Where is the Warm in Winter?

“As the days begin to lengthen, the cold begins to strengthen.”

The temperature here hovers around freezing and the predicted wintry mix falls as cold rain.  This kind of rain feel colder than snow to me, which is probably related to my excitement at walking in the falling snow.  But here in my studio, I can have snow if I want it!

Friendship Warms the Heart, watercolor, 7″ x 5″

What warms your heart on a cold winter day?

Violin or Flamenco Dancer?

It is my pleasure to introduce “Camilla Serafina” who is here to dance for you.  Can you hear the haunting flamenco music?

While we are digging out after this weekend’s blizzard, she is on her way to Florida, to dance in the New Score Chamber Orchestra’s auction fundraiser.

Many thanks to my husband for his help in completing this project!

Will She Dance?

I wrote in December that I had been given a decommissioned violin to turn into a piece of art to be auctioned off at a fund raiser for the New Score Chamber Orchestra.  As I looked at and held this instrument, the idea that resonated most with me was that of a flamenco dancer.DSCN1039

So I stripped the violin of its remaining strings, pegs, and tailpiece and purchased some black and red fabric.


My husband built a stand for the violin, both to hold it upright and to give it the illusion of having legs under the skirt.


The bow became the arms, with the frog and the tip acting as hands.


Metal plates screwed into the joints allowed me to pose the arms at the angles I wanted.  Then the plates and screws were hidden under electrical shrink tubing.


A souvenier fan from my niece’s wedding was cut down and painted to become part of her costume.  Here you can also see two of the pegs and part of the tail piece that became her face.


Amazingly, as soon as we attached the arms, she took on the persona of a dancer.

Now to dress her!

I made a petticoat to hold the ruffled skirt away from the box stand and then began making her ruffled dress.  I have made clothes for myself and my children, usually from store-bought patterns, but I don’t know of a pattern company that has a dress pattern for a violin, so I was on my own.  As I was debating gluing fabric on the front, back and sides for a bodice, my daughter mentioned that she would miss the sound holes if I covered them up.  In what was actually a simpler option, paint would became the top of the dress with a ruffle to further define the bodice and a ruffled skirt glued on below.


Imagining Winter

Snowy Evening, watercolor on canvas, 4" x 4"
Snowy Evening, watercolor on canvas, 4″ x 4″

We don’t have snow here, yet.  It’s not even officially winter, but I am thinking ahead and painting some snow scenes.  I have purchased some iridescent medium which can be used mixed in the watercolor paint, or brushed over top of it.  I use it to add some sparkle to the snow, but these images don’t show the sparkle.

Winter Fun, watercolor on canvas, 4" x 4"
Winter Fun, watercolor on canvas, 4″ x 4″

Still Feeling Crabby?

On one of our extended trips this past summer, we pulled into a marina at Knapps Narrows to re-provision the boat.  As we were getting started again the next morning, I looked across the creek to one of the warehouses where watermen sell their crabs.  A young man was working, stacking the crab baskets and lids, helping to tie up the boats as they came alongside, and loading baskets.  I was intrigued by the strong sunlight and shadow shapes.  By the time I went below decks to get my camera and returned, the young man had finished and gone inside.  However, I took a couple of pictures of the building, docks, baskets, and other boats in the area and put them together in this watercolor.

Beats a Day at the Office, watercolor, 10" x 14"
Beats a Day at the Office, watercolor, 10″ x 14″