Holidays, family, home, gifts, kids. Everyone has memories of holidays, and everyone makes memories during holidays. Today two of our grandkids helped Grandpa make cookies and helped me make lasagna. They loved those big noodles and spreading out each layer in the casserole dish.

This year will be very special for us since we'll be at our son and daughter-in-law's home for Christmas morning. Watching four young children enjoy the magic of Christmas can hardly be beat. I've been making puppets of the whole family, including the pets, and our younger son bought a great puppet stage. Let the productions begin!

This painting on YUPO could be about a woman preparing for the holidays....or just going through the daily routine of life. The painting speaks to me about family, somehow, and home. I really got a new slant on what home really is - or isn't - when I read 'Same Kind of Different as Me.'

Enjoy the memories you make. ENJOY and relish the moment!

"JOURNEY HOME" Transparent Watercolor on YUPO 25 x 19" SOLD



Covering the whole wet paper with color BEFORE defining the iris was the most exhilarating part of the painting. Seeing those rich colors flow into each other and create mystery enticed me to leave it alone and not lift anything.

Once I did start lifting out the petals, the swirl of the brush took on a life of its own. Rhonda painted jelly fish using this technique (see sidebar for her watercolor blog) and, I think I may have to try to paint them, too.

The class had a great day and a good Christmas party. Each of my classes has a personality of its own, and Tuesday morning class is a blend of people much like the picture above, certainly full of surprises, humor, and beauty. I look forward to Tuesdays.

"LUCKY LADY" Transparent Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico 140# 22 x 15"



Once in a while, a special friend and I get together to paint. I drag my array of supplies to her studio, and we drench ourselves in making art from day break til late in the evening.

I am the most free to explore and play when I'm there. No expectations. No deadlines. No one else's opinions. No self imposed requirements or judgements. Practically unlimited use of resources and supplies. I know that making art is a solitary journey for most, but I seem to thrive on painting with creative friends.

This may be the airplane that Wilbur and Orville must have dreamed about before they engineered it to fly ..... but someone else suggested that it reminded them of Falling Waters. Either way could be wright.

Actually, the posted painting is upside down. Earlier, I liked it better flipped over, so I signed it in the deep red area and framed it with the deep red on the bottom. I may take it out of the frame and adjust it someday ... flip it back over. Always a work in progress, these abstracts.

"MERIDIA" Fluid Acrylics (straight out of the bottle) on Crescent Board, 32 x 20"



These pointsettias were not painted, but rather lifted out of the paint, a la Cheng Khee Chee's method with his saturated wet technique. It's certainly one of the most difficult techniques to pull off as far as I'm concerned.

If you've ever been lucky enough to watch Chee demo this process, it looks so, so easy. It's not. The whole paper is saturated with water first. Sopping wet intense colors are added over the entire paper, killing off all the whites. Next, the desired shapes are snatched out of the paint with a clean, thirsty brush. Areas must sometimes be lifted several times to get the shapes and edges you're after. Small details may be painted back in, like the bracts in the center of the plant.

May your holidays be filled with His peace and light.

"MARVELOUS LIGHT" Transparent Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico 140# CP 16 x 11"



Painted en plein aire, aka 'on location,' forced there by one of my classes .... and painted on YUPO. WHAT was I thinking - or not thinking?

It's always been fun to paint on YUPO (once I got used to it,) but this is a really early one. The paint pretty much told me what it was going to do, and I followed. One thing for sure, colors on YUPO are vivid and lively. Crooked perspective and crazy paint patterns seem to have made friends with each other - could be art --- or not.

"MY COMPLIMENTS TO THE CHEF" Transparent Watercolor on YUPO, approx 19 x 12" SOLD



Visiting northern Italy caused my love of textured surfaces to go absolutely bonkers. The walls, the rocks, the stones, the streets, the roofs, the shutters, the doors, the windows, the boats ....... incredible textures everywhere. I was on overload trying to absorb it all and record it on my camera. I would have crawled inside one of those walls and become part of the texture if I could have.

Using what some people say is my 'signature' style, I painted this picture from light to dark, saving each area of lighter value with torn and cut pieces of masking tape, before painting in the next darkest values everywhere. I love the unpredictableness of watermedia, and the taping process adds to the excitement of not knowing what will happen next. Pulling off all that tape when the painting's done is tedious, but the surprises underneath it are wonderful textures that I could not create any other way.
When my artist friend saw the painting hanging in our house, she declared that it needed a red tricycle by the door. Aha! We have one now. Grazie infinite, Betsy!
"A SPECIAL TRIP" Transparent Watercolor with some Gouache on Arches 140# CP 22 x 30" COLLECTED



Birch trees were always one of the most asked for trees during the twenty plus years that we owned our nursery business. Painting them is certainly easier than growing them.

This is another older work done for a class demo, this time without use of any reference photos. It's more romantic than I would choose to paint now, but I'm posting it today since it goes with what I see outside. If the grandkids were here, we would make at least one snowman.

The first real 'date' that my husband and I ever had was ice skating on Wildcat Creek in late December, and it looked a lot like this. That was a 'fer piece ago,' too, as my grandpa would've said. (We were a mere 15!) Keep warm.

"WINTER BLANKET" Transparent Watercolor on Arches 140# CP, 22 x 15"