Polo Sketch – No Brush Left Behind #1

Polo Report – Watercolor Sketch: I made sure to use all three of my travel brushes today and consciously used a heavier paint application than usual. While my reference photo was very blurry, I love the arched neck and momentum of the pony’s back legs. Still moving while the front legs have stopped. A gorgeous day for polo, and a fast-paced, and an exciting match. Once again, we met nothing but fun and happy people.

No Brush Left Behind Report #1 – 3 down, about 147 to go.

These are my trusty travel brushes. Sunday is polo day. A photo taken previously is sketched and painted during “tailgate time.” If there were markings on two of the brushes, they’ve been rubbed off. But the middle is marked Isabey S201.06. Not sure of the size either. But I love them and they are three of my go-to brushes…and not just used while traveling. The little fabric holder I made. It visibly shares it’s travel history with well-loved remnants of paint.

“Did You Art Today?”


No Brush Left Behind

Announcing my 2019 Goal.   No Brush Left Behind is my attempt to use every brush in the Studio.  Here’s my first YouTube video (and my first video) for this year’s project.

Stay tuned for info on bushes used and the paintings that come out of them.  I figure if I use three a week, I can get through them all!

“Did You Art Today?”


Connecting Creatively at Christmas

Years ago I participated in a Plein Air event in our town in Medford, NJ. My choice of building to paint was the Medford Florist. It was always the best dressed window in our historic town. Before starting my painting, I stopped in the shop and introduced myself to the owner, a charming British gent.

Fast forward; the painting took first place, he purchased the painting. And since that time, I have painted flower arrangements he designed in the bay window of the shop during the town’s Art & Music Festival, painted my impression of the downtown buildings using red and green during the town’s Dickens Festival. These paintings were then used as part of his Holiday window decorations. We are still connecting, even though we moved from Medford to Sarasota, Florida almost three years ago.

This past year I asked his permission to paint from his photos of the beautiful floral creations he makes. He graciously agreed. When I recently posted an older painting of one of his Christmas arrangements, he posted another recent, very beautiful arrangement, suggesting it might be a good candidate for a painting.

So this one’s for you Simon….I have enjoyed our creative connection over the years.

“Did You Art Today?” I know Simon did!

Card Art – Titmouse Trio

Fun playing with paper and colors today. Thank you to Pat Dolan for her generosity in allowing artists to use her photo on Paint My Photo, which can be found here.

These three paintings all measure 4″ x 6″. Enjoy doing these cuties, exploring color, and subject matter. As we have few hardwood trees near our Florida home, I don’t get to see these gentleman as often as I did in our New Jersey home. But then again we now occasionally get to see pink birds (roseate spoonbills) instead.

Do you have a favorite? Think I like the top one best. Isn’t it funny how I felt my signature belonged in different places on each painting?

‘Did You Art Today?”

Four Tries – Card Art

At a Goldfinch today…..and you’re only going to get to see the two that aren’t totally embarrassing…though the upside down one is close!

A reminder of the work and practice that goes into a painting. Photos courtesy of Jan Nother (here) and Debra Underwood’s upside down goldfinch from the great reference library at PMP (Paint My Photo).

Need more practice!

“Did You Art Today?”

Cardinals Appear

“Cardinals Appear When Angels are Near”. Watercolor, 8″…10″ $75.00 + shipping

So happy to get some painting time yesterday. The studio has been quiet for far too long.

Painted this for the Paint My Photo Monthly Painting Challenge. The challenge was to paint something using mostly a primary color. Rodney Campbell’s bird photos are always outstanding, so I took his Winter Cardinal Photo ( which can be found here) and adapted it to the Primary Color Challenge, adding the suggestion of fall red leaves in the background. A reminder that as artists, we don’t need to be a slave to our references. We need to add a piece of ourselves to our work.

Using some Arches Hot Press paper, which I don’t normally mess with, I painted the bird realistically, then added the softer background using a wet-into-wet process. The HP paper allows the paint to lay on top and pool at bit. Not fun for the detailed part and did definitely not spread the way it does with Cold Press. But I had a big piece sitting around and decided that these monthly challenges are just that….a challenge. The paper reminds me a bit of the reactions you get with the synthetic “paper” Yupo.

Last month the monthly challenge on Paint My Photo was for items that had been decorated. My Arabian piece “All Decked Out” with the tasseled bridle took a second place.

I can definitely see those new palette colors influencing my paintings. Who’da thunk I’d use red and orange so much!

Hoping to keep the brushes dirty this month.

“Did You Art Today?”

This Week’s Card Art – Love Over Hate

Some birds and butterflies this week. Stretching again with using stencils in the backgrounds. For the butterfly painting, I drew around the stencils and then painted. Not loving the visible pencil marks and will try to remove.

The Brown Thrasher was painted directly over a marked up piece of paper. Spraying watercolor through the stencil and making some additional marks on the paper became the background. Letting it dry, I then added the Thrasher. It is my favorite of the three. Think I like the lighter tone of the background.

Lots of paint on the Purple Gallinule, but it feels a little muddy in places. In my mind, the sparkle in the lower left created by the dry brush is it’s redeeming quality.

They all measure 4″ x 6″ and will be attached to cards to be sent with love out into the world. Hoping to cancel some of the hatefulness so present these days.

Which one is your favorite?

In addition to these paintings, my desk and I were covered in scraps of paper and doodads this week. My idea for my Christmas card image this year involves collage. However, the image and I may be too stuck to my desk to finish executing it. Stay tuned.

Also, the sewing machine has magically appeared in the studio. A different kind of “make.” The bar stools at the breakfast counter need some cushions, and I couldn’t find what I wanted. This is all Mom and Dad’s fault. Depression-era parents who were creative and resourceful….they set a high bar for what you can accomplish.

A busy studio this week. Want to know why? Thanks

My studio is just a joy, even in dark times. A retreat when the news becomes so painful. When I start to lose my faith, my hope, it draws me in. It brings me into the moment, it soothes my soul. It brings me back to what I am, and what I can do. Small cards sent with love to people who may need to know they are important. Sending love one card at a time allows me to make a difference in my world. Hoping the ripples of love will reach in all directions.

So grateful for my gifts and grateful to share them.

“Did You Art Today?”

It’s Funny

All Decked Out” Watercolor 8″ x 11″ $50.

How things work. I am on a mission in the studio. Pulling apart closets, drawers, paper storage, etc. even starting setting the timer so I don’t make more of a mess than I can handle. All inspired by seeing a fellow artist’s wall of paintings. Go figure.

Recently another artist friend posted some work she’d done on her iPad. I’ve had the Procreate app and an ipencil for ages. It’s always kind of baffled me. A little past my technical skills.

But I had done a small painting for a Monthly Challenge on Paint My Photo. The challenge was to paint something decorated. Immediately an Arabian Costume class popped into my head. These elegant creatures galloping around with tassels, tinkling chains twinkling in the light, manes and tails flowing beneath velvet. Very dramatic.

I found a great reference photo by Ainslie-Gilles-Patel which can be found here. Love those tassels.

It’s funny. There are artists who won’t use others’ photos, there are shows that won’t allow you to use others’ photos. There are some who believe you shouldn’t even paint from a photo at all.

I think that’s all very funny. Frankly, this was what I wanted to paint. Closing my eyes I could visualize the scene, the sounds, the hoof beats. I got so carried away I forgot about my background.

Usually my background is part of my painting process. But in these days painting for fun and pleasure, I hadn’t considered it. I liked what I had done and would normally put a green or blue background on it…..but I do have these new colors on my palette.

Bingo……enter Procreate. That was pretty funny too. It wasn’t pretty, and I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing. But being able to change the background color over and over was a a riot….like having a big new box of crayons.

Settled on one of the new colors. Let’s hear it for fun.

“Did You Art Today?”

Card Art

Thanks to Brian for his wonderful photos of critters and birds eating out of his Buddha bowl. These photos can be found on the wonderful photo sharing website, Paint My Photo.

Another small painting (4″ x 6″) destined to become a greeting card.

“Did You Art Today?”