Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Fishing Floats

I'm really reaching for it here, LOL. This is a small 6x8 inch painting on a gessoed piece of wood. My granddaughter was over the other day and wanted to paint a "fairy house" (small decorative birdhouse). She loves to paint these little birdhouses so I buy some periodically from Michael's. 

They are painted with acrylics, student grade - not my expensive acrylics! But I still tell her to try not to waste the paint. However she tends to put big blobs on the palette. So I sat with her and picked up my board, and began streaking paints across it to use up her extra colors. 

"Oh, are you painting the ocean?" she asked me? Well the colors were mostly ocean-like and I was sort of streaking in a wavy pattern, so I decided it WAS the ocean, We also have a lot "jewels" - which come from Michael's also and can be glued onto craft projects. My granddaughter loves to attach jewels to her fairy houses and she felt my painting needed jewels too,

So I used the smooth ones rather than faceted ones, and decided they looked like old blown-glass fishing floats that used to be used, primarily in Japan, in the early 20th century. My mom used to have a collection of these that I remember from my childhood. 

So for fun I created "Fishing Floats". Hey, at least I did something! 

And here is my granddaughter's Fairy House. I didn't use the pink in my ocean but did use all her other color choices. 

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Strange Days - Part II

Strange days continued on into May. I did slow down some in May, not even sketching as much, as even quicker wonky sketches, but something at least. 

 Three minutes sketching mug and French press while the decaf brewed.

Our challenge was to draw a hat. Another three minutes while the decaf brewed.

Challenge was to draw your favorite mug. I like this mug because it shows my passion for birding!

My avocado plant again. It's grown quite a bit since the last time I sketched it.

A rainy day, sitting out on my back porch watching the few hardy birds at the feeders and water splashing into the pond. Just a sketch looking out at my back yard.

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Life is Strange

Life became very strange after my previous post and suddenly I've been mostly home and self-isolating since the advent of the Covid19 Coronavirus. Being home seems like it would give me lots of time to paint but that hasn't actually been the case. I've been stressed and freaked out. However I do belong to a couple Facebook groups encouraging sketching as good practice. I should really do it every day and started out with good intentions but that hasn't worked out either. But I HAVE done some sketching. All very quick. 3-8 minutes max. It seems about all I can manage, but it's something, so here are sketches I did during the month of April.

Our challenge for this day was to draw shoes, so I did one attached to my own foot.

I'm an avid birder. These are the binoculars I use to watch the birds in my yard.

I'm also an avid reader. This is a stack of bird references however.

A little avocado plant I started from a pit way back at Christmastime, but it seems to be growing.

Our challenge here was to draw some of our art supplies. I drew some but I'm not exactly using them much!

My "big" camera. I use my iPhone more than anything, but this is the one with the 60X optical zoom that I use to get bird photos.

A little watering can  for the plants I try to grow though I have such a black thumb it's usually useless.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Pastel Juried Show

In addition to the big Thrasher-Horne show we have our big First Coast Pastel Society annual juried show, held at the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach, and entries have to be in before March 2. Like Thrasher-Horne we can enter up to three pieces. This year we'll be in the more "prestigious" front gallery rather than the usual back gallery! I've been struggling to paint since my house fire and my son's death in 2018, but I really wanted to have entries for this show.

In addition to my art activities I'm also on the board of the St. Johns Audubon and back in the fall the President asked me if I could possibly do a painting of our chapter logo, a pileated woodpecker. I was a little confused and said, well our logo is very graphic, but if I did a painting it would be more like a painting and not graphic. I wasn't sure what she wanted. But she insisted she would love a painting, so in the end I did this painting - 9x12 pastel on Canson paper. She really loved it but no clue what they play to do with the jpg image I sent her so in the meantime I still have the original and can enter that in the show.

In the meantime I'm also a member now of the First Coast Plein Air Painters and while I'm generally never very happy with my plein air work I do enjoy getting out in the fresh air if the weather is nice, and a couple months ago we had a paint-out at Walter Jones Historical Park across the river in Mandarin and I did this little pastel which I was fairly pleased with. It's only a tiny 5x7 but a good size for plein air, done on Ampersand Pastelbord which is my fave plein air surface. Too bad it's so darned expensive.

And I still loved the photo of my dog and my sister's dog, and the acrylic failed to make it into the Thrasher-Horne show, so I decided a pastel version of it might have another chance with our pastel show, so this is my third entry for the pastel juried show. It's 11x14 which is actually pretty large for me when it comes to pastels.

Now a lot of waiting around until April sometime to see what entries the judge has juried in or out. Our Juror/Judge this year is Aline Ordman. Her work is awesome!

Monday, February 24, 2020


Our big annual juried show at the Thrasher-Horne Gallery in Orange Park is coming up, with the opening reception on March. 12. Each member was allowed to enter up to three pieces in the show, with a minimum image size of 11x14. I tend to work fairly small, especially with pastel, so I decided to use acrylics for this show. I entered three and two got accepted so that was pretty good.

The theme is "relationships" and I felt this painting of two bald eagles clearly fit the theme.

Also accepted was this painting of hayrolls in a field where the "realationship" was perhaps a bit more subtle but I still thought it fit.

This was my reject, my dog Flo along with my sister's beagle, Bosco. Maybe not my best work but I still get a kick out of it and my sister does too. :-)

Friday, January 24, 2020

Happy New Year

It's been a long time since I've been here, hasn't it? I just haven't managed for one reason or other. I had two tragedies happen that knocked a lot of the stuffing out of me and I didn't really do much painting for a couple years. I'm not sure I'm totally back yet but I'm trying to get there and figure January is a good time to start.

I'm still active in various art groups and have been getting out and doing a little plein air. I'll kick off here with stuff that's new for the year, and then maybe backtrack a bit to add in a few things I did work on in the past couple years.

The painting above is done in soft pastels while I was out with the First Coast Pastel Society painting along the beautiful salt marshes in St. Augustine. It's only a little 5x7 done on Ampersand Pastelboard which is a lovely surface to work on. Wish it weren't so expensive!

This one is from the following week at Walter Jones Historic Park in Jacksonville, with the First Coast Plein Air Painters. Also pastel, and also 5x7 Pastelboard,

I've been playing a lot with acrylics also, and enjoying using oil pastel for plein air, so you may be seeing more of this here too.