I hope you enjoy my efforts to paint every day!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

On the Rise

There is one place where I can get a view of Jesse Hall and Memorial Union just over the horizon. Last night the moon was rising right next to them and it looked enormous.

I think this painting is proof positive you CAN get too dark with watercolor!

Update - this painting was chewed up by Tahoe the Golden Retriever art critic.

Friday, January 29, 2010

China Tea

This is my friend Jen's cute teapot with some tea from China. I started it Thursday night and finished it Friday night.

Update - this painting was chewed up by Tahoe the Golden Retriever art critic.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January Daffodils

Got this pretty bouquet of daffodils Monday night at the grocery store. Last night they had just started to open so I decided to paint them. Finished tonight. I think painting flowers is similar to portraits - lots of layers of shading.

Update - luckily I had framed this one so it did not get destroyed by Tahoe the Golden Retriever Art Critic.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January Daffodils - in progress

I knew starting this that it was more than I could do in one night! Time for me to take a break and eat some dinner. I will work more on this tomorrow night.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Houston Sunrise from the 23rd Floor

I really like how this turned out!

Update - this painting was chewed up by Tahoe the Golden Retriever art critic.

October on the Champs Elysees

Took a photo last October of these beautiful flowers planted along the Champs Elysees. The dark among the flowers really makes them pop when this is viewed from a distance.

Update - this painting was spared by Tahoe the Golden Retriever Art Critic.

Herman Park, Houston

I need to work on the man walking more to get him to stand out. I should have painted him in sooner.

Update - I did work on this a bit more - lightened and blurred the trees behind the man, darkened the man and the light post. It looked better. Unfortunately, this was destroyed by Tahoe the Golden Retriever Art Critic.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Missing You

A friend of mine lost his dear cat "Boozer" this week. She was beautiful and had quite a personality.

Update - luckily I had given this painting to Boozer's dad so it was not a victim of Tahoe the Golden Retriever Art Critic. This was the first painting in that sketchbook so the prior paintings were not destroyed. I better put my prior books in a very safe place!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Another foggy morning on Monday. It is hard to get the right contrast but keep the vagueness of the fog. These hay bales have been sitting in this field near my house for many months. Its too bad they were not stored out of the rain and snow. Maybe the hay deep inside is still OK?

Update Jan 31 - this weekend they gathered up the hay bales. Guess they were not forgotten after all.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rag Tag Cinema Cafe

RagTag Cinema Cafe

I went to see "A Single Man" today with a couple of friends (great movie!) and when we came out of the little theatre saw these great vintage bikes.

This was a more complicated painting and took longer than I anticipated. Time to eat dinner!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Window at Mont Saint Michel

Window at Mont Saint Michel, France

Tonights painting is from a photo I took last October on a watercolor tour of France led by Paul Jackson. This was at Mont Saint Michel - a medieval abby and village on the Normandy coast.

This was very fun to paint. But I realized after I was done that I did not get the angles right on the stones to the left of the window. Its funny how much time you spend painting the parts of the painting you don't want the viewer to focus on!

The Future is Foggy

The Future is Foggy

I took several photos on my morning walk with my dogs. It was very foggy and I loved the effect. I liked the way this one seemed to suggest the uncertainty of the future. I love the remnants of snow by the sides of the road.

Since I am still working on the "not so good paper", I tried to keep it lighter. But I still had issues with the paint puddling.

Evening Storm

Evening Storm

Another attempt to paint clouds and they look pretty good when I view this painting from a distance. (Of course that makes all my paintings look much better!) This is from a photo that I took last spring of a horse in a pasture near my house. I eliminated a second horse in the picture and I am very happy with how this turned out.

Missouri Dawn

Missouri Dawn

This was done at the end of a very long day. I went with several others from work on a one day trip to Chicago. As we drove to St Louis, it was early dawn and a sliver of a moon was shining above the snowy landscape. After getting home at 1o pm I attempted the paint the scene. I was very frustrated that I could not get the depth of color in the sky that I wanted. I had run out of my nice Arches paper, and this paper would just puddle the paint. So I went back for the next two nights adding color. But I am not happy at all with the results. I need to try this one again - I think it could be a very nice painting if I do it larger using good paper.

Adele at Age Six

Adele - Age 6

It was retro day on Facebook and everyone was changing their profile to be a photo of them as a child. I had a great picture of me from age six - that my dad had taken in front of our fireplace holding my kitty. So, I thought why not try to paint this? I got the eyes too big and the shoulders too narrow, but all in all I am pretty happy with my first attempt at a self portrait. I went back the next 2 days and did some more touch up.

I am looking forward to the Paul Jackson portrait workshop I am taking in May!!!

Tahoe and Shasta

Tahoe and Shasta

These are my two Golden Retrievers. I used a photo I took many months ago with my iPhone. I love the expressions on their faces!

Florida New Year

Florida New Year

This painting was requested from my friend Jen, from a photo she took in Florida on New Year's Day. This is larger than my other daily paintings - about 12 by 7. The tree on the right has an osprey nest.

Missouri Farm House

Missouri Farm House

This is from a photo I took that day with my iPhone. I don't like the way the trees turned out - I made them too dark. I also had a very difficult time getting the sky I wanted. The day had these lovely delicate white clouds streaking the sky. I could not seem to get that effect. I really need cloud lessons!

I need to try this view again.

Wood Stove Fire

Wood Stove Fire

After my snow scenes, my friend Jen requested something warmer! So I decided to try to paint the fire in my fireplace insert. This was a challenge! I thought it would simply be a mess but I kept going and it finally turned into what looked like a fire. I did mask out the brightest parts and painted them light yellow-gold at the end. It was hard to get the right colors.

Winter in the Woods

Woods by Quarterdeck

This is the view from a window at my office building. It was a gorgeous snowy day and I took the picture with my iPhone. A friend had suggested that a snow scene was in order for that day's painting and I love how this one turned out!

Giverny Waterlily

Giverny Waterlily

This is from a photo I took in October on a Paul Jackson Watercolor Sketchbook tour to France. We spent a day in Monet's gardens at Giverny. What a wonderful experience!!!

I like how the leaves at the lower right are lighter and help to attact attention to the flower. I also like the second little flower, but I maybe placed it a little too close to the edge?

Eagle Bluffs Sunset

Eagle Bluffs Sunset

This is also from a picture of the sunset on Oct 20. This one I painted in a hotel room after a full day of orientation for my new job, and then dinner out. It came out pretty messy, but at least I got some dramatic color. The funny structures on the right were posts. I really want to learn how to do clouds.

Burr Oak

Burr Oak

This is the famous Burr Oak tree near Huntsdale, Missouri. It is from a photo I took on October 20, 2009. There was an incredible sunset that night - I found myself chasing the sun as I drove home and continued driving out to the Eagle Bluffs area. I got lots of great photos that night. The light area to the left of the tree is the sunset reflecting off some standing water. I have a feeling I will be painting this tree again!

Lake Sundance at Winter

Lake Sundance
This painting is from a picture I took on January 1 or 2 from our back deck. The lake behind our house is frozen, but there are dark streaks - maybe from the beavers swimming just under the surface?

I masked out the white boat house and the lake. I wish I had left a little white around the trees in the foreground to set them apart from the background. I will do that if I decide to paint this again larger.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Getting Started

Getting Started

I love to paint watercolor - when I do it that is. I find that I have been thinking about painting more than I actually paint - I am too busy, too tired, not in the right mood, don't have an idea....it is hard for me to get started. So I decided to scale back my expectations for what I paint and simply paint more frequently. Without actually deciding to do this, I started to do a small painting every day - a 5" by 7". This started on Jan 3 and so far I have done a painting every day but one - and on that day I went back and did some more work on the paintings from the previous 2 days. So now I have painted daily for 2 weeks. I find that I am looking forward to painting every night and during the day I am looking for subject matter. I have often taken a picture with my iPhone during the day that I paint that night. In most cases I have been very happy with the painting that results!