My Favorite Piece of Furniture

Is a second-hand sweet, delicate desk and chair.  It was originally a rich maple. Beautifully made complete with dove tailed drawers, I promptly asked my husband to paint it cream. It is delicate, small scale and just stinking adorable. Imagining the life it lead before coming to our home, I pictured love letters scrawled across the top, poems penned and secret journal entries recording lives and thoughts untold to others. It’s curvy lines suggesting feminine.

Girly-girl has never been used by friends and relatives when describing me. In reality my computer sits on top of this desk, along with a sleek mouse and keyboard.  It is in my studio and like everything else in this happy room, it is a workhorse. Records kept, blogs written, emails answered. Sort of the same use I guess? 

It looks out onto the pool, lanai and lake. No curtains obstructing the view or floral picture above.   There is a blooming African Violet … the kitchen.  The only thing accurate about my depiction is the picture that sits on the desk.  But, it’s in a plain brown frame.

As an artist it’s important to me to paint what I see….as you can tell, that’s not always what’s in front of me.

“Did You Art Today?”


Sketches from South Lido

One of my artistic goals this year was to work on my people painting skills.  There’s been little time to practice. Relocating, moving again, 31 day challenges and commissions have kept me painting, but for the most part I have been working well within my artistic comfort zone.

Finding someone whose people painting skills sort of jive with my ideas of how I’d like to paint people has been a breath of fresh air. Lively, bright, and colorful,  Graham Berry’s paintings are just a joy for me to look at. Wish he lived in the States. He has graciously posted some videos of him painting.  While I’ve yet to get to watch any of the videos, I’ve promised myself after the current commission is done I will watch. Incentive! In the meantime, I sketched on the beach yesterday.

The first time we’ve been to the beach since moving to the new house, we have been so busy hanging pictures, unpacking, and enjoying the pool.  Great reminder of one of the reasons we moved to this pretty place. The beach is a great place to practice drawing people.  Though young children are not patient models.  It’s also reasonably easy to take reference photos without people noticing.  I used to sketch people in airports, but realized I was getting suspicious looks.  Now if I sketch in an airport, I do shoes and bags on the ground.   No chance of eye to eye contact and glares when doing that.

In reviewing, I’m thinking this goal might have to stretch into 2017!

Have you “Stretched” artistically lately?

“Did You Art Today?”

My Favorite Animal

A bit of a quiet painting for me.   Trying to decide if it’s wishy washy, or goes with the soft impressions of a new soul on a Spring Day.

Yeah……I’m going with that.

Painted using  Ainslee Giles-Patel’s photo from the Facebook site, Photos for Artists.

“Did You Art Today?”

Favorite Bird (as of right now)

Welcome new followers sent here from my friend, Charlie O’Shields’ Doodlewash guest blog.

Quick one tonight.  And in hon0r of Mr. O’Shields, a bit of outlining.  Normally reserved for the sketchbook, it seemed appropriate tonight.  Something new, a chance to stretch again.

 It was a busy day in Sarasota. The studio took a back seat to errands, so this was a quick one.

Husband and I  are avid bird watchers.  Prior to moving to Florida, I probably would have painted a Chickadee, or a the scolding Carolina Wren,  maybe the summer visiting Hummingbird, or the nesting Broad winged Hawk in our front tree, or maybe the sweet White Breasted Nuthatch.

But this is Florida, and life is different. One of the first times in the pool in our new home, I looked up and was eye level with four legs of a pair of these rather large, slow walking creatures. They paid us no mind as we edged along the pool, our eyes peeking over the ledge as they meandered within two feet of the cage. They dance, they sound like creaking old machinery when they call.  They stroll and seem impervious to the fact that cars are larger and faster than they.  Amazed they have survived, I present to you:  Sandhills Cranes, my latest favorite bird.

“Did You Art Today?”

(One of My) Favorite Beaches

Coquina Beach is one of my favorite beaches in Southwest Florida.  White sand, turquoise water, Australian Pine trees with picnic tables, bathrooms, shower facilities. And a lovely shaded walking path.  But then again, there are a ton of favorite beaches for me here in Florida.

Continuing to try to keep up with the #worldwatergroup’s daily #Augustadventure.
“Did You Art Today?”

Favorite Colors……Today’s At Least

So this painting is destined as a donation for the Medford (NJ) Women’s Club for an annual tea fundraiser.  Still behind on this daily painting challenge from the World Watercolor Group (we had an overnight visitor last night…I know…..excuses, excuses).

Lavender/violet are such calming colors for me.  Yet I notice I have none of those colors in my home.  Maybe it’s time to change that.

“Did You Art Today”

Favorite Flower

Second painting for today for World Watercolor Group’s August Adventure.  

Sunflowers are happy flowers for me.  Trying for years to paint them loosely, at one point my dear mentor, Dan Hines said to me, “Maybe you’re not meant to paint sunflowers.” Trying to make me feel better, he quickly added “You know, you can paint horses, and I just can’t get them right.”  That was a lie.  He painted horses beautifully.

Years later a painting that included sunflowers was instrumental in a nice accolade. A bit ironic.  And while sometimes they come out o.k., and sometimes they’re still awful, they will always be a favorite.

“Did You Art Today?”  Yep….twice.