In the Throes of Winter…

…this is where we’d like to bee:

Where We Want to Bee
Where We Want to Bee, watercolor, 5″ x 7″

The World Watercolor Group theme for this month is “Let’s Go on a Nature Hike!” but in my area, we are still in the throes of winter.  And even though I go for a walk most mornings, I will probably not see many of the items on the daily prompts.  So, I get to make them up!

Wishing you sunshine and relaxation today!


A Fanciful Flower

Fanciful Flower, watercolor, 7
Fanciful Flower, watercolor, 7″ x 5″

In her wonderful book Watercolor: Painting Outside the Lines, Linda Kemp has an exercise in negative painting that produces a fanciful flower.

After laying in an initial wash of my three colors, I traced around a stencil with six petals for the flower head.  I painted around that layer, using the colors that were already on the paper as a guide for the next layer.  Trace, paint, trace, paint, and then imagine some leaves and a stem and another flower further back in the picture plane.

This was a fun painting to do on a rainy day when I couldn’t be outside painting the flowers that are starting to bloom in my garden!

What do you do on rainy days?

#14 of 120 Paintings – Hydrangeas

Hydrangea, watercolor, 7″ x 5″


This watercolor of hydrangea took me more than the hour I usually spend on the paintings in this series.  Although I had practiced the positive and negative painting in ferns a couple of days ago, I found myself getting lost in the midst of all the petals on these flowers, and had to take breaks so that I could refocus.


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.

Window in Assisi

When traveling in Italy, I was impressed by the Italians’ love for flowers and making things beautiful.  As with so many windows, this one was filled with blooming plants, and the window was open to allow the fresh air to cool the room.  Open windows like this serve as an invitation to my imagination:  Who lives here?  What would it be like to visit?  What are they eating for dinner?  And I have found that most Italians are ready to open their hearts and homes to those they meet, especially if one takes the time to learn a little Italian!

Window in Assisi, watercolor, 10.5″ x 7″