It's refreshing sometimes to not plan a thing, just paint a picture on impulse. After I made a rough sketch, with more consideration given to the shapes that were sunlit, I painted this quickly. Some paintings really take a long time to complete, but not this one. I like how immediate it feels to me, not fussed with or overworked....my downfall, usually.

The unique sunlit shapes caught my eye and made me want to paint this. I love melding one shape into another without an edge between them, too, and it worked here. Hope you like it too.
Total drawing and painting time - less than a half hour. Go take a coffee break!

"COFFEE BREAK" Transparent Watercolor on Arches 140# CP 7 x 11" SOLD



It's amazing how many times I've taken steps to close my world in instead of exploring the possibilities that are before me. This painting has something to do with that idea.

If only we KNEW what was at the top of the steps, behind that door, we'd know whether or not to climb them and knock. There are many steps and doors I've ignored, maybe because the climb seemed too steep or the door didn't look all that appealing. Then there are those steps I've chosen, thinking I was going somewhere great, and discovered, with regret, that it wasn't so good after all.

Maybe it takes a little faith or some special encouragement to make the climb and knock on the door. I'm very thankful for all the people who have encouraged my climb. I treasure each step, even the really steep ones.

"SEEK, AND YOU WILL FIND" Transparent Watercolor, Conte Crayon, Graphite, Charcoal, Painted Paper Collage, all on Strathmore Aquarius 80#, 15 x 22"



The shadows and sunlight seemed to be playing hide and seek in the curtains and shutters of this old restored house. I wonder if the old quilt is homebase??? The stories they could tell ... and that's what I often hope a painting hints at.

Painting on the slick YUPO surface, using miskit to maintain really clean, sharp whites, I enjoyed tossing in colors to enhance the mood of the room. I loved painting all the shapes in the window area, but the quilt is my favorite part of the picture. I'd sure rather paint a quilt than actually sew one.

My sister, Marilyn, an accomplished and talented artist also, '''paints''' with her sewing machine using cotton also as her canvas, to create exquisitely beautiful quilts. One weekend when we got together, she sewed quilts while I painted a picture with one in it. We made a good sized mess and had a ball.

Rebecca Barker, a Cincinnati artist also, has an awesome reputation for her beautiful quilt-themed paintings, very creative and unusual. Check out her website at http://www.barkerquiltscapes.com/

"WELL WORN" Transparent Watercolor on YUPO, 16 x 25" SOLD



A good friend gave me a really great giraffe gift yesterday that delighted me. I've loved giraffes since my early teens, when one was born on my birthday at the Brookfield Zoo and named 'Sandy.' We even have a giraffe-themed bathroom that the grandkids use.

These four creatures were munchin' lunch and enjoying the Colorado sunshine when we visited and fed them. Painted on YUPO paper, this painting is a celebration of their grandeur. If I redid the painting now, I would incorporate some easier methods of painting the sky area in order to make it more uniform.

I love the casual sassiness that giraffes seem carry along with them and have probably completed at least a dozen giraffe paintings in my lifetime. They are such awesome creatures.

"THE LUCKY LUNCH BUNCH" Transparent Watercolor on YUPO, 11 x 35"

Myrna Wacknov recently '''tagged''' me to play an internet tag game. I must tell 5 obscure things about myself, then tag five other people. #1. Besides giraffes, I love otters, too - because they are so playful, spending their time either playing, eating, or sleeping...a good life. #2. My husband and I went to the same kindergarten, but didn't meet until Mr. Fox's high school geometry class when we were 15. In June '08, we will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. #3. Once upon a time, I was in a unique group that called themselves the 'OTTERS.' #4. My dad always called me 'Bugs.' I miss him. #5. I cannot remember ever believing in Santa Claus. The chimney thing never made sense to me. When I was about 5, the Santa whose lap I sat on at Mal's Sporting Goods Store had the same watch and glasses and shoes as my dad had. Seemed a little 'fishy' to me.

As per Myrna's instructions, I'm tagging some of the people who have responded to this blog. They are
Cecelia in Texas at http://cecelia-throughmyeyes.blogspot.com/
Michelle Himes in New Jersey at http://mhwatercolornotes.blogspot.com/
Suzanne McDermott in Nashville, TN at http://suzannesketches.blogspot.com/
Art Lover in Vancover BC, Canada at http://artloverscorner.blogspot.com/
Diane Kasparek from Washington State at http://www.orcasislandstudio.com/



It seems we all travel highways that are constantly being repaired. Late one afternoon, the cast shadows under the van in front of me, along with the ones created by the familiar orange barrels, made the best patterns and shapes, ones I had to paint.

I thought the idea was goofy, but the shapes stayed in my mind until I got them on paper. Using my taping process of saving the existing values and shapes with pieces of masking tape before painting in the next darkest value, I explored this painting. I liked the results, and it won Best of Show and also a second place in the two shows I entered it in. Each time I look at the painting, memories surface, reminding me of the thousands of miles that I traveled in a year, through construction zones, back to my hometown to teach before I began teaching classes here in the Cincinnati area.

Titling it was fun, and I think one of the judges liked the title enough to give it an award! He said he was expecting to see another floral painting and was pleasantly surprised to find this instead. Seriously, would you rather look at a floral or a bunch of orange construction barrels????? Actually, it's hanging in our living room right now, (where there are no florals.) And I used to be a master gardener?

"ORANGE BLOSSOM TIME" Transparent Watercolor on Arches 140# CP, 21 x 8.5"



Windows and doors fascinate many artists for some reason. I really liked this old, old house with its ancient windows. I think George Washington even slept here!

Colors and shapes and lines and textures and lights and darks are what we have to put down on canvas or paper to try to express our visions. It's great to have the freedom to change whatever we want in a painting, like I did in this one. There were flowers in the window box, no bottles in the window, only a lighted bulb hanging down inside, and the bricks were mostly one color. Artistic license is a great thing and should be used liberally so, therefore, each of my students has a personalized artistic license to keep forever.

There are probably at least seven paintings of this same window done by me, with changes made in each one according to what seemed best at the time. All have been created with watercolor using masking tape to protect each painted area from the next layer of paint. Since I continue to be inspired by my reference photo and because the memories of the my trip there are special, I'm sure I'll paint it again soon.

"VISITING NEW HOPE" Transparent Watercolor on Arches 140# CP, 14 x 20" COLLECTED



This is one of my earliest YUPO's done with a loosey-juicy treatment, and the rug almost looks like it's the thing that's rocking the chair. When I look at the painting, I notice the lack of accomplished skill and technique, and yet, there's a strength of emotions that speaks to me.

The chair and window are from an old historical house on the eastern seaboard where a woman lived her life out. While we were there, I sensed conflicting feelings of contentment and loneliness in the house, which I tried to convey later with the paint.

When my best friend, Sandi, saw the finished painting, she really loved it. She's been gone five years, and I miss her still. The painting was named in her honor for the beautiful difference she made in my life.

"HER PRESENCE" Transparent Watercolor on heavyweight YUPO, 14 x 20"