Saturday, March 19, 2022

Palm Fixation


Palm Buddy
6" x 9" watercolor
on Fluid cold press paper

Still finding inspiration in Canadian artist Shari Blaukopf's online course, "Behind the Palms." With this one I decided not to use ink for sketching in the foundational drawing--just pencil lines. 

And I probably told more of the story than I needed to--in other words, rendered too many details, especially on the palm itself. 

And went too dark too fast on the palm, so had to lighten up with my old standby, white gouache mixed with a hint of color, since it is opaque and works to lighten up after you've given away the white of the page. 

BUT...there's still something about this one that I kinda sorta like. Not sure what it is. Two weeks taped up on the wall above my desk will tell me if it was just a passing fancy or a true liking. 

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Another House in the 'Hood
8" x 8" ink and watercolor
Fluid cold press paper

Still trying to channel artist Shari Blaukopf's use of ink and luminous watercolor. Keeping watercolor transparent is a particular challenge for me, but I think I did a reasonable job  with this painting of a house near me in Alameda, CA. Thank you, Shari, for the inspiration and for your great teaching. Your online courses are awesome! 

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Another Palm in the 'Hood


Oakland Palm at Chinese Garden Park
8" x 8" watercolor
Fluid cold press paper

More palm practice from a photo I took at the Chinese Garden Park in Oakland. We often go by it as we emerge from the tunnel that connects Alameda to Oakland. 

Friday, February 25, 2022

More Palm Practice

Alameda Palms2
8" x 8" watercolor
Fluid cold press paper

Maybe not as much joy as the last one. This one's overworked, but it does make me smile just the way the tree at the corner park does, especially when the ice plant is in bloom--like now.  

It helps to paint today even though my mind, like everyone's, is on Ukraine.  

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Palm Practice

Alameda Palms
8" x 8" watercolor on Fluid cold press watercolor paper

Just when you think you'll never again paint something you like, you hit one that gives you joy. Gosh almighty, how lucky to be in love with a watercolor painting learning curve.

And how lucky to be inspired by Canadian artist Shari Blaukopf, whose online course, "Behind the Palms," inspired this little painting. Shari had us practice painting palms from her reference photos taken in Florida, and then I applied what I learned to these palms in my 'hood in Alameda. This city's iconic palms continue to tickle my fancy, even after three years.

In April I plan to meet and study with Shari Blaukopf in person. She's such a great teacher. I've taken several of her online courses, which are not expensive and are permanently accessible. She's a fabulous artist, a great teacher, and amazingly generous about giving feedback to her online students--for as long as they want. 

Monday, February 14, 2022

SF Bay: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

The Watchers 
8" x 10" watercolor
on Arches 100% cotton cold press paper

I always enjoy watching the brown pelicans watch from their offshore perches. 

SF Bay, you are the gift that keeps on giving. 

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Another Try

Snowy Iowa Field2
7" x 8" watercolor on Arches 100% cotton cold press paper

Last time I used a triad of colors: Winsor Newton Cerulean Blue (Red Shade), WN Yellow Ochre, and WN Permanent Alizarin Crimson.  

This time a different triad: Winsor Newton Prussian Blue, Daniel Smith New Gamboge, Winsor Newtown Permanent Alizarin Crimson. 

Happier with the sky on this one. Maybe too much granulating in the sky on the last one due to the Cerulean Blue  But maybe happier with the looseness on the last one. 

Both evoke happy memories of learning to love the rural landscape while living alongside this pasture x ten years.  


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I met Sally forty years ago when I was twenty and she was the one in her sixties. I was a waitress at a Howard Johnson’s restaurant on...