Any weekend that includes seeing the grand kids is a great weekend, and this will be one of those great weekends. We already have plans to camp out downstairs. Each of the 4 have their own tent all set up with a sleeping bag inside, but I have to sleep 'above ground' in a bed. WHEW!
This portrait shows our youngest granddaughter resting on her mama's shoulder. It was painted several years ago in watercolor on 140#CP Fabriano Artistico and is one of my favorite portraits. My son loves it too.
Tomorrow is a full day of classes here in the studio, then I'm off to totally enjoy three 6 year olds and a 9 year old. It will be a full weekend, for sure. Happy painting, everyone!



Kathy Cartwright has an excellent art blog, and in it, she challenges readers to take her "20 minute challenge." Click here to see her blog and read more about this challenge.

Last week, two of my classes were challenged with Kathy's 20 minutes idea. Each class was instructed to paint several small paintings this week, taking only 20 minutes per painting.

We set a timer in class while they did the first one. So many were surprised at how much fun it was to 'whip up' a painting in 20 minutes. The guidelines include starting with a blank sheet of paper, stopping when the buzzer goes off, and painting something that is visible at the moment - no photos or memory painting. Most are using watercolor, but pen and ink or graphite are fine - any medium is ok to use.

Of the five I've done this week, two of them were from a view out the studio window and significantly show the dreary days we're having here in southern Indiana right now. All are small, about 5x7" and done with transparent watercolor on Arches, 140#CP. I started out with the brush in my hand and made no drawing before painting.

Tomorrow the class will bring back the week's work. I'm really looking forward to seeing their creations.

The cardinal and chickadee at my feeder were painted this afternoon, and the cardinal started out as a small tufted titmouse. It's a good thing that watercolor can be corrected to some extent. I did take the liberty to 'rearrange' the tree that the feeder hangs from, since our feeder really hangs down from the upper deck.

The tricolor beech looked very bleak and lonely in the cold, even with its few leaves still tenuously attached to the twigs. A couple of days ago, a buck rubbed his antlers on the thin bark of this beech, scraping a large gash in the bark, but the damage doesn't encircle the bark. The tree should survive.

These daffodils are blooming right now in the studio, along with an impossible-to-paint purple hyacinth. Painting any yellow flower has always been a challenge for me, but painting them in just 20 minutes
kept me from overworking them. Still, I found it impossible to capture that spring-like freshness that daffodils have.

The last two paintings were demos done in class. People have told me that I paint fast, and I must. Each painting was done before the timer went off.
Maybe I should slow down and draw the subject first next time. It would have helped the shape of the copper pot, especially the spout. Nevertheless, Kathy's challenge is a lot of fun to do and seems to stir up my wanting to paint even more!