Sometimes people ask me, “Do you feel like you are selling your children when you sell your art?” And I smile and reply that its more like having one of my children get married. I am thrilled that someone else likes them enough to have them in their home!

Three weeks ago I was out painting in the garden of a marina and as I finished, a group was going by on their way to a boat. They stopped and complimented me on the painting and enquired about my web site. I gave them a business card, picked up my gear, and went home for lunch. A couple of days later, I received an email asking if the picture was for sale. This resulted in a studio tour and the purchase of several of my pieces. This was so encouraging that I felt a hand-painted card was in order for a thank you note.

Yellow Rose Card, watercolor, 4.5 x 6

Yellow Rose Card, watercolor, 4.5 x 6

These paintings are watercolor on canvas.  I paint the primed canvas (linen or cotton coated with an acrylic gesso, ready for oil or acrylic paint) with an absorbent ground.  The ground looks like thick, chalky, white paint, but allows the surface to accept the watercolor pigment.

Beach Mini, watercolor on canvas, 4" x 4"

Beach Mini, watercolor on canvas, 4″ x 4″

I painted three birds into the picture.  I think the top most “bird” is actually a spot of dirt on the scanner glass.  I looked for him after I saw the scanned picture, but he had already flown away!

Pink Roses Mini, watercolor on canvas, 4" x 4"

Pink Roses Mini, watercolor on canvas, 4″ x 4″

After I am finished, I let the watercolor dry and then spray the canvas with a clear acrylic finish.  These are just the front panels.  The canvas wraps around the stretcher bars, so the sides are painted, too.  On my computer screen these are larger than life-size!

I like that magnolia trees bloom for such an extender period of time.  Painting things several times is good practice and I notice things that I miss the first time or two out.

Another Magnolia, watercolor, 7.5" x 10"

Another Magnolia, watercolor, 7.5″ x 10″

Another glimpse of our cruising days for you.  Each time we go out I am concerned that I won’t find something different to sketch in my journal but my concerns haven’t been realized yet!

If you’d like a different perspective, here’s my husband’s post about this trip.

Last fall, our son decided that he wanted to try growing garlic.  He planted it in the garden and we have been watching it all spring.  Finally it is in flower and, as the leaves die back, it is time to harvest.  I pulled one up to do this picture.  I’m not sure that I have done it justice, as the plant stands about 60″ from roots to blossom.

Garlic, watercolor, 7" x 5"

Garlic, watercolor, 7″ x 5″

When we lived in Italy, our landlord grew garlic in the garden outside our house and each spring we ended up with bundles of it.  I would braid the stems and hang the braids in the kitchen. Even after giving a lot away, we had enough garlic to last us until the next spring.

Fresh garlic takes a couple of weeks to dry, but may be eaten right away and has a more delicate taste.

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120 Paintings

“It takes 120 bad paintings to know something about painting.”  -  Larry Seiler as quoted by Jeff Mahorney in his blog

Each painting is small in format and should be completed in about an hour or less.

My goals are to improve my technique, to paint faster, and to gain experience with a variety of subjects.

We do check the weather before we go sailing.  Because it is summertime, the report often includes a possibility of thunderstorms: smaller, unpredictable storms brought on by the heat and moisture, “pop-up storms”.  Such was the weather prediction before we went on this overnight cruise.

I hope that you are enjoying reading about our travels as much as I am enjoying making this book!

Our landlord asked me to do a watercolor of his son-in-law’s boat, so that he could present it as a gift.  Getting a pleasing composition which was also close enough to show some of the particular details of this boat took several tries.  I also realized that this is not just a painting of a boat; it is a portrait of a boat!  It has been a difficult secret to keep, but now that the gift has been given, I can post about the painting.

Frank's Shearwater, watercolor, 14" x 21"

Frank’s Shearwater, watercolor, 14″ x 21″

Katherine Trauger commented on my last magnolia picture that a magnolia tree’s limbs should be trimmed just enough to put a couple of lawn chairs under the tree.  The cool shade and wonderful scent of the flowers makes it a natural air conditioning.  Since today was so hot here, I went and stood under the tree to paint, and the blossom that was in view was past its prime, but a good challenge to render with all the curves of the petals.

Faded Glory, watercolor, 5" x 7"

Faded Glory, watercolor, 5″ x 7″

 

This painting is number 100 in my series!

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120 Paintings

“It takes 120 bad paintings to know something about painting.”  -  Larry Seiler as quoted by Jeff Mahorney in his blog

Each painting is small in format and should be completed in about an hour or less.

My goals are to improve my technique, to paint faster, and to gain experience with a variety of subjects.

One of the great pleasures we have in living at the marina is that the boat is just outside the back door.  We can gather our hats and a couple of bottles of water and go out for an hour or two.

One of the challenges I give myself when painting in watercolor is to not paint everything, not to put in all the details, not to make my painting look like a photograph.  I have found that if I suggest areas of the painting, then the viewer is more engaged because their brain is “filling in the gaps,” and therefore engaged in the creative process.  I have to say enough, but not too much.

This is especially true when painting something with as many complicated little shapes as this pink hydrangea.

Pink Hydrangeas, watercolor, 5" x 7"

Pink Hydrangea, watercolor, 5″ x 7″

 

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