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!

What Would You Do?

When a long-time friend helped start the New Score Chamber Orchestra, I was privileged to provide the cover art for their programs, a collaboration that has continued for several years now (see Summer Nights Passing and Brand New Score ).

As a fundraiser, the orchestra has purchased several violins and has asked several artists to each turn one into a piece of art to be auctioned off.  So I have this “canvas” in my studio, waiting for its alter ego to appear:


What would you do?  How would you repurpose this falling apart instrument as a piece of art?


Little Reminders of the Seashore

I’ve recently been painting a number of little pieces.  Here are the ones with a seashore theme.

Scallop in the Sand, watercolor, 3" x 3"
Scallop in the Sand, watercolor, 3″ x 3″

I have a collection of sea shells that we’ve picked up from our visits to different beaches.  It was fun to imagine this scallop shell back on the sand.

Getting Wet Feet, watercolor on canvas, 4" x 5"
Getting Wet Feet, watercolor on canvas, 4″ x 5″

Getting a reference photo for this picture was difficult.  Ever notice that when one walks towards the birds to get close enough for a photo, the birds turn and start to walk away, resorting to flying to another spot if the photographer gets too close?

Washed Ashore, watercolor on canvas, 4" x 4"
Washed Ashore, watercolor on canvas, 4″ x 4″

Oyster shells are made up of many overlapping layers.  Getting the texture and form for this one was a challenge for me.

Look What I Found at the Farmers’ Market!

Lothian Produce had a mouth-watering display this week at the Greenstreet Farmer’s Market:  neon eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, and modern tomatoes of all colors, and a sweet, orange-fleshed melon called a sugar-cube, to name a few.  It was hot and I was painting in the shade, so this one-hour study doesn’t do the vegetables justice, and I think I may try again.

Veggies from Lothian Produce, watercolor, 7" x 5"
Veggies from Lothian Produce, watercolor, 7″ x 5″

I came home and made a wonderful sandwich with the tomatoes, so full of flavor!

What would you make from these vegetables?

Sometimes I Paint on Something Other than Paper!


The benefits of being married to an artist! Without Ruth, I’d have resorted to buying the stick-on letters from the hardware store to put the name on the transom. With respect to handwriting, or any eye-hand coordination that involves writing of any sort, I’m a hopeless klutz. And drawing something that you can recognize? Forget it. Ruth, on the other hand, does this sort of thing as easy as breathing.  Here are a few photos of her talent in action.

Hmmm. . . drawing a straight line.  That skill alone would eliminate me. Hmmm. . . drawing a straight line. That skill alone would eliminate me.

She lightly penciled a grid for the letters – about 3 inches high – and marked spacing for them with a ruler. After that, she sketched the letters in pencil, then picked up a paint brush and free-hand filled in the letter outlines. She used the same one-part polyurethane paint that’s on the sheer stripe.

I got distracted pulling weeds in the garden. Next thing I knew, she was nearly done. I got…

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Pumpkins 4 Sale!

The last time I painted this old Chevy truck, I was asked to paint it again, but this time showing the barrels that are stacked haphazardly on the back with pots of plants sticking out the tops.  The weather was nice today and Greenstreet Gardens, where this truck is part of the display, is starting to put out the holiday decorations, so I thought I’d better get to work!

Pumpkins 4 Sale, watercolor, 5" x 7"
Pumpkins 4 Sale, watercolor, 5″ x 7″

Time Out for Art: Tree Surgeons

We had tree surgeons from Expert Tree Removal here this past week.  They were cleaning up the “widow makers” or “hangers” as they called the large limbs of trees that had broken off but not fallen due to a storm earlier in the summer.  I took time out to watch them and drew this picture.

Tree Limb Removal, pen and ink with watercolor, 9" x 12"
Tree Limb Removal, pen and ink with watercolor wash, 9″ x 12″

I don’t remember being fascinated with machinery as a child.  I think my interest started when my sons were young and they liked to look at all the trucks and machines that we passed while driving.  Now, in addition to being distracted by the noise of the chipper and the chain saws, I felt compelled to watch as they lopped off branches and large sections of the trunk, calculating and making them fall between pilings, without hitting the electric light fixtures that were there.

The men liked this drawing and insisted that I show it to their boss when he returned later in the day.

Faded Glory

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!


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.