Did You Art Today? Finding Joy

Taking a free class from Louise Fletcher. Day 2 exercise was to use colors and tools you don’t normally use. So the top painting was done with a palette knife and a razor. There aren’t too many colors I won’t use, but I picked some I wouldn’t normally use together. It was a terribly frustrating experience. Just couldn’t find a happy place or satisfactory mark making experience. The paper seemed like it didn’t want to get covered and I wanted to chuck it before finishing.

In the second painting, we were to return to our comfortable and incorporate something we had enjoyed from the first painting. What? There was nothing enjoyable for me about struggling to make a mark. The only thing I found somewhat interesting about the exercise was some of the marks I could make with the razor. So, in the second painting, I used the razor to apply and drag out the paint for the mane, tail, forelock, inside of the ears and the white grasses.

Despite myself, I learned something new!

Thank you to Becky Evans on the Paint My Photo Site for use of her reference photo.

Did You Art Today? – Vacation Practice

Lake Apopka View
Lake Apopka Watercolor in sketchbook
Lake Apopka watercolor on Strathmore w/c paper 4” x 6”

Yesterday we visited the Lake Apopka Wildlife drive. Beautiful vistas, big sky.

Today, poolside messing with the art supplies while on a little getaway. Didn’t leave enough whites to pop the clouds on the watercolor paper, and the paint won’t move on the sketchbook paper. Might have to try it in acrylics when we get home.

Again, landscapes not my usual forte. Have you stepped out of your artistic box lately.

Did You Art Today? Back to my roots

Watercolor and pen

Artgraf watercolour graphite

The first thing I can remember wanting to draw was a horse. I’ve decided it’s been too long since I’ve drawn or painted an equine. Sitting at the pool yesterday, I thought I’d get back in the practice….and I felt like I needed it!

Did You Art Today? Sketchbooks


We are on a mini vacation in Orlando, vaccinated and not too far from home, we are enjoying a low key, nature based getaway. No theme parks for us.

Enjoying the fire pit on our first night here, I noticed movement behind us. A rabbit, fearlessly approached the little grass patch behind us and contentedly grazed while we enjoyed the flames. The fire pit is in the middle of the courtyard, surrounded by the buildings, the shuffleboard court, the pool and barbecue grills.

He/she was a reminder that the beauty of nature is all around, even in the craziness that is the Orlando/Kissimmee area.

Did You Art Today? – Home School Art School – Landscapes

Other than some beach scenes, my work doesn’t often incorporate landscapes.

But synchronicity and my muse once again sent me down the path of exploration and experimentation.

The group,Light Chasers of SW Florida,

recently had a free demo by the accomplished landscape painter Morgan Samuel Price . It was my pleasure to watch this master work and instruct in Twin Lakes Park.

The following week, the group was painting in Myakka River State Park. They were so excited because the “tickseed” was in bloom. While I couldn’t paint with them on the day they were going, Jim and I went the next day.

The views were breathtaking. We’ve lived here 5 years and couldn’t believe this beautiful event had gone unnoticed by us. We took some pictures and stood in awe of the sunny yellow coreopsis that spread in front of us.

Add to that a book by Bob Rohm, “The Painterly Approach” which I have been picking up and putting down for weeks, and I got the message.

My homeschool art teacher had given me a homework assignment.

My first sketchbook landscape felt childish and rather annoying. But I tried to follow advice in the book and from the demo. I just wanted to get it done.

But something happened in the second. I slowed down, studied the values a little more carefully, and I actually enjoyed painting the tree and vista. Who knew? Will you see more landscapes in the future? Perhaps.

Did You Art Today? Kindness Matters

Last year, during the depths of Covid quarantine, I started painting cats. Requested photos from friends, and probably did about ten of them and sent them off, asking friends to make a donation to an animal rescue of their choice. Spreading the kindness during a time when we were not kind to each other.

The holidays, and other Home School Art School projects got in the way, so the kitties got pushed to the back of the project pile. Not sure we’ve gotten any kinder to each other, but I’ve decided it’s time to start working on the backlog of kitties.

Thanks to Karen S. , Dianne C. and Susan L. for giving me permission to paint from their photos.

Always love doing these small pieces.

Did You Art Today? Easter Reflectiom


My Easter reflection in my art journal became a bit too personal to share, so I gave it a little curtain of origami paper.

That’s the beauty of an art journal. Pour your soul out onto a page and cover it up, let it speak or scream, or pull it out and toss it. Don’t think I’ve ever trashed a page…..painted over it….hell yes. Cut it up for a card? Sure. But I usually remember the lesson that lies beneath.

In paintings, a dark placed next to a light creates a place to draw the eye. It is often used in the center of interest in a piece. You can make the same analogy in life. Without the dark, the light would not appear so bright. Hard to remember sometimes when times are dark.

Hoping your Easter (if you celebrate) was filled with the beauty of light and hope.

Did You Art Today? Inspiration

Swimming in Color, acrylics on paper in my sketchbook.

Two weeks of #sketchbookrevival workshops twice a day, and a trip to the Sarasota Art Museum has the creative muse in overdrive.

Inspired by the “Between the Sky and the Water” exhibit by Jamaica Tschape, at the Museum, I have a opened a new sketchbook with lots of ideas swimming in this palette head.

Did You Art Today? Diane’s Home School Art School

Art Journal
Work in Progress

We took a week’s vacation and when we returned, my orange orchid had bloomed….to say I am obsessed is kind.

We’ve lived in Florida for nearly 5 years….I’ve purchased an orchid every year…..and tossed them out after they bloom once. But because this one was orange, I couldn’t bring myself to toss it. It sat out on some dang chilly Florida nights, so I thought it would be a goner. But, I was rewarded by ignoring it. Who knew!

My lesson this week was to work in a series. The art journal page was inspired by Kimberly Kelly Santini’s #journalthroughit class. Using watercolor pencils and your non-dominant hand, then you hit some of those lines with water to see what happened.

The other two are large pieces. I hardly ever work this large. I envision one hanging in my living room. As of right now, neither is what I had in mind. Hopefully, eventually, I’ll be happy with one of them!

And even if I’m not happy with one, the practice is invaluable, and there’s always gesso to cover them up and start again. and that makes me happy.