Mango and Mates – Daily Painting

Watercolor on paper 10″ x 7.5″. Available

What I learned on my weekend vacation that I decided to apply today …

Colorful shadows with reflected light. Playing around with complementary schemes.
Being bold with wet in wet painting.
Getting more daring with saturated color.
Painting watercolor standing up (even when not plein air) to give more arm/shoulder range.
Mixing colors from a limited palette.

Oh, and this is not the same mango that my husband was pining for before. That one went into the margaritas.

Rosarium sycamore – Daily Painting

Watercolor on paper. 11″ x 6.25″

Tired but happy, I’m back from two back-to-back days of watercolor demonstrations in Orange County – one sponsored by Watercolor West, the other sponsored by the National Watercolor Society. The styles of the instructors (Chris Van Winkle and Cathy Quiel) were quite different but they both offered such inspiration and so much to absorb. And the two society shows were fantastic as well. If you’re in So. Cal and like watercolor, I urge you to see the shows at the Brea Civic Center and the Muckenthaler Cultural Center.

Because I was in student mode both days, I didn’t get out to do a new painting, so I offer one painted about ten days ago, one afternoon at Descanso Gardens. It was about 3:30 in the Rosarium, and the light was starting to filter through an old sycamore, creating that stained glass look that yellowing leaves get.

If you haven’t heard my good news yet, I am beaming with joy over something that happened yesterday. I entered my first juried show and was so very pleased to find out that not only did I get in but won 2nd prize. The painting that won was Descanso Arbor, painted about a month ago, with a winding path leading to a distant light spot.

So I’d like to say thank you, to everyone who reads here and so very many of you who have written me privately, for all the encouragement and support you’ve given as I’ve undertaken this year-long painting project. This is a better outcome than I had hoped for; I would have been thrilled just getting in the show.

Chili and the Dumpling – Daily Painting

8 in. x 10 in. Oil on gessoed hardboard
SOLD to a collector in New Mexico

Sure, they’re an odd couple. Chili, he’s a hotty with a sharp, peppery personality. Dumpling, she’s tender, sweet and rounded in all the right places. But they get along just fine. Maybe you know someone(s) like that? I know I do.

Fall guys

“Fall Guys” 6″ x 6″ pastel on paper.

A good art buddy brought me this lil punkin last week when she came over to visit, and I thought it was so cute i paired it with a little striped gourd that I had hanging around. It has a Mutt and Jeff quality that I like and it was fun to paint (in pastel.)

This was done on a dark brown Mi-Tientes paper, which shows through in the texture here and there. I used the rough side.

Painting a Day – Redwood Cove

7.5″ x 11″ on 140 lb. watercolor paper

Click to bid. Bidding starts at 99 cents for the monthly Nibblefest contest.

What’s Nibblefest you may be wondering? It’s a monthly activity in which the objective is to get the most number of bids from different individuals. That’s why the price starts so incredibly low. So help me out, folks, I’d like to be a contender this time; it will help my visibility and newly-launched store.

You can bid in very small increments and win yourself a nice little original painting. It’s not the number of bids that counts, it’s the number of different unique bidders. I may not do this every month, but I thought I’d try it once in a while just to see what happens. And of course you can bid twice, but your seller name will only count once for the contest.

The monthly NFAC theme is “gnarled trees” so this one seemed to be old and ropy enough to qualify. The location is the Northern California coast, near Humboldt County, where we went several years ago for a video shoot about a food bank.

What else can I say about this? Well, it was painted with only two brushes – a 3/4″ long-handled flat … and a very small thin “rigger” for the little twigs.

Painting a Day – San Gabriel Sunset

7″ x 10″ on 140# watercolor paper – from my sketchbook

The beautiful San Gabriel Mountains. They’re sleeping right now, but rumor has it that the Sierra Madre fault, which runs along the foothills, could wake at any time, giving us all a wild and rocky ride. Those of us who are foothill-dwellers hope that it will be eons before that event occurs.

Daily Painting – Tujunga valley

Watercolor on 140# paper 7″ x 11″

Today one of my plant loving friends offered a potted ficus tree to a good home, and we happily drove over to his hillside home in Tujunga to pick it up. On the way back I was treated to a view of the valley from the vantage point of the Verdugo hills. It’s typical California chapparal – scrubby brush with dry grass below. But in the foggy cool light of the afternoon, the colors were atypically desaturated, a nice change from our usual tropical sunniness. A patch of beavertail cactus decorates the left hillside. And yes, that’s a datura meteloides (locoweed) plant growing close to the pavement. Its white whirled flowers are the ones that Castaneda’s Don Juan and Georgia O Keefe were both so fond of, for distinctly different reasons. So, bit by bit, you’ll get a feeling for my natural habitat.

Near Lake Piru

Watercolor on paper – For Sale

I posted this so late last night that I didn’t even get time to write anything, sorry.
More thoughts on painting later today … work calls …

Daily Painting – Sycamore Sentinel

7″ x 11″ Watercolor on 140# paper


A sycamore at Eaton Canyon in the early fall, the San Gabriel mountains in the background. Do you see the white bird flying in the background over the mountain? It wasn’t intentional, just a little white space left by the twist of my brush as I was putting in the mountains. In fact, I didn’t see it until after I scanned it. Funny how these things are …

I’m not quite sure what’s happened in the last couple of days, or where this somewhat new direction is coming from, but for the moment I’m not going to question it, and just follow it and see what happens.

Descanso Grape Arbor

11 x 14″ watercolor on 140# paper

This week I was not able to enjoy the company of our paintout group due to work conflicts, so when things settled down in the evening, I finished a painting that I began last week, plein air. It is a view of a pathway at my beloved Descanso Gardens – a path that goes by the native plant area where there is a small arbor covered with grapevines. As I was telling my art friend Belinda last week, I feel especially drawn to paths, roads, bridges and other sorts of landscape features that lead to somewhere else – perhaps somewhere mysterious and wonderful. And the color green – oh how I love green, which has always been my favorite color, and probably always will be.