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Archive for October, 2011

Pick of the litter

October 24th, 2011 27 comments


Isn’t she adorable? She’s up for adoption.
I have had a few calico cats in my life. Of all the cats they have the most fun markings, but can still get lost in dappled shade because of their protective coloring. This little cat is hoping to be adopted this weekend at Kitty Harbor. If you want to buy her portrait, I will donate half to Kitty Harbor. And if you want to adopt Meggy, if you’re lucky, follow the link and she might still be available.

5″ X 7″ on Arches fine watercolor paper – hand painted with Daniel Smith watercolor paint this painting is SOLD but will eventually become available at Kitty Harbor as a note card

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Hellebore Hellebore Hellebore. Such a funny name for a pretty flower

October 18th, 2011 10 comments

I like getting an assignment. Sometimes when I don’t know what to paint and a friend tells me a story like the one that follows, I find myself very inspired.

So here’s the story: I have this really cool friend who is currently designing her yard. She decided she’d plant some Hellebores. While describing her plantings to her neighbor, the neighbor took great pains to correct her “That’s Helleborus.” She said. My friend has a LOT of class; and would never argue with someone about something so petty. But my friend was not born yesterday, and she KNEW that the word “Hellebore” was correct and that Helleborus was simply the Latin name for the plant. Well, the next day, same thing happens, My friend talks about her Hellebore nicely planted and her neighbor corrects her AGAIN.

So I decided my friend needed an authoritative postcard from a botany artist… and here it is!

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Flowers of my mind

October 16th, 2011 19 comments

Do you ever wonder how these paintings happen? Well, I will tell you the story of this one.
I was at the Fremont market with my dear husband a couple weeks ago, and I saw this cute little gold frame. It said “Made in Italy” on the back and it was a perfect 5″x 7″ size. It cost me $10, it’s wood, it’s gold, it’s Italian. So now I needed a painting. I have been playing with a technique that goes like this:
take a sheet of paper (Arches watercolor paper) and wet it down with water. While it is still wet add colors. A little here, a little there, primaries, secondaries. Then let it dry – for days even.

It should look something like this.

Note, the first photo is not the same piece of paper as the one in the second photo.
Next, I start visualizing flowers in the swirls and shapes on the paper; and darken some places and add color in other places. As flowers start popping out, I add detail. And darkness in some areas to bring the flowers forward. I pick all my favorite colors and blend them, putting contrast in to make the pretty colors look even prettier.

Finally, all I had to do was pop it into the frame. Not sure if this frame will work with this painting though; what do you think?

This sweet little painting is for sale ! Would you like to buy it? I’m asking $75.00, framed and mailed anywhere in the USA.

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Crows Gathering

October 14th, 2011 6 comments


First one lands, then another. Then another. Two crows together feel safer than just one, and three, well, that’s gaining a little confidence, but not yet enough to be called a murder; a murder of crows, that is. Anything bigger than a squirrel could scare them all away..
A long time ago, I was a very unhappy teenager. There was nowhere in my life that I felt safe, except in the tenuous company of my friends. I say tenuous because we were all dependent on our parents, and any of our parents could suddenly change the rules and make us, any of us, even more isolated and disenfranchised. The world felt wrong because we were in a war we didn’t believe in, and it was time for us to prepare for our future as adults not having a clue about what was out there. Every teen was not like this, but I was, and so were some of my classmates.
This past month, I became reacquainted with a kindred soul. We went to high school together, she lived right at the bottom of the hill I lived on. She and I were never really close, we were both running, trying life out, looking for shelter. We both grew up. We both learned to love nature, appreciate wildlife, and the bounty and beauty of it. To celebrate how we have converged so much in our lives, we are exchanging paintings. She, from her corner of the wilderness in the far north on the east coast, me, from my urban jungle, far north on the west coast. Our paintings might cross in the mail, and I promise I will show you hers; but here is what I painted for Arlene, I hope she likes it.

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Three Randonneurs

October 11th, 2011 28 comments


Last week I attended a bicycle club meeting. It was hard to not notice the chiseled features of these men, each of whom have bicycled literally thousands of miles just in the last year. The discussion was heated, opinions varied, but still they stood in a row while I wished I could sketch them. With scant moments available, I pulled out my pencil and started to sketch. I had almost captured them when the meeting broke up. I actually had asked my husband to snap a photo so I could finish my sketch later, but it was so dark in there he was unable to get a photo that was not blurred. I took it home and finished it with his blurry photo for shadow reference and my Pitt pens.

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Categories: bicycling, portrait, travel journal Tags: