Making changes in a painting when it's nearly completed must be done slowly and carefully. One or two strokes of the brush can make a BIG difference - or ruin the freshness of a watercolor. Stepping away from the painting frequently helps me see how much more needs to be adjusted. In fact, when a painting is nearly finished, it's common for me to paint only two or three strokes before stepping back to check the progress.

These little Tufted Tit Mice visit our feeder often and are delightful creatures. The earlier unfinished painting, below, has now been lightened in some areas, and more twigs and a bit more foliage have been added to help move the eye through the painting. The top inch of the painting was cropped, too, to 'set' the birds higher on the painting.

The colors are very high key for me - especially for a painting on YUPO. Normally I paint with stronger colors, so I'm battling with myself not to add darker values. The textures add an effective and subtle touch to the home of these feathered friends.

Time to head to the studio and paint .... after I feed the birds. Let me know if you have suggestions for further changes.

"VISITORS" Transparent Watercolor with Graphite and Charcoal on YUPO 18 x 14" COLLECTED



Today we give special thanks for our many blessings as families across America enjoy this special day commemorating the fledgling days in our nation's history. Many will be feasting on turkey, dressing, and the works as well as watching a lot of football on TV.

These turkeys are part of the flock of ten that will grace our dinner table as our whole family gathers together again. Jillian, Paige, and Ty created them so well. Aren't they delightfully fun - just a 'little' glue, some feathers, felt, googly eyes, and 2" clay pots with wooden balls glued on top. The idea came from our REMC electric consumer magazine - many thanks.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to each of you!



Grandkids are such a blessing, and we have a nine year old and three six year olds who love to make art in the studio. This weekend, Ty decided he had to make a really BIG turkey and wanted a big piece of paper. The first masterpiece shown here is his, and it's 18 x 24". Isn't that huge bird just gorgeous with all those exquisite feathers!?! Awesome.

Paige's turkey shows her natural talent at making a fashion statement - on a turkey! She is very creative, especially with the way she made those incredible feathers float so gracefully around the turkey. She told me that I get to keep the painting, and I'll treasure it forever.

Jillian's turkey has the bluest eyes, just like hers, and the colors on each feather are so intense and striking. I love that smile, too. Notice the clever way she wrote her name. What a marvelous painting!

Brant gave me his art paper sculpture of a Native American Indian that he made at school. It will be part of our Thanksgiving decorations, too, and is already hanging above the table for everyone to enjoy.

Before these turkeys were created, the six year olds also made our place setting decorations for the holiday table. They'll be posted tomorrow. I just love children's art!



This weekend, hawks seemed to be on every fence post and telephone wires. I saw several Red Tail Hawks soaring on the wind currents, too. It's always a thrill each time I see one.

Here's an updated version of the Red Tailed Hawk that I painted earlier this year on YUPO. The tree was brought more into focus to anchor the foreground of the bird, and a few lights and darks were adjusted, too. The hawk's shoulder was emphasized to show that he had his back to us, and the extra branches and twigs added the needed detail to the painting.

Below is the earlier painting before these changes, and you can see that the final one has been cropped a little. YUPO is incredibly fun to paint on because anything goes - including being able to easily adjust and change areas. I do love its versatility and the way that it continues to challenge me creatively. It's like it has a life of its own!

"SEARCHING" Transparent Watercolor on YUPO 14 x 18"



These are the final nine cards of my five sets of cards from my weekly classes this past year. I smile each time I pass them in the studio. Every card is unique, some done by professional artists, some by people who haven't been painting that long. Each is a small but glorious treasure. Thank you for painting them and sharing them.