Several years ago, three other watercolorists and I spent a week right on the ocean in Maine. Barb had rented a wonderful old cottage for us to enjoy near a very picturesque fishing village. The deck of the cottage was about 12 feet from the edge of the ocean, and we were in a wonderfully secluded cove. Paradise!

This was the view from where I sat painting each day. Watching the tide come in and go out, watching the continuous display of beautiful skies and sunrises, as well as seeing another part of the world never fails to inspire me to paint. The rocks or boulders were worn from eons of waves hitting them, and they were still enormous.

All my life people have told me to paint what I feel, express myself, say what I want to say. Great... except I never had ANY idea what I wanted to say. If I knew, I would've said it out loud.

In Maine that summer, I finally realized that painting lets me express what I want to say in the very best way that I can express it. Painting is my voice to help me know what I'm feeling and experiencing, and often, it's while I'm painting that I get in touch with feelings that I had no idea were there.

Anyone else like that? You have no idea what you want to convey or express until you've got it down with paint on paper. Then maybe you finally know what it was you wanted to 'say.' Probably if I knew ahead of time, I would just say it out loud and not paint it.

"VACATION" Transparent Watercolor on 140#CP Arches 11 x 7" COLLECTED



It seems like I haven't painted for forever and haven't posted for over a week either, so here's a REALLY old painting done in the late '90's. The up close study shows the textures of the old wooden sign.

Back then, I'd never use black and still seldom do. The blacks here are just dark colors in separate puddles from my palette, then allowed to mix on the paper. I think I used Ultramarine Turquoise (a mixture of phthalo green and French Ultramarine,) Quinacridone Violet, Indanthrone, and Quinacridone Burnt Orange. All were from Daniel Smith Company in Seattle, WA.

I love the depth of color and richness that happens when darks are created this way, plus both a warm black and a cool black can easily be made depending on how much of each color is used.

Miskit was applied VERY carefully to protect the edges of the white feathers and the rope. I use an 00 rigger brush dedicated for just applying miskit, then rinse it really well in GOOF OFF before washing it with Dawn Liquid Detergent, then hot water to clean it out.

The painting is really a contrast of darks and lights with just a bit of humor thrown in. This pelican lives in Bonita Springs, Florida, and it's evident that he WAS fishing from that dock.

Enjoy the rest of your summer if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. We (grandkids and me, plus my honey when he's not at work) have spent time everyday at the pool... two more weeks of grandkid fun before they must head home. This week it's just the two girls, so life seems nearly casual this morning! Oh yes, I DID paint yesterday - little toenails and fingernails, some orange and some deep pink! I love painting, and I LOVE being a grandma.

"NO FISHIN'" Transparent Watercolor on 140#CP Arches 15 x 22" COLLECTED