Wednesday, December 29, 2021

How to Help Them Stay Open?


"Wide World"
8" x 8" watercolor on Arches 100% cold press paper

While working on these paintings of my middle and oldest grandsons, I meditated upon their personalities. This one (above) is so interested in people and in his surroundings. Go anywhere, and he can tell you what's where and who's who. 

The oldest one (below) loves exploring the worlds of books and music. I once had an hour's conversation with him about Greek and Roman mythology; he did most of the talking.

As I thought about these marvelous boys as part of a young generation growing up in such uncertain times, I wondered: 

--How do I--how do all of us--help our young people stay open? 

--How do we help them develop their passions and interests and become who they are meant to be? 

--How do we help them have hope for and confidence in their futures? 

A group I'm paying attention to is The Third Act, a group of people over 60 who are focusing on issues of climate change, racial equity, and the protection of democracy. Its founder is Bill McKibben, a man I've long admired who has spent his adult life raising awareness about climate change. With Bill at the helm, this one has to be good. I will find ways to get involved.

On the micro level, I do my best to support and encourage these boys and their younger cousin, help them develop their ping pong and tennis skills, spoil them when I can with their favorite treats, and just be on hand to listen.  

May we all rally around our young ones and let them know we have their backs, however we can.

Monday, December 27, 2021



Tulip Study #4 
8' x 10" watercolor and pencil
on Arches 100% cotton cold press paper

Detail, Tulip Study #4 

Tulip Study #1
5" x 7" watercolor and pencil

I won't even show the #2 and #3 studies. 

And #4 got pretty dark, pretty fast. I should call it "Gothic Tulips." Must be all this cold and rain in northern CA. Not complaining, mind you--we need the rain. 

I kind of like the cropped version of #4 (see second image, above), but #1 is still probably my favorite. I like the lighter touch.

Watercolor purists would probably not let the pencil lines show, and they certainly wouldn't darken the pencil lines, like I did on #4. 

Just another day on the watercolor learning curve. 

Monday, December 20, 2021

Ask Me in a Few Days

Crown Memorial State Beach Cypress, 8 x 10" watercolor on Arches 100% cold press paper 

Not sure if this one will stand the test of time. One week taped to the wall above my desk usually lets me know if it's a keeper worthy of framing...or something to crop into a greeting card to a friend...or a turn-it-over-and-try-again-on-the-back.  

I do know I love these cypress trees at Crown Memorial State Beach Park, Alameda, CA. I am just not exactly sure how to paint them. 


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