Archive for July, 2011

A stop in the woods – pastel

July 17th, 2011 7 comments

Every art medium has its strengths and weaknesses. Today I decided to try oil pastel to convey the complexity of this scene. This is Donald’s bike Iris. It is sitting in a mass of Red Valerian with Madrona trees around it. 15 ” x 20″ It’s for sale! inquire!

Categories: bicycling, nature, pastel Tags:

The man on the street

July 5th, 2011 26 comments

My favorite thing to paint is the human face. I spend a lot of time painting landscapes and flowers, but I always come back to portraits. Wherever I go, I see people and wish I could stop right there and take their picture, or pull out a drawing pad; “Don’t move!” and then sketch out their face. But usually, that is impossible. The other day, on our way to a shop downtown, I saw this guy and gasped, oh, I wish I had a camera! Within seconds, my husband handed me a digital camera and I got him! Talk about good fortune.

I hope you like the result. This is an 11″ x 15″ watercolor on heavy watercolor paper. It is for sale.

Categories: portrait Tags:

Purple Mountains Majesty – Serendipity

July 4th, 2011 5 comments

Happy Fourth of July!

Imagine you are on a bicycle riding up to the top of a mountain pass. Imagine that your bike is a tandem, a bicycle built for two. The person riding on the front of the bike is your true love, he’s working VERY hard. It’s not easy pedaling up to the top, and the very steep road goes on and on. Imagine that a nice man on another bicycle appears behind you and decides to slow down to ride at your pace. He strikes up a conversation, a welcome distraction.

Here you are riding across the Northern Cascade Mountain range. The beauty and grandeur of these mountains is just incredible. You are filled with amazement at the scene all around you. The view in every direction is awesome. Going 5 miles an hour, you really have time to gaze and take it all in, but I confess we did stop a time or two just to take pictures and catch our breath.

We were surrounded by God’s majesty. Our spirits were uplifted, and our conversations were not banal or mundane. How could it be otherwise?
We found ourselves talking to this man about a book we are reading together called “True Love.” It was written by a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk named Thich Nhat Hanh. It teaches some simple ideas to improve the way you love, so you can love mindfully. I learned about this book from an Italian American lawyer who lives in Calabria and writes a great blog, Bleeding Espresso. On the other side of the Atlantic, she too is learning about how to live mindfully. So our bicycling companion talked to us about true love and guitar lessons and about the power of song.

The serendipity of having this conversation in this very beautiful place continues to boggle my mind. It would be hard for anyone to not be inspired here. It was with this in my heart that I painted this landscape.

This painting is on heavy watercolor paper. It measures 11 x15″ and it is for sale.