about how water colors work and having fun drawing in ink.  Of course, I don't have a garden that looks like this...except in my head.  It does reflect how I feel about my current enjoyment of getting things done in my yard...and I hate to keep saying...since I retired...but it's true...I have time for the yard other than mowing!  Last night I did the sketch...

I debated whether I was going to add any color...but it is a garden after I very lightly added color.  This mixed media journal doesn't like too much water, so that's why I used the water soluble color pencils with just suggestions of color.  A little close-up....

It's important to keep the mind in a happy place...this little garden drawing takes me there.  Wouldn't you like to sit on that bench?

It's A Peachy Day

Earlier in the week, I drew and painted the 3 peaches.  They were about to be consumed so felt I better paint them first.  I enjoyed the colors and the process of looking at something "real" and actually making them look like they are peaches. 
The page on the left side, I actually did after the one on the right.  I had recently taken a book out of our library on the artist, Kaffe Fassett, simply titled MOSAICS.  He is an extraordinary artist on many levels and if  you're not familiar with his mosaics....they are unbelievable.  I'm not someone who would do mosaics, but it was incredible eye candy looking at his designs and colors.  I can't begin to imagine the amounts of broken dishes, glass & tile he has accumulated over the years...not to mention organizing it.  And mosaics aren't his only medium.  What the book did for me, is give me inspiration with regards to colors and shapes.  I decided to try and draw a similar page of peaches on the left side page and I actually was going to paint it...but I don't believe I could capture the same effect if I had used color.  So I just called it "Un-ripened Peaches" and left it.  Hopefully, the 3 darker spots you can distinguish as the stems of the peaches.  It was interesting to get in sort of a mosaic mind-set to do the page. (At one point, I had considered painting papers the colors needed for the peaches and background and was going to cut them up into tiny pieces and glue them to the drawing.  The thought of the messy glueing process sort of ended that...)
And that led me to...

The Pear
Ink and water color and collage

This page didn't actually start out as a pear.  It started out with me trying to press a Queen Anne's Lace flower into the green, wet water color.  Failure.  The flower was just to fragile to make the imprint.  Queen Anne's Lace is so geometrically a snow flake.  Even the underside is interesting...but obviously you don't see it here.  So I came up with Plan B...going back to Kaffe and mosaics.  I drew the pear and painted it like a mosaic.  I was just about finished with the page and was painting a border around the date on the bottom right (which you don't see because I had to cover it) as my hand grazed the page and smeared the black paint.  Now I was in rescue mode.  I tried several things and ultimately was afraid I was going to wear a hole in the paper so I grabbed some patterned paper, cut a couple of leaf shapes that would cover my mistake and glued them to the page.  Phew. 

It's been a fruitful, educational week for me in my art room.